Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Former Justice Department Lawyer Accuses Holder of Dropping New Black Panther Case for Racial Reasons

June 30, 2010
FOXNews.com

A former Justice Department attorney who quit his job to protest the Obama administration's handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case is accusing Attorney General Eric Holder of dropping the charges for racially motivated reasons.

J. Christian Adams, now an attorney in Virginia and a conservative blogger, says he and the other Justice Department lawyers working on the case were ordered to dismiss it.

"I mean we were told, 'Drop the charges against the New Black Panther Party,'" Adams told Fox News, adding that political appointees Loretta King, acting head of the civil rights division, and Steve Rosenbaum, an attorney with the division since 2003, ordered the dismissal. the rest

No mosque at Ground Zero



Found here

Joni Eareckson Tada recovering after cancer surgery

Associated Press
6/30/2010

AGOURA HILLS, CA - Christian author and disability advocate Joni Eareckson Tada is recovering after undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

A statement from her publicist says Monday's surgery was successful for the 60-year-old Tada, who has been a quadriplegic most of her life.

Her Joni and Friends ministry provides wheelchairs to other disabled people around the world.
The statement quotes Dr. Geoffrey Drew as saying some of Tada's lymph nodes were affected, so she'll need chemotherapy. But he says it's "a highly survivable cancer and we anticipate a positive prognosis."

Tada's ministry associates continue to request prayers for her full recovery. the rest

Hindu militant convicted of Christian's murder in landmark Orissa decision

June 29, 2010

A prominent Hindu-nationalist politician has been convicted of murder in a case stemming from the burst of violence targeted against Christians in the eastern Orissa state.

Manoj Pradhan, a member of the Orissa state legislature representing the ruling BJP party, was sentenced to 7 years in prison for the killing. The decision was a breakthrough for the cause of justice; Pradhan had previously been acquitted of six other murder charges.

In previous trials, witnesses declined to provide compelling testimony against Pradhan, evidently because of threats from other Hindu militants. But a 6-year-old girl gave decisive testimony that she had seen Pradhan kill her parents. the rest

'Twilight' of the West – Films with Demonic Influence?

Tuesday June 29, 2010
By John-Henry Westen
OTTAWA

(LifeSiteNews.com) – Wednesday’s release of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" promises to be a blockbuster success, if last week’s premiere in Los Angeles, where hundreds of fans camped out for days in advance order to get a glimpse, is any indication. The film’s massive popularity comes as no surprise to Canadian novelist and author Michael O’Brien, who analyzes the Twilight series in his latest book. O'Brien argues convincingly that the vampire novel series dangerously twists evil into good and may even be demonically influenced.

Commenting today on the film’s release, O’Brien told LifeSiteNews, “Unprecedented cultural phenomena such as the Twilight series, Harry Potter and Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials series represent a sliding scale of familiarity with evil. It is time for the people of the West to awaken to the fact that we are in the midst of a cultural revolution that is reshaping our understanding of reality itself in powerful ways. It succeeds in this by rewarding us with copious sensual pleasures stimulating the imagination in all the wrong directions.”

In his book, O'Brien points out that the Twilight books have garnered immense popularity, having sold more than 85 million copies and having been translated into 38 languages. The films are now dwarfing these successes. "This, despite the fact they are poorly written teen romances, pulp fiction with a twist of supernatural horror combined with racing hormones and high school boy-girl relationships," writes O’Brien. the rest

TEC Announces Members of Task Force to Create Liturgies for Same-Sex Blessings

Stand Firm
Greg Griffith
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's a source of frustration for me - and no doubt a source of joy for our Worthy Opponents - that no matter how brazen or successful or disruptive they are in advancing their agenda, there seems to be nothing that triggers any sort of pushback from the Beloved Moderates - on whom, like their counterparts in secular political elections, the ultimate outcome of changes such as these rest. But there we are: In about 20 years, the Episcopal Church has gone from a few rogue priests doing gay "marriages" disguised as home blessings, to a task force that in two short years will develop and present for approval by General Convention, liturgies for same-sex blessings.

When I see things like this, I can't help but think of our Beloved Moderates.

Twenty-five years ago, if you had told them that the Episcopal Church would, in their lifetimes, allow rogue priests in faraway parishes to do same-sex blessings disguised as "home blessings," they would have scoffed at you. Yet it happened, and the practice grew. the rest

ENS: SCLM announces task force group leaders

Exposed! Kagan's partial-birth abortion scheme

June 29, 2010
Jill Stanek

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is well-known in pro-life circles to be radically pro-abortion.

For instance, ACOG supports the most heinous of all abortion practices, partial-birth abortion. When in 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the partial-birth abortion ban of 2003, ACOG released an indignant statement, which read, in part:

"Today's decision … is shameful and incomprehensible to those of us who have dedicated our lives to caring for women," said Douglas W. Laube, MD, MEd, ACOG president. "It leaves no doubt that women's health in America is perceived as being of little consequence.

"... The Supreme Court's action today, though stunning, in many ways isn't surprising given the current culture in which scientific knowledge frequently takes a back seat to subjective opinion," he added.

How admirable of ACOG to stand on the principle of "scientific knowledge" in the face of "subjective opinion," which overwhelmingly thought sucking the brains and collapsing the skulls of almost-delivered late-term babies was gross.

But as it turns out, ACOG is the grandest of frauds. the rest image

Archbishop seeks prayers ahead of crunch debate on women bishops

by Maria Mackay
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken of his desire to see women ordained as bishops in the Church of England in a way that does not “violently disrupt” the common life of the Church.

In an address to the Methodist Conference in Portsmouth last night, Dr Rowan Williams asked Methodists to pray for the Church of England ahead of key debates on women bishops in its General Synod in York next week.

He told Conference: “My hope and prayer is that we shall see women ordained as bishops in the Church of England. My hope and prayer is also that we shall do that in a way that does not violently disrupt some of the features of our common life, that we actually lose one another in a sense. the rest

VA hospital may have infected 1,800 veterans with HIV

Patients receiving dental work at a Missouri VA hospital may have been exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 30, 2010

(CNN) -- A Missouri VA hospital is under fire because it may have exposed more than 1,800 veterans to life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has recently mailed letters to 1,812 veterans telling them they could contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after visiting the medical center for dental work, said Rep. Russ Carnahan.

Carnahan said Tuesday he is calling for a investigation into the issue and has sent a letter to President Obama about it. the rest

Why Obamanomics Has Failed

Uncertainty about future taxes and regulations is enemy No. 1 of economic growth.
JUNE 30, 2010
By ALLAN H. MELTZER

The administration's stimulus program has failed. Growth is slow and unemployment remains high. The president, his friends and advisers talk endlessly about the circumstances they inherited as a way of avoiding responsibility for the 18 months for which they are responsible.

But they want new stimulus measures—which is convincing evidence that they too recognize that the earlier measures failed. And so the U.S. was odd-man out at the G-20 meeting over the weekend, continuing to call for more government spending in the face of European resistance...

...Two overarching reasons explain the failure of Obamanomics. First, administration economists and their outside supporters neglected the longer-term costs and consequences of their actions. Second, the administration and Congress have through their deeds and words heightened uncertainty about the economic future. High uncertainty is the enemy of investment and growth. the rest

Obama: Our first female president
If Bill Clinton was our first black president, as Toni Morrison once proclaimed, then Barack Obama may be our first woman president.

Barack Obama's Attention Deficit Disorder
So perhaps Obama isn't just our first "black" president but also our first ADD president.

The Obama Formula
Impotence abroad, omnipotence at home.

Wrong Track Distress
Mr. Obama had campaigned on the mantra of change, and that would have been the kind of change that working people could have gotten behind. But it never happened. Job creation was the trump card in the hand held by Mr. Obama and the Democrats, but they never played it. And now we’re paying a fearful price.

Mission Valley church leaves ECLA, area churches follow suit

Erica Rodriguez
June 25, 2010

Church members cried, argued and finally, after nine months of dissolving ties with the largestLutheran denomination in the country, the members of Zion Lutheran Church in Mission Valley believe they are home.

"When you have faith, it doesn't mean that things are easy." said Henry Wood, the church council president. "We're taking a step in the direction of what the church once was."

Ninety-five percent of the Zion Lutheran Church voted to sever ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in September, a month after the denomination approved a controversial social statement on same-sex relationships. the rest

Divorce lawyers: Facebook tops in online evidence in court

By Leanne Italie, Associated Press
Posted JUne 30, 2010

Forgot to de-friend your wife on Facebook while posting vacation shots of your mistress? Her divorce lawyer will be thrilled.

Sharing too much on social networks has led to an overabundance of evidence in divorce cases.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81% of its members have used or faced evidence from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites, including YouTube and LinkedIn, over the last five years. the rest

Study: Divorce Spreads Through Social Networks

Divorce in New York: Let them unwed
Breaking up is a bit less hard to do

New evidence points to porn's destructiveness

June 29, 2010
By Barbara F. Hollingsworth

Pornography, now deeply embedded in American culture, is considered in some quarters a harmless private pleasure, but there is new evidence that porn causes psychological damage to those who consume it.

Citing numerous academic studies and her own clinical practice, Dr. Mary Anne Layden, a psychotherapist and director of the University of Pennsylvania's Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program, says that porn meets all the clinical definitions for addiction except that obscene images can never be detoxed from the addict's brain.

"There is no credible evidence to suggest that porn does not in some way damage everybody who looks at it," she told The Washington Examiner at a recent press conference on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Coalition for the War Against Illegal Pornography. the rest
"There's always an escalation process. We don't know what the threshold is, and those with addictive personalities will start it earlier. But I see a lot of people who didn't show any psychological problems before [viewing porn]," she said.

Christian Legal Society v. Martinez: Vast Dangers—Confirmed

First Thinks
June 29, 2010
Hadley Arkes

The Supreme Court convened on Monday in its final session of the term and released its judgments on a number of cases that have drawn deep interest—and stirred high anxiety.

One of the judgments was the case of the Christian Legal Society at the Hastings Law School in California (Christian Legal Society v. Martinez). I wrote on this case in our issue of June/July (“Vast Dangers in a Small Place”), and I regret to report that the outcome turned out to be quite as grievous as the one I anticipated in that piece.

Justice Ginsburg, in her opinion for the majority, makes light of the disabilities that have been saddled on this small group of Christian students. Justice Alito, in his dissenting opinion comes closer to the truth when he remarks on the principle he thinks established in this case: “no freedom for expression that offends prevailing standards of political correctness in our country’s institutions of higher learning.”
the rest-must read!

But even that sense of things stops decorously short of naming the unlovely facts before us: The way has been prepared now to push Christian groups off the “better” campuses in this country, private or public, and to stamp orthodox Christians, Jews, and Muslims as illegitimate, with no standing to respectability in the life of their colleges and universities...

...But Ginsburg serenely misses the point: It is not about the money or the use of the bulletin boards and websites. It is about the willingness to withdraw, from Christian groups, their claim to stand as fully legitimate groups in the life of the college, as though there were something faintly noxious about them, something that bars them from the company of people who respect the claims of propriety and reason.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Devotional: Do everything in its own time...

Do everything in its own time; do everything in earnest; if it is worth doing, then do it with all your might. Above all, keep much in the presence of God. Never see the face of man until you have seen his face, who is our light, our all.
...Robert Murray M'Cheyne image by Kelsey

Overstepping Their Boundaries: The Supreme Court Decides What’s Best for Christians

DAVID FRENCH
posted June 29, 2010

Yesterday, June 28, the Supreme Court ruled in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez that a university could require a Christian student group to open its voting membership and leadership to those who disagreed with the group’s statement of faith or refused to abide by its code of conduct. The Court upheld Hastings College of Law’s “all-comers” policy for student groups, a policy that requires each student group on campus to be open to every student. Under such an all-comers policy, Jewish groups would be open to Muslim leadership, African-American groups would be open to white supremacists, and a Prius club would have to be open to Nissan Titan owners like, well, me.

It was hardly surprising to see the Court’s most reliably liberal members (Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Stevens, and Breyer) rule against the Christian group. They often have an expansive view of government power – including when government actions implicate fundamental First Amendment freedoms. And in this case, these justices characterized the Christian Legal Society’s efforts to meet in empty classrooms and to share their faith on campus as nothing more than an effort to enjoy various government benefits.

But four justices are not enough. To fashion a five-vote majority, the Court’s liberal wing had to win over Justice Kennedy.

Unfortunately, they succeeded. Because of the critical importance of Justice Kennedy’s vote, his brief concurring opinion is arguably the most important opinion in the case, and that opinion contains a poison pill for religious liberty. the rest

Kagan’s Abortion Distortion

How the Supreme Court nominee manipulated the statement of a medical organization to protect partial-birth abortion.
June 29, 2010

When President Obama promised in his inaugural address to “restore science to its rightful place,” he never explained what that rightful place would be. Documents recently released in connection with the Supreme Court nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan suggest an answer: wherever it can best be used to skew political debate and judicial outcomes.

The documents involved date from the Clinton White House. They show Miss Kagan’s willingness to manipulate medical science to fit the Democratic party’s political agenda on the hot-button issue of abortion. As such, they reflect poorly on both the author and the president who nominated her to the Supreme Court.

There is no better example of this distortion of science than the language the United States Supreme Court cited in striking down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion in 2000. This language purported to come from a “select panel” of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a supposedly nonpartisan physicians’ group. ACOG declared that the partial-birth-abortion procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” The Court relied on the ACOG statement as a key example of medical opinion supporting the abortion method. the rest

George F. Will: More questions for nominee Elena Kagan

How Deep The Father's Love For Us


Fernando Ortega

How the New Healthcare Law Endangers Conscience

by Helen Alvaré
June 29, 2010

The new healthcare law has endangered longstanding protections on conscience. We must act to address them or risk creating a dangerous precedent.

A great deal of attention has been paid to the quandary that nearly prevented the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): federally subsidized abortion. Very little attention, however, has been focused on the status of conscience protection following passage of this lengthy, complicated piece of legislation, despite its being chock-full of new mandates that implicate the consciences of private and institutional providers, patients, and health insurance companies alike. A rare exception was Rob Stein’s piece in the Washington Post, yet even this article spared readers too many important details.

Why is the conscience issue so neglected? One possible reason is that conscience violations are less tangible than the destruction of a living human being. Furthermore, the area of conscience protection has many moving parts, which can be hard to monitor. Conscience protection laws can shield both the religious and moral objector or just the former; they might cover many different forms of involvement (providing, referring, etc.) in one or more services (abortion, euthanasia, birth control, etc.); they could cover one or more sets of actors in the healthcare field (individual providers, hospitals, insurance companies, etc.) against discrimination by one or more authorities (government entities, employers, health plans, etc.). the rest

There are also various theological and philosophical grounds for different conscience claims; these might range from an objection to killing (easy to grasp) to an objection to impairing the normal functioning of the human reproductive system (more difficult for many to grasp in a world awash in birth control). Finally, there is the seemingly insoluble dilemma posed when the demand for legal conscience protection is characterized as a contest between “your right to refuse” and “my right to have.”

NZ Bp. Gray: “But in my cathedral,” he told her, “you can wear your mitre.”

Lloyd Ashton
28 Jun 2010

TEC Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was welcomed at three New Zealand churches yesterday: Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral; St Michael and All Angels in Christchurch – and the tiny chapel at Te Hepara Pai, the Christchurch marae which is the spiritual home of Maori Anglicans in the South Island. the rest

Jefferts Schori preaches on freedom-sermon

Battle over ACC Standing Committee looms

by George Conger
Friday, June 25th, 2010

The Bishop in Iran has quit the Anglican Communion’s ‘Standing Committee’.

Bishop Azad Marshall’s decision to stand down will come as a blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury who has sought to vest an unprecedented degree of authority in the new entity—formed by the merger of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting.

The vote of ‘no confidence’ by yet another leader of the Global South group of Anglican churches serves to isolate Dr. Williams from the conservative and liberal wings of the Communion—diminishing his authority as the political centre collapses from under him. the rest

MCJ

Pagan sect fights town for religious property status

Landmark court battle looms over recognition of the Maetreum of Cybele
By Colin DeVries
Hudson-Catskill Newspapers
Saturday, June 26, 2010

CATSKILL — After four long years of being denied religious property status, a landmark court battle over a cloister of pagan witches is brewing.

The Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, a faction of matriarchal priestesses living in a historic Palenville inn, has filed suit against the Town of Catskill after being denied a religious property tax exemption on their three-acre parcel along Route 23A.

The property has been denied the exemption since 2007, though the Maetreum — which was federally recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) religious organization — was granted the exemption on 2006. the rest

Fertility Center Fined for Giving Patient Wrong Embryos

Mon, Jun 28, 2010

A woman who sought help from a prominent Connecticut fertility center last year received embryos, but they belonged to another woman with the same last name.

The mistake happened in April 2009 at the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services at the University of Connecticut Health Center, which will pay a $3,000 fine.

A lab technician only checked the last name on the container with the embryos and pulled the wrong ones from frozen storage, according to the state Department of Public Health. Procedure is to check the medical record number and last four digits of the Social Security number. the rest

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Gay, Diversity Rights Override Religious Freedom

Monday June 28, 2010
By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C.

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a Christian student group does not have the right to restrict its membership to practicing Christians, in a decision Christian rights groups are calling a significant blow to religious freedom.

The court decided 5-4 Monday in the case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez to uphold a California law school’s denial of official recognition of a Christian student group. The Christian group refused to agree to let non-Christians and those engaging in a "sexually immoral lifestyle" to become voting members or leaders.

The case has received national interest as the guidelines, which bar openly-practicing homosexuals from the group, came to be perceived as discrimination against homosexuals. the rest

Supreme Court allows sex-abuse case to proceed against the Vatican

Supreme Court refuses the Vatican's request for dismissal, allowing a priest sex-abuse case in Oregon to proceed against the Holy See. The complaint seeks money damages from the church.
By Warren Richey, Staff writer
June 28, 2010
Washington

The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to examine whether an Oregon resident who allegedly was sexually molested by a Roman Catholic priest as a teenager in the 1960s can sue the Vatican for his abuse. The move allows the litigation to move forward toward a trial.

A federal judge and a federal appeals court had ruled earlier that the lawsuit could go forward. Lawyers for the Vatican, also known as the Holy See, asked the high court to take up the case and dismiss it. They argued that the Vatican could not be held legally responsible for alleged criminal acts undertaken by a priest when those illegal acts were unrelated to his work for the Roman Catholic Church. the rest

Muslim prayers every Friday in Belgian Church

Monday, June 21, 2010

While their mosque is being restored, Muslims are being the use of St Lambert in Jumme. Every Friday, the Cross is removed, prayer mats laid and images hidden.

Henri Remy, the 89 year old parish priest rejoices in the dialogue in the spirit of the Council, "We pray to the same God, each in their own way", he says with emphasis. link

Russian Orthodox Church raises fears over pro-gay Protestant Churches

by Brian Hutt
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has told the head of the World Council of Churches of his concerns over the position of some Protestant Churches towards homosexuality.

WCC General Secretary Dr Olav Fykse Tveit met the Patriarch in Moscow today as part of his first visit to the Russian Orthodox Church since taking up office last September.

According to the WCC, Kirill expressed a “serious concern” about some of the challenges facing ecumenical dialogue in view of what he termed the “new positions of some Protestant churches” on several important moral issues, including their understanding of homosexuality.

The Episcopal Church in the USA in particular has pursued a liberal agenda in the last decade, consecrating its first openly gay bishop in 2003 and consecrating its first partnered lesbian bishop this year. The actions have angered traditionalist Anglicans worldwide and met with alarm from other denominations, including the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. the rest

New Christian TV Network Refuses to Ask Viewers for Donations

June 29, 2010

Christian Newswire/ -- DoersTV.com, a new 21-Channel Christian internet television network, has made an unusual decision for a Christian television network. They have decided not to use the fundraising strategies of soliciting viewers for donations, monthly subscriptions, or airing fundraising telethons implored by most Christian TV Networks. They believe those who are presented with the Gospel should receive it free from solicitations.

"I truly believe, as disciples of Jesus Christ, all Christians (especially those in the media) have a responsibility to present the Gospel without cost," Pastor David Wright, CEO of DoersTV.com, said recently. "When Jesus laid the principle of freely you have received, freely you give; I believe He meant it. Everyone should be able to receive the Gospel free of charge. I do realize that there are major expenses involved in running a television network and bills must be paid, however, we must find creative ways to raise these funds without selling the Gospel."

DoersTV.com is not just free for viewers, but also for certain Christian ministries; such as churches and Christian Filmmakers. These organizations see DoersTV.com as a promise land alternative to the expensive broadcasting fees charged by other Christian TV Networks. "God has given me the talent to produce films, but without a way to share it that content is useless," Marty Jean-Louis, founder of My Christian Films, said recently. "DoersTV.com has given me, and many others, a pathway to share the Gospel and our talent with the world." the rest

DOers TV

November

Feel free to use!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Devotional: Joy...

The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prisonhouse, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy - deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy - in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought-of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Saviour, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man? ...Octavius Winslow
image by Alberto

New Study Denying Fetal Pain Lacks Scientific Basis Pro-Life Groups Say

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 28, 2010
Washington, DC

(LifeNews.com) -- A new study from members of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists lacks a strong scientific basis and ignores the evidence supplies in several previous studies supplied by leading researchers in the field, say pro-life groups who are criticizing the new report.

As LifeNews.com reported last week, the new study, from a Working Party of RCOG, disputes an overwhelming body of evidence that unborn children can feel pain in utero.

The new study claims the nerve connections to the brain are not fully developed to the point at which babies before birth have the ability to feel pain. the rest

Mary Spaulding Balch, a National Right to Life attorney who has overseen the development of legislation in the Unite States informing women of the pain unborn children experience in an abortion, told LifeNews.com that most scientific research says the pain exists.

"An objective expert in neurobiology would be appalled by the stunning lack of scholarship in the RCOG article," she said.

That's because the authors of the article have a pro-abortion bias and include one abortion practitioner, she explained.

"Its authors (predominantly abortion advocates and at least one abortionist) based their claim that unborn children do not experience pain before 24 weeks on the absence of complete nerve connection to the cortex before then," Balch said.

ENS: Presiding bishop experiences manaakitanga – hospitality – of New Zealand province

By Lloyd Ashton,
June 28, 2010

[Anglican Taonga] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori arrived in Auckland on June 25 to begin an informal weeklong visit to the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Jefferts Schori arrived on a day of persistent, heavy rain, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of some 60 people, including archbishops William Brown Turei and David Moxon, who took part in the powhiri -- a Maori welcoming ceremony -- at the College of St. John the Evangelist.

The presiding bishop was clearly among friends who were determined that she should experience manaakitanga -- a Maori word meaning hospitality -- on her arrival in the country.

Moxon said the New Zealand church had benefitted from three decades of Episcopal Church generosity and hospitality. the rest

Priest leaving Episcopal Church in New Haven to follow evangelical calling

Sunday, June 27, 2010
By Ed Stannard, Register Metro Editor

NEW HAVEN — For the Rev. Geoffrey Little and his wife, Blanca, it’s time to leave one spiritual home and build a new one.

Today will be the Littles’ last day at St. James Episcopal Church on East Grand Avenue, but they’ll continue to serve the Latino community in Fair Haven and Fair Haven Heights.

This week, they’ll open a new evangelical parish, worshiping in a banquet hall at 229 Grand Ave.

Blanca Little, who has run St. James Christian Academy, will open a new school in the fall, running it out of their home on Lenox Street.

“We’re going to open a new church in Fair Haven,” Geoff Little said. “It’s going to be called All Nations Christian Church and it’s going to be associated with the new Anglican Church of North America.”
the rest-video

Letter from Bp Ian Douglas to Connecticut Diocese:

Dear sisters and brothers in the Diocese of Connecticut:

On June 24th I received a letter from the Rev. Geoffrey A. Little
resigning as Priest-in-Charge of St. James' Church and Church of
the Ascension in New Haven. Geoff has also resigned his orders
in The Episcopal Church.

I have met and talked with Geoff about his decision to leave
The Episcopal Church. Linked here is a statement that Geoff
and I have jointly authored giving further details about his
departure.

While I respect Geoff's decision and accept his resignation, I am
deeply saddened by this turn of events. Geoff has been a good
and faithful priest in the Diocese of Connecticut for close to two
decades. His departure will leave us diminished in our witness
to the Gospel and service to God's mission, particularly among
Spanish-speaking people in New Haven. Geoff is a man of great
integrity who has a profound commitment to discipling all
people, and a passion for mission. I will miss him as a priest of
this Diocese.

There are no immediate plans to change the witness of the
Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut at St. James' and Ascension in
New Haven. The future of these churches will be part of a
larger discernment, led by Bishop Ahrens, about how The
Episcopal Church will continue to serve God's mission in New
Haven. Please keep Geoff, his wife Blanca, the people of St.
James' and Ascension, and the Diocese of Connecticut in your
prayers during this transition.

Faithfully,
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Tennessee: St. Andrew's Anglican Church to appeal ruling on property

By Bob Smietana
THE TENNESSEAN
June 27, 2010

Leaders at St. Andrew's Anglican Church left the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee in 2006, but continue to meet at the same church building on Woodmont Boulevard.

The parish holds title to the property, which it bought from the diocese in 1966 for about $15,000.

But the Episcopal Diocese wants the property and sued the breakaway group in November.

Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy ruled in the diocese's favor in April. She cited denominational rules, which say that all parish property is held in trust for local dioceses. the rest

Bishop John Guernsey: A prayer-led life

By Dave Fawcett
June 26, 2010

Listen to the Lord and follow His direction. As the rector of All Saints’ Church in Dale City for almost 29 years, John Guernsey lived by that biblical principle in all aspects of his life.

Whatever issue lay before him, big or small, he consistently offered it up in prayer and then was obedient to the call. Sometimes, the message was clear from the start, other times it meant pressing in for further clarity.

But no matter what was asked, Guernsey said he always served the Lord first and it was his desire to put the Lord’s plans above all else that defined a ministry that had a far-reaching impact for those in his congregation, others in Prince William County and ultimately himself.

On June 13, Guernsey officially stepped down as All Saints’ rector to devote his energies full time to being the bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit in the Anglican Church of North America. The move was prompted after 18 months of searching for a new rector before All Saints’ called the Rev. Dan Morgan in April to take over. the rest

High Court’s Big Ruling For Gun Rights

June 28, 2010
by Lee Ross

In its second major ruling on gun rights in three years, the Supreme Court Monday extended the federally protected right to keep and bear arms to all 50 states. The decision will be hailed by gun rights advocates and comes over the opposition of gun control groups, the city of Chicago and four justices.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the five justice majority saying "the right to keep and bear arms must be regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as the States legislated in an evenhanded manner."

The ruling builds upon the Court's 2008 decision in D.C. v. Heller that invalidated the handgun ban in the nation's capital. More importantly, that decision held that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was a right the Founders specifically delegated to individuals. The justices affirmed that decision and extended its reach to the 50 states. Today's ruling also invalidates Chicago's handgun ban. the rest

Supreme Court extends 2nd Amendment protection to state, local levels

Christian Legal Society Loses in Supreme Court Case

Group must allow leaders who disagree with its statement of faith.
Ted Olsen
6/28/2010

In a 5-4 decision this morning, the Supreme Court said that a California law school can require a Christian group to open its leadership positions to all students, including those who disagree with the group's statement of faith.

However, the majority opinion, issued by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, gave some hope to the Christian Legal Society (CLS), which had argued that the University of California's Hastings College of the Law had selectively enforced its "all comers" policy, allowing organizations like the Latino group La Raza, to have rules restricting its leadership but not CLS. Noting that lower courts had not addressed is accusation of selective enforcement (and that the Supreme Court "is not the proper forum to air the issue in the first instance), Ginsburg said the Ninth Circuit Court could consider the argument.

This page will update throughout the day. here

Supreme Court says campus Christian group can't keep gays out and keep college funding

Court: Christian group can't bar gays, get funding

Martinez Ruling: Ninth Circuit Affirmed, but with Remand
David French - ADF Senior Counsel
June 28th, 2010

Supreme Court renders a 5-4 decision against the Christian Legal Society. Justice Ginsburg is still reading from the bench, but here’s the Scotusblog summary:


The Court rules that an “all comers” policy, at least as it exists at the Hastings College of Law, is constitutionally reasonable, taking into account all of the surrounding circumstances. The opinion notes that the lower courts did not address the CLS’s argument that hastings selectively enforces its “all comers” policy. Therefore, the 9th Circuit may consider that argument if, and to the extent that, it has been preserved by CLS. In dealing with the policy, the Court’s opinion notes that it was designed to open eligibility to student organizations given access not only for membership but also for leadership.

Interestingly, rather than resolving the free association issue, the Court seems to have very narrowly decided the case — dealing with an “all-comers policy” that is virtually unique to Hastings. It appears that the Court has left open the core issue that has bedeviled student groups nationwide, the conflict between free association and nondiscrimination policies that prohibit, among other things, discrimination on the basis of religion and sexual orientation.

This is pure first blush assessment; more to come as I read through the opinion. Bottom line: a disappointing decision but one that does not come close to settling core constitutional issues on campus. In fact, it doesn’t even decide this case since it’s remanded for further proceedings. here

Added: Press release from ADF:

Supreme Court: Calif. university’s policy upheld, but school still barred from targeting Christian group
Monday, June 28, 2010

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 Monday to uphold an unusual university policy that forces student groups to allow outsiders who disagree with their beliefs to become leaders and voting members. The court confined its opinion to the unique policy and did not address whether nondiscrimination policies in general, which are typical on public university campuses, may require this. The court concluded that public universities may override a religious student group’s right to determine its leadership only if it denies that right to all student groups.

Attorneys with the Christian Legal Society and Alliance Defense Fund represented a student chapter of CLS at California’s Hastings College of the Law in the lawsuit, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. The suit was filed in 2004 after the law school refused to recognize the chapter because the group requires all of its officers and voting members to agree with its basic Christian beliefs. the rest

A.S. Haley: Behind the News: an Enormous Gamble

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The recent meeting of ECUSA's Executive Council in Maryland has garnered a lot of media attention because of the impromptu visit to it by the Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, the Rev. Canon Kenneth G. Kearon. Canon Kearon was on vacation at the time he was prevailed upon to attend a question-and-answer session, with all-too-predictable results. The members of the Executive Council asked him questions, but they did not like the answers, and soon stopped listening -- as is evident from all the snide and insulting reports they have since blogged about the encounter, to which I shall not link here.

(Was it worth it, Canon Kearon? Welcome to the club.)

For a look at what really went on at the meeting of the Executive Council, we can take the official press accounts only as a point of departure, and then fill in the gaps. When one takes the effort to do this, the picture that emerges is very different indeed from the one ENS tries to sell you. the rest

The Realism of Religious Freedom

Jun 28, 2010
Joseph Bottum

It’s a small thing, really—the shift of a word, the coining of a new phrase. But the consequences are going to be bad, and the signal it sends of American retreat on human rights comes at a terrible moment.

Think of it this way: If you have “freedom of religion,” you can bring up your children in your faith, hold public processions, and print books. If you have only “freedom of worship” you can pray quietly in your home, as long as it remains out of public sight.

“Freedom of religion” means you can stand on a street corner and proselytize everything from Catholicism to Mormonism to the cult of the sun god Ra. “Freedom of worship” means you can be executed for public conversion away from Islam. Worship is part of religion, but it is one of the least public parts—and thus one of the least involved in actual freedom.

The first signs of national withdrawal from concern about religious liberty came in November, at a memorial service for those slain at Ft. Hood, when President Obama used the phrase “freedom of worship” where more common American political language has always used the phrase “freedom of religion.” the rest

Report: Childlessness at record high in U.S.

Fri Jun 25, 2010

A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that childlessness is at a record high in America. One in five women aged 40 to 44 reported that they've never had children. Meanwhile, just 41 percent of Americans say having children is necessary to a good marriage, compared to 65 percent in 1990.

The study suggests that the two trends may well arise form relaxed social pressure about having kids.

In a striking shift, women with advanced degrees are bucking the no-babies trend, with a higher percentage of them having children than in years past. Though childlessness as a whole is still highest among women with advanced degrees, rates of childlessness among women with masters' degrees decreased by 17 percent since 1994. It also declined by 32 percent for women with professional and doctorate degrees over the same period. Nine percent of all women held advanced degrees in 2008. the rest image

Blogs are growing a lot more slowly. But specialists still thrive

An empire gives way
Blogs are growing a lot more slowly. But specialists still thrive
Jun 24th 2010

ONLINE archaeology can yield surprising results. When John Kelly of Morningside Analytics, a market-research firm, recently pored over data from websites in Indonesia he discovered a “vast field of dead blogs”. Numbering several thousand, they had not been updated since May 2009. Like hastily abandoned cities, they mark the arrival of the Indonesian version of Facebook, the online social network.

Such swathes of digital desert are still rare in the blogosphere. And they should certainly not be taken as evidence that it has started to die. But signs are multiplying that the rate of growth of blogs has slowed in many parts of the world. In some countries growth has even stalled.
the rest
The future for blogs may be special-interest publishing. Mr Kelly’s research shows that blogs tend to be linked within languages and countries, with each language-group in turn containing smaller pockets of densely linked sites. These pockets form around public subjects: politics, law, economics and knowledge professions. Even narrower specialisations emerge around more personal topics that benefit from public advice.

Hundreds of nurses have been punished by other states while maintaining California licenses

Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein
June 28, 2010

The state's Board of Registered Nursing has discovered that some 3,500 of its nurses have been punished for misconduct by other states — hundreds even had their licenses revoked — while maintaining clean licenses in California.

As many as 2,000 of these nurses now will face discipline in California, officials estimate. That's more registered nurses than the state has sanctioned in the last four years combined.

The board's discovery was prompted by a Times/ProPublica investigation last year that found hundreds of instances in which California nurses had been sanctioned elsewhere for sexual abuse, neglect, rampant drug use and criminality but could work freely in California. the rest

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Speaker snubs Church to appoint first black Vicar of Westminster

By Simon Walters and Jonathan Petre
26th June 2010

The Queen was last night dragged into a bitter row over the appointment of a black woman as ­Chaplain to the House of Commons.

Commons Speaker John Bercow has refused to give the job to the candidate picked by the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Rev Dr John Hall, who answers to the Queen.

He has chosen instead the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a Jamaican-born vicar in one of the ­poorest parts of East London. Sources say he objected to appointing ‘another predictable ­middle-aged white man’.

Mr Bercow was so determined to win the power struggle that he has cut the ties between Parliament and the Abbey, where state ­funerals, weddings and coronations take place – effectively splitting the Chaplain’s ­historic role in two. the rest

Oregon Psychiatrist Plans Death with Dignity House

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Devotional: Keep God's covenant in your trials...

Keep God's covenant in your trials; hold you by His blessed word, and sin not; flee anger, wrath, grudging, envying, fretting; forgive a hundred pence to your fellow-servant, because your Lord hath forgiven you ten thousand talents: for, I assure you by the Lord, your adversaries shall get no advantage against you, except you sin, and offend your Lord, in your sufferings.
...Samuel Rutherford image

The ACL protests Katharine Jefferts Schori’s visit to Australia

June 26, 2010

The President of the Anglican Church League, the Rev Dr Mark Thompson, has issued this statement on behalf of the ACL’s Council:

We note with profound sadness that the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori, has been invited to preach in a Brisbane church in early July. This invitation shows an appalling lack of judgment and contempt for those who have suffered at the hands of the revisionists in The Episcopal Church.

The Presiding Bishop has defied the vast majority of the Anglican Communion, and even the Archbishop of Canterbury, by pursuing a program of moral and doctrinal revision, endorsing homosexual behaviour and approving the appointment of a lesbian bishop. Her actions have been taken in full awareness of the widespread international concern which has led to an official call for a moratorium on any such measures.

As recently as April 2010, the Statement issued at the end of the 4th Global South Encounter spoke of TEC’s ‘total disregard for the mind of the Communion’ and the way these churches ‘continue in their defiance as they set themselves on a course that contradicts the plain teaching of the Holy Scriptures on matters so fundamental that they affect the very salvation of those involved’. The statement continued, ‘Such actions violate the integrity of the Gospel, the Communion and our Christian witness to the rest of the world’.

This alarming behaviour has been compounded by a virulent attack on Anglicans in America who wish to remain faithful to the teaching of Scripture. The Presiding Bishop has been responsible for pursuing, in the secular courts, those who oppose her program of revision, as her agents seek to remove orthodox clergy and take over the property of faithful, Bible-believing congregations.

Katherine Jefferts Schori bears a great deal of responsibility for the current turmoil, division and anguish in the Anglican Communion. It is entirely inappropriate that she should be welcomed into any diocese in the Anglican Church of Australia.

Faithful Anglicans throughout Australia will be offended by this decision. The Council of the ACL calls on Archbishop Aspinall to reconsider and rescind the invitation.

Mark Thompson
President, Anglican Church League,
on behalf of the ACL’s Council,
26 June 2010.
link

NPR: More Couples Have Friends Perform Wedding

June 28, 2010

As the summer wedding season approaches, don't be surprised if there's something noticeably missing at the next wedding you attend: a member of the clergy. The Wedding Report, a research firm, says last year one out of every seven weddings in the U.S. was performed by a friend of the couple.

"I've seen it become increasingly popular over the last few years," says Melissa Evans, who has been helping couples plan weddings for more than a decade.

In fact, some say that the episode of the TV show Friends in which Monica and Chandler ask their friend to perform their wedding ceremony marked the point when this trend started taking off. the rest

There is also concern over whether having friends perform weddings is legal. Many ministries offer instant ordinations. With the Internet it takes fewer than five minutes — and in some cases, no money — to become a minister. Fill out a few boxes with information, click submit and you too can be declared ordained.

"That's a scam," says attorney Ray Dague, who specializes in religious and matrimonial law.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Devotional: It is a glorious thing...

It is a glorious thing to know that your Father God makes no mistakes in directing or permitting that which crosses the path of your life. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. It is our glory to trust him, no matter what. ...Joni Eareckson Tada
image by StephenMitchell

Amputee cat gets bionic feet

Fri Jun 25, 2010

LONDON (AFP) – A cat which lost both back paws after a traumatic accident involving a combine harvester has regained a spring in its step after being fitted with prosthetic limbs.

In a groundbreaking surgery carried out by Noel Fitzpatrick, a Surrey-based veterinary surgeon, the custom-made implants "peg" the ankle to Oscar's foot and mimic the way in which deer antler bone grows through skin.

The prosthetic legs, called intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics (Itaps) were developed by a team from University College London, led by Professor Gordon Blunn. the rest/image

For prayer: Joni Eareckson Tada diagnosed with breast cancer

Associated Press
6/25/2010

AGOURA HILLS, CA - Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic whose ministry provides wheelchairs to people around the world, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Doug Mazza, president of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, says the 60-year-old Tada will undergo surgery Monday, allowing doctors to determine how far the cancer has spread.

A diving accident when she was 17 left Tada paralyzed below the neck and wanting to die. Unable to commit suicide, she said she demanded that God show her how to live if He wouldn't kill her.

In a press release announcing her cancer, Tada says she now believes afflictions come from a loving God, and she's "content to receive from God whatever He deems fit." the rest

UK: Methodists 'live more than seven years longer than rest of population'

Methodists live more than seven years longer than the rest of the population, according to an academic study.
By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
25 Jun 2010

Men belonging to the famously clean-living denomination live to the ripe old age of 83.9, research has found, compared with a national average of 77.

For women the difference in longevity was even greater with female Methodists dying at 91.1 on average – nine years longer than the 82 years enjoyed by most British women....

...Dr Richard Vautrey, vice president of the Methodist Conference, said, “I’m sure there are many different factors at work for Methodists to attain these numbers.

“But I would guess that our emphasis on caring for our spiritual as well as physical health, avoiding excess, engaging with people in our communities and being good neighbours all help.” the rest

Christians must exert ‘significant influence’ on Government, says writer

by Maria Mackay
Friday, June 25, 2010

The author of bestseller ‘Systematic Theology’ has called upon Christians in the UK to stand against threats to the Gospel by engaging in politics and increasing their influence on government.

US writer Wayne Grudem, a co-translator of the English Standard Version of the Bible, addressed a packed St Helen’s church in Bishopsgate, London, last night in the first leg of his UK tour tackling the question of whether political involvement distracts from the Gospel.

He said God was calling Christians in the UK to “stand against evil” and “threats that would silence the Gospel and remove it from the public square”, particularly laws passed in recent years promoting homosexuality and attempts to loosen existing abortion regulations.

Gudrem argued that far from being a distraction from the Gospel, Christian involvement in politics was necessary. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Case Against Marriage, Courtesy of Newsweek

One essential task for the Christian Church is to rebuild and maintain a marriage culture — even when marriage itself no longer makes sense to so many around us.
Friday, June 25, 2010

“Once upon a time, marriage made sense.” So write Jessica Bennett and Jesse Ellison in the June 11, 2010 edition of Newsweek magazine. The two women who wrote the article are both young adults who identify themselves as “committed to our careers, friendships, and, yes, our relationships.” But, as for marriage, not so much.

As Bennett and Ellison explain their case, marriage once made sense, at least for women, because it “was how women ensured their financial security, got the fathers of their children to stick around, and gained access to a host of legal rights.” But now, thanks largely to the feminist movement, they claim, the financial and legal rights are theirs without marriage. They never actually get around to saying much about fathers sticking around to take responsibility for children.

The Newsweek article represents what may be the most direct journalistic attack on marriage in our times. Though only an op-ed column, it presents arguments that had to date been made largely, if not exclusively, outside of mainstream circles. Consider this column an opening salvo in a battle to finish marriage off, once and for all. the rest

The World's Reaction to Landon Donovan's Game Winning Goal

Portland doctor plans house where terminally ill can kill themselves

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Anne Saker, The Oregonian

A Northwest Portland psychiatrist who the state has reprimanded for wrongly prescribing drugs says he plans to open a facility in the city and charge fees to help patients end their lives under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.

Stuart G. Weisberg has mailed invitations to local doctors and politicians inviting them to a July 21 "presentation" at the deluxe El Gaucho restaurant in downtown to unveil his new business, End of Life Consultants LLC.

Share Weisberg did not return calls Wednesday seeking more information on his venture, which apparently would be the first of its kind in the nation. Weisberg filed incorporation papers with the state June 2. the rest

10-Year-Old Grand Marshal at Gay Rights Parade Sparks Controversy Across U.S.

June 24, 2010
FOXNews.com

When the Fayetteville, Ark., Gay Pride Parade steps off on East Street Saturday on its way to the Wal-Mart parking lot, it will be led by a young man who has made a career out of fighting for gay rights.

Make that a young boy. Will Phillips, the grand marshal, is 10 years old, and his presence has thrust Fayetteville's Gay Pride Parade into the national spotlight. the rest

Provincetown to rethink condom policy that leaves parents out
Governor urges no access for young children

Books With Gay Themes for Young Readers Take Off

California welfare recipients withdrew $1.8 million at casino ATMs over eight months

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issues an executive order requiring recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to meet basic subsistence needs. GOP legislators call for the cash to be returned.
By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
June 25, 2010

California welfare recipients using state-issued debit cards withdrew more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors between October 2009 and last month, state officials said Thursday.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order requiring welfare recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to "meet the basic subsistence needs" of their families. The order also gave the state Department of Social Services seven days to produce a plan to reduce other types of "waste, fraud and abuse" in the welfare program. the rest

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Devotional: The cost of true greatness...

The cost of true greatness is humble, selfless, sacrificial service. The Christian who desires to be great and first in the kingdom is the one who is willing to serve in the hard place, the uncomfortable place, the lonely place, the demanding place, the place where he is not appreciated and may even be persecuted. Knowing that time is short and eternity is long, he is willing to spend and be spent. He is willing to work for excellence without becoming proud, to withstand criticism without becoming bitter, to be misjudged without becoming defensive, and to withstand suffering without succumbing to self pity. ...John MacArthur image

How Vulnerable Is Your Car to Cyber Attack?

As cars barrel toward full electronic control, are they vulnerable to cyber attack?
By Glenn Derene
June 21, 2010

Last November, on a closed airport runway north of Seattle, Wash., a team of researchers from University of Washington and University of California–San Diego performed an ominous experiment on a late-model sedan. With a chase car driving on a parallel runway, they sped the test vehicle up to 40 mph, then turned off the brakes—via Wi-Fi. "Even though we knew what was going to happen, it's a very unsettling feeling to have a loss of control," says Alexei Czeskis, the researcher who was driving the test car. "You get full resistance from the brake pedal, but no matter how hard you press, nothing happens."

The test sedan was rigged up with a laptop hooked into its OBD II diagnostic port. On the computer was a custom-coded application, called CarShark, that analyzes and rewrites automobile software. That laptop was linked via a wireless connection to another laptop in the chase car. In addition to temporarily rendering the test car brakeless, the setup also allowed the research team to remotely turn off all the vehicle's lights (including the headlights and brake lights), turn on the windshield wipers, honk the horn, pop the trunk, rev the engine, disable specific cylinders, engage individual brakes and shut down the vehicle completely while it was in motion. the rest
Computer-security pros agree that there is little reason for drivers to worry today, since the chances of random hackers killing your brakes on the interstate are slim to none. Yet now is the time, they say, for the auto industry to start concentrating on cybersecurity.

New England Journal of Medicine: Blindness Reversed in Dozens of Patients By Adult—Not Embryonic—Stem Cell Therapy

Stem Cells Reverse Blindness Caused by Burns
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
By Alicia Chang, Associated Press

Los Angeles - Dozens of people who were blinded or otherwise suffered severe eye damage when they were splashed with caustic chemicals had their sight restored with transplants of their own stem cells--a stunning success for the burgeoning cell-therapy field, Italian researchers reported Wednesday.

The treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to a decade so far. One man whose eyes were severely damaged more than 60 years ago now has near-normal vision.

“This is a roaring success,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Ivan Schwab of the University of California, Davis, who had no role in the study--the longest and largest of its kind. the rest/image

This image from an Italian study published online Wednesday, June 23, 2010 by the New England Journal of Medicine shows the eyes of three patients with alkali burns before and after successful stem cell transplants.

48% See Government Today As A Threat to Individual Rights

June 24, 2010

Nearly half of American Adults see the government today as a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Adults see the government today as a threat to rights. Thirty-seven percent (37%) hold the opposite view. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.

Most Republicans (74%) and unaffiliateds (51%) consider the government to be a threat to individual rights. Most Democrats (64%) regard the government as a protector of rights. the rest

Persecution of Christians in Afghanistan

A Report by the Rev'd Canon Julian M. Dobbs
06-22-10

On June 9, a group of Afghan Christians issued a statement to the global Christian community, pleading for prayer and support on behalf of the Christians in Afghanistan who are being arrested and executed in raids officially sanctioned by the government.

The increased hostility towards Afghan Christians appears to be the result of years old television footage which shows Muslim converts to Christianity being baptized. The media has called for Afghans to find more converts and report them to local authorities. On May 31, the Deputy Secretary of the Afghan Lower House of Parliament, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, called for the public execution of the Afghan Christians shown in the Television program.

This latest hostility towards the Christian community in Afghanistan is all in accordance with Shari’a law which is the foundation of the Afghan constitution. Article 3 of the Afghan constitution states, “In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.” Under Islamic Shari’a law, women are oppressed, sometimes beaten and abused. Converts to Christianity and other faiths are severely persecuted. While many Christians in the West take for granted the right to religious freedom, in Islam all schools of Islamic law agree that adult male apostates should suffer the death penalty. the rest

North Carolina Abortuary Hammered by Pro-Life Prayers Ceases Abortions

Wednesday June 23, 2010
By Kathleen Gilbert
RALEIGH, North Carolina

(LifeSiteNews.com) - A Raleigh abortuary that has seen constant prayer from pro-lifers with the popular 40 Days for Life campaign has ceased performing abortions.

The Raleigh News and Observer reported Wednesday that National Women's Health Organization of Raleigh is, in the words of one local pro-abortion affiliate, "in transition." The affiliate, Ann Rose, said that the last abortions would be conducted on Saturday, but she would not explain what other changes the “transition” would entail.

The paper reports that the abortuary was generally thought to be for sale after its founder, pro-abortion activist Susan Hill, passed away of breast cancer in February. There are two other facilities in Raleigh where abortions are performed. the rest

'Mitergate' latest Anglican-Episcopalian rift

Thursday, June 24, 2010
BY DANIEL BURKE

In a public snub that's been dubbed "mitergate," Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was told not to wear her miter — a tall, triangular hat — during services in London earlier this month.

Some observers say it's a stark sign of how relations have deteriorated between the Church of England, Anglicanism's mother church, and its headstrong American offshoot, the Episcopal Church. Others call it an attempt by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, to keep conservatives from seceding.

Jefferts Schori called the whole affair "nonsense" and "beyond bizarre."

Lambeth Palace, Williams' London headquarters and home, told Jefferts Schori not to wear her miter when she presided at a service at nearby Southwark Cathedral, according to the Episcopal News Service. Photos from the service show Jefferts Schori carrying the miter under her arm as she processed down the cathedral's nave. the rest

Apple and Microsoft Chart a Porn-Free Future for Smartphones

by THOMAS L. McDONALD
06/23/2010

Technology pundits like to point out that “porn drives new media technologies.” Like much common wisdom, many accept this without evidence.

And, like much common wisdom, it is flatly untrue.

For every example of new technology which flourished partly due to pornography (such as VCRs in the 1980s and the Internet in the 1990s), there are dozens that made their impact with little to no dependence upon pornography: the printing press, photography, film, radio, television, cable television, personal computers, compact discs, portable music players, video games, mobile phones, DVD, Netflix, iTunes, Facebook, and so on.

In order to make their “media technology needs porn to succeed” arguments, critics make questionable claims. These range from the patently absurd, such as the notion that Chaucer and Boccaccio are examples of medieval porn, to the merely irrelevant, such as the existence of obscure “stag” films from the early days of cinema.
the rest image by Gonzalo Baeza Hernandez

In a separate exchange with TechCrunch.com, Jobs reiterated, “We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone.”

Episcopal Head Likens Anglicans to 'Teenagers'

Wed, Jun. 23 2010
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

U.S. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori recently described the global Anglican Communion as "a bunch of teenagers growing up and finding their adult identity."

She explained, "Like teenagers, there's rebellion against the parents. And some people see the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury as the big parent in the system."

But Jefferts Schori, the first female primate (or chief bishop of one of the communion's 38 provinces), doesn't believe that's a fair way of looking at it.

"We're siblings," she said in the interview, adding that the U.S. body became the first separate church that was in full communion relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury. the rest

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Devotional: The love of God...

The love of God is one of the great realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests. But it is a personal, intimate thing, too. God does not love populations, He loves people. He loves not masses, but men. He loves us all with a mighty love that has no beginning and can have no end.

In Christian experience there is a highly satisfying love content that distinguishes it from all other religions and elevates it to heights far beyond even the purest and noblest philosophy. This love content is more than a thing; it is God Himself in the midst of His Church singing over His people. True Christian joy is the heart's harmonious response to the Lord's song of love.

...AW Tozer image

Jury: Philly can't evict scouts for no-gays rule

By Maryclaire Dale
Associated Press Writer
June 23, 2010

PHILADELPHIA—The city of Philadelphia cannot evict a local Boy Scouts chapter from a city-owned building for refusing to admit gays, a federal jury ruled Wednesday.

The city had insisted that nonprofits given free use of its property must abide by local anti-discrimination laws, which include equal protection for gays. But the jury found the city's reason violated the local scout council's First Amendment rights.

"We do hope that eventually national (Boy Scouts of America) will change its minds. But at this point, the Cradle of Liberty (Council) is still obligated to follow its policy," said foreman Merrill Arbogast, 40, of Reinholds, a trucker and former Eagle Scout. the rest

Rare earthquake shakes Ottawa, Montreal

(AFP)
posted June 23, 20190

OTTAWA — A strong earthquake shook Ottawa and Montreal in eastern Canada on Wednesday, forcing office workers out onto downtown streets in the nation's capital.

The US Geological Survey reported the temblor of a magnitude of 5.5 hit the Ontario-Quebec border area at 1741 GMT, rattling downtown Ottawa shortly after midday.

The USGS said the epicenter was 61 kilometers (38 miles) north of Ottawa.

AFP journalists witnessed walls in downtown office buildings shook for several seconds. Cracks appeared in the Parliamentary Press Gallery building in Ottawa, and outside. Some people appeared shaken up, but unhurt. the rest

Canada earthquake rattles buildings in northern N.J., New York state

USGS: 5.5-magnitude earthquake near Ottawa, Canada

(I felt it here in Syracuse-the house shuddered, but initially I thought it was a wind gust.-PD)

Obama's Gulf Oil Spill Commission and the Missing Experts

June 23, 2010
By Robert Eugene Simmons Jr

Instead of an oil spill commission staffed with experts, as promised in his Oval Office address, the president has announced a panel with membership that reads like a Who's Who of radical environmentalism. Former Senator Graham of Florida, for example, has consistently pushed for a ban on oil drilling, and Frances Beinecke of the National Resources Defense Council has argued for the global warming agenda -- including linking "global poverty" to global warming, an argument used at the Copenhagen conference to support reparations to be paid to nations such as Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe for our supposed global crimes.

In fact, if you peruse the names of the council members, there isn't a single expert in oil drilling, oil platform rigs, or petroleum engineering. The panel's membership doesn't even include a single oil drilling company executive, or even a field engineer. In fact, the only technical-minded person on the commission at all is Cherry Murray, Dean of Harvard's Engineering School. Murray has had a long and distinguished academic career at all of the "right" schools, but she has absolutely nothing in her resume to indicate that she has the slightest knowledge about petroleum exploration. When it comes to academics, there isn't even one professor that specializes in petroleum exploration despite the plethora of possible names that could be drawn from institutions such as the prestigious Colorado School of Mines.

In addition to the shocking lack of engineering and petroleum drilling experience on the panel, there isn't a single person with experience in investigation or forensic science. When we consider that the actual Deepwater Horizon rig is at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, we might expect to see an expert in deepwater salvage on the commission, but that expertise is also lacking. the rest

If the Obama administration had any sense of ethical responsibility, the commission would be staffed with experts and investigators looking for answers, not environmentalists looking to impose their agenda on the American people.