Friday, May 27, 2016

Coronal hole paints sun black in stunning NASA video; Pro-Life Actress Patricia Heaton...more links

Coronal hole paints sun black in stunning NASA video
Images of the sun usually show a burning ball of fire, shining bright in the sky. However, NASA has just released a stunning picture which captured the exact opposite – a giant dark area on the sun's upper half.
The image, snapped by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) from May 17-19, shows what is known as a “coronal hole” on the sun, described by the space agency as a “low-density region of the sun's atmosphere, known as the cornea.”...

Clarion Project: 'I was Raised by an Islamist Terror Cult in America'   A woman who grew up within Jamaat ul-Fuqra (Muslims of the Americas), a cultish Islamist terrorist group spoke to Clarion Project...

Conservative Christian, Pro-Life Actress Patricia Heaton: A Liberal's Worst Nightmare   ...Heaton is the star of ABC’s The Middle and formerly of Everybody Loves Raymond. Heaton is has previously identified herself as both a conservative and a Christian. Unlike many in Hollywood, Heaton’s words match her lifestyle, Heaton is known for being outspoken about her faith, stance of politics, and pro-life position. As a mother of four, Heaton walks and talks what she believes.

Heaton is taking heat not so much for her positions, but because she dares to defy the odds of being the typical liberal, Hollywood celebrity. Not only does she refuse conform to the cookie cutter mold that she is supposed to fit in to, but she is outspoken about it as well. Heaton is attacked less for conservative positions, but more for the fact that she is making it known to her fans exactly where she stands on politics, faith, and life. To liberals, it’s bad enough that such a thing as a conservative celebrity exists, but if you’re quite about it, they are more likely to tolerate you though. But because Heaton refuses to remain silent about her beliefs, she is bad news for liberals....

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

If we set out to serve God...

Sunrise Bird
If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, replacing it with an awareness and understanding of Himself and His presence. Many servants set out to serve God with great courage and with the right motives. But with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, they are soon defeated. They do not know what to do with their burden, and it produces weariness in their lives.  -Oswald Chambers image

The Christian Struggle with Mental Illness; Facebook admits bias against conservatives...more links

911 Call: Baby Born Alive After Abortion, “The Fetus is Breathing, We Can’t Provide Care”    but “Nobody did anything wrong,”

Obama Raided $500M for Zika to Finance UN’s Green Climate Fund   ...In March, President Obama gave the United Nations $500 million out of an account under bilateral economic assistance to fund the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund.

Congress refused to allocate funding for the U.N. Climate Change Fund last year, so the president used this account designated for international infectious diseases to pay for his priority.

While I understand that intelligent people can disagree on the human effects on the global climate, it is hard to imagine a reason why the administration would prioritize the U.N. Green Climate Fund over protecting the American people, especially pregnant women, from the Zika virus...

Obama, The Great Bathroom War of 2016, and The Cultural Revolution ...The real significance of the Great Bathroom War of 2016? Obama’s action overrides the value of modesty, a subset of orthodox religious doctrine.

What may be inferred is that the left views orthodox sexual morality not as a legitimate creed but as something innately bigoted. The only way the right could hope to turn back the assault on its creed is to drop the hysterical cries of rapine and to take a dignified stand for the legitimacy of modesty...

Human remains suggest explosion brought down EgyptAir plane, forensic official says  The condition of human remains recovered from the crash site of EgyptAir Flight 804 suggests an explosion brought the plane down, a senior Egyptian forensic official told the Associated Press Tuesday...

Facebook admits rogue employees may have shown bias against conservatives   Facebook announced Monday it was sending employees out for retraining and would discontinue some of its practices as it sought to defend itself against charges of political bias against conservatives.

The online giant denied that it’s shown “systematic political bias,” but admitted employees played a bigger role than previously acknowledged in determining what news is highlighted in the trending topics section.

Facebook also acknowledged that rogue employees may have unintentionally discriminated against conservative stories or even acted with malice in “isolated improper actions.”...

Stetzer: The Christian Struggle with Mental Illness  ...Part of the struggle is discerning the extent of the spiritual issue with mental health. How much is physiological and how much is spiritual ? Is mental illness a punishment for sin or a natural illness?
We all have spiritual struggles: struggling with our identity in Christ, receiving forgiveness, living with joy. With mental illness, the struggle becomes much more complicated.
Is it something that can only be resolved with a deeper understanding of the gospel and closer relationship with Christ and others, or can it be impacted by some external influence—medication, counseling, etc.?
Another paralyzing question that many people ask is whether mental illness is the direct result of a person’s sin. Answering that question in full would require more words than I have for this post. So, let me start that, in the Chrisitan worldview, all suffering is the result of sin...

The Nuns Who Charted the Stars
At the Vatican Observatory, these women were part of a global attempt to map the night sky...

The Backside Blessings of Blogging

Blogging, Twitter To Be Included As Means Of Grace In 2017 Westminster Catechism Update -The Babylon Bee

A.S. Haley: Wait: the Dept. of Justice Is Supposed to Do Justice??

A.S. Haley: Wait: the Dept. of Justice Is Supposed to Do Justice??
The courts are slapping Obama's US Attorneys with reprimands and sanctions, from all parts of the country. On Thursday, federal Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas filed an extraordinary order in the immigration case (Texas v. United States), in which his earlier injunction against DHS' implementation of President Obama's directions to delay deportation of millions of illegal aliens, as affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, is now before the United States Supreme Court, awaiting its ruling after oral arguments. The order will require (gasp!) certain US Attorneys based in Washington to take annual courses in legal ethics for the next five years -- as a sanction for repeatedly lying to him in his courtroom.

Meanwhile, in Washington itself, the US Attorneys defending the IRS against charges of selectively targeting conservative non-profits to delay or prevent their obtaining tax-exempt status also met with suspicion, if not outright hostility, from the appellate judges before whom they were arguing:...

Tutu's daughter leaves Anglican Church after marrying a woman 

Oxford Clergywoman conducts celebration of same sex marriage – updated   The Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker, 52, is an assistant priest at St Michael and All Angels Summertown in the Diocese of Oxford, and acts as the Bishop’s Advisor for Special Projects, including inter-faith initiatives. She is an Associate Faculty Member of the Theology Department at Oxford University, and has a long Oxford pedigree, having been previously on the staff of the University Church of St Mary’s.

On 7th May, according to reports in Cape Town’s City Press, she officiated at a same-sex marriage in South Africa. Oxford has a long standing relationship with the Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman in South Africa. Rev Bannister-Parker lived there for a while in 2008, helping the Church to develop its HIV/AIDS ministry.

Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth, the daughter of Desmond Tutu who has long been an advocate for the Anglican Church to welcome fully same sex relationships and bless gay marriage, was ordained in the Episcopal Church USA and now works as the Executive Director of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.

Marceline van Furth is Professor of paediatric infectious diseases at Vrije University in the Netherlands, and “Desmond Tutu Chair of Diversity” which has been working with the Foundation on fundraising and special projects. The Foundation’s aims include the support of “Healthy intimate partner relationships… happy families and safe, flourishing communities.”...

Becket's bones return to Canterbury Cathedral

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sweden's Holy War on Children's Books; Do Biological Facts No Longer Matter?...more links

Do Biological Facts No Longer Matter? ...The Darwinian worldview implies that the cosmos is merely a vast amoral machine. It reduces the human body to a lump of matter, a collection of atoms and molecules, not intrinsically different from any other chance configuration of matter. There can be no natural law ethic because humanity has no purpose to fulfill. Philosopher Charles Taylor explains, “The cosmos is no longer seen as the embodiment of meaningful order which can define the good for us.”

The implication is that our biological identity as male and female is a cosmic accident after all. The sexual differentiation of male and female has no special dignity or meaning. The body is reduced to raw material to be manipulated and controlled to serve human needs and preferences – like any other natural resource.

These are the assumptions lurking behind the language of the transgender movement. The Obama administration’s letter, sent out jointly by the Departments of Justice and Education, asserts, “A person’s gender identity may be different from ... the person’s sex assigned at birth.” What's the key word here? “Assigned” – as though a person’s sex at birth were purely arbitrary instead of a scientific, biological fact.

What does that language imply? That biological facts do not matter...

The most dangerous, and underreported, part of Obama’s transgender edict  ...The most offensive part of the new policy is that, under the Obama administration's federal guidance:

•School districts must allow biological males and females to spend the night together in the same hotel room on field trips;

•Colleges must let men who say they are transgender be roommates with one or more women; and

•School officials cannot even tell those young women or their parents in advance that their new roommate is a man, without risking a federal lawsuit.

The plain wording of the Obama administration's diktat is clear enough, yet it has not been reported, even by conservative news outlets....

Sweden's Holy War on Children's Books Taken to its extremes, the urge to cleanse a culture of elements that do not live up to the politically correct orthodoxy currently in political vogue unsettlingly echoes the Taliban and ISIS credos of destroying everything that does not accord with their Quranic views. The desire "not to offend," taken to its logical conclusion, is a totalitarian impulse, which threatens to destroy everything that disagrees with its doctrines. Crucially, who gets to decide what is offensive...

NYC Hits Peak Gender Idiocy
...Oh for freak’s sake. Volokh is not having it:
So people can basically force us — on pain of massive legal liability — to say what they want us to say, whether or not we want to endorse the political message associated with that term, and whether or not we think it’s a lie.

We have to use “ze,” a made-up word that carries an obvious political connotation (endorsement of the “non-binary” view of gender). We have to call people “him” and “her” even if we believe that people’s genders are determined by their biological sex and not by their self-perceptions — perceptions that, by the way, can rapidly change, for those who are “gender-fluid” — and that using terms tied to self-perception is basically a lie. (I myself am not sure whether people who are anatomically male, for example, but perceive themselves as female should be viewed as men or women; perhaps one day I’ll be persuaded that they should be viewed as women; my objection is to being forced to express that view.) We can’t be required to even display a license plate that says “Live Free or Die” on our car, if we object to the message; that’s what the court held in Wooley v. Maynard (1978). But New York is requiring people to actually say words that convey a message of approval of the view that gender is a matter of self-perception rather than anatomy, and that, as to “ze,” were deliberately created to convey that a message.
Facebook’s Troubling One-Way Mirror
...Throughout the media, a regular guessing game takes place in which editors seek to divine how the Facebook formula may have changed, and what it might mean for them. Facebook will often give general guidance, such as announcing last month that it had adjusted its programming to favor news articles that readers engage with deeply — rather than shallow quick hits — or saying that it would give priority to live Facebook Live videos, which it is also paying media companies, including The New York Times, to experiment with.
This gives Facebook enormous influence over how newsrooms, almost universally eager for Facebook exposure, make decisions and money. Alan Rusbridger, a former editor of The Guardian, called this a “profound and alarming” development in a column in The New Statesman last week.
For all that sway, Facebook declines to talk in great detail about its algorithms, noting that it does not want to make it easy to game its system. That system, don’t forget, is devised to keep people on Facebook by giving them what they want, not necessarily what the politicos or news organizations may want them to see. There can be a mismatch in priorities.

Europe: Allah Takes over Churches, Synagogues  In the Dutch province of Friesland, 250 of 720 existing churches have been transformed or closed. The Fatih Camii Mosque in Amsterdam once was the Saint Ignatius Church. A synagogue in The Hague was turned into the Al Aqsa Mosque. In Flanders, in place of a famous church, a luxury hotel now stands. Catholic arches, columns and windows still soar between menus and tables for customers...

Clergywoman from Diocese of Oxford conducts high profile same sex marriage in Cape Town  ...Questions are now being asked about the participants in this story. A licensed clergywoman in the Church of England has conducted a same sex marriage, even though it is in a different Province. Many clergy travel overseas to conduct the increasingly lavish weddings of their parishioners or relatives – when they do so, are they bound by the canons of the Church of England? Were Revd Bannister-Parker’s actions approved by her parish Rector and by the Diocese of Oxford, given the high profile nature of the ceremony? Is there any connection between the Tutu Foundation funds and the Diocese of Oxford’s “Special Projects”?...

Church of Scotland votes to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages The Church of Scotland’s highest law-making body has voted to allow its ministers to be in same-sex marriages.
The church’s general assembly, which opened in Edinburgh on Saturday, voted in favour of extending a law passed last May that permits ministers to be in same-sex civil partnerships.