Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Devotional: O Lord, show your mercy to me...

O Lord, show your mercy to me and gladden my heart. I am like the man on the way to Jericho who was overtaken by robbers, wounded and left for dead. O Good Samaritan, come to my aid, I am like the sheep that went astray. O Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home in accord with your will. Let me dwell in your house all the days of my life and praise you for ever and ever with those who are there. ...Saint Jerome image

Patron of: archeologists, archivists, Bible scholars, librarians, libraries, schoolchildren, students, translators

PB Schori: Hobart Lecture

Tend to flock, Presiding Bishop states in Hobart lecture
"Bless the ideas that get floated in your congregation," she says
By Neva Rae Fox
September 30, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] Weaving themes of shepherding, tending to flocks and the critical nature of the ecosystem, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori addressed the importance of pastoral responsibility at the September 30 Hobart lecture.

"Pastors have a responsibility to challenge the spiritually unhealthy," she told the 150 clergy assembled in New York City for the lecture.

Sponsored by the Diocese of New York, the Hobart lecture, named for the third bishop of New York, John Henry Hobart, is an annual address that acknowledges and encourages pastoral ministry.

Jefferts Schori connected the needs of the flock to the tender ecological balance of the earth. "When communities (or flocks) begin to dig… they discover the connections between food and justice, environment and poverty, corn and starvation in sub-Saharan Africa. And another pastoral ministry ensues -- learning how to do political work, which is an essential part of building the Reign of God." the rest

Full text of the Hobart Lecture is here.

Iran Parliament Requires Death for 'Apostates' As Crackdown Continues

Son of 1990 martyr among Christians arrested last month.
Compass Direct News

Two Iranian Christians were charged with "apostasy" and several others arrested as Iran's parliament approved a bill making the death penalty mandatory for those so convicted.

The measure is part of a new penal code that easily passed in parliament in a 196-7 vote on September 9. Christian and Baha'i communities are most likely to be affected by the bill.

But one source told Compass Direct News that when he discussed the apostasy section with some members of parliament, they said they were unaware of it. The source argued that the Iranian government was trying to bury the bill in the 113-page penal code. the rest

Statement by the Primates’ Council of GAFCON on the alleged deposition of the Bishop of Pittsburgh

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The fact, timing and manner of the action taken by the American House of Bishops toward Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh has filled us with dismay. He is a Bishop in good standing in the Anglican Communion, and is guilty only of guarding his people from false teaching and corrupt behaviour as he promised to do. Once more the upholders of the orthodox faith are made to suffer at the hands of those who have introduced new teachings.

However, the action has also had the effect of clarifying matters even further. It is now impossible to believe that the exhortations of the Lambeth Conference and the Windsor Continuation Group will be heeded. No Pastoral Forum has been established. We remain convinced that the faithful Anglicans of North America need to have their own Province recognised by the Communion as a whole. We are determined to stand with Bishop Duncan and those who, like him, have protested in the name of God against the unscriptural innovations which have caused such divisions amongst us.

In the absence of other substantive provision from the historic structures of the Communion, the Primates' Council gives its full support to Archbishop Greg Venables in receiving Bishop Duncan as a Bishop in good standing in the Province of the Southern Cone. Stand Firm

French Muslims Find Haven in Catholic Schools

September 29, 2008

MARSEILLE, France — The bright cafeteria of St. Mauront Catholic School is conspicuously quiet: It is Ramadan, and 80 percent of the students are Muslim. When the lunch bell rings, girls and boys stream out past the crucifixes and the large wooden cross in the corridor, heading for Muslim midday prayer.

“There is respect for our religion here,” said Nadia Oualane, 14, a student of Algerian descent who wears her hair hidden under a black head scarf. “In the public school,” she added, gesturing at nearby buildings, “I would not be allowed to wear a veil.” the rest

Albert Mohler: You Must Be Born Again

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When Jesus told Nicodemus, "unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," Nicodemus was confused. "How can a man be born when he is old," he asked. "He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"

Jesus's answer in John 3 was conclusive:

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

Nicodemus's confusion was understandable. The revolutionary character of the Gospel broke through old traditions and understandings. The new wine of the Gospel could not be contained in the old wineskins. Still, Jesus chided Nicodemus. "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?" the rest image

The Economist: Into the land of the unknown

Global market turmoil continues after the rejection of the mortgage-rescue plan in America
Sep 30th 2008

HOW many votes in Congress will the latest financial upheaval change? That is the calculus underway in Washington, DC, after the House of Representatives defeated the proposed $700 billion mortgage-rescue plan by 228 to 205 on Monday September 29th. Democrats backed it by 140 votes to 95, while Republicans opposed it by 133 to 65.

Bankers had been under no illusions that the tweaked Paulson plan would cure all the financial system’s ills. But most had seen it as a step in the right direction, and had expected it to pass. Its rejection sent stockmarkets into freefall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down by 7%, and suffered its biggest-ever points loss. Perhaps fittingly in an economy that is in danger of sliding into depression, the only stock among the 500 in the S&P index that finished higher was Campbell’s Soup. The S&P closed 29% below its peak. Reflecting fears that consumer demand will wilt, shares of Apple Computer, creator of the iPhone, fell by 18%. The rout continued in Asia, but shares rebounded in Europe on Tuesday morning on hopes that the bill would eventually pass. the rest image

MarketWatch: Bush says it's critical to pass financial rescue soon

NYT: Mixed Markets Reflect Hope for Bailout

Reuters: U.S. turmoil fails to carry through to Europe

Boston Globe: Public angry, anxious

Washington Post: Analysis: House vote against bailout wounds McCain

Boston Globe: Unknown terrain for economy

BBC: Failure of US rescue plan hits European shares

AnglicanTV: Syndication Program

AnglicanTV is announcing a new program in our online content delivery system. Starting today we our offering syndication products for news services, websites, and broadcast media. This will be the best way to move our content onto more computer screens and televisions around the world.

If you would like more information please contact Kevin Kallsen at AnglicanTV. link

Newest videos:
Anglican District of VA Press Conference with JI Packer

JI Packer in VA Q&A

JI Packer in VA

HERNDON, VA: Canadian Theologian J.I. Packer Talks Up Future of Anglicanism

Covenant Dead on Arrival. New NA Province a Must. Williams Must Resign. Future of Anglican Communion in Doubt
By David W. Virtue

You would think that British-born theologian Dr. J. I. Packer - a man with impeccable Anglican credentials, multiple accolades, numerous books and now in his 82nd year -- might just be permitted to kick back and listen to Jazz music (his favorite), write more theological tomes and exempt himself from the current culture wars in the Anglican Communion.

Not a chance.

The distinguished octogenarian Canadian, Anglican, theologian, teacher, author and priest, has experienced the culture wars first hand. At the age of 81 and with more than 60 years as a priest in the Church of England and the Anglican Church of Canada, he experienced the shock of being defrocked by a revisionist Canadian Anglican bishop and then re-ordained by an orthodox Anglican Archbishop from another jurisdiction.

A lesser man might have had heart failure and shuffled off to glory.

But this thoughtful, quiet, seemingly under-stated theologian has a rod of iron spine and a clarity of vision and purpose about the gospel and church that shines forth from the pages of his books, from his life, from the pulpit and from within the sometimes messy confines of a press conference.

In Virginia, this past weekend, he was the keynote speaker at the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) ( a division of CANA's) second annual Synod Council at the Church of the Epiphany in Herndon. Packer ripped a proposed covenant that would include "heretics" as an unworkable solution to holding the Anglican Communion together, saying that a North American Anglican Province was absolutely necessary for orthodox Anglicans in the US and Canada.

Interview here


Midwest Conservative Journal
Monday, September 29th, 2008

Western Louisiana’s Stephen Henthorne thinks the Episcopal inside strategy has failed:

One might assume, and we can only assume because Bishop MacPherson has never clearly confirmed or denied, that his vision of the role for this Diocese is that of taking the steady course, the middle of the road course, serving as the good example and guiding light to the extreme elements in the Episcopal Church; now locked in mortal combat. Bishop MacPherson’s and others’ hope possibly being that all sides will see their light shining forth, repent of their extremist ways, fully reconcile, sing “Kum By Ya,” have a group hug and re-establish the Episcopal Church as that comfortable spiritual sanctuary it once was.

All very laudable goals, no doubt; perhaps in year one, maybe in year two, encouraged by some positive sign from the extreme parties, but not in year five with no sign of change. To continue to take the “wait and see,” middle of the road approach is extremely naïve, and dangerous. The Episcopal Church, as we knew it and loved it, is gone. The train has left the station, and it is on a one way journey. Sitting quietly in our pews, in the middle of the road, with our historical memorials gathered around us, and looking through our stained glass windows, isn’t going to bring it back; and the day will come when what happens outside our Parish Church doors will effect us—profoundly; even more than it already has.

I can say that my wife, my flock, has come to me as the spiritual head of the household, and told me that as long as the Episcopal Church remains apostate that she can not return to it. Please note here that as much as I miss the Episcopal Church, she loves it and misses it more. She was brutalized and crushed at St. Tim’s, and she prays daily for the souls there that are in mortal danger, because of their close association with the Episcopal Church Apostate. We both pray for Bishop MacPherson daily as well. We both deeply regret that we can’t continue to follow Bishop MacPherson down the middle of the road. We pray that he will understand, and forgive us, for that decision.

To put it bluntly, if you have not left the Episcopal Organization by now, you will never leave it. If TEO’s wholesale abandonment of orthodox Christianity, its fawning prostration before the secular culture, five years worth of deceptions and lies designed to advance the interest of its Homosexual Party and the cowardly refusal of Lambeth Palace to do anything at all about any of it have not convinced you to move on, nothing ever will.

the rest-don't miss this!

Local churches align with deposed Bishop Duncan

By Frances Borsodi Zajac, Herald-Standard

Two Fayette County churches are uniting themselves with their recently deposed Bishop Robert Duncan of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

"He's standing firm and the diocese is going to stand with him,'' said the Rev. John T. Cruikshank, rector at St. Peter's Church in Uniontown.

Cruikshank and the Rev. Keith Pozzuto, rector of Christ Church in Brownsville, said both churches will send delegates to Saturday's diocesan convention in Monroeville to vote to realign the diocese with the South American-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, which made Duncan a bishop-at-large after U.S. bishops voted Sept. 18 in Salt Lake City to remove him.

Pozzuto said, "Concerning the vote, Christ Church is unanimous to go with Bishop Duncan in the realignment. That's a wonderful thing. Many churches in the diocese are split. This is terribly difficult for some churches. It's not difficult for us. We know where we stand.'' the rest

Monday, September 29, 2008

Devotional: Pope Benedict on the Holy Angels

"The invisible presence of these blessed spirits brings us great help and consolation: they walk at our side and protect us in all circumstances, they defend us from danger, and to them we can turn at any moment. Many saints established bonds of real friendship with the angels, and numerous episodes testify to their assistance on particular occasions. Angels are sent by God 'to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation' as the Letter to the Hebrews says, hence they are a real help to us on the pilgrimage towards the heavenly homeland". ...Pope Benedict image

Planned Parenthood Accused of Overcharging Govt by Millions, Probe Sought

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 29, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The head of a pro-life philanthropic firm is calling for a federal government probe of Planned Parenthood. The call for an investigation comes after Planned Parenthood affiliates in California were accused of overcharging the state by millions for birth control.

The accusation came in March, when P. Victor Gonzalez, a former Planned Parenthood official, filed a lawsuit against its affiliates in California saying they overcharged the state hundreds of millions of dollars on birth control.

Gonzalez says his own internal audit estimates that Planned Parenthood overcharged California taxpayers for purchasing birth control by at least $180 million. the rest

Bishop Mark Lawrence Reports on the House of Bishops' Meeting

All of this leads me to believe that the challenges that lie before a predominately conservative diocese like South Carolina have now been enormously increased if only because of the perception of our parishioners and clergy—but, more pertinently from what I fear is a failure of the present House of Bishops to realize just how far from historic Christianity our church has drifted. To many of our minds this, far more than Pittsburgh’s present challenge to TEC’s discipline and polity, is what has led to this current crisis. Beyond this the checks and balances previously given to us in the Constitution & Canons seem profoundly weakened. Phrases long understood as clear apparently can be spoken of as ambiguous. If what appears to be the plain meaning of a canon can be dismissed with apparent ease and with no recourse; if the request from such a monumental gathering as Lambeth 2008 urging greater dialogue and forthright conversation within the body of Christ seems to count for so little here in the first action of the House—even after so many TEC bishops report being profoundly moved by the grace exhibited toward us from those provinces grieved and hindered by our prior actions; and when there seems to be so little recognition that it has been the very actions of our General Convention and HOB in recent years that has so alienated dioceses like San Joaquin, Pittsburgh and others that their laity and clergy vote in such large majorities to remove accession clauses—judicious governance and Christian unity will drain like water from an opened hand. One might have wished for a more generous spirit and greater patience toward our own aggrieved members. Indeed one has to wonder where such tone deafness and purblindness come from.

I hesitate to write such words because I have been treated with respect within the House of Bishop since my first meeting in March 2008, then again at Lambeth, and most recently at this last meeting. But since to hold my words on such a crucial matter will serve no one well, including my own diocese of South Carolina, I try to present these concerns respectfully and for the purpose of more forthright conversations within the House of Bishops and the Church at large. the rest

The Rt. Reverend Mark J. Lawrence
Bishop of South Carolina

Comments at TitusOneNine

House ignores Bush, rejects $700B bailout bill

Associated Press Writer
posted 9/29/08

WASHINGTON - In a stunning vote that shocked the capital and worldwide markets, the House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue for the nation's financial system, ignoring urgent warnings from President Bush and congressional leaders of both parties that the economy could nosedive without it.

Stocks plummeted on Wall Street, beginning their plunge even before the 228-205 vote to reject the bill was officially announced on the House floor. The Dow Jones industrials sank nearly 700 points for the day.

Democratic and Republican leaders alike said they were committed to trying again, though the Democrats said GOP lawmakers needed to provide more votes. Bush huddled with his economic advisers about a next step. the rest image

+Iker: 10 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Realign

Stand Firm
September 29, 2008

Our 26th annual convention is approaching, and a momentous decision is before us as a diocese. At last year’s convention, your clergy and elected delegates voted by majorities of around 80 percent each to remove language in our Constitution that affiliates us with the General Convention of The Episcopal Church (TEC). This year, clergy and delegates will be asked to ratify that decision to separate.

“Why now?” someone might ask. “Why is this the time for our diocese to separate from the General Convention of The Episcopal Church and realign with another Province of the Anglican Communion?”

Here are a few of the thoughts that come to mind:

1. This is God’s time – our kairos moment – and it has been coming for a long time. We believe that God the Holy Spirit has guided and directed us to this particular time and moment of decision. Some might well ask, “Why has it taken us so long to take definitive action, given the past 30 years of the shenanigans of The Episcopal Church?” We have explored every avenue and exhausted every possibility. Now is the time to decide to separate from the moral, spiritual, and numerical decline of TEC. The rest at Stand Firm

Out of hiding, some Kosovars embrace Christianity

Sun Sep 28, 2008
By Fatos Bytyci

KLINA, Kosovo (Reuters) - Hundreds of Kosovar Albanians gather on Sundays to attend religious services in a still unfinished red-brick church in the Kosovo town of Klina.

Turning away from the majority Muslim faith imposed by the Ottoman Turks centuries ago, these worshippers are part of a revival of Catholicism in the newly independent Balkan state.

"We have been living a dual life. In our homes we were Catholics but in public we were good Muslims," said Ismet Sopi. "We don't call this converting. It is the continuity of the family's belief." the rest

Australia: Doctors warn of abortion law exodus

Julia Medew
September 30, 2008

VICTORIA could face an exodus of health professionals if the Government's proposed abortion law goes ahead in its current form, a new coalition of doctors opposed to the bill has warned.

The group of more than 100 doctors - "Doctors in Conscience Against Abortion Bill" - said some health professionals were considering early retirement or moving interstate if the state's proposed law, due to be debated in Parliament's upper house next week, is passed.

A spokesman for the group, pediatrician Brian Conway, said members were particularly concerned about the anti-conscience clause, which requires that doctors with a conscientious objection to abortion refer a woman to someone with no such objection. the rest

WINDSOR, ON: Parish votes unanimously to join Anglican Network in Canada

Anglican Network in Canada
September 28, 2008

The congregation of St Aidan's in Windsor, Ontario voted decisively today to come under the episcopal oversight of Bishop Donald Harvey, Moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) and under the Primatial authority of Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

By a unanimous vote, St Aidan's became the 19th ANiC parish and the 11th former Anglican Church of Canada parish to vote to join ANiC this year. All 109 votes cast were in favour of aligning with ANiC. the rest at Virtueonline

Welsh Church ‘will not cater for traditionalists’

Monday, 29th September 2008
By George Conger

The Church in Wales will not appoint a new “flying bishop” for traditionalists, Archbishop Barry Morgan said on Sept 17, saying the position was no longer necessary nor was such a post consistent with Anglican ecclesiology. Those opposed to the ordination of women still had a place with the Church in Wales, he said and asked traditionalists to trust the bishops to look after their interests.

The decision comes as a repudiation of the work of Dr Rowan Williams, traditionalists charged, as the former Bishop of Monmouth was instrumental in creating the post of “flying bishop” 12 years ago, and marks a hardening of positions in the Welsh Church.

Traditionalist leaders took little comfort from the bishops’ assurances of continued support. The Rev Alan Rabjohns, Chairman of Credo Cymru, Forward in Faith Wales said “this is a disappointing and sad statement.” the rest

African Anglican leaders call for dialogue

Monday, 29th September 2008
By George Conger

The chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) has called upon the African church to put aside its differences and engage with its theological opponents within the Anglican Communion. CAPA should eschew a political solution to the divisions over doctrine and disciple Archbishop Ian Ernest said, and focus instead on the church’s transformation through Christian witness.

In his Sept 3 presidential address read to the joint meeting of primates and standing committee of CAPA in Nairobi, Archbishop Ernest, Primate of the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean and Bishop of Mauritius, said CAPA must resist becoming one interest group among many within the Anglican Communion. “The Church is going through trial times. This is nothing new, and it is certainly not the last time that our Communion faces challenges,” Archbishop Ernest said.

But what was new at this “critical juncture” was a “process of profound change. Our deliberations at this meeting will not only affect our lives today, but will contribute to shape the future of the Anglican Communion worldwide. Future generations will read the minutes of this meeting. These are both exciting and challenging times, and we must act with utmost responsibility,” he said. “Our large family of love — the Anglican Communion” had been “distressed by unilateral decisions” taken by the North American churches which “threaten the unity of our communion,” he said. the rest

Faith in God can really relieve pain

London (PTI): "Religion is the opiate of the people" -- Karl Marx had famously said. But can one's faith in God really ease pain? 'Yes', say scientists.

A team at Oxford University has based its findings on an experiment, in which 12 Roman Catholics and 12 atheists were "tortured" with electric shocks as they studied two paintings -- Virgin Mary and Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine.

The subjects spent half-an-hour inside an MRI scanner, receiving a series of 20 electric shocks in four sessions and each time they had to rate how much it hurt on a scale of 0 to 100 as they looked at the paintings. The scientists found that the Catholics seemed to be able to block out much of the pain. the rest

How China has created a new slave empire in Africa

28th September 2008

It is my view - and not just because I was so nearly killed - that China's cynical new version of imperialism in Africa is a wicked enterprise.

China offers both rulers and the ruled in Africa the simple, squalid advantages of shameless exploitation.

For the governments, there are gargantuan loans, promises of new roads, railways, hospitals and schools - in return for giving Peking a free and tax-free run at Africa's rich resources of oil, minerals and metals.

For the people, there are these wretched leavings, which, miserable as they are, must be better than the near-starvation they otherwise face.

Persuasive academics advised me before I set off on this journey that China's scramble for Africa had much to be said for it. They pointed out China needs African markets for its goods, and has an interest in real economic advance in that broken continent. the rest

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The fight against Futurechurch: Ecumenism

By Damian Thompson
Sep 28, 2008

The misguided ecumenism of the English Catholic bishops is causing "meltdown" in the Church, according to a brilliant essay by one of England's up-and-coming Catholic philosophers.

Dr Thomas Pink of Kings College, London, is one of the first lay Catholic academics to attack the policies of the Bishops' Conference, which is still tied to a model of Futurechurch that is in some respects indistinguishable from "liberal Catholic" Anglicanism.

In his essay The toils of ecumenism, Pink accuses the bishops of "a grand process of de-Catholicisation" that has done nothing to bring Anglicanism closer to Rome. On the contrary: English Catholic bishops are busy suppressing the traditional culture of the faith in order to make it more acceptable to their Anglican "brother bishops". the rest

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Devotional: Proceed with much prayer...

Proceed with much prayer,
and your way will be made plain.
...John Wesley image

Hollywood legend Paul Newman dead at 83

Sep 27, 2008

Paul Newman, known for his piercing blue eyes, boyish good looks and stellar performances in scores of hit Hollywood movies, has died, his foundation said Saturday. He was 83.

Newman, who had been battling cancer, passed away on Friday, Newman's Own Foundation said in a statement from Westport, Connecticut.

"Paul Newman's craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all," Foundation Vice-Chairman Robert Forrester said.

Newman played youthful rebels, charming rogues, golden-hearted drunks and amoral opportunists in a career that encompassed more than 50 movies. He was one of the most popular and consistently bankable Hollywood stars in the second half of the 20th century. the rest image

Largest and Fastest-Growing Churches in America

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Sep. 27 2008

For the first time since Outreach magazine has compiled its annual report of the largest churches in America, all 100 churches were listed with 7,000 weekend attendants or higher.

With seven churches reporting attendance averages of exactly 7,000, "The Outreach 100" this year included 103 churches.

Topping the fifth annual list again this year was Lakewood Church in Houston with 43,500 attendants, followed by Second Baptist Church in the same city with 23,659 and then North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., with 22,557.

Overall, the combined attendance of all 103 churches was 1,128,451 which is an increase of 111,527 people from 2007.

While some of the most well-known churches still rank highest in the report, some showed a drop in attendance over the last year. Lakewood, led by Pastor Joel Osteen, saw a dip from 47,000 attendants in 2007. Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., experienced a drop from 23,500 people to 22,500, placing the megachurch at No. 4 this year. the rest image

Pittsburgh bishop will not appeal deposition

Saturday, 27th September 2008
By Toby Cohen

The Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Rt Rev Robert Duncan has said he will not appeal against the ruling, as bishops worldwide condemned the Episcopal Church of the manner of his deposition.

He said: “I’m very sad, sad for the Episcopal Church. In 15 days the diocese will determine whether it too wants to be part of the Southern Cone and figure out whether it wants me back as bishop. That is up to the diocese, although I have a sneaking suspicion they will want me back.”

“This is of course a very painful moment for Pittsburgh Episcopalians,” the president of the diocesan standing committee the Rev David Wilson said. “The leadership of the Episcopal Church has inserted itself in a most violent manner into the affairs and governance of our diocese.”

The Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Peter Jensen, said: “The unfolding tragedy of the Episcopal Church starkly reveals the folly of the original decision to break with the Bible and centuries of historic Christianity on the issue of human sexuality.” the rest

Australia: Abortion ordered for 12-year-old girl

Michael McKenna
September 27, 2008

DOCTORS have been ordered to perform an abortion on a 12-year-old Queensland girl who is 18 weeks pregnant after a suspected rape.

In a landmark decision, Supreme Court judge Margaret Wilson ordered the termination after accepting medical advice that the continuation of the pregnancy posed serious dangers to the mental health and wellbeing of the girl, whose intellectual age was deemed by an obstetrician to be that of a six-year-old.

Queensland Health last night declined to comment on whether the abortion - using the labour-inducing drug misoprostol - had already been performed after the secret hearing last week. the rest

Supreme Court Asked to Decide Whether Abortion Kills Human Being

by Steven ErteltLife
News.com Editor
September 26, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The Supreme Court on Monday will decide whether or not it will hold a hearing on an appeal in a case involving an abortion practitioner who misled a woman. Abortion practitioner Sheldon Turkish told potential abortion patient Rose Acuna that her unborn baby was "nothing but some blood."

The case is heralded by some pro-life attorneys as the first chance for the Supreme Court in 35 years to decide whether abortions kills a human being.

After the New Jersey Supreme Court said in November that it won't reconsider the decision it handed down in September against Acuna, her attorney filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. the rest

Friday, September 26, 2008

Devotional: In return for the love...

In return for the love which brought the Son of Man down from heaven, in return for the love which led Him to die for us on the cross, we cannot give Him holy lives, for we are not holy; we cannot give Him pure souls, for our souls are not pure; but this one thing we can give, and this is what He asks, hearts that shall never cease from this day forward, till we reach the grave, to strive to be more like Him; to come nearer to Him; to root out from within us the sin that keeps us from Him. To such a battle I call you in His name. And even if at the last day you shall not be able to show any other service, yet be sure that when thousands of His saints go forth to meet Him, and to show His triumph, He will turn to embrace with arms of tenderness the poor penitent who has nothing to offer but a life spent in one never-ceasing struggle with oneself, an unwearied battle with the faults that had taken possession of his soul. ...Frederick Temple image

WEST TEXAS: St. John's, New Braunfels Departs Episcopal Church

By David W. Virtue

More than 300 members, 90% of the congregation of St. John's Episcopal Church in New Braunfels, have left The Episcopal Church citing the church's failure to uphold the authority of Holy Scripture and recent sexual innovations including the consecration of an openly homosexual priest to the episcopacy.

The departure process from the Diocese of West Texas under the Rt. Rev. Gary R. Lillibridge, a moderately conservative bishop, was fair, said the Rev. Dr. Chuck L. Thebeau rector of the Evangelical catholic parish, in a phone call to VOL. "We feel relieved that this has been accomplished in an amicable manner and that we are now set free to carry out the mission the Lord has given to us."

Thebeau and his congregation have not decided which overseas jurisdiction they will choose, but they have been getting advice from Kenyan bishops Bill Atwood and Bill Murdoch. "We're members of the Anglican Communion Network and we will stay under their oversight for the moment. Geographically we are close to the Diocese of Ft. Worth," he told VOL. the rest at Virtueonline

ENS: Archbishop of York calls all to be 'agents of moral, social and economic transformation'

By Daphne Mack
September 26, 2008

Hundreds filled the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City on September 25 where Church of England Archbishop of York John Sentamu said that "God is calling us to be part of transforming the world."

Sentamu preached the sermon at an "Interfaith Service of Recommitment and Witness of the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)." Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Episcopal Church officiated. The day was held in accordance with the Lambeth Conference's call that September 25 be a day of prayer, fasting and witness. the rest

The Diocese of Virginia Announces a Settlement

September 26 , 2008

The Diocese of Virginia today announced that it has reached a legal settlement with Potomac Falls Church in Potomac Falls and Christ the Redeemer Church in Chantilly. The mission churches, which do not hold any real property, will make a payment to the Diocese as part of the settlement ending the litigation between the parties. The settlement also includes the Episcopal Church.

Under the agreement, the Diocese will release the two churches from any claims or future liability arising from the litigation. In recognition of past diocesan efforts to build, grow and support Potomac Falls and Christ the Redeemer – two mission churches that built and continued meaningful ministries in their communities, conducting worship services in local elementary schools – the churches’ payment will support diocesan ministries, including overseas mission work and Shrine Mont camps, among others. the rest

Argentina: Video Shows Feminists Attacking Pro-Lifers

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
September 24, 2008

(LifeSiteNews)-- Argentinean feminists participating in a the annual National Women's Encounter viciously attacked pro-life protesters in the city of Neuquen, who stood in front of the Cathedral to protect it from desecration, according to the catholic news agency ACI Prensa, which posted a video of the events on YouTube. story

Lent and Beyond: Pro-life prayer collection

Religious leaders draw up Ten Blogging Commandments

Times Online
September 26, 2008
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Ruth Gledhill's Articles of Faith (never knowingly updated on the Sabbath)

Church leaders have drawn up a new set of the Ten Commandments aimed at delivering “God bloggers” from the temptations of the blogosphere.

Alarmed by the extent to which religious blogs can descend into vitriol, senior evangelical clergy are calling on bloggers to obey the new commandments or risk perdition.

The commandments, based on those delivered to Moses by God at the top of Mount Sinai, were drawn up at a “Godblogs” conference in Kennington, south-east London....

Ten commandments for bloggers

1 You shall not put your blog before your integrity

2 You shall not make an idol of your blog

3 You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin

4 Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog

5 Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes

6 You shall not murder someone else's honour, reputation or feelings

7 You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind

8 You shall not steal another person's content

9 You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger

10 You shall not covet your neighbour's blog ranking. Be content with your own content

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More Christian homes burn in India's east

Thu Sep 25, 2008
By Jatindra Dash

BHUBANESWAR, India, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Hindu crowds angry at the shooting by police of a protester over attacks on Christians in India's east burned more Christian homes and rioted with police, officials said on Thursday.

Police said they came under attack through Wednesday night in Orissa's Kandhamal district. Hindus have been have been demanding the release of their leaders arrested on charges of attacks on Christians.

The violence is the latest in a string of attacks on Christians in three Indian states that has left at least 20 people, mostly Christians, dead and dozens of churches damaged. the rest

Albert Mohler: Desire and Deceit -- New Book Now Available

Friday, September 26, 2008

My new book, Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance has just been released by Multnomah Publishers and is available through all major booksellers. The book addresses a range of issues symptomatic of the sexual confusions of our age. My sincere hope is that Desire and Deceit will present a distinctively Christian alternative to the secular confusion.

An excerpt:

The sexual issues now confronting our nation—from the breakdown of the family to same-sex marriage—are really pieces of a much larger puzzle. In order to understand what is happening, one must look carefully at the entire picture, the entire trajectory of Western civilization over the past century. What we face today are not individual, isolated issues, but rather a massive social transformation that has not happened by accident and that will not break apart on its own. the rest image/book

Canada: Anglican clergy ordered out

Parishoners vow to go with them
By Frank Stirk
BC Correspondent

ABBOTSFORD, BC—The prospect of having to walk away from their building—and more than a century of cherished memories—seems not to have shaken the resolve of most of the parishioners of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church to stand by their orthodox beliefs.

Earlier this year, the church voted almost unanimously to quit the Anglican Church of Canada and align itself withthe Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). At issue was what they saw as the ACC’s abandonment of Anglican orthodoxy, and in particular the diocese of New Westminster’s continued advocacy of a same-sex blessing.

Three other churches in Vancouver also voted to join the ANiC at about the same time.
In August, the diocese invoked canon law, ordering clergy at two of the parishes—St. Matthew’s in Abbotsford and St. Matthias and St. Luke in Vancouver—to get out by mid-September. the rest

Instapundit: Obama threatening the licenses of TV stations that run NRA ads.

September 26, 2008

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Mary Unites Christians, Cardinal Tells Anglicans

Ecumenical Pilgrimage to Lourdes Called a Miracle
By Inmaculada Álvarez

LOURDES, France, SEPT. 25, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Devotion to the Virgin Mary has an essential role in ecumenical dialogue and the journey to full and visible unity among Christians, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Cardinal Walter Kasper affirmed this Wednesday when he presided over an ecumenical celebration in Lourdes, where Anglicans and Catholics had joined on pilgrimage. Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury gave the homily at the event. The pilgrimage began at the Anglican shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in England.

"Lourdes is known for its miracles," Cardinal Kasper said. "Who would have imagined, only 20 or 30 years ago, that Catholics and Anglicans would go on pilgrimage and pray together?

"For those who are familiar with the debates and controversies of the past on Mary, between Catholics and non-Catholic Christians, for those who know the reservations of the non-Catholic world toward Marian pilgrimage sites, for all these people, today's unprecedented event is a miracle." the rest

"Huge step forward" in stem cells

Adult cells regress safely, report says
By Rob Stein
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Scientists are reporting that they have overcome a major obstacle to using a promising alternative to embryonic stem cells, bolstering the prospects for bypassing the political and ethical tempest that has embroiled hopes for a new generation of medical treatments.

The researchers said they found a safe way to coax adult cells to regress into an embryonic state, alleviating what had been the most worrisome uncertainty about developing the cells into potential cures.

"We have removed a major roadblock for translating this into a clinical setting," said Konrad Hochedlinger, a Harvard University stem-cell researcher whose research was published online Thursday by the journal Science.

The development is the latest in the rapidly advancing and politically charged field of stem-cell research. the rest

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Devotional: Let us live in prayer all day long...

Let us not be content to pray morning and evening, but let us live in prayer all day long. Let this prayer, this life of love, which means death to self, spread out from our seasons of prayer, as from a centre, over all that we have to do. All should become prayer, that is, a loving consciousness of God's presence, whether it be social intercourse or business. Such a course as this will ensure you a profound peace. ...Francois Fenelon image

Pope Benedict XVI selects Rabbi to speak to Roman Catholic synod

September 25, 2008
Richard Owen in Rome

In an historic move to reinforce Jewish-Catholic dialogue Pope Benedict XVI has asked an Israeli Rabbi to become become the first Jewish spiritual leader to address a Roman Catholic synod.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said Shear-Yashuv Cohen, Grand Rabbi of Haifa, would address the two day Synod of Bishops in Rome next month, convened by the Pope to discuss the Bible, with the theme "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church."

More than 200 bishops are expected to attend. Rabbi Cohen is to explain to the bishops the Jewish interpretation of the Bible, whose first five books comprise the Torah, Judaism's most sacred writings. He told the Catholic News Service (CNS) in Jeusalem that he saw the invitation as a "signal of hope bringing a message of love, coexistence and peace for generations." the rest



Anyone who expected to see an ogre in action at the diocesan meetings with Katharine Jefferts Schori this past weekend went away disappointed. She is Miss Congeniality - a formidably able woman of charm and intelligence to whom many responded with enthusiasm. Moreover, as far as I could tell, she is that rare bird, a liberal who believes in tolerance and diversity. My impression is that she believes adequate provision should be made for those who use the 1928 Prayer Book and for those who have theological reservations about the ordination of women. If these impressions are right – major caveat - then we do not have to fear much from her on those particular matters.

Nonetheless I went away from this meeting sad and sorry. For this very personable and intelligent woman lacks something critical to any Christian, but certainly to one holding public office in the church - an adequate understanding of the Christian faith, a commitment to upholding it, and an interest in engaging in rational discussion with those who do. It is not that she is not theologically educated: she dazzled the crowd with knowing references to the Athanasian Creed and the doctrine of perichoresis. But she employs such language only to evacuate it of its content - as theological baubles brought down from the attic to ornament a theological perspective that can only be called sub-credal, for it falls below the level of what the Constitution of the Episcopal Church speaks of as “the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer”. In so doing she perpetuates the illusion that the Church can be united as a spiritual community without coherent doctrine. the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

New visitor center omits America's religious past

Jim Brown

A Virginia Republican congressman says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and veteran Senator Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) are allowing the new $621 million Visitor Center for the U.S. Capitol to become a "shrine to political correctness" that omits the significant role Christian faith played in the founding of the U.S. government.

The Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) in Washington, D.C., is currently under construction but scheduled to open in December to an estimated 15,000 people a day. Virginia Representative Randy Forbes contends the exhibits displayed in the Visitor Center contain few and factually inaccurate references to the nation's religious heritage. For example, the reference to "religion, morality, and knowledge" in the Northwest Ordinance is excluded. Forbes notes the national motto "In God We Trust" has even been removed from the underground building. the rest

Guess who recommended Obama to enter Harvard

Mystery man in senator's memoir now revealed as disciple of socialist agitator
September 24, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Saul AlinskyIn a revelation tying Barack Obama even closer to radical community organizing, WND has learned that a renowned disciple of the late socialist agitator Saul "The Red" Alinksy wrote a letter of recommendation for Obama when he applied to Harvard Law School.

Obama approached Northwestern University professor John L. McKnight – a loyal student of Alinsky's radical tactics – to pen the Harvard letter in the late 1980s. McKnight serves on the boards of radically anti-American groups in Chicago, including one accused of thuggery. the rest

Catholic U.K. Minister of Transport's Resignation for Family Reasons Questioned

Ruth Kelly has repeatedly clashed with the Liberal party over embryo research and sexual orientation legislation
By Hilary White

MANCHESTER, September 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com ) - Ruth Kelly, Gordon Brown's Secretary of State for Transport and one of the most prominent Catholic Labour MPs, announced at the party's national conference that she will be leaving the Cabinet to "spend more time with her family."

"Being in frontline politics," she said, "and bringing up four children, and being a constituency MP, it has not been easy all the time. I do think it is time just to take a step back and repay the support that [my family] have given me over the years."

The Prime Minister told BBC Radio 4's Today that there were "no political issues between Ruth and me." the rest

Tony Blair is undermining the faith of the church into which he has been received

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation is holding an “exciting event” in Los Angeles tomorrow to mark the midway point for the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals in 2015 – a panel discussion including Tony Blair and significant Islamic figures.

The blurb says: “Recorded live, this will be a great chance for you, and countless others around the world, to discuss your thoughts and ideas on issues of faith and combating poverty - as well as encouraging understanding of and between faiths.”

The Mission Statement of Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation is at pains to emphasize: “ … the Foundation will use its profile and resources to encourage people of faith to work together more closely to tackle global poverty and conflict … ” the rest

Wisconsin Pro-Life Group Worried Court Ruling Promotes Assisted Suicides

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 25, 2008

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) -- A Wisconsin pro-life group is concerned that a state appeals court ruling could pave the way for financial incentives for family members to encourage loved ones to commit suicides. The case involves a decision allowing family members to obtain a person's inheritance after he killed himself.

At issue is a case in Clark County where Linda and Megan Schunk allegedly drove Edward Schunk, their husband/father, to a cabin on their property and left him there alone with a loaded shotgun. The man eventually committed suicide.

The Schunks are inheritors under Edward’s will and another of Edwards's daughters, Donna, filed a lawsuit claiming that Linda and Megan should not be entitled to their inheritance because they assisted in Edward’s suicide. the rest

Archbishop Sentamu hits out at City ‘bank robbers’

by Jennifer Gold
Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2008

City traders who made millions of pounds in profit by cashing in on the falling share prices of leading banks are “bank robbers” and “asset strippers”, the Archbishop of York has said.

In an address to the Worshipful Company of International Bankers’ annual dinner on Wednesday, Dr John Sentamu said that the financial world appeared to be governed by “Alice in Wonderland” rules.

“The share value of a bank is no longer dependent on the strength of its performance, but rather on the willingness of the Government to bail it out,” he said. the rest

Powerful Pro-Marriage Film "Fireproof" Opens in Theatres This Friday

By John Jalsevac
September 24, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - At a time when the majority of marriages end in divorce, the makers of the popular "Facing the Giants" movie are bringing to select theatres a film that has already inspired numerous couples to strengthen, and, in many cases, to rescue, their marriages.

Opening this Friday in 850 theatres across America, "Fireproof" is the inspiring story of a devoted and heroic firefighter whose marriage is on the brink of eruption, and who, in response to a challenge from his father, begrudingly sets out on a 40 day quest to salvage his relationship with his wife.

The film stars Kirk Cameron, the one time teen-star of the popular TV show "Growing Pains," who has for many years devoted himself to using his talents for wholesome projects. the rest image

Muslim-background believers in the U.S. struggle to find Christian community.

Looking for Home
Christopher Lewis

Sheltered in a Chicago-area Starbucks one afternoon, Tahir* is dreading the commute home. "My home situation is like a time bomb," he sighs, describing the tense stand-off between his Christian faith and the Palestinian Muslim family that considers him a traitor.

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, anti-Arab sentiments initially angered Tahir and made him a more devout Muslim. But they also inspired an intense search of the New Testament, which slowly began to convince him of its truths. As Tahir's new faith took shape, his family became ashamed. Things exploded during a dinner-table debate at which Tahir's brother-in-law told Tahir's wife, "If he's no longer Muslim, your life with him is a sin!"

Today, as Tahir tries to quietly model Christ to his children, his wife warns that she will enroll them in a mosque or flee to Palestine: "Just because you sold your soul to the Devil doesn't mean you're taking the kids with you." Tahir's father has disowned him—"You are no longer my son"—and has threatened to recruit Fatah strongmen to beat him. the rest

Five Chaplains Lose Jobs for Praying 'In Jesus' Name'

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine Urged to Stop Persecuting Christians

RICHMOND, Virginia, Sept. 25 /Christian Newswire/ -- Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is defending why his administration forced the sudden resignation of five Virginia State Police Chaplains because they prayed publicly "in Jesus' name." Police Superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty single-handedly created then enforced a strict "non-sectarian" prayer policy at all public gatherings, censoring and excluding Christian prayers, then accepted the resignation of five chaplains who refused to deny Jesus or violate their conscience by watering down their prayers.

House Republican Leader Morgan Griffith and Delegate Charles W. Carrico, (R-Grayson) both issued public statements defending the chaplains, questioning Governor Kaine's role in terminating the chaplains, and vowing to introduce legislation protecting police chaplains' right to pray according to their own conscience. the rest

Former Abortionist: ‘All I Could See Was Somebody’s Son or Daughter’

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) – Priests for Life, a Catholic advocacy group that wants to end abortion and euthanasia, brought its message to Capitol Hill last week by letting Dr. Anthony Levatino share the graphic details of a procedure he performed hundreds of times -- before a personal tragedy led him to become a pro-life activist.

“Imagine for a moment you are a pro-choice obstetrician-gynecologist like I once was,” Levatino said at press conference. “Your patient today is 17 years old and she is 20 weeks pregnant. At 20 weeks, she has been feeling her baby kick for the last two weeks. If you could see her baby, she would be as long as your hand from the top of her head to the bottom of her rump, not counting the legs. Your patient is now asleep on an operating room table and you are there to help her with her problem pregnancy.” the rest

In the current financial crisis, only McCain is indispensible

Bill Dyer

Hugh's summary of today's events, posted earlier tonight, is exactly accurate, and I agree with it all. With his, and your, indulgence, here's my own very similar (albeit far more wordy) take:

A politician can declare that he is a leader. His political party can declare that he's a leader. And hundreds of thousands of acolytes around the world can swoon devotedly at his feet, and he can rack up all the trappings of leadership. But none of that in fact makes him into a leader if he actually isn't one.

Crises reveal, make, and define leaders. When the crisis is over, it's easy to recognize in hindsight who the leader was, even if there was some doubt as to that during the crisis itself. Looking back, we can recognize a leader because he's the one who the other potential actors and decision-makers actually followed.

I do not care what anyone says today, or what buffoons like Michael Moore said at the time: George W. Bush led through the ruins of 9/11/01 and kept us safe from further attacks on our soil for the seven years thereafter. However much nuance future historians may put on his two terms in office, that will be the one-sentence verdict of history as understood and remembered by the public. Well-educated eighth graders in 2088 will know that even if they know nothing else of his presidency. the rest

Why Obama will lose

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Devotional: O God, grant that today...

O God, grant that today
I may not disappoint any friend;
I may not grieve any loved one;
I may not fail anyone to whom I have a duty;
I may not shame myself.

Grant that today
I may do my work with honesty and fidelity;
I may take my pleasure in happiness and purity.

Grant that today
I may lead no one astray;
I may not make goodness and faith harder for anyone.

Help me today
to be a help and example to all;
to bring strength and encouragement wherever I am:
Through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.
...William Barclay

Rowan Williams becomes first ever Anglican leader to accept visions of Virgin Mary as fact

By Simon Caldwell
25th September 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was yesterday branded a ‘papal puppet’ after he became the first leader of the Church of England to accept visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes as historical fact.

He asserted that 18 visions of Our Lady allegedly experienced by Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 were true.

His words shocked millions of Protestants worldwide because they not only signified a break with Protestant teaching on the Virgin Mary but also Dr Williams’s personal acceptance of the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is explicitly linked to the apparitions. the rest image

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is David Booth Beers

Anglican Curmudgeon:

"+Jefferts Schori may be able to contradict her Church’s legal position in the House of Bishops, where she is, as you say, Maximum Leader, but such two-faced argument won’t fly in the courts. She cannot argue that +Schofield was validly deposed and +Lamb is his valid replacement when she is telling the Virginia courts that 'majority of the whole number entitled to vote' means all those entitled to vote, whether they in fact are present and vote or not.

"If she installs a puppet to go after +Duncan, she will have the same problem. And if she deposes +Iker and +Ackerman with less than a full majority of all the bishops in the House, then no court anywhere will buy her argument that the depositions were valid. So while she can rig the game all she wants within TEC, she cannot do that and take an inconsistent position with the courts."

Analysis of the HOB vote to depose Bp. Duncan.

McCain Suspends Campaign

By Edwin Chen and Julianna Goldman

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- John McCain made a surprise announcement that he was suspending his presidential campaign and called on Democratic rival Barack Obama to postpone their first debate until Congress hammers out a plan to steady the financial markets.

Obama rebuffed McCain, saying it's ``more important than ever'' for the candidates to tell voters how they would deal with the crisis. He said they can work with Congress while campaigning. ``It is going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once,'' Obama said.

Both men said they wanted to reach a bipartisan solution to the credit crisis. McCain said the Bush administration's $700 billion proposal to rescue struggling financial companies and unlock credit markets won't pass Congress in its current form. the rest

The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks in support of Karl Marx

From Times Online
September 24, 2008
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has spoken up in support of Karl Marx, defending key aspects of his critique of capitalism.

Dr Williams warns that in the face of the credit crisis, the financial world needs new regulation and says that our society is running the risk of idolatry in its relationship with wealth.

In an article in Friday's Spectator, Dr Williams compares today's debtors and financiers to the feckless young clerics and landowners described in the novels of Anthony Trollope. He writes: "Individuals find that their own personal financial decisions and calculations have nothing to do with what is happening to their resources, in a process for which a debt is simply someone else's wholly disposable asset."

Criticising the practices which involve financial institutions selling debts onto each other, Dr Williams says: "It is no use pretending that the financial world can maintain indefinitely the degree of exemption from scrutiny and regulation that it has got used to." the rest

Ruth Gledhill's blog: Karl Marx 'right' to condemn capitalism, says Rowan

ACNS: Archbishop of Canterbury calls for greater co-operation to meet Millennium Development Goals
September 24, 2008-On the eve of the United Nations General Assembly meeting on Millennium Development Goals in New York, the Archbishop of Canterbury has underlined the commitment of the Anglican Church to continue to work for the eradication of poverty.

In a video message the Archbishop has backed calls for a renewal of the pledges made by the international community in 2000, and spoke of the need for the Anglican Church to work in harmony with governments and NGOs around the world in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Albert Mohler: A Christian View of the Economic Crisis

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The headlines tell the story as recent days have seen the American economy and its financial system buffeted by seismic failures and the virtual disappearance of major investment banks. The debate raging in Washington these days concerns the form and extent of government intervention that will be required in order to restore stability to the financial markets.

Comparisons to the Great Depression are inevitable, but today's crisis bears little resemblance to the total economic collapse of the late 1920s. Capitalism is not in crisis and the fundamentals of the American economy remain strong. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933, the nation faced a genuine crisis and economic collapse. For the most part, the banks were closed and the nation was out of business. the rest

First Things: Sin & Cinema

By Tim Perry
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

People are basically good, right? It’s a truism drilled into us by any number of self-help books, magazines, talk-show hosts, and pop therapy. When, from time to time, people do terrible things to each other or themselves, we are assured that just the right combination of education, medication, and therapy could correct the ignorance, illness, or faulty social conditioning that led to the act. But do we really believe that to be true? Or do we recognize there is something more sinister at work in human nature?

By profession, I’m a Christian theologian and I often have conversations in which these questions arise. They are made more difficult by the loss of vocabulary that has traditionally addressed the problem. In the past, Christians across confessions could use words like sin, evil, and even demonic, taking for granted a broad cultural context that would make those words understandable to all involved. Not so today—even in socially and theologically conservative Christian churches, the language of therapy has replaced the language of sin. Since Karl Meninger’s 1973 exposé, Whatever Became of Sin?, the problem has only intensified. the rest image

Conservative Catholic elected Japan prime minister

posted September 24, 2008

TOKYO (AP) — Outspoken conservative Taro Aso took power as Japan's prime minister on Wednesday after he overcame opposition forces in a split parliament, tasked with rejuvenating the ailing ruling party ahead of elections.

Aso was chosen as president of the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday and had already begun piecing together a Cabinet expected to include a fellow hawk as finance chief.

The 68-year-old former Olympic sharpshooter was declared premier after the LDP-controlled lower house overruled the upper house, which had voted for Ichiro Ozawa, the chief of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

Aso, known for his rightist leanings and acerbic wisecracks, will lead a country wracked by political divisions and spiking concerns over the economy, which has stalled amid the ballooning financial crisis in the United States. the rest image

'See You at the Pole' kicks off today

Pete Chagnon

Liberty Counsel is offering students free legal help if they are hindered from participating in this year's "See You at the Pole" prayer rally.

Millions of students will gather at their schools all around the world today to participate in the annual See You at the Pole prayer rally. Students will lift up their country, communities, government, schools, and each other in prayer. Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, says his organization will offer free legal advice to any students who are hindered by their school from participating in the event. the rest image

German TV Ads Promote Children "as a Cherished Matter of Course"

By Hilary White

By way of the ads, the sponsors of the campaign intended to generate a lively public debate on the country's disastrously low birth rate, "with the ultimate objective of restoring the idea of having children as a cherished matter of course." The creators of the campaign said they were responding to the problem of a growing anti-child sentiment Germany. "People's desire to have children is lower in Germany than in any other EU member state," they wrote on the campaign's website.

One print ad features a photo of a child with Down syndrome and the text, "You are completely ruining our lives. Ever since you appeared on the scene it's been like Piccadilly Circus around here. You teach us something new every day: how to get your little sister to laugh in no time. How to beat Daddy hands down in the 100 metres freestyle. Or how to counter people's disapproving looks with a simple smile. We're slowly starting to see the world with your eyes. And suddenly it all makes sense."

The ads were the biggest social marketing campaign in Germany's recent history and were seen by an estimated 42 million people. The print ads appeared in 46 magazines and 21 daily newspapers. The video and audio spots appeared on twelve television channels, 148 radio stations and in 766 cinemas in just under 200 towns. the rest