Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ryan seen as Romney's bridge across GOP spectrum

Brian Bakst and Todd Richmond

JANESVILLE, Wis. - Even before Wisconsin sent Paul Ryan to Congress, he was meticulously carving a path that seemed to point only upward.

As a young Capitol Hill staffer, he impressed Republican lawmakers with his hustle and intellectual curiosity. He blended quickly with an elite crop of conservative thinkers. By his 30s, he was a congressman on his way to becoming a GOP name brand with his push-the-edge budget proposals.

Ryan's climb reached new heights Saturday when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced him as his running mate.

"Mitt's Choice for VP is Paul Ryan," said a phone app Romney's team created to spread the word to supporters. the rest

Text of Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan speeches
The prepared texts of the speeches Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan gave today in Norfolk, Va., as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee introduced his choice for vice president...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Can You Be A Christian & Have A Political Opinion?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
by Perry Noble

I’m ready for this presidential election to be over, right now–TODAY! (I think I heard an “amen” somewhere!) I already know who I am going to vote for (most people do) and yet I am still going to have to watch these guys spend millions of dollars telling me how bad the other person is and saying things that an “expert” told them to say in order to appease a particular group of people.

It makes some people nervous that I am a pastor AND that I have a political opinion (a pretty strong one if you want to know the truth.) I’ve heard the argument that Christians are too political…and that if you are a Christian then you should not express your political opinion. (And, let’s be honest, this belief is commonly held by people who are typically not Christians and also have strong political opinions. Translation: If you are not just like me then you are not allowed to think. Hmmm…) the rest

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Nigeria: Gunmen kill evangelist in Maiduguri


Evangelist Samari, 57, was with the Good News Church (GNC) Maiduguri and was reportedly killed at his Mafoni residence at exactly 6.30pm.

An eyewitness said the evangelist, who equally repairs wrist watches at the Post Office Area of the town was trailed to his house by two gunmen, after closing from work.

The witness also said the evangelist had sometimes this year received a stern warning from men suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect, asking him to vacate his residence.

He said though the evangelist discussed the threat to few people that were close to him, but he however dismissed it, saying “it is the Almighty God that protects. I leave everything in the hands of God.”
the rest

Episcopal Bishop Promotes Homosexuality, Denies Biblical Authority

Kristin Rudolph
August 7, 2012

Christians on either side of the homosexuality debate have “a lot to agree on … [but] one of the things we might not agree on is that book ... the Bible,” said Bishop Gene Robinson at Skyline Church’s “Conversation on the Definition of Marriage.” Robinson was the first openly gay priest ordained in the Episcopal Church.

On Sunday, July 28, San Diego’s Skyline Church invited Robinson, John Corvino, Jennifer Roback Morse, and Robert Gagnon for this discussion. Robinson, the retiring bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, and Corvino, philosopher and co-author of the recent book Debating Same-Sex Marriage, were defending homosexual unions. Morse, founder and president of The Ruth Institute, and Gagnon, a theologian at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, defended traditional marriage. the rest
Robinson explained his view on the Scriptures. “I take the Bible unbelievably seriously,” he stressed. “I take it so seriously that I refuse to take it simply.” According to Robinson, “context means everything,” and when reading scripture, one should ask: “Is the context described there similar to our context and therefore is eternally binding?” Through this contextualization, he discounted scriptural prohibitions of homosexuality, and argued that Jesus’ promise in John 16 that the Holy Spirit would “guide you into all truth” means that Christians should adopt an evolving view on sexual ethics.

Scrolling around...August 9th, 2012

Man Sentenced to 30 Days for Catching Rain Water on Own Property Enters Jail
Gary Harrington, the Oregon man convicted of collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his rural property surrendered Wednesday morning to begin serving his 30-day, jail sentence in Medford, Ore...

First Things: Can Organ-Harvesters Be Number One?
Despite some hiccups caused by the sorry state of the world economy, China is still The Future for many global analysts. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has even suggested that Americans have a lot to learn politically from the economic successes of Chinese authoritarianism. That China is the rising world power seems taken for granted in many elite foreign policy circles.
I’m not buying...

The Hollow Republic
...The president simply equates doing things together with doing things through government. He sees the citizen and the state, and nothing in between — and thus sees every political question as a choice between radical individualism and a federal program...

Dan Cathy And The Silence Of Many Churches
Chick-fil-A reported record sales last Wednesday as thousands showed support for owner Dan Cathy and his stance on Biblical marriage. However, while individual believers stood in long lines to publicly endorse God’s plan for the family and vent their frustration at the media’s criticism of Dan Cathy’s Biblical stance, a number of churches seemed to opt out of the conflict...

The end of Catholic Ireland
...Yet I would distinguish between "religion" and "faith" in the Irish context. If the traditional structures of "religion" are weaker, there remains a strong deposit of "faith" among the people. Country pilgrimages still thrive. When there is a local tragedy – fishermen drowned at sea, teenagers killed in a bad road collision – the parish priest still speaks for the people, and organises the rites of passage. And solace...

Over 100 Million Now Receiving Federal Welfare
...Food stamps and Medicaid make up a large--and growing--chunk of the more than 100 million recipients. "Among the major means tested welfare programs, since 2000 Medicaid has increased from 34 million people to 54 million in 2011 and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) from 17 million to 45 million in 2011," says the Senate Budget Committee. "Spending on food stamps alone is projected to reach $800 billion over the next decade."...

Businesses brace for health care cost increase, report says
...Nearly two-thirds of employers expect to see a cost hike in their health plans when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014, and a quarter say they will have to make changes to their coverage to avoid penalties, according to the survey by the Mercer consulting firm...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Anglican Perspective: 14 Years of Lambeth 1.10

Canon Phil Ashey
posted August 8, 2012

Dear Friends in Christ,

Exactly 14 years ago to this very week Resolution 1.10 was adopted overwhelmingly by the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops. It provides in pertinent part
b. in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;

d. cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions;
14 years later this clarification of Anglican teaching on human sexuality and holy orders has been turned to mud by the official instruments of communion governance. They have passively and actively frustrated any discipline for those who violated Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998). 14 years later to this week, The Episcopal Church (TEC) has not only elected one non-celibate homosexual bishop in New Hampshire, but, subsequently, a partnered lesbian as suffragan in Los Angeles. TEC recently approved "provisional rites" for same-sex blessings at its General convention. In Canada, the Diocese of New Westminster has approved rites for same sex blessings while the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) itself passively approves local option.

At the conclusion of its 2012 General Convention, TEC used a theology of baptism divorced from biblical and catholic norms to justify rights of access to ordination for transgendered persons. This new theology trumps Holy Scripture, tradition and reason and is the same junk peddled by the Chicago Consultation and offered as a "gift" to the Anglican Communion at General Convention 2009 publications, and which we documented here. The Communion's governance, specifically the Anglican Consultative Council, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, have collaborated with TEC's manifest destiny to spread this unbiblical, uncatholic and unreasonable teaching to the rest of the Anglican Communion through the Continuing Indaba Project and other means. the rest

Scrolling around...August 8th, 2012

Google Adds Personal Gmail Results Into Search
In a major move to integrate personal search and Web search, Google is adding some users’ Gmail into their search results as a “limited field trial,” it said today.
So when participating users search for “Amazon,” information from their own recent purchase confirmation emails will appear on the right rail. Or, a user could type “my flights” as a search query, and see — directly at the top of their search results — itineraries drawn from their flight confirmation emails...

Rescue Me: The Moral and Ethical Problems of Creating Savior Siblings
Another story is in the news again brings us the issue of "savior siblings". Creating a savior sibling raises some serious ethical issues...

Billy Graham: 'Final call' for America to repent
...Timed to coincide with his 95th birthday, Graham is calling people in the United States and Canada to repentance as part of the “My Hope with Billy Graham” evangelistic outreach set for the week of Nov. 7, 2013.
Unlike his famous stadium crusades over the past six decades, Graham is asking Christians to invite family, friends and neighbors to their homes to watch the “Living Room Crusade” on their televisions, tablets or smartphones as part of a massive grassroots effort to ignite a spiritual awakening in North America...

Local Church Puts A "Drive-In" Twist On Worship Service
...When folks first drive up to the service they are handed a service bulletin and directed to change their radio dials to 88.9 FM because the service is broadcast on that station.

After listeners are tuned in and ready to go, they can sit back, listen to the pastor, and even enjoy coffee and cinnamon rolls passed out by service volunteers....

"To tweet, or not to tweet?"
...This seems like a timely question for days like ours. Recent Twitter-related scandals coming out of Britain surely have some in the Twittersphere experiencing what might be called Twitter's remorse...

Church of England Sells All Its News Corp Shares; Worth $3 Million
...In total, the church sold about $3 million worth of shares of the media giant headed by Rupert Murdoch, a church spokesman said Tuesday. The church's Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) was not satisfied with the company's reform in governance after a year of discussion between church representatives and News Corp...

Male Oxford students free to wear skirts to exams
Male students at Oxford University can now wear skirts to exams, following pressure from the university’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Society(LGBTQ Soc)...

Obama's Columbia Class of ’83 College Classmate: "I never met him. Never saw him. Never even heard of him."
..."And none of the classmates that I knew at Columbia has ever met him, saw him, or heard of him"...

In Pakistan, Ramadan Charity Donations Benefit the Taliban
...In Pakistan, unfortunately, the benevolent intentions of Ramadan charity (zakat and fitrana—money and food) have been and are being used to support operations and recruit combatants for jihadist terror in their own country as well as in Afghanistan and Kashmir...

'I Didn't Even Notice'
...When I told my friends and staff members that the movie had 91 f-bombs, which averages out to approximately one version of the "f" word per minute, they were all shocked. "Really? I didn't even notice" was the most common response. Really, you didn't notice one "f" word each minute?...

Nigeria Violence: Gunmen Storm Church, Kill 19 Worshipers


ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen fired on a worship service in a church in central Nigeria, killing at least 19 people — including the pastor — and wounding others in a nation often divided by religion, the military said Tuesday.

The attack targeted a Deeper Life church in the town of Otite in Kogi state, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) southwest of Nigeria's capital Abuja. Blood stained the floors of the church as police and soldiers surrounded it Tuesday morning, witnesses said. It was unclear how many people were wounded in the attack Monday night.

The gunmen surrounded the church in the middle of a worship service and opened fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles, military spokesman Lt. Col. Gabriel Olorunyomi said. The church's pastor was among the dead. the rest

Mark, Anglican Primate, others condemn attack
...The Primate of the Anglican Church, Reverend Nicholas Okoh, condemned the attack.
Reverend Okoh who spoke with journalists in Abuja said securing places of worship should not be left in the hands of the church alone.
He called on government to expedite action to secure the lives of its citizenry...

Nigerian Christians vent frustration after another church attack

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Scrolling around...August 7th, 2012

Today's gay-marriage movement seems far more eager to silence its critics than debate them.
...How times have changed. In just a few short years, a movement once known for championing tolerance has become the epitome of intolerance. Using their culturally sanctioned victim status as cover, America's gay-rights leaders have become the iron-fisted enforcers of a strict new speech code in which anyone who questions same-sex marriage is denounced as a hateful, homophobic bigot. Erstwhile pleas for "dialogue" about the best way to protect both the institution of marriage and gay and lesbian interests have been replaced by blatant bullying and vicious personal attacks. Its 'silence = death" slogan notwithstanding, today's gay-marriage movement seems far more eager to silence its critics than debate them...

Chick-fil-A kiss-in protesters show their colors
Leftists, when they get angry and let themselves be themselves, tend to behave in repellant ways. That certainly seems to be the case with the gay marriage movement's anger at Chick-fil-A, as a former CFO now understands. Captured on video (embedded below) by Legal Insurrection blogger Anne Sorock, participants in the kiss-in at the sole Chick-fil-A in Chicago mocked, one might even say harassed, an elderly African-American gentleman seated nearby reading his bible...(video)

Abortion Activist Sandra Fluke to Join Obama on Campaign Trail
Pro-abortion activist Sandra Fluke, the campaigner for the HHS birth control mandate to force religious groups to pay for and refer women for abortion-causing drug and birth control that violate their consciences, will join President Barack Obama on the campaign trail...

Pope cites 'unprecedented gravity' of threat to religious freedom in US
Pope Benedict XVI has warned of the "unprecedented gravity" of threats to religious freedom of Catholics in the US...

Internet Tax Likely Coming Whether You Like it or Not
The days of tax-free shopping on the Internet may be coming to an end. Congress seems poised to pass an Internet tax law, the Marketplace Fairness Act, that allows states to force online companies to tax their customers.
While the Internet tax law is being touted as a "new" tax, legally speaking, it should have zero impact on the amount of taxes customers pay for online purchased goods. However, from a practical standpoint, small business owners just lost a huge advantage they had on traditional brick-and-mortar stores...

Eliminating People to Help People?
...Sebelius testified at a congressional hearing that her mandate is justified as a way to reduce costs. (I’m sure her number-crunching analysis forgot to factor in that fewer people also means fewer taxpayers.)

She stated, “The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception.”

“By not having babies born, we’re saving money,” asked the astonished congressman. “Not having babies born is a critical health benefit?”

“Providing contraception as a critical preventive health benefit for women and for their children reduces health care costs,” Sebelius stated.

So, contraception/abortion is a health benefit for children? Surely not the ones that were prevented from being born alive....

Homeschoolers, Christian Schools Concerned About 'Race to the Top' Standards
...In an interview with The Christian Post, Maureen Van Den Berg, legislative director for the American Association of Christian Schools, expressed concern over the potential that the CCSSI could develop into a national curriculum that even private schools would be pushed into adopting...

Monday, August 06, 2012

Observations: Fissures widen in Episcopal community

Sunday, August 5, 2012
By Joseph Bell

The rip in the fabric of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America began tearing at least as far back as the 1960s when California Bishop James Pike decided the Holy Trinity did not exist and there was no Virgin Birth. Heresy charges were invoked against Bishop Pike but there was no will to move forward. For whatever reason (perhaps Pike’s beliefs were quietly shared) the church failed to reprimand the obstinate bishop.

In 1976, with an eye toward modernizing Scripture, the Episcopal church’s General Convention approved resolutions to study the ordination of homosexuals. That set the stage for the 2003 installation of an openly homosexual bishop, the Rev. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire.

At the most recent General Convention, held in July, the church authorized a rite, called “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Life Long Covenant,” that will be used to sanctify same-sex couples. Supporters insist this is not a marriage ceremony but the assertion is more a thing of semantics than theology. This is undoubtedly another step in the Episcopal Church’s effort to craft a theology that views the Bible not so much as the word of God but as a manuscript that can be edited and updated to harmonize with contemporary social mores. Some members of the Episcopal hierarchy oppose the renovation. the rest
Perhaps the Episcopalian hierarchy is not working to improve upon man’s flawed comprehension of God’s will so much as they are working to improve upon the will of what they perceive to be a flawed God. That encapsulates the rupture within the Episcopal community. It will not mend.

Leading Episcopalian: Catholic Church a "Threat"

A prominent Episcopalian is calling the Catholic Church a "threat" and is accusing the Church of "stealing sheep."
Ironically, Reverend Ian Markham, Dean of Virginia Theological Seminary, is the author of the 2006 book "Why Liberal Churches are Growing." (How's that working out for ya'?)...

Scrolling around...August 6th, 2012

Thousands of fish die as Midwest streams heat up
Thousands of fish are dying in the Midwest as the hot, dry summer dries up rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to nearly 100 degrees.
About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon were killed in Iowa last week as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Nebraska fishery officials said they've seen thousands of dead sturgeon, catfish, carp, and other species in the Lower Platte River, including the endangered pallid sturgeon. And biologists in Illinois said the hot weather has killed tens of thousands of large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish and is threatening the population of the greater redhorse fish, a state-endangered species...

How many parents would your child like?
The new Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) have allowed the creation of brave new families. Whereas earlier it took a man and a woman to produce a child, now there are all sorts of combinations available. A child can be manufactured with any number of players involved...

Albert Mohler: Gore Vidal and the Sky God
...Most of the media coverage after his death dealt extensively with his homosexuality and radical politics. He claimed, for example, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt knew in advance of Pearl Harbor and that President George W. Bush knew in advance of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Many also mentioned his antipathy to Christianity.
But the true nature of Gore Vidal’s theological protest was largely, if not totally, missing from the national coverage. In his 1992 Lowell Lecture at Harvard University, Vidal attacked not just Christianity, but the very notion of monotheism...

British Court Convicts Pakistani-Born Parents for 'Honor' Killing
...The Ahmeds tortured their westernized daughter for years. And then one day in 2003, when she refused to give in to their demand to get married, the couple stuffed a plastic bag into her mouth in front of their four other children at her home in Warrington, Cheshire. Her dismembered body was found on a riverbank in February 2004...

Mensa accepts 3-year-old Houston boy
...Christopher, an only child, was born in Houston on Jan. 22, 2009. The family is in the process of moving to Connecticut, where Christopher is taking online classes through Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth, which he started Aug. 1.

Kate said because he is her first child, she thought nothing of it when he spoke perfectly at age 1. People who overheard him rattling away in the grocery store would be shocked.
She said when he was about 18 months, he started reading full books.

Study finds that avoiding lies can improve your health
...Over the study period, the link between less lying and improved health was significantly stronger for participants in the no-lie group, the study found. When participants in the no-lie group told three fewer minor lies than they did in other weeks, for example, they experienced, on average, four fewer mental-health complaints and three fewer physical complaints. Mental health complaints included feeling tense or melancholy; physical complaints included sore throats and headaches...

Is sugar toxic?
...The chances are good that sugar is a bigger part of your daily diet than you may realize which is why our story is so important. As we first reported last spring, new research coming out of some of America's most respected institutions is starting to find that sugar, the way many people are eating it today, is a toxin and could be a driving force behind some of this country's leading killers, including heart disease...

Tunisia: Muslim leader hospitalized after being attacked at "Tolerance In Islam" conference
...The assailant struck Mourou in the head with what appeared to be a water glass following a dispute. Mourou passed out and was taken to the hospital, where he was given five stitches in the forehead...

Muslim rebels armed with chainsaws attack Philippine towns
A breakaway group of Muslim rebels armed with chainsaws and guns launched simultaneous attacks across 11 towns in the southern Philippines on Monday, leading to clashes with troops...

Growing Up With Two Moms: The Untold Children’s View
...Quite simply, growing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. People in our community didn’t really know what was going on in the house. To most outside observers, I was a well-raised, high-achieving child, finishing high school with straight A’s.
Inside, however, I was confused. When your home life is so drastically different from everyone around you, in a fundamental way striking at basic physical relations, you grow up weird. I have no mental health disorders or biological conditions. I just grew up in a house so unusual that I was destined to exist as a social outcast...

 Curiosity Spotted on Parachute by Orbiter
NASA's Curiosity rover and its parachute were spotted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as Curiosity descended to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image of Curiosity while the orbiter was listening to transmissions from the rover...More images at NASA

Groton parish leaves home for good

By Julianne Hanckel

Six years after the congregation declared itself unable to fully participate in The Episcopal Church, the parishioners and clergy of the Bishop Seabury Anglican Church held their last service in their building on Sunday.

The service was emotional as parishioners frequently broke out in tears. They hugged often and held hands. The majority of the Prayers of the People portion of the worship focused on the congregation's departing and the unknown challenges that lie ahead.

"The sights, the sounds and the smell of this building remind me of home," April Head said aloud, kneeling behind a pew. "This place has been a constant in my life, but I've learned that there are constants in life and one of them is change. Lord, where you go we will go. Prepare a new home for us, Father, keep us as a family."

Beginning Aug. 12, services will be held at the Groton Inn and Suites until a more permanent home for the congregation can be found. the rest

Episcopal Parish Holds Last Service In Church

The chosen three, on mountain height..

The chosen three, on mountain height,
While Jesus bowed in prayer,
Beheld His vesture glow with light,
His face shine wondrous fair.

And lo! with the transfigured Lord,
Leader and seer they saw;
With Carmel’s hoary prophet stood
The giver of the law.

From the low bending cloud above,
Whence radiant brightness shone,
Spake out the Father’s voice of love,
“Hear My belovèd Son!”

Lord, lead us to the mountain height;
To prayer’s transfiguring glow;
And clothe us with the Spirit’s might
For grander work below.
...David H. Ela image