Friday, March 30, 2012

China One Child Policy Results in High Female Suicide Rate

by Heidi Miller
3/29/12

The latest Human Rights Report on China (2010) from the Department of State links the One Child Policy with high female suicide rates in China:
A high female suicide rate continued to be a serious problem. According to the World Bank and the World Health Organization, there were approximately 500 female suicides per day in 2009. The Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Center reported in 2009 that the suicide rate for females was three times higher than for males. Many observers believed that violence against women and girls, discrimination in education and employment, the traditional preference for male children, birth-limitation policies, and other societal factors contributed to the high female suicide rate. Women in rural areas, where the suicide rate for women was three to four times higher than for men, were especially vulnerable.
Stop for a minute and think about it: 500 female suicides per day in 2009. That’s 3,500 suicides per week. Fifteen thousand per month; 182,500 suicides per year. If the rate has remained constant throughout the years, we are looking at millions of females taking their own lives in a matter of decades. the rest

UN, Planned Parenthood Push Sex Rights for Ten-Year Old Kids

by Timothy Herrmann
3/29/12

(CFAM/LifeNews) — The UN Commission on Population and Development is considering “sexual and reproductive health and rights” for children as young as ten.

Even the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon agrees. In a statement recently released he said, “Young people, as much as all people, share the human right to health, including sexual and reproductive health.”

Currently international law does not recognize a “right” to sexual and reproductive health and certainly does not recognize this right in the case of minors. But just last year, the UN Special Rapporteur for Health, Anand Grover, stirred up significant controversy when he not only claimed that a “right” of sexual and reproductive health existed but attempted to define that right as including access to abortion, contraception, and sexual education. the rest 
Organizations like International Planned Parenthood (IPPF) and IPAS, staunch advocates for the sexual and reproductive rights of minors internationally and at the United Nations, have already issued official reports to the conference bureau supportive of rights language including contraception and abortion. They are also using the conference as an opportunity to attack parental involvement in the sexual health of their children.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bishop Martyn Minns: Kingdom Conference 2012



Excellent!

Frank Lyons appointed Assistant Bishop of Pittsburgh ACNA diocese

March 29, 2012
By George Conger

The Diocese of Pittsburgh announced today that the Bishop of Bolivia, the Rt. Rev. Frank Lyons has been appointed assistant bishop in the Anglican Church in North America diocese.

According to the statement released by the diocese, Bishop Lyons “will assist with pastoral care and oversight to clergy and congregations in the Diocese of Pittsburgh during Archbishop Duncan’s tenure as archbishop. Bishop Lyons will also exercise a special superintendence of diocesan congregations located beyond the Pittsburgh area. “

“We are delighted to welcome Bishop Frank and his wife, Shawnee, to the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Bishop Frank is a highly capable leader who brings with him a wealth of experience. I am confident that he will provide the support our clergy and congregations need during this amazing period in our life together as a diocese,” Archbishop Duncan said. the rest

Barney Fife and the Preamble to the Constitution



Instapundit

The differences the Pill has made

George Weigel
March 28, 2012

Excerpt:
With insight, verve and compassion, “Adam and Eve after the Pill” explores the results of what Mary Eberstadt bluntly describes as the “optional and intentional sterility in women” the Pill has made possible for three generations. A careful analysis of empirical studies, plus a close reading of literary sources, leads Eberstadt to conclude that the “human fallout of our post-Pill world” has been severe. How? “First, and contrary to conventional depiction, the sexual revolution (which the Pill made possible) has proved a disaster for many men and women; and second, its weight has fallen heaviest on the smallest and weakest shoulders in society—even as it has given extra strength to those already strongest and most predatory.”

Elite culture has been in comprehensive denial about this fallout, argues Eberstadt—a claim reinforced in February by the lynch mob that attacked the Susan G. Komen foundation for daring to hold Planned Parenthood to account for monies Komen had donated to PP (chief guardian of the flame of the sexual revolution) and which PP had misused. Such public quarrels, however, touch the surface of the cultural implosion that followed widespread use of the Pill. Weaving her way through the social sciences and literature with equal dexterity, Mary Eberstadt digs deeper and describes the human costs of the sexual revolution: the “pervasive themes of anger and loss that underlie much of today’s writing on romance;” the “new and problematic phase of prolonged adolescence through which many men now go”; the social and personal psychological harm caused by the availability of pornography on a historically unprecedented scale; the “assault unleashed from the 1960s onward on the taboo against sexual seduction or exploitation of the young”; and the “feral rates of date rapes, hookups and binge drinking now documented on many campuses” (the direct result of a sexual revolution that has “empowered and largely exonerated predatory men as never before”). the rest

War on U.S. homeschoolers escalates

State can snatch kids thanks to Supreme Court
by Bob Unruh
posted March 29, 2012

Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, caught up in the high-profile Obamacare arguments that started today, have refused to intervene in a case in which deputies threatened parents with the forced removal of their children unless they agreed to let social workers, who did not have a warrant or probable case, search their home.

The stunning conclusion came in a lawsuit brought on behalf of John and Tiffany Loudermilk, who sued officials after a confrontation at their Maricopa County, Ariz., home in 2005.

A district court judge ruled a reasonable person would believe the Loudermilks’ decision to allow social workers to search their home was coerced, in violation of the 4th Amendment. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the search was proper. the rest

Mother Who Questions Vax at Hospital Has Newborn Taken Away
...Later that day, a social worker came to Jodi and Scott’s room and announced that she was going to conduct an investigation of them.

The social worker also claimed that it was “against the law” to show Jodi the allegations before she was questioned.

When Jodi resisted and said that she was not comfortable answering questions when she didn’t even know what was going on, the social worker threatened to call police and take custody of her baby....

20 cities join largest ever March for Life in Romania: media pays attention

by Thaddeus Baklinski
Tue Mar 27, 2012

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Over 20 cities in Romania celebrated a March for Life on Saturday, March 24, an event organizers say is spreading a pro-life message across the country.

“It is becoming one of the most important events in Romania, where ideas for life are reflected in the street. This year’s event expanded nationwide,” Larisa Iftime, president of Pro-Vita Media, told LifeSiteNews.

Iftime explained that the first Romanian March for Life was organized by the Darul Vieţii (Gift of Life) Association in Timisoara five years ago, and last year was organized and held for the first time in the capital Bucharest by the Pro-Vita Bucharest Association.

“Many other non-governmental, Christian and pro-life organizations came together this year to support the March for Life,” Iftime said.

In Bucharest, organizers said about 1000 people, “mainly young people,” marched from Revolution Square to Izvor Park (Spring Park), in front of the Parliament Palace, where youth handed out flyers with information about the beginning of life and the tragic consequences of abortion. the rest

Anglican Unscripted Episode 34


Thursday, March 29, 2012

From Lenten messages, nukes, strange Deans and strange Canons your hosts Kevin and George spare no news. Peter Ould reveals the death of the Anglican Covenant and Alan Haley talks about the path to the supreme court. Don't miss the interview with Bishop Mouneer Anis and our out takes after the credits.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Leander S. Harding: Redefining Marriage?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There are things to commend in “I Will Bless You, and You Will Be a Blessing,” the draft report released March 7 by the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. The work of the commission is evidently grounded in genuine pastoral concern. An attempt is made to counter scriptural objections. The commission also makes a case for the toleration of disagreement. The report is honest that the ultimate goal is a major change in our understanding of Christian marriage for heterosexual couples and a reappraisal of the significance of the biological family in God’s plan for humanity.

There are four sections in the theological introduction to the proposed rite: “The Church’s Call: A Focus on Mission,” “The Church’s Joy: A Theology of Blessing,” “The Church’s Life: Covenantal Relationship,” and “The Church’s Challenge: Christian Unity and Biblical Interpretation.”

The vision of mission outlined in the document centers on the concept of blessing. God wants to bless the children of Abraham so that through them he may bless all the people of the world. The blessing of same-sex relationships is presented as an appropriate next step in extending the blessing of God to the world. I miss in this part of the report any sense of the drama of salvation. Jesus is said to pour his life out in order to bless us but there is little sense of the atonement as a remedy for sin and evil. There is little sense of the mission of the Church as presenting a blessing which is available only through an encounter with God’s judgment and a response of repentance and faith in Christ.
the rest
This report envisions far more than a pastoral provision for same-sex couples. It represents an official turning point in the debate via an entirely new teaching about the nature and significance of marriage and the biological family, according to which not only procreation but male and female themselves are made optional and accidental ingredients. If such a redefinition of Christian marriage is accepted, it will represent a stunning victory for a Gnostic — and Pelagian — version of Christianity, that can only further damage the already fragile unity of our church.

A.S. Haley: Bad Day for the Mandate

The Living Church
March 28, 2012

The Obamacare mandate had a rough day yesterday in the Supreme Court. Here’s how Don Surber of the Charleston (W. Va.) Daily Mail summarizes it:
The Obama administration’s defense of Obamacare before the Supreme Court on Tuesday was reviewed as stumbling and bumbling by news reporters, foreshadowing the Big Government clumsiness and ineptitude a universal health care system would offer the public. Justice Anthony Kennedy ripped through the argument that because Congress has the constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce, it has the power to regulate anything. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli was overmatched and ill-prepared, displaying once again why socialism fails: It leads to the appointment of unemployable nephews and political hangers on to positions for which they are ill-suited.

Mr. Surber then illustrates his points with some choice extracts from the transcript of the day’s arguments (or, if you’d like it in HTML rather than .pdf, go here):

the rest

Supreme Court sets up doubleheader finale on ObamaCare hearing


By Lee Ross
March 28, 2012

The closing act to the Supreme Court's three-day examination of President Obama's health care law will be a doubleheader covering two distinct issues.

Wednesday's hearing comes after the justices held an intense two-hour session a day earlier on the law's requirement that Americans buy health insurance.

At the final session, the justices will examine whether other parts of the law are invalid if the Court votes to strike down the individual mandate. the rest

Mandate debacle sharpens focus on high court's final day severability debate

WSJ Live blog: Obama Health Law at the Supreme Court, Day 3

Justice Kennedy: Obamacare 'changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.'

HuffPo: Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop, Speaks About Gay Clergy And Birth Control

03/27/2012

NEW YORK -- The movement toward legalizing same-sex marriage and the acceptance of gay people as clergy and lay members of religious groups is "a done deal" that represents "phenomenal" progress, the top figure in the Episcopal Church told The Huffington Post during a recent visit to its newsroom.

In an hour-long conversation with HuffPost staffers, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, touched upon subjects that ranged from her views on how to interpret scripture and challenges that face the church as its demographics change to debates over contraception and the relationship between religion and science.

Jefferts Schori is the first female bishop to lead a province of the Anglican communion, a 85-million member global denomination whose U.S.-based body is called the Episcopal Church. Since being installed in 2006, her tenure has been marked by tensions within the church over the ordination of openly gay bishops. Dozens of Episcopal parishes have left the American church over the issue and have aligned themselves with more conservative Anglican bishops in other parts of the world. The bishop reaffirmed her support for the gay rights movement during her visit. the rest

Anglican church in Peters hands over property, debt

March 27, 2012
By Ann Rodgers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The congregation of St. David's Anglican Church in Peters will hand over its property, its name and its debt of nearly $1 million to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and start over in a former Catholic church in Canonsburg.

The move is the latest in a property dispute between the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and the rival Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. The diocese split in 2008, with a majority leaving the Episcopal Church for the theologically conservative Anglican Church in North America.

St. David's is among a number of Anglican congregations whose deed was held by the Episcopal diocese, which had guaranteed bank loans for a $3 million construction project in 2002. Although the Episcopal diocese had announced a plan to negotiate over the property of such parishes last year, talks have been on hold while the diocese completes a strategic planning process.

The 250-member congregation was paying $10,000 a month on a remaining $990,000 mortgage, which will now become the responsibility of the Episcopal diocese. the rest

Anglican Mission in the Americas: The Aftermath

Encompass: First Quarter, 2012
BY ROBERT H. LUNDY, EDITOR

The abrupt breakup of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) has left many clergy and their parishes looking for a new ecclesial home. Recognized as a vibrant Anglican expression of evangelism and church planting, the AMiA seemed to fall apart as its leaders' long-held relationship with the Province de L'Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda (Anglican Church of Rwanda, PEAR) disintegrated. The Bishop and Chairman of AMiA, the Rt. Rev. Chuck Murphy, along with all but two of his fellow bishops, resigned from PEAR in December of last year in order to form a "Mission Society" that was, among other things, free from the oversight of the church of Rwanda. As of yet, it remains to be seen how many of the AMiA's 150+ churches will follow Murphy and leave their ecclesiastical relationship with the Church of Rwanda to establish a new mission society.

For those churches who want to remain officially connected with PEAR, a new option has emerged. The Province de L'Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda en USA (PEARUSA) formed after a January, 2012 meeting in Raleigh, N.C. and serves those clergy and parishes who want to stay connected to Rwanda as well as those wanting to reconnect with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

In 2010, AMiA's leadership chose to distance themselves from the newly started ACNA. Where AMiA was once an organization with "dual citizenship" within the ACNA as well as Rwanda, it pulled out of the ACNA, changing its status to "mission partner." Some inside the AMiA were disappointed by this distancing and wanted the opportunity to officially reconnect with the ACNA; now the establishment of PEARUSA by the Archbishop of Rwanda, Onesphore Rwaje, has rekindled hopes for those who want to be structurally within the ACNA. the rest

Vanderbilt Catholic leaving campus over policy

Mar. 27, 2012

One of the largest student religious groups at Vanderbilt will be leaving campus at the end of the year in a dispute over the university’s nondiscrimination policy.

That policy bars student groups from requiring their leaders to hold specific religious beliefs.

Leaders of Vanderbilt Catholic said that rule makes no sense. They won’t comply and instead will become an independent, off-campus ministry.

“The discriminatory non-discrimination policy at Vanderbilt University has forced our hand,” said Rev. John Sims Baker, chaplain of Vanderbilt Catholic, in a statement Tuesday. “… Our purpose has always been to share the Gospel and proudly to proclaim our Catholic faith. What other reason could there be for a Catholic organization at Vanderbilt? How can we say it is not important that a Catholic lead a Catholic organization?”

Beth Fortune, vice chancellor for public affairs at Vanderbilt, said the school values religious groups on campus and was aware of the Vanderbilt Catholic decision. the rest

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Ale Mary" Dive Bar Uses Monstrance and Chalices for Drunken Revelries

File:Rembrandt-Belsazar.jpg
Sunday, March 25, 2012

Excerpt:
The most disturbing thing in the restaurant is the monstrance which is behind the bar used as decoration. The monstrance is large ornate disk, often resembling the sun, which is surmounted in a long stand with a heavy base. It contains a crystal compartment at the center of the disk where a consecrated communion Host can be placed inside and it allows the priest to elevate the entire object by the stand for the veneration of the Sacrament it contains. Seeing this monstrance here in this bar, covered with mardigras beads and a mustached smiley face where the Host would normally be is a little bit like finding family heirlooms in the hands of people who not only use them for purposes for which they were never intended, but use them in disrespectful ways. the rest image

(Several commentators referred to Daniel 5:25):
“This is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN

Ah Spring!


Posted March 26, 2012

A farm in the UK: cows being released from their indoor winter housing to their fresh pasture for spring and summer grazing.  As you will see from the video, the cows could not have been happier!

DEPO: CNY Bp. Gladstone "Skip" Adams assumes episcopal oversight of St. George's in Albany Diocese

Episcopal church's split with conservative office may open doors to gays
By James M. Odato
Sunday, March 25, 2012

SCHENECTADY -— The historic St. George's Church in Schenectady's historic Stockade neighborhood made some notable history on Sunday.

The parish had its first Mass under a new arrangement never before tried in the Episcopal Church in which a unit of a conservatively led diocese breaks away to be coached by a more liberal one.

The goal is to open the church to more ideas, such as allowing gays to become pastors or feel more welcome or the words of the Scripture to be read for modern interpretation.

The congregates of the more than 250-year-old church, a modest stone building near the Mohawk River, did something no other group anywhere in the Episcopal world has done before, according to church leaders. the rest

St. George's 2010 stats

Obamacare Comes before the Supreme Court

Mike Brownfield
March 26, 2012

Rare is the occasion when the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court gather to hear three days of arguments, and rarer still is when it is for a case like Obamacare — one that cuts to the core of the Constitution and whose outcome could fundamentally alter the role of the federal government and its power over the people. But today the Court will do just that when it open its doors and begins weighing the arguments on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s seminal health care law.

Were the American people to vote on the issue, they would fall decidedly against Obamacare, as recent polls have shown. But for the Court, the decision is not as cut and dried as an up or down vote, but one that involves the interplay of a series of issues raised by those who are challenging Obamacare — more than half the States of the Union and a collection of interested organizations and private parties — and those brought by the Obama Administration, which is defending the law. And they come to the Supreme Court after conflicting appellate court rulings which have left undecided the question of whether Obamacare is permissible under the Constitution.

The central issue before the Court is whether Congress has the power under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause to impose the individual mandate on the American people, forcing them to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. If the Court holds that Congress was outside the bounds of its authority, it can strike down the individual mandate, leaving the justices to then decide whether all or part of Obamacare should fall along with it. the rest image

Justices Set for Health-Law Hearings

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? “

March 25, 2012
Instapundit

[Mark Steyn]: HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? “I was in Australia earlier this month and there, as elsewhere on my recent travels, the consensus among the politicians I met (at least in private) was that Washington lacked the will for meaningful course correction, and that, therefore, the trick was to ensure that, when the behemoth goes over the cliff, you’re not dragged down with it. It is faintly surreal to be sitting in paneled offices lined by formal portraits listening to eminent persons who assume the collapse of the dominant global power is a fait accompli. . . . Greece’s total debt is a few rinky-dink billions, a rounding error in the average Obama budget. Only America is spending trillions. The 2011 budget deficit, for example, is about the size of the entire Russian economy. By 2010, the Obama administration was issuing about a hundred billion dollars of treasury bonds every month — or, to put it another way, Washington is dependent on the bond markets being willing to absorb an increase of U.S. debt equivalent to the GDP of Canada or India — every year. And those numbers don’t take into account the huge levels of personal debt run up by Americans. College-debt alone is over a trillion dollars, or the equivalent of the entire South Korean economy — tied up just in one small boutique niche market of debt which barely exists in most other developed nations.”  the rest

Islamists Nearly Wipe Out Christians in Syrian City

By Anugrah Kumar
Christian Post Contributor
March 26, 2012

While the world is raising concerns over rights abuses by anti-government forces in Syria's ongoing violent conflict, few would even know that militant Islamists have expelled the majority of Christians from the western city of Homs, according to the country's largest church.

The Catholic news agency Fides says it has received a note from the Syrian Orthodox Church, which represents 60 percent of the Christians in Syria, about "an ongoing ethnic cleansing of Christians" by members of the a militant Islamist outfit, Brigade Faruq, which has links with al-Qaida.

The militants have expelled 90 percent of Christians in Homs, which has faced the brunt of violence related to the uprising, and grabbed their homes, it said. They went door to door in the neighborhoods of Hamidiya and Bustan al-Diwan forcing Christians to flee without giving them the chance to take their belongings, it added. the rest

Unborn Afghan Child Said to Be 17th Victim of Shootings

Unborn Afghan Child Said to Be 17th Victim of Shootings
By ROD NORDLAND
March 26, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — The United States military has charged Staff Sgt. Robert Bales with murder for the death of the unborn baby of one of the victims, a senior Afghan police official said on Monday.

That would explain the ongoing discrepancy between American and Afghan officials over whether Sergeant Bales killed 17 Afghan civilians, according to the military’s formal charges, or 16, the number of dead according to Afghan officials.

“The Americans are right and one of the females was pregnant, which is why they are saying 17,” Kandahar Province Police Chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Raziq said. the rest
The section says, however, that the death penalty cannot be imposed in the death of the fetus, although it could be for premeditated murder of the mother. The section also exempts medical abortions from any penalty.
[In this article Unborn Afghan child becomes unborn baby becomes fetus becomes murdered fetus but not if it is a medical abortion for which of course there is no penalty!!! Arghhh!  The twists to making this story politically correct calls for you to check your reasoning at the door.  It's only a baby if it's wanted-something my husband heard said in a conversation with a pro-abort. Check the comments out here. -PD]

Wielding Fire, Islamists Target Nigeria Schools

By ADAM NOSSITER
March 25, 2012

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — The teenager in the immaculate white robe stood in the ruins of what had been his school. There were no classrooms, no desks or chairs, no intact blackboards — there was, in fact, no longer any reason for him to be there.

Yet the teenager, Aruna Mustapha, and a friend had come to sign in anyway, just as they did every morning before the fire, expressing a hunger for education and a frustration with the insurgents bent on preventing it.

“We can’t stay at home any longer; we want to come to school, to learn,” explained Aruna, 16. “I’m fed up. I want to be in school.”

The insurgent violence stalking northern Nigeria has struck a long list of official targets, killing police and army officers, elected officials, high-ranking civil servants, United Nations workers and other perceived supporters of the Nigerian government. the rest

Can Religious Freedom Be Saved?

Rolling back the Obama administration’s attack on freedom of conscience
March 26, 2012

On the second anniversary of passage of the president’s landmark health-care legislation, citizens are gathered at statehouses around the country and outside the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., to protest the coercive HHS mandate.

This is a debate about religious freedom in America. But with people arguing over what exactly the mandate is and whether an actual compromise has been reached, the question arises: Is the HHS mandate debate really about religious liberty, and if so, how can religious liberty be saved? This is not the first threat to religious freedom we’ve faced. But is it unprecedented? How can this moment be one of both education and action?

We asked our experts to weigh in. the rest-Excellent!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Annunciation


In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.”

 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. -Luke 1:26-38  image

Powerful quake hits central Chile, coast empties

March 25, 2012

SANTIAGO, Chile – A magnitude-7.2 earthquake has struck just off the coast of central Chile, prompting an emergency evacuation order for people living near the ocean in case it spawns a tsunami.

The quake struck 20 miles north-northwest of Talca, one of the hardest-hit cities in the huge quake that devastated central Chile two years ago.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, but the government ordered people living near shore to head for higher ground along a long stretch of the coast. the rest

Retire?! Only if I can be buried here

Embattled Trinity boss has ungodly list of demands
By ISABEL VINCENT and MELISSA KLEIN
March 25, 2012

The embattled rector of Trinity Church had a grandiose plot for retirement — he wanted to spend eternity in the historic lower Manhattan church’s graveyard with Alexander Hamilton.

The afterlife clause was among a list of extravagant demands made on behalf of the Rev. James Cooper last summer, after church board members unhappy with his leadership called for his retirement.

Cooper, 67, wanted health- and life-insurance benefits until age 72; an undisclosed “thank-you” payment; a donation in his name to a charity; and $200,000 per year, for seven years, to fund a staff and support services in order for Cooper to continue his “ministry,” The Post has learned.

In the end, Cooper refused to retire, eventually sparking a revolt that led to the resignations of almost half the Episcopal church’s ruling board, or vestry.

Cooper’s leadership has plunged the house of worship into crisis, with accusations that the wealthiest church in the Anglican world is not spending enough on philanthropy, and is instead focusing on outsized development propositions. The church owns a real-estate portfolio worth at least $1 billion, but spends just $2.7 million yearly on grants.
 the rest

Half of the Church of England's dioceses reject unity covenant

24 March 2012
BBC

The Church of England cannot sign up to a plan aimed at preventing the global Anglican Church from splitting up after half its 44 dioceses voted against it.

The Archbishop of Canterbury backed the Anglican Covenant in a bid to ensure divisive issues - such as gay bishops - did not cause the Communion to split.

A vote by the diocesan synod of Lincoln meant 22 dioceses had opposed the plan.

The covenant had already been rejected by conservative global Church leaders, whom it was intended to placate. the rest

Twitter users invited to help choose the new Archbishop of Canterbury

The Church of England is to use the social networking site Twitter to help select the new Archbishop of Canterbury
By Cole Moreton and Edward Malnick
25 Mar 2012

Having wrestled with the best way to choose a new leader, the Church of England has decided to use the social networking site Twitter. It will also seek the views of people of all faiths and none, from the Chief Rabbi to Professor Richard Dawkins.

For the first time in history, the long and usually private process will begin with a widespread public consultation, to be finished by the end of May.

The Crown Nominations Commission, which must present the Prime Minister with two possible successors to Dr Rowan Williams, will also ask for contributions from “senior figures in other faiths, the secular world and the life of the nation”.

A spokesman for the Church of England said the invitation would be made through the church press but also through other media including the social networking site Twitter, where the CofE already posts news in nuggets of 140 characters or less. Tweeters and others will be asked to offer names and “views on the needs of the diocese of Canterbury and the wider community”. the rest

Saturday, March 24, 2012

True prayer...

As I see it, true prayer is neither mystical rapture nor ritual observance nor philosophical reflection: it is the outpouring of the soul before a living God, the crying to God “out of the depths.” Such prayer can only be uttered by one convicted of sin by the grace of God and moved to confession by the Spirit of God. True prayer is an encounter with the Holy in which we realize not only our creatureliness and guilt but also the joy of knowing that our sins are forgiven through the atoning death of the divine savior, Jesus Christ. In such an encounter, we are impelled not only to bow before God and seek his mercy but also to offer thanksgiving for grace that goes out to undeserving sinners. ...Donald G. Bloesch image

Bishop Seabury case appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court

Court asked to decide whether the Dennis Canon violates the 1st Amendment
March 24, 2012
By George Conger

Bishop Seabury Church in Groton, Conn., has filed a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a review of the Connecticut Supreme Court that upheld the Episcopal Church’s Dennis Canon.

Last week lawyers for the former Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut congregation, which now is part of the Anglican Church in North America, filed a 44 page petition with the court asking for review. Only a fraction of the cases appealed to the Supreme Court are reviewed, however there is a likelihood the case may be heard as it covers legal issues addressed in two petitions filed in response to rulings by the Georgia Supreme Court: the case of Christ Church v. the Diocese of Georgia and the case of Timberridge Presbyterian Church v. Presbytery of Greater Atlanta.

The question presented in the Bishop Seabury case to the Supreme Court is:

“Whether the First Amendment, as interpreted by this Court in Jones v. Wolf, 443 U.S. 595 (1979), requires state civil courts to enforce an alleged trust imposed on local church property by provisions in denominational documents, regardless of whether those provisions would be legally cognizable under general-ly applicable rules of state property and trust law. Groton — Bishop Seabury Church has asked the United States Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling that says the church and all its property must be turned over to the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.” the rest

Book tells Muslim men how to beat and control their wives

Terry Davidson
Friday, March 23, 2012

Excerpt:
In the book’s opening pages, it is written that “it might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her.”

Later, its author advises that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”

Page 45 contains the rights of the husband, which include his wife’s inability to leave “his house without his permission,” and that his wife must “fulfil his desires” and “not allow herself to be untidy ... but should beautify herself for him ... ”

In terms of physical punishment, the book advises that a husband may scold her, “beat by hand or stick,” withhold money from her or “pull (her) by the ears,” but should “refrain from beating her excessively.” the rest

Televangelists 'defrauded tens of million of dollars from Christian network'

Private jets, 13 mansions and a $100,000 mobile home just for the dogs
By Nina Golgowski
23 March 2012

Two former employees of the world's largest Christian television channel Trinity Broadcasting Network are accusing the non-profit of spending $50 million of its funding on extravagant personal expenses.

Among purchases, the network founded by Televangelists Paul and Jan Crouch, is accused of misappropriating its 'charitable assets' toward a $50 million jet, 13 mansions and a $100,000-mobile home for Mrs Crouch's dogs. the rest

Cheney Undergoes Heart Transplant Surgery .

March 24, 2012
By PETER NICHOLAS

Former Vice President Dick Cheney underwent heart transplant surgery on Saturday and was recovering in the intensive care unit of a northern Virginia hospital, according to his spokeswoman.

Mr. Cheney, who has a long history of heart disease, had been on the list for a heart transplant for more than 20 months, according to the statement released by his office.

Neither he nor his family knows the identity of the heart donor, the statement said, though "they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift.'' the rest

Protests Against HHS Abortifacient Mandate in 140 Cities; Will Media Cover?

By Matthew Balan
March 23, 2012

ABC, CBS, and NBC covered the far-left Occupy Wall Street movement with glee during 2011, devoting 33 stories on the air during the first eleven days of October alone to publicizing the protests. However, the Big Three networks have yet to mention the planned demonstrations in 140 cities across the U.S. today at noon local time against the Obama administration's sterilization, abortifacient, and contraception mandate.

The Coalition to Stop the HHS Mandate, which is being coordinated by the Illinois-based Pro-Life Action League; and includes multiple pro-life, social conservative, and religious groups, including Human Life International, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Alliance Defense Fund, and Priests for Life; have organized the "Stand Up For Religious Freedom" rallies "in defense of religious freedom and STAND UP against the Obama administration's HHS mandate at federal building in cities across the country."

Back on October 5, 2012, NBC's Brian Williams celebrated the arrival of the Occupy movement, describing it as a "massive protest movement" that "could well turn out to be the protest of this current era." One might expect that rallies in 140 cities against the federal government might be describe, at the very least, as a large movement. But given that the media have ignored the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, where tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people protest against abortion, it will not be a complete surprise if the Big Three minimize or omit covering the pro-religious freedom demonstrations. the rest

A.S. Haley: Christ Church Savannah, Bishop Seabury File for Review in Supreme Court

Friday, March 23, 2012

In a well-coordinated move, Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia and Bishop Seabury Church in Groton, Connecticut have each filed a petition for review of the decisions in their respective cases by the United States Supreme Court. (More on the Christ Church filing is here.) They thus join Timberridge Presbytery of Atlanta in asking the high court to correct the wretched excesses wrought by ECUSA and PCUSA as a result of Justice Blackmun's fatuous dictum in Jones v. Wolf, 443 U.S. 595 (1979).

Both of those churches have a provision in their governing documents which purports to declare and impose a trust in their favor on the individual properties of each of thousands of their member parishes. Innocently continuing to maintain and contribute to the improvement of their church buildings, the congregations in those churches never realize that they do not really own their own property -- at least, not until they start to disagree with the drift of their denominations. Then, if they seek legal advice, they all too often find out that their national church has a chokehold on their properties: if they vote to leave, they cannot remain in their buildings, or keep any donated communion vessels, altar cloths or vestments.

In his majority opinion, after holding that Georgia courts constitutionally did not have to defer to church authorities regarding the ownership of parish property, Justice Blackmun invited churches with a national superstructure to modify their governing documents. He wrote: "Alternatively, the constitution of the general church can be made to recite an express trust in favor of the denominational church. The burden involved in taking such steps will be minimal." (443 U.S. at 606.)  the rest

Georgia's 'Mother Church' fight going to Supreme Court

Dog Welcomes Home Soldier...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Christ Church Savannah turns to U.S. Court in property dispute

March 23, 2012
By Jan Skutch

Attorneys for Christ Church Savannah have filed documents asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in litigation they contend deprived them of the Johnson Square church property.

The 45-page document filed Thursday afternoon asks the high court to determine the law on local church property, which it contends has been inconsistently treated in five different jurisdictions considering the issue.

The Supreme Court may accept or reject the request for review.

The basic issue is whether a trust allegedly imposed on local church property in church documents must be treated as legally binding under court rulings and the First Amendment. the rest

The worst job in the world

Rowan Williams’s successor will have an even harder tenure
Mar 24th 2012
The Economist

CHRISTIANITY’S founder told his disciples to expect tribulation in this world. That has been true for Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Announcing on March 16th that he would step down at the end of the year, he said the next head of the English church and the Anglican Communion would need “the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros.”

Archbishop Williams is agreed to have done a heroic job of holding together the national church and the worldwide communion, at a time when sex and sexuality are tearing them apart. Conservatives liked his deep, theologically grounded faith; liberals, including his gay clerical friends, admired his touchy-feely humanity, although they often felt let down. But the strains are growing unbearable.

Two painful episodes loom for the English church. The leadership will lose its battle to dissuade the government from legalising gay marriage. That will expose the gap between liberal bishops who agree with the government, and hardliners in the evangelical parishes who will wish the church had fought harder. The church is also set to agree to the idea of women bishops, with less generous terms for dissenters than Archbishop Williams would have liked. That will alienate Anglo-Catholics. the rest

Philly owes $877,000 for Boy Scouts' eviction case legal fees

March 22, 2012

The city must pay nearly $900,000 after a failed effort to evict the Boy Scouts of America because of the group's ban on gays, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

The post-trial ruling is just the latest twist in a decade-long legal dispute over the Boy Scout oath, which requires members to be "morally straight."

The two sides have sought a compromise that would let the local Boy Scouts chapter keep its rent-free, city-owned headquarters without violating the national Scout policy.

However, a tentative deal struck since the city lost a court case last year has fallen apart. U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter therefore said the city must pay $877,000 for the Scouts' legal fees. the rest

Most audacious plan in 500 years?

March 20, 2012
David Plaza

"You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain," Vice President Biden said during a fundraiser in Morris Township, N.J.

Of course, he was referring to Obama deciding to give the Navy SEALs the green light to attack Bin Laden's Pakistani compound.

Now I'll give Obama credit -- he did give the order to go in and it did only take him 16 hours to make that decision, which should have been remarkably obvious to anyone with a lingering memory of 9/11, but the 'most audacious plan' in 500 years?

Really? the rest

U.S. Silent on Top Saudi Cleric’s Call to ‘Destroy Churches’

By Patrick Goodenough
March 23, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – Ten days after Saudi Arabia’s foremost religious leader called for a demolition of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula – in line with a purported injunction by Mohammed – the U.S. government and other allies of the kingdom have yet to react.

Major media outlets also have largely ignored the incident; a Nexis search finds reporting on the issue has been restricted to blogs and opinion columns, including a Washington Times editorial on March 16. the rest
The Barnabas Fund, a charity that helps Christian minorities in Islamic societies, noted that Asheikh’s comments came against a backdrop of intensifying pressure on Christians in the Middle East as a result of the “Arab spring” and growing dominance of Islamist groups.

The Return of Infanticide

By Chuck Colson
Christian Post Guest Columnist
March 22, 2012

"A person's a person, no matter how small," was the refrain from Dr. Seuss' famous children's story, "Horton Hears a Who!" Horton the elephant has to convince his fellow jungle-dwellers that there really are tiny people on a speck of dust. When they find out Horton is right, they're ashamed of their efforts to destroy the microscopic town of Whoville.

Well, if only modern ethicists were so ethical.

Two professors from the universities of Milan and Melbourne recently published an article in the online Journal of Medical Ethics entitled, "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?"

"We claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be," write Drs. Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva. the rest

Sacred Heart University to Name Building for Abortion Backer

by Steven Ertelt
3/22/12

Sacred Heart University (SHU), the second largest Catholic university in the Northeast, has announced it intends to dedicate a new building on campus to a pro-abortion Catholic politician.

The Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic educational ewatchdog group, has the details. According to CNS’ Matthew Archbold:

The new building, named after former WWE CEO and Senatorial candidate Linda McMahon, was made possible by a $5 million gift from McMahon. the rest

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bibles read without prayer...


Bibles read without prayer; sermons heard without prayer; marriages contracted without prayer; journeys undertaken without prayer; residences chosen without prayer; friendships formed without prayer; the daily act of prayer itself hurried over, or gone through without heart: these are the kind of downward steps by which many a Christian descends to a condition of spiritual palsy, or reaches the point where God allows them to have a tremendous fall. ...JC Ryle image by Mac Mitchell

Not kidding: UK Schools ban children making best friends

By HARRY HAWKINS
19th March 2012

TEACHERS are banning schoolkids from having best pals — so they don't get upset by fall-outs.

Instead, the primary pupils are being encouraged to play in large groups.

Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni said the policy has been used at schools in Kingston, South West London, and Surrey.

She added: "I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn't have a best friend and that everyone should play together.

"They are doing it because they want to save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend. But it is natural for some children to want a best friend. If they break up, they have to feel the pain because they're learning to deal with it." the rest image by Loren Kerns

Anglican Perspective: Canadian Anglicans


March 22, 2012

This week Canon Phil Ashey discusses his recent training session with Anglicans in Newfoundland, Canada. Two congregations began the AAC's Sure Foundation program and continued their efforts to evangelize and serve their community.

Nearly 1,000 Pakistani women ‘killed for honor’ last year

Thursday, 22 March 2012
By AFP
Islamabad

At least 943 Pakistani women and girls were murdered last year for allegedly defaming their family’s honor, the country’s leading human rights group said Thursday.

The statistics highlight the growing scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens and there is no law against domestic violence.

Despite progress on better protecting women’s rights, activists say the government needs to do more to prosecute murderers in cases largely dismissed by police as private, family affairs. the rest
“At least 943 women were killed in the name of honor, of which 93 were minors,” wrote the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in its annual report.

Court sides with property owners over EPA

MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that property owners have a right to prompt review by a judge of an important tool used by the Environmental Protection Agency to address water pollution.

The court sided with an Idaho couple who object to an EPA order that blocked construction of their new home near a scenic lake and threatened fines of more than $30,000 a day.

Wednesday's decision is a victory for Mike and Chantell Sackett, whose property near Priest Lake has sat undisturbed since the EPA ordered a halt in work in 2007. The agency said part of the property was a wetlands that could not disturbed without a permit.

In an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court rejected EPA's argument that allowing property owners quick access to courts to contest orders like the one issued to the Sacketts would compromise the agency's ability to deal with water pollution. the rest

Wetland? Nah. More Like a Perfect Spot for a Dream Home

Upcoming United Nations Summit Repackages Global Warming Agenda Under the Guise of “Sustainability”

22.03.2012
by Kevin Mooney

Excerpt:
Charles Battig, president of the Piedmont Chapter of Virginia Scientists & Engineers for Energy & Environment (VA-SEEE), notes that in the 1990s “sustainability” joined “smart growth,” “comprehensive planning,” and “growth management” as code words cited by local, national and international agencies to justify government regulations and orders. These terms, says Battig, were popularized in a 1999 White House policy document, “Towards a Sustainable America,” released under President Clinton.

The Obama administration is now codifying the concept. In June 2010, President Obama issued an executive order launching the Ocean Policy Initiative. It calls for imposing federal zoning rules on America’s waterways—rivers and bays, the Great Lakes, and ocean coastal waters—in the name of sustainability.

A year later, in June 2011, the President issued another executive order creating the White House Rural Council, which is charged with directing government agencies to “enhance the federal engagement in rural communities.” The order, which no doubt will be used to regulate agriculture and land use, declares “strong sustainable rural communities are essential to winning the future and ensuring American competitiveness in years to come.”

Last August the National Research Council (NRC) placed its seal of approval on the concept of sustainability when it issued a report laying out what it called an “operational framework for integrating sustainability as one of the key drivers within the regulatory responsibilities of the EPA.” (The NRC is administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineers and the Institute for Medicine.)  
the rest

Gratitude and happiness

Virginia middle school teacher had students do 'opposition research' on GOP candidates

March 22, 2012
FoxNews

A Virginia middle school teacher is under fire after making his students do "opposition research" on Republican presidential candidates, according to a report.

Eighth-graders at Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County were assigned to research the backgrounds and positions of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul and find any “weaknesses,” according to The Daily Caller.

The students were then required to draft a strategy paper, mapping out how to exploit those weaknesses and then research how to forward it to the Obama campaign.

“This assignment was just creepy beyond belief -- like something out of East Germany during the Cold War,” a father of one of the students who asked for anonymity told The Daily Caller. the rest

Another attempt to protect chaplains' conscience rights

Chad Groening
OneNewsNow
3/21/2012

An advocate for America's fighting men and women says it's essential for Congress to pass a proposed amendment that protects traditional values in the armed forces.

Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) has introduced H.R. 3828, which has been inserted into the 2012 House Defense Authorization Bill. It is designed to define and protect marriage and the rights of conscience in the military. It is similar to an amendment approved by the House last year. That measure, however, was removed by the Senate-House conference committee.

Elaine Donnelly is president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR). She says military chaplains who espouse the biblical view of homosexuality are being pressured to conform to the new law that allows "gays" to serve openly in the military. the rest

Episcopal Diocese closes historic St. Margaret’s Church

By Christina Leach Phillips
Thursday, March 22, 2012

FLEMING ISLAND -- With a dwindling congregation of about 40 members and a shortage of funds, St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Hibernia, on Fleming Island officially closed its doors after holding its last worship service March 4.

The closing left some members surprised and upset, one parishioner said.

"The congregation is very upset about this -- they were doing everything they could, but it wasn’t enough … People were crying," said Anna Grass, who attended the final service. "Some of these people had been there for 30 years."

The church’s Pine Avenue campus includes an original Carpenter Gothic chapel, built in 1878 with its adjoining cemetery. The chapel is one of the five oldest wooden church buildings still in use in Florida.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church and the cemetery are on the National Register of Historic Places. As part of the restructuring, the Diocese said it will take into account the historical significance of the chapel. the rest

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What the world needs is more believers who want to do God's will...

What the world needs is more believers who want to do God's will as much as unbelievers want to do their own will...It is wonderful to see what miracles God can work in wills that are completely surrendered to Him. He makes hard things easy and bitter things sweet. It isn't that He puts an easy thing in the place of the hard one; He actually changes the hard thing into an easy one. ...Catherine Jackson image

Women and Religious Liberty

The HHS mandate is a fundamental assault on our constitutional rights.
March 21, 2012

For Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, defending Americans’ religious liberty is a matter of human dignity. She testified before the House Judiciary Committee last month during their hearing on “Executive Overreach: The HHS Mandate Versus Religious Liberty.”

Monahan talks with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez about the perniciousness of the coercive HHS mandate for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs, and some of the common myths about it. the rest

European ruling: Gay marriage is not a 'human right'

By Steve Doughty
20 March 2012

Same-sex marriages are not a human right, European judges have ruled.

Their decision shreds the claim by ministers that gay marriage is a universal human right and that same-sex couples have a right to marry because their mutual commitment is just as strong as that of husbands and wives.

The ruling was made by judges of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg following a case involving a lesbian couple in a civil partnership who complained the French courts would not allow them to adopt a child as a couple. the rest
The ruling also says that if gay couples are allowed to marry, any church that offers weddings will be guilty of discrimination if it declines to marry same-sex couples.

Notre Dame offers pro-abortion “internship opportunities” to students

March 19, 2012

The University of Notre Dame – a Catholic institution – is offering students “summer internship opportunities” at several notorious pro-abortion organizations. “Our majors have interned at the following organizations,” states the university’s web site, which includes:

•Center for American Progress
•Emily’s List
•Feminist Majority Foundation
•Human Rights Watch
•Institute for Women's Policy Research
•National Women’s Law Center
•Think Progress
•United Nations Population Fund

the rest

Massacre of French Jewish Children Was Muslim Terrorist Attack

Abigail R. Esman, Contributor
3/21/2012

The Washington Post and France24 have reported that French police have raided a Toulouse home to arrest the suspect in the shooting deaths of three children and an adult at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France. The suspect, an Algerian-born French citizen, reportedly told the police that he committed the killings “to avenge Palestinian children” – ironic at a moment when Palestinians have been shooting rockets into Israel. According to the Washington Post report,
Gueant described the suspect as a French citizen, 24, who has spent time with Islamic groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan. News reports said he was of Algerian origin and had invoked the al-Qaeda terrorism network in his contacts with police in shouted conversations through the locked door of an apartment.
the rest

The Jihad in France
Mohammed Merah is suspected of killing seven people in eight days, including three Jewish children.

Sweden: Nation doubles down on homeschooling

No 'religious or philosophical' reason valid for parents to teach children
by Bob Unruh
posted mar. 21, 2012

Swedish officials are doubling down on homeschooling with a recently uncovered statement from the European nation’s ambassador to the United States that there is no need – ever – for homeschooling.

The comment from Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom is that all children must be taught the state-mandated beliefs because it is their right.

“The government does not find that homeschooling is necessary for religious or philosophical reasons,” Hafstrom said in the statement, which was quoted by Michael Donnelly of the Home School Legal Defense Association in a commentary about new attacks on parental rights.

Donnelly explained that the HSLDA had obtained a copy of a letter from Hafstrom to U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. Blunt had written Hafstrom asking about the case involving the Himmelstrand family, whose members now face fines of more than $26,000 for homeschooling.
the rest
Experts in homeschooling battles note that Sweden is becoming another Germany. In Germany, according to Practical Homeschool Magazine, one of the first acts by Adolf Hitler when he moved into power was to create the governmental Ministry of Education and give it control of all schools and school-related issues.

Swedish Home-School Family ‘Broken to Pieces’

Sweden's anti-home schooling attitude out of hand

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Church giving drops $1.2 billion reports 2012 Yearbook of Churches

New York, March 20, 2012 -- Churches continue to feel the effects of "the Great Recession" of 2008 as contributions dropped $1.2 billion, according to the National Council of Churches' 2012 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches.

Membership trends in denominations reporting to the Yearbook remain stable, with growing churches still growing and declining churches still declining, reports the Rev. Dr. Eileen Lindner, the Yearbook's editor.

The 80th annual edition of the Yearbook, one of the oldest and most respected sources of church membership and financial trends in the U.S. and Canada, may be ordered for $55 each at www.yearbookofchurches.org.

Not all churches report their financial information to the Yearbook, Lindner said, but the downward trends are reasons for concern. the rest
Among mainline denominations, the sharpest rate of membership decline (down 5.90 percent to 4,274,855 members) was posted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


Others posting declines include the Presbyterian Church USA (down 3.45 percent to 2,675,873), the Episcopal Church (down 2.71 percent to 1,951,907), the United Church of Christ (down 2.02 percent to 1,058,423), the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod (down 1.45 percent to 2,278,586), the United Methodist Church (down 1.22 percent to 7,679,850), and the American Baptist Churches USA (down .19 percent to 1,308,054).

Mexico hit by strong earthquake near Acapulco

20 March 2012

A large earthquake has struck near Acapulco on Mexico's Pacific coast.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake had a magnitude of 7.6 and put the epicentre at 15 miles (525 km) east of Ometepec, in Guerrero state.

Witnesses said buildings swayed in the capital, Mexico City, sending office workers rushing out onto the streets.

It was not immediately clear whether the earthquake had caused any significant damage. the rest

Strong 7.6 earthquake rocks Mexico City

Aftershock shakes Mexico City after 7.6-magnitude earthquake

Flimflammery with ECUSA’s Draft Budget

A.S. Haley
March 20, 2012

At the end of its meeting in Maryland this past January, ECUSA’s Executive Council adopted a draft budget for the next triennium. The draft was immediately handed off to the Church’s Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance, which has the final responsibility to propose a recommended budget to the 77th General Convention at its gathering this July, in Indianapolis.

I wrote at the time about the Council’s somewhat tortuous process of producing the budget (see here and here). Anyone could read between the lines to see that there were different factions vying to implement their respective agendas, and that their clashes at the Council meeting produced confusion, despair at the disjointed process, and general disgruntlement with the leadership.

Having spent some time with the draft budget in the interim, I now understand more clearly the frustrations to which the news reports of the Council’s meeting alluded. The end result of three days’ deliberations was not a real budget at all. Instead, it was what the Executive Committee could cobble together in haste before the meeting ended, and then get the members to vote for because they were all out of time, and had their planes to catch. (Yes, the Executive Council of the Church—meant to function as the interim arm of the General Convention during the 154 out of every 156 weeks in the triennium in which the latter is not meeting—itself has an Executive Committee, to function in the interim of the 50.7 out of every 52 weeks every year during which the Council is not meeting. Are you beginning to see how all this works?) the rest

NY Trinity Church Rector Accused of Lavish Overspending

By Anugrah Kumar
March 19, 2012

Ten of the 22 members of Trinity Church's board of directors have been forced out or quit over alleged subversion of the institution's mission and extravagant spending by the rector of the Episcopal church in Lower Manhattan, the Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper.

Former directors accuse 67-year-old Cooper, who heads the world's richest Anglican parish with over $1 billion in Manhattan real estate, of departing from Trinity's original mission and wasting money, New York Post reported Sunday.

Accusations against Cooper include misreporting of numbers of worshippers on Sunday services; demands for a $5.5 million SoHo townhouse; an allowance for his Florida condo and a fat salary; trips around the world at church's expense; wasting more than $1 million on development plans for a luxury condo tower; and spending $5 million on a publicity campaign. His compensation was worth $1.3 million in 2010 and it included a salary of $346,391 and deferred compensation of $507,940.

A former board member alleged that Cooper concentrated on studying the condo development, "not at all paying attention to the principal focus of those that hired him, which was try to solve the problem and try to make the church more of a powerful force in the philanthropy world." the rest

The devil is a theologian

03/16/2012
By Mark Judge

Excerpt:
Fr. Guarnizo has just issued a statement about what actually happened, and I believe him. In the original version of the story in The Washington Post, written by Michelle Boorstein — a reporter whose problems I will address shortly — it appeared as if Barbara Johnson had arrived at her mother’s funeral, and in a casual chat with Fr. Guarnizo before Mass had introduced her girlfriend. Then she was denied communion.

Why didn’t I listen to my instincts, and the wisdom I have acquired about the left over the years?

The left lies.

And they lie in particularly slippery ways. I have written several articles over the last couple years about one of my favorite films, “The Exorcist,” and one of the deepest observations of the book and film is that the demonic does not necessarily come storming down the street on horses with flaming swords held high. It plays word games. It shames and bullies. It attacks the soul through sexual dehumanization. When Christ was in the desert fasting, Satan did not arrive in a thunderous chimera of lightning. He attempted to fool Jesus by quoting scripture. As Pope Benedict noted in his book about Jesus, “It turns out that the devil is a theologian!” Indeed.

Fr. Guarnizo has now issued his own account of what happened. According to him, Barbara Johnson met with Fr. Guarnizo before Mass and intentionally introduced her girlfriend as her “lover.” Johnson then left, and when Fr. Guarnizo attempted to follow her, Johnson’s lover blocked his way. When Johnson presented herself for communion, Fr. Guarnizo quietly whispered to her that he could not give her the Eucharist. She then went to a Eucharistic minister a few feet away, who gave her communion. the rest 

The Fertility Implosion

By DAVID BROOKS
March 12, 2012

When you look at pictures from the Arab spring, you see these gigantic crowds of young men, and it confirms the impression that the Muslim Middle East has a gigantic youth bulge — hundreds of millions of young people with little to do. But that view is becoming obsolete. As Nicholas Eberstadt and Apoorva Shah of the American Enterprise Institute point out, over the past three decades, the Arab world has undergone a little noticed demographic implosion. Arab adults are having many fewer kids.

Usually, high religious observance and low income go along with high birthrates. But, according to the United States Census Bureau, Iran now has a similar birth rate to New England — which is the least fertile region in the U.S.

The speed of the change is breathtaking. A woman in Oman today has 5.6 fewer babies than a woman in Oman 30 years ago. Morocco, Syria and Saudi Arabia have seen fertility-rate declines of nearly 60 percent, and in Iran it’s more than 70 percent. These are among the fastest declines in recorded history.   the rest

For decades, people took dynamism and economic growth for granted and saw population growth as a problem. Now we’ve gone to the other extreme, and it’s clear that young people are the scarce resource. In the 21st century, the U.S. could be the slowly aging leader of a rapidly aging world.       

Massive, systemic Planned Parenthood fraud on brink of exposure?

Jill Stanek
posted march 20, 2012

The backstory, from LifeNews.com, March 12:
Former Planned Parenthood abortion facility director Abby Johnson has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the abortion business claiming its Texas affiliate knowingly sent in about $6 million in false claims to Medicaid and covered up its actions….
The formerly sealed federal “whistleblower” suit… was made public [March 9] and was filed in 2009 by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Johnson….
The suit alleges that Planned Parenthood knowingly committed Medicaid fraud from 2007 to 2009 by improperly seeking reimbursements from the Texas Women’s Health Program for products and services not reimbursable by that program.

Johnson was the third former PP employee to file fraud charges, joining Victor Gonzalez, who filed a complaint against Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California in 2008, and Karen Reynolds, who filed a complaint last year against the same affiliate as Johnson, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. the rest

Whistleblower Lawsuit Alleges $6 Million Fraud by Planned Parenthood
A former Planned Parenthood clinic director has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against her former employer, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas (now known as Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast), charging that between 2007 and 2009 the abortion provider filed fraudulent Medicaid claims totaling nearly $6 million...

Albert Mohler: Rest in Print, Britannica: An Elegy for an Encyclopedia

Monday, March 19, 2012

And then they were no more. Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. announced Tuesday that it would no longer offer its venerable reference set in a printed edition. Western Civilization just took another hard blow to the chin.

“It’s a rite of passage in this new era,” said Jorge Cruz, president of the Chicago-based company. He went on to celebrate the new digital age. “Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. The Web site is continually updated, it’s much more expansive, and it has multimedia.” the rest image by Nathan Borror
I admit to believing that this is a loss, even if inevitable. I also believe that the experience of reading the Bible on an iPhone is radically different from the experience of reading the Bible in printed form, feeling the texture of the book as our eyes take in the inspired text. The digital age brings wonders, but subtle dangers as well. Multimedia publishing can offer riches, but maybe some things are better received without digital sound and fury.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 33


March 20, 2012

This weeks episode is devoted to the man who served as the Archbishop of Canterbury for the last 10 years. Indeed Episode 33 is everything you wanted to know about Rowan Williams, but were afraid to ask. So fear no more brave viewer.