Saturday, August 04, 2012

The holiest moment of the church service...

The holiest moment of the church service is the moment when God's people go out of the church door into the world to be the Church. ...Ernest Southeon image by Simon Cocks

The World's Most Powerful Photographs

3D-Printed "Magic Arms"

Aug 1, 2012

Two-year-old Emma wanted to play with blocks, but a condition called arthrogryposis meant she couldn't move her arms. So researchers at a Delaware hospital 3D printed a durable custom exoskeleton with the tiny, lightweight parts she needed.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 47

August 4, 2012

Scrolling around...August 4th, 2012

"This is the president of the greatest country there is, and he's talking about the New York Jets football team and things."

U.S. Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas: ‘I Give All The Glory to God’
Gabrielle Douglas won the gold medal in the all-around women’s gymnastics event at the Olympics on Thursday and in a post-win interview said that “all the glory” for her win goes “to God.” She also tweeted her thanks to God, stressing “may I never forget the good things he does for me.”...

Anti-Chick-fil-A retaliation would put universities in constitutional pickle
...The letters go on to explain that “no matter whether Chick-fil-A has a permit to operate a restaurant on your university’s campus, is leasing space in the food court, or is considered an independent contractor providing food service on behalf of the university, the First Amendment protects the company from retaliation based on its protected speech…. Not only would discriminating against Chick-fil-A be a clear violation of the First Amendment and expose the University to legal liability, but it would undermine the very lessons of free speech and tolerance that the University seeks to teach to its student body.”

America edging toward confrontation on religious freedom, Archbishop Chaput warns
..."Sooner or later, a nation based on a degraded notion of liberty, on license rather than real freedom—in other words, a nation of abortion, disordered sexuality, consumer greed, and indifference to immigrants and the poor—will not be worthy of its founding ideals. And on that day, it will have no claim on virtuous hearts"... Full text of speech

UK: ‘Evangelicals are like totalitarian Muslims’, says Govt advisor
...“The trouble is, as always, when it’s taken to extremes, whether it’s evangelical Christians, totalitarian Muslims or segregationist Jews"...

Indian Christians tormented with music, then attacked by Hindu extremists
For months, a group of Hindu extremists in southern India had been blasting high-volume movie music at the prayer meetings of a local Christian ministry.
In early July, the harassment crossed the line to assault when the Hindus burst into the prayer meeting of End Time Ministries, knocked three worshippers unconscious and ripped the clothes off a widow, ministry officials say...

Obama: I “Wont Give Any Ground” Defending Unlimited Abortion
President Barack Obama made it clear, yet again, that he will not yield when it comes to promote and supporting abortion on demand for any reason throughout pregnancy...

Gay Marriage and the Test-Tube Tidal Wave: First Things
I am the daughter of a sperm donor. For a long time I didn’t understand how this had negatively impacted my life, until I read David Blankenhorn’s Fatherless America. It was like stepping into a series of scenes from my adolescence. Never before had someone so eloquently and acutely described my personal struggles. I now staunchly defy the pro donor-conception script I was expected to embrace. Two years ago I asked for David’s help in creating The Anonymous Us Project—an anonymous story collective for people involved with Artificial Reproductive Technologies (ART), and he obliged. Through the stories I’ve received on my site and the research I have read, I am convinced that I am not alone in my struggles being donor-conceived...

Humanist weddings now outnumber Catholic weddings in Scotland
More weddings in Scotland are now conducted by the Humanist Society than by the Catholic Church, according to newly released government statistics...

'Real' Unemployment Rate Shows Far More Jobless
While the national unemployment rate paints a grim picture, a look at individual states and their so-called real jobless rates becomes even more troubling...

Miami supt. backs down; church can meet
The superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools has backed down in his threats to evict a Southern Baptist church because of the pastor's views on homosexuality and now says the congregation has a constitutional right to express its beliefs...

Bishop Seabury Church Holds Last Service In Building Sunday

Congregation to leave after U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear its case in June.
By Deborah Straszheim
posted August 4, 2012

Father Ronald Gauss said he never thought he’d lose the fight to stay in Bishop Seabury Church.

If he did, he said he would have left a long time ago.

It turns out he did lose. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review a Connecticut Supreme Court decision that the church property belongs to the Episcopal Diocese, and parishioners from another congregation cannot take that property with them.

On Sunday, the congregation called Bishop Seabury Anglican Church, will hold its last service at 10 a.m. in the church on North Road in Groton. Parishioners will circle the building, pray, and drive to the Groton Inn & Suites, where they will hold future services.

“We’ll be all right. We’ll survive,” said Guass, who has been with Bishop Seabury 37 years. “This is a very devout Christian body, and whatever happened, God has allowed it to happen.” the rest

Friday, August 03, 2012

Scrolling around...August 3rd, 2012

Weekly Standard: The Silent Majority Eats Chicken
...Of course, you don't have to oppose same-sex marriage to feel that politicians threatening business owners because of their private religious beliefs is the far more dangerous attitude. And that's regardless of the fact Cathy's beliefs on marriage are held by a majority of Americans, and the president himself publicly agreed with Cathy until a few months ago...

Robert P. George: There can be no compromise on same-sex ‘marriage’
It was only yesterday, was it not, that we were being assured that the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex partnerships would have no impact on persons and institutions that hold to the traditional view of marriage as a conjugal union? Such persons and institutions would simply be untouched by the change. It won’t affect your marriage or your life, we were told, if the law recognizes Henry and Herman or Sally and Sheila as “married.”...

UK:Neighbours may be forced to pay church upkeep
As the cost rises to repair 12,000 English churches that are protected as historic buildings, Anglican authorities are hoping to use an ancient law that forces nearby homeowners to foot part of the bill...

A most satisfying taste of free speech
What the cluck just happened? Neither Chick-fil-A nor the cultural Left nor the mainstream media were prepared for what hit them yesterday.
It was a bona fide feeding frenzy — and one of the most remarkable, peaceful and massive First Amendment protests in modern American times...

Cohabiting women having more babies
...The number of births overall to cohabiting women increased from 14% of all births in 2002 to 23% in 2006-10, according to the first federal report on intended and unintended births since 1990...

Obama's Signature Move: Unsealing Private Records
Mitt Romney presents one enormous problem for Barack Obama's campaign: No divorce records. That's why the media are so hot to get their hands on Romney's tax records for the past 25 years. They need something to "pick through, distort and lie about" -- as the Republican candidate says.
Obama's usual campaign method, used in 100 percent of his races, has been to pry into the private records of his opponents...and Awesome new scoop on Romney — his high school report card and List of Obama's sealed and unreleased records

Obama Campaign Sues to Restrict Military Voting
President Barack Obama, along with many Democrats, likes to say that, while they may disagree with the GOP on many issues related to national security, they absolutely share their admiration and dedication to members of our armed forces. Obama, in particular, enjoys being seen visiting troops and having photos taken with members of our military. So, why is his campaign and the Democrat party suing to restrict their ability to vote in the upcoming election?...

Turning the last page: 90K Jews at MetLife Stadium celebrate end of 7 years of Talmud study
Wednesday night, in what was billed as the largest celebration of shared Jewish learning in history, some 90,000 people crowded into MetLife Stadium to read portions of the Talmud’s 2,711th — and final — page.
The celebrants, mostly Orthodox Jews from across the United States and beyond, closed out the 7½-year cycle with prayer, speeches and, when the final line was read, an explosion of jubilation that literally shook the cavernous stadium for more than 20 minutes.

Pope Finishes 'Jesus of Nazareth' Trilogy, May Pen Encyclical
Pope Benedict XVI has concluded the third and final volume of Jesus of Nazareth dedicated to the Gospels relating to Jesus’s childhood, and a new encyclical may follow it, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, said last night...

When Hyphen Boy Meets Hyphen Girl, Names Pile Up

United Methodist Church Continues to Decline in America, but Gains in Africa
...According to the reports, in 2011 the UMC suffered a decline of nearly 72,000 members, with 18 conferences reporting membership losses of 2 percent or more.
Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy and a practicing Methodist, told The Christian Post that he did not feel confident in the survival of the UMC in America.

WSJ: Why Did Unemployment Rate Increase?
The U.S. unemployment rate was rose to 8.3% in July and a broader measure ticked up to 15%, even as the economy added 163,000 jobs. Why the increase?
The key reason is because the two numbers come from separate reports. The number of jobs added — the 163,000 figure — comes from a survey of business, while the unemployment rate comes from a survey of U.S. households. The two reports often move in tandem, but can move in opposite directions, especially in months such as July where there are big seasonal issues at play. This month, the household survey was telling a darker tale than the poll of establishments.

Woman faces death by stoning in Sudan for adultery
A 23-year-old Sudanese woman, mother of a six-month-old baby, has been convicted of adultery and will be stoned to death, Sky News reported.
Laila Ibrahim Issa Jamool is being kept shackled to her baby in Omdurman women's prison after she was convicted by a court in the capital Khartoum on July 10...

Christian girls in Pakistan continue to be kidnapped, abducted and forcibly converted to Islam
In the recent months there have several reports about the ongoing persecution, kidnapping and abduction of the Christian women and girls in Pakistan...

Taxpayers to recover only $24 million from Solyndra.
In a little-noticed move, Solyndra LLC officially released it bankruptcy plan this week. The official word from it is that taxpayers will recover only $24 million of the about $527 million that the failed solar panel company drew from its $535 million federal loan guarantee, according to a report from Dow Jones newswire...

Israeli scholars claim possible evidence of Samson
Scholars in Israel say they may have uncovered the first archaeological evidence of Samson, the Biblical slayer of Philistines whose might was undone by his lust for the temptress Delilah...

Clifton's St. Peter's Episcopal Church joins fasting during Ramadan

Friday, August 3, 2012

Editor's Note: This release submitted by St. Peter's Episcopal Church.

The members of St. Peter's Episcopal Church have taken on a one-day solidarity fast with the Muslim community who are celebrating the month of Ramadan.

Muslims celebrate the month of Ramadan with a 30-day fast. Muslims believe that the Qur'an, the Word of God for Muslims, was revealed by God to the prophet Mohammed during the month of Ramadan. The revelation began during the final days of Ramadan which are considered the most sacred period of the month.

The members of St. Peter's Church were told about the manner of the Muslim fast: they rise early in the morning before sunrise for a meal and then they do not eat or drink from sunrise until sunset. the rest
The members of the church are invited to observe either a fast in either the Muslim or Christian tradition during Ramadan.
NH bishop-elect once organized 'marriage fast'
...Hirschfeld, who will be consecrated Saturday as bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of New Hampshire, drew national attention when he called for a “marriage fast” at his Amherst, Mass., church because the national church wouldn't allow him to bless same-sex unions...

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Exec Bullies Chick-Fil-A Worker, Then Promptly Gets Fired For It

Kim Bhasin
posted August 2, 2012

Adam Smith, former CFO and treasurer of medical supplies manufacturer Vante, riled people up today when he put up a video of himself bullying a Chick-fil-A drive-thru employee in Tucson on YouTube.

Smith unsympathetically berates the worker in the video, which was initially titled ”Reduce $’s to Chick-Fil-A’s Hate Groups.” It has since been taken down (though other have uploaded it too).

”I’m a nice guy, by the way … totally heterosexual," he says to the worker. "Not a gay in me, I just can’t stand the hate.”  the rest

Captive Minds: Conformity and Campus Intellectuals

Why many North American intellectuals seem unable to think for themselves.
by Janice Fiamengo
August 2, 2012

I have said that Leftist thought and political correctness are not the sole issues here, that conformist pressures would operate regardless of the reigning orthodoxy simply because of the conditions of academic work and our inveterate human tendencies. But Leftism is far from irrelevant to the current situation and has magnified and exacerbated it. What proclaimed itself in the beginning a movement for full equality and a refusal of cultural arrogance has become, and likely always was, an aggressive ideology that prohibits skepticism or demurral. The question of how such an ideology came to take over the universities cannot be adequately addressed here except to acknowledge that most conservative commentators see the 1960s as the decisive decade when the professoriate acceded to the demands of radical students, unable to withstand the denunciations poured upon those who resisted. For Allan Bloom and others, the 1960s was the time when the intellectual class as a whole lost confidence in the worth of academic subjects, finding, as Bloom wrote in The Closing of the American Mind, that the rallying cry of ending racism and elitism “possessed a moral truth superior to any the university could provide.” In other words, the imperative to promote a social cause was overwhelming in the absence of any other value believed worthy of defense, and meant the end of the university as an institution dedicated to the objective pursuit of truth. the rest-Excellent!  image by Elstad Ranch

Scrolling around...August 2nd, 2012

Euthanasia Rate in Netherlands Has Increased 73% Since 2003
...The rate of euthanasia in the Netherlands has increased by 73% in the last 8 years (1815 reported deaths in 2003, 3136 reported deaths in 2010) and even more important, the rate of euthanasia has increased by almost 35% in the past two years (2331 reported deaths in 2008, 3136 reported deaths in 2010).
Combined with the growth in the use of terminal sedation for people who are not otherwise dying “slow euthanasia” and the slight increase in the number of unreported euthanasia deaths, one must conclude that there are abuses occurring in the Netherlands...

Abortion: Cuba's bitter harvest
Abortion is a sensitive issue in Cuba. It is a terrible problem that has impacted the island’s demographics.
In 2005, Fidel Castro called upon the Catholic Church to help stem the “plague of abortion.” This was a 180-degree turn in that Castro had wanted Cuba to be an atheistic state. Fidel made this request to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the archbishop of Genoa...

Black pastors group launches anti-Obama campaign around gay marriage
A group of conservative black pastors are responding to President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage with what they say will be a national campaign aimed at rallying black Americans to rethink their overwhelming support of the President, though the group’s leader is offering few specifics about the effort...

Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day: Faithful Go on Meal-Buying Frenzy
...Chick-fil-A franchises from coast to coast were reported to have massive crowds during all three mealtimes as Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, led by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, appeared to be a huge success...

AWFUL!… Hateful Leftist Abuses Young Woman Working the Chick-fil-A Window (Video)

Muslims attack church in Egypt
Muslims have attacked a church and Christian homes in a village close to the Egyptian capital of Cairo.
The BBC reports that at least 16 people were wounded in the unrest in Dahshur, around 40km (25 miles) south of Cairo...

Public School Moves Free Condom Jar to Back Room – Available to Kids 13 and Up
Officials at the Teen Wellness Center inside T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., have moved a large glass jar of free condoms from their front desk to a back examination room where their distribution is restricted to kids ages 13 to 19.
The free condoms apparently had been available to “teens” as young as 12, as first reported on July 13, but the director of the Alexandria Department of Health, Dr. Stephen Haering, told this news outlet that he had misspoken about the age 12 limit and that the condoms are available only to Alexandria City teens starting at age 13...

Pakistan: Muslim cleric says, "When the Jews are wiped out, then the world would be purified and the sun of peace would begin to rise on the entire world"
Imagine the outcry if a non-Muslim cleric had said such a thing about Muslims. But nop one will take any notice of this...

Missile Defense Staff Warned to Stop Surfing Porn Sites
...“Specifically, there have been instances of employees and contractors accessing websites, or transmitting messages, containing pornographic or sexually explicit images,” James wrote in the July 27 memo obtained by Bloomberg News...

Rubio bill eliminates federal tax on Olympic medals
Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill Wednesday to eliminate the federal government’s tax on Olympic medals, saying the levy amounted to yet another way the government tries to punish those who succeed...

New Mexico: Team Obama Seizing Western Water Supplies
...The lawyers told the committee the U.S. government is apparently trying to take over legal management of the state's water supply...

Washington National Cathedral dean: Talking about the Episcopalian identity crisis

By Rev. Gary Hall
August 1, 2012

Followers of recent developments in the Episcopal Church have felt called to opine about the state, health and future of the church. As the person selected to be the next dean of Washington National Cathedral, it’s fitting that I weigh in.

The Episcopal Church just completed its 77th General Convention in mid-July. The biggest news to come from Indianapolis: After years of study, the church approved a rite for the blessing of same-gender relationships that will be available across the denomination next January.

So much for the big news from Indianapolis. Other important things happened there as well, however. Most significantly from my perspective, the church actually began talking about the institutional and cultural factors impacting church membership and attendance. The facts are striking. All mainline (so-called liberal and conservative) denominations are experiencing sharp declines in every marker of institutional vitality: not only membership and attendance, but giving and new church start-ups as well. the rest

Anglicans reject cathedral report
A report claiming Christ Church Cathedral can be safely restored has been rejected by church officials...

Ordinariate denies crackdown underway against traditionalists

Claims of bullying of Latin mass clergy untrue
August 1, 2012
By George Conger

The Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter has dismissed claims that clergy of the newly formed home for Anglicans in the Catholic Church are being bullied by its leader, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, for using the traditional Latin mass – the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

On 29 July 2012 the Anglo-Catholic website posted a story stating Msgr. Steenson had discouraged his clergy from using the Latin mass, directing them to use only approved ordinariate and Catholic English-language liturgies.

Christian Campbell stated that he had it on “unimpeachable authority that there is on ongoing crackdown on those AU/Ordinariate priests who would dare to learn or celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite on the part of [Msgr.] Steenson” and other ordinariate leaders. the rest

Statement: The Liturgy of the Ordinariate and the Latin Mass

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Why Christians are dying in Nigeria: understanding Boko Haram

 1 August, 2012

Nigeria (MNN) ― They're responsible for murdering 32 people on Christmas Day. They set off 10 car bombs in 24 hours to kill over 250 people. They've owned up to bombings, drive-by shootings, anti-Christian and anti-government warfare. For the last several months, they've aimed deathly explosives at churches on an almost weekly basis.

Hundreds have died at the hands of this terror group, but who exactly are they?

After all the talk on Mission Network News about Boko Haram targeting Nigerian Christians, we wanted to give our readers and listeners a profile of this terror sect. With Ramadan still in its beginning days, this is a crucial time to understand and pray. the rest
Burnett says it's not so much that Boko Haram is against Christians, specifically, as they are against anyone who is not Muslim. In a nation like Nigeria with a 50-50 Muslim-Christian split, those who aren't Muslim happen to almost inevitably be at least nominal Christians.

St. John's leaves Episcopal Church over theological rift

Congregation will form St. Mark's Anglican Church
July 31, 2012
Staff Reports The Moultrie Observer

MOULTRIE — Father Will McQueen announced today that he and members of his congregation at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Moultrie are leaving their denomination and planting a new Anglican church in Moultrie.

In a statement to his congregation on Sunday, July 29, Fr. McQueen stated that he can no longer remain in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia due to serious theological differences with the diocese and national Episcopal Church. He invited all who were “willing to make a stand for the historic Christian faith” to join him in stepping out in faith to form a new church, St. Mark’s Anglican Church.

“It had reached a point for me personally where I believed that my adherence to the traditional, historic, catholic faith in a number of matters had been so compromised that I could not stay in the Episcopal Church. Though it is painful to leave the denomination in which I was baptized, confirmed, married, and ordained, I have no reservations about leaving. I firmly believe that God has been preparing me for this very day for a long time,” said Fr. McQueen. the rest
St. Mark’s Moultrie will join the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Founded in 2009, the ACNA consists of around 100,000 members and 500 congregations all over the United States.
Stand Firm:
Rector and Vestry of St. John’s Moultrie Diocese of Georgia Resign

Further Meltdown in the Diocese of Georgia: News Release from St. John’s, Moultrie

Further Meltdown in the Diocese of Georgia [Part Two]: More on the Departure of Calvary, Americus

Scrolling around...August 1st, 2012

Chicago church leaders roast Rahm Emanuel over Chick-fil-A stance
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ticked off the flocks by criticizing Chick-fil-A.
Days after the big city boss blasted the chicken chain over its president's stance on same-sex marriage, an influential Baptist minister and Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago struck back. The religious leaders, who support the traditional view of marriage, were incensed at Emanuel's claim that "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago's values."...

Military Atheist Group Unhappy With Christian Majority Chaplaincy in VA Care
The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers say it is seeking an alternative to the services provided by Christian and other faith-based chaplains in VA hospitals and hospices. The group is campaigning for more secular humanist representatives for veterans – the equivalent of chaplains for non-believers...

Egypt's beleaguered Christians worry about persecution, neglect under Morsi
The past 18 months have been particularly trying for Egypt's Christians, who have clashed with Muslims and lost a religious leader. Now they wonder what life will be like under an Islamist president...

The Economist: Powerless-India’s power cuts
...As our briefing earlier this year shows, the entire supply chain is troubled. Not enough coal is being dug up by the state monopolist, Coal India. As a result, generating companies, which own power stations, face the prospect of buying expensive imported coal, with ruinous consequences for their finances. Many are in danger of going bust. As this week’s cuts have shown, the national transmission system that shifts power around the country needs modernisation and investment—some $110 billion according to a McKinsey study...

Coming soon, “The best book ever written on abortion”
...Quite simply, this is the best book ever written on abortion. Beautifully written, this is about the consequences of Roe v. Wade, as seen through the eyes of one woman, who tells a clear and compelling story with passion but without fanaticism. On a subject that is often heavy and depressing, this is a hard-hitting yet compassionate and moving book. Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought such a narrative could be done, only now it has been done...

The State Department and International Religious Freedom
First, the good news. The latest State Department Annual Report on International Religious Freedom (IRF), released July 30, has much to recommend it. Thanks to the Internet wizards at Foggy Bottom, the entire document, which covers almost 200 countries, is easier than ever to navigate. Moreover, the Annual Report is the world’s gold standard for a comprehensive catalogue of repression, discrimination, and persecution on the basis of religion. It is widely used by scholars, the media, and policy experts — and for good reason...

KARACHI: Christian leaders have called for an impartial inquiry into the alleged poisoning of nine nurses at a government-run hospital.
Nine Christian trainee nurses at the Civil Hospital Karachi fell ill Sunday night allegedly after drinking poisoned tea prepared at their hostel. They were claimed to have been deliberately poisoned because of their faith...

Taxpayers Funding Chevy Volt Village
Taxpayers are still on the hook for the GM bailout to the tune of about $42 billion. But that hasn’t stopped the automaker from teaming up with OnStar to create a village for Chevy Volt drivers called “Pecan Street.” It’s a planned community in Texas filled with “green homes” and Chevy Volts. But the taxpayer investment doesn’t end with the GM bailout. The Department of Energy has also ponied up some cash. It’s not even a loan, it’s a grant so it doesn’t have to be paid back...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Regeneration is a birth...

Regeneration is a birth: the centre and root of the personality, the spirit, has been renewed and taken possession of by the Spirit of God. But time is needed for its power from that centre to extend through all the circumference of his being. The kingdom of God is like unto a seed; the life in Christ is a growth, and it would be against the laws of nature and grace alike if we expected from the babe in Christ the strength that can only be found in the young men, or the rich experience of the fathers. ...Andrew Murray image by Daniel Morrison

International Religious Freedom Report for 2011

posted July 31, 20122

Executive Summary

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

To think, believe, or doubt. To speak or pray; to gather or stand apart. Such are the movements of the mind and heart, infinitives that take us beyond the finite. Freedom of religion, like all freedoms of thought and expression, are inherent. Our beliefs help define who we are and serve as a foundation for what we contribute to our societies. However, as the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report documents, too many people live under governments that abuse or restrict freedom of religion. People awaken, work, suffer, celebrate, raise children, and mourn unable to follow the dictates of their faith or conscience. Yet, under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, governments have committed to respect freedom of religion. As President Barack Obama said, they ought to "bear witness and speak out" when violations of religious freedom occur.

With these reports, we bear witness and speak out. We speak against authoritarian governments that repressed forms of expression, including religious freedom. Governments restricted religious freedom in a variety of ways, including registration laws that favored state-sanctioned groups, blasphemy laws, and treatment of religious groups as security threats. The report focuses special attention on key trends such as the impact of political and demographic transitions on religious minorities, who tended to suffer the most in 2011; the effects of conflict on religious freedom; and the rising tide of anti-Semitism. Impacted groups, to name just a few, included Baha’is and Sufis in Iran; Christians in Egypt; Ahmadis in Indonesia and Pakistan; Muslims in a range of countries, including in Europe; Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, and Uighur Muslims in China; and Jews in many parts of the world.  the rest

Scrolling around...July 31st, 2012

India power cut hits millions, among world's worst outages
Hundreds of millions of people across India were left without power on Tuesday in one of the world's worst blackouts, trapping miners, stranding train travellers and plunging hospitals into darkness when grids collapsed for the second time in two days...

DreamWorks acquires VeggieTales' parent company
The animation studio that created Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon has acquired the parent company of Big Idea and its popular VeggieTales brand.

DreamWorks Animation SKG announced this week that it has entered into an agreement to buy Classic Media for $155 million in cash from Boomerang Media Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR...

A Eugenics Common Sense?
Calling fetuses defective if they are prenatally diagnosed with genetic conditions foreshadows a dangerous path toward eugenics...

Oxford University changes dress code to meet needs of transgender students
Oxford University has rewritten the laws governing its strict academic dress code following concerns that they were unfair towards transgender students...

Six Vatican Ambassadors Start Catholics for Romney Outreach
Six former Vatican ambassadors have banded together to lead a new outreach for Mitt Romney presidential campaign to encourage Catholic voters to support him over pro-abortion President Barack Obama in November. The issue of abortion is one of the reasons for their decision to endorse Romney, as they explain in a new letter announcing the effort...

Denmark forces churches to perform same-sex ‘marriages’
The nation of Denmark has voted to force churches in the established Evangelical Lutheran Church to perform same-sex “marriage” ceremonies inside their sanctuaries, although one-third of all the denomination’s priests say they will not participate in such rituals...

 Black pastor accuses Obama of condoning child rape by supporting gay marriage
The leader of a group of black pastors opposed to gay marriage lashed out at President Barack Obama during a Tuesday appearance at the National Press Club. In his remarks, Rev. William Owens accused Obama of being “unprofessional” for ignoring him and insinuated that Obama had condoned child molestation by endorsing gay marriage...

Rationing Begins: States Limiting Drug Prescriptions for Medicaid Patients
Sixteen states have set a limit on the number of prescription drugs they will cover for Medicaid patients, according to Kaiser Health News...

Defining Religious Liberty Down
THE words “freedom of belief” do not appear in the First Amendment. Nor do the words “freedom of worship.” Instead, the Bill of Rights guarantees Americans something that its authors called “the free exercise” of religion...

A.S. Haley: ECUSA Walks Apart, Where the Faithful Cannot Follow

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In 2003, the Episcopal Church (USA) said to the majority of the Anglican Communion: "Goodbye -- it's been nice knowing you." The bishop whom ECUSA chose to confirm and consecrate, over the uniform objection of all the Anglican primates at the time, could not be admitted to the 2008 Lambeth Conference, or be licensed to preside at the eucharist in ECUSA's parent church, the Church of England. Likewise, he still cannot be welcomed as a bishop in twenty-two of the thirty-four provinces in the Anglican Communion (not counting the extra-provincial and united churches).

In 2006, the Episcopal Church (USA) said to the rest of the Anglican Communion: "We will urge our bishops and standing committees to 'exercise restraint' in confirming bishops who might upset you, but we cannot do any more than that. Nor can we be sorry if you were offended by our actions -- that is your problem." Some of the dioceses in ECUSA still were very piqued, and announced they would not elect or confirm any more bishops, straight or gay, until the voluntary "moratorium" requested of them by the Lambeth Commission was declared to be at an end. the rest

The Latest from the Diocese of South Carolina

July 30, 2012
By Kevin Kallsen

The following letter from the Rev. Canon Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary, summarizing the July 25 meeting Bishop Lawrence held with the clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina was sent to the active clergy July 30, 2012.

Dear Brother and Sister Clergy,

On Wednesday, July 25th, the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence met with the clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina at St. Paul’s Church, in Summerville, to discuss decisions made at General Convention 2012 and their significance for us as a diocese. In particular, he shared the address he made to the House of Bishops, while in executive session, announcing his decision to depart from Convention with five members of our deputation.

The central purpose of his presentation to the Bishops was to convey his understanding that with the passage of Resolutions D002 and D019 (making all possible variations of “gender identity and gender expression” protected categories in the canons of the church), and the adoption of authorized provisional rites to bless same gender relationships, the doctrine, discipline and worship of this church have been profoundly changed. the rest

All Saints Pawleys Island may go ACNA

Parish vote set for November on rector's proposal to join the ACNA
July 30, 2012
 By George Conger

The flagship parish of the Anglican Mission in America – All Saints Pawleys Island – is set to vote at a special parish meeting this fall on its rector’s proposal the congregation join the Anglican Church in North America.

The Rev. Robert L. Grafe, Jr., rector of the founding parish of the AMiA, told Anglican Ink his congregation was entering a “season of prayer and discernment.”

He noted that a “change in affiliation requires an amendment to our by-laws and a parish vote,” which could take place later this year.

In a 27 July 2012 letter to the congregation, Mr. Grafe wrote that in the wake of the December split within the AMiA “it became clear that there would be other Anglican options for affiliation to consider.”

He noted that the parish leadership believed the best way forward following the news of the break up of the AMiA was to wait and see what options presented themselves. “I encouraged us all to avoid taking sides, refrain from demonizing, and to wait on details to surface regarding the various options. Until we were presented with some details which we could prayerfully consider, we would be content to remain both a part of the Anglican Mission and under the oversight of Archbishop Rwaje.” the rest