Thursday, September 30, 2010

Devotional: The first step into fullness is a sense of emptiness...

The first step into fullness is a sense of emptiness, a sense of dissatisfaction with all that I am, a sense of disgust with all that I ever hope to be, a sense of utter frustration, a sense that if anything is going to happen, then God must do it. I must come to Him with a broken heart and hear Him say to me, "A humble and a contrite heart I will not despise." Before God makes you, He breaks you. ...Alan Redpath image by Alejandra Mavroski

Gargling With Salt Water Can Ease Cold Symptoms

September 27, 2010

A sore, itchy throat and respiratory congestion are some of the more common symptoms of a cold, and gargling with salt water seems to help for several reasons. A saline solution can draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, making them hurt less, said Dr. Philip T. Hagen, editor in chief of the “Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies,” which is due out in October. Dr. Hagen pointed out that gargling also loosens thick mucus, which can remove irritants like allergens, bacteria and fungi from the throat.

In a randomized study published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2005, researchers recruited almost 400 healthy volunteers and followed them for 60 days during cold and flu season. Some of the subjects were told to gargle three times a day. At the end of the study period, the group that regularly gargled had a nearly 40 percent decrease in upper respiratory tract infections compared with the control group, and when they did get sick, “gargling tended to attenuate bronchial symptoms,” the researchers wrote. the rest image

Australia: 'Divided' Anglicans dodge conflict

Andrew McGowan
September 30, 2010

Diversity is all-too-familiar in the wider Anglican Communion. The Australian Anglican Church is itself an uneasy alliance of dioceses and provinces formed in the colonial era, with distinctive histories and identities whose compatibility has always been limited.

The fragility of these arrangements is never more in evidence than at its General Synods (assemblies). In the relatively recent past, debates over women's ordination in particular, but also over human sexuality, lay presidency and liturgical texts, have seen a specific division emerge between the distinctive form of conservative evangelicalism associated with the Diocese of Sydney, and a broad but vague 'mainstream'. the rest

...Interviewed at the end of the Synod, Jensen described the event as a lost opportunity, and superficial. He may have been right on both counts, but the superficiality means the avoidance of depths where radically different cultures and theologies hold sway. Their exposure and discussion would underscore the idiosyncratic place of the Diocese of Sydney, within the Australian Church and otherwise...

Adult Stem cells used to save woman's leg

Doctors have managed to save a woman's leg after it was broken in a hit-and-run crash, by repairing it with stem cells in a groundbreaking operation.
By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent
30 Sep 2010

Diane Stuttard had her lower left leg broken after being hit by a car while she walked home after a night out in 2001.

Both the tibia and fibula were shattered and she faced having the leg amputated after 11 operations.

However, she then contacted Anan Shetty, a leading orthopaedic surgeon, after seeing a Sky News report about him using stem cells to save the leg of a climber.

During her operation, at the private Spire Alexandra Hospital in Chatham, Kent, stem cells from her bone marrow were taken and mixed with a gel called Surgifill, which trapped the cells against the fracture. Within days they started to form healthy new bone, healing the break. the rest

Wesley J. Smith: Oh Hum, Another Adult Stem Cell Success

The Pro-Life Cover of Time

James M. Kushiner
September 28, 2010

The cover of the October 4, 2010 issue of Time caught my eye a couple of days ago at the Atlanta airport--not the picture but the text: How the first nine months shape the rest of your life

Excuse me, "the rest of your life"? Since when did Time view your life as including the 9 months in the womb? So that's you there in the first trimester? That was your life?

Sometimes headline writers bend a story a bit and don't write lines that are meant to be taken too literally. I know, for I write enough of them myself. So on to the inside text of the article, where influences such as genes, DNA, childhood expereinces and lifestyle choices are cited as typical explanations for our conditions in life. the rest

Read the comments after the article, esp. the George Orwell quote.

I was struck by this comment about the mindset of a woman who wants her baby and one who wants to abort:

"In the moral world of Time a baby is a baby unless the woman doesn't want it to be one, then, no facts may be admitted to prove it otherwise."

I have actually had an abortion discussion end at just that point... "So, what you're telling me is that if two women are carrying 8 week fetuses, and one wants to continue the pregnancy, then she's carrying a baby, and if one wants to terminate, then she's not carrying a baby?" "Yes, that's right." "But either the baby is a baby or it's not a baby. It's exactly the same thing in both instances." "No, it's not." "How can one be a baby and the other not be a baby when they are exactly the same thing?" "Because the woman who is going to terminate doesn't want to continue the pregnancy." "So if I don't want to eat pizza, so I call a pizza an apple, am I eating a pizza or an apple?" "You're not taking this seriously."...

Obama: 'I'm a Christian by choice'

Eighteen per cent of Americans may be convinced their President is a Muslim, but Barack Obama insists he is a Christian.
by Audrey Barrick, Christian Post
Thursday, September 30, 2010

President Barack Obama was forced to open up about his Christian faith on Tuesday when an woman asked him why he was a Christian.

"I'm a Christian by choice," he responded...

..."My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn't raise me in the church," he said. the rest

Only about a third of Americans believe the president is a Christian, a Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life revealed last month. Last year, nearly half held that perception. Meanwhile, some 18 per cent say Obama is a Muslim and the rest do not know his religion.
FBI Raids Home of Obama Associate & Radical AAAN Leader in Terrorism Sweep

Council of Europe report seeks to curtail conscience rights of health workers

posted Sept. 30 2010

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will vote next week on a report which could drastically weaken freedom of conscience for healthcare professionals across Europe.

The report says that conscientious objection should be limited to doctors and nurses but not to medical institutions like hospitals, that doctors and nurses with an objection to a procedure such as abortion must refer the patient to someone who does not have such an objection, and that in ‘emergencies’ they must carry out the procedures themselves.

The report, entitled “Women's access to lawful medical care: the problem of unregulated use of conscientious objection”, also suggests that States should compel health-care providers to perform euthanasia on patients under certain circumstances and that a ‘registry of conscientious objectors’ be created. the rest

Stuxnet 'cyber superweapon' moves to China

posted Sept. 30, 2010

BEIJING — A computer virus dubbed the world's "first cyber superweapon" by experts and which may have been designed to attack Iran's nuclear facilities has found a new target -- China.

The Stuxnet computer worm has wreaked havoc in China, infecting millions of computers around the country, state media reported this week.

Stuxnet is feared by experts around the globe as it can break into computers that control machinery at the heart of industry, allowing an attacker to assume control of critical systems like pumps, motors, alarms and valves.

It could, technically, make factory boilers explode, destroy gas pipelines or even cause a nuclear plant to malfunction. the rest

Midwife Who Saved Hundreds of Newborn Babies from Nazis to be Honored

Wednesday September 29, 2010
By Patrick B. Craine

( – The late Polish midwife Stanislawa Leszczynska will be honoured in a display at the 5th World Prayer Congress for Life in Rome next month for her heroic efforts in saving hundreds of newborn babies from a brutal end at Auschwitz.

Before she arrived at the camp in April 1943, all the newborns of prisoners in the infamous Nazi concentration camp were drowned and allowed to be ripped apart by rats before his or her mother’s eyes.

But, as Matthew M. Anger reports in his article ‘Midwife at Auschwitz’, Leszczynska refused to carry out the Germans’ order to kill the babies – even opposing the infamous Dr. Mengele – and, amazingly, was allowed to carry on unimpeded. the rest image

During Leszczynska’s entire time at the camp, no mother or baby died under her care. Asked by her supervising doctor to report on the death rate, she reported this fact to his astonishment. “Lagerarzt looked at me in disbelief,” she recounts. “Even the most sophisticated German clinics at universities, he said, could not claim such a success rate.”

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Devotional: The LORD has established his throne in heaven...

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.

Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.

Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul
Psalm 103: 19-22
image by Faith Goble

Study Finds More Gay Characters on Network TV

The 15th annual "Where We Are on TV" report released Wednesday found that 3.9 percent of actors appearing regularly on prime-time network drama and comedy series in the 2010-11 season will portray gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
By Frazier Moore, Associated Press

New York (AP) - The number of gay and bisexual characters on scripted broadcast network TV has risen slightly this season to 23 out of a total of nearly 600 roles, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The 15th annual "Where We Are on TV" report released Wednesday found that 3.9 percent of actors appearing regularly on prime-time network drama and comedy series in the 2010-11 season will portray gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.

That's up from 3 percent in the 2009-10 season. The increase in 2008-09 was 2.6 percent.

Only six of the 23 gay and lesbian characters this season are nonwhite, GLAAD found. the rest

Powerful Earthquakes Strike Eastern Indonesia

September 29, 2010

JAKARTA, Indonesia-- A powerful earthquake struck waters off eastern Indonesia early Thursday, just a moment after another quake struck the same region.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, but local officials warned the second quake had the potential to trigger a tsunami.

The U.S. Geological Survey said a quake with a magnitude of 6.6 struck just off the eastern coast of the country. A minute later, a larger quake in the same area with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 was centered 13 miles beneath the ocean floor. the rest

Las Vegas death ray roasts hotel guests

'Solar convergence phenomenon'
By Lester Haines
29th September 2010

Poolside guests at a newly-opened Las Vegas hotel have been enjoying the complex's quick-tan facility - a solar "death ray" with the power to burn flesh and melt plastic.

The architects responsible for the MGM Mirage Vdara underestimated the converging power of the building's concave facade, which concentrates a roasting beam onto the pool area.

Barbecued guest Bill Pintas recounted to ABC his midday experience of the ray, as he exited the pool and settled into his lounge chair. He said: "I'm sitting there in the chair and all of the sudden my hair and the top of my head are burning. I'm rubbing my head and it felt like a chemical burn. I couldn't imagine what it could be."

Pintas quickly found out that taking shelter under an umbrella offered no protection from the intense beam, which burned right through a plastic bag the grilled guest was using to carry newspapers. the rest image

Episcopal Bishops for Open Borders?

Looks like CNY's Bp. Skip Adams is right behind PB Schori :)
The American Spectator
By Mark Tooley

Episcopal Church bishops are always susceptible to caricature, and their recent "pastoral letter" on immigration is no exception. The 2 million member denomination's House of Bishops recently met in Arizona, the troubled front line for immigration controversies. About 60 bishops symbolically met near the Mexican border carrying white crosses representing illegals who had died locally of exposure while trekking through the desert. Later joined by another 60 fellow bishops in Phoenix, they seemingly urged a U.S. policy of virtual open borders.

"Ours is a migratory world in which many people move across borders to escape poverty, hunger, injustice and violence," the bishops observed. "We categorically reject efforts to criminalize undocumented migrants and immigrants, and deplore the separation of families and the unnecessary incarceration of undocumented workers. Since, as we are convinced, it is natural to seek gainful employment to sustain oneself and one's family, we cannot agree that the efforts of undocumented workers to feed and shelter their households through honest labor are criminal."

Later in the bishops' letter they approvingly cite border enforcement against migrating "drug traffickers," "terrorists," and undefined "other criminals." But presumably everybody else in the world has an intrinsic right to move to the U.S. with full access to the social services offered to U.S. citizens. The bishops professed that "inhumane policies directed against undocumented persons (raids, separation of families, denial of health services) are intolerable on religious and humanitarian grounds." Indeed, "our gracious welcome of immigrants, documented or undocumented, is a reflection of God's grace poured out on us and on all." the rest
Like most on the Religious Left, the Episcopal Bishops seem uncomfortable with national sovereignty in the political sphere, just as the Religious Left is often theologically uncomfortable with Christianity's exclusivist truth claims, or the expectation of monogamy in traditional marriage, and the loyalties inherent to traditional families. Their vague political and theological universalism ultimately derides nearly all skeptics as bigots, while envisioning an unlikely and unappealing world without meaningful loyalties. A more traditional Christian understanding of the common good recognizes that universal love is only reached, if at all, incrementally through the particular attachments of family and nation. These Episcopal bishops, busy with desert photo ops and polemical news releases, are anxious to make sweeping utopian claims, without a clear constituency or audience.

ENS: Bishops and spouses visit U.S.-Mexico border

Where is the vigil for Americans killed by illegal aliens?
While the bishops have no problem expressing sorrow for those who have so little respect for this country that their first act here—is to enter illegally, they seem to have no such concern for the thousands of American citizens who have been killed by illegal aliens...

Opponents of women bishops establish new society in Church of England

The new Mission Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda has been met with consternation from supporters of women bishops.
by Jenna Lyle
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Anglo-Catholics have established a new society as the Church of England moves closer to consecration of women bishops.

The Mission Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda was launched this week by nine Anglo-Catholic bishops, including the Bishop of Chichester and the Bishop of Gibraltar, as draft legislation on women in the episcopate was sent out for consideration to dioceses this week.

The new society has been founded as an alternative to leaving the Church of England and joining the Catholic Church under the auspices of an Ordinariate offered by Pope Benedict. the rest

Bishops summoned to Rome for abuse crisis talks

By John Cooney
Wednesday September 29 2010

IRELAND'S four senior Catholic churchmen have been summoned to Rome next week to prepare for a special Vatican investigation into the state of the scandal-ridden Irish church.

The unprecedented probe was ordered by Pope Benedict last March in response to the shocking Murphy Report into top level cover-ups of paedophile clerics.

Cardinal Sean Brady will be joined by Archbishops Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Dermot Clifford of Cashel and Emly and Michael Neary of Tuam for high-level talks with heads of Vatican congregations.

Last night, Martin Long, the head of the Bishops' Communications Office, confirmed to the Irish Independent that the invitation was issued by the Vatican's Congregation of Bishops. the rest

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How To Dial A Rotary Phone


(When my youngest son was about 7, he asked, "Mom, will you show me how to use one of those dial phones?" -end of an era, I guess.)

New Cybersecurity Bill Gives Obama ‘Power To Shut Down Companies’

Businesses who don’t follow government orders would be suspended for at least 90 days with no congressional oversight
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An amalgamated cybersecurity bill that lawmakers hope to pass before the end of the year includes new powers which would allow President Obama to shut down not only entire areas of the Internet, but also businesses and industries that fail to comply with government orders following the declaration of a national emergency – increasing fears that the legislation will be abused as a political tool.

The draft bill is a combination of two pieces of legislation originally crafted by Senators Lieberman and Rockefeller. One of the differences between the new bill and the original Lieberman version is that the Internet “kill switch” power has been limited to 90 days without congressional oversight, rather than the original period of four months contained in the Lieberman bill.

In other words, President Obama can issue an emergency declaration that lasts 30 days and he can renew it for a further 60 days before congress can step in to oversee the powers.

The new powers would give Obama a free hand to not only shut down entire areas of the Internet and block all Internet traffic from certain countries, but under the amalgamated bill he would also have the power to completely shut down industries that don’t follow government orders, according to a Reuters summary of the new bill. the rest

Politics Versus Gold

September 28, 2010
By Thomas Sowell

One of the many slick tricks of the Obama administration was to insert a provision in the massive Obamacare legislation regulating people who sell gold. This had nothing to do with medical care but everything to do with sneaking in an extension of the government's power over gold, in a bill too big for most people to read.

Gold has long been a source of frustration for politicians who want to extend their power over the economy. First of all, the gold standard cramped their style because there is only so much money you can print when every dollar bill can be turned in to the government, to be exchanged for the equivalent amount of gold.

When the amount of money the government can print is limited by how much gold the government has, politicians cannot pay off a massive national debt by just printing more money and repaying the owners of government bonds with dollars that are cheaper than the dollars with which the bonds were bought. In other words, politicians cannot cheat people as easily. the rest

...Sneaking a provision on gold purchases and sales into massive legislation that is supposedly about medical care is just one of the many cynical tricks used to circumvent the public's right to know how they are being governed...

UK: Christian man charged with “offending” homosexuals is released

24th September 2010

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has withdrawn its case against a Christian man charged under public order legislation in relation to ‘offence’ caused to homosexuals.

Paul Shaw was charged by Essex Police with a “hate crime” after an election leaflet was distributed in Colchester that called for a review of whether homosexual acts should remain legal.

Two homosexual residents of south-east Colchester complained to police after having found the leaflet on their doorstep.

An extensive investigation followed during which Mr Shaw was arrested, locked in a cell and interrogated, in what he has described as a “hostile and provoking” interview. His flat was also searched and his diaries confiscated. He was subsequently charged with “causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing” under Section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. the rest

Religion, Journalism, and the New American Orthodoxy

by Charles J. Chaput
September 24, 2010

In an address delivered today before the Religion Newswriters Association, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver commended America’s journalists of religion and challenged them to approach their important work with integrity, fairness, and humility.

"In contrast, the Christian story now told in mainstream media often seems to be a narrative of decline or fundamentalism, or houses divided against themselves along predictable lines of sex and authority. It’s a narrative of institutions and individuals that—insofar as they stay true to their historic beliefs—act as a backward social force and a menace to the liberty of their fellow citizens.

Freedom of the press clearly includes the right to question the actions and motives of religious figures and institutions. Our constitutional safeguards for the press developed partly in response to efforts by Puritans like Cotton Mather to have editors and publishers tossed into jail for satirizing local pastors and mocking Christian beliefs in their pages.

But freedom doesn’t excuse prejudice or poor handling of serious material, especially people’s religious convictions. What’s new today is the seeming collusion—or at least an active sympathy—between some media organizations and journalists, and political and sexual agendas hostile to traditional Christian beliefs.

When this happens, the results are bad for everybody."

Full essay-excellent!

The Anglican Way

posted September 28, 2010
by Gerald Bray

The English Reformation produced the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion as its foundational documents. Both represent the more Reformed (as opposed to Lutheran) phase of the English reformation, though they are closer to patristic and medieval traditions than most Reformed documents are.

Archbishop Cranmer believed that he had to reform the worship, doctrine, and discipline of the church. The Prayer Book represents reformed worship, and the Articles contain reformed doctrine. Yet Cranmer’s reformed discipline failed to gain parliamentary approval, and that failure was a factor that led to the rise of puritanism. the rest image

Legislated Laryngitis: Silencing the Church

By Chuck Colson
September 23, 2010

It was a voice vote that silenced the voice of the church for generations.

In 1954, then-Senator Lyndon Johnson was in the middle of a particularly bruising re-election battle. Two nonprofit groups had been especially troublesome to the senator, vocally opposing his candidacy.

So, on a hot summer day in Washington, D.C., Johnson slipped an amendment into the IRS 501(c)(3) code that governs nonprofit organizations in order to restrict their speech -- including the speech of churches. Johnson’s amendment stated that nonprofits could not “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing and distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office.”

The penalty for such “participation”? Revocation of their tax-exempt status. the rest image
It’s now time to ask the question: Who decides what the church can and cannot say?

Pentecostal Pastor Beaten, Arrested in India

Tue, Sep. 28 2010
By John Malhotra
Christian Today Reporter

A Pentecostal pastor in the southern Indian state of Karnataka was arrested on charges of forceful conversion on Sunday.

Pastor Shivanda Siddi, 45, was arrested while conducting worship service at Gnanodaya Assemblies of God Church, reported the Global Council of Indian Christians.

According to the advocacy group, about five people belonging to a Hindu extremist organization disrupted the service and began to physically attack the pastor.

"The radicals humiliated the pastor by tearing his clothes and beating him in front of the faithful. After beating the pastor for about half an hour, they called the police at Yellapur station," GCIC reported. the rest

Christians Expelled from Morocco
A human rights organization has learned that two more Christian foreigners have been expelled from Morocco on charges of proselytizing, while other foreign organizations continue to be investigated...

Survey Measures Americans' Knowledge on Religion

Tue, Sep. 28 2010
By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter

Compared to atheists and agnostics, Protestants are less knowledgeable about the teachings, history and figures of major world religions, a new survey reveals.

Out of 32 religious knowledge questions asked by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, atheists and agnostics had on average 20.9 correct answers while Protestants as a whole answered 16 correctly.

Jews and Mormons also scored high with 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers, respectively.

When it came to Christianity, however, white evangelical Protestants were among those with the highest levels of knowledge. They scored 7.3 out of 12 on questions related to the Bible and Christianity. Mormons were the only ones to score higher, with 7.9. . the rest

Nevertheless, the survey showed that faithful Americans know little even about their own religion.
Survey: Americans don't know much about religion

Americans are Religiously Illiterate
Did you know that Mother Teresa is Catholic, Maimonides was Jewish, and Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation? Congratulations! You’re more religiously literate than most Americans...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Devotional: Christ is not only a remedy for your weariness and trouble...

Christ is not only a remedy for your weariness and trouble, but he will give you an abundance of the contrary, joy and delight. They who come to Christ, do not only come to a resting-place after they have been wandering in a wilderness, but they come to a banqueting-house where they may rest, and where they may feast. They may cease from their former troubles and toils, and they may enter upon a course of delights and spiritual joys. ...Jonathan Edwards image

Pope: Church Does Not Work for Numbers and Power


A.S. Haley: The Constitutional Crisis in ECUSA (I)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This will be the start of a new series of posts, to be called The Constitutional Crisis in ECUSA. Recent changes made by General Convention 2009 to the Canons, in combination with some in the Church who want to establish a strong central authority under the Presiding Bishop, and the ego of the current occupant of that office, have pushed ECUSA to the brink of a crisis, from which it cannot emerge unscathed. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has already seized authority over the affairs of the Church which is unprecedented -- and her usurpation of authority to date has for the most part not been challenged, or questioned. Led by its Presiding Bishop, ECUSA is in the middle of being transformed by a small group from within, and the average congregation and their clergy as yet have no awareness of the scope of the changes. It will be the purpose of this series of articles, drawing on previous posts which I shall reference, to lay out the big picture clearly enough for anyone to form their own conclusions from the facts presented.


Report: U.S. to make Internet wiretaps easier

Officials say terrorists, criminals increasingly favor online communications to phones
posted September 27, 2010

WASHINGTON — Broad new regulations being drafted by the Obama administration would make it easier for law enforcement and national security officials to eavesdrop on Internet and e-mail communications like social networking websites and BlackBerrys, The New York Times reported Monday.

The newspaper said the White House plans to submit a bill next year that would require all online services that enable communications to be technically equipped to comply with a wiretap order. That would include providers of encrypted e-mail, such as BlackBerry, networking sites like Facebook and direct communication services like Skype.

Federal law enforcement and national security officials say new the regulations are needed because terrorists and criminals are increasingly giving up their phones to communicate online.
the rest

.."We're talking about lawfully authorized intercepts," said FBI lawyer Valerie E. Caproni. "We're not talking about expanding authority. We're talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security."

+Minns: Pastoral Letter to St George's, Colorado Springs

Below is the text of a pastoral letter from Bishop Martyn Minns to the congregation at St George's Anglican Church in Colorado Springs, delivered in person by CANA Suffragan Bishop Dave Bena on September 26:

* * *

18th Sunday after Pentecost
September 26, 2010

Dear People of God at Saint George’s Anglican Church:

You have been in my prayers as the legal nightmare that you have all endured seems to be coming to a close. While a number of definitive actions have been taken, there are still more decisions to be rendered and hearings to be held; therefore at this juncture it is not appropriate for me to comment on specific legal issues. I am looking forward to my visit next month when I will meet with members of the leadership and legal teams to more fully understand the situation and its likely trajectory.

In the meantime, one thing I can and will say is that my love and respect for Don and Jessie and the leadership of St. George’s has not diminished but rather increased by the way in which you all have conducted yourselves. You have all been examples of God’s grace at work. I am delighted to count you as friends and it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.

It is my belief, based upon a thorough investigation of the contested facts, that this entire situation never should have been made the subject of a criminal investigation. I am convinced that if ever there was a situation that underscored the wisdom of our Lord’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount about settling matters out of court (Matthew 5:25– 26), this is it! Millions of dollars have been wasted; lives have been disrupted; reputations destroyed; and the Gospel of Christ obscured by the controversy — and we are still far from reaching a place where we can show the world the power of God’s transforming and reconciling love.

There is still a great deal of healing that must take place, but we serve a God who took a cruel cross and transformed it into a symbol of eternal life. Nothing is impossible with Him! Until then, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” This day and for evermore!

Your brother in Christ,
The Rt. Rev'd Martyn Minns
Missionary Bishop of CANA

Chris Christie ‘Greatest Hits’ Clips

Citizens' Group Helps Uncover Alleged Rampant Voter Fraud in Houston

By Ed Barnes
September 25, 2010

When Catherine Engelbrecht and her friends sat down and started talking politics several years ago, they soon agreed that talking wasn’t enough. They wanted to do more. So when the 2008 election came around, “about 50” of her friends volunteered to work at Houston’s polling places.

“What we saw shocked us,” she said. “There was no one checking IDs, judges would vote for people that asked for help. It was fraud, and we watched like deer in the headlights.”

Their shared experience, she says, created “True the Vote,” a citizen-based grassroots organization that began collecting publicly available voting data to prove that what they saw in their day at the polls was, indeed, happening -- and that it was happening everywhere. the rest

Obama Stimulus Made Economic Crisis Worse

By Frederic Tomesco
Sep 25, 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration weakened the country’s economy by seeking to foster growth instead of paying down the federal debt, said Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of “The Black Swan.”

“Obama did exactly the opposite of what should have been done,” Taleb said yesterday in Montreal in a speech as part of Canada’s Salon Speakers series. “He surrounded himself with people who exacerbated the problem. You have a person who has cancer and instead of removing the cancer, you give him tranquilizers. When you give tranquilizers to a cancer patient, they feel better but the cancer gets worse.”

Today, Taleb said, “total debt is higher than it was in 2008 and unemployment is worse.” the rest

The Importance of Religious Freedom

Monday, September 27, 2010
R.R. Reno

The Sunday edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer features an op-ed arguing for the importance of religious freedom, not just in the United States, but abroad as well.

The authors, Christian Sahner and Bennett Graham observe that religious freedom plays a fundamental role in the development of a healthy civil society. They write:

Promoting religious liberty has long been sidelined by policymakers as a niche concern, but its importance cannot be understated. The possibility to believe and disbelieve empowers people to think critically for themselves, arriving at a conviction as a matter of choice, as opposed to coercion. A society that respects religious liberty also allows diverse claims of truth to compete beside one another, creating an atmosphere of civil debate, transparency, and respect. the rest

Co-Habitation in America Jumps Up 13 Percent

Sun, Sep. 26 2010
By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter

The number of unmarried couples living together rose 13 percent from the previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This year, there are 7.5 million opposite-sex unmarried couples living together – up from 6.7 million in 2009, reported the bureau on Thursday. The year before had witnessed a two percent drop after a five percent rise in co-habiting couples between 2007 and 2008.

Demographers say a poor job market is likely a factor in the rise of co-habiting couples in 2010. the rest

Britain hasn’t turned its back on God, says Archbishop

by Charlie Boyd
Sunday, September 26, 2010

As thousands of churches welcome back former churchgoers today, the Archbishop of Canterbury is telling Christians that people still desire for God.

In a message for churches taking part in Back to Church Sunday, Dr Rowan Williams said: “The desire for God is undimmed in Britain. This country has not turned its back on God or spiritual things.

“And the Church of England is here for the whole nation: we are a spiritual home on every street corner. the rest

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Canada: Trying to build up the congregation

Saturday September 25th, 2010

SAINT JOHN - Two decades ago, up to 600 parishioners would pack St. Luke's Anglican Church for Sunday service - today, there's about 100 to 120 between two Sunday services, says Rev. Eileen Irish, rector of the Parish of Portland, St. Luke's Anglican Church.

Irish has been encouraging Anglicans to come back to church this weekend as she and ministers across the country mark Back to Church Sunday this weekend.

"People are searching for spirituality, which we all are at some point in time, and I believe it's the church where you can find that spirituality of God," she said. the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury: Gay rows wounding church

The Associated Press
Saturday, September 25, 2010

LONDON -- Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was quoted Saturday as saying he is not opposed to the appointment of gay people as bishops, if they pledge to remain celibate.

Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, was quoted as telling the Times of London that he could in the future support the appointment of homosexual bishops - but not those in active sexual relationships.

"To put it very simply, there's no problem about a gay person who's a bishop. It's about the fact that there are traditionally, historically, standards that the clergy are expected to observe. So there's always a question about the personal life of the clergy," Williams was quoted as telling the newspaper.

The archbishop has been accused by equality campaigners of inconsistency because celibacy is not regarded as compulsory for heterosexual clergy. the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury: Anglican Church has 'no problem' with gay bishops
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the Anglican Church has "no problem" with homosexuals being bishops but he was not "positive" about them having relationships.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jane Alison Shaw: Grace Cathedral's first openly gay dean

Making History, Twice, at Grace Cathedral
September 23, 2010

The installation of Jane Alison Shaw as the eighth dean of Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill on Nov. 6 is a milestone — she will be the first woman to lead the cathedral, which was founded during the Gold Rush in 1849.

Dr. Shaw will also be the cathedral’s first openly gay dean.

“I’m glad I live in a moment in history when I can answer the call,” Dr. Shaw said in a telephone interview from England, where she is finishing work as the dean of divinity at Oxford University.

While one’s sexual orientation rarely raises an eyebrow in San Francisco these days, the Episcopal Church has been torn apart over the issue of full inclusion for gay men and lesbians. Dr. Shaw’s elevation to lead one of the denomination’s most prominent churches is “a signal moment,” said The Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of the Diocese of California. “We seek to be a house of prayer for all people.”

The bishop, whose diocese comprises churches in the Bay Area, said Grace Cathedral was one of the largest Episcopal churches in the United States and was “ scrutinized worldwide” by the greater Anglican Communion’s 80 million members. the rest

Germany Will Become Islamic State, Says Chancellor Merkel

September 22, 2010
Paul Williams, PhD

Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germans have failed to grasp how Muslim immigration has transformed their country and will have to come to terms with more mosques than churches throughout the countryside, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily.

"Our country is going to carry on changing, and integration is also a task for the society taking up the task of dealing with immigrants,” Ms. Merkel told the daily newspaper. “For years we've been deceiving ourselves about this. Mosques, for example, are going to be a more prominent part of our cities than they were before.”

Germany, with a population of 4-5 million Muslims, has been divided in recent weeks by a debate over remarks by the Bundesbank's Thilo Sarrazin, who argued Turkish and Arab immigrants were failing to integrate and were swamping Germany with a higher birth rate. the rest

Anglicans are Coming: Archbishop Wuerl to Oversee Reception of Anglican Christians

Britain could have an Ordinariate by the end of the year
By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online

Britain could have an Ordinariate by the end of the year. The Rt Rev Keith Newton and the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham are pursuing the invitation which allows groups of Anglicans to come into full Communion with Rome without losing their Anglican identity. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops announced that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith has named Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC to oversee the reception of Anglicans into the full communion of the Church.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - The Vicar of Christ and successor of the Apostle Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, just returned from an extraordinary pastoral visit to the United Kingdom. There, he beatified John Henry Cardinal Newman; the great Anglican turned Catholic Churchman, beloved by Catholic and Anglican Christians. The visit was extraordinary. This humble, diminutive Pope won the hearts of the faithful of the United Kingdom and opened the hearts of many others. The United Kingdom is till unpacking the historic implications of the visit. For the best treatment see the excellent reporting of Rocco Palmo.

One of the reasons the visit is of such significance is because it comes right at the time that the Anglican Community is fracturing, splintering and falling apart. Some within it are abandoning the ancient faith handed down to us from the apostles. To many Anglican Christians, this is a tragedy. So, the Vicar of Christ has offered a juridical structure which provides a place within the full communion of the Catholic Church where they could maintain their Anglican Ethos and be a part of a new missionary age in a restored Catholic Church, finding a safe harbor. the rest

Anglican Congregations Prayerful Following Virginia Supreme Court Response to Motion for Rehearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2010

FAIRFAX, Va. – The nine Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) congregations that are parties to the church property case brought by The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia remained in prayer following the Virginia Supreme Court’s decision not to rehear portions of its earlier ruling.

In July, the nine churches asked the Court to reconsider whether the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) – the local and national bodies of which they are members – are branches that have resulted from the divisions in The Episcopal Church and Episcopal Diocese of Virginia under the governing Division Statute, Virginia Code § 57-9.

“While we are disappointed by today’s decision, we are certainly not discouraged. We knew going in that motions for rehearing are only granted in a low percentage of cases. We did not initiate this lawsuit and are ready to put the litigation behind us so we can completely focus on the work of the Gospel. However, we felt the basis of our motion for rehearing was strong and that the Court overlooked critical evidence showing that our congregations satisfied the requirements of the Division Statute as recently interpreted by the Virginia Supreme Court,” said ADV Chairman Jim Oakes.

“Today’s decision is not the final one in this case. The Virginia Supreme Court had already decided to send the lawsuit back to the Fairfax County Circuit Court for further proceedings. We remain extremely confident in our legal footing, but above all, our hope is in the Lord regardless of the final outcome. Our focus is on sharing the Gospel and serving those in need. The doors of all ADV churches will remain open wide to all who wish to worship with us,” Oakes concluded.


A.S Haley: Virginia Case Goes Back to Trial Court; San Joaquin Case Set for Argument Oct. 20

Bishop Bennison declines request to resign; SNAP responds

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director for SNAP
Thursday, September 23, 2010

(America’s Episcopal bishops have formally urged PA Bishop Charles Bennison to resign, because Bennison ignored and concealed his brother’s child sex crimes. Late yesterday, Bennison said he would NOT step down.)

Bishop Charles Bennison insists on rubbing even more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of clergy sex abuse victims by minimizing their suffering and selfishly clinging to his personal power and prestige.

Three time in his short, formal statement, Bennison refers to hurtful and illegal child sex crimes as a “relationship.” When an adult sexually violates a child, it is a devastating crime. Calling it “a relationship” is, at best, sorely misguided. At worst, it is insulting and degrading, implying that a child somehow consented in his or her own victimization. the rest

PENNSYLVANIA: Bishop declines request to resign

One in five sexually active gay and bisexual men has the AIDS virus

Sep 23, 2010

ATLANTA (AP) -- One in five sexually active gay and bisexual men has the AIDS virus, and nearly half of those don't know they are infected, a federal study of 21 U.S. cities shows.

Experts said the findings are similar to earlier research, but the study released Thursday is the largest to look at gay and bisexual U.S. men at high risk for HIV. More than 8,000 men were tested and interviewed, and 44 percent of those who had the virus didn't know they had it.

Overall, less than half of 1 percent of Americans have the AIDS virus, according to a calculation by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a research and policy organization in Washington, D.C.

But gay and bisexual men continue to be infected at much higher rates, said Jennifer Kates, Kaiser's director of global health and HIV policy. the rest

HIV rates ‘out of control’ among gay men in France

World's first pedal-powered ornithopter takes flight in Canada


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Devotional: Faith does the impossible...

Faith does the impossible because it brings God to undertake for us, and nothing is impossible with God. How great — without qualification or limitation — is the power of faith! If doubt be banished from the heart, and unbelief made stranger there, what we ask of God shall surely come to pass, and a believer hath vouchsafed to him “whatsoever he saith.”

Prayer projects faith on God,
and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God. In His cursing of the fig-tree our Lord demonstrated His power. Following that, He proceeded to declare, that large powers were committed to faith and prayer, not in order to kill but to make alive, not to blast but to bless. ...EM Bounds

The Tea Party: Brewing up a movement

Australian Muslim cleric calls for beheading -- who cares?

What happens when an Australian(!) Muslim cleric calls for the beheading of a Dutch politician?
Larry Elder

Not much.

What happens when an American pastor no one ever heard of threatens to burn a Quran?

It ignites an international outcry.

Terry Jones, pastor of a 50-member church in Gainesville, Florida, threatened to burn the Quran as a protest against the proposed construction of a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center. Democrats and Republicans denounced Jones. Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. commander in Afghanistan, warned that Jones' action would put American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at risk, and he personally telephoned the pastor to dissuade him.

Those who would desecrate the Quran or who would draw a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad or who would otherwise "disrespect" Islam run the risk of being murdered. This is quite a response from followers of what President George W. Bush called a "religion of peace," the "hijacking" of which motivated the 9/11 hijackers. Bush repeatedly distinguished between a war against Islamofascism and a war on Islam. But the distinction apparently collapses if one pastor doesn't get the memo.

How dare this pastor of some church-nobody-heard-of show insufficient respect for Islam, many of whose followers support a global jihad that demands replacement of all non-Islamic governments, as well as the conversion of all to Islam, by force if necessary?

Where is the international outcry from this recent story from Reuters?

"A well-known Australian Muslim cleric has called for the beheading of Dutch anti-Islamic politician Geert Wilders....

"The Sydney-born (Feiz) Muhammad has gained notoriety for, among other things, calling on young children to be radicalized and blaming rape victims for their own attacks.
the rest

Albert Mohler: Man Up or Man Down? Newsweek Redefines Masculinity

A healthy masculinity should motivate men to find their way in this new world of changed economic realities and work opportunities, and to do this while remaining men.
Thursday, September 23, 2010

“We’ve arrived at another crossroads,” declares Newsweek — and this one represents a crisis for masculinity. As the magazine’s current cover story asserts, “The prevailing codes of manhood have yet to adjust to the changing demands on men.” With this cover story dedicated to “rethinking” masculinity, Newsweek launches itself into a very relevant cultural conversation.

“Man Up!” is the message the magazine conveys on its cover, though by the time a reader actually reads the article, he or she may be forgiven for having little idea of what this means. If, indeed, the traditional male is “an endangered species,” where does this leave men? the rest image by Bill Jacobus

Today’s men are likely to be more nurturing, but they are also statistically less faithful. They may be changing more diapers, but they are also more likely to change spouses. Men must be encouraged and expected to be both faithful fathers and faithful husbands. Otherwise, any society is in big trouble.

America’s One-Child Policy

What China imposed on its population, we’re adopting voluntarily.
BY Jonathan V. Last
September 27, 2010

...In 1973—the year of the Roe decision—there were 3.1 million babies born. Over the next 10 years that number rose only slightly, despite the fact that America’s total population was increasing quickly. Why weren’t there more babies born in the decade following Roe? Because during that time, 13.6 million were aborted—meaning that 28.5 percent of all pregnancies ended in abortion. Since Roe more than 49.5 million babies have been aborted in the United States, and the fertility rate has varied inversely to the abortion rate, generally declining when abortion is on the rise and rising when abortion is on the decline...

...But on this question there are two Americas today: a secular population that wants small families (or no family at all) and a religious population that wants larger families. Religious affiliation is part of the story, but the real difference comes with church attendance. Among people who seldom or never go to church, 66 percent say that zero, one, or two children is the ideal family size, and only 25 percent view three-or-more children as ideal. Among those who go to church monthly, the three-or-more number edges up to 29 percent. But among those who attend church every week, 41 percent say three or more children is ideal, while only 47 percent think that a smaller family is preferable. When you meet couples with more than three children today, chances are they’re making a cultural and theological statement...

The rest-long, but worth the read!
image by Mike Baird

Microbiologist: Hundreds of Studies Confirm Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 21, 2010
Washington, DC

( -- A microbiologist says there are so many published studies confirming the link between induced abortion and breast cancer that he plans to publish one every day on his blog until he's mentioned them all. It will take Dr. Gerard Nadal so many weeks to cover them all, the blogging will continue until early next year.

Nadal, who has a has a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from St John's University in New York, has spent 16 years teaching science, most recently at Manhattan College.

He will report on one abortion-breast cancer study daily until he has exhausted all of the abortion-breast cancer studies and he anticipates he may be reporting on these studies as late as January or February of 2011.

"Today begins the inexorable presentation of the scientific literature on the abortion/breast cancer link," Nadal writes. "Women’s lives depend on us getting the truth out to them. In short order we'll generate plenty of pros armed with the simple truth of science!" the rest

Ad banned in Ireland

Found here

New Jersey Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Closes After Christie Cuts Funds

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 21, 2010
Trenton, NJ

( -- After the New Jersey state Senate defeated an attempt to override the decision of Gov. Chris Christie to cut off state taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood abortion businesses, the first facility run by the national abortion giant is closing.

The Cherry Hill Courier Post newspaper says a Planned Parenthood facility located on Haddonfield Road and operated by Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey will close down.

PP-SNJ stands to lose as much as $160,000 in taxpayer funds because of Christie's decision and the upholding of his veto. With the closing of the Cherry Hill center, Planned Parenthood customers seeking abortions or other "services" must go to PP centers in Camden, Bellmawr, and Edgewater Park. the rest

Andrew Cuomo and Fannie and Freddie

How the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history gave birth to the mortgage crisis
The Village Voice
By Wayne Barrett
Tuesday, Aug 5 2008

There are as many starting points for the mortgage meltdown as there are fears about how far it has yet to go, but one decisive point of departure is the final years of the Clinton administration, when a kid from Queens without any real banking or real-estate experience was the only man in Washington with the power to regulate the giants of home finance, the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), better known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

IndustriesMortgage Banking and ServicesCredit Services and IntermediationGovernment and PoliticsEconomic IssuesAndrew Cuomo, the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history, made a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country's current crisis. He took actions that—in combination with many other factors—helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. He turned the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded "kickbacks" to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans. Three to four million families are now facing foreclosure, and Cuomo is one of the reasons why.

What he did is important—not just because of what it tells us about how we got in this hole, but because of what it says about New York's attorney general, who has been trying for months to don a white hat in the subprime scandal, pursuing cases against banks, appraisers, brokers, rating agencies, and multitrillion-dollar, quasi-public Fannie and Freddie. the rest

Hewitt: A New York State of Mind

"Those Voices Don't Speak for the Rest of Us"

NRO: New Pledge Is Bold -– We'll Take It

AP: GOP 'Pledge' makes closing argument to voters

WSJ: Assessing the ‘Pledge to America’

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Devotional: The most eloquent prayer...

The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal and bless. The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless. ...Billy Graham image by Jenny Downing

Episcopal Church asks Pa. bishop to step down

posted September 22, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — Episcopal Church leaders have asked for the resignation of a Pennsylvania bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse by his brother more than 30 years ago.

The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church said in a resolution late Tuesday, issued after a meeting in Arizona, that it was asking the Rev. Charles Bennison Jr. to step down as Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

"We have come to the conclusion that Bishop Bennison's capacity to exercise the ministry of pastoral oversight is irretrievably damaged," the statement said. "Therefore, we exhort Charles, our brother in Christ, in the strongest possible terms, to tender his immediate and unconditional resignation as the Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania."

Spokeswoman Anne Rudig said the church had not gotten a response from Bennison, who released a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday. the rest

Archbishop Duncan on Cornerstone TV

Discusses E100, Formation of ACNA

Video here

Environmentalism as Religion

Joel Garreau
posted September 22, 2010

Traditional religion is having a tough time in parts of the world. Majorities in most European countries have told Gallup pollsters in the last few years that religion does not “occupy an important place” in their lives. Across Europe, Judeo-Christian church attendance is down, as is adherence to religious prohibitions such as those against out-of-wedlock births. And while Americans remain, on average, much more devout than Europeans, there are demographic and regional pockets in this country that resemble Europe in their religious beliefs and practices.

The rejection of traditional religion in these quarters has created a vacuum unlikely to go unfilled; human nature seems to demand a search for order and meaning, and nowadays there is no shortage of options on the menu of belief. Some searchers syncretize Judeo-Christian theology with Eastern or New Age spiritualism. Others seek through science the ultimate answers of our origins, or dream of high-tech transcendence by merging with machines — either approach depending not on rationalism alone but on a faith in the goodness of what rationalism can offer. the rest

Ecotheologies loosely based on concepts lifted from Hinduism or Buddhism have become popular in some Baby Boomer circles. Neo-pagans cheerfully accept the “tree-hugger” designation and say they were born “green.” And, most strikingly, Christianity has begun to accept environmentalism. Theologians now speak routinely of “stewardship” — a doctrine of human responsibility for the natural world that unites interpretations of Biblical passages with contemporary teachings about social justice.

The Africans are coming

September 22nd, 2010
Chris Sugden
Evangelicals Now October 2010

The second all-African Bishops Conference took place in Entebbe, Uganda from August 23-27. Over 310 Anglican Bishops attended, including 35 from Uganda. When the 150 from Nigeria stood in the opening meeting there were gasps of astonishment.

One theme throughout the conference was that the African Anglican Church was now going to move on to the front foot and actively promote orthodox Christian faith “from everywhere to anywhere”.

They perceive that the Anglican Church in the West has forgotten or abandoned many of the foundations of the Christian gospel that their own people brought to Africa. Out of gratitude the African Anglicans will now take responsibility for bringing that biblical gospel back to the missionary homelands. the rest at Anglican Mainstream

Christian Groups Hail Vote Blocking DADT Repeal

Wed, Sep. 22 2010
By Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter

Christian groups praised the Senate vote on Tuesday that came four votes short of repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

"This is a victory for the men and women who serve our nation in uniform," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. "At least for now they will not be used to advance a radical social agenda."

Legislation to eliminate the Clinton-era policy barring openly gay individuals from serving in the military was tacked on to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011. Republicans filibustered debate on the bill.

Democrats have vowed to try to pass the legislation later this year, following the fall elections. the rest

House of Bishops Action on Charles Bennison

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs)

[September 21, 2010] The House of Bishop of The Episcopal Church, meeting in Phoenix, AZ, approved the following resolution:

Grace to you and peace in Jesus Christ our Lord. As the bishops of The Episcopal Church, bound by solemn vows to share in the governance of the whole church, guard its unity, and defend those who have no helper, we are committed to safeguarding the dignity of every person entrusted to our care. We are devoted especially to the care of the young, the weak, and those most vulnerable among us. Because of the depth of these commitments, long held among us, we are profoundly troubled by the outcome of the disciplinary action against the Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, The Right Reverend Charles E. Bennison, Jr.

In a lengthy judicial process Bishop Bennison was found guilty on two counts of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy during a lengthy judicial process. Subsequently, the Court of Review reversed one count, upheld one count, but vacated the sentence because the statute of limitations had expired. We respect the decision of the Court of Review and we share their disappointment and find the ultimate resolution of this matter unsatisfactory and morally repugnant. The wholly inadequate response of our brother bishop to the sexual assault upon a minor is an inexcusable violation of his ordination vows. We note here two excerpts from the decisions of the ecclesiastical court:
the rest at Titusonenine

'Mourning in America' Recalls Ronald Reagan's Famous Ad

Chris Weber
posted September 22, 2010

In 1984, Ronald Reagan's re-election was helped along by his now-famous series of television ads, which proclaimed it "Morning in America" and struck a sunny, optimistic chord with the electorate.

Now a conservative grassroots lobbying group is invoking Reagan by offering a similar ad, but with a dour twist. Called "Mourning in America," the spot by Citizens for the Republic attacks President Barack Obama's "failed" policies, saying the country is "fading, and weaker, and worse off." the rest

Prince Charles 'talks to trees and plants'

posted September 22, 2010

The Prince of Wales has hit out at critics who refer to him as a "potty" royal but has admitted he talks to trees and plants as if they were his children.

In a remarkably candid interview for a BBC documentary, Prince Charles dismisses suggestions he is "loony" but confesses to lying on the floor at his Highgrove home to eavesdrop on visitors.

During the hour-long programme, he is seen wandering around the extensive grounds of the Gloucestershire estate with gardener Alan Titchmarsh.

According to the News of the World, he tells the presenter: "I got a lot of flak for a lot of things. I mean, bewildered, frankly, as though you were doing something positively evil. I mean potty this, and potty that, loony this and loony that."

But he admits: "I have eavesdropped on what the visitors have said."

He reportedly tells Titchmarsh: "When they're going round outside the windows sometimes you've got to lie on the floor."

And he describes speaking to shrubbery as something which keeps him "relatively sane". "I happily talk to the plants and the trees, and listen to them. I think it's absolutely crucial," he is reported to say.
the rest image

Cathedral bells toll for England’s lost species
...The Church of England is one of the official partners of the UN’s 2010 International Year of Biodiversity...

Animal Rights Fanatic Vlasak: Reduce Humans, Not Mosquitoes
...Once again, a leader of the animal rights movement-albeit on its most radical flank–demonstrates a profound anti humanism that opposes aid to hungry people in Africa as he supports forced abortion and infanticide in China. Amazing.

Big health insurers to stop selling new child-only policies

Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna Inc. and others say they will make the move as soon as Thursday when parts of the new healthcare law take effect. They cite potentially huge and unexpected costs for insuring children.
By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
September 21, 2010

Major health insurance companies in California and other states have decided to stop selling policies for children rather than comply with a new federal healthcare law that bars them from rejecting youngsters with preexisting medical conditions.

Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna Inc. and others will halt new child-only policies in California, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut and elsewhere as early as Thursday when provisions of the nation's new healthcare law take effect, including a requirement that insurers cover children under age 19 regardless of their health histories.

The action will apply only to new coverage sought for children and not to existing child-only plans, family policies or insurance provided to youngsters through their parents' employers. An estimated 80,000 California children currently without insurance — and as many as 500,000 nationwide — would be affected, according to experts. the rest

Bob Woodward book details Obama battles with advisers over exit plan for Afghan war

By Steve Luxenberg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

President Obama urgently looked for a way out of the war in Afghanistan last year, repeatedly pressing his top military advisers for an exit plan that they never gave him, according to secret meeting notes and documents cited in a new book by journalist Bob Woodward.

Frustrated with his military commanders for consistently offering only options that required significantly more troops, Obama finally crafted his own strategy, dictating a classified six-page "terms sheet" that sought to limit U.S. involvement, Woodward reports in "Obama's Wars," to be released on Monday.

According to Woodward's meeting-by-meeting, memo-by-memo account of the 2009 Afghan strategy review, the president avoided talk of victory as he described his objectives. the rest

Woodward's book portrays Obama and the White House as barraged by warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and confronted with the difficulty in preventing them. During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."

Australia: Anglicans reverse earlier call on non-Christian marriages

Anglicans reverse earlier call on non-Christian marriages
Barney Zwartz
September 22, 2010

A MOVE to make it easier for non-Christians to get married in an Anglican church failed yesterday when the clergy at the General Synod reversed their vote from Monday and rejected it.

The synod (national church parliament) voted down a proposal that the church abandon its requirement that at least one partner be already baptised.

Liberals and evangelicals agreed at the synod at Melbourne Grammar that a church wedding provided an opportunity of contact with people who now knew little of church. Opponents, mostly from the church's Catholic wing, argued Christian marriage is a sacrament of the church intended for its members. the rest

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Devotional: The greatest burden we have to carry in life is self...

The greatest burden we have to carry in life is self; the most difficult thing we have to manage is self. Our own daily living, our frames and feelings, our especial weaknesses and temptations, our peculiar temperaments, our inward affairs of every kind—these are the things that perplex and worry us more than anything else, and that brings us most frequently into bondage and darkness. In laying off your burdens therefore, the first one you must get rid of is yourself. You must hand yourself, with your temptations, your temperament, your frames and feeling, and all your inward and outward experiences, over into the care and keeping of your God, and leave it all there. He made you, and therefore He understands you, and knows how to manage you; and you must trust Him to do it. Say to Him, “Here, Lord, I abandon myself to thee. I have tried in every way I could think of to manage myself, and to make myself what I know I ought to be, but have always failed. Now I give it up to thee. Do thou take entire possession of me. Work in me all the good pleasure of thy will. Mold and fashion me into such a vessel as seemeth good to thee. I leave myself in thy hands, and I believe thou wilt, according to thy promise, make me into a vessel unto thy own honor, ‘sanctified and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.’” And here you must rest, trusting yourself thus to Him, continually and absolutely. ...Hannah Whitall Smith image

Algerian Christians under trial for breaking Ramzan fast

Sep 21, 2010

AIN EL HAMMAM: Two Algerian Christians were tried on Tuesday for breaking Ramadan fasting rules, with hundreds of people protesting outside the courtroom against judicial authorities.

Hocine Hocini and Salem Fellak were arrested on August 13 on the building site where they worked in the northern region of Kabylie after they were spotted eating lunch, which they admit to doing but insist happened in a discreet place.

Muslims are not allowed to eat during daylight hours during the Ramadan holy month, and in Algeria breaking the fast can be punished with three months in jail. the rest

A.S. Haley: On Serving Two Masters: Part VII of "The Runaway Train"

"No servant can serve two masters."
--Luke 16:13 (from Sunday's Gospel reading)

In the introduction to this series, I sketched the background of the question it would be addressing, by reviewing the rules of legal ethics which govern an attorney who represents dual clients. The rules require that both clients give their "informed consent" to such dual representation, or else the attorney is disbarred from representing either. Such informed consent entails that the clients understand the kind of conflicts that could arise from having the same attorney represent their individual, but varying, interests which are at stake. When the interests or goals of the individual clients clash with one another, or each demand priority, then once again, the ethical rules command that the attorney withdraw from the dual representation. And because of the confidentiality gained from representing both clients together, the attorney is thereafter precluded from representing either client further. An attorney may serve two masters, but only for as long as those two masters are in complete agreement, and have an identity of interests.

The current Presiding Bishop's Chancellor, Mr. David Booth Beers, began by representing the Presiding Bishop (originally, Bishop Griswold, and now Bishop Jefferts Schori). That original representation had to do exclusively with clergy disciplinary matters under Title IV of the Church Canons, and with the role of the Presiding Bishop in the House of Bishops and at General Convention.

Beginning in 2001 (and perhaps earlier -- but certainly in 2001, and continuously thereafter), however, the representation began to expand into litigation involving the whole Church. The unincorporated association of dioceses which constitutes the Episcopal Church (USA) was at first named as a defendant in the All Saints Waccamaw litigation in South Carolina, but soon thereafter it began appearing as a plaintiff, the instigator of a lawsuit. However, none of the lawsuits so instituted by "the Episcopal Church" was ever approved by all, or even a majority, of the Church's member dioceses -- they were simply filed at the direction of the Presiding Bishop.

This might not have become an issue if it had remained a matter of just one or two lawsuits. But as we have seen in the preceding posts in this series, the lawsuits have multiplied in number until the Church is now a plaintiff in more than two dozen of them across the country. Their total cost to the Church is in the tens of millions of dollars. the rest image

"I would submit that no organization can long continue in its mission once it has been so hijacked from its purpose, and bent toward satisfying the personal agenda of just one of its leaders. The failure to insist on accountability, unfortunately, is like a pernicious disease: the less accountability there is, the more the structure is weakened, and the less likely that any accountability will be exercised until it is far too late."