Friday, February 13, 2015

Sudanese Army Accused of Mass Rape in Darfur; From Campus Bullies to Empty Churches;

Sudanese Army Accused of Mass Rape in Darfur Sudanese army soldiers raped more than 200 women and girls in a methodical attack in Darfur last October, Human Right Watch has charged in a report released Wednesday.

Jonathan Loeb, author of the organization’s 48-page report, said its investigation found that at least 221 women and girls were raped during a 36-hour attack in the north Darfur town of Tabit.

The attack “included looting of property, beating of men and women, and the mass rape of dozens, if not hundreds, of women and girls,” Loeb said...

Boko Haram Attacks Prompt Nigeria to Delay Feb. 14 Elections

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Donates $992 Million to Charity Funding Planned Parenthood ...Donations were earmarked under broad terms such as “health,” “supporting families,” and “building community.” The annual donations to Planned Parenthood have almost doubled from 2011, when the SVCF report shows that SVCF gave close to $250,000.

Although Zuckerberg hasn’t publicly commented on the programs their gift will support, he did say their philanthropy would focus on children. Zuckerberg and his wife have every right to spend their money as they see fit. I’m grateful that they are donating to assist children in need. I only hope none of their funds will end up in the big pockets of Planned Parenthood...

Planned Parenthood pushes abortion on pregnant women 94% of the time

Onondaga County Officials Worried About Surge of Syphilis Cases  ...In 2008 just three cases of syphilis were reported in the county, but by 2011 that number rose to 14, and last year 56 cases were diagnosed. Experts say one cause locally and nationwide could be the increased use of social media for anonymous sex. And they say while people may feel safe if they're using a condom, that's not necessarily true.

"With syphilis you have an opportunity to still attain an infection even if you're using a condom, because of the cankers and where they're located, so if you come in contact with the lesion you have a really high risk of acquiring syphilis," said ACR Health Prevention director Erin Bortel.

It can be cured if caught early, but the disease can have devastating consequences if allowed to progress. Experts hope a new rapid screening test, just recently approved by the FDA to be used in non-clinical settings, can help the diagnosing process, in the office and beyond...

From Campus Bullies to Empty Churches  ...The intimidation varies from one campus to another, from one department to another, and from one protest to another. But while the decibels of ferocity may change, the negative posture toward religious believers ­themselves—or for that matter toward anyone who finds anything of value in the Judeo-Christian tradition and bothers to defend it—remains the same. And once more, Occam’s razor would suggest a causal connection here.

Students, like any other human beings, cannot help being sensitive to atmospherics. Let’s think again of the new force that drives a CEO out of his post for having donated to defend traditional marriage. If the new intolerance can penalize an “alpha” like him so dramatically, how much more menacing must it be to people just starting out, whose futures and livelihoods depend so heavily on the opinion of their peers?

 Sometimes, interestingly enough, the very incivility of the new intolerance backfires.
A friend with a son at an overwhelmingly progressive college said recently that the experience of sitting through one particular class had turned that student toward conservatism. Why? Because as a white male known also to be heterosexual, he was singled out repeatedly for second-class social treatment by the ­professor—no matter what his bona fides otherwise. He has become, in virtue of the new intolerance, what might be called a political counter-convert...

Albert Mohler: Fifty Shades of Shame — The Evolution of Pornography

February 13, 2015

The explosive sales of the Fifty Shades book series alerted many Christians to the fact of female-oriented pornography. While far more attention had been devoted to the visual nature of most male-oriented pornography, the Fifty Shades phenomenon underlined the public mainstreaming of pornography that would find a primary audience among women — narrative pornography in book form.

While many had noted the attraction of so-called “romance novels” to many women, the arrival of the Fifty Shades series announced that the culture at large was ready to shift to what can only be described as explicitly pornographic. Furthermore, the plot line of the series, now quite well known in the larger society, is devoted to forms of sexuality that had historically been defined as perverse and abusive.

The lost sense of shame is not only documented in the unprecedented sales of the series in book form, but also by the mainstream celebration of the movie.

A culture that is determined to reduce all sexual morality to the issue of adult consent is now ready to eat popcorn while watching the corruption of the gift of sex and, in effect, granting approval to the vision of sexuality that is the film’s very essence.

This next stage in the evolution of pornography combines, in an unprecedented way, male-oriented visual pornography with female-oriented narrative pornography. The movie is being marketed on Valentine’s Day as an adventure for couples — something offered to both men and women.

That something is a lie. The late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan spoke of our tendency to “define deviancy down.” That is one of the marks of our age. The Fifty Shades movie will not be legally defined as obscenity or pornography. In our age, almost nothing is. But biblically speaking, there can be no question about the fact that the Fifty Shades phenomenon is explicitly pornographic — defined in the New Testament by the Greek word porneia — which refers directly to any illicit sexual impulse or act. Pornography, whatever its form, is intended to produce that wrongful sexual impulse.  the rest

The Real Abuse at the Heart of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
...While there have been several well-rendered and moving depictions of abuse in media, all of these recognize domestic violence as a cardinal sin; none are as bafflingly oblivious as Fifty Shades of Grey. The marketing for the film is sickening: posited as “an incredible fairytale love story,” encouraged as a date-night movie, and set to release just in time for Valentine’s Day, Fifty Shades barrels ahead without an ounce of self-awareness—or, perhaps, of conscience. The abusive behaviors are treated as adorably flirtatious interaction; here, domestic violence is met with the enthusiastic approval of the story’s protagonists.

The message is clear: by turning these same behaviors around to market them as “romance,” this film effectively silences the experience of millions of victims of abuse. She might not think that she likes being mistreated, it says, but in the end, isn’t it what she really wanted? Christian Grey can do no wrong, so the fault must lie squarely on the shoulders of the 21-year-old college student in a relationship with a rich older man...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A.S. Haley: How to Make a Church Even Less Relevant

February 9, 2015

General Convention 2009 began to undermine the authority of the BCP when it authorized its Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop “theological and liturgical resources for the blessing of same gender relationships” (Res. 2009C056; emphasis added)—all the while pretending that no changes were being made to traditional marriage as celebrated in the BCP. In response to its work, General Convention 2012 commended . . . for study and use in congregations and dioceses” certain rites for the “Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant in a same-sex relationship” (Res. 2012A049; emphasis added).

Do you see the subtle word games going on to this point? God forfend that General Convention should be doing anything to alter marriage as such; all it is purporting to do is to develop some experimental liturgical rites to celebrate “same-sex relationships”.

But now look at what has happened. The General Convention’s Task Force on the Study of Marriage has proposed to revise Canon I.18 (“On Marriage”). I’m not going to reproduce all of the proposed changes here; you can see them for yourself, at pp. 4-6 of the document at the link just given. Just notice, if you will, that as the title goes, so goes the Canon—the title is changed from “Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony” to “Of the Celebration and Blessing of Marriage.” The words “Holy Matrimony” are removed from Sections 1, 2 and 3, so that the Canon (if amended) will speak only to “marriage” as such; and no longer to what is defined by the Book of Common Prayer as “the union of a man and a woman.”

And what is the significance of that change? Seemingly it is rather subtle on the surface, but beneath the surface it runs very deep, into the heart of the Church.

To see just how, consider who reads the canons: practically no one, until a matter of clergy discipline surfaces. Lay people, and even many clergy, are ignorant of the Canons. (For example, no less than the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Maryland recently called for Suffragan Bishop Heather Cook to submit her resignation—but she couldn’t ask to resign, even if she wanted to. She is the subject of a Title IV disciplinary proceeding, and Canon III.12.8 (b) prohibits the Presiding Bishop from considering or acting upon any such request to resign until “the disciplinary matter shall have been resolved ...”.)

People who sit in the pews, however, are familiar with the Book of Common Prayer, and use it at least every Sunday. The proposed change in Canon I.18 would remove, as far as marriage is concerned, the last remaining link between the BCP that every Episcopalian knows and uses and the governing documents of the Church. The rites which General Convention 2012 purported to “commend” (not, please note, “authorize”—only the BCP and the Ecclesiastical Authority may authorize rites in a diocese) to the Church are not part of the BCP, and cannot become so until the procedures have been duly followed to amend the BCP... the rest
The undermining of traditional marriage will, if this proposed change passes, be just about complete. The pewsters will think that nothing has changed, because their BCPs haven’t changed. But for those who want to transform ECUSA into a secular adjunct of today’s society, nothing more will remain to be done. They won’t have to amend the BCP, because they have their special rites which individual bishops are already allowing to be celebrated.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Anglican Unscripted Episode 157

Feb 9, 2015

Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Each Episode Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe. Please Donate!

Albert Mohler: The President at the Prayer Breakfast

February 10, 2015

President Obama identifies openly with a very liberal version of Christian thinking and reasoning. He cites religious concerns from time to time, but he seems to operate more as a secular cosmopolitan. When he does address religious thoughts openly, as at the National Prayer Breakfast last week, he made a considerable mess.

That he holds to a universalistic understanding of religion is not in doubt. President Obama spoke of faith, of his own “faith journey,” and “professions of faith.” The common denominator in his thinking seems to be faith as an act without any concern for the content or object of that faith. Thus, “part of what I want to touch on today is the degree to which we’ve seen professions of faith used both as an instrument of great good, but also twisted and misused in the name of evil.”

When people do evil in the name of faith, the President asserted, it is because the faith has been perverted or distorted. Any faith can be perverted in this way, Mr. Obama said, and no religion is inherently violent. In his words: “Our job is not to ask that God respond to our notion of truth — our job is to be true to Him, His word, and His commandments. And we should assume humbly that we’re confused and don’t always know what we’re doing and we’re staggering and stumbling towards Him, and have some humility in that process. And that means we have to speak up against those who would misuse His name to justify oppression, or violence, or hatred with that fierce certainty. No God condones terror. No grievance justifies the taking of innocent lives, or the oppression of those who are weaker or fewer in number.”

The fact remains that Western civilization — and much of the world beyond — is directly threatened by a militant form of Islam that has the allegiance of millions of Muslims. While the vast majority of Muslims in the world are not fighters in a jihad against the West, and for that we must be thankful, the fact remains that the President’s own national security authorities directly disagree with the President when he recently said that “99.9 percent” of Muslims do not back Islamic terrorism.
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And yet, at virtually every turn, President Obama and his administration remain determined not to mention Islam in any negative light, and even to redefine some acts of terror committed in the name of Islam as “workplace violence.” His refusal to acknowledge the worldview of those who declare themselves to be our enemies is neither intellectually honest nor safe. It is a theological disaster, but it is a foreign policy disaster as well.