Wednesday, May 31, 2006

If we wholly trust an interest to God, we must keep our hands off it; and He will guard it for us better than him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass. Things may seem to be going all wrong, but He knows as well as we; and He will arise in the right moment if we are really trusting Him so fully as to let Him work in His own way and time. There is nothing so masterly as inactivity in some things, and there is nothing so hurtful as restless working, for God has undertaken to work His sovereign will. A.B. Simpson Photo

ECUSA to consider letting bishops take action against laity
By John H. Adams

The Layman Online
Thursday, May 25, 2006

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church (USA) will be asked to radically change its disciplinary policies by abandoning the denomination's historic rule that prohibits dioceses and bishops from disciplining or excommunicating lay members.

"Bluntly put, these proposed disciplinary canons are a disaster," says Raymond Dague, a New York lawyer and the target of a bishop's ire because of a column he once wrote. "This is church discipline from hell. They are the product of a siege mentality by an institution which seeks to stomp out opposition to the agenda of the higher-ups by removing any laity who stand in their way. The very threat of this process will make all but the most stout-hearted soul acquiesce."

Lay members are subject to discipline and excommunication, but not by bishops or dioceses. That safeguard was adopted in Colonial times when the American church was "as nervous of the arbitrary power of bishops as it was of the arbitrary power of the British king," Dague says. "Since its founding in the days before the United States Constitution was written, no bishop or diocese of the Episcopal Church can discipline any layman. Only clergy are subject to a bishop's discipline."

Dague is a Syracuse lawyer and the assistant chancellor of the bishop of the Diocese of Albany. He is a member of St. Andrew's in the Valley of Syracuse.
the rest

Comments at titusonenine

Study: 1 million sex crimes by illegals
Researcher estimates more than 100 offenders crossing border daily
Posted: May 31, 2006

Based on a one-year in-depth study, a researcher estimates there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each.

Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the
Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta analyzed 1,500 cases from January 1999 through April 2006 that included serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides and child molestation committed by illegal immigrants.

She found that while the offenders were located in 36 states, most were in states with the highest numbers of illegal immigrants. California had the most offenders, followed by Texas, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Florida.
the rest

NY Court to Make Final Say on Gay Marriage Case
Wednesday, May. 31, 2006

NEW YORK - A more than two-year-long gay ‘‘marriage’’ battle will be taken up in a final hearing by the state's highest court on Wednesday. Gay marriage advocates have set their sights on this day hopeful of marriage licenses as Christians have kept up peaceful protests over the past two years.

High interest in the cases involving five New York City couples who were denied marriage licenses in 2004 is bringing the court to the Internet with live broadcast scheduled for the 2 p.m. hearing in Albany. Churches across the state were reported to have gathered the night before the Court of Appeals makes its final say.

Attorneys for the gay couples are expected to argue that the current law prohibiting same-sex marriage violates the state constitution's guarantee of "equality, liberty and privacy for all New Yorkers."
the rest

Emerging Confusion
Jesus is the truth whether we experience him or not.
by Charles Colson with Anne Morse
posted 05/31/2006

Distressed about my widely circulated exchanges with an "emerging church" leader, a young theologian confronted me after a conference. He urged me to try to understand them. "You might be surprised by how much you agree on," he said.

Maybe I had been too harsh. After all, the theologian—we'll call him Jim—argued that emerging church leaders are trying to translate the gospel for a postmodern generation. That's a commendable goal, I agreed. Though in their effort to reach postmoderns—who question the existence and knowability of truth—I expressed fear that they are coming dangerously close to teaching that objective truth does not exist.

A lengthy e-mail exchange with Jim followed. In defense of emerging church leaders, he insisted that truth is paradoxical, simultaneously personal and propositional. It is objectively true that Jesus Christ is Lord no matter what anyone thinks, Jim wrote. But, he added, "Propositional truth is not the highest truth. Indeed, the highest truth is personal."

Like all statements that can lead us into error, those have the ring of truth. Of course, truth becomes relational when we come to Jesus, Truth himself. But our doing that isn't what makes it true. He is the truth whether or not we ever experience him. Scripture is never less than revealed propositional truth.
the rest

Becoming a Godly Wife: Cultivate a Life of Prayer
Judy Carden

Can you remember a time in your marriage when you wondered if you had made a major mistake in your choice of a partner, or you wondered if you had grossly overestimated your love story and, even worse, the character of your husband? Think back to a time when you felt that your husband’s performance fell far short of your expectations, or when, somewhere along the way, your beautiful love story took a detour and you weren’t sure you even liked your husband any longer.

You may be reading this with a heavy heart. Your spirit is crushed. Those once-soft glances are now frightened, empty stares. Perhaps privately, you are praying for either a painless parting (which doesn’t exist) or a marriage miracle.

the rest-Excellent!

Introducing the Lohasians -- The New Face of the New Age
by Albert Mohler
Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Newsweek introduces its readers to the movement it calls the "Lohasians" in the magazine's June 5, 2006 edition. According to Steven Waldman of, "Lohasian" is an acronym for "Lifestyles of Heath and Sustainability."

Here's how the Lohasians are described:

LOHAS consumers (or Lohasians, as they're called at Beliefnet) represent 17 percent of the U.S. population, according to a report released by the Natural Marketing Institute at a LOHAS conference held in April in Santa Monica, Calif. The study said Lohasians are "dedicated to personal and planetary health." Seventy-three percent buy recycled-paper goods, and 71 percent buy natural or organic "personal care" products. They pay more to get foods without pesticides and want their cars fuel-efficient. Among the products and services offered at the conference this year were detoxifying pine oil, organic body lotion, ecofriendly spas and recycled-cashmere sweaters. A decade ago, one attendee said, the conference vendor room offered only "broccoli and tomatoes."
the rest

Church for gays launches ad blitz
$55,000 campaign asks: Would Jesus discriminate?
May 31, 2006

How would Jesus treat gays and lesbians? Would he accept them as they are, or condemn them as sinners?

Whether you're interested in engaging in the debate or not, a local gay and lesbian church's in-your-face advertising campaign could make it a difficult topic to avoid over the next few weeks.

Especially with 2,000 yard signs, which began popping up in the metro area over the weekend, an ad in Sunday's Indianapolis Star (with three more planned), 650 bumper stickers, 720 T-shirts and soon 25,000 door hangers -- all courtesy of volunteers from the Jesus Metropolitan Community Church.
the rest

Onward Christian Surfers
Dean Sabate and his wave-riding friends spread the Gospel on Waikiki, searching for the hopeless, lonely and lost in paradise.
By Tomas Alex Tizon, Times Staff Writer
May 31, 2006

HONOLULU — If Jesus were alive today, he would be a surfer. He would mingle with fishermen and beach bums and lay his mat on the sand among the scantily clad. Instead of walking on water, he would ride waves on a carved piece of fiberglass, keeping an eye out for anyone who needed saving.

This is what Dean Sabate and his friends believe.

They are surfers for Jesus. Today they are on Waikiki Beach doing what they believe Jesus would be doing. While others might see a frolicking crowd, Sabate and his group see sprinkled among the masses a few lost souls who need tending.
the rest

Are evangelicals swing voters?
May 31, 2006
Patrick Hynes

At some point in the last eighteen months, a meme was born in the mainstream press that has, so far as I can tell, no basis in fact. According to this meme, politically active evangelical Christians are an "up for grabs" swing group of voters, many of whom are ripe for the Democrats’ picking.

This bizarre idea was expressed most recently by Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post in May.

Writes Marcus:

Democrats these days are a party on a mission that might sound impossible: to persuade evangelical Christian voters to consider converting -- to the Democratic Party.Just as Republicans have worked, and to some extent succeeded, at peeling off some African American voters from the Democratic Party, evangelical voters are too big a part of the electorate (about a quarter) for one party simply to write off.Democrats have a shot at
luring some of them…

The facts do not back up this assertion.
the rest

Getty to display religious icons from Mt. Sinai
A Byzantine monastery will loan 53 objects for a fall showing called "the experience of a lifetime" by one organizer.
By Suzanne Muchnic, Times Staff Writer

In a feat of international diplomacy and long-term planning, the J. Paul Getty Museum has arranged to bring a trove of Byzantine devotional objects from an Egyptian monastery to Los Angeles. Fifty-three objects from the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine at Mt. Sinai — home of the world's finest collection of Byzantine icons and manuscripts — will go on view Nov. 14 in an exclusive 16-week engagement at the Getty Center.

The exhibition, "Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons From Sinai," will be the first to focus solely on the Greek Orthodox monastery, said Father Justin Sinaites, librarian at St. Catherine's, in an interview in Los Angeles. The museum will present 43 icons — including small, jewel-like panels; 4-foot-tall doors bearing portraits of saints; and 15-foot-long architectural beams painted with biblical narratives — along with six manuscripts, three metal pieces and a liturgical textile. The works will be installed in a setting designed to illuminate their devotional roles and evoke the ambience of the monastery, he said.
the rest

How Children Learn About God and Science
Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Managing Editor
17 May 2006

A new review of scientific studies supports the idea that children do not take all the teachings of parents and teachers at face value.

Most parents would hope and expect as much—nobody wants an automaton.

But the study revealed an interesting sidebar that is tougher to explain. Among things they can't see, from germs to God, children seem to be more confident in the information they get about invisible scientific objects than about things in the spiritual realm.

"We don't have a firm view on why it is they're a bit more confident on the scientific information," said Paul Harris, a professor of education at Harvard University. "But one possible plausible reason is that when we talk about things like germs or body organs, we talk in a very matter-of-fact fashion. We don't say, "I believe in germs," we simply take it for granted that they exist."

On the other hand, adults tend to assert the existence of God more strenuously, possibly raising doubts in children's minds as to the existence of an unseen deity, Harris said.
the rest

Survey bares lesbian teens-suicide link
Numbers suggest lesbian teens five times more likely to attempt killing themselves
Glenn Bohn
CanWest News Service
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

VANCOUVER -- Lesbian teens are nearly five times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual girls, according to a survey presented at a national conference of public health experts in Vancouver Monday.

The survey found 38 per cent of lesbian girls and 30.4 per cent of bisexual girls said they had attempted suicide in the previous year, compared with 8.2 per cent of heterosexual girls.

The results were from a 2003 survey of 30,000 students between grades 7 and 12 done by the B.C.-based McCreary Centre Society, which asked students if they had attempted suicide in the previous year. By contrast, 8.8 per cent of homosexual boys, 2.8 per cent of bisexual boys and 3.3 per cent of heterosexual boys said they had attempted suicide.
the rest

Why Not Ban Abortion Now?
Terence P. Jeffrey
Posted May 31, 2006

Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman doesn’t mind telling you that he sees the pro-life cause as a moral and political winner for his party.

When I asked Mehlman (during an interview he did last week with HUMAN EVENTS) whether the pro-life issue was good for Republicans, his response was instantaneous. “Absolutely,” he said.

As proof, he pointed to the 2002 Senate races in Missouri and Minnesota. In Missouri, pro-life Republican former Rep. Jim Talent defeated pro-abortion Democratic Sen. Jean Carnahan. In Minnesota, pro-life Republican former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman defeated pro-abortion former Democratic Vice President Fritz Mondale. In both races, abortion helped the Republican.
the rest

Homosexuality and the Bible, 'defined'
By Richard N. Ostling
The Associated Press

The increasingly stark polarization of religious groups about homosexuality is seen in new alliances that favor and oppose amending the U.S. Constitution to bar same-sex marriage.

The pro-amendment Religious Coalition for Marriage unites leaders from the Roman Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention, evangelical Protestantism (including blacks and Hispanics, Episcopal conservatives, Charles Colson, James Dobson, Rick Warren), Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Eastern Orthodoxy, Mormonism and Orthodox Judaism.

The anti-amendment Clergy for Fairness draws support from the Episcopal Church majority, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist Association, liberal Judaism and the largely gay Metropolitan Community Churches, among others.
the rest

The sound of moulds breaking
May 25th 2006
From The Economist print edition
What this year's Eurovision winners tell us about modern religion

WHO said religion was dying in Europe? On paper at least, the Finns show a devotion to their national church that resembles new-world fervour more than the old continent's jaded scepticism. More than 4.4m people, or 85% of the population, are registered with the Lutheran church. Another 60,000 adhere to the Finnish Orthodox church, whose cathedral is a Helsinki landmark. By some indicators, the Finns are pious in fact as well as in theory: as many as 43% say they pray several times a week.
the rest

Iran's military plans for invasion by U.S.
By Iason Athanasiadis

May 31, 2006

TEHRAN -- Iran, apparently anticipating an American invasion, has quietly been restructuring its military and testing a new military doctrine that calls for a decentralized, Iraqi-style guerrilla campaign against an invading force.

Iran's military planners are acutely aware that a military confrontation with technologically more advanced U.S. armed forces would be rapid and multifronted, unlike the static and slow-paced 1980-88 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Therefore, a series of war games have been carried out since late last year to test the army's readiness.
the rest

As gays plan parade, city's inaction in focus
Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gay and lesbian high school students and their supporters will march through idyllic downtown Los Altos at noon Sunday, an event that may be as much a protest of the city council as a celebration of gay pride.

The parade culminates more than two years of debate between the council and members of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Los Altos High School over whether the city of 27,000 should take a position on gay and lesbian rights.

In February, the council tried to forestall debate by voting to never issue any proclamations pertaining to sexual orientation, although two years ago it had proclaimed a Gay Pride Day.
That vote divided the town.
the rest

Gillerman: World War III already begun
May. 31, 2006

Syrian and Iranian diplomats traded barbs with Israel's UN ambassador on Tuesday, as a routine Security Council meeting on fighting terrorism degenerated into insults.

At a meeting aimed at assessing the progress and work of the Security Council's three anti-terror committees, Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman said that World War III had already begun and urged the former Allied forces from World War to act against the axis of terror, consisting of Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah.

He called the four entities the "greatest state sponsor of terrorism and the largest threat to international peace and security."

Gillerman also lashed out at the oft-repeated argument by Iran and many Arab states that a distinction must be made between terrorism and armed resistance movements - namely the Palestinians' fight against the Jewish state.
the rest

Appeal rejected in Mt. Pleasant case to bar Boy Scout recruiters
May 31, 2006

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Tuesday from a man who is an atheist over Boy Scout recruiting at his son's public school in Mt. Pleasant.

John Scalise, a former city commissioner, had asked the court to bar public schools from opening their doors to Boy Scout recruiters and promoting membership.

He argued that the group discriminates against nonreligious boys and parents by denying them membership if they don't swear to religious oaths.

Scalise's dispute with the Scouts dates to 1998, when his son was a third-grader at Fancher Elementary. He claims he and his son were barred from a Scout program at the school because they would not pledge "to do my duty to God and my country."

The Scalises are nonreligious Humanists.
the rest

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Little Sins

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines." —Song of Solomon 2:15.

A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These little sins burrow in the soul, and make it so full of that which is hateful to Christ, that He will hold no comfortable fellowship and communion with us. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can make him miserable. Jesus will not walk with His people unless they drive out every known sin. He says, "If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love."

Some Christians very seldom enjoy their Saviour's presence. How is this? Surely it must be an affliction for a tender child to be separated from his father. Art thou a child of God, and yet satisfied to go on without seeing thy Father's face? What! thou the spouse of Christ, and yet content without His company! Surely, thou hast fallen into a sad state, for the chaste spouse of Christ mourns like a dove without her mate, when he has left her. Ask, then, the question, what has driven Christ from thee? He hides His face behind the wall of thy sins. That wall may be built up of little pebbles, as easily as of great stones. The sea is made of drops; the rocks are made of grains: and the sea which divides thee from Christ may be filled with the drops of thy little sins; and the rock which has well nigh wrecked thy barque, may have been made by the daily working of the coral insects of thy little sins. If thou wouldst live with Christ, and walk with Christ, and see Christ, and have fellowship with Christ, take heed of "the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes." Jesus invites you to go with Him and take them. He will surely, like Samson, take the foxes at once and easily. Go with Him to the hunting.
CH Spurgeon

Court Orders Jerusalem to Fund Homosexual Activist Organization
By Gudrun Schultz
JERUSALEM, May 30, 2006

( - A Jerusalem District Court has ordered the Jerusalem Municipality to pay over CAD$80,000 to a city organization promoting homosexuality, the Gay and Lesbian Center. The payout covers "cultural and social activities" held by the Center since 2003, when the city stopped funding the organization, reported the Jerusalem Post Monday.

Judge Yehudit Tzur accepted the organization's argument that the city was discriminating against them, saying in her ruling, "[The municipality] must treat this community with equality, out of recognition of the supreme value of equality, and out of respect for the values of tolerance and pluralism, which exist at the heart of democratic society."
the rest

Costa Rican Supreme Court says No to Homosexual "Marriage"
By Hilary White
May 30, 2006

( - The Spanish language news agency, Notivida reports that the Supreme Court of Costa Rica has ruled the whole concept of "gay marriage" unconstitutional. The suit was brought in 2003 by lawyer Yashin Castrillo Fernandez who argued that the state must comply with international agreements on human rights. The argument was rejected by the court 5-2.

The Court ruled, "the concept of marriage embraced by the political constitution stems historically from a context where it is understood to be between a man and a woman."

Chief Justice Luis Fernando Solano said the problem could be solved by legislation allowing homosexuals to form "civil unions."
the rest

Pedophilia Party Launched in the Netherlands
by Hilary White
May 30, 2006

( - The newly formed Charity, Freedom and Diversity (NVD) party of the Netherlands has introduced itself to Dutch politics as a champion of children's rights and has vowed, "We are going to shake The Hague awake!"

The NVD is Europe's first political party dedicated to promoting and legitimizing pedophilia. In a press release, the NVD's spokesman and co-founder, Ad van den Berg said among their goals is lowering the age of consent for sexual activity from 16 to 12 and eventually eliminating it completely.

"A ban just makes children curious," van den Berg told the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper. The party will also be working to decriminalize child pornography and to lower the age for which it is legal to appear in it from 18 to 16. The party suggests that in order to prevent "abuse" a governmental body be appointed to investigate whether children had been forced to appear in pornographic movies.
the rest

The Dangers of Being Christian in the Islamic World
Chuck Colson

This past Good Friday, a man entered Mar Girgis Church in Alexandria, Egypt, and stabbed one worshipper to death and wounded two others. He then went to another church and stabbed three other Christians. The events in Alexandria were a reminder of the, at best, tenuous status of Christians in the Islamic world. The Egyptian government immediately dismissed the possibility that animus toward Christians played a role in the attacks. Egypt's Interior Ministry said that the attacker suffered from "psychological disturbances." How convenient.

Egyptian Christians, known as Copts, did not buy it, and for good reason: Police officials had a different version, announcing that "three men had been arrested in four simultaneous church assaults." According to the police, these assaults had killed one and injured another seventeen.
the rest

Modesty and Fashion -- Sworn Enemies?
by Albert Mohler
Posted: Tuesday, May 30

Is the world of fashion the implacable enemy of modesty in dress? Pia Catton considers this question in a most interesting essay published in the current edition of
In Character. In "Dressing for the Occasion: When is Allure a Fashion Slip?," she argues that modesty has been sacrificed in a head-long rush to emulate youth culture.

From her essay:
The relationship between fashion and modesty appears to be straightforward, even immutable. Fashion is the constant enemy of modesty. The former seeks to attract attention, notice, and comment. The latter, by contrast, is the rejection of such theatrics. Modesty in dress is about turning oneself out with consideration for occasion, taste, and economy.
the rest

Travel Writing from the Afterlife
If the Bible doesn't quench your curiosity on what it's like in heaven and hell, we have two new firsthand accounts.
by Rob Moll
posted 05/30/2006

"If you died today, are you 100 percent sure you would go to heaven?" In a country where more people believe in an afterlife than believe in God, it's likely an effective opening question.

Or evangelists could, if their potential converts are patient enough, simply read Bill Wiese's account of being catapulted into hell followed by Don Piper's description of being in heaven.

Readers fascinated by the afterlife are quickly buying 23 Minutes in Hell and 90 Minutes in Heaven. And for the shy evangelist, both authors have speaking ministries which could accommodate the skeptical friend.
the rest

Owners of Christian oriented B&Bs practise hospitality

CP) - Diane Gourluck says that having a Christian background helps her create a welcoming environment for guests at her bed & breakfast establishment in Winnipeg.

"We treat everyone who comes through the door with the love of Jesus Christ," says Gourluck, who owns and runs Banner Bed & Breakfast along with two other women. "We show them the respect and love that He would."

"I got into this business because I wanted to be a blessing to people, and use my spiritual gift of hospitality," she adds, noting that it's "uplifting" to welcome visitors to the Victorian-style home, built in 1906 and filled with antiques and "old world charm."
the rest

Churches try karaoke
By Shelley Emling
Cox News Service

London - Karaoke bars have become trendy around the world, with countless wannabe singers mangling songs like Frank Sinatra's "My Way" while following along with lyrics displayed on a big screen.

So why not karaoke churches? With attendance plummeting and youthful organists hard to find, churches across Britain are turning to a new karaoke-like machine called Hymnal Plus as a means of jazzing up stale services - and also giving elderly organists a break.

Designed and manufactured in Britain, the new Hymnal Plus, or HT-300, from Hymn Technology Ltd. of London promises to take music accompaniment for worship to a whole new level.

Priced at $3,500, the HT-300 not only can play more than 2,750 traditional hymns and modern worship songs, but can also play imported MP3 audio files.
the rest

Modified Image on School Yearbook Cover Upsets Some Parents
'In God We Trust' Scrubbed from Image of Liberty Nickel
By Jim Brown
May 30, 2006

(AgapePress) - Parents in suburban Fort Worth, Texas, are expressing anger over an elementary school's decision to remove the phrase "In God We Trust" from its yearbook cover.

Officials at Liberty Elementary School in Colleyville deliberately omitted the words "In God We Trust" from a large image of the new "Liberty" nickel appearing on the cover of the school's inaugural yearbook. The coin features a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, the cursive "Liberty" inscription in Jefferson's own handwriting, and the national motto along the right edge -- except, that is, along the edge of the coin's image on this elementary school's yearbook.

Janet Travis, principal of Liberty Elementary School, explains that in making the determination, she wanted to avoid offending students of different religions. But for those who preferred, the yearbook came with a sticker that allowed students to put the phrase "In God We Trust" back on the Liberty nickel.
the rest

Earth Charter Invasion
Joseph Klein
May 30, 2006

As I reported in FrontPage Magazine last February, the ACLU decided to challenge the decision of a duly elected local board of education in Pennsylvania to end a United Nations-sponsored International
Baccalaureate Program in its public schools that is closely linked to the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter is a New Age spiritual declaration of nature-worshipping principles for living in harmony with the sacred Earth. Its prime sponsors – former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong, one of Kofi Annan’s most trusted advisors and architect of the Kyoto Protocol – have compared the Earth Charter to the Ten Commandments. The International Baccalaureate Program is run by the International Baccalaureate Organization, which has specifically endorsed the Earth Charter.

Thanks to litigation subsequently instituted by the ACLU and dissident parents against the local board of education in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, and settled recently, the UN’s Earth Charter may soon return to their curriculum. Faced with mounting legal bills and exposure to personal liability, the members of the board felt they had no choice but to give in to the plaintiffs’ demands and restore the program with an offer of state help to defray its costs.
the rest

Moscow says banned gays because "cleaner" than West
Tue May 30, 2006

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow's influential mayor said on Tuesday the city banned gay activists from holding a parade because it is morally cleaner than the West, which is caught up in "mad licentiousness".

The gay activists tried to hold their protest against homophobia and discrimination at the weekend despite the ban, but were detained by police, abused by militant Christians and attacked by neo-fascists.

They had wanted to lay flowers at the grave of the unknown warrior, a monument to those who died defeating Nazi Germany, but police blocked their path.

Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said such an action would have been a desecration of the sacred monument, and rejected Western criticism of his ban as prejudiced and homophobic.
the rest

Same-sex ceasefire ends for Anglican Church
Jennifer Green
The Ottawa Citizen
Saturday, May 20, 2006
CREDIT: Bruno Schlumberger, The Ottawa Citizen

Rev. George Sinclair calls it 'tragic' that it looks like the church's battle is about Linda Privitera.

It was not supposed to be like this, not for anyone.Linda Privitera had been looking forward to practising her calling as an Anglican priest and living in peace with her spouse, Melissa Haussman.

Desiree Stedman had been looking forward to a peaceful retirement, recalling with contentment 19 years of service to the nurturing church she had grown up in.

Instead, both women have found themselves embroiled in a churchwide dispute over same-sex unions, and, more to the point, what it means to be Christian. the rest

Monday, May 29, 2006

Listen, my friend! Your helplessness is your best prayer. It calls from your heart to the heart of God with greater effect than all your uttered pleas. He hears it from the very moment that you are seized with helplessness, and He becomes actively engaged at once in hearing and answering the prayer of your helplessness. Ole Kristian O. Hallesby

No Same Sex Stuff in the Blue Book: "Report to the 75th General Convention"
Reflections from the Rev’d Dr Peter Toon, President of the Prayer Book Society
Friday, May 26, 2006

Before each General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, there appears what has for a long time been called
“the Blue Book” (although in 2006 it has a green cover). The current one contains Reports of the Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards of the General Convention of the ECUSA, which is scheduled to meet in Columbus, Ohio, June 13-21, 2006.
This year its title is: come and grow, 2006. (all lower case)

Since the last General Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, three years ago, there has been unceasing talk and debate both in the USA and abroad about two of the decisions of that Convention – the blessing of same-sex partnerships and the ordaining/consecrating of a man as bishop living in such a relation. Not a few people have left the Episcopal Church over the issue and various overseas bishops and archbishops have declared themselves out of Eucharistic communion with the ECUSA because of it. Further, an official report, The Windsor Report, was commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury to look into the whole business and amongst it recommendations is the expressing of regret by the Convention for its advance into innovative sexual doctrine and practice.

So it seems that the whole world is watching to see whether or not the Convention does express regret and commit itself to restrain itself when it comes to innovation in Christian doctrine, ethics and liturgy in the present and future.
the rest

Scholars Ponder Same-Sex 'Marriage' Issues
Monday, May. 29, 2006

While many religious groups are lobbying against gay ''marriage,'' some scholars say they also need to look ahead and ponder the practical problems if such unions are one day widely legalized.

Their take: If gay marriage becomes recognized under law across the country, religious groups could face challenges to customary ways of doing business, even to their finances.

Although 19 states have passed anti-gay marriage amendments, Marc D. Stern, general counsel of the American Jewish Congress and an influential ally of liberals on church-state separation, thinks widespread legalization of same-sex unions is inevitable.

From his perspective, that will cause major problems for religious agencies unless they start a campaign now so their ability to dissent is guaranteed. Already, he notes, Catholic Charities Boston ended a century of adoption services because an anti-discrimination law requires placements with same-sex couples in Massachusetts, the only state where gay marriage is now legal.
the rest

Aid Arrives In Indonesian Quake Zone
Monday, May. 29, 2006

BANTUL, Indonesia (AP) - Emergency aid began arriving Monday in areas devastated by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia, but officials said the supplies were not reaching survivors quickly enough as victims pleaded for money on debris-filled roads to buy food.

An aid plane chartered by the U.N.'s children agency arrived in the city of Solo, about three hours from the hardest-hit district of Bantul on Java island. It was loaded with water, tents, stoves and cooking sets that officials said would be distributed later Monday.

On Sunday, three U.N. trucks brought high-energy biscuits to survivors and two Singapore military cargo planes arrived at Yogyakarta airport with doctors and medical supplies.

But officials said relief supplies remained inadequate.

Remaking Man in Our Own Image: C.S. Lewis' Conditioners and the World of X-Men 3: The Last Stand
by Marc T. Newman, Ph.D.

C. S. Lewis argued in The Abolition of Man that humans, unmoored from the restraint occasioned by fidelity to a transcendent moral order, would create a world of their own choosing. Humans think that by doing so they will be free to make of themselves what they will, but Lewis disagreed, noting "For the power of Man to make himself what he pleases means, as we have seen, the power of some men to make other men what they please." The men in charge of such a program Lewis called "the Conditioners" – and they are making a spectacular appearance this weekend at your local theater in X-Men 3: The Last Stand.Memorial Day weekend has become the kickoff point for summer popcorn flicks, and in that area X-Men 3 does not disappoint.

Summer films are dominated by action, and X-Men 3 has enough spandex-garbed mutant superheroes, battles to the death, explosions, gunfire, and other visual eye-candy to satisfy the adolescent male in many of us. And while X-Men 3 is the weakest in the series (blame the exit of director Bryan Singer, who left the franchise he built to direct Superman Returns), amidst the mayhem it still raises significant questions about the making of moral decisions in a culture that has abandoned God, the threat of Conditioners to remake humans in their own image, and the need to reassert a transcendent vision of humanity if we are ever to survive the technologizing of the West.
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Babies aborted for not being perfect
28th May 2006

The ethical storm over abortions has been renewed as it emerged that terminations are being carried out for minor, treatable birth defects. Late terminations have been performed in recent years because the babies had club feet, official figures show. Other babies were destroyed because they had webbed fingers or extra digits.

Such defects can often be corrected with a simple operation or physiotherapy.

The revelation sparked fears that abortion is increasingly being used to satisfy couples' desire for the 'perfect' baby.

A leading doctor said people were right to be 'totally shocked' that abortions were being carried out for such conditions.

Campaigners warned we are turning into a society that can no longer tolerate imperfection. Doctors were recently told they can now screen IVF embryos to try to weed out inherited cancers.
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Big is the word for Africa's Christians
By Brian Murphy
May 29, 2006

LAGOS, Nigeria -- It's eight hours into the service, and the congregation is still dancing. Shout, they're told. Yell out to the Lord. Their cries melt into a muggy night with the odor of sweating bodies, jasmine and the tropical musk of the Nigerian bush land.

"Hallelujah," rumbles the head pastor as the church band kicks into a new number. "Hal-le-luuuuuuu-jah."

Even from the heights of the pulpit, he can't see the far edges of the crowd. More than 300,000 people have come for the once-a-month, all-night, Pentecostal-style revival, led by a preacher most simply call "Daddy."

Given the standards of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, it's just an average turnout.

Think big. Think very big. Then think bigger.
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How Low Can We Go?
SAT scores dropped significantly this year. Blame the schools, not the test.
Friday, May 26, 2006

Colleges across the country are reporting a drop in SAT scores this year. I've been tutoring students in New York City for the SAT since 1989, and I have watched the numbers rise and fall. This year, though, the scores of my best students dropped about 50 points total in the math and verbal portions of the test (each on a scale of 200 to 800). Colleges and parents are wondering: Is there something wrong with the new test? Or are our children not being taught what they should know?

Before 1994, the verbal section of the SAT was about 65% vocabulary (55 out of 85 questions) and 35% reading comprehension. Then the Educational Testing Service shortened and reworked the test, devoting half of the 78 questions to each area. Last year ETS changed the test again, and now it is heavily skewed toward reading: 49 of the 68 items require students to read, synthesize and answer questions.
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'I could not fail to come here,' says Pope Benedict at historic Auschwitz visit
Lily Galili

KRAKOW - The words "I could not fail to come here," with which Pope Benedict XVI opened his address at Auschwitz-Birkenau yesterday, were the same ones his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, uttered in this place in 1979. But what he said next made all the difference: "Pope John Paul II came here as a son of the Polish people. I come here today as a son of the German people. It is a duty to the truth, and the just due of all who suffered here."

Benedict described himself as "a son of that people over which a ring of criminals rose to power through false promises of future greatness and the restoration of the nation's honor, prominence and prosperity, but also through terror and intimidation." The result, he said, was "that our people was used and abused as an instrument of their thirst for destruction and power. Yes, I could not fail to come here."
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Sunday, May 28, 2006

"There is not a spider hanging on the king's wall but hath its errand; there is not a nettle that groweth in the corner of the churchyard but hath its purpose; there is not a single insect fluttering in the breeze but accomplisheth some Divine decree; and I will never have it that God created any man, especially any Christian man, to be a blank, and to be a nothing. He made you for an end. Find out what that end is; find out your niche and fill it. If it be ever so little, if it is only to be a hewer of wood and a drawer of water, do something in the great battle for God and truth." C.H. Spurgeon photo

Eight U.S. Bishops Meet with Archbishop Williams

In a bid to continue the dialogue within the Anglican Communion over the divisions within the Episcopal Church, eight Episcopal Church bishops met with the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace on May 24.

Meeting with the archbishop and his senior advisors were the Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge, Bishop of West Texas; the Rt. Rev. John B. Lipscomb, Bishop of Southwest Florida; the Rt. Rev. Edward Little II, Bishop of Northern Indiana; the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana; the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., Bishop of South Carolina; the Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas; the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey N. Steenson, Bishop of the Rio Grande; and the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, Bishop of Rhode Island.

Four other bishops and senior church leaders, including the Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neil, Bishop of Colorado, were also invited to attend the gathering, but were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.
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Covenant Hope for Unity
Date: May 26
By Andrew Carey

ATTEMPTS to resolve the Anglican crisis over homosexuality have now turned to the Windsor Report’s proposal for a Covenant to bind the Anglican Churches together. It could take up to nine years before such a Covenant comes into being and the end result might be a two-tier Communion, according to a working party which has been looking into the plan.

While the Covenant itself will not solve the current Anglican crisis it could help the Anglican Communion weather future problems, the working party concludes. “In principle ... the Covenant could identify where legitimate differences of view over matters even as important as, for example, the ordination of women could be recognised. In doing so, it could indicate how such ‘agreement to disagree’ on other issues might be reached and what processes might be used to foster trust and unity during periods of extended or sensitive discernment.”

The Covenant could provide protection for ‘conscientious objectors’ to new developments within provinces, the group says. The work on the covenant was commissioned by the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. The working party included two legal experts, Professor Norman Doe, and Canon John Rees, the evangelical theologian Dr Andrew Goddard and Canon Robert Paterson, a theologian from the Church in Wales. The group state: “It will not do to say ‘There is one Anglican Covenant for this group and another Anglican Covenant for that group’. For the Covenant concept to work there comes a point at which Provinces and Churches will have to say about the Covenant that they will ‘take it or leave it’.”
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'Philly 11' win round against 'gay' group
Judge refuses to release homosexual organization from Christians' lawsuit
Posted: May 28,

A federal judge has ruled that the homosexual activist group called
Philly Pride Presents has to face the legal wrath of 11 Christians who were arrested for protesting a "gay pride" event in the City of Brotherly Love.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence F. Stengel issued a 17-page opinion denying the homosexual group's motion to dismiss, which had sought to release the group from a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Christian protesters – who came collectively to be known as "the Philadelphia Eleven." According to a press release from
Repent America, the group behind the Christian protest, "the lawsuit, in part, declares that Philly Pride conspired with the Philadelphia Police to deprive eleven Christians of their constitutional rights at the group’s homosexual celebration on October 10, 2004."

The lawsuit was filed Oct. 21, against the City of Philadelphia, Philly Pride Presents, and others for the arrest of six men and five women with Repent America as they demonstrated at Philly Pride's annual "OutFest" event.
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Pakistani Christian Children Sold as Slaves to Fund Islamic Militants, Says Watchdog Group
Saturday, May. 27, 2006

A leading member of a militant Islamic organization based in Pakistan is funding its activities through the sale of Christian children into slavery, according to a Christian persecution watchdog group.

The militant Islamic organization, Gul Khan, is said to abduct children between the ages of six to twelve from their homes in remote Christian villages in the Punjab and incarcerate them in deplorable conditions until they are sold, reported U.K.-based Barnabas Fund on Thursday. Children supposedly sold into the sex trade or a life of domestic servitude sell for about $1,700 each.

The Christianity Today Book Awards 2006
Out of 37 publishers and 240 titles, our judges selected 22 of this year's best books.
posted 05/26/2006

This year, 37 publishers nominated 240 titles. CT staff selected the top books in each category, and then panels of judges (one panel for each category) voted. In the end, we chose 22 titles that bring understanding to people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission. Selections of our judges' comments follow the titles of the winners.

List here

Amnesty International: We're Supporting Abortion because of Gay Rights
by Hilary White
OTTAWA, May 26, 2006

( - In late April, revealed that Amnesty International was canvassing their members on a proposal to move into abortion advocacy. Now the human rights group claims that their proposed foray into abortion stems from their support for women's and homosexual rights. has obtained copies of a form letter Amnesty sent to supporters who contacted them objecting that abortion violates the rights of the unborn. Amnesty wrote, that their proposal to support "sexual and reproductive rights," (SRR) stems from their "global campaign to Stop Violence against Women, as well as its work on HIV/AIDS; on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, economic, social and cultural rights and on related issues."
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Gambling violates Christian principles
By Tim R. Alanib

"If you used to rob, you must stop robbing and start working, in order to earn an honest living for yourself and to be able to help the poor" (Ephesians 4:28).

GAMBLING violates Christian principles. The Bible contains no specific command about gambling. But gambling is contrary to the spirit of the Scriptures.

* The Bible stresses the sovereignty of God in life. "For only a penny you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father's consent. As for you, even the hairs of your head have all been counted" (Matthew 10:29, 30).

* The Bible is opposed to covetousness and materialism. (Matt. 6:19-34). Both are basic in the desire to gamble.

* The Bible condemns theft. "...Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely" (Matt. 19:18). Gambling is usually theft by mutual consent.
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Bill to Ban Gambling Online Gets 4th Chance
Frank Ahrens
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 25, 2006

Online poker players will have to fold their hands if a Virginia congressman gets his way.

Today, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up a bill introduced by Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte (R) that would ban much online gambling, including bets on sporting events and games of chance -- namely poker, which has enjoyed a boom in recent years.
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Bishop questions Prince as 'defender of faith'
(Filed: 27/05/2006)

A senior Anglican bishop has questioned the Prince of Wales's intention to be seen as the defender of all faiths, rather than just Christianity.

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, said that differences between the faiths made it impossible to defend all of them.

And he pointed out that Prince Charles would be obliged to take an oath to defend the Christian church if he succeeded to the throne.

"The basis for British society is Christian constitutionally. Many of its institutions are based on Christian ideas - the monarchy, for instance, legal arrangements derived from the Judeo-Christian ethic," he told the BBC.
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Animal Planet
Animal-rights terrorism is on the increase and animal-rights activists aren't doing enough to stop it.
by Wesley J. Smith

TERRORISM TAKES MANY FORMS. Recently, animal-rights terrorists have unleashed an organized campaign of violence and intimidation against animal industries and their service companies--such as banks, auditing companies, and insurance brokers.

A pattern has developed: Websites identify people to be terrorized because of their involvement with animal-using industries; these sites list their personal information, including home addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, even the names, ages, and schools of their children. Militants use this information to send anonymous death threats to the children of targets, backed by mailed video tapes of their family members. They steal mail, shatter windows while the family is home, burn cars, make false bomb threats, cover homes with graffiti, take out subscriptions to pornographic magazines in the name of the target, steal identities, and otherwise ruin their victims' lives.
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WHO says bird flu drug maker on alert
Sunday, May 28, 2006

The biggest case yet of humans possibly infecting others with bird flu prompted the World Health Organization to put the maker of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu on alert for possible shipment of the global stockpile for the first time, officials said Saturday.

No further action on the emergency supply was expected for now, according to the U.N. health agency, which called the alert part of its standard operating procedure when a case arises like that in Indonesia.

"We have no intention of shipping that stockpile," WHO spokesman Dick Thompson cautioned. "We see this as a practice run."
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Reagan’s Children Rising
by Hans Zeiger
May 27, 2006

Excerpt: "Reagan's Children are at the leading edge of the generation. The 30 million of us born when Ronald Reagan was president are the first half of the generational cohort broadly considered to be Generation Y, the Millennial Generation or Generation Next. Though present trends suggest our younger siblings will be more morally conservative than we are, the Reagan's Children cohort is the group that is currently emerging, providing the most important evidence of a national conservative shift.

At the present moment, Reagan's Children are voting for the first time, going to college, forming our worldview ideas and choosing our first jobs. We are the young soldiers fighting the war on terrorism, the first cohort to have been born with MTV and the first cohort to have grown up with the Internet. "
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Battle to rescue quake survivors
Death toll rises to 3,875; power outages hinder rescuers
Sunday, May 28, 2006

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Rescue crews in devastated central Java on Sunday scrambled to reach survivors of the massive 6.3-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 3,800 people, injured thousands and flattened communities in the heavily populated Indonesian region.

Indonesia's Social Ministry reported the death toll at 3,875.

The United Nations and aid agencies mobilized to provide health care, water, food, tents and other supplies.

Christian Relief Groups Launch Rapid Responses to Indonesia Quake
Sunday, May. 28, 2006

As distressed survivors of the magnitude-6.3 quake in Indonesia search through the rubble for their relatives, Christian groups are rushing to the scene offering aid and comfort in the midst of despair and anguish.

Said to be Indonesia’s worst disaster since the 2004 9.1 magnitude quake-tsunami that claimed some 223,000 lives, the massive temblor early Saturday morning has claimed more than 3,700 people on Java Island – with numbers quickly rising. the rest

'Ex-Gays' Seek a Say in Schools
In response to campus programs supporting homosexuality, critics call for offering an alternative view: that people can go straight.
By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer
May 28, 2006

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Over the last decade, gay-rights activists have pushed programs to support gay and lesbian students in public schools.

Their success is striking:
More than 3,000 Gay-Straight Alliance clubs meet across the country. Nearly half a million students take a vow of silence one day each spring in an annual event to support gay rights. California may soon require textbooks to feature the contributions of gays and lesbians throughout history.

Critics, mostly on the religious right, view all this as promoting the "homosexual lifestyle." Unable to stop it, they have turned to a new strategy: demanding equal time for their view in public schools and on college campuses.
the rest

A Ban on Kneeling? Some Catholics Won't Stand for It
By David Haldane, Times Staff Writer
May 28, 2006

At a small Catholic church in Huntington Beach, the pressing moral question comes to this: Does kneeling at the wrong time during worship make you a sinner?Kneeling "is clearly rebellion, grave disobedience and mortal sin,"

Father Martin Tran, pastor at St. Mary's by the Sea, told his flock in a recent church bulletin. The Diocese of Orange backs Tran's anti-kneeling edict.

Though told by the pastor and the archdiocese to stand during certain parts of the liturgy, a third of the congregation still gets on its knees every Sunday.

"Kneeling is an act of adoration," said Judith M. Clark, 68, one of at least 55 parishioners who have received letters from church leaders urging them to get off their knees or quit St. Mary's and the Diocese of Orange. "You almost automatically kneel because you're so used to it. Now the priest says we should stand, but we all just ignore him."
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Police, anti-gay protesters prevent Moscow gay pride parade

MOSCOW (AP):Police and nationalist protesters forcefully prevented gay and lesbian rights activists from rallying Saturday in Moscow, where they had hoped to put on a display of gay pride despite the city government's vehement refusal to grant permission for a parade.

Police detained the rally's main organizer, Nikolai Alexeyev, as he attempted to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a symbol of Russia's victory against fascism in World War II, just outside the Kremlin wall. «We are conducting a peaceful action. We want to show that we have the same rights as other citizens,» Alexeyev had told a news conference a few hours before the rally was to have begun. But police closed the entrance to the garden where the tomb is located, and as the first half-dozen activists arrived carrying flowers, they were set upon by about 100 religious and nationalist extremists who kicked and punched them. «Moscow is not Sodom!» they shouted. Women wearing head scarves held up religious icons while men in Cossack dress _ white sheepskin hats and black-and-red tunics _ stood by. the rest

Infanticide and Abortion: Fruits of the Same Tree
By Cara Cook
Discarded baby girl found in California.

The newborn girl was carefully wrapped in two plastic bags and tossed over a fence into a ravine in Alhambra, California. She did not survive the 53-feet fall.

This horrifying case of infanticide,
uncovered in March, produced a wave of alarm and emotion from Alhambra natives, who named the baby Therese Rose and lovingly organized a funeral service for her. It's hard to imagine anyone not moved by the baby's heartless murder and, in contrast, the tender response of the people of Alhambra.

However, too often outrage over an infant's senseless homicide stops short when she is still in the womb. The little girl who died in the ravine was a few hours old. Did those few hours really make her a person?

The "pro-choice" community is not consistent when it labels infanticide as immoral. One of its underlying assumptions is that the unborn is not a human person. When did Therese Rose become one?
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Russia becoming a Muslim state!
Mon, 2006-05-22 00:14
By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Imagine Russia in 2050! According to Paul Goble, a specialist on ethnic minorities in the Russian Federation has predicted that within the next several decades, Russia will become a Muslim majority state. There is another bad news with fast decline in country’s population. This has already become a headache for Russian politicians and policy makers. President Vladimir Putin has called already for Russian women to have more children, because demographers predict that Russia’s population will fall from 143 million to 100 million by 2050. This situation has alarmed Russians as well Western leaders, more so because analysts estimate that Muslims will comprise the majority group in Russia’s population in few decades.

The Muslim population growth rate since 1989 is between 40 and 50 percent, depending on ethnic groups. Today Russia has about 8,000 mosques while 15 years there were only 300 mosques. According to statistics, by the end of 2015, number of mosques in Russia will cross 25,000. These statistics are frightening for many ethnic Russians who associate Islam with the Kremlin’s war against insurgents in Chechnya. Russia is shrinking. Alarmed by the situation, Putin has offered incentives to women who will have more children.
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Bible supports homosexual partnerships, says bishop
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
(Filed: 28/05/2006)

One of the country's most senior bishops has reignited the Church of England row over homosexuality by claiming that same-sex partnerships are supported by the Bible.

The Rt Rev Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, said that traditionalists in the Church needed to be "converted" to see that homosexual unions are confirmed by the scriptures.

He reaffirmed his controversial belief that an openly gay man should be allowed to be appointed a bishop.

His remarks have angered traditionalists and are set to rekindle the debate on homosexual "marriages" that has left the Church's House of Bishops deeply divided following the introduction of the Civil Partnerships Act last year.
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Friday, May 26, 2006

"Pray without ceasing."
1 Thessalonians 5:17

We think rightly or wrongly about prayer according to the conception we have in our minds of prayer. If we think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts, we think rightly. The blood flows ceaselessly, and breathing continues ceaselessly; we are not conscious of it, but it is always going on. We are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect joint with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life. Beware of anything that stops ejaculatory prayer. "Pray without ceasing," keep the childlike habit of ejaculatory prayer in your heart to God all the time.

Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer, He had the boundless certainty that prayer is always answered. Have we by the Spirit the unspeakable certainty that Jesus had about prayer, or do we think of the times when God does not seem to have answered prayer? "Every one that asketh receiveth." We say - "But . . . , but . . ." God answers prayer in the best way, not sometimes, but every time, although the immediate manifestation of the answer in the domain in which we want it may not always follow. Do we expect God to answer prayer?

The danger with us is that we want to water down the things that Jesus says and make them mean something in accordance with common sense; if it were only common sense, it was not worth while for Him to say it. The things Jesus says about prayer are supernatural revelations.
Oswald Chambers Art

Anglicans Look for Unity in Covenant Proposals Amid Growing Gay Crisis
The Windsor Report’s proposals for a Covenant to keep the Anglican Communion together have now become the focus in efforts to resolve the Church’s crisis over homosexuality.
Posted: Friday, May 26 , 2006

The Windsor Report’s proposals for a Covenant to keep the Anglican Communion together have now become the focus in efforts to resolve the Church’s crisis over homosexuality.

According to an Anglican working party investigating the plans, it could take up to nine years before such a covenant could come into effect, and the final result may be a two-tier Communion, reports the Church of England newspaper.

The working party, however, clearly indicates that the Covenant itself cannot solve the current predicament of the Communion, but that it could go on to help the Communion overcome future problems.
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Silenced Christian wins free-speech battle
State university barred him from speaking to students about faith
Posted: May 25,

A man barred from speaking about his Christian faith on a New York state college campus won a civil-rights lawsuit yesterday in federal court claiming violation of his free-speech rights.

Officials at
Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge, N.Y., told Greg Davis of Indian Lake, N.Y., he needed to file a facilities-use permit application to speak about his faith with students in a public, grassy area on campus in October 2003.

But when he did so, his application was denied because the school claimed his desired religious expression does not constitute a "cultural, educational, social or recreational" activity.
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Making church a work of artists
Wheaton conference seeks to enliven services by infusing the arts into worship
By Denise Linke
Special to the Tribune
Published May 26, 2006

Gone are the days when churchgoers had nothing more to look forward to Sunday mornings than drowsing through a sermon and opening their hymnals to page 147.

Now, many Chicago-area churches are enlivening services with arts and technology, from liturgical dances to heavy metal hymns to multimedia sermons presented in PowerPoint.

And Christian artists are increasingly going to Karitos, named after an adaptation of a Greek phrase meaning gift of God, to learn how to make it all happen. The program's 12th annual Christian arts conference will run Thursday through June 3 at Wheaton College.

"In the past, pastors preached against Hollywood and the arts as being too worldly. Since then, there's been a sea change: The churches that are growing are the ones that incorporate artistic performance into their worship," said conference founder and organizer, Rev. Bob Hays of Arlington Heights.
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'A holier kind of funny'
May 25, 2006

The old gospel song "Amen" is usually about Jesus and his life from a baby in the manger to the resurrection, with punches of "A-a-a-men" at the end of each line. But when Christian comedian Keitha V. sings the song in her shows, it's about being single."

In the first verse, I'll say, 'I am looking for -' and the church will sing, 'A-a-a-men,'" she said. It takes a second for the joke to register, then everyone's laughing like, "Oh, no she didn't."

Women, and maybe a few brave men, will be able to laugh with her at the first Kingdom Daughters Women's Conference today and Friday at the Point Plaza Suites and Conference Hotel in Newport News. The conference also features guest speaker Wilma M. Shaw, founder of House of the Lord Church in Florida.
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Guv would veto bill mandating inclusion of gays in textbooks
Greg Lucas, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sacramento -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto legislation that would require public school instructional materials to contain discussions about the contributions of gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender people if the bill reaches his desk, a spokesman said Thursday.

The statement from the governor, who rarely takes positions on bills until they pass the Legislature, dooms the measure which also prohibits teaching or textbooks that reflect adversely on people because of their sexual orientation.

"The issue for the governor is he is not supportive of the Legislature micro-managing curriculum," said Adam Mendelsohn, the GOP governor's communications director.

"California has an 18-member standards board that is a national model for looking at curriculum," Mendelsohn said. "The governor just believes it's not the Legislature's job to determine curriculum."
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"Birth Control Is Selfish" ... The Message Society Doesn't Want To Hear
By Ruben Obregon

This past weekend graduates of Saint Thomas University were treated to a surprising speech by 21-year-old graduating student Ben Kessler. Some graduates walked out, many jeered, and others spewed profanities in response to his speech.

Just what did he speak of which caused such an outcry? The War in Iraq? Border control? NSA spying? None of the above.

So, what exactly did Mr. Kessler do wrong? He touched society's third rail: contraception. Mr. Kessler had the audacity to call the use of birth control "an act of selfishness."

One would have expected some encouraging applause from the audience, after all St. Thomas is a Catholic institution. The reality is that many of these Catholic students and family members are themselves using contraception, and Mr. Kessler confronted their lifestyle and the use of contraception.

Mr. Kessler dared to speak about this issue and people didn't want to hear his message. What happened to the exchange of ideas universities are famous for? Where were all of the supposed "open minds" at during this speech? Instead of listening to his speech with an open mind, it seems that they were too busy keeping themselves ignorant by jeering and ridiculing him.
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Eight U.S. Bishops Meet with Archbishop Williams

In a bid to continue the dialogue within the Anglican Communion over the divisions within the Episcopal Church, eight Episcopal Church bishops met with the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace on May 24.

Meeting with the archbishop and his senior advisors were the Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge, Bishop of West Texas; the Rt. Rev. John B. Lipscomb, Bishop of Southwest Florida; the Rt. Rev. Edward Little II, Bishop of Northern Indiana; the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana; the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., Bishop of South Carolina; the Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas; the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey N. Steenson, Bishop of the Rio Grande; and the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, Bishop of Rhode Island.

Four other bishops and senior church leaders, including the Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neil, Bishop of Colorado, were also invited to attend the gathering, but were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.
the rest at The Living Church

Church Officials Ask for God's Forgiveness

BOSTON (AP) - Cardinal Sean O'Malley and about two dozen bishops and priests prostrated themselves on the altar of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Thursday to ask forgiveness from God for the damage done by the Roman Catholic Church's clergy sex abuse scandal.

It was the first of 10 Masses or prayer services scheduled for the next week and a half across the Boston Archdiocese to offer prayers and to apologize to victims for the priests and church workers who hurt children.

"We come together in this pilgrimage overwhelmed by the sadness and pain sexual abuse has caused our church," O'Malley said during the Mass.

"We are sorry that this pain was hidden and the sins were not exposed," he said. "So much suffering was caused by the actions and inactions of bishops and priests."

For about a dozen victims of abuse and their supporters who protested outside the cathedral, prayers, Novenas and the Litany of Repentance were not enough.
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