Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dutch probe uncovers hidden child porn sites in US

Aug 31, 2011

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Dutch police have uncovered huge caches of child pornography on "hidden" websites, including four based in the United States, prosecutors announced Wednesday...

...There, they found some 220,000 child pornography photos and videos.

Four of the websites were housed on two servers based in the United States. Investigators managed to break into them and access the images as well as online chats that included identifying details of users of the sites. The details are being turned over to the FBI, prosecutors said. the rest

UK: More children being treated for sexually transmitted infections

Patrick A. Trueman, September 01, 2011
Ending child pornography is as much a matter of vigorously prosecuting those who distribute adult pornography as it is a matter of prosecuting child pornographers. Presidential candidates should pledge to initiate adult pornography criminal cases and fund research into the adult-child pornography link. 

Anglican Perspective: Clergy Leadership Training Institute


September 1, 2011

Clergy Leadership Training Institute

Top Pro-Abortion Activists to Headline Obama Fundraiser

by Steven Ertelt
8/30/11

Next month, some of the top pro-abortion activists will headline a fundraiser for the re-election campaign of pro-abortion President Barack Obama. The fundraiser is no surprise given the close relationships the president has maintained with them.

The fundraising will include First Lady Michelle Obama and, in her first appearance for Obama, pro-abortion activist Gloria Steinem. They will be joined at the fundraiser in New York City held at a Park Avenue location on September 20th along with Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock and Cecile Richards (see left), the president of the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the pro-abortion congresswoman Obama recently installed as the chair of the national Democratic Party, will also be on hand for the event, which the Huntington Post reports will have tickets starting at $500 and going on up to $38,500. Wasserman Schultz and Steinem, along with the Emily’s List pro-abortion political action committee, supported Hillary Clinton over Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries, but all three switched to Obama after Clinton lost to the former Illinois senator. the rest
The focus on women comes at a time when women are trending pro-life on the issue of abortion.

A Clergy Rebellion in Austria's Catholic Church

by Michael Frank
Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011

VIENNA — There is open rebellion among the clergy of Austria's Catholic Church. One highly placed man of the cloth has even warned about the risk of a coming schism as significant numbers of priests are refusing obedience to the Pope and bishops for the first time in memory.

The 300-plus supporters of the so-called Priests' Initiative have had enough of what they call the church's "delaying" tactics, and they are advocating pushing ahead with policies that openly defy current practices. These include letting nonordained people lead religious services and deliver sermons; making communion available to divorced people who have remarried; allowing women to become priests and to take on important positions in the hierarchy; and letting priests carry out pastoral functions even if, in defiance of church rules, they have a wife and family. the rest

Father slit throats of three daughters in 'honour killing'

...after they were raped by Gaddafi's troops
By Liz Hazelton
31st August 2011

A father slit the throat of his three teenage daughters in an ‘honour killing’ after they were raped by Gaddafi loyalists during the siege of the port city of Misrata.

Allegations of the shocking executions are contained in a report by the respected Physicians for Human Rights group into war crimes and atrocities in the embattled city, which faced two months of being cut off from the rest of Libya.

The father is said to have carried out the ‘honour killings’ because of his humiliation and shame at the rape of the sisters – aged 15, 17 and 18 – in Tomina, on the outskirts of Misrata. The victims were not named. the rest

ANTI-ANGLICAN ATTACK ON SYDNEY DIOCESE

By Julian Mann
Special to Virtueonline
August 30, 2100

Dr Muriel Porter's attack on Sydney Diocese is fundamentally anti-Anglican. That is manifest from her complaint about the Ministry Training Strategy which the Very Reverend Phillip Jensen, now Dean of St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney, set up in the late 1970s when he was a parochial incumbent.

In her book about the threat Sydney Diocese allegedly poses to world Anglicanism, an extract from which has just been published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Dr Porter complains that 'MTS has been the primary recruiting ground for all Sydney clergy, a pathway strengthened by Phillip Jensen's 2003 appointment as director of Ministry, Training and Development, the diocese's department for the training of clergy'.

In essence, Dr Porter is complaining that God has blessed a ministry training programme within an Anglican diocese that has sought to identify men and women with Bible teaching gifts, to support and nurture those individuals in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then to encourage them into full-time Christian service. the rest

MCJ:
...So Sydney performs weird ceremonies and dresses funny. I seem to recall things like that happening in another Anglican church but I can’t remember which one....

Judge strikes down most of Texas abortion law

Kris Alingod
August 31, 2011

A federal judge has struck down key portions of a law that was to take effect on Thursday in Texas. The measure, which opponents say interferes with the doctor-patient relationship, required mothers to view a sonogram and listen to the heartbeat of their unborn baby before an abortion.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks granted a preliminary injunction late Tuesday, deciding in favor of the Center for Reproductive Rights. The ruling means the law cannot take effect until the case is resolved.

Sparks ruled that doctors cannot be criminally charged if they do not comply with provisions requiring them to perform an ultrasound at least 24 hours before an abortion. If the woman lives more than 100 miles from the abortion clinic, she is allowed to have the sonogram at least two hours before the procedure. the rest

Kansas Ordered to Continue Making Quarterly Payments to Planned Parenthood

Hurricane Irene: Vermont horseback rider delivers medicine


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ROCKINGHAM, Vermont -- The Williams River flooded Route 103 in Rockingham, closing the road. This horseback rider rode through the flood water to deliver a bag of medicine, and then went back across. Here

NYT: Hurricane Cost Seen as Ranking Among Top Ten

New Flood Dangers as East Coast Reels From Irene

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Devotional: It is no small honour...


It is no small honour that God for our sake has so magnificently adorned the world, in order that we may not only be spectators of this beauteous theatre, but also enjoy the multiplied abundance and variety of good things which are presented to us in it. Our gratitude in yielding to God the praise which is his due, is regarded by him as a singular recompense. ...John Calvin image by Rennett Stowe

Singing a New Song or Rehashing Old Heresies?

Barton Gingerich
August 30, 2011

This past weekend, United Methodist advocates for liberalizing sexual ethics met at Sawmill Creek Resort in Ohio to discuss the furtherance of LGBTQ agendas within their denomination. The event claimed the moniker “Sing a New Song.” This phrase acted as the leitmotif of the entire conference schedule. Speakers prophesied not only new customs and policies; the conference hosts also envisaged a completely new way of theology and approach to life.

For doctrinal and Scriptural guidance, SANS participants looked to retired Bishop C. Joseph Sprague. What they actually received was a worn-out lesson in theological liberalism and even ancient heresies. A decade ago, Sprague publicly denied the eternal deity of Jesus Christ, asserting that Jesus became divine only gradually through his good works. His direct denial of Christian orthodoxy made him no stranger to IRD’s attentions. And it also provoked other bishops, especially Timothy Whitaker of Florida, publicly to dispute Sprague’s theology, a rarity among United Methodist prelates who prioritize collegiality. Sprague published his heterodox beliefs in a 2002 book, Affirmations of a Dissenter. He retired from his Chicago post in 2004, earlier than required, and expected to become a chaplain at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill. The resulting controversy effectively spiked his plans, and the once high profile bishop has been surprisingly quiet over the last seven years.

Now resurfaced, Sprague spoke in both a SANS workshop and evening plenary. He presented two main concerns: activism and theology. The former was nothing less than a radical Big Government program touching on nearly every hot-button political issue. Besides glorifying the LGBT cause, he praised pacifism and the Keynesian top-down approach to economics. Sprague exclaimed, “Make jobs, not war anymore!” Not only did he condemn “immoral preemptive strikes and attacks” and ancient just war theory that “contaminated the soul of this nation” but also “demeaning jobs” without benefits. Putting a hardened union boss to shame, Sprague derided difficult and menial jobs and called for “honorable work and decent wages.” This is all to give “the opportunity to catch up.” He continued to point out the means for this economic transformation, declaring “It is the responsibility of the government to provide such jobs…The private sector has proven…that it will not put the unemployed and underemployed to work.” For Sprague, the nation must solve a moral crisis, namely “the theological rupture of the American dream.” America’s economic woes can be mitigated by reenacting the 1930’s New Deal, with the bishop urging America to “establish a new WPA.” the rest

Father Schall on the Fragility of Islam

August 26, 2011
by David P. Goldman

Fr. James V. Schall S.J. remains at the age of 83 an indispensable voice in foreign policy, combining theological depth and strategic acuity. “The Fragility of Islam” is the subject of his latest pronouncement at the Catholic Thing blog. Western analysts tend to accept the narrative of Muslim triumphalism, the assertion that the strong faith of the Islamic world will overwhelm the temporizing and vacillating West. Not so, Fr. Schall argues: Islam itself is “as fragile as communism.” He writes:
The major change Islam looks to is not modernization or objective truth but, in a stable world, the submission to Allah of all men under a caliphate wherein no non-believers are found.

We still look back at communism, at least the non-oriental variety, with some astonishment in this regard. Almost no one thought it could “fall” without a major military encounter. That it disintegrated so quickly and so completely seems incomprehensible to anyone but a John Paul II. He understood its frailty, its failure to understand the human soul and its origins….

Religion or faith, even in Islam through Averroes, has been conceived as a myth designed to keep the people quiet. The scholars could quietly let the caliphs and the imams rule if the intelligentsia were left free to pursue philosophy, which was conceived to be anti-Koranic in the sense that the Koran did not hold up under scrutiny about its claims.
The fragility of Islam, as I see it, lies in a sudden realization of the ambiguity of the text of the Koran. Is it what it claims to be? Islam is weak militarily. It is strong in social cohesion, often using severe moral and physical sanctions. But the grounding and unity of its basic document are highly suspect. Once this becomes clear, Islam may be as fragile as communism.
the rest

Lesbian Priest Nominee on List to be Next Bishop of New York

By David W. Virtue
August 29, 2011

Tracey Lind, an avowed lesbian who serves as Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio, is on the short list as a nominee to be the next Bishop of New York, replacing retiring Bishop Mark Sisk.

She was previously rector of St. Paul's, Paterson, New Jersey; the Associate Rector at Christ Church, Ridgewood, New Jersey; and the Director of Community Ministry, Bronx Youth Ministry, in the Diocese of New York. She is 57 years old and married to Emily Ingalls.

If nominated, she will be the third openly pansexual priest to become a bishop in The Episcopal Church. The other two are V. Gene Robinson, 64, Bishop of New Hampshire, and Mary Glasspool, 56, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles. the rest

Ottawa school board joins homosexual ‘pride’ parade

by Thaddeus Baklinski
Mon Aug 29, 2011

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Over 100 teachers, principals and trustees from the Ottawa public school board joined about 1,600 homosexual marchers in this year’s “pride” parade held in the nation’s capital on Sunday.

The public school board also provided a yellow school bus decked out in rainbow flags that led the parade.

Ottawa-Carleton District school board (OCDSB) trustee Donna Blackburn, who represents the Barrhaven-Knoxdale-Merivale area and is openly lesbian, told the media she encouraged the board to publicly support the parade.

“After I was sworn in, I approached the director and the board of education about the idea of doing this, and they were very supportive, and for me it was just a natural progression of what the board’s been doing for many, many years, supporting gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual youth,” Blackburn told CTV News earlier this month.
 the rest
The school’s inclusion the parade appears to have touched a nerve with local parents. In the comments section under one CTV news report on the school’s participation, an overwhelming number of commenters decried what they said was the misuse of tax dollars, and the school board’s misguided promotion of the homosexual agenda.

Episcopal Church: Declining Numbers and the Anglican Ordinariate

As Episcopalians continue to leave a denomination sliding ever deeper into heresy, some are joining new Anglican jurisdictions. The Anglican Ordinariate in the Catholic Church may make the difference for many who are fleeing seeking safe refuge.
By Randy Sly
8/30/2011
Catholic Online

WASHINGTON, DC - David Virtue of Virtue Online has been crunching numbers, trying to confirm claims of The Episcopal Church to having 2.3 million members. Virtue believes that many on the rolls are dead, have left the church or attend only a couple of times a year.

While membership is a valid statistic, the real question focuses upon how many people are actually attending services. What is the "average Sunday attendance (ASA)?"

The Episcopal Church (TEC) claims to have 6,825 parishes active in the United States. Of that number, Virtue's staff discovered that over 2, 000 of those parishes have a demographic with the majority at age 60 plus. In addition, more than 2,200 parishes (around one third) have an average Sunday attendance (ASA) of 40 people of less. Another 2,300 parishes are between 41 and 100 people.

Virtueonline Online reported the following:
- Churches with an ASA of 20 or less totaled 903.
- Churches with an ASA of 20 - 30 totaled 612.
- Churches with an ASA of 31 - 40 ASA totaled 704
- Churches with an ASA of 41 - 50 ASA totaled 552
- Churches with an ASA of 51 - 100 ASA totaled 1,826
- Churches with an ASA of 101- 200 ASA totaled 1,454
- Churches with an ASA of 201 - 500 ASA totaled 677

Such attendance figures beg the question of how long can these parishes survive? the rest

Hurricane Irene’s Birth, Death Seen From Space



Irene Flooding: Death Toll Rises to 40



Monday, August 29, 2011

Devotional: Lord, give me faith to live from day to day...



Lord, give me faith to live from day to day,
With tranquil heart to do my simple part,
And with my hand in Thine, just go Thy way.

Lord, give me faith to trust, if not to know;
With quiet mind in all things Thee to find,
And, child-like, go where Thou wouldst have me go.

Lord, give me faith to leave it all to Thee,
The future is Thy gift, I would not lift
The veil Thy Love has hung 'twixt it and me.
...John Oxenham image

Half-Aborted

(Mmmm, which one should I keep?)

Why do "reductions" of twin pregnancies trouble pro-choicers?
By William Saletan
Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011

What's worse than an abortion? Half an abortion.

It sounds like a bad joke. But it's real. According to Sunday's New York Times Magazine, demand is rising for "reduction" procedures in which a woman carrying twins keeps one and has the other aborted. Since twin pregnancies are generally safe, these abortions are largely elective.

Across the pro-choice blogosphere, including Slate, the article has provoked discomfort. RH Reality Check, a website dedicated to abortion rights, ran an item voicing qualms with one woman's reduction decision. Jezebel, another pro-choice site, acknowledged the "complicated ethics" of reduction. Frances Kissling, a longtime reproductive rights leader, wrote a Washington Post essay asking whether women should forgo fertility treatment rather than risk a twin pregnancy they'd end up half-aborting.  the rest
This bifurcated mindset permeates pro-choice thinking. Embryos fertilized for procreation are embryos; embryos cloned for research are "activated eggs." A fetus you want is a baby; a fetus you don't want is a pregnancy. Under federal law, anyone who injures or kills a "child in utero" during a violent crime gets the same punishment as if he had injured or killed "the unborn child's mother," but no such penalty applies to "an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman … has been obtained."

The Transhumanism Trap: Using Technology to Perfect the Human Race

by Rebecca Taylor
LifeNews.com
8/29/11
The Transhumanism Trap is out there. I am seeing it more and more often.

If you do not know what transhumanism is let alone know that it has a logical trap into which the average person is likely to fall, don’t worry. Most people don’t. Transhumanism is a movement that wants to use technology to go beyond curing or preventing disease or disability.

Transhumanists hunger for technology that will take an otherwise healthy individual and enhance him or her beyond normal human ability. Transhumanism seeks not just to cure disease but to change the very nature of man. To make him more than human, even immortal, with whatever means are available, whether it is with nanotechnology, artificial limbs, artificial intelligence, or genetic enhancement. Transhumanism is a insidious philosophy because it rejects the nature of humanity and our natural limitations. Rejecting the nature of man, it also rejects the inherent dignity of every human person in the process.

In their imagined technological utopia, transhumanists often turn a blind eye to the medical realities of enhancement, genetic, pharmaceutical or otherwise and the possibility that without proper ethical guidance we may no longer control technology. Instead it may control us. You may think that transhumanism is just a fringe ideology but they have journals, societies and even conferencesthe rest image

Norway: Christian Convert Attacked With Boiling Water By Muslim Asylum Seekers

29 August 2011

..who later attacked him with acid, for non-compliance with Ramadan. Five Christians vs. 150 Muslims – Just the kind of odds RoP adherents like: A an ex-Muslim Convert to Christianity was attacked with boiling water and acid by Muslims at an ‘asylum reception centre’ in Norway on Friday.

"Ali” (Not his real name), an Asylum seeker in an immigration centre in Jaeren, Norway, had boiling water poured over him after he converted to Christianity and would not comply with Ramadan fasting rules. He and the other converts at the centre now fear for their lives.  the rest

The Slow Disappearance of the American Working Man

by Mike Dorning
Thursday, August 25, 2011

A smaller share of men have jobs today than at any time since World War II

As President Barack Obama puts together a new jobs plan to be revealed shortly after Labor Day, he is up against a powerful force, long in the making, that has gone virtually unnoticed in the debate over how to put people back to work: Employers are increasingly giving up on the American man.

If that sounds bleak, it's because it is. The portion of men who work and their median wages have been eroding since the early 1970s. For decades the impact of this fact was softened in many families by the increasing number of women who went to work and took up the slack. More recently, the housing bubble helped to mask it by boosting the male-dominated construction trades, which employed millions. When real estate ultimately crashed, so did the prospects for many men. The portion of men holding a job—any job, full- or part-time—fell to 63.5 percent in July—hovering stubbornly near the low point of 63.3 percent it reached in December 2009. These are the lowest numbers in statistics going back to 1948. Among the critical category of prime working-age men between 25 and 54, only 81.2 percent held jobs, a barely noticeable improvement from its low point last year—and still well below the depths of the 1982-83 recession, when employment among prime-age men never dropped below 85 percent. To put those numbers in perspective, consider that in 1969, 95 percent of men in their prime working years had a job. the rest image
Men who do have jobs are getting paid less. After accounting for inflation, median wages for men between 30 and 50 dropped 27 percent—to $33,000 a year— from 1969 to 2009, according to an analysis by Michael Greenstone, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor who was chief economist for Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. "That takes men and puts them back at their earnings capacity of the 1950s," Greenstone says. "That has staggering implications."

Hundreds of viewers complain to BBC over 'pointless' gay scenes in Torchwood

29th August 2011

The BBC has been inundated with complaints about explicit homosexual love scenes in its blockbuster sci-fi drama Torchwood.

More than 500 viewers complained directly to the broadcaster about ‘soft porn’ scenes in Thursday’s episode, which they said were ‘pointless’, irrelevant to the plot and out of place in a sci-fi show.

Dozens of fans vented their fury online and several have vowed to boycott the BBC1 show. the rest

President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation

by Steven Ertelt
Washington, DC
August 28, 2011

 (LifeNews.com) — The following is a compilation of bill signings, speeches, appointments and other actions that President Barack Obama has engaged in that have promoted abortion before and during his presidency.

While Obama has promised to reduce abortions and some of his supporters believe that will happen, this long list proves his only agenda is promoting more abortions.

During the presidential election, Obama selected pro-abortion Sen. Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. Here-timeline

How to keep the internet from driving you crazy

 Tips for Keeping Your Sanity with an Internet Connection

I know you want to know-great reminders!

(Eg: Remember that 99.9999999% of the world doesn’t care)

Air Swimmers-Cool, I want one!

Hurricane Irene Leaves Trail of Damage Far Inland

Mammoth, Slow-Moving Storm Leaves a Sprawling Trail of Destruction
AUGUST 29, 2011
By BARRY NEWMAN And DOUGLAS A. BLACKMON

Residents along the Eastern seaboard faced a massive clean-up effort Monday after Hurricane Irene pounded tens of millions of Americans with wind, rain and floods.

The huge size and slow journey of the storm along 1,100 miles of U.S. coastline left an extraordinarily broad impact. At least 24 deaths were attributed to Irene as devastation ranged from North Carolina to Vermont. Toppled trees, fallen debris and flooding caused hundreds of roads to be closed over the weekend. Up and down the coast, some 2.4 million people evacuated.

In New Jersey, the ocean surge and rainfall caused severe inland flooding. Gov. Chris Christie said damages there would total at least $1 billion and could reach "tens of billions of dollars." Virginia's governor called the blackout in his state its second-largest ever and warned that electricity might not be restored for a week. the rest
image by Daniel Berg

Irene Crosses Into Canada; Cleanup to Take Weeks

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Devotional: If I have the eyes of faith...


If I have the eyes of faith, I will look for the action of the Holy Spirit in every event which stirs a positive or negative reaction in me. I will ask how God is trying to move my life through this event. Perhaps the event will stir me to gratitude, perhaps even to yearn for a fuller union with God in heaven. Or perhaps it will show me my own impatience, my own willingness to judge others, my cowardice, my own twisted love of material things. Here I will find a call to repent and to detach myself from the idolatry which gives rise to such behavior. Or perhaps, I will be surprised by my own generosity in a situation when I am often not so generous. Then, I may have some consolation in knowing that not all is lost, that the Spirit does move through me.
...Glen Argan image by Nishanth Jois

Bloomberg Tells Ramadan Audience: "We Are All… Muslims"

August 25th, 2010  

Excerpt:
Bloomberg ended his talk by quoting some words from the embattled Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf:
At an interfaith memorial service for the martyred journalist Daniel Pearl, Imam Rauf said, ‘If to be a Jew means to say with all one's heart, mind, and soul: Shma` Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ehad; Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One, not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one. If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one.'

“In that spirit," Bloomberg concluded, in words that echoed John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, "let me declare that we in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been. And above all of that, we are Americans, each with an equal right to worship and pray where we choose. There is nowhere in the five boroughs that is off limits to any religion."  the rest

No One Dies Alone

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Wesley J. Smith

How refreshing. The media so often focus on doctor-prescribed death advocates and social outlaws like Kevorkian, that people who do really good, compassionate, and important work with people who are dying rarely receive their due. That is why I am very happy to see a front page SF Chronicle story today on hospice volunteers, particularly those who give their time and love to the “No One Dies Alone” program. From “A Friend Until the End (pay wall up until Monday):
The No One Dies Alone program started in Eugene, Ore., more than a decade ago, and has slowly spread to other hospitals around the country. The Kaiser Santa Clara program started in March 2010 after Donnelly and Becker heard about a similar program at Stanford Hospital. In each place, the impetus is the same: someone in the hospital — a nurse, a volunteer, a clergyperson — notices a patient on his deathbed, with no friends or family, alone in the chaos of hospital life. “If someone is dying, and they want someone to be with them, to hold their hand, that just seems like a good thing to do,” said Susan Scott, coordinator of the Stanford program, which began three years ago.

The programs are volunteer- based, although at both Kaiser and Stanford, hospital employees make up a good portion of the volunteers. While there is definitely a spiritual element to the programs, they aren’t religion based. Volunteers undergo hours of training before they’re allowed to be with a patient. They’re told what to expect when a person is dying — how his breathing might change, how his hands and feet might grow cold. And they’re taught how to sit quietly and just be a supportive presence. Volunteers aren’t there to just sit in a chair and occupy space — they’re not supposed to knit or send text messages or read to themselves to pass the time, Becker said. They’re focused on the patient.
What a grand thing. People matter until the end–and past the end. Kudos to the volunteers and administrators of No One Dies Alone. And applause to the San Francisco Chronicle for focusing on those who give their love so selflessly to people they don’t even know.  Here image

Saturday, August 27, 2011



This Week's Episode is brought to you by Anglican Prospective www.americananglican.org/ap Kevin and George discuss this day in History, the East Coast Quake, and Steve Jobs. In their final story this week they also show off their Economic Genius. Alan Haley delves into the history of the National Cathedral and reveals to Anglican Unscripted who really owns the property and if it is covered by the Dennis Canon.

New Catholic U. students move into same-sex dorms

8/26/2011
Michelle Basch

WASHINGTON - Catholic University spent Thursday's "Moving Day" moving back to a policy the school held decades ago.

The university is largely ditching co-ed dorms and transitioning back to same-sex residence halls, starting with this fall's freshman class. Seven of the school's eight freshman dorms are now single-sex. The lone holdout dorm is an honors housing building that is co-ed by floor and also houses faculty members.

University President John Garvey says the policy sends a message to students about the respect they should show toward one another. the rest

Hurricane Irene makes landfall in NC



Friday, August 26, 2011

Albert Mohler: A Laboratory for Christianity’s Destruction

A church that lacks the doctrinal conviction and courage necessary to prosecute an atheist pastor for heresy is a church that lost its Christian identity — a long time ago.
Friday, August 26, 2011

As the BBC reports, some church leaders in the Netherlands want to transform their small nation into a laboratory for rethinking Christianity — “experimenting with radical new ways of understanding the faith.”

Religious Affairs Correspondent Robert Pigott tells of Rev. Klaas Hendrikse, a minister of the PKN, the mainstream Protestant denomination in the Netherlands. Pastor Hendrikse doesn’t believe in life after death, nor even in God as a supernatural being. He told the BBC that he has “no talent” for believing historic and orthodox doctrines. “God is not a being at all,” he says, but just an experience.

Furthermore, as Pigott reports, “Mr. Hendrikse describes the Bible’s account of Jesus’s life as a mythological story about a man who may never have existed, even if it is a valuable source of wisdom about how to lead a good life.” the rest

Washington’s National Cathedral, other churches damaged in East Coast quake

by Rob Kerby
Thursday August 25, 2011

Churches seemed to bear the brunt of Tuesday’s 5.8 earthquake on the East Coast.

Significant damage was reported to Washington, D.C.’s National Cathedral and St. Peter’s Catholic Church, historic St. Patrick’s Church near Baltimore, and two churches in Culpepper, Va., close to the epicenter — St. Stephen Episcopal Church and Culpepper Christian Assembly.

“The damage is severe and we have three buildings condemned,” said Culpeper County building inspector Bob Orr said. “St. Stephen’s has structural damage inside.” Also closed to the public, he said, were the Christian Assembly and an Italian restaurant. the rest

Numbers of New Catholics Continue to Fall

8/24/11
In a previous post, we noted that infant baptisms have been declining year-to-year (as reported in The Official Catholic Directory; where the publication year represents totals for the year prior, e.g., the 2011 edition includes totals for 2010). We've also noted these are generally moving in step with the overall fertility rate, which has also been falling (more so since the recession in 2008). In each of the past three years the number of people entering the faith (of any age) has dropped below 1 million. Since 1947, during only one other period, from 1973 to 1979, did the annual number of new U.S. Catholics number less than 1 million.  the rest

Anglican Perspective: Taking the Time


August 24, 2011

Obamanonics vs. Reaganomics

One program for recovery worked, and the other hasn't.
By STEPHEN MOORE
AUGUST 26, 2011

If you really want to light the fuse of a liberal Democrat, compare Barack Obama's economic performance after 30 months in office with that of Ronald Reagan. It's not at all flattering for Mr. Obama.

The two presidents have a lot in common. Both inherited an American economy in collapse. And both applied daring, expensive remedies. Mr. Reagan passed the biggest tax cut ever, combined with an agenda of deregulation, monetary restraint and spending controls. Mr. Obama, of course, has given us a $1 trillion spending stimulus.

By the end of the summer of Reagan's third year in office, the economy was soaring. The GDP growth rate was 5% and racing toward 7%, even 8% growth. In 1983 and '84 output was growing so fast the biggest worry was that the economy would "overheat." In the summer of 2011 we have an economy limping along at barely 1% growth and by some indications headed toward a "double-dip" recession. By the end of Reagan's first term, it was Morning in America. Today there is gloomy talk of America in its twilight.

My purpose here is not more Reagan idolatry, but to point out an incontrovertible truth: One program for recovery worked, and the other hasn't. the rest

The Reagan stimulus vs. the Obama one

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Devotional: From every pulpit in the land...

From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns. Faith is now in the crucible, it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place for the heart and mind but in the Throne of God. What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God. ...AW Pink image

Another Planned Parenthood manager quits and converts to pro-life

by Thaddeus BaklinskiThu Aug 25, 2011

 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a story with clear echoes of the now famous conversion of former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, four months ago a manager at a Planned Parenthood facility in Sherman, Texas resigned from her position with the abortion giant and is now speaking out about her pro-life conversion.

In a press release from 40 Days for Life-Dallas, Ramona Trevino explains that although the particular Planned Parenthood where she worked did not perform surgical abortions, she was struggling “with [her] conscience . . . on contraception, abortion and [her] role in it all.”

Just like Abby Johnson, Trevino credits a 40 Days for Life campaign outside her Planned Parenthood facility with helping her movement towards a pro-life way of thinking.

After the 40 Days campaign came to Sherman, she says she went from believing she was providing a service to women in need, to realizing that Planned Parenthood “treated women like cattle and how they only cared about making money” – a realization she says was “long overdue.” the rest

Obama Creates Office Of Diversity, Inclusion

Wed, 08/24/2011

The economy remains in shambles yet President Obama keeps wasting taxpayer dollars expanding an already bloated U.S. government, this month launching a new office to help build a “diverse and inclusive workforce” at all federal agencies.

The new Office of Diversity and Inclusion will ensure that the entire U.S. government develops comprehensive strategies to drive and integrate diversity and inclusion practices. It will assist the different agencies in building a workforce that “respects individual and organizational cultures” by examining policy options, data trends and employee survey findings.

The goal is to eliminate demographic group imbalances in targeted occupations and improve workforce diversity. To attain this, special initiatives have been created targeting specific groups, including Hispanics, African Americans, American Indians, women and gays and lesbians. The idea is to create a workforce that truly reflects America’s diversity, according to the Obama Administration. the rest

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Hurricane Irene on collision course with US east coast



Washington cathedral faces millions in repairs after quake, plus hurricane Irene

Unnatural: Washington D.C. Hit by Quake and Hurricane in Same Week?

Mugabe meeting for Archbishop Williams

Aug 26, 2011
By George Conger

The Archbishop of Canterbury will travel to Harare in October and will seek a meeting with Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe to plead the case for the country’s persecuted Anglicans.

Dr Williams will also visit Malawi and Zambia during his tour of the Church of the Province of Central Africa, and is expected to offer moral encouragement to the Church. President Mugabe’s office has not decided whether the country’s leader since independence will meet with Dr Williams — who has been a harsh critic of the regime.

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace confirmed “the Archbishop is visiting Zimbabwe as part of a wider trip, which will also see him visit Malawi and Zambia,” but noted the itinerary had yet to be finalised. the rest

Report: Military to chaplains -- resign or conform

Chad Groening
OneNewsNow
 8/24/2011

A coalition of chaplains and other service members is urging members of Congress to stand up for religious freedom in the wake of the appeal of the ban on homosexual military service.

The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty comprises mostly retired chaplains who on behalf of their faith groups represent thousands of currently active military chaplains who believe what the Bible says about the homosexual lifestyle. The bill repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy was passed by the lame-duck Congress in December and subsequently signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Col. Ron Crews (USA-Ret.) served as a chaplain for 28 years, including stints with the storied 82nd and 101st Divisions. He now serves as a chaplain endorser for Grace Churches International. Crews says one of his chaplains attended a briefing by Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen. the rest

Campaigners sue US schools over porn web filters

Thu, 25 Aug 2011

Schools in Missouri, America, are being sued for using internet pornography filters – because the filters may also block some homosexual websites.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which launched the legal action, wants the internet filtering software turned off until the matter is resolved.

But Tim Hadfield, Superintendent of the Camdenton School District, has said: “We do not specifically filter sites promoting alternative lifestyles. We do specifically block sites that are inappropriate and will continue to do so.” the rest

Bloomberg: No Clergy, No FDNY

August 25, 2011
by Elizabeth Scalia

When two hijacked, terrorist-piloted passenger jets were deliberately flown into the Twin Towers, in an act of war against our nation, the first recorded casualty was a Roman Catholic priest and NYFD chaplain — Fr. Mychal Judge — who had ridden to the burning towers, and blessed doomed firefighters, hearing last confessions on the way.

And while Judge’s body was being carried away from the catastrophe by the firefighters who loved him, and whom he loved, First Responders from all ranks, all units, all departments were heading toward that disaster area, not running away, intent on saving as many human lives as possible, even as they weighed the terrible odds. They went up the stairs, while office workers went down. Some of them were kissed by a blind man’s guide-dog, as they passed.  the rest
And the clergy were not represented only by Catholic priests; there were Rabbis and Protestant ministers; Orthodox priests and Muslim clergy. And nuns, too, and everyday people of great faith, or no faith at all, who understood that something greater than opinions or ideology or theology or social theory or doubt was before them.

But now — understanding all of that — we read that New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not inviting First Responders to observe the tenth anniversary of this day of death and sacrifice, at Ground Zero.

And we read, also that Mayor Bloomberg’s guest list is empty of any clergy, as well.

There will be no prayers at his little shindig. Heaven, forbid.

Bloomberg Bans Clergy From 9/11 Ceremony but Ground Zero Mosque OK

Brainwashing U: Colleges’ sick ‘orientation’ game

By ROBERT SHIBLEY
August 25, 2011

Parents sending children off to college for the first time, beware: Their “freshman orientation” is all too likely to include being herded through a “tunnel of oppression” to learn about the evils of “white privilege,” being lectured about how they’re part of a “rape culture” or being forced to discuss their sexual identities with complete strangers -- before they even meet their first professor.

That’s right: For all we hear about faculty ideological or political bias, campus administrators are often worse when it comes to brainwashing students.

Consider the shocking account from a student trained to be a dorm supervisor -- a resident adviser, or RA -- at DePauw University in Indiana. One of her first duties last fall was to lead her new students through a house decorated as a “Tunnel of Oppression,” where supposedly “realistic” demonstrations in each room taught lessons such as how religious parents hate their gay children, Muslims would find no friends on a predominantly non-Muslim campus and overweight women suffer from eating disorders.

Indeed, in her training to become an RA, “We were told that ‘human’ was not a suitable identity, but that instead we were first ‘black,’ ‘white,’ or ‘Asian’; ‘male’ or ‘female’; ... ‘heterosexual’ or ‘queer.’ We were forced to act like bigots and spout off stereotypes while being told that that was what we were really thinking deep down.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. must be spinning in his grave. the rest
Perhaps the most infamous re-education program was the University of Delaware’s: Every single student in the dorms endured an Orwellian “treatment” (the school’s word) program to expunge supposedly incorrect beliefs. Delaware demanded that its RAs ask intrusive questions about students’ sexual identity and write reports about their responses while lecturing students on environmentalism and telling them that “citizenship” required them to recognize that “systemic oppression exists in our society.”

Teacher Who Made Anti-Gay FB Post To Return To Classroom

Superintendent Says Teacher Did Not Violate RulesWednesday, August 24, 2011

MOUNT DORA, Fla. -- The Lake County School superintendent has decided to allow a teacher back into his classroom who was reassigned due to an anti-gay marriage Facebook post.

Superintendent Susan Moxley decided that Jerry Buell did not violate the board's code of conduct. He will return to the classroom on Thursday. the rest
Buell said the decision is a victory for First Amendment rights, but the school district still maintains there are limits on what a teacher can say in their private lives if it impacts the classroom.

USGS boosts Marcellus gas estimates

August 24, 2011

A new assessment of the Marcellus Shale says the Northeastern U.S. formation may contain 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, recoverable natural gas, far more than believed less than a decade ago.

The new assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey updates a 2002 study of the gas-rich formation that stretches though New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, which concluded the region had about 2 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas.

The growth in the USGS estimate takes into account advances in how drilling and completion techniques – namely horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing – that have made more formations accessible.

The agency also estimates there are about 3.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, recoverable natural gas liquids in the Marcellus, products that currently fetch higher prices than natural gas. the rest

Virginia Episcopal churches face uninsured quake losses

Cathedral repairs will run into the millionsBy Mary Frances Schjonberg
August 24, 2011

[Episcopal News Service] East Coast Episcopal churches great and small spent Aug. 24 assessing damage caused by the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck the day before outside of Richmond, Virginia, and finding that their insurance may not cover needed repairs.
Washington National Cathedral, sixth-largest cathedral in the world and the second-largest such church in the United States, sustained significant damage. The repairs will cost millions, in part because of the building's handcrafted stonework, the cathedral said in a press release.

"This cathedral was built by Americans all over the nation and its restoration will require the full support of the country," the Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III, cathedral dean, said via Twitter.

None of the costs associated with the anticipated repairs will be covered by the cathedral's insurance, according to a tweet on the cathedral's Twitter page. the rest

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Brazil: Child sings Agnus Dei by Michael W. Smith


Missional Church Mergers

New report: More congregational combinations driven by mission, not survival.Ken Walker
8/23/2011

East Valley Bible Church was already a megachurch. Praxis Church was headed in the same direction. But last year, pastors Tyler Johnson and Justin Anderson agreed to merge their thriving congregations in order to better reach the Phoenix area.

Today attendance at four campuses of Redemption Church—which accepted a third partner in January—is nearly 4,800, a 14 percent increase over pre-merger days for all three churches combined.

"This was born out of the idea of having a city church, like the church at Ephesus or the church at Philippi," said Anderson, Redemption's lead pastor. "We asked, 'What would be the advantage of 100 churches in Phoenix partnering together for church planting, sharing staff … and [providing] lay training?' "

A new report from Leadership Network verifies that such mission-driven church mergers are a growing trend. Two percent of churches have merged in the last two years and five percent are likely to by 2013.  the rest

Albert Mohler: Is God a Problem? Modern Theology Faces its Alternatives

Their obituaries may have been published side by side, but — in the truest sense — Gordon Kaufman and John Stott were never on the same page.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Christian Century, the venerable voice of liberal Protestantism, juxtaposed two significant obituaries in its August 23, 2011 edition — and both on the same page. The magazine published a respectful obituary of evangelical titan John R. W. Stott, identifying him as “a renowned and prolific author credited with shaping 20th-century evangelical Christianity.” After reviewing his 90 years of life and ministry, the magazine quoted S. Douglas Birdsall of the Lausanne Movement, who described Stott in this way: “The church was his great love. World evangelism was his passion. Scripture was his authority. Heaven was his hope. Now it is his home.”

The magazine’s other obituary marked the death of Gordon Kaufman, a professor of theology at the Harvard Divinity School for more than three decades, who died at age 86. Kaufman, the magazine reported, “had a profound influence on rethinking theology in naturalistic terms, arguing for a vision of God as the ‘profound mystery of creativity.’” Kaufman influenced generations of liberal theologians through his writings and teaching, serving as president of both the American Theological Society and the American Academy of Religion.

As a seminary student, I was assigned to read Kaufman’s 1972 work, God the Problem, a book that set forth Kaufman’s effort to bring Christian theology in line with modern thought. A frustrated seminary student in my class posted a sarcastic cartoon on the classroom wall, with the cover of Kaufman’s book changed from God the Problem by Gordon Kaufman to Gordon Kaufman the Problem by God. the rest
In their own ways, Gordon Kaufman and John Stott represent the stark alternatives that face the Christian theologian today. We will either embrace a theology established upon the knowledge of the self-revealing God of the Bible, or we will see theology as a project to be developed by the human imagination. We will choose between the affirmation of the triune God of the Bible or the claim that God is merely a symbol.

Fewer Doctors Willing to Do Abortions, New Study Shows

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com
8/23/11

A new study provides more good news for pro-life advocates, as it shows fewer doctors are willing to perform abortions than before — creating a situation where the lower availability of abortion may be helping to reduce abortions.

The new report, published today in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, finds 97 percent of physicians surveyed say they have encountered patients wanting an abortion while only 14 percent of doctors are willing to do an abortion. That’s lower than the 22 percent of doctors who said they would do an abortion in the last poll, from 2008.

The researchers conducted a national probability sample mail survey of 1,800 practicing OBGYNs asking about “whether respondents ever encountered patients seeking abortions in their practice and whether they provided abortion services.” The results showed that demographics and religion play a big role in whether an OBGYN is willing to do abortions.  the rest

What Really Happened to the National Cathedral in the Quake


Connor Simpson
 Aug 23, 2011

Not all of the buildings in D.C. got away unscathed following the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked the east coast Tuesday afternoon. Conflicting reports emerged over whether the Washington Monument was leaning, or not, or if it was leaning to the left, or to the right. In our original earthquake post, we linked to a photo that showed a missing spire from the National Cathedral in Washington. The original reports of the damage were fairly dismissive. Talking Points Memo did a slide show of damage to buildings in the D.C. area, and led with three pictures of tiny pieces of rubble on the front steps. The sarcastic captions read, "See it?" and "Look closely; it's there," and have large red arrows, just in case you miss it. Admittedly, the pictures they have don't show very much. The National Cathedral, which provided these images, has started soliciting donations to help repair the structure of the building. TPM's pictures don't tell the whole story, the real damage is inside: Story/Pictures

National Cathedral sustained 'mind boggling' damage in earthquake

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake: Stones fall off Washington National Cathedral


By MARY CLARE JALONICK
Associated Press Writer
08/23/2011

A spokesman for Washington National Cathedral says at least three of the four pinnacles on the central tower have fallen off and the central tower appears to be leaning.

The pinnacles are the top stones on the cathedral's towers.

Richard Weinberg, director of communications for the cathedral, said the cathedral has been evacuated and stone masons are assessing the damage.

The Washington National Cathedral is an Episcopal Church landmark in the capital. Located in the northwest quadrant of the city near foreign embassies and the vice president's residence, the gothic-like structure is among the tallest in the city. It's historically been the site of funerals and memorials for presidents and statesmen. Story 
(I can't help feeling the biblical implications)

5.9 earthquake hits Virginia, jolts N.Y. and Carolinas

August 23, 2011

A magnitude-5.9 earthquake struck Virginia at about 1:50 p.m. (EDT), the U.S. Geological Survey reported Tuesday. Tremors were felt in New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

In New York City, some buildings were evacuated, and residents poured out of apartment buildings. "What happened?!" one young woman, clutching her large black cat, asked as she rushed onto the street. The woman had been in her seventh-floor apartment in Brooklyn when the brick building began shaking and swaying.

The Associated Press said the Pentagon was being evacuated. The quake also interrupted a news conference that was about to be held by the New York district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., about the dropping of charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Vance was about to begin speaking to a room full of reporters, on the eighth floor of a building, when the shaking began. the rest

Two Nuclear Reactors Taken Offline Following 5.8 Magnitude Earthquake in Virginia

East Coasters Turn to Twitter During Virginia Earthquake

Stocks rise broadly, dip briefly on earthquake

Added:
Tweets from D.C. reached NYC nearly 30 sec. before the Earthquake was felt there.

Politics Really is Downstream from Culture

by Lawrence Meyers
posted August 23, 2011

The first time I heard the phrase, “Politics is downstream from culture”, I had no idea what it meant. After figuring it out, and explaining it to a few Conservatives, they dismissed the concept. The truth, however, is that it may be one of the most important phrases of the New Media Age, and it’s vital that people understand it...

Excerpt:
Thus we come to politics. Given the influence that story has on our everyday lives, and that popular culture is barraging us with story on a regular basis, we must remain ever vigilant as to the messaging in those stories.

Regardless of one’s ideological, moral, ethical, or religious leanings, every person should be aware of the messaging of every piece of popular culture. The thesis here at BH is that the vast majority of those with the power of content creation are Liberals. If you accept that thesis, then realize that Liberals control story. Given the breadth and depth of popular culture in our daily lives, it follows that Liberal messaging is what is primarily being imparted on the masses.

What is some of that messaging? Think about movies and TV. Corporations are evil — using unwitting poor Africans for pharmaceutical testing (Constant Gardener) or dumping toxic chemicals into nature (Erin Brockovich, A Civil Action) or responsible for the end of mankind (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). American soldiers are bloodthirsty lawbreaking maniacs (Any military film). The CIA conducts illegal, secret operations that have nothing to do with protecting America. Radical Muslim terrorists are never villains. Trial lawyers are crusading do-gooders. David Letterman and Saturday Night Live ridicule the Right 95% of the time. Jon Stewart pretends to be centrist, but in fact jumps all over the Right far more often than the Left.

This messaging reinforces Liberal narratives — that is, Liberal stories. These are the same narratives you see in Liberal politics. The popular culture backs up Liberal policies, morals, ethics, values, and standards. Liberal political candidates are the embodiments of those Liberal tenets. The goal is to associate them in voter minds via the vehicle of popular culture.

Finally, what are voters meant to take away from a candidate’s speech, platform, or appearance? The candidate’s story, of course. That’s why it is imperative to understand messaging. Not only will a politician tell his own story, he will also attempt to define the opposing party or candidate’s narrative for him. He who controls that narrative wins.
the rest

The Look of Salvation

AUGUST 11, 2011
By JONATHAN LOPEZ
Philadelphia

Rembrandt van Rijn was among art history's most gifted interpreters of the Bible, bringing a blend of sobriety, tenderness and insight to the sacred narratives he portrayed. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in his numerous depictions of Jesus Christ, the focus of "Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus," an exhibition now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Presenting about 50 paintings, drawings and prints—several borrowed from European collections and rarely seen in the U.S.—the exhibition offers a fascinating narrative of artistic innovation and spiritual growth. In the middle of his long career, we learn, Rembrandt began to portray Jesus with features subtly resembling those of contemporary Amsterdam Jews, a move starkly at odds with artistic tradition, yet in no way contrary to the text of the Bible.

A similar sense of anticipatory quiet pervades "The Supper at Emmaus" (1648), in which the risen Christ pauses before revealing his identity to two disciples over a meal at a humble inn. This was the first major work in which Rembrandt portrayed Christ with olive skin, dark hair and facial features like those of Jewish men he knew from Amsterdam, and it is a true landmark in the artist's career. As Seymour Slive, the renowned Harvard scholar of Dutch art, has written, "To Rembrandt the Jews were the people of the Bible, and with his deepening realism he wanted to become more authentic in his biblical representations." So seriously did Rembrandt take the question of authenticity that "The Supper at Emmaus" depicts Christ about to break a loaf of traditional Jewish challah bread, clearly identifiable by its braided twists. the rest


Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus
Philadelphia Museum of Art
August 3, 2011 - October 30, 2011

Seven Hundred Clergy Can Be Wrong

By: Alan Sears
August 22, 2011

An enterprising chiropractor ought to be able to make a good living in New York these days, going church to church and offering his services. So many clergy in the Empire State have been vigorously patting themselves on the back over their recent success, lobbying for the same-sex “marriage” law, that many must be giving themselves a pain in the neck, for a change.

Some 734 clergy and lay leaders combined forces as part of New York’s “Pride in the Pulpit” initiative -- a conformist conglomeration of priests, rabbis, and mainline Protestants that many political analysts credit with bringing home the necessary swing votes to squeak out a 33-29 win in the legislature.

“They provided a kind of political and theological cover to the moderate and conservative state senators,” as The New York Times explains it. In the words of Princeton history professor Julian E. Zelizer, “Politicians draw on clergy to give themselves moral authority when taking on these kinds of social and cultural issues.”

What he means is, if a wolf is looking for sheep’s clothing, there’s no better place to get it than from a shepherd. As moral authorities go, clergy -- even in this jaded age -- rank pretty high. Higher, it turns out, than the God they’re jockeying to speak for.  the rest

Hospital-related infections drop under California initiative

The goal: Cut costs and save lives by preventing hospital-related infections from taking root. 'We're definitely making progress,' says a doctor in Newport Beach.
Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
August 23, 2011

Scores of California hospitals, under pressure to reduce infections that kill an estimated 12,000 patients every year, say they have managed to cut costs and save lives through an initiative that has nurses and doctors redoubling efforts to prevent deadly germs from taking root...

...Since its launch 19 months ago, the initiative is credited with cutting ventilator-associated pneumonia 41%. Urinary tract infections related to catheters fell 24% last year, and cases of blood poisoning dropped 11%. The lower rates have saved an estimated $11 million in healthcare costs.
the rest
"We know we can prevent many of these infections by doing some very simple things," said Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, who oversees efforts to combat the problem for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

...Then doctors picked up a valuable tip from other hospitals to improve oral care: Enlist respiratory therapists to help keep deadly bacteria from building up in patients' mouths, potentially leading to pneumonia.

The therapists began swabbing patients' mouths with hydrogen peroxide four times a day, supplementing the work of nurses who already were brushing patients' teeth with an antibacterial solution twice a day.

The hospital said the extra effort has paid off: It has not recorded a single case of ventilator-associated pneumonia since December, down from 18 in the one-year period before that.

Joe Biden "Fully Understands" China’s Mandatory Abortions

No, he doesn’t.
by John Hayward
08/22/2011

Excerpt:
Of course, it’s Biden’s reference to China’s forced abortion policy that will generate the big headlines, and deservedly so. Even by his standards, it’s an epic outburst of moral blindness and pure stupidity.

For starters, Biden is nominally Catholic, although if the Church has gotten wind of his comments in China, they might already be taking steps to remedy that situation. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Biden was asked what he would say if his running mate asked him when life begins. This was his answer:

I’d say, ‘Look, I know when it begins for me.’ It’s a personal and private issue. For me, as a Roman Catholic, I am prepared to accept the teachings in my Church… For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I, seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society.

How do you get from that mushy non-judgmental pluralism to expressing “full understanding” of forced abortions, and declaring your refusal to “second guess” a State-mandated one-child-per-family policy? the rest

Homophobia and the Church

August 22nd, 2011
Kevin Theriot

Anyone opposed to the acceptance of homosexual behavior as a healthy, normal, moral equivalent to heterosexuality is often accused of homophobia – an irrational fear of those engaged in homosexual behavior. This same label is applied to any church that teaches biblical morality on the issue. Recently, Bill Hybels, Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, had to defend his church’s loving and biblical morality teachings against an attack from a homosexual activist who persuaded the head of Starbucks to breach his contract to speak at the church’s leadership summit. Some churches, like Mt. Hope Church in East Lansing, Michigan, are sometimes even physically attacked by radical groups who support the homosexual agenda like BashBack! (an indication of irrational fear on their part).

But most pastors and churches I’m familiar with are like Willow Creek and love those caught up in homosexual behavior, wanting them to experience the freedom that Christ can give. They don’t fear them, but they fear for them. As Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently put it in his piece on the topic, “Our greatest fear is not that homosexuality will be normalized and accepted, but that homosexuals will not come to know of their own need for Christ and the forgiveness of their sins.” Well said. If churches truly love those who are engaged in sin that separates them from a right relationship with God, they cannot say sin is OK. That truly would be hateful, not loving. the rest

The state should keep its nose out of the Catholic Church’s confession boxes

By Brendan O'Neill
August 23rd, 2011

News of the World journalists who invaded celebrities’ privacy by hacking into their idle phone chatter have got nothing on Irish politicians. The Irish state is hell bent on hacking into the most intimate conversation of all: that between a man and his God. A new law could force priests in Ireland to break the confessional seal if their penitent mentions anything to do with child sex abuse. In such circumstances, if Irish prime minister Enda Kenny gets his way, it will be a criminal offence for the priest to keep schtum about what he has heard. This would rip apart the Vatican’s Canon Law, which stipulates: “The sacramental seal is inviolable; thus it is absolutely illegitimate for the confessor to the make the penitent known, even only in part, using words or any other means, and for any reason.”

Now, as it happens, I am not the confessing type. As a severely lapsed Catholic and now immoveable atheist, I haven’t been inside a confessional since I was 17 years old. And I don’t miss telling some bloke behind a grille about the time I nicked a Kit-Kat or got matey with Onan. But there are millions upon millions of people for whom confession is a central part of their faith, and for whom absolute privacy is a central part of confession. They believe, and should have every right to believe, that the confessional facilitates communication with God, providing a tiny, darkened space, utterly cut off from the world, where they can offload their various horrors and heartbreaks in private. For the state to invade this space, to colonise it on the basis that it is a sinister place where lurid stories about paedophilia might be swapped between a pervert and his priest, is an attack on freedom of religion.

Some will point out that the new Irish law will only require priests to blab on their penitents if they confess to having committed, or knowing something about, child sexual abuse. But the problem is that in chipping away at the very idea of the inviolable sacramental seal, politicians are potentially flinging the whole world of confessing open to all sorts of state interference. What about other criminal offences? GBH? Robbery? Flashing? Should priests also have a duty to dob in their penitents if they confess to partaking in those immoral and illegal acts? As the Irish Times joked, how about getting ordained coppers to hear people’s sins, so that they can “judge at once if they merit a decade of the rosary or a decade in Portlaoise [Prison]”
 the rest

Monday, August 22, 2011

Air Force Reviewing All Ethics Courses for Christian Themes

Written by Dave Bohon
Monday, 22 August 2011

The Air Force appears to be on an intense crusade to sanitize religious content from its training courses. As reported by The New American, in late July the Air Force suspended a course entitled “Christian Just War Theory” after a group of missile launch officers complained to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation that the ethics course included the Bible and other Christian-themed material. Barely three weeks after the original incident, another Air Force instructor forwarded Power Point slides from a second class to the secularist watchdog group, complaining about that course’s Christian content.

CNN reported that in a lesson “designed to teach the Air Force’s core values to ROTC cadets, Christian beliefs such as the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Golden Rule are used as examples of ethical values....” According to CNN, an ROTC instructor brought his complaint to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation after seeing a report on the original complaint brought by the missile officers. “I felt extremely uncomfortable briefing some of these slides, deleted them, and added what I felt were more relevant examples,” the anonymous ROTC instructor wrote in an e-mail to the secularist group.

Like the “Just War Theory” material, the ROTC course was produced by the Air Force's Air Education and Training Command. AETC spokesman David Smith said that the group is now reviewing all “training materials that address morals, ethics, core values, and related character development issues to ensure appropriate and balanced use of all religious and secular source material.” He emphasized that the Air Force is committed to teaching ethics to its officers and personnel “in a religiously neutral way that assures we comply with the Constitution’s Establishment Clause.” the rest