Saturday, April 20, 2013

A.S. Haley: Problems with the Virginia Supreme Court’s Decision

Friday, April 19, 2013

For a judge, there is nothing so safe as subscribing to precedent, particularly if you do not have to re-examine it. You simply pronounce that you are following precedent, and add an entire string of case citations to "prove" you know what you are doing.

So it is with Justice Cleo E. Powell of the Virginia Supreme Court, the author of the decision in The Falls Church v. Protestant Episcopal Church (USA), which awards all of the real and personal property of what was once the largest parish in the Diocese of Virginia to that entity. (The Diocese is unable to put the property to the full use of which it is capable -- the remnant parish cannot even fill the main chapel -- and so the multi-million-dollar property comes to it as a wholly unearned windfall. No doubt the Diocese will eventually sell the property --to any entity except the congregation from whom it seized it -- in order to recoup some of the costs incurred in fighting for it.)

In one of her first major opinions since joining the Court in 2011, Justice Powell takes refuge in a coppice of previously planted judicial underbrush to justify her quixotic result. That underbrush can conceal a multitude of judicial sins, consisting chiefly of abdications of judicial responsibility. It serves at best as a trap for the unwary, into which the tyro all too easily falls. But at its worst, as we see Justice Powell deploy her precedents in the Court's opinion, it simply grows and expands, without order or restraint... the rest

Friday, April 19, 2013

Do not fret because of evildoers...

Psalm 37
 
Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.

For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the Lord,
They shall inherit the earth.
For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
The wicked have drawn the sword
And have bent their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy,
To slay those who are of upright conduct.
Their sword shall enter their own heart,
And their bows shall be broken.

A little that a righteous man has
Is better than the riches of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
But the Lord upholds the righteous.

The Lord knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
But the wicked shall perish;
And the enemies of the Lord,
Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.
Into smoke they shall vanish away.

 
 The wicked borrows and does not repay,
But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth,
But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.

I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.

Depart from evil, and do good;
And dwell forevermore.
For the Lord loves justice,
And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land,
And dwell in it forever.

The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
And his tongue talks of justice.
The law of his God is in his heart;
None of his steps shall slide.

The wicked watches the righteous,
And seeks to slay him.
The Lord will not leave him in his hand,
Nor condemn him when he is judged.

Wait on the Lord,
And keep His way,
And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.
Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.

Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;
For the future of that man is peace.
But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;
The future of the wicked shall be cut off.

But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
And the Lord shall help them and deliver them;
He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them,
Because they trust in Him. image

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A really humble soul accepts its faults with patience...

Above all, beware of letting go the spirit of peace because of your faults. Humble yourself before God because of them, repent, make such reparation for them as you are able, and then do not dwell upon them any more. It is often mere pride which frets at finding itself beset by the same often renewed faults, and at its lack of spiritual progress. Do not deceive yourself into the belief that such disquiet is humility. A really humble soul accepts its faults with patience, and goes afresh on in confidence and hope. ...Jean Nicolas Grou image

FBI releases photos/video of bombing suspects



FBI

FBI

VA Supreme Court hands down split decision in Falls Church case

April 18, 2013
By George Conger

From the court's website:

120919 The Falls Church v. Protestant Episcopal Church 04/18/2013 In a protracted and complex dispute between the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia and the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (together, the plaintiffs) and seven local congregations which disaffiliated from the plaintiffs, raising issues about whether the trial court properly applied neutral principles of law in deciding the ownership of church property, whether that application was constitutional, and whether the trial court granted the proper relief, the plaintiffs have shown that they have a proprietary interest in the property at issue, and that the fiduciary relationship required to impose a constructive trust exists under the facts presented. Thus, equity dictates that a constructive denominational trust be imposed on such property for the benefit of the plaintiffs. The judgment of the trial court with regard to the disposition of personal property acquired by the congregations after the vote to disaffiliate is reversed and that matter is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. The judgment of the trial court regarding Code § 57-7.1 is reversed. The remainder of the trial court’s judgment is affirmed.

Here at Anglican Ink

The Falls Church statement on VA Supreme Court decision
April 18, 2013
By John Yates

Dear Friends,

We have received word from the Virginia Supreme Court that it has ruled in our appeal.  The Court’s decision reverses the trial court’s ruling as to a part of our church’s funds, and sends the case back to the trial court for further proceedings regarding that point. But the Court has affirmed the trial court’s decision as to our church’s real property and much of the personal property, meaning that our lands, building, and much of our money have not been returned to us.  The Court’s decision is now posted on its web site at  http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opnscvwp/1120919.pdf

Please join me in praising and thanking God for his faithfulness to us despite this result.  Although this is not the outcome we had hoped for, our faith and our future do not depend on court decisions.  The Lord works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28), and we had purposed to praise Him regardless of the outcome.  It is difficult to face the prospect of losing things that are precious to us, but ultimately we do not place our hope in land, buildings, or money.  We have followed the course that we prayerfully believed was right.  We have consistently sought to resolve this dispute outside the courts.  We are grateful that we live in a country in which recourse to the courts was open to us.  And it is a privilege to count this cost to be obedient to Christ.

There is no doubt in my mind that we as a church are much stronger as a result of the trials that we have undergone.  Our witness remains strong.  God has enabled us to continue to plant new churches and establish new ministries.  And we have been blessed by the friendship, support, and assistance that so many other churches continue to provide to us.  It is the body of Christ in action.  And together we are determined to move forward in faith, to continue to provide a beacon of Christ’s love to Northern Virginia, and to serve our brothers and sisters in our community and beyond.

We will be in touch after we have had a chance to review the Court’s written opinion more carefully, and our vestry plans to meet tomorrow to prayerfully consider our next steps.  We will keep you informed of further developments.

In the meantime, let’s continue to pray boldly that God would expand our vision and do beyond all that we can ask or imagine in our life as a church.  Nothing is impossible with Him.  To Him alone be all the honor, praise, and glory.

In the family,
John Yates

An Overview of the Complex Situation in South Carolina

A.S. Haley
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lawsuits in San Joaquin and Quincy have prevented me from doing an update on the situation in South Carolina, and one is sorely needed. The litigation there has greatly intensified since I last wrote. Let's recap, with links for those who want to view some of the actual pleadings, which are (sometimes sizable) pdf downloads. Here

First Things: Another Episcopal Church Property Dispute
This time it’s in South Carolina. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required)  on litigation between two rival factions in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. One faction, representing the leadership and about two-thirds of the membership, broke away from the national Episcopal Church in November over the national body’s liberal approach to sexuality and other issues. The minority faction has remained loyal to the national body. Both factions assert ownership of the diocese’s property, including St. Michael’s Church in Charleston (left). In total, the diocese’s church buildings, grounds, and cemeteries are worth around $500 million...

Sermon delivered by the Bishop of London at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher

April 17, 2013
By Richard Chartres

Excerpt:
She applied herself to her work with formidable energy and passion and continued to reflect on how faith and politics related to one another.

In the Lawrence Jewry lecture she said that:

"Christianity offers no easy solutions to political and economic issues. It teaches us that we cannot achieve a compassionate society simply by passing new laws and appointing more staff to administer them."

She was very aware that there are prior dispositions which are needed to make market economics and democratic institutions function well: the habits of truth-telling, mutual sympathy, and the capacity to cooperate. These dispositions are incubated and given power by our relationships. In her words, "the basic ties of the family are at the heart of our society and are the nursery of civic virtue". Such moral and spiritual capital is accumulated over many generations but can be easily eroded.

Life is a struggle to make the right choices and to achieve liberation from dependence, whether material or psychological. This genuine independence is the essential pre-condition for living in an other-centred way, beyond ourselves. The word Margaret Thatcher used at St Lawrence Jewry was "interdependence".

She referred to the Christian doctrine "that we are all members one of another, expressed in the concept of the Church on earth as the Body of Christ. From this we learn our interdependence and, as she said, the great truth that we do not achieve happiness or salvation in isolation from each other but as members of Society." the rest 

Music, Hymns, Poetry and Scripture – the solemn majesty of Lady Thatcher’s funeral
...The Address by the Bishop of London was a perfectly judged and quite moving account of the interplay between her faith and politics. He took us from Methodism to her understanding of interdependent civic virtue. And he set to rest once and for all the warped misinformation surrounding her understanding of society. The Bishop clearly grasped and understood her philosophy, which was not the rabid individualism of the Socialist caricature: “We cannot achieve a compassionate society simply by passing new laws and appointing more staff to administer them,” he explained succinctly, with a nod to sound money and civil service cuts. This was a bishop who knew and admired her – the sort of Anglican cleric the media tend to ignore when they seek to denigrate the Established Church or confect a church-state row. And he reminded us that death is the great leveller: all that lives must die...

Anger over President Obama’s Margaret Thatcher funeral ‘snub’
“What makes Washington’s little acts of thoughtlessness so telling is that they attract more attention than doing the right thing would.”

Scrolling around...April 18, 2013

Wealthy Pay $25,000 for Shots With Cells From Aborted Babies
It’s one of the oldest stories known to man – the wealthy who will pay anything, or do anything, to prolong youth. Nine defendants face criminal charges before a Hungarian Court for collaborating in a venture to provide “treatments” promising to help them regain lost vigor, mental acuity, even youthful appearance. The grisly enterprise came to an abrupt end with a raid by a Hungarian government agency in July 2007.

According to the charges on file, the defendants’ wealthy customers paid five million Hungarian forints, about $25,000 US, for a single shot of an as-yet-undetermined concoction of tissue and stem cells taken from aborted children...

Powerful Explosion Rocks West Fertilizer Plant
...At about midnight Thursday, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Trooper D.L. Wilson confirmed that the devastating explosion had claimed an untold number of lives from among the tight-knit community of 2,800, but he declined to specuate how many people had been killed. Throughout the morning, officials are still quick to point out that an official number of fatalities are not available, but that between 5 and 15 people are believed to have died based on current information.

Sgt. William Patrick Swanton, with the Waco Police Department, said as many as five volunteer firefighters are missing after the blast and that as many as six volunteer firefighters were believed to be at the plant when the explosion occurred.

Swanton said that before the explosion firefighters quickly realized the volatility of the situation and began to evacuate nearby homes and businesses....
Fertilizer plant explodes near Waco, Texas Pictures

Police hunt two persons of interest in Boston Marathon bombing, authorities say
A federal law enforcement source tells Fox News on Wednesday that investigators are looking for two men that are persons of interest in Monday's Boston Marathon terror attack and have distributed photos for "law enforcement eyes only."...

Delaware Launches Investigation of Planned Parenthood
Delaware state officials have launched an investigation of two Planned Parenthood locations after reports of unsanitary and unsafe conditions. “Planned Parenthood should no longer be self-regulated,” says a former employee who describes herself as radically pro-abortion...

Top Democrat: Obamacare 'Huge Train Wreck Coming Down'
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) warned he sees “a huge train wreck coming down” with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, known to its critics as Obamacare...

...“I'm very concerned that not enough is being done so far--very concerned," said Baucus. "Small businesses have no idea what to do, what to expect.”

Baucus appeared frustrated with Sebelius’s unresponsiveness in supplying the senator with information designed to educate and assist citizens with understanding the massively complex healthcare overhaul...

Senators reject expanding background checks in devastating blow to Obama
The Senate delivered a devastating blow to President Obama’s agenda Wednesday by defeating a bipartisan proposal that would have expanded background checks on gun sales.

It failed by a vote of 54-46, short of the necessary 60. A handful of Democrats voted against it and only four Republicans supported the measure backed by the White House.

The vote effectively halted gun control in the upper chamber...
Obama angrily denounces gun-rights groups as willful liars

D.C. can’t account for $1 billion for development
Despite a booming commercial real estate industry that is the envy of almost every U.S. city, the District of Columbia is unable to account for more than $1 billion of public/private funding in fiscal 2012 intended for local, small- and minority-owned businesses, according to a city report...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fred Rogers talks about Tragic Events in the News


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Scrolling around...April 16, 2013

Boston bombing:
Two bombs packed with ball bearings tore through crowds near the finish of the Boston Marathon killing three people and triggering a massive hunt for those behind an attack the White House said would be treated as "an act of terror"....

Boston Marathon blasts put world's cities on alert
The White House, New York's Times Square, and the preparations for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral in London all had enhanced and intensified law enforcement presence after Monday's two blasts in Boston...

Prompt and effective reaction by so many, amateurs as well as trained professionals, undoubtedly prevented the death toll from being much worse...

Boston Marathon bombing: Feds raid apartment, police seek rental van
Federal authorities late Monday removed several bags from an apartment in a nearby suburb. Police investigating the Boston Marathon bombing have also issued an alert for a rental van and for a hooded man who left the area before the blasts.

**********************************

Breaking media silence ...Media bias exists not only in how they cover stories, but in their choice of stories to cover...

Iran struck by magnitude 7.8 earthquake
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake has struck south-east Iran, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reports.

The epicentre of the huge quake was 86km (53 miles) from the city of Khash in Sistan Baluchistan province, near the border with Pakistan.

Tall buildings swayed in the Indian capital Delhi, while tremors were felt across the Gulf and wider Middle East...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon headquarters locked down after blasts heard

Mon Apr 15, 2013
 3:02 pm EDT

The hotel that serves as the headquarters for the Boston Marathon was locked down on Monday after a security incident near the finish line. Two blasts were heard by reporters in the media center.

A Boston Marathon spokesman told reporters that no one would be allowed in or out of the building. Story

Explosions reported near Boston Marathon finish line

2 Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line
..."There are a lot of people down," said one man, whose bib No. 17528 identified him as Frank Deruyter of North Carolina. He was not injured, but marathon workers were carrying one woman, who did not appear to be a runner, to the medical area as blood gushed from her leg. A Boston police officer was wheeled from the course with a leg injury that was bleeding...

Boston Marathon Explosions live streaming

WSJ: Church Fight Heads to Court

South Carolina Episcopalian Factions Each File Suit After Split Over Social Issues
By VALERIE BAUERLEIN
April 14, 2013

Episcopalians along the South Carolina coast are battling in court to determine which of two factions owns an estimated $500 million in church buildings, grounds and cemeteries, following an acrimonious split last year over social issues.

The leadership and about two-thirds of the members of the Diocese of South Carolina, based in Charleston, broke away from the national Episcopal Church last November over its blessing of same-sex unions, ordination of gay clergy and its liberal approach to other social and theological issues. The breakaway faction then filed a state lawsuit to assert ownership of 35 parishes, including many of the church's wealthiest in the state. The group says it shouldn't have to turn property over to a church that it believes has drifted from Biblical principles.

"The essential issue here is freedom of religion," said the Rev. James B. Lewis, a top assistant to the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, the breakaway group's bishop. "We have the freedom to remove ourselves."... the rest

Scrolling around...April 15, 2013

History of the Muslim Brotherhood Penetration of the U.S. Government
Given the long history of Muslim Brotherhood activity in this country, its declared objective to "destroy the Western civilization from within," and the extensive evidence of successful influence operations at the highest levels of the U.S. government, it is urgent that we recognize this clear and present danger that threatens not only our Republic but the values of Western civilization...

Abortionist Slit Necks of Born Babies in Front of Teenager; Told Assistant: 'That's What You Call a Chicken With Its Head Cut Off'
... "She said this happened probably dozens of times, maybe more. She described at least 10 babies as big enough to buy clothes for, to dress, and to take care of."...

The Gosnell Trial and Destroying the Image of God
...From a spiritual standpoint, abortion (and every act of murder) is all about exterminating the image of God. Satan hates God, and by extension all those who are made in His image, and is tireless is his pursuit of killing that image...

The Gospel and Dr. Gosnell: What Church Must Learn from Media Silence on Abortion Horrors
...It’s our job to speak
We must stand against that power with our voices. We need to learn something we should’ve learned a long time ago. When it comes to matters of morality, we cannot count on the media to be the watchdog. It’s the Church’s job to call the nation to righteousness. It is our job because our God commissions his people to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Prov. 31:8), for he “has pity on the weak and the needy” and “From oppression and violence he redeems their life” (Ps 72:13-14). Who has less voice than these little ones on whose tiny tongues lingers the aftertaste of amniotic fluid? Who will speak up for them? At the end of the day, the media will focus on stories that advance their agenda. Stories that do not, no matter how newsworthy, will receive little or no attention. God will hold us accountable for whether we’ve used our voices to speak up for righteousness by taking up the case not only of the preborn but now also the newly born.
It’s a Gospel issue...

It’s Not About Abortion—Except It Is

Obama on Infanticide . . . Five Years Too Late
With Barack Obama safely elected and re-elected as President of the United States, the Washington Post Fact Checker has finally gotten around to a serious examination of the question whether Obama opposed (as an Illinois state senator) legislation to deny legal protection to infants born alive after a failed attempt to kill them by abortion (or delivered with the intention of killing them in so-called “live-birth abortions”). Better late than never, I suppose—though in this case merely marginally so. The American people deserved to know the truth before making a decision about Barack Obama’s fitness to serve as President.

The media blackout of the question was not unlike what we have witnessed in recent days with the Gosnell infanticide trial. Yuval Levin and I did our best to get the facts out in our article “Obama and Infanticide,” posted at Public Discourse in October of 2008. We produced evidence to show that Obama’s claim to have opposed the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act on the ground that it lacked “neutrality” language on the abortion question was false. He had in fact voted against the legislation despite the inclusion of “neutrality” language that had been insisted on by supporters of abortion who nevertheless were prepared to vote for legal protection for infants who were born alive....

The Decline of Obama: How to lose friends and influence
...Obama’s tardiness touches on another aspect of presidential decline: the loss of influence. By long tradition, any release of the budget produced by the White House was a major event. True, the impact of the president’s budget has waned in recent years. Obama has made it an afterthought.
 
On Capitol Hill today, Obama has scarcely any clout at all. One reason: He acts as if spending time with members of Congress, even Democrats, is an unpleasant chore. Another reason: Having deferred to Democrats in his first term, he finds it difficult to pull rank on them in his second. And having ignored or alienated Republicans, he isn’t likely to achieve much by courting them over dinner in recent weeks.
 
Immigration and gun control are the dominant issues in Congress at the moment, and Obama is a major player on neither of them. The “gang of eight”—four Democrats, four Republicans—is the driving force on immigration in the Senate. Obama is no force at all...

Cuomo Dismisses Gun Owners as “Extreme Fringe Conservatives”
...Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls those and other provisions in the state’s new gun law common sense while dismissing criticisms he says come from “extreme fringe conservatives” who claim the government has no right to regulate guns...

Albany NY: School apologizes for 'Nazi' writing assignment
Students in some Albany High School English classes were asked this week as part of a persuasive writing assignment to make an abhorrent argument: "You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!"

Students were asked to watch and read Nazi propaganda, then pretend their teacher was a Nazi government official who needed to be convinced of their loyalty. In five paragraphs, they were required to prove that Jews were the source of Germany's problems.

UK: Christian airport worker to appeal firing from job for being "anti-Islamic"
...She said: 'At first, because I am from Lebanon, they assumed I was Muslim but when they found out I wasn't they started bullying me.'...

New Agriculture Rules Generate Anger, Confusion
...The Food and Drug Administration has proposed new agricultural standards that will require growers of dozens of varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, including citrus, to take costly steps to prevent raw produce from being contaminated with harmful bacteria...

ANGLICAN BISHOPS VISIT CHARLESTON


Charleston, SC
April 11, 2013

Amidst allegations that Anglicans worldwide do not recognize the Diocese of South Carolina and its bishop, Anglican Bishops from East Africa strongly announced their support for the diocese's dissociation from The Episcopal Church Tuesday during comments at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston.

The Bishops from Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania proclaimed unqualified endorsement of Bishop Mark Lawrence and the diocese. Their comments seemed to dispute the claims of Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, the newly elected bishop of the recently formed diocese - The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. In January, vonRosenberg announced that the Anglican Communion has not acknowledged Lawrence's diocese, even though it represents the vast majority of local Anglicans. However the four bishops, all members of the Anglican Communion in good standing, specifically recognized the diocese during the gathering.
The four were guests of the diocese following their participation in the New Wineskins Conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, the largest Anglican missions conference in the world.

"We came to encourage Bishop Mark Lawrence to stand firm in the faith," said the Rt. Rev. Abraham Yel Nhial, Bishop of the Diocese of Aweil in the Episcopal Church of Sudan. Bishop Nhial was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan whose story aired recently on 60 minutes.

"The people of South Sudan have suffered for 50 years. We've died because of our belief in Christ, our identity as Christians. I want to assure my brother Mark that suffering is part of our belief in Christ. We came here tonight not only to discuss what we're doing in Christ, but also to encourage you to stand up and stand firm in your own faith."... the rest