Friday, March 22, 2013

Scrolling around...March 22, 2013

Why the Rich Don't Give to Charity: The wealthiest Americans donate 1.3 percent of their income; the poorest, 3.2 percent. What's up with that?
...Lower-income Americans are presumably no more intrinsically generous (or “prosocial,” as the sociologists say) than anyone else. However, some experts have speculated that the wealthy may be less generous—that the personal drive to accumulate wealth may be inconsistent with the idea of communal support. Last year, Paul Piff, a psychologist at UC Berkeley, published research that correlated wealth with an increase in unethical behavior: “While having money doesn’t necessarily make anybody anything,” Piff later told New York magazine, “the rich are way more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people.” They are, he continued, “more likely to exhibit characteristics that we would stereotypically associate with, say, ass....."...

College Kicks Christian Group Off Campus for Beliefs
Rollins College is coming under fire for being the latest center for “higher education” to tell InterVarsity student group that it has to leave campus. The “crime”? InterVarsity requires that alll leaders in their group share their faith and agree to their doctrinal beliefs. A recent article explains: “The college was trying to force InterVarsity to allow any student to be a leader in their group, even if they don’t share InterVarsity’s biblical beliefs. The group refused to comply, so Rollins is revoking InterVarsity’s student funding and campus access. The same thing happened to Christian groups at Vanderbilt and several other colleges in recent years.”...

Health Insurers Warn on Premiums
Health insurers are privately warning brokers that premiums for many individuals and small businesses could increase sharply next year because of the health-care overhaul law, with the nation's biggest firm projecting that rates could more than double for some consumers buying their own plans...

Florida Atlantic Univ. student claims he was suspended for not stomping on Jesus
...“So if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value.”

Some students stomped; others, including Rotela, didn’t. He said he told the instructor, Deandre Poole, that the assignment offended his religious convictions.

Two days later, the junior alleges, he went to an FAU school official to express his unease with the assignment.

The result? Rotela has been suspended from the class.

An FAU official defended the decision, telling WPEC that the Jesus-stomping was part of a classroom exercise from a textbook...

Anglican Unscripted Episode 68

Mar 22, 2013

Dust off the Herald Trumpet and dry clean your vestments as we have a new Pope and a new Archbishop of Canterbury this week, meanwhile your AU hosts refuse to gush and talk at the same time. Also this week there are more details regarding the scandal over the elections in Tanzania and news from the Jersey shore... the other Jersey shore. Kevin talks with a special guest and George breaks next weeks top story this week.

'Out of our own traditions, and into the waves': the Archbishop of Canterbury's inaugural sermon

Mouneer Anise: Challenges facing the new Archbishop of Canterbury

Anglican Head Justin Welby Admits Gay Friends' 'Loving Relationships' Have Challenged Him

Catholic Church, Facing U.S. Priest Shortage, Now Using Anglican Converts To Serve Parishes

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Scrolling around...March 21, 2013

Big Three Networks Ignore Abortion Doc Who Snipped Babies’ Necks
ABC, CBS, and NBC’s morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, which began on Monday. Gosnell is charged with murdering seven babies who were born after viability in his rundown abortion facility. The Big Three also gave the story minimal coverage back in January 2011, after the Philadelphia physician was arrested. ABC completely ignored it, CBS Evening News aired one full story, and NBC gave just 50 words on Today...

“Kermit Gosnell, Nihilism, Tolerance, and The Evil of The Blur”

Mark Steyn: The UnMourned

Pakistan: Christian girl rescued from forced conversion, marriage
A Pakistani court has annulled the forced marriage of a 14-year-old Christian girl to her Muslim abductor. Rafia Mansha was kidnapped in December and forced to convert to Islam.    Another Christian teen, Ryan Stanton, fled Pakistan with his family after he was accused of sending a text message that blasphemed Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Stanton said that Muslim friends had taken his phone and sent the message.

TV's 'The Bible' again finishes No. 1 for night
History Channel's "The Bible" miniseries climbed back into the top slot in its third week Sunday (March 17), finishing No. 1 for the night among all broadcast and cable programs thanks to an increase in viewership...

Study: Homeschoolers Are Healthier, Happier Than Public, Private School Students
A first-of-its-kind study conducted by the National Jewish Health (NJH) in Denver, Colo., reveals homeschoolers are happier, healthier and perform better academically and socially because they get more sleep.

For more than 20 years, researchers have studied the sleeping patterns of teenagers, especially high school students who wake up early for extra-curricular practices and then go to bed late after completing their homework.

Lisa Meltzer, a sleep psychologist and lead author of the NJH study, found students who are homeschooled sleep 90 minutes longer a night and wake up 18 minutes after traditional high schools have already started...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Scrolling around...March 20, 2013

Chinese Christians open smuggled bibles for the first time

Deceiver in Chief
Barack Obama’s most dangerous talent is his ability to make people believe he’s something he’s not. He is not recognized for whom and what he is, especially the fact that he does not like the country he’s governing. He is effective because he has successfully hidden his true objectives. He has convinced his followers that he has their interests at heart, that he cares about them and wants to help them. The key ingredient in his power lies in his ability to deceive. People do not want to believe that he does not like the country. Our country is in collective state of denial...

Kermit Gosnell on Trial for Abortion "House of Horrors"
Today is the second day in the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the infamous Philadelphia abortionist charged with murdering seven newborn babies and one young woman in a botched abortion due to overdose of anesthesia. Gosnell killed the babies with scissors after they had been born – and he wasn’t the only one...

Jack Hayford's Grandson, Missionary in Mexico, Home Safe After Being Kidnapped
Kyle Bauer of The Foursquare Church Tells Congregants He Preached God's Forgiveness to Captors...

No Country for Burly Men
How feminist groups skewed the Obama stimulus plan towards women's jobs...

Biden, Pelosi Stir Controversy by Taking Communion
Vice President Joe Biden and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi received communion during a Mass marking the installation of Pope Francis in Rome Tuesday, setting off a storm of controversy about whether they should have been denied communion because of their pro-choice stand on abortion.

Some Catholic leaders say Catholic politicians who break with the church on abortion should be denied the sacrament. The Rev. Frank Pavone, founder of Priests for Life, a Catholic anti-abortion group based in the U.S., says, "Vice President Biden and Nancy Pelosi should certainly not receive communion, either at the papal installation or anywhere else...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Scrolling around... March 18, 2013

Female genital mutilation on the rise in the United States
Western news articles about female genital mutilation routinely assert that it is solely a cultural practice, not justified by any religion. Yet again and again we see Muslim clerics justifying it, and it is sanctioned in Islamic law...

CAIR tells School: Don't Criticize Hamas and the Taliban
CAIR Bullies Teacher Who Said Hamas and the Taliban Use Violence to "Bully People."

1,000 Students Riot at Catholic College
This is sad. 1,000 students at a Catholic college rioted last night. Why? It seems because they were all drunk.

Sadly, it seems that this isn't the first time University of Dayton students rioted on Saint Patrick's Day. In fact, it's happened so often that the university has worked to change the time of spring break so that students are home and not on campus for St. Patrick's Day. (That's getting to the root of the problem!?)

Why does the devil in 'The Bible' look exactly like President Obama?
We report, you decide. Actually, I watched it last night and it didn't cross my mind at the time. -PD

Disagree with Christians? That’s fine. But do not silence them
...As Canada becomes increasingly secularized, there is growing intolerance to people of faith. We see the trend prominently in recent news that the leader of the Official Opposition has publicly criticized a Christian relief agency for their moral beliefs on sexuality — something entirely unrelated to their humanitarian work. Such positions are “un-Canadian” we are told, despite the fact that millions of Christians (Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Conservative Protestants, and Evangelicals), Muslims, Jews and other religious groups in Canada hold the same beliefs. Never mind that we are Canadian citizens; insofar as we fail to conform to a set of approved public positions on this matter, we are expected to be silent...

How The New York Times Smeared Pope Francis Today
When Benedict XVI was pope, the New York Times ran a scurrilous, distortion-infested campaign intended to link the former Joseph Ratzinger with the awful abuse scandals that have so harmed the Catholic Church. These pieces were manifestly dishonest and substance-free when you read them through. But the Times editors know most people don’t read the articles — they read the headlines and the first paragraph...

The Way of Pope Francis
From the moment he walked out onto the Vatican balcony following the papal election, Jorge Mario Bergoglio forged an image all his own. Having lived a life of simplicity, the new Pope Francis wasn’t about to abandon it, even with the honor and prestige his new office brings...

For the first time since the Great Schism, ecumenical patriarch to attend pope's inaugural Mass
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I will attend Pope Francis's inaugural Mass. The Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Office informed AsiaNews about the decision, noting that this is the first time such an event occurs since the Catholic-Orthodox split in 1054, an important sign for Christian unity...

...Relations between Catholics and Orthodox have been improving since the Second Vatican Council through mutual visits, acts of friendship and theological dialogue.

Under Benedict XVI, the dialogue picked up in earnest after a lull. In trying to promote it, the pope suggested ways to express the primacy of Peter's successor that could be acceptable to the Orthodox, finding his inspiration from the undivided Church of the first millennium...

What your hotel knows about you
...What has changed, in this brazen new world, is the sheer amount of data that hotels now collect on guests, and the often startlingly personal nature of that data. With the explosion of social networking, and our increasingly unguarded presence online, profiling guests has become a lot easier, and a hell of a lot more effective...

Virginia Episcopal Bishop Defends & Criticizes Radical Theologian in Anglican Controversy

Mark Tooley
March 15, 2013

Virginia Episcopal Bishop Shannon Johnston on March 15 defended his sponsorship of a diocesan event hosting radical Jesus Seminar writer John Dominic Crossan even though he called some of Crossan’s beliefs “offensive.” Meanwhile, a prominent Anglican pastor of a former Episcopal church in Virginia has severed his “peacemaking work” with Bishop Johnston over Crossan. The controversy was originally sparked by a report of Crossan’s presentation at a Northern Virginia Episcopal church by IRD Anglican staffer Jeff Walton.

“Admittedly, Dr. Crossan is quite controversial with respect to some of his views concerning Jesus’ life, the historical context, and the resulting theology of Jesus’ ministry, death and resurrection,” Bishop Johnston said in his public statement. “But these very controversies are precisely why I believe it is important to have the opportunity to hear directly from him, to think critically (in the larger sense of the word) about what he has to say, and to ask probative questions so as to gain the clearest possible understanding.”...   the rest

Churches and Christianity’s Critics
Should churches and related institutions ever sponsor speakers who reject key tenets of Christian faith?

A Jesus Seminar radical theologian’s appearance at a Northern Virginia Episcopal Church under sponsorship by the Diocese of Virginia has rightly sparked controversy. Bishop Shannon Johnston defends the sponsorship of Crossan’s “provocative” beliefs even while calling some of them “offensive,” such as rejecting Christ’s bodily resurrection. Johnston seems to think that Crossan, even when not countered by a defender of orthodox faith, is a legitimate teacher for Christian clergy and laity. His is a conventional liberal Protestant view that often sees the church not as unique proclaimer of Gospel but a host for dialogue...
Fifteen years ago I attended a Jesus scholarship conference at United Methodism’s Duke Divinity School. Crossan was a featured speaker, as was fellow Jesus Seminar pundit Marcus Borg. Only one orthodox scholar was included as a panelist, N.T. Wright. At the start, the seven authors were asked which Gospel stories definitely were not true. Crossan cited the Last Supper, the 12 disciples, and the Lord’s Prayer, all of which the early church invented as part of its “crisis management.” Cleverly, Wright responded that the gnostic Gospel of Thomas was untrue.

All but Wright denied Jesus’ bodily resurrection, with one comparing stories of resurrection to sightings of Elvis. Crossan agreeably said. “It doesn’t matter where Jesus’ bones are. It doesn’t matter where Elvis’ bones are either because Elvis is still around. The real question is: Why is Elvis important? Faith doesn’t need superstition.” He denied that the early church believed in bodily resurrection, showing himself more ideologue than scholar.
Raymond Dague: The Theology of Heresy in Central New York
[Raymond wrote this back in June 2005 when we heard that Bp. Skip Adams had invited Marcus Borg of the Jesus Seminar to come and speak to CNY clergy. It was one of the main reasons I started my blog; to help get the word out about the ongoing deconstruction of Christianity in the Episcopal Church. It is interesting to read this if only to remember what what going on at the time: clown masses, druid priests, "women's eucharists" etc. -PD]

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chaplains sing Doxology

Mar 17, 2013

Pope Francis appears for first angelus

By John Bingham and Nick Squires in Vatican City
March 17, 2013

"Thank you for your welcome, and for your prayers," the first pope from Latin America said from a window of the papal apartment high above the square. "Pray for me," he added.

Dozens of flags from Francis's native Argentina were waving in the crowd as the former cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio recited the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer, the first of his papacy.

The occasion has traditionally been a moment to comment on international issues, but Francis instead used the occasion to emphasise his Italian roots... the rest

Pope Wades Into Crowds, Surprising Onlookers
Walking up to crowds, shaking hands with surprised bystanders in the street, mixing his formal speeches with off-the-cuff remarks, Pope Francis stamped his own style on the papacy Sunday...

Pope Francis in 2005: Defend the right to life even if they ‘have you killed’