Monday, November 30, 2009

Same-sex marriage in Washington, D.C. will trample on religious liberty.

by Alan F.H. Wisdom

A tussle over same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia reveals how high the stakes of the debate have risen. Proponents of redefining marriage frequently assert that this would be only a minor adjustment, expanding the institution slightly to accommodate the two to three percent of the population that self-identifies as lesbian or gay. The appeal is for "tolerance" to allow people to form sexual relationships as they please. But now it becomes clear that same-sex advocates want much more than tolerance.

D.C. council member David Catania filed a same-sex marriage bill in October. With support from the mayor and 11 of 13 council members, it seems virtually assured of passage when the council votes December 1. A referendum that could have stopped the bill was ruled out of order by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics. The board reasoned, curiously, that invalidating a law not yet adopted would somewhat deprive same-sex couples of rights they already enjoy. At this point the only (slim) chance of blocking D.C. same-sex marriage lies in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress. the rest

71% Angry at Federal Government, Up Five Points Since September

Monday, November 30, 2009

Seventy-one percent (71%) of voters nationwide say they’re at least somewhat angry about the current policies of the federal government. That figure includes 46% who are Very Angry.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 27% are not angry about the government's policies, including 10% who are Not at All Angry.

Men are angrier than women, and voters over 40 are more angry than those who are younger. A majority of those over 40 are Very Angry. Only 25% of under-30 voters share that view. the rest
image by Robert Couse-Baker

“The overseas reviews for President Obama’s foreign policy are starting to pour in — and they’re not favorable.”

Poll Shows Canadians More Concerned About Killing Animals Than Unborn Children

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 30, 2009
Ottawa, Canada

( -- A new Canadian poll finds a tremendous incongruency in the thinking of Canadians on key social and political issues. The new survey finds Canadians are more outraged with the killing of animals or their medical testing than the destruction of unborn children and using them for scientific study.

A new national survey conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion and published in Maclean’s magazine finds practices pro-life advocates find objectionable are morally acceptable. the rest

Canada: Diocese tests same-gender blessing at one church

staff writer
Dec 1, 2009

Bishop John Chapman has given a church in the diocese of Ottawa permission to begin offering a rite of blessing to same-gender couples who are civilly married.

The Church of St. John the Evangelist could offer its first blessing as soon as a married couple asks. At least one person in the couple needs to be baptized.

“Same-sex couples who are civilly married and seek the Church’s blessing of their marriage must be welcomed with the same care and solicitude that the church would extend to any other of its members,” Bishop Chapman wrote in his charge to the recent diocesan synod. “When the church blesses the marriage of anyone civilly married it does so recognizing that the couple is already married and that the blessing celebrates and deepens a reality that already exists.”
the rest

Pope opens Advent preparation, speaks of "joy of waiting"

November 30, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI ushered in the season of Advent on November 28, leading a Vespers service in the Vatican basilica and remarking that Advent is a "potent liturgical period" in which Christians should contemplate the presence of God and "the joy of waiting." "Is it not often true that it is activity itself that possesses us, society with its multiple distractions that monopolizes our attention?" the Pontiff asked in his homily at the Saturday-evenign Vespers service. "Is it not true that we dedicate a lot of time to entertainment and leisure activities of various kinds?"

Time spent in waiting for an event can be frustrating when people have the wrong perspective, the Pope said. He urged the faithful to "live the present intensely," recognizing that God is already present to us. the rest

Call for expulsion of papal nuncio

The Irish Times
Monday, November 30, 2009

A Church of Ireland clergyman has called for the expulsion from Ireland of the papal nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanzato, over the Vatican’s failure to co-operate with the Dublin commission.

Canon Stephen Neill, son of the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin the Most Rev John Neill, also called for there to be criminal investigations into all church and State officials named in the commission report.

Canon Neill, who is rector in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary, and who uncovered US president Barack Obama’s Irish roots, said: “We should expel the papal nuncio who, along with his colleagues in the Vatican, including the pope and his predecessors, has demonstrated absolute contempt for the legal authorities of this State.” the rest

Episcopal role OK’d in gays’ weddings

Bishop Thomas Shaw approves priests’ officiating in Eastern Massachusetts
By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / November 30, 2009

The decision by Bishop M. Thomas Shaw III was immediately welcomed by advocates of gay rights in the Episcopal Church, who have chafed at local rules that allowed priests to bless same-sex couples, but not sign the documents that would solemnize their marriages.

The decision is likely to exacerbate tensions in the Episcopal Church and the global denomination to which it belongs, the Anglican Communion, which has faced significant division in the wake of the election of an openly gay priest as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. the rest

'Honor killings' in USA raise concerns

By Oren Dorell,
possted November 30, 2009

Muslim immigrant men have been accused of six "honor killings" in the United States in the past two years, prompting concerns that the Muslim community and police need to do more to stop such crimes.

"There is broad support and acceptance of this idea in Islam, and we're going to see it more and more in the United States," says Robert Spencer, who has trained FBI and military authorities on Islam and founded Jihad Watch, which monitors radical Islam. the rest

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Devotional: Ah! Lord, how shall I meet Thee...

Ah! Lord, how shall I meet Thee,
How welcome Thee aright?
All nations long to greet Thee,
My hope, my sole delight!
Brighten the lamp that burneth
But dimly in my breast,
And teach my soul, that yearneth
To honour such high guest.

He comes to judge the nations,
A terror to His foes,
A light of consolations
And blessed hope to those
Who love the Lord's appearing:
O glorious Sun, now come,
Send forth Thy beams of cheering
And guide us safely home!

The End of Advent

Nov 27, 2009
Joseph Bottum

More Christmas trees. More Christmas lights. More tinsel, more tassels, more glitter, more glee—until the glut of candies and carols, ornaments and trimmings, has left almost nothing for Christmas Day. For much of America, Christmas itself arrives nearly as an afterthought: not the fulfillment, but only the end, of the long Yule season that has burned without stop since the stores began their Christmas sales.

Of course, even in the liturgical calendar, the season points ahead to Christmas. Advent genuinely is adventual—a time before, a looking forward—and it lacks meaning without Christmas. But maybe Christmas, in turn, lacks meaning without Advent. All those daily readings from Isaiah, filled with visions of things yet to be, a constant barrage of the future tense: And it shall come to pass . . . And there shall come forth . . . A kind of longing pervades the Old Testament selections read in church over the weeks before Christmas—an anxious, almost sorrowful litany of hope only in what has not yet come. Zephaniah. Judges. Malachi. Numbers. I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.

What Advent is, really, is a discipline: a way of forming anticipation and channeling it toward its goal. There's a flicker of rose on the third Sunday—Gaudete!, that day's Mass begins: Rejoice!—but then it's back to the dark purple that is the mark of the season in liturgical churches. And what those somber vestments symbolize is the deeply penitential design of Advent. Nothing we can do earns us the gift of Christmas, any more than Lent earns us Easter. But a season of contrition and sacrifice prepares us to understand and feel something about just how great the gift is when at last the day itself arrives. the rest image by j4shirley

For the Vatican it's Clear - Pro-Abortion Politicians 'Must' be Denied Communion

Friday November 27, 2009
By John-Henry Westen
November 27, 2009

( - With the Patrick Kennedy Communion flap and the recent action of the Bishops of Spain having opened up the issue of denying communion to pro-abortion politicians, it is worthwhile to review the position of the Vatican on the matter.

Since the controversy came to a head in 2004, the stance from the Vatican on the matter has been clear and consistent. For the Pope and top Curial Cardinals in charge of the matter there is no question about the responsibility to deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who obstinately support abortion. In fact, the issue was closed as early as 2004 with a letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

The then-head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith intervened into a debate among the US Bishops on the issue. Simply put, Cardinal Ratzinger said in his letter titled "Worthiness to receive Holy Communion," that a Catholic politician who would vote for "permissive abortion and euthanasia laws" after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion. the rest

Update on Fr. Nigel, Sun, 29 Nov 2009

08:01 AM
From: Elizabeth Strickland
Albany Intercessor

Fr. Nigel Mumford continues in ICU. He is completely off the ventilator, even at nighttime! Thank you, Lord Jesus.

In the determined manner of a Royal Marine, he is building his strength and has used a walker to get from his bed to his chair – a short distance but a huge accomplishment. He is very dizzy when he stands up.

As a result of letting you know about the E-cards at Saratoga Hospital, Fr. Nigel received over 300 e-cards the first day. Needless to say, it caused a bit of disruption to their system. On the bright side of that, Fr. Nigel was very touched. Perhaps it would be wise to hold off on sending any more cards until the hospital can recover from the massive response.

Please pray for:

* Complete and immediate healing of Fr. Nigel’s bedsores
* Complete healing and strengthening of Fr. Nigel’s lungs
* Building up of Fr. Nigel’s muscles – all of his muscles – so that he can regain his strength
* Elimination of the dizziness Fr. Nigel feels when he stands
* Peace and endurance for Lynn

Please give Praise and Thanksgiving to our Lord for the continued healing of Fr. Nigel. Our God is so awesome. He cares so much for each one of us -- He listens to our prayers. Bless you all for your continued and dedicated prayers.

Latin Mass Appeal

November 28, 2009

WALKING into church 40 years ago on this first Sunday of Advent, many Roman Catholics might have wondered where they were. The priest not only spoke English rather than Latin, but he faced the congregation instead of the tabernacle; laymen took on duties previously reserved for priests; folk music filled the air. The great changes of Vatican II had hit home.

All this was a radical break from the traditional Latin Mass, codified in the 16th century at the Council of Trent. For centuries, that Mass served as a structured sacrifice with directives, called “rubrics,” that were not optional. This is how it is done, said the book. As recently as 1947, Pope Pius XII had issued an encyclical on liturgy that scoffed at modernization; he said that the idea of changes to the traditional Latin Mass “pained” him “grievously.”

Paradoxically, however, it was Pius himself who was largely responsible for the momentous changes of 1969. It was he who appointed the chief architect of the new Mass, Annibale Bugnini, to the Vatican’s liturgical commission in 1948. the rest

Switzerland risks Muslim backlash after minarets vote

Switzerland risked a Muslim backlash on Sunday after its citizens voted overwhelmingly to ban minarets on mosques.
By Alexandra Williams in Geneva
29 Nov 2009

The legally-binding referendum result had not been widely expected and was a huge embarrassment for the neutral government in Switzerland.

In the run-up to the vote it had warned that a ban would "serve the interests of extremist circles" and damage economic ties with Muslim states.

Anti-immigrant right-wing populists had championed the vote and led an emotive campaign. The Swiss People's Party (SVP), the country's largest in terms of popular support and membership in parliament, used posters depicting a woman in a burka in front of minarets shaped like missiles rising from a Swiss flag.

"We're enormously happy. It is a victory for this people, this Switzerland, this freedom and those who want a democratic society," Walter Wobmann, president of the initiative committee, said in a victory speech. "We just want to stop further Islamisation in Switzerland." the rest

Women lead Swiss in vote to ban minarets.

Death comes for an Oklahoma monk

November 27, 2009
Zoe Romanowsky

A friend sent me an article about the death of a monk in Oklahoma. I can't locate the piece online, but I wanted to share some of the story, because it's not often you get to read about remarkable monks and monasteries here in the United States.

Father Francois de Feydeau was 57 years old when he passed away from incurable brain cancer on November 15th. He was one of 13 monks who arrived from France 10 years ago to found Clear Creek Monastery near Lost City, Oklahoma. He was laid to rest in a grove of pine trees he planted a few years ago. Here's part of the article published in the Tahlequah Daily Press, which also ran Fr. de Feydeau's obituary. [Because the article is not available online, I'm quoting more than I normally would.] the rest

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Climategate e-mails sweep America, may scuttle Barack Obama's Cap and Trade laws

By Gerald Warner
November 26th, 2009

Just a few considerations in addition to previous remarks about the explosion of the East Anglia Climategate e-mails in America. The reaction is growing exponentially there. Fox News, Barack Obama’s Nemesis, is now on the case, trampling all over Al Gore’s organic vegetable patch and breaking the White House windows. It has extracted some of the juiciest quotes from the e-mails and displayed them on-screen, with commentaries. Joe Public, coast-to-coast, now knows, thanks to the clowns at East Anglia’s CRU, just how royally he has been screwed.

Senator James Inhofe’s Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has written to all the relevant US Government agencies, acquainting them with the nature of the e-mails. But the real car crash for Obama is on Capitol Hill where it is now confidently believed his Cap and Trade climate legislation is toast. It was always problematic; but with a growing awakening to the scale of the scientific imposture sweeping the world, as far as the Antipodes, the clever money is on Cap and Trade laws failing to pass, with many legislators sceptical and the mid-term elections looming ever closer. the rest

Church of England set to lose a tenth of its clergy in five years

November 28, 2009
Ruth Gledhill and Tim Glanfield

The Church of England is facing the loss of as many as one in ten paid clergy in the next five years and internal documents seen by The Times admit that the traditional model of a vicar in every parish is over.

The credit crunch and a pension funding crisis have left dioceses facing massive restructuring programmes. Church statistics show that between 2000 and 2013 stipendiary or paid clergy numbers will have fallen by nearly a quarter.

According to figures on the Church of England website, there will be an 8.3 per cent decrease in paid clergy in the next four years, from 8,400 this year to 7,700 in to 2013. This represents a 22.5 per cent decrease since 2000. If this trend continues in just over 50 years there will be no full-time paid clergy left in Britain’s 13,000 parishes serving 16,000 churches. the rest

Spanish RC Church to deny communion to pro-abortion pols

November 27th, 2009

The Spanish Catholic Church will deny communion to members of parliament who have voted in favour of a bill to make abortion more readily available, the spokesman of Spain’s Bishops’ Conference said on Friday.

“This is a warning to Catholics, that they can’t vote in favour of this and that they won’t be able to receive communion unless they ask forgiveness,” Rev. Juan Antonio Martinez Camino told a news conference in Madrid. “They are in an objective state of sin.”

The government-sponsored bill, which passed the first of a series of votes in parliament on Thursday, will allow abortion until the 14th week of pregnancy and, in cases of extreme foetal deformity, at any time in the pregnancy. The bill will also allow girls to obtain abortions from the age of 16 without parental consent, a clause that has generated dissent even within the governing Socialist Party. the rest

Swiss to vote on minarets

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Switzerland is to vote in a referendum on a controversial call by the far-right for a blanket ban on the construction of minarets.

In a second referendum to be held on Sunday, the Swiss will also decide whether to stop weapons' exports, a proposal opposed by the government which has warned that restrictions on foreign arms sales could put some 5,100 jobs at risk.

But the spotlight is likely to be trained on the anti-minaret proposal, which was brought by a far-right party and claims that the turrets or towers attached to mosques symbolise a 'political-religious claim to power.'

The Swiss government has asked the population to reject the call, arguing that accepting a ban would bring about 'incomprehension overseas and harm Switzerland's image.' the rest

Friday, November 27, 2009

Devotional: God knows...

God knows how hard you've tried. How tired you get, how empty your soul can feel even when your days and nights are crowded with all you do in the name of the Lord. God knows the longings of your spirit, unfulfilled places of your heart. God knows your needs, even when you don't have a clue. ...Penelope J. Stokes image by simple insomnia

Death certificate is imprinted on the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican scholar

Wednesday, 25 Nov 2009
By Richard Owen

A Vatican scholar claims to have deciphered the "death certificate" imprinted on the Shroud of Turin, or Holy Shroud, a linen cloth revered by Christians and held by many to bear the image of the crucified Jesus.

Dr Barbara Frale, a researcher in the Vatican secret archives, said "I think I have managed to read the burial certificate of Jesus the Nazarene, or Jesus of Nazareth." She said that she had reconstructed it from fragments of Greek, Hebrew and Latin writing imprinted on the cloth together with the image of the crucified man.

The shroud, which is kept in the royal chapel of Turin Cathedral and is to be put in display next spring, is regarded by many scholars as a medieval forgery. A 1988 carbon dating of a fragment of the cloth dated it to the Middle Ages.

However Dr Frale, who is to publish her findings in a new book, La Sindone di Gesu Nazareno (The Shroud of Jesus of Nazareth) said that the inscription provided "historical date consistent with the Gospels account". The letters, barely visible to the naked eye, were first spotted during an examination of the shroud in 1978, and others have since come to light. the rest

Irish Catholic leaders apologise for child abuse

by Jenna Lyle
Friday, November 27, 2009

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has said he is deeply sorry and ashamed for decades of child abuse by priests.

A government-commissioned report published on Thursday concluded that the Church had covered up the systematic abuse of children within the Archdiocese of Dublin. It looked specifically at the period from 1975 to 2004 and noted a failure on the part of Church authorities to report the abuse to police, as priests were simply moved to new areas where they were able to abuse more children.

The report said the cover-up was motivated primarily by the Church’s desire to save its own reputation.

“All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities,” it said. the rest

Plan to Restrict Health Accounts Will Hurt the Disabled, Critics Warn

November 25, 2009
By Judson Berger

Families with special-needs children and people with chronic illnesses stand to lose hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in tax benefits under proposed health care reform legislation, critics say, warning that a plan to cap the amount of money people can put into special "flexible spending" health accounts will have "cruel" and "unintended consequences."

The Senate and House health care bills both include a revenue-raising provision that would cap at $2,500 the amount of money workers can put into flexible spending accounts. The accounts, used by millions, allow workers to store pre-tax dollars to cover out-of-pocket health care expenses during the year. the rest

Charles Krauthammer: Kill the bills. Do health reform right.

Why Obama Isn't Changing Washington

There is no way he can grow the government without attracting more lobbyists and more political acrimony.
NOVEMBER 26, 2009

One insight distinguished Barack Obama from the other presidential candidates last year. While he lacked experience or a special grasp of issues, Mr. Obama said he uniquely understood what ails Washington, and what was causing the endless squabbling and bitter stalemate on important issues. If elected, he said he would change the way business is done in Washington, end the partisan deadlock and the ideological polarization.

"Change must come to Washington," Mr. Obama said in a June 2008 speech. "I have consistently said when it comes to solving problems," he told Jake Tapper of ABC News that same month, "I don't approach this from a partisan or ideological perspective."

Mr. Obama also decried the prominent role played by lobbyists. "Lobbyists aren't just a part of the system in Washington, they're part of the problem," Mr. Obama said in a May 2008 campaign speech.
the rest

Peggy Noonan: He Can't Take Another Bow

BC Supreme Court issues mixed decision in church property dispute

Nov 25th, 2009
Anglican Network in Canada

Vancouver, BC – Mr Justice Stephen Kelleher of the British Columbia Supreme Court issued a mixed decision today in the case involving the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) Diocese of New Westminster and four Greater Vancouver parishes in the Anglican Network in Canada.The four parishes – St Matthew’s (Abbotsford), St Matthias & St Luke’s (Vancouver), St John’s Shaughnessy (Vancouver) and Church of the Good Shepherd (Vancouver) – had asked the courts in early September 2008 to clarify their Trustees’ responsibilities in light of hostile action taken by the Diocese of New Westminster. After all four parishes voted overwhelmingly in February 2008 to disaffiliate with the ACoC and realign with the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), the bishop purported to terminate and replace the Trustees and take control of two of the churches’ properties and their bank accounts. ANiC is now part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a new Anglican province formed as a result of the worldwide split in the Anglican Church over profound disagreement on issues of doctrine.

Mr. Justice Kelleher found that the Bishop of New Westminster did not have legal or canonical authority for his purported termination and replacement of the Trustees, who were validly elected by the congregations and who control the use of the properties. However, he said the Trustees were required to exercise their authority “in relation to the parish properties in accordance with the Act, as well as the Constitution, Canons, Rules and Regulations of the Diocese.” He then said he would “leave it to the parties to arrive at a workable solution”. This clearly leaves the parties in a difficult position as they dispute the interpretation of those documents, particularly the Constitution. the rest

Court denies breakaway parishioners

Breakaway Anglicans can't take churches

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ephraim Radner: Misreading History

November 25, 2009

The Washington Post’s On Faith weblog recently published “A Christian Case for Same-Sex Marriage,” a column by Bishop John Chane of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. The occasion for the piece is a debate about a law that would legalize same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. But Bishop Chane’s main goal, as he tells us, is to “offer a short history of changing Christian understandings of the institution of marriage” that will counter traditional Christian arguments against same-sex partnerships.

Journalists, he worries, think that traditionalists speak for the church and for the Christian tradition. They speak for neither, according to the bishop. Given the high profile of the Post, and Bishop Chane’s standing as a bishop of a prominent (if recently beleaguered) Christian body, one should probably take his remarks seriously. Alas, as a short history his remarks cannot be taken seriously at all, but amount to a tissue of popular myths, used to promote a tired and unfounded historical perspective whose application now has a track record of political intolerance.

Bishop Chane first argues that traditionalists are inconsistent — maybe even hypocritical? — because Jesus was against divorce and traditionalists are not “demanding that the city council make divorce illegal.” Of course, Jesus did not proclaim all divorce wrong (cf. Matt. 9:9).More important, by begging his own question here—just what is the status of divorce, then?—Bishop Chane undercuts his case: the state’s accommodation of divorce has indeed encouraged and even created turmoil in social relations. If anything the failures of church and wider culture in this area are actually a good argument for restraint on further social confusion. the rest

Eliminate "God" from national anthem. The Russian Communists against Putin and patriarchate

by Evgeny Vorotnikov

A parliamentary deputy maintains reference to God undermines national unity, discriminates against non-Christian religions and does not respect the feelings of atheists. For the vice-president of the chamber, Sliska, it is a "rude initiative”. The Patriarchate of Moscow: the majority accept this anthem so "there is no reason to remove the sentence that mentions God."

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (Kprf) wants to delete the reference to God from the text of the national anthem. Boris Kashin, of the Chamber of Deputies of Moscow (the Duma), has submitted a bill to replace the phrase of the anthem that says "protected by God as our beloved homeland," with "protected by us as our beloved homeland”.

For the Kprf deputy reference to God undermines national unity and disrupts the multi-ethnic society in Russia. Kashin complains that the anthem does not respect the various non-Christian religions recognized in the Federation and offends the feelings of atheists. the rest

Britain's Chief Rabbi Warns of Fall of Europe due to Demographic Collapse

Wednesday November 25, 2009
By John-Henry Westen

( - Speaking at the Annual Theos Lecture in London on November 4, Britain's Chief Rabbi Johnathan Sacks, warned that Europe was bound to meet the same fate as ancient Greece due to its abysmal failure to inspire larger families.

"Parenthood involves massive sacrifice: of money, attention, time and emotional energy," he said. "Where today, in European culture with its consumerism and its instant gratification 'because you're worth it,' in that culture, where will you find space for the concept of sacrifice for the sake of generations not yet born?"

He observed that sincere religious belief is able to overcome the cultural impediments to having children. "Wherever you turn today anywhere in the world, and whether you look at the Jewish or Christian or Muslim communities, you will find the more religious the community, the larger, on average, are its families," he said.

Rabbi Sacks cited the alarming demographics in Europe, stating: "Europe today is the only region in the world which is experiencing population decline. As you know, zero population growth - a stable population - requires an average of 2.1 children for every woman of child-bearing age in the population. Not one European country has anything like that rate today. Here are the 2004 figures: In the United Kingdom: 1.74, in the Netherlands: 1.73, Germany: 1.37, Italy: 1.33, Spain: 1.32 and Greece: 1.29." the rest

Rise of male student support groups sparks row at British universities

• Support groups explore masculinity as a concept
• Critics claim societies a front for 'macho activities'
Monday 23 November 2009

After decades of feminism, equal rights and "women-only" support networks, a lower, deeper voice is attempting to make itself heard at some of Britain's leading universities.

Male students are "manning-up", setting up men's groups to celebrate and explore the concept of masculinity amid accusations of sexism and gender stereotyping.

Manchester University has created the first official MENS Society – Masculinity Exploring Networking and Support – despite outrage from critics who claim the existence of such a group undermines women's ability to speak out for equality. the rest

Climate change scandal deepens as BBC expert claims he was sent leaked emails six weeks ago

By Carol Driver
26th November 2009

The controversy surrounding the global warming e-mail scandal has deepened after a BBC correspondent admitted he was sent the leaked messages more than a month before they were made public.

Paul Hudson, weather presenter and climate change expert, claims the documents allegedly sent between some of the world's leading scientists are of a direct result of an article he wrote.

In his BBC blog three days ago, Hudson said: 'I was forwarded the chain of emails on the 12th October, which are comments from some of the world's leading climate scientists written as a direct result of my article "Whatever Happened To Global Warming". the rest

Ode To Joy!

A Thanksgiving Moment

On Thanksgiving eve, Obama issues special Hajj message to world's Muslims

November 25, 2009


How Private Property Saved the Pilgrims

Ilya Somin
November 26, 2009

Today is Thanksgiving. And there is no better time to remember an underappreciated lesson of the original Thanksgiving: that the Pilgrims nearly starved to death because of collectivism and eventually saved themselves by adopting a system of private property. Economist Benjamin Powell tells the story in here:

Many people believe that after suffering through a severe winter, the Pilgrims’ food shortages were resolved the following spring when the Native Americans taught them to plant corn and a Thanksgiving celebration resulted. In fact, the pilgrims continued to face chronic food shortages for three years until the harvest of 1623. Bad weather or lack of farming knowledge did not cause the pilgrims’ shortages. Bad economic incentives did.

In 1620 Plymouth Plantation was founded with a system of communal property rights. Food and supplies were held in common and then distributed based on equality and need as determined by Plantation officials. People received the same rations whether or not they contributed to producing the food, and residents were forbidden from producing their own food. Governor William Bradford, in his 1647 history, Of Plymouth Plantation, wrote that this system was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. The problem was that young men, that were most able and fit for labour, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. Because of the poor incentives, little food was produced.

Faced with potential starvation in the spring of 1623, the colony decided to implement a new economic system. Every family was assigned a private parcel of land. They could then keep all they grew for themselves, but now they alone were responsible for feeding themselves. While not a complete private property system, the move away from communal ownership had dramatic results.
the rest image

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Devotional: My God, I thank Thee...

My God, I thank Thee, who hast made
The earth so bright,
So full of splendor and of joy,
Beauty and light;
So many glorious things are here,
Noble and right.

I thank Thee, too, that Thou hast made
Joy to abound;
So many gentle thoughts and deeds
Circling us round,
That in the darkest spot of earth
Some love is found.

I thank Thee more that all our joy
Is touched with pain,
That shadows fall on brightest hours,
That thorns remain;
So that earth’s bliss may be our guide,
And not our chain.

For thou who knowest, Lord, how soon
Our weak heart clings,
Hast given us joys, tender and true,
Yet all with wings;
So that we see gleaming on high
Diviner things.

I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast kept
The best in store;
We have enough, yet not too much
To long for more:
A yearning for a deeper peace
Not known before.

I thank Thee, Lord, that here our souls
Though amply blessed,
Can never find, although they seek
A perfect rest;
Nor ever shall, until they lean
On Jesus’ breast.
...Ad­e­laide A. Proc­ter
image by Vince Alongi

Violent Muslim mobs attack Coptic Christians in Egypt

Thursday, November 26, 2009

For several days massive mobs of Muslims have been attacking Coptic Christians in the Egyptian town of Farshoot 300 miles south of Cairo.

The mobs’ looting, vandalism and arson have caused at least $1 million in damage as Copts hide indoors for fear of their lives.

Many Copts have been attacked and injured, the Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA) says. Coptic priest Rev. Benjamin Noshi suffered a fractured skull in the attacks and is now hospitalized.

Nearly 3,000 Muslims have been damaging and looting at least 50 Christian-owned shops, including jewelry stores and pharmacies. Most Coptic businesses in Farshoot have been looted or burned and many families have been thrown out of their homes by other Muslim residents. the rest

PB Schori visits CNY Diocesan Convention November 21-22, 2009

posted November 25, 2009

Maybe I just missed it, but the most notable thing about Schori's visit is the almost total media silence about it, except for an ENS story posted today. Verrrry interesting...

Bishop "Skip" Adams' Diocesan Address

Shori's Eucharistic Sermon

New lawsuits face Church in USA

Wednesday, 25th November 2009
By George Conger

The Episcopal Church’s legal wars continued unabated last week, with new lawsuits in Tennessee, and appeals filed in Pittsburgh, Georgia and San Joaquin.

The Diocese of Tennessee on Oct 30 filed suit against St Andrew’s Church in West Nashville, asking a state court to grant it control of the parish’s property. In 2006 the congregation quit the diocese to affiliate with the Diocese of Quincy and is now part of the Anglican Church of North America.

Tennessee caught many observers by surprise as it had been numbered among the conservative communion partners group, which had pledged to abide by the Windsor Report process, including the primates’ call for a halt to lawsuits.

The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh announced last week that it would appeal against a lower court ruling granting control of the diocese’s assets to a loyalist faction aligned with the national church. “Our decision to appeal is for the purpose of protecting the mission of our 51 local congregations. Left uncontested, the award of all diocesan assets to the minority party, a group that comprises only a third of the parishes that were a part of our diocese when we withdrew from the Episcopal Church, would establish a precedent that we believe the minority would use to take steps to seize all the assets of all our local parishes,” the diocese said. the rest

Obamacare: 60 Minutes Propaganda Piece Paving the Way for Health Care Rationing

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Wesley J. Smith

Obamacare pushers have mounted the most dishonest political campaign I think I have ever seen. They say that we will insure 30 million more people–but for less money–which is impossible. They claimed abortion wouldn’t be funded, but that lie is now fully exposed as both the House and Senate versions would do just that. They say that there will be no rationing–and yet, attempts to amend the bill to proscribe health care rationing have all been rejected.

But the push for rationing is going full steam ahead among Obamacare’s allies. Latest example, 60 Minutes, always as reliable an ally of this administration as it was an implacable enemy of the last, recently broadcast a story explicitly pushing rationing by focusing on the worst case scenarios and not presenting any opposing views.

From the story:
Patients, with their families’ support, want to cling to life, and it is often easier to hope for a medical miracle than to discuss how they want to die. Charlie Haggart is 68 years old and suffering from liver and kidney failure…At a meeting with Haggart’s family and his doctors, Dr. Byock raised the awkward question of what should be done if he got worse and his heart or lungs were to give out.

the rest

The Impossibility of Thanksgiving

Why gratefulness is more gift than duty.
Mark Galli

A YouTube segment from Conan O'Brien's show entitled "Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy," with guest comedian Louis C.K., has been making the rounds. In it, Louis talks about how he was on a plane that offered in flight Wi-Fi access to the Internet, one of the first planes to do so. But when it broke down in a few minutes, the man sitting next to him swore in disgust. Louis was amazed, and said to O'Brien, "How quickly the world owes him something that he didn't know existed 10 seconds ago."

Louis then talked about how many of us describe less-than perfect airline flights as if they were experiences from a horror film: "It was the worst day of my life. First of all, we didn't board for 20 minutes! And then we get on the plane and they made us sit there in the runway for 40 minutes!"

Then he said mockingly, "Oh really. Did you fly through the air incredibly, like a bird? Did you partake in the miracle of human flight? … Everybody on every plane should be going, 'O my God, wow!' … You're sitting in a chair in the sky!" And then he mocks a passenger who, trying to push his seat back, complains, "It doesn't go back a lot!"

The segment is humorous because we recognize ourselves in it. That's human nature. We take things for granted so quickly, so easily fall out of a state of gratefulness. the rest

Dakota Thanksgiving
Nov 25, 2009
Joseph Bottum
Thanksgiving was always tense while I was growing up, and I don’t know why. Christmas, now—Christmas was mostly fun and presents and carols and laughter, as I remember. But Thanksgiving was arguments and huffs and recriminations and doors slamming and one indistinguishable great-uncle or another rousing himself from his after-dinner torpor to growl, “Now, now,” from an easy chair, puffing through his mustache like an irritated walrus as he loosened his belt another notch...

Albert Mohler: “They Did Not Honor Him as God, or Give Thanks”

November 25, 2009

Can one really be thankful without being thankful to someone? It makes no sense to express thankfulness to a purely naturalistic system. The late Stephen Jay Gould, an atheist and one of the foremost paleontologists and evolutionists, described human life as "just one tiny, largely fortuitous, and late-rising twig on the enormously arborescent bush of life." Gould was a clear-headed evolutionist who took the theory of evolution to its ultimate conclusion -- human life is merely an accident, though a very happy accident for us. Within that worldview, how does thankfulness work?

The Apostle Paul points to a central insight about thankfulness when he instructs the Christians in Rome about the reality and consequences of unbelief. After making clear that God has revealed himself to all humanity through the created order, Paul asserts that we are all without excuse when it comes to our responsibility to know and worship the Creator.

He wrote:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. . . [Romans 1:20-22].

This remarkable passage has at its center an indictment of thanklessness. the rest

WSJ: [Episcopal]Church Fights for Assets, Members and Legitimacy

As Episcopal Parishes and Dioceses Break From the National Body, Ugly Court Battles Over Valued Property Have Followed.
NOVEMBER 25, 2009

When the members of St. Luke's of the Mountains Church in La Crescenta, Calif., voted in 2006 to leave the Episcopal Church, they never meant they wanted to leave their church.

But last month, they got notice they were being evicted from the 80-year-old stone structure that had been their spiritual home.

The congregants lost a long legal fight for their building when a court ruled that the national Episcopal Church, which represents the world-wide Anglican Communion in the U.S., and the local diocese were the rightful owners of the property -- not the breakaway leaders.

"For many of us, leaving here will be one of the most difficult things we have ever done for God," Rev. Rob Holman said in his last sermon in the building before renting the Seventh Day Adventist Church nearby. the rest

The Significance of that Case of the Man Trapped in a "Coma" for 23 Years

Bioethicists attempting to define people in supposed PVS as "brain dead" and source of organs
By Alex Schadenberg
Chairman, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
November 24, 2009

( Many people will have read the story of Rom Houben, the Belgium man who was diagnosed as being in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) for 23 years, but who in fact had a condition known as Locked-in Syndrome. A person in locked-in syndrome is fully aware of all of their surroundings and they hear and remember the conversations that take place around them, but due to their cognitive disability they are unable to respond.

The case of Rom Houben is significant given that many bioethicists are attempting to redefine the status of people in PVS as being similar to "brain death," meaning that it is being argued that these people have lost self-awareness and therefore should be treated as non-persons or dead people. Non-persons do not have the right to live and in fact many bio-ethicists suggest that these people should be treated as organ donors.

Dr. Steven Laureys, the prominent neurologist from Belgium diagnosed Houben as being in a locked-in syndrome rather than PVS based on a brain scan that indicated that Houben's brain was functioning at near to normal response.

Dr. Laureys has released a new study concerning PVS stating: "Anyone who bears the stamp of 'unconscious' just one time hardly ever gets rid of it again." He also stated that: "There may be many similar cases of false comas around the world," and "patients classed in a vegetative state are often misdiagnosed." the rest

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Devotional: There is a stream...

There is a stream, whose gentle flow
Supplies the city of our God;
Life, love, and joy still gliding through,
And watering our divine abode:

That sacred stream, thine holy word,
That all our raging fear controls;
Sweet peace thy promises afford,
And give new strength to fainting souls.
...Isaac Watts
image by Jared Hawkins

TEC Long Island Diocese Wants $205,000 Returned

November 24, 2009

The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island has filed suit [PDF] against two law firms, seeking to reclaim $205,000 in legal fees, according to Courthouse News Service.

Jakubik Law Firm and Silber Law Firm represented the majority of members at St. James’ Episcopal Church, Elmhurst, N.Y., who voted to separate from the diocese and the Episcopal Church in 2005.

The former Episcopalians regrouped as St. James’ Anglican Church, affiliated with the nascent Anglican Church in North America, and attempted to retain the parish buildings. The Supreme Court of Queens County ruled [PDF] in favor of the diocese in March 2008.

The diocese says the separating members paid legal fees from the parish’s bank and stock accounts. the rest

A.S. Haley: A Futile Quest for Fees

ALLELUIA Update on Fr. Nigel, Tue, 24 Nov 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Elizabeth Strickland

Fr. Nigel Mumford continues in the ICU but his progress has been remarkable. There is cause for celebration – ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA! Fr. Nigel is off the ventilator! Thank you Lord God for prayers answered. He continues to receive some extra air at night in the amount very similar to what a C-PAP machine would provide (those are the machines that lots of people are wearing to bed now that provide relief from sleep deprivation/apnea). So that is a huge step forward in his road to recovery. He is talking a bit more now that he is off of the ventilator, and for the first time yesterday he was able to eat some pureed food.

Fr. Nigel is also spending a good deal of his day out of his bed and in a chair. He is also doing PT two times a day so that he can build his muscles back up so that he can regain use of his body. He is making real strides here as well. Your prayers are working wonders! As you may imagine, this is exhausting to him and he is worn out very quickly. But he had the strength to say “My life is coming back bit by bit.”

Please pray for:
* relief from some pain that he is experiencing from bed sores
* continued healing of his lungs
* continued strengthening of all of his muscles
* peace for Fr. Nigel in those anxious moments
* peace and strength for Lynn and the whole Mumford family

Please give Praise and Thanksgiving to our Lord for the healing that has taken place and that will continue to take place in Fr. Nigel. Our God listens to our prayers and answers them according to His will. You are all fantastic prayer warriors. Lynn asks for no visitors until Fr. Nigel regains his strength and is out of ICU.

You can send an e-card card to Fr. Nigel from the Saratoga Hospital website:

Thank you for your faithfulness during Fr. Nigel’s illness, and I ask you to continue your prayers. This will be the last update until Monday November 30. Have a blessed Thanksgiving. I am thankful for Fr. Nigel’s illness because it has brought all of us closer to our Lord.

Prayer vigil for Fr. Nigel and Lynn: During the 48 hours of next Friday and Saturday (the two days after Thanksgiving Day, November 27 and 28 ) I would like each of us to commit to a half-hour of concentrated prayer and thanksgiving for Fr. Nigel and Lynn. Choose any half-hour of the day or night.

Albany Intercessor

DC homosexual 'marriage' will end Catholic assistance

Charlie Butts

As Washington, DC's city council moves closer to legalizing homosexual "marriage," a Christian organization is raising a warning flag.

The DC Election Board has refused an initiative to put the marriage issue before voters. Alan Wisdom of the Institute on Religion & Democracy tells OneNewsNow the city council was offered amendments to protect religious groups, but opted to reject them.

"We at the Institute are warning that this really shows the trajectory of same-sex marriage," notes Wisdom. "The initial appeal is for tolerance, but ultimately same-sex marriage becomes tyranny that is imposed upon Christians and others who support traditional marriage, and they are forced in various ways to accept same-sex marriage."

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, which provides many social services in DC, has told the council it will stand by its faith, meaning it might have to drop some of its services. the rest

Health Care Support Drops to Below 40 Percent After Senate OKs Pro-Abortion Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 23, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- The level of support for a health care bill has plummeted to below 40 percent for the first time in a new Rasmussen poll. The numbers showing health care support at its lowest levels all year come after the Senate on Saturday approved a bill that contains massive abortion funding and other pro-life concerns.

Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, the Rasmussen survey indicates.

With 56 percent now opposing the pro-abortion plan, that is the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls Rasmussen has conducted since June. the rest

American Santas demand priority for swine flu jabs

November 25, 2009
New York

Father Christmases in the US have demanded priority status for swine flu vaccinations as part of an arsenal of precautions they are taking before welcoming the seasonal tide of runny-nosed children.

Doctors have warned that the traditional visit to Santa could become one of the prime means of spreading the virus throughout America.

Santa's bonhomie is likely to be further strained after health organisations raised concerns that the men in red suits would be among the most likely victims of the H1N1 virus. the rest

Japanese 'weds' virtual GF, plans real-life reception

24 November 2009

WASHINGTON: A man with an online name SAL9000 has ‘tied the knot’ with his virtual girlfriend from a dating simulations game called ‘Love Plus’.

According to website Boing Boing, the man fell in love with one of the virtual girls named Nene Anegasaki and decided to marry her and take her on a honeymoon to Guam. And because the girl doesn’t exist in reality, he took his Nintendo DS to Guam, reports He took photos of the trip to Guam and livecast the vacation on Japanese video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga, And now, he is planning to hold a public wedding reception in Tokyo this weekend, which will also be livecast on Nico Nico Douga. the rest image

Climategate: The Fix is In

November 24, 2009
By Robert Tracinski

In early October, I covered a breaking story about evidence of corruption in the basic temperature records maintained by key scientific advocates of the theory of man-made global warming. Global warming "skeptics" had unearthed evidence that scientists at the Hadley Climatic Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia had cherry-picked data to manufacture a "hockey stick" graph showing a dramatic-but illusory-runaway warming trend in the late 20th century.

But now newer and much broader evidence has emerged that looks like it will break that scandal wide open. Pundits have already named it "Climategate."

A hacker-or possibly a disillusioned insider-has gathered thousands of e-mails and data from the CRU and made them available on the Web. Officials at the CRU have verified the breach of their system and acknowledged that the e-mails appear to be genuine.

Yes, this is a theft of data-but the purpose of the theft was to blow the whistle on a much bigger, more brazen crime. The CRU has already called in the police to investigate the hacker. But now someone needs to call in the cops to investigate the CRU. the rest image

Climategate: Violating the social contract of science

Obama: Undoing Bush's years of deft diplomacy

by Ross Terrill

Much dire rhetoric has been unleashed in liberal quarters about the damage done by George W. Bush's foreign policy. The alleged damage, however, is not evident in Asia. When Ken Lieberthal, a respected China specialist and Democratic loyalist, spoke at Harvard early this year, I asked him to name a single year in memory when Washington had as good relations with India, Japan, and China as under Bush. He changed the subject.

The White House stated as Obama left Asia for home last week: "Overall, American leadership was absent from this region for the last several years.'' Nonsense. Bush left office with U.S. relations with Asia's big four--China, India, Japan, and Indonesia--taken together, better than ever in history.

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh many times remarked that President Bush was popular in India, and so was the United States. U.S.-Japan relations were excellent under Bush, in partnership with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and two successors. Nor were U.S. relations with Australia ever as good as in the years when Bush presided in Washington and John Howard in Canberra. In Southeast Asia after 9/11 the U.S. position improved sharply with Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. And Bush drew Vietnam and, after 2007, South Korea, under its new president Lee Myung Bak, closer to the United States. the rest

Council of Europe Resolution: Right of Hospitals to Opt out of Abortion Must Be Removed

Monday November 23, 2009
By John Jalsevac

( - A new draft resolution from the Council of Europe aimed at legally limiting the freedom of medical doctors and health care providers who object to abortion has life and family defenders in Europe deeply concerned.

The new draft Resolution is the latest initiative undertaken by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to promote abortion and restrict freedom of religion and conscience. The resolution, sponsored by Sweden's Carina Hägg, is entitled "Women's access to lawful medical care: the problem of unregulated use of conscientious objection."

The resolution has two main objectives: the first - to push for further access to abortion as a "Human Right" - the second: to limit the possibility for individual health care providers and institutions "to refuse to provide certain health services based on religious, moral or philosophical objections." The "health services" targeted are mostly abortion, emergency contraception, assisted suicide and artificial procreation. the rest

Vicar threatened with violence if his parish goes over to Rome

By Damian Thompson
November 23rd, 2009

The vicar of an Anglo-Catholic church has received a threatening phone call warning him of violence if his parish goes over to Rome – and his noticeboard has been defaced with the words “C of E No Pope” daubed across it in white paint.

Fr David Waller of St Saviour’s, Walthamstow, discovered the vandalism on Sunday morning as he prepared for Mass. Then he found the a message waiting for him on his answering machine threatening him with physical violence. But, when I spoke to him a few minutes ago, he didn’t sound remotely intimidated. “The message was distorted – it sounded drunken and I don’t want to make too much of it,” he said. the rest

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hindus afraid of church growth in India

23 November, 2009

India (MNN) ― Violence continues to plague Christians across India. Christians are the targets of attack on a weekly basis. Until now, Christians could only guess that they were being assaulted because so many Hindus were turning to Christ. Now, there's hard evidence.

President of Mission India of Grand Rapids, Michigan Dave Stravers says the evidence comes from hardline Hindu groups. "We [received] a power point presentation from a Hindu extremist group warning people in the state of Karnataka that the Christians are growing so fast that they're worried that the state might actually become a majority Christian state."

According to Stravers, the Hindu radicals also believe the state of Andhra Pradesh could become Christian if something isn't done. the rest

Islamic Extremists Execute Young Convert in Somalia

Christian accused of trying to convert Muslim teenager found shot on Mogadishu street.
November 23

(CDN) — Islamic extremists controlling part of the Somali capital of Mogadishu this month executed a young Christian they accused of trying to convert a 15-year-old Muslim to Christianity.

Members of the Islamic extremist group al Shabaab had taken 23-year-old Mumin Abdikarim Yusuf into custody on Oct. 28 after the 15-year-old boy reported him to the militants, an area source told Compass. Yusuf’s body was found on Nov. 14 on an empty residential street in Mogadishu, with sources saying the convert from Islam was shot to death, probably some hours before dawn. the rest

Albert Mohler: Why I Signed The Manhattan Declaration

Monday, November 23, 2009

I am not inclined to sign manifestos or petitions. While believing strongly and passionately about many causes, I am not usually impressed with the effectiveness of such statements and I am generally concerned about how such statements might be used or construed by others. I am not reluctant to speak for myself and from my own Christian convictions and consequent judgments. Furthermore, the constant exchange of opposing statements on this or that issue merely crowds the public square as opposing viewpoints compete for attention. So, for reasons perhaps both admirable and not so admirable, I prefer to stand on my own public statements.

But I signed The Manhattan Declaration. Indeed, I am among the original signatories to that statement, released to the public at the National Press Club last Friday. Why? the rest

'Manhattan Declaration' commits to engage culture
WASHINGTON (BP)--A diverse group of Christian leaders joined together Nov. 20 to declare a commitment to defend the sanctity of human life, biblical marriage and religious liberty without compromise.

Ohio Supreme Court: Regional Church Offices Are Not Tax Exempt

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In Church of God in Northern Ohio v. Levin , OH Sup. Ct., Nov. 18, 2009), the Ohio Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision held that property used only as the regional administrative headquarters of a denomination's local churches is not tax exempt. Property primarily used to support public worship that is conducted at other locations by local congregations is not exempt either as property used exclusively for public worship nor as property used exclusively for charitable purposes. According to the majority, public worship by itself is not a "charitable activity."

The dissenters argued that the headquarters were exempt as property used exclusively for a charitable purpose because it plays an integral role in the public worship and outreach programs of local churches. link

Tenn. hospital’s decision to abandon care could lead to death of 9-month-old Baby Gabriel

ADF attorneys representing mother file emergency motion to save child’s life
Monday, November 23, 2009

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed an emergency motion in court Monday to save the life of nine-month-old Gabriel Palmer. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital says it may abandon his medical care and thus cause his death even though the child is stable and a doctor says he could live for a long time.

The hospital did not change course after a letter sent Friday by an ADF-cooperating attorney on behalf of Baby Gabriel’s mother which urged hospital officials to continue his medical treatment. Hospital staff told Catherine Palmer that they will no longer provide medical care for her baby despite her objections. The boy is on a respirator and medications to treat pulmonary vascular problems he developed after procedures that the hospital performed on him in October.

UPDATE: After ADF filed its lawsuit, doctors with the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital changed their opposition to ongoing care for Baby Gabriel, and the ethics panel formally agreed not to withdraw his care. The agreement between the hospital and Baby Gabriel’s mother has not yet been put in writing. ADF attorneys are withdrawing their motion for temporary restraining order but will not withdraw the complaint until a written agreement is finalized. Until then, the lawsuit is still active. ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman said, “We are pleased at the ethics panel’s decision and look forward to full resolution in writing so that Baby Gabriel’s life will no longer be in danger.” the rest

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Patient trapped in a 23-year 'coma' was conscious all along

By Allan Hall
23rd November 2009

A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night.

Student Rom Houben was misdiagnosed after a car crash left him totally paralysed.

He had no way of letting experts, family or friends know he could hear every word they said.

'I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,' said Mr Houben, now 46.

Doctors used a range of coma tests, recognised worldwide, before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was 'extinct'.

But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally. The rest

Egypt Muslims burn Christian shops: police

Nov 21, 2009

Hundreds of Muslim protesters on Saturday burnt Christian-owned shops in southern Egypt and attacked a police station where they believed a Christian accused of raping a Muslim girl was being held, a police official said.

Police repelled the demonstrators in the town of Farshut using tear gas and also arrested 60 people during the clashes in which seven Coptic Christian-owned shops were destroyed, the official said. the rest

Update on Fr. Nigel, Sun, 22 Nov 2009

From: Elizabeth Strickland
Sunday 11/22/09
Albany Intercessor

Fr. Nigel Mumford continues in critical condition but he remains stable and he is improving every day. As an example, he was able to reach up and scratch his nose by himself with no help from Lynn. His muscles are gaining strength a little more each day, so our Lord is hearing your prayers. Even though he is still on the ventilator, his air pressure is being reduced as his lungs continue to strengthen. As that happens he is able to start to make vocal sounds. He has been able to say a couple of words, the first ones being “I love you” to Lynn – how appropriate! Each day contains new challenges and new accomplishments. Thank you Lord for your healing touch and that you are ever present.

Your prayers are having such an impact. Please keep them coming. As Fr. Nigel is able to understand more and more, he has been emotionally and spiritually overwhelmed by the knowledge of the extent of your prayers. Let us pray for:
* Healing of his lungs so that the ventilator can be removed
* Strengthening of his muscles so that he can regain his mobility
* Peace for Fr. Nigel as he re-enters His kingdom here on earth
* Peace for Lynn and the entire Mumford family
PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING to our Father who always hears our prayers, for Jesus who is always at our side, and for the presence and work of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday: 118; Isaiah 19:19-25; Romans 15:5-13; Luke 19:11-27
Monday: 106:1-18; Joel 3:1-2,9-17; 1 Peter 1:1-12; Matthew 19:1-12

Prayer vigil for Fr. Nigel and Lynn: During the 48 hours of next Friday and Saturday (the two days after Thanksgiving Day, November 27 and 28 ) I would like each of us to commit to a half-hour of concentrated prayer and thanksgiving for Fr. Nigel and Lynn. Choose any half-hour of the day or night.

Sarah Palin to dine with Billy and Franklin Graham tonight

By Tim Funk
Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009

Sarah Palin, who will sign books Monday at Fort Bragg, plans a stopover in Montreat today to have dinner with 91-year-old Billy Graham and his son, Franklin Graham, who issued the invitation.

"He just saw that she was going to be in the area and he said to come by," said Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for Franklin Graham. Former Alaska Gov. Palin, who was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, will fly into Asheville this afternoon, Blume said, and then go to Billy Graham's mountaintop home in Montreat for dinner. the rest

Patrick Kennedy: Barred from Communion

By John E. Mulligan
Journal Washington Bureau
Sunday, November 22, 2009

WASHINGTON — Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has forbidden Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy to receive the Roman Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion because of his advocacy of abortion rights, the Rhode Island Democrat said Friday.

“The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion,” Kennedy said in a telephone interview.

Kennedy said the bishop had explained the penalty by telling him “that I am not a good practicing Catholic because of the positions that I’ve taken as a public official,” particularly on abortion. He declined to say when or how Bishop Tobin told him not to take the sacrament. And he declined to say whether he has obeyed the bishop’s injunction. the rest

22,000 Youth in Eucharistic Procession through Kansas City

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cardinal DiNardo gave the keynote at today’s session of the National Catholic Youth Conference in Kansas City, while Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann led Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction at Sprint Center. Kansas City – St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn then led 22,000 High School students through his See City from Sprint Center to the Kansas City Convention Center. At some point, I should probably explain why there is an Archbishop of Kansas City who isn’t the Bishop of Kansas City.


Devotional: The Feast of Christ the King...

The Feast of Christ the King is of recent origin, but what it celebrates is as old as the Christian Faith itself. For the word Christ is, in fact, just the Greek translation of the word Messiah: the Anointed One, the King.

Jesus of Nazareth… is so intrinsically king that the title ‘King’ has actually become his name. By calling ourselves Christians, we label ourselves as followers of the king… God did not intend Israel to have a kingdom. The kingdom was a result of Israel’s rebellion against God… The law was to be Israel’s king, and through the law, God himself… God yielded to Israel’s obstinacy and so devised a new kind of kingship for them. The King is Jesus; in him God entered humanity and espoused it to himself. This is the usual form of the divine activity in relation to mankind. God does not have a fixed plan that he must carry out; on the contrary, he has many different ways of finding man and even of turning his wrong ways into right ways… The feast of Christ the King is therefore not a feast of those who are subjugated, but a feast of those who know that they are in the hands of the one who writes straight on crooked lines.” ...Pope Benedict XVI

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Coming Deficit Disaster

The president says he understands the urgency of our fiscal crisis, but his policies are the equivalent of steering the economy toward an iceberg.
NOVEMBER 20, 2009

President Barack Obama took office promising to lead from the center and solve big problems. He has exerted enormous political energy attempting to reform the nation's health-care system. But the biggest economic problem facing the nation is not health care. It's the deficit. Recently, the White House signaled that it will get serious about reducing the deficit next year—after it locks into place massive new health-care entitlements. This is a recipe for disaster, as it will create a new appetite for increased spending and yet another powerful interest group to oppose deficit-reduction measures.

Our fiscal situation has deteriorated rapidly in just the past few years. The federal government ran a 2009 deficit of $1.4 trillion—the highest since World War II—as spending reached nearly 25% of GDP and total revenues fell below 15% of GDP. Shortfalls like these have not been seen in more than 50 years.

Going forward, there is no relief in sight, as spending far outpaces revenues and the federal budget is projected to be in enormous deficit every year. Our national debt is projected to stand at $17.1 trillion 10 years from now, or over $50,000 per American. By 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) analysis of the president's budget, the budget deficit will still be roughly $1 trillion, even though the economic situation will have improved and revenues will be above historical norms. the rest

Obamanomics 101
Presidents from Calvin Coolidge to John Kennedy to Ronald Reagan to George Bush understood that strong incentives are necessary to trigger rapid growth and hiring. Strong incentives, plus more investment in infrastructure, would no doubt have won the endorsement of Jim Owens of Caterpillar. He didn't get them from Obama, and my guess is he never will.

Pope and Anglican Primate meet for 20 minutes, say dialogue will continue

Vatican City
Nov 21, 2009

(CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI and the Anglican Primate Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, have agreed to maintain momentum in the ecumenical dialogue between the two churches despite the fact that the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus will imply the reception of some half a million Anglicans into the Catholic Church.

The Pope received Williams this Saturday morning, and according to a Vatican press release, "in the course of the cordial discussions attention turned to the challenges facing all Christian communities at the beginning of this millennium, and to the need to promote forms of collaboration and shared witness in facing these challenges."

The private meeting also “focused on recent events affecting relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, reiterating the shared will to continue and to consolidate the ecumenical relationship between Catholics and Anglicans," the press release said. the rest

Religious leaders vow civil disobedience on anti-life issues

Declaration opposes forced participation in any 'anti-life act'
Saturday, November 21, 2009
By Julia Duin

More than 150 leaders across a spectrum of conservative Christianity on Friday released a 4,700-word document vowing civil disobedience if they are forced to take part in "anti-life acts" or bless gay marriages.

Called the "Manhattan Declaration," the six-page, single-spaced document was drafted by Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson, an evangelical, and Princeton University professor Robert P. George, a Roman Catholic, and included a bevy of Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox bishops, archbishops and cardinals as signatories along with dozens of clergy and laity. the rest

Britain: A Glimpse of America's Future?

By Dale Hurd
Thursday, November 19, 2009

LONDON, England - Former President Ronald Reagan said the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'

Yet the size of America's government is exploding and if you want to see where big government will lead the U.S., take a look at Britain.

European Makeover

Wouldn't it be great if America was more like Europe? You might not think so, but someone in Washington, D.C. apparently does. Because a lot of the legislation going through Congress, if passed, could make America look a lot more like a European nation.

Such a scenario would include government-run health care, cap and trade energy rationing and a massive overall explosion of government, which means massive government spending, massive government debt, and massive government intrusion into your life. It sounds to some people like Britain. the rest

Friday, November 20, 2009

Devotional: It is not the distance...

It is not the distance of the earth from the sun, nor the sun's withdrawing itself, that makes a dark and gloomy day; but the interposition of clouds and vaporous exhalations. Neither is thy soul beyond the reach of the promise, nor does God withdraw Himself; but the vapours of thy carnal, unbelieving heart do cloud thee. ...John Owen image

Sen. Reid’s Government-Run Health Plan Requires a Monthly Abortion Fee

November 19th, 2009

Just like the original 2,032-page, government-run health care plan from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) massive, 2,074-page bill would levy a new “abortion premium” fee on Americans in the government-run plan.

Beginning on line 7, p. 118, section 1303 under “Voluntary Choice of Coverage of Abortion Services” the Health and Human Services Secretary is given the authority to determine when abortion is allowed under the government-run health plan. Leader Reid’s plan also requires that at least one insurance plan offered in the Exchange covers abortions (line 13, p. 120).

What is even more alarming is that a monthly abortion premium will be charged of all enrollees in the government-run health plan. It’s right there beginning on line 11, page 122, section 1303, under “Actuarial Value of Optional Service Coverage.” The premium will be paid into a U.S. Treasury account – and these federal funds will be used to pay for the abortion services. the rest