Saturday, April 13, 2013

Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story

The dead babies. The exploited women. The racism. The numerous governmental failures. It is thoroughly newsworthy.
Conor Friedersdorf
April 12, 2013

...For this isn't solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth into toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where a 15-year-old administered anesthesia; an office where former workers admit to playing games when giving patients powerful narcotics; an office where white women were attended to by a doctor and black women were pawned off on clueless untrained staffers. Any single one of those things would itself make for a blockbuster news story. Is it even conceivable that an optometrist who attended to his white patients in a clean office while an intern took care of the black patients in a filthy room wouldn't make national headlines?

But it isn't even solely a story of a rogue clinic that's awful in all sorts of sensational ways either. Multiple local and state agencies are implicated in an oversight failure that is epic in proportions! If I were a city editor for any Philadelphia newspaper the grand jury report would suggest a dozen major investigative projects I could undertake if I had the staff to support them. And I probably wouldn't have the staff. But there is so much fodder for additional reporting...   the rest

WPost reporter explains her personal Gosnell blackout
...Kliff is hearing from her readers now — mostly I know about this since literally hundreds of them are copying me on their responses. To put it quite mildly, they find her justification attempt stunning, disingenuous, callous, laughable and far, far worse...

Photo of the Day: Media Row at the Gosnell trial
"Perhaps it would be enough if they included enough humans who valued babies a little more than dogs."

GosnellGate: It’s the A-Word
...The trial of Dr. Gosnell is a potential time bomb exploding in the conventional liberal narrative on abortion itself. This is about the A-word.

No feeling human being can read this story or watch it on TV without being confronted with the obvious conclusion — like it or not — that abortion is murder.

It may be murder with extenuating circumstances (rape, survival of the mother, etc.) but it is murder nonetheless. Dr. Gosnell — monster though he is — has accidentally shoved that uncomfortable truth in our faces.

Rep. Chris Smith Speech on Gosnell

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A.S. Haley: The Litigation Lottery in California: Same Facts, Different Outcomes

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Litigation Lottery for the parishes of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin continues in the courts of California. I mentioned in an earlier post that as a result of a poorly reasoned decision by a trial court judge in Bakersfield, which granted summary judgment to Bishop Talton's rump diocese, two parishes in Kern County had decided to move out of their church buildings rather than carry the fight on to the appellate level -- even though the decision was so obviously wrong.

Now comes another trial court decision -- based on exactly the same underlying facts -- which denies summary judgment to Bishop Talton and his diocese. The Superior Court of Tulare County ruled on Tuesday of this week that there were disputed issues of fact remaining with regard to the ability of St. John's in Porterville to disaffiliate from ECUSA.

The reason that the three cases all involved the same facts is that all three parishes -- St. John's, Porterville; St. Paul's, Bakersfield; and St. Michael's, Ridgecrest -- belonged to Bishop Schofield's Diocese of San Joaquin, and left ECUSA after that Diocese amended its Constitution in December 2007 to become the first diocese to disaffiliate in modern times. All three operated under the same Constitution and Canons, and all three took exactly the same steps after the Diocese's vote: during the period of discernment extended to them by Bishop Schofield, they held vestry and parish meetings, discussed the matter, and took votes which ratified the Diocese's decision. Then they amended their articles to reflect their continued affiliation with the (now) Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin... the rest

Scrolling around...April 11, 2013

This bilious hatred and lack of respect for the dead is a disturbing new low in British life
...But even as I listened to these mostly measured speeches I could not get out of my mind the foul and disgusting things that have been said or written about her over recent days by comedians, politicians, pop stars, a few journalists (I regret to say) and ordinary people.

Never in modern times, and probably not in the entire history of these islands, has the demise of a public figure been greeted with such euphoria and wild expressions of hate. The death of Margaret Thatcher has revealed something very unpleasant, and rather unexpected, about our country...

In Pictures: Savage Islamic Attack on St. Mark Cathedral Allowed by Egyptian Forces
...To recap: After last Sunday’s St. Mark Cathedral funeral service for Egypt’s most recent Christian victims of jihad — including one man set aflame — gangs of Muslims attacked the Christian mourners, resulting in the deaths of two more Copts, including one shot through the heart. Hundreds of Christians retreated back into the cathedral — both to get out of harm’s way, and to protect their holiest site. They were trapped there all night, enduring projectile and firebomb attacks. State Security also opened fire on the cathedral, including through tear-gas.

Several Egyptian media outlets and newspapers, especially the popular Youm7, have published a variety of pictures showing mobs, if not terrorists, attacking the cathedral in front of absolutely indifferent, possibly approving, security forces. Some of these pictures...
$2.4 million worth of U.S. tear gas arrives in Egypt, Christians attacked

President Morsi must stop violence against Copts
...The Egyptian daily Al Masry al Youm filmed a video showing members of the riot police not taking any action against men throwing stones towards the cathedral. In some footage, the men are seen apparently telling the police to shoot tear gas at the cathedral walls, with the police appearing to comply...

IRS: We can read emails without warrant
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has claimed that agents do not need warrants to read people's emails, text messages and other private electronic communications, according to internal agency documents...

A further thought on the collective 'ownership' of children
By now, everyone has had an opportunity to be duly horrified by Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC video, in which she called for a "collective notion" of children, which can only be achieved if we "break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities."...
Yours, Mine, And Ours

Elderly Christian florist faces thousands in fines for refusing to provide flowers for gay ‘wedding’
...Her attorney has responded that Stutzman does not hate homosexuals. "This is about gay marriage, it’s not about a person being gay,” J.D. Bristol said. “She has a conscientious objection to homosexual marriage, not homosexuality."

The combination of legalizing same-sex “marriage” and odious “anti-discrimination” laws have faithful Christians saying their freedom of religion is being violated. And the court cases are piling up...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Marriage is of God, not the state Church of England declares

Faith and Order Commission rules out gay blessings as a form of pastoral care
April 9, 2013
By George Conger

The Church of England has reaffirmed its rejection of gay marriage stating the public blessing of marriage can only take place within the context of a lifelong, monogamous, male-female relationship. Marriage is a gift from God, not a right granted by the state nor cultural construct said a paper released today by the church’s Faith and Order Commission entitled “Men and Women in Marriage”.

“In calling it a gift of God, we mean that it is not simply a cultural development (though it has undergone much cultural development) nor simply a political or economic institution (though often embedded in political and economic arrangements). It is an expression of the human nature which God has willed for us and which we share. And although marriage may fall short of God’s purposes in many ways and be the scene of many human weaknesses, it receives the blessing of God and is included in his judgment that creation is ‘very good’ (Genesis 1.31). In calling it a gift of God in creation, we view marriage within its wider life-context: as an aspect of human society and as a structure of life that helps us shape our journey from birth to death.”

The report recognizes the existence of same-sex relationships as "forms of human relationships which fall short of marriage in the form God has given us."

Marriage on the other hand is the "faithful, committed, permanent and legally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman, central to the stability and health of human society," the report stated... the rest

Church of England gives blessing to recognising civil partnerships

Church of England rejects blessings for same-sex couples
Report stresses immutable definition of marriage as 'legally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman'

MCJ: Meltdown  Stand Firm: Faith and Order Commission Report on Marriage

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Lord Jesus, stay with us...

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.   -Book of Common Prayer image

Scrolling around...April 9, 2013

Gosnell abortion-clinic worker: One of the babies “sounded like a little alien”
...A Delaware woman who worked for Kermit Gosnell testified Tuesday that she was called back to a room at his abortion clinic in Philadelphia where the bodies of aborted babies were kept on a shelf to hear one screaming amid the bodies of aborted babies kept on a shelf…

“I can’t describe it. It sounded like a little alien,” West said, telling the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge and jury that the body of the child was about 18 to 24 inches long and was one of the largest babies she had seen delivered during abortion procedures at the Women’s Medical Society clinic…

Albert Mohler: “The Lady’s Not for Turning”—Margaret Thatcher and the Leadership of Conviction
...Baroness Thatcher once described her understanding of how the Christian faith should influence political philosophy and public policy. Speaking to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May of 1988, Mrs. Thatcher argued that Christians “must not profess the Christian faith and go to church simply because we want social reforms and benefits for a better standard of behaviour; but because we accept the sanctity of life, the responsibility that comes with freedom and the supreme sacrifice of Christ.”

In explaining how the Christian faith should impact politics, she suggested that the Bible does not tell us “exactly what kind of political and social institutions we should have.” As she explained, “On this point, Christians will very often genuinely disagree; though it is a mark of Christian manners that they will do so with courtesy and mutual respect. What is certain, however, is that any set of social and economic arrangements which is not founded on the acceptance of individual responsibility will do nothing but harm.”...

The Rise of Evangélicos
...Latino evangelicals are one of the fastest growing segments of America’s churchgoing millions. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, more than two-thirds of the 52-million-plus Latinos in the US are Catholic; by 2030, that percentage could be closer to half, and many are joining evangelical Protestant ranks. It is difficult to track the numbers of the groundswell of these new Protestants. They often meet in storefronts or living rooms, and language barriers complicate the census process...

Jesus Never Said I Couldn’t Paint the Baby
...Once having shed their own principles like snakeskin, the newly enlightened discovered that all other principles are illegitimate—not only illegitimate but anti-God, for we are told by Jimmy Carter, Stephen Colbert, Bill O’Reilly and others that if you look in the Bible, “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality or gay marriage.”

Of course, in chapter 10 of Mark’s Gospel Jesus states definitively that divorce cannot exist; these are his actual words, and they don’t matter a whit to our society, yet we must now glean our wisdom from the words Jesus did not say. The argument puts one in mind of a skit from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, in which comedienne Totie Fields, dressed as an enormous toddler, sang,
Nobody told me that I couldn’t paint the baby
I was just told not to paint the walls and floors
but nobody told me that I couldn’t paint the baby
so I did.
For the five or six thousand years preceding the last fifty, no one needed an explicit pronouncement that marriage was an office involving opposite sexes because it seemed obvious...

The Economic Ignorance of Barack Obama ...What the President seems determined to impose on the American people is a grand economic bargain that marches us down the road to economic stagnation or worse...

Annette Funicello: 1942 – 2013

Annette Funicello, 70, Dies
Annette Funicello, who won America’s heart as a 12-year-old in Mickey Mouse ears, captivated adolescent baby boomers in slightly spicy beach movies and later championed people with multiple sclerosis, a disease she had for more than 25 years, died on Monday in Bakersfield, Calif. She was 70...

'Mickey Mouse Club' original Annette Funicello dies

Margaret Thatcher: 1925 – 2013

File:Margaret Thatcher.png
April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher, who died of a stroke on Monday at age 87, transformed Britain more thoroughly than any other prime minister of the past half-century. She was a pathbreaker from the moment she took office in 1979 as Britain’s first, and so far only, female prime minister. And she was the rare conservative leader to come not from the upper echelons of Britain’s class-obsessed society, but from a modest apartment above her father’s grocery.

But much more than that distinguished the 11 years of Mrs. Thatcher’s government, which followed years of tepid leadership, economic stagnation and high inflation. She tamed the power of Britain’s once powerful labor movement by shutting down inefficient coal mines and privatizing state-owned industries. She encouraged an entrepreneurial culture that had grown timid and somnolent. With her powerful, plain-spoken approach to issues large (like Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait) and relatively small (the brief war over the Falkland Islands), she reawakened Britain’s taste for military engagement. the rest image

Margaret Thatcher, the politician and Christian
Baroness Margaret Thatcher, who died on Monday aged 87, was a leader of conviction and much of that conviction was rooted in her Christian faith....

The Amazing Margaret Thatcher
Along with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher was a giant of our era and, indeed, of history. These three leaders brought about the fall of Soviet communism and the resurgence of political and economic liberty around the world...

Movie: "The Iron Lady" -call it the Gospel According to Anna Quindlen
...A two-hour film obviously can’t include everything. But this movie’s choices all tend toward a consistent end. They drain the content out of Thatcher’s public role, making it little more than a vehicle for her ambition, while embellishing her private life to portray her husband and daughter as justifiably resentful and her old age as haunted by regret. (Her son, Mark, stays out of this picture.) You would never know that Carol describes her parents’ marriage as “truly a meeting of minds” or that she depicts her mother with great affection as a “superwoman” who crafted elaborate cakes for her children’s birthdays, faithfully attended school parents’ nights and took her kids to enjoy the pageantry of the opening of Parliament...

Monday, April 08, 2013

Live in the presence of God...

Live in the presence of God and you too will have the eyes of Abraham. Eyes that are always alert to the unexpected. Eyes that see God's actions in petty annoyances and even in tragedies. Eyes that trust. And eyes that continue seeking whenever they are tempted to turn inwards. ...Glen Argan image

Scrolling around...April 8, 2013

Cohabitation’s Transaction Costs
...Transaction costs, in an economic context, are the costs of making an exchange not directly associated with the price itself. If I, for example, have decided to buy a car from a friend who lives three hours away, one of those transaction costs is the drive to and from his house. The price my friend is asking for his car is not included in this type of cost, but the gas it takes to get there and back is. In the context of the breakup of a cohabiting couple, transaction costs are numerous and weighty. Disentangling finances and possessions, finding other residences, and moving out are no small costs...

Saddleback mourns after suicide of Rick Warren's son
...A coroner report said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Mission Viejo after a long battle with mental illness...

Inside the Alpha Course - British Christianity's biggest success story
A small cloud hangs over the drab Victorian church of Holy Trinity Brompton, in west London. It's tempting to see it as the wisp of suspicion that, rightly or wrongly, lingers over Britain's most powerful evangelical church. This is the birthplace of Alpha, the "informal, friendly and fun" course now practised in 169 countries, which numbers the new Archbishop of Canterbury among its recruits...

Catholic Gonzaga University won’t allow Catholic students to form Catholic group
“The Knights of Columbus, by their very nature, is a men’s organization in which only Catholics may participate via membership,” reads a letter written by Sue Weitz, vice president for student life. “These criteria are inconsistent with the policy and practice of student organization recognition at Gonzaga University.”

US Army Labeled Evangelicals, Catholics as Examples of Religious Extremism
“It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization.”

Margaret Thatcher Dies After Stroke
Her children Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother had died peacefully following a stroke this morning.

Speaking to Sky News, spokesman and friend Lord Bell, who announced her death, said: "We’ll never see the like of her again. She was one of the great prime ministers of all time and transformed people's lives."

He described the former prime minister, a grocer's daughter from Grantham, as the greatest leader of the Conservative Party with the exception of Winston Churchill...

Reverend Leon and Obama Wrong on Easter
...The more important issue focuses on why Reverend Leon delivered this sermon in the first place. As a Jew, I am not an expert on Christian customs. But it would seem to me there are two days where religious leaders might keep their opinions on public policy to themselves – that would be Christmas and Easter. One would think they could stick to the subject at hand because it would seem those days are like the Super Bowl of Christianity. But Mr. Leon could not help himself and had to divert from the discussion of the Resurrection to assert himself into the national debate...