Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens...

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
-Isaiah 40:26

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
-Psalm 8:3-4

The Big Dipper over the Darling Hill Observatory 
on a clear Saturday night 9/14/13
Picture by Raymond Dague

Nigeria: Anglican Archbishop Kattey Freed

posted September 14, 2013
by George Conger

The Church of Nigeria's number two man, the Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey has been freed, sources in Nigeria tell Anglican Ink.

The archbishop is understood to have been unharmed, but no details as to the events surrounding his release have been confirmed by the Church of Nigeria.

On 6 September 2013, Archbishop Kattey and his wife were abducted as they drove from their home in Eleme to Port Harcourt. Beatrice Kattey was released unharmed, but the kidnappers fled into the bush with the archbishop.

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria told the Church of Nigeria's standing committee he would no rest until the archbishop was freed. On 13 September 2013 the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described the kidnapping as 'deeply shocking', and called on the church to pray for Archbishop Kattey, along with the people and leaders of Nigeria. the rest

Kidnapped Anglican Archbishop Regains Freedom

Friday, September 13, 2013

We don't know where the wind comes from or where it goes...

We don't know where the wind comes from or where it goes. But we can and do feel it. And it can wreck old patterns of living. A storm of wind is the same thing as a meeting with the Holy Spirit of God. You don't sit down and negotiate with either: you get blown about or blown up, and in that way you make progress and change. So will the explosion come in Church affairs. The Lord will get fed up with his children's foolishness and will bring about change. It will amount to a spiritual explosion. Paul experienced one. ...Cyril Brooks image

How to Make School Better for Boys

Start by acknowledging that boys are languishing while girls are succeeding.
Christina Hoff Sommers
September 13 2013

I recently appeared on MSNBC’s The Cycle to discuss the new edition of my book The War Against Boys. The four hosts were having none of it. A war on boys? They countered with the wage gap and the prominence of men across the professions. One of them concluded, “I don’t think the patriarchy is under any threat.”

The MSNBC skeptics are hardly alone in dismissing the plight of boys and young men. Even those who acknowledge that boys are losing in school argue that they’re winning in life. But the facts are otherwise. American boys across the ability spectrum are struggling in the nation’s schools, with teachers and administrators failing to engage their specific interests and needs. This neglect has ominous implications not only for the boy's social and intellectual development but for the national economy, as policy analysts are just beginning to calculate.

As the United States moves toward a knowledge-based economy, school achievement has become the cornerstone of lifelong success. Women are adapting; men are not. Yet the education establishment and federal government are, with some notable exceptions, looking the other way... the rest image

Anglican Unscripted Episode 81


September 13, 2013
Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe.

STORY INDEX
Archbishop Kidnapping
00:00
Nine More Years 04:15
Carolina's 6 Bishops 11:37
How not to do anything 17:26
Peter Ould growing the COE 23:54
Closing 24:18

Scrolling around...September 13, 2013

Catholic priest doused with acid in latest attack in Zanzibar
The elderly priest, Amselmo Mwangamba, was burned by the acid on his face, chest and arms, as he walked on the streets of Stone Town, the historical centre of the capital.

"He had just left the Internet cafe, but a few minutes later he came back screaming and begging for help," said Rukia Abbasi, who was working at the cafe. "We gave him water and rushed him to hospital."

Doctors said on Friday they were treating the cleric for the burns...

Boko Haram's Anti-Christian Violence Continues in Northern Nigeria
"There is no war in the north," Rev. Musa Asake, the General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told Morning Star News. "What we have is genocide against people of the Christian faith." Anti-Christian violence across Nigeria's northern and Middle Belt regions has continued to rise in both intensity and frequency in recent months, leading both Christians and foreign governments to condemn the constant violence and the Nigerian government's lack of decisive action to protect its citizens...

Nigeria: Jonathan Condemns Kidnap of Anglican Archbishop
President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday said the federal government is winning the war against insurgency and other security challenges in some parts of the country as he also condemned the kidnapp of the Dean, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion and Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province...

Central African Republic: More than 3,500 houses burned down in the Diocese of Bouar
The Islamist rebels who ousted the president of the Central African Republic last spring are becoming “ever more aggressive” in their persecution of Christians, according to an Italian Carmelite missionary based in the country. In the past few days alone, up to 3,500 Christian homes were destroyed in the town of Bohong, which is part of the Diocese of Bouar in the country’s north, reported Father Aurelia Gazzera.

“Apocalyptic scenes have been played out,” he said, adding that many people have been killed, with their bodies still lying in the streets. Gazzera described the country’s deepening crisis in a telephone call with Aid to the Church in Need, an international Catholic agency helping persecuted Christians around the world...

Fukushima's radioactive ocean plume due to reach US waters in 2014
A radioactive plume of water in the Pacific Ocean from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, which was crippled in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, will likely reach U.S. coastal waters starting in 2014, according to a new study. The long journey of the radioactive particles could help researchers better understand how the ocean’s currents circulate around the world.
Ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 could begin flowing into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016. Luckily, two ocean currents off the eastern coast of Japan — the Kuroshio Current and the Kuroshio Extension — has diluted the radioactive material so much that its concentration fell well below the World Health Organization’s safety levels within four months of the Fukushima incident. But it could have been a different story if nuclear disaster struck on the other side of Japan...

CFPB's data-mining on consumer credit cards challenged in heated House hearing
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officials are seeking to monitor four out of every five U.S. consumer credit card transactions this year — up to 42 billion transactions – through a controversial data-mining program, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.

A CFPB strategic planning document for fiscal years 2013-17 describes the “markets monitoring” program through which officials aim to monitor 80 percent of all credit card transactions in 2013...

"Biblical" rains trigger flooding that kills 3 in Colorado
Massive flash flooding along Colorado's picturesque Front Range mountains, triggered by what the National Weather Service termed "biblical rainfall amounts,'' killed at least three people Thursday, cut off small towns and forced countless residents to scramble for high ground.

Boulder, home to the University of Colorado, was among the hardest hit by the devastating waters. Classes were canceled, hundreds of students evacuated and a quarter of the campus buildings damaged by rising water, authorities said...

20% Of CIA Job Applicants Linked To Al-Qaida, Other Terrorists
At the same time a number of reports show al-Qaida growing in strength, contrary to the president's claims it's been "decimated," the terror group has penetrated CIA headquarters..

That's the latest shocking revelation from NSA leaker Edward Snowden's classified document dumps.

They reveal at least one in five applicants for CIA positions have had significant ties to terror groups Hamas, Hezbollah and even al-Qaida. Far from being "on the run," America's top enemy is working tirelessly to infiltrate our top security agencies.

The document states that counterintelligence officials have uncovered literally thousands of job applicants with "significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections."...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Scrolling around...September 12, 2013

Lois Lerner's Own Words: Emails undercut the official IRS story on political targeting
...In a February 2011 email, Ms. Lerner advised her staff—including then Exempt Organizations Technical Manager Michael Seto and then Rulings and Agreements director Holly Paz—that a Tea Party matter is "very dangerous," and is something "Counsel and [Lerner adviser] Judy Kindell need to be in on." Ms. Lerner adds, "Cincy should probably NOT have these cases."...

Official: Reports of sex assault in Navy increase
The number of sexual assaults reported to the Navy has grown by about 50 percent in the past year, which Navy officials said Wednesday is a sign that a growing number of sailors feel more comfortable reporting an assault and believe something will be done about it when they do...

Eagle slaughter: Wind farms kill 67 eagles in 5 years
... but the figure could be much higher, according to a new scientific study by government biologists...

CNN Poll: Support for Obamacare dropping
Just 39 percent of people in the latest survey said they have a favorable view of all or part of the healthcare law, down from 51 percent in January.

Stem cells: Living adult tissue transformed back into embryo state
The living tissue inside an animal has been regressed back into an embryonic state for the first time, Spanish researchers say.

They believe it could lead to new ways of repairing the body, for example after a heart attack.

However, the study published in the journal Nature, showed the technique led to tumours forming in mice...

Maaloula: rebels break into the village homes, kill three young Christians
The bodies of Christians killed lie abandoned by the side of roads; houses and churches have been destroyed and plundered," this is Maaloula today, a village about 60 kilometres north of Damascus that was recently invaded by Islamist insurgents.

The town, the cradle of the Syrian Christian tradition and a unique place in the world where Aramaic is still spoken, is now a ghost town.

Sources, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews that "the Islamist insurgents are breaking into village homes. Yesterday they killed three people and took six young Greek-Catholics Christians prisoners. Bodies have been left in the streets as a warning to the population. Many families are locked in their homes and cannot even escape. Nobody knows their conditions."...

Christian Widows in India Beaten for Refusing to ‘Reconvert’ to Hinduism ...Sovi, who became a Christian four years ago, refused to renounce Christ. The Hindu extremists began beating her and her two children, threatening to rape her teenage daughter. The children managed to escape and hid in the surrounding jungle, but the men continued to slap, kick and punch Sovi as they insisted she leave Christ.

One of the men struck her on the neck with a club, and she collapsed in pain. Later she also took refuge in the jungle, where she hid for the rest of the night – with a fractured left hand, swelling on her neck and multiple contusions...

Pa. Judge Orders End To Same-sex Marriage Licenses
...A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday ordered a suburban Philadelphia clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini said Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes did not have the power to decide on his own whether Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban violates the state constitution.
 
It was not immediately clear what the decision would mean to those who have already received a license.
 
The state Health Department under Republican Gov. Tom Corbett sued Hanes after he began issuing licenses to same-sex couples in July, despite a 1996 state law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The department argued that Hanes' actions could create chaos...

Europe: Treating Homeschoolers Like Terrorists
...A German SWAT team stormed a house in Darmstadt on the morning of August 29. Had the German police discovered a group of dangerous jihadists? No, they were storming the house because the family living in the house were homeschooling their four children. The children, between 7 and 14 years old, were forcibly removed from their parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, and taken into state custody at an unknown location.

Homeschooling has been illegal in Germany since Adolf Hitler banned it in 1938 -- one of the few Nazi laws still on the books. Hitler introduced the ban to force all children to attend state-approved schools where they were to be indoctrinated with the Nazi ideology.

The Wunderlich children were seized on the order of a court, because their parents, who are Christians, want to raise them according to their own values. The court transferred formal legal custody of the Wunderlich children to the state, despite there being no allegations of abuse or neglect against the parents...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Light of Love


Light of Love from Imagine Sisters on Vimeo.

A.S. Haley: Decision in Quincy-ECUSA Has no Rule against Dioceses Withdrawing

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

We have a decision from the trial court in Quincy: Adams County Circuit Court Judge Thomas J. Ortbal entered on September 9, 2013 his  Findings, Opinion and Order following a bench trial that stretched over three weeks last April and May. The opinion is about as thorough an analysis as we have to date of the "hierarchical" polity of ECUSA when it comes to matters involving its member dioceses. The judge's key finding is this (pp.12-14):

DOQ [The Anglican Diocese of Quincy] persuasively argues that when examining TEC's Constitution and Canons from a secular perspective, they are far from clear or evident, as to identifying the highest court or judicatory having authority over the diocese. There is no explicit provision in TEC's Constitution or Canons specifying the office or body having supremacy or ultimate authority over the acknowledged Ecclesiastical Authority of a Diocese, i.e., a Bishop or a Standing Committee in the absence of the Bishop.

There is no provision in TEC's Constitution or Canons which require prior approval of a diocesan constitution or its canons. There is no express prohibition against withdrawal of a diocese. In sum, reviewing the governing documents from a secular perspective, there is no explicit or clearly delineated expression of TEC 's claim that the General Convention is the ultimate authority or judicatory of the Church. the rest

Full analysis at Stand Firm
Just how important is the ruling handed down yesterday in the Diocese of Quincy litigation? As a precedent binding on other courts—both in Illinois and other states—it is of little significance, because it is the opinion of a trial court, and therefore binding only on the parties to it.

But as a roadmap for other judges—both trial and appellate judges—the decision is of enormous importance. The reason is that most judges have very little time to devote to any one case. (Appellate judges by design have more time, but even they, it has been estimated, spend at most about four hours, on average, in considering any one case.)

In this instance, Judge Ortbal of the Adams County Circuit Court spent literally hundreds of hours presiding over pretrial proceedings and the trial itself, together with another hundred or more hours going patiently through the mountain of exhibits introduced at trial and the post-trial briefs of the various parties. Indeed, it is probably accurate to say that at this point, the Hon. Thomas J. Ortbal is the most knowledgeable judge in the entire United States on the history and polity of the Episcopal Church (USA)...


Sep 10, 2013

September 11, 2013

 Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I choose kindness...

I choose kindness... I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me. ...Max Lucado image

Scrolling around...September 10, 2013


Ancient Golden Treasure Found at Foot of Temple Mount

Are Public Schools Modern Altars for Child Sacrifice?
...Many kids hate school and just get through it as quickly and as mediocrely as they can. Perhaps it’s because their specific likes and dislikes or personal learning styles aren’t taken into account. How can they in a system that has to cater to such a large group of children? Recently, a controversial article was written entitled, “If You Send Your Kids to Private School, You are a Bad Person” by Allison Benedikt that laments parents who want, and can pay for the best education their kids can get. Benedikt supposes all children should be in the public system even at their own detriment:
“Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.”
This is the ultimate child sacrifice, next to abortion, that calls for the educational execution of your children for some unidentifiable future children you should care more about than your own “spawn”, as Benedikt calls them. This is a classic argument from progressives, that those of us who choose not to use the public schools are the reason they are failing. How anyone can come to this conclusion when the state still gets the money allocated for my child even though I bear the entirety of her educational expenses is beyond me. I am actually paying double. I pay for a student (or maybe more, who knows?) in public school with my property taxes and I pay for a privately-educated child from my personal expenses. How the public school’s failure to produce readers is my fault is a head-scratcher...

Florida official tells Christian charity to choose between Jesus and cheese
A Florida ministry that feeds the poor said a state agriculture department official told them they would not be allowed to receive USDA food unless they removed portraits of Christ, the Ten Commandments, a banner that read “Jesus is Lord” and stopping giving Bibles to the needy.

“They told us they could no longer allow us to have any religious information where the USDA food is going to be,” said Kay Daly, executive director of the Christian Service Center.

Obamacare Regulations Are 8 Times Longer Than Bible  ...These regulations add up to 10,516 pages in the Federal Register—or more than eight times as many pages as there are in the Gutenberg Bible, which has 642 two-sided leaves or 1,286 pages.

Using the regulations.gov website and the Federal Register itself, CNSNews.com found 109 distinct regulations for the implementation of PPACA and the health-care related provisions of HCERA that had been finalized by various federal agencies and published in the Federal Register as of Sept. 9, 2013...

Obamacare Medical Device Tax Causes One Company to Lay Off Over 1,000 People
A Grand Rapids, Michigan report on a company that had to lay off over 1,000 people due to the Obamacare medical device tax...

DC Grants 9/11 Permit to Anti-American Muslims, Denies it to Patriotic Bikers
That seems appropriate enough as it neatly sums up the state of political priorities these days...

The Shocking Stats About Rising Rate of Unsafe Abortions in Africa
...One result of the proliferation of these unsafe abortions is the rise in the maternal mortality rate across many parts of Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), of the 6 million unsafe abortions that occur each year in Africa, 29,000 result in death and a further 1.7 million in hospitalizations. These statistics contribute to many countries’ high maternal mortality rates and the practical effects of so many complications are a financial burden on the government and health care system.

One example of this occurrence is Uganda, where some 85,000 women are treated each year for complications after undergoing an unsafe abortion procedure. "Post-abortion care is estimated to cost nearly $14 million annually in Uganda ... The epidemic of unsafe abortion takes a tragic toll on women and their families. It poses a significant, avoidable economic burden on Uganda's already under financed health system," Moses Mulumba, director of the Kampala-based Centre for Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), told IRIN...

“Gay rights vs. religious rights: 7 issues to watch”  The rights of religious groups or individuals that object to same-sex marriage continue to clash with those pursued by gay rights advocates. Now, the fight that started at state ballot boxes and in courtrooms has moved to floral shops, bakeries and photo studios.

As churches are concerned about the potential of facing lawsuits, some are changing their bylaws to explicitly reflect their views on traditional man-woman marriage.

The Very Sad Childfree Life
Time Magazine's recent cover story "the Childfree Life" has generated a good deal of controversy and commentary. The photo that graces the cover of the edition pretty much sums up the argument: a young, fit couple lounge languidly on a beach and gaze up at the camera with blissful smiles -- and no child anywhere in sight.

What the editors want us to accept is that this scenario is not just increasingly a fact in our country, but that it is morally acceptable as well, a lifestyle choice that some people legitimately make. Whereas in one phase of the feminist movement, "having it all" meant that a woman should be able to both pursue a career and raise a family, now it apparently means a relationship and a career without the crushing encumbrance of annoying, expensive, and demanding children...

TEC loses battle for Quincy

posted September 10, 2013
George Conger

An Illinois circuit court has rejected the national Episcopal Church’s claim that it is a “hierarchical church” under law, handing down a ruling that supports the Diocese of Quincy’s secession from the national church.

Details of the court's ruling have yet to be analyzed by Anglican Ink, but the Illinois ruling appears to have rejected the legal arguments brought by the national Episcopal Church in its litigation with departing dioceses and congregations -- upholding the neutral principles of law doctrine over deference to the denominational polity of the church.

The suit came On 7 Nov 2008 delegates to the diocesan synod meeting at St John’s Church in Quincy, Illinois, approved the second and final reading of a constitutional amendment withdrawing from the Episcopal Church. The vote was 41-14 in the clergy order and 54-12 by the laity. A second resolution affiliating the diocese with the Southern Cone pending the creation of a Third Province in North America was approved 46-4 in the clergy order and 55-8 in the lay order.

Attorneys for the national church in January 2009 wrote to the bank that manages the diocese’s endowment funds, stating that the breakaway diocese no longer had a claim on the funds and that its officers should not be permitted to disperse the funds. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wrote the members of the Standing Committee in February informing them that she no longer “recognized” them as officers of the diocese.

The diocese responded by filing suit in March against the national church, seeking a declaratory judgment that it had the legal right to the name and assets of the diocese. The national church filed a counter claim against the officers of the diocese – which was without a bishop following the retirement of the Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman – and sought a summary judgment against the diocese and its leaders. It argued that a rump group within the diocese that remained loyal to the national church was the true diocese, and the court should give precedence to the denomination’s leadership in resolving the dispute. Full Story

A.S. Haley:Decision in Quincy: ECUSA Has no Rule against Dioceses Withdrawing
We have a decision from the trial court in Quincy: Adams County Circuit Court Judge Thomas J. Ortbal entered on September 9, 2013 his Findings, Opinion and Order following a bench trial that stretched over three weeks last April and May. The opinion is about as thorough an analysis as we have to date of the "hierarchical" polity of ECUSA when it comes to matters involving its member dioceses. The judge's key finding is this (pp.12-14):
DOQ [The Anglican Diocese of Quincy] persuasively argues that when examining TEC's Constitution and Canons from a secular perspective, they are far from clear or evident, as to identifying the highest court or judicatory having authority over the diocese. There is no explicit provision in TEC's Constitution or Canons specifying the office or body having supremacy or ultimate authority over the acknowledged Ecclesiastical Authority of a Diocese, i.e., a Bishop or a Standing Committee in the absence of the Bishop.
There is no provision in TEC's Constitution or Canons which require prior approval of a diocesan constitution or its canons. There is no express prohibition against withdrawal of a diocese. In sum, reviewing the governing documents from a secular perspective, there is no explicit or clearly delineated expression of TEC 's claim that the General Convention is the ultimate authority or judicatory of the Church...

Properties in Hand, Episcopalians Turn Over Sanctuaries to… Evangelicals?
Three developments this summer are worth noting in regards to ongoing property litigation in the Episcopal Church. First, a previous court ruling in Texas awarding properties in the Diocese of Fort Worth to the Episcopal Church was overturned by the Texas Supreme Court. The case, now remanded back to district court, will be determined over neutral principles of law rather than deferring to the church’s internal Dennis Canon. IRD’s Brian Miller covered that development here.

Secondly, the Episcopal Church’s effort to move a property dispute with the departing Diocese of South Carolina into the federal courts was rejected, and the case will now play out in the State courts, where there is precedent for departing congregations to retain properties.

Lastly, the Falls Church (Anglican) in Virginia announced that it will seek a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court over ownership of property awarded to the Episcopal Church last year. A ruling is also anticipated in the Diocese of Quincy (Illinois) later this month. [Update: the Illinois Circuit Court has issued a ruling this morning that favors the Quincy Diocese. Anglican Ink has coverage here.]

I am occasionally asked what has happened to properties in Northern Virginia that have been turned over to the Episcopal Church. The answer might come as a surprise. In two instances, the properties are being used, at least in part, by churches that hold a high view of scripture and teach a traditionalist interpretation of the Bible....

Monday, September 09, 2013

Do you often feel like parched ground?

Do you often feel like parched ground, unable to produce anything worthwhile? I do. When I am in need of refreshment, it isn't easy to think of the needs of others. But I have found that if, instead of praying for my own comfort and satisfaction, I ask the Lord to enable me to give to others, an amazing thing often happens - I find my own needs wonderfully met. Refreshment comes in ways I would never have thought of, both for others, and then, incidentally, for myself. ...Elisabeth Elliot image

Scrolling around...September 9, 2013

San Antonio LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance passes 8-3, criticized as 'unprecedented'
...City officials received 11,000 opposition emails in the weeks leading up to the vote, and five City Council meetings on the ordinance drew hundreds of residents who expressed their opposition. In an Aug. 28 meeting, city officials appeared confused about the measure's legal consequences, with the city's attorney struggling to answer questions and expressing concerns that he was embarrassing himself...

Population Control Goes Out With a Whimper
...After decades of population control programs to avert a seemingly inevitable population Armageddon, the people and institutions that are primarily responsible for the false alarmism are on their way out. While some at the United Nations, UNFPA, USAID and the Obama administration still cling to their condoms and bad science under the pseudonym “family planning program” or the oxymoron “reproductive rights” ( it never has to do with women choosing how many children to have and always with USAID telling women not to have any more children), economists and demographers are all agreed that the problem the world is facing is population aging and population decline – caused by human beings. Unfortunately, it will takes decades, and maybe centuries to re-trace the trail of misery and ignorance they have left.

Air Force Cracking Down on Christians
A 19-year Air Force veteran who was relieved of his duties because he disagreed with his openly gay commander over gay marriage is now facing a formal investigation after he told me his story.

Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk found himself at odds with his Lackland Air Force Base commander after he objected to her plans to severely punish an instructor who had expressed religious objections to homosexuality. During the conversation, his commander ordered him to share his personal views on homosexuality...

Syrian Rebels to Christian villagers: ‘Either You Convert To Islam, Or You Will Be Beheaded’
The village of Maaloula has been taken over by Syrian rebels associated with al Qaeda, who have stormed the Christian center and offered local Christians a choice: conversion or death. A resident of the town said the rebels shouted “Allahu Akhbar” as they moved through the village, and proceeded to assault Christian homes and churches.

“They shot and killed people,” he said. “I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village. Where is President Obama to see what has befallen us?” Another witness stated, “I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying, ‘Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded.’”...

Doctors Tell Mom to Abort “Brain Dead” Baby, Mom Sues After Delivering Healthy Child
...The mother of two says physicians adviser her to take an abortion drug, even though the mifepristone abortion pill is only authorized to be used to destroy the life of an unborn baby much earlier in pregnancy.

When the abortion drug didn’t work, another doctor informed Hagan her baby needed to be delivered immediately and she gave birth to Aaron, who was born at 1lb 7oz with both eyes and healthy other than the fact that he was born prematurely — which has left him with chronic lung problems he wouldn’t have had otherwise. Now Aaron is 15 months old and Hagan is taking legal action...

Australia Shows: Family Friendly Conservatism Can Succeed
Tony Abbott, Australia’s new prime minister, is being variously praised and reviled for his considered support for pro-life laws and for preserving the definition of marriage. Less noticed is how his social conservatism has shaped his economic program...

Church of England and Methodist Church moving closer to unity

08 September 2013
Mark Caplin

The Church of England and Methodist Church have committed to finding further ways of collaborating 10 years after the Anglican Methodist Covenant came into being.

The Joint Implementation Commission (JIC) of the Church of England and Methodist Church in Britain has published a major report into the impact of the covenant in which it calls for Church leaders and decision-making bodies to make the covenant a "priority in order to bring our Churches closer together in mission and holiness".

The report - "The Challenge of the Covenant: Uniting in Mission and Holiness" - celebrates successful collaboration on issues like education, ethical investment, mission, theological education, safeguarding and Fresh expressions.

It also identifies remaining challenges, such as the need for further collaboration, consultation and decision making at both national and local levels.

The JIC report encourages local Anglicans and Methodists to worship and work together more closely in order to make the Covenant "real". the rest