Friday, September 30, 2011

CANA Disappointed in Connecticut Supreme Court Decision

 September 30, 2011

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (“CANA”) and the congregation of Bishop Seabury Memorial Church in Groton, Conn., are reviewing a decision released today by the Connecticut Supreme Court regarding the congregation’s right to retain ownership of its property. The Episcopal Church (“TEC”) and the diocese had appealed the case to the state’s Supreme Court earlier this year in order to seek to seize the congregation’s property.

“We are disappointed with today’s ruling. Legal counsel will continue to review it as the congregation considers its options,” said the Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns, the head bishop of CANA, which is the denominational body for Bishop Seabury Church. Bishop Minns served as the associate pastor of St. Paul’s in Darien, Conn., in the late 1970s to early 1980s.

“When leaders of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Connecticut divided the worldwide Anglican Communion by attempting to redefine Scripture and Christian ethics, and chose to oppress congregations and clergy remaining faithful to following Jesus Christ, the congregation at Bishop Seabury Church and other congregations could not in good conscience go down that path. TEC is going its own way, and we are saddened by TEC’s desire to weaken the church. But this does not give TEC the right to take our houses of worship with them. The legal proceedings have been an unfortunate distraction from all the good work our congregations are doing — caring for the poor and oppressed, and offering hope and healing to a broken world. We will continue to put our trust in God, not in secular courts or buildings,” Minns continued.

The Rt. Rev’d Julian Dobbs, CANA’s bishop for the Northeast, proclaimed, “Buildings and property are a tool that congregations use to share the good news of Jesus, but the core identity of a congregation is not in its material goods or real estate. The identity of the congregation is not even tied up in the particular name of the church. Rather, the identity of the congregation is made concrete by what they do Sunday through Saturday in Groton and in their neighborhoods: loving God and loving other people.”

Archdeacon Ron Gauss, the senior pastor of the congregation, added, “Jesus the Messiah was Lord and rector of this congregation before this decision was handed down, and Jesus is still our Lord and rector. Our congregation is as unified as ever in continuing to serve Jesus in all situations.” Story

Conn. court: breakaway parish can't keep property

Conn. Supreme Court rules parish that broke from Episcopal Church can’t keep property

Pelosi: Defunding Planned Parenthood a ‘horror’

by Jeremy Kryn
Thu Sep 29, 2011

 ( – Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called cutting Planned Parenthood funding a “horror.” When asked by CNS News last week what she would do if Republicans renewed an effort to prohibit federal taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood as part of a Continuing Resolution, Pelosi refused to speculate.

“Let’s hope that they’re not playing games with us–and now we are getting into games … Why don’t we come back and have another press conference after they say what they are going to do,” Pelosi said. “Because I think it’s a waste of your time and my time to speculate on the horrors that they could come up with–because we know they are endless and we could be here a long time.”

“So why don’t we just say this: We wish them the best,” she said. “We understand that when you need to get 218 votes you have to count on your own side of the aisle to do that if you don’t want to do it in a bipartisan way.” the rest

The Myth of the Personally Pro-Life Catholic

by Matthew Archbold
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The personally pro-life but publicly pro-choice argument, as far as I can make out, is there’s a tiny human being in the womb but don’t want to tell you that you can’t kill that tiny human being because you don’t believe it’s a human being. Or something.

They seem to love classifying abortion as a religious issue and insist they can’t force their religion on others because of the separation of church and state (a pretend benchmark). But of course that’s a bunch of hooey.

The fact is that life begins at conception. That’s science folks. The pro-aborts are the ones who want everyone to come up with their own timeline as far as this yet another pretend benchmark they call “personhood.” So to them, the right of individual personhood granting ability supersedes any right to life.

Here’s the thing - I don’t believe in “personally pro-life.” Not anymore. It just strains credulity. Either you believe it’s the taking of a human life or you don’t. There’s no middle ground. Either you believe in the right to life or you don’t. the rest

Woman hearing herself for the first time

"I was born deaf and 8 weeks ago I received a hearing implant. This is the video of them turning it on and me hearing myself for the first time."

Lord’s Prayer out in Australia

September 28, 2011
by George Conger

Complaints by devotees of the new atheism in Australia have beaten back the Lord’s Prayer from the public square. A primary school in Perth’s northern suburbs has ended the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer before school assemblies after some parents complained that it violated the law by promoting religious belief over non-belief.

On 20 September, Edgewater Primary School principal Julie Tombs wrote to parents announcing the cessation of prayers after 25 years, after a survey of parents indicated that some were opposed to the practice.

“We acknowledge that of the parents who did respond to the survey, many wanted to retain the Lord’s Prayer and it is right that we continue to recite it at culturally appropriate times such as Christmas and Easter, as part of our educational programme,” Mrs Tombs said in a statement.

“However, at this school we have students from a range of backgrounds and it is important to consider all views and not promote one set of religious beliefs and practices over another.”

A survey sent by the school to parents found that a small minority were offended by their children having to recite the Lord’s Prayer once every two weeks. Parents who enrol their children at the school had been informed that recital of the Lord’s Prayer was part of the school assembly programme. the rest

Lutheran pastor appointed dean of Anglican cathedral in Canada

ENInews Staff--Anglican Journal
28 September 2011
Winnipeg, Manitoba

(ENInews). In a historic move, the Anglican diocese of Rupert's Land appointed a Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Paul Johnson, as dean of the diocese and incumbent for St. John's Cathedral in Winnipeg, reports the Anglican Journal.

This is the first time a Canadian Lutheran pastor has been appointed dean in an Anglican cathedral in Canada. A dean is the priest in charge of a cathedral ("mother church") and occupies a senior position in a diocese.

The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have been in full communion since 2001, which means their clergy may serve in one another's churches. the rest

Peggy Noonan: Once Upon a Time in America

A troubled nation needs a real leader, not a storyteller.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2011

At a symposium in Colorado at which thoughtful people from many professions spoke, and later in conversation with people who care about books in California, two things we all know to be true became more vivid to me.

The first is that nobody is optimistic about the world economy. No one sees the Western nations righting themselves any time soon, no one sees lower unemployment coming down the pike, or fewer foreclosures. No one was burly: "Everything will be fine, snap out of it!" Everyone admitted tough times lie ahead.

The second is that everyone hungers for leadership. Really, everyone. And really, it is a hunger. They want so much to be able to respect and feel trust in their political leaders. Everyone hungers for someone strong, honest and capable—as big as the moment. But the presidential contest, the default topic when Americans gather, tended to become somewhat secondary. Underlying everything was a widespread sense among Democrats and Republicans, lefties and righties, that President Obama isn't big enough, and that we don't have to argue about this anymore. There was also a broad sense that there is no particular reason to believe any one of the Republicans is big enough, either.

Actually, I saw a third thing. There is, I think, a kind of new patriotism among our professional classes. the rest

Change happens: new evidence on sexual orientation

Groundbreaking research published this week shows successful change in religiously motivated men and women.
Stanton L Jones and Mark Yarhouse
Friday, 30 September 2011

A chorus of voices in the professional world today proclaims that it is impossible to change sexual orientation, particularly homosexual orientation, and that the attempt to change sexual orientation is commonly and inherently harmful. For example, for many years the Public Affairs website of the American Psychological Association stated: “Can therapy change sexual orientation? No. . . . [H]omosexuality . . . does not require treatment and is not changeable.”

Regarding harm, the American Psychiatric Association’s statement that the “potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior” is often cited.

In tension with this supposed professional consensus are the final results of a longitudinal study we have conducted over a period of seven years, now published in The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, a respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal. This study involved a sample of men and women seeking religiously-mediated sexual orientation change through involvement in a variety of Christian ministries affiliated with Exodus International the rest

8th Grade Education and $10 Part: All You Need to Hack These Voting Booths

September 30, 2011

Voting stations will need to take extra precautions with the election of 2012 as a national laboratory has shown just how easy it can be to hack into an electronic voting booth.

In fact, Salon reports that all it really takes is about $10.50 and an 8th grade science education. The Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory, a lab run through the Department of Energy, was able to demonstrate three simple “man in the middle attacks” on touchscreen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems, like Diebold voting machines and Sequoia Voting Systems. the rest image by Brian Kusler

New Study Underlines Unfulfilled Promises of Health Care Bill

Sep 29, 2011
by Jake Tapper

A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation underlines that many of the promises surrounding President Obama’s health care legislation remain unfulfilled, though the White House argues that change is coming.

Workers at the Flora Venture flower shop in Newmarket, NH, remember when presidential candidate named Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., promised that their health care costs would go down if they elected him and his health care plan was enacted.

On May 3, 2008, the president told voters that he had “a health care plan that would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums.”

Last year workers at the flower shop saw their insurance premiums shoot up 41 percent.

“I basically work for the health care payments,” says manager Pat Cowhig, whose husband has medical issues. the rest

UK: The truth about polygamy

A special investigation into how Muslim men can exploit the benefits system
By Sue Reid
24th September 2011

The social workers said the multiple marriages are encouraged by a welfare system which allows a second, third or fourth wife to be treated as a single mother who gets a house and an array of other state payments for herself and her children.

Controversially, it means that a man can take a new spouse (from anywhere in the world), sire any number of children with her, and yet have no responsibility for this family’s upkeep or care.
To avoid breaking Britain’s matrimony laws, the men marry their extra ‘wives’ in an Islamic Nikah ceremony, either in their own homes or a mosque.

These marriages are not recognised officially, so they do not appear in government statistics or have any status under the law. They also do not count when assessing welfare payments.

Another technique is for a couple to marry legally under British law but then divorce, leaving them then to have a Nikah ceremony and continue living together. The woman will then be entitled to welfare payments as a single mother and the man can then bring another woman from abroad and legally marry her in Britain. the rest

Who should run the internet?

Internet governance is under attack; it may have to mend its ways to survive
Oct 1st 2011

The multi-stakeholder approach dates from the beginnings of the internet. Its founding fathers believed that more openness would be both more secure and better for innovation. What is more, since the internet is a network of independent networks, it is hard to construct a form of governance that allows anyone to dictate things from the top.

Until the early 2000s most governments were happy—at least in Western countries where most internet users lived. They had no problem with the network’s standards being set by such organisations as the Internet Engineering Task Force, which is open to everybody. Nor did governments balk when America in 1998 set up the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), also based on the multi-stakeholder model, to manage the internet’s core: its address system.

Yet as the internet has become a global medium attitudes have changed. At the World Summit on the Information Society 2005 in Tunis, many participants pushed for the UN and one of its agencies, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which co-ordinates the radio spectrum among other things, to take over the running of the internet. The effort was resisted by America and other Western countries. The compromise included the creation of the IGF. the rest

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Devotional: Ye holy angels bright...

Ye holy angels bright,
Who wait at God’s right hand,
Or through the realms of light
Fly at your Lord’s command,
Assist our song;
For else the theme
Too high doth seem
For mortal tongue.
...Richard Baxter image

Chipmunks and peanuts

RU-486 abortions lead to 14 maternal deaths, 2,207 adverse effects

by Jeremy Kryn
Wed Sep 28, 2011

( – Fourteen U.S. women have died after taking RU-486 and a total of 2,207 reported adverse effects after using the drug, according to a report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released this summer. The FDA report, released in mid-July, shows a significant rise in women who have been subjected to “adverse effects” resulting from taking RU-486 since the previous report in 2006 noted 1,100 women.

Approximately 1.52 million women have used the abortion drug through the end of April 2011.

Of the women experiencing medical and physical problems resulting from the abortion drug mifepristone, more commonly known as RU-486, 612 women required hospitalizations, 339 experienced blood loss significant enough to require a transfusion, 256 experienced infections, and 48 women experienced “severe infections.” the rest

Feast of St. Michael and All Angels


War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world-- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,

"Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!"
Revelation 12:7-12 image

Christian film ‘Courageous’ takes on fatherhood

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
 Sept. 29, 2011

Sherwood Pictures’ new film “Courageous” begins with a heart-stopping chase as a man caught in a convenience store robbery races on foot after the bandits who took off in his new truck.

Once he and the local sheriff’s deputies catch up with the robbers, moviegoers learn the man was not worried about his pickup. He ran after the thieves not to prevent his property from being stolen but to protect what is in the back seat.

“Courageous” opens Friday, Sept. 30, at the Bangor Mall Cinema and around the country. It is the latest spiritual message movie from the Albany, Ga.-based film company that produced “Fireproof,” “Facing the Giants” and “Flywheel.” the rest

Department of Happiness?

Happiness should be a top government priority, expert says
By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
September 28, 2011

Someday in the not-too-distant future, the U.S. departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Justice and Labor could be joined be a new executive branch entity: The Department of Happiness.

That’s right. There’s a growing movement among economists and other researchers to make the psychological well-being of citizens a major government priority. The first step, they say, is to come up with a way to measure a nation’s happiness. Ideally they’d like to be able to boil it all down into a single statistic that will resonate with voters – think of it as a mental health equivalent of GDP or the unemployment rate.

If this all sounds ridiculously far-fetched, consider that the U.S. government is already “taking steps to measure quality of life,” according to a commentary published in Thursday’s edition of the journal Nature. So are government officials in Britain, Germany, China, France, Australia, Ecuador, Italy and Spain. the rest

Soma anyone?

Chinese Banks Close to Collapse. Fears of zero growth

The Chinese Financial Index fell by 24%, more than that of European and American bank stocks. Chinese banks are plagued by insolvent debts due to loans to local governments and the stagnant property market. The country's growth, currently estimated at 9.5%, is at risk

(AsiaNews / Agencies) - The listings of Chinese banks have dropped to very low levels, raising fears that a collapse could wipe out the country's growth. This is what emerges from news announced today by Bloomberg, according to whom the MSCI index for the Chinese financial sector fell 4% this month, much more than all the European, American and Japanese banks.

The problem is very serious, even though in the last 12 months the index has recorded 104 billion in earnings. Chinese banks' troubles are being caused by insolvent bonds offered to local governments, as well as by loans made to support the building boom that has left 50 percent of newly-built houses unsold, and by slowing global economic growth, which penalizes Chinese exports to Europe and the United States. the rest


Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church

September 28, 2011
Many parents and church leaders wonder how to most effectively cultivate durable faith in the lives of young people. A five-year project headed by Barna Group president David Kinnaman explores the opportunities and challenges of faith development among teens and young adults within a rapidly shifting culture. The findings of the research are included in a new book by Kinnaman titled You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Church.

The research project was comprised of eight national studies, including interviews with teenagers, young adults, parents, youth pastors, and senior pastors. The study of young adults focused on those who were regular churchgoers Christian church during their teen years and explored their reasons for disconnection from church life after age 15.

No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged. Overall, the research uncovered six significant themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15. the rest

Teacher Placed on Administrative Leave for Punishing Christian Student

September 28, 2011

Fort Worth, TX — Last week, high school freshman Dakota Ary was given in-school suspension for telling another student that he believes homosexuality is wrong because of his Christian faith. Western Hills High School teacher, Kristopher Franks, is responsible for his suspension and has now been placed on administrative leave with pay. Liberty Counsel is representing Dakota in this case, demanding full vindication and a full retraction of the suspension.

Dakota was in Franks’ German language class on Tuesday when the topic of homosexuality arose. Dakota said to one of his classmates, “I'm a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong.” Franks overheard the comment, wrote Dakota an infraction, and sent him to the principal’s office. The class topic was religious beliefs in Germany. During the discussion, one student asked what Germans thought about homosexuality in relation to religion. Another student then asked to hear some translated terms such as “lesbian.” These questions provoked the conversation about Christianity and Dakota’s expression of his opinion to one classmate. the rest

Iranian Pastor Faces Execution for Refusing to Recant Christian Faith

By Joshua Rhett Miller
September 29, 2011

The lawyer of an Iranian pastor sentenced to death for refusing to renounce his Christian faith is hopeful an appeals court will acquit his client.

Attorney Mohammad Ali Dadkhah says he believes there's a "95 percent chance" of acquittal for 32-year-old Yusuf Naderkhani.

Dadkhah told The Associated Press on Thursday that he has appeared before the appeals court over the past four days and expects a ruling by the end of next week.

He says neither Iranian law nor clerics have ever stipulated the death penalty as punishment for converting from Islam to Christianity. the rest

Pakistan Punjab: armed Muslims rape a Christian, a “common practice”

38 Ways to Make a Baby

Sep 28, 2011
Joe Carter

From the time of Adam and Eve until the late 1970s, there was—with one notable exception—only one way to make a baby: the sexual bonding of a man and a woman. That number increased to two in 1978 after the birth of Louise Brown, the first “test tube baby.” Today, there are thirty-eight ways to make a baby, almost all of which can be accomplished without sexual intercourse.

Until the 1970s, “reproductive technologies” focused almost exclusively on helping a couple prevent conception. Although the tools ranged from the benign (thermometers) to the controversial (the Pill), most people understood both how they worked and whether their use could be considered ethical. Now that we have methods which sound like acronyms for U.N. agencies—IH, AID, ICSI, IUI, GIFT, ZIFT, IV—few people understand what they are, and even fewer know whether they are morally acceptable.

The rapidity by which the baby-making process has evolved has outpaced our moral reflection. While I lack the knowledge and wisdom to provide much guidance, there are few considerations, ranging from the personal to the linguistic, which I believe should guide our thinking about reproductive technologies. the rest

Movie review: The Way

Reviewed by Santiago Ramos
Septrmber 28, 2011

The result of their efforts is The Way. Martin Sheen plays Tom Avery, a wealthy ophthalmologist whose estranged son, Daniel (played by Emilio) dies on the first leg of the Camino. Traveling to Europe to retrieve his son’s body, he decides to go on pilgrimage himself, as a way to honor his son. While in the Pyrenees he befriends a policeman, a veteran of the Way who warns Tom that one only ever does the Camino for one’s self.

Along the way, Tom meets three other characters who make it clear that they are on the path for themselves. Yoost (Yorick van Wageningen) is an archetypical decadent Dutchman, smoking marijuana and gorging on food and wine. He is on the path for a very worldly reason: he needs to lose weight. Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger), a Canadian woman in her thirties, is coy: she chain smokes and says that she will leave her last pack of cigarettes on the foot of the statue of Santiago, and never smoke again. But her real reason for traveling will become clear later on. Finally, Jack (James Nesbitt), aggressively annoying when you first meet him, endears himself to the audience once we figure it that he is a broken hearted writer who is trying to find something real to write about. the rest

Ashland man faces terrorism charges

FBI alleges plan to fly explosives into Capitol, Pentagon
By Milton J. Valencia
September 29, 2011

ASHLAND - An Ashland man who holds a physics degree from Northeastern University was charged yesterday with an Al Qaeda-inspired plot to send a remote-controlled aircraft carrying explosives into the Pentagon and the US Capitol “to kill as many people as possible,’’ according to a complaint filed in federal court.

Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, a US citizen whose only known previous crime was vandalism, told FBI agents working undercover as Al Qaeda members that he wanted to “change the world,’’ according to the complaint.

“I just can’t stop; there is no other choice for me,’’ he told the agents, according to an affidavit written by FBI Special Agent Gary S. Cacace. the rest

“This is what we have to do. This is the righteous way . . . to terrorize enemies of Allah,’’ he said, calling for the deaths of any kafir, the Arabic term for nonbeliever.

Billy Graham's new book a spiritual look at growing old

By Cathy Lynn Grossman

The trigger for this book was a comment he made in a 2006 interview: "I had been taught all of my life how to die, but no one had ever taught me how to grow old."

No one prepares you for loneliness, for pain, for the grief of losing your soul mate, he now writes. When his wife, Ruth, died in June 2007, he was stunned that she died before he did. He had never envisioned his life without her.

Graham says he wanted the book to be the handbook he never had — spiritual, pragmatic and fearless.

He writes: "The Bible says that God has a reason for keeping us here; if He didn't, He would take us to Heaven far sooner." the rest

Rod Webster speaking about the Episcopal Church Building Fund

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Devotional: Many a congregation...

Many a congregation when it assembles in church must look to the angels like a muddy puddly shore at low tide; littered with every kind of rubbish and odds and ends—a distressing sort of spectacle. And then the tide of worship comes in, and it’s all gone: the dead sea-urchins and jelly-fish, the paper and the empty tins and the nameless bits of rubbish. The cleansing sea flows over the whole lot. So we are released from a narrow, selfish outlook on the universe by a common act of worship. Our little human affairs are reduced to their proper proportion when seen over against the spaceless Majesty and Beauty of God. ...Evelyn Underhill image

Federal government inflated census figures for same-sex married couples

September 27, 2011

The 2010 census overestimated the number of households with same-sex married couples by more than 160%, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday.

Officials said the numbers released this summer were incorrect because of an “inconsistency in responses … that artificially inflated the number of same-sex couples,” according to a news release.

The inconsistency apparently occurred because residents may have checked the wrong box when responding to questions about their relationship to the householder and the sex of each person living there. the rest

The 2010 census first reported that there were 349,377 same-sex married-couple households and 552,620 same-sex unmarried-partner households across the country.

On Tuesday officials said they had revised the count to 131,729 same-sex married-couple and 514,735 same-sex unmarried-partner households.

Despite ObamaCare, Costs Continue To Soar


 Until now, many of the fears about ObamaCare have been theoretical. But this year's 9% spike in premiums is concrete evidence of the substantial harm it's already doing to our health care system.

As soon as the Kaiser Family Foundation's annual report on insurance premiums was released, ObamaCare defenders dismissed its most troubling finding: Insurance premiums for family coverage shot up an average $1,482 this year.

Nothing to worry about, they said, it's just a response to higher health costs and bad forecasts. But wait a minute! Didn't Obama promise his signature health reform plan would lower insurance premiums? As a matter of fact he did, saying just before he signed it into law that ObamaCare would "bring down the cost of health care for families, for businesses and for the federal government."

Not only did that not happen, ObamaCare has reversed a years-long trend toward smaller annual premium increases (see chart), suggesting insurers finally started to figure out how to get costs down. the rest

Christians top target of abuse

Agence France-Presse
September 27, 2011

UNITED NATIONS - Christians are the number one target of persecution around the world, the Vatican's foreign minister told the UN summit on Tuesday.

"The lack of respect for religious freedom represents a threat to security and peace," Dominique Mamberti, Vatican secretary for external relations, told the UN General Assembly.

"We are seeing an increase in intolerance for religious reasons and unfortunately we note that Christians are the religious group which suffer the most persecution because of their faith," said the cardinal.

"The particular weight of a single religion in a country should never imply that citizens belonging to other confessions be discriminated against in social life or, worse, that violence be tolerated against them." the rest

Sharia Vigilante Street Justice in America

Nonie Darwish
Sep 27th, 2011

About a year ago, I posted an Arabic language poem titled “Tears at the Heart of the Holocaust” on my website, The poem expressed its Arab author’s love for the Jewish people and his mourning over what happened to them in the Holocaust. The brave poet, Mr. Alaa Alsaegh, is an immigrant to the US from Iraq, who now lives in Missouri. Such poems did not sit well with the Muslim community, which caused Mr. Alsaegh to be alienated from it. He received threats because of his support for the Jewish people, was called an infidel and a traitor to Islam, but he continued with his writing of poems and did not take the threats too seriously.

Mr. Alsaegh, as well as Muslim critics and former Muslims who are accused of apostasy, are living under threats, but, lo and behold, if we dare to speak about our fears, we are immediately silenced and accused of being Islamophobes. The mainstream media insist that there is no need to fear Sharia or its enforcers in America and that we are exaggerating our plight from Islam. We are told that what happens in the Arab streets can never happen in the streets of America. 
the rest
Tell that to Alsaegh, after the unthinkable happened to him, when on August 14, 2011 and in broad daylight and heavy traffic, he was viciously attacked on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. According to Mr. Alsaegh, as he was driving at 10:30 in the morning on Compton St. near Park Ave., a small white car cut him off and hit his car, while another car stopped behind him. The occupants of the cars, some of whom wore security guard-type uniforms, quickly entered Alsaegh’s car, pointing a gun at him. They pushed his upper body down against the steering wheel, stabbed him and pulled off his shirt to expose his back. Then, with a knife, they carved the Star of David on his back while laughing as they recited his pro-Jewish poem.

Anglican bishop in Jerusalem granted permission to remain in the city

September 27, 2011
By ACNS staff

The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem and his family are celebrating today after finally getting permission to remain in the city after many months of legal and diplomat appeals.

The Rt. Revd Suheil Dawani, who is also Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, today spoke of his delight at finally getting the Residency Permits that as someone born in Nablus in the West Bank must have to stay in East Jerusalem, where St. George Anglican Cathedral and the bishop's offices are located.

"It is with great pleasure, and with God’s help, that I and my family have received our Residency Permits," he said in a statement to his supporters. the rest

Why young Christians aren't waiting anymore

By John Blake  CNN
Sept. 27, 2011

True love doesn’t wait after all.

That’s the implication in the upcoming October issue of an evangelical magazine that claims that young, unmarried Christians are having premarital sex almost as much as their non-Christian peers.

The article in Relevant magazine, entitled “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It,” cited several studies examining the sexual activity of single Christians. One of the biggest surprises was a December 2009 study, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which included information on sexual activity.

While the study’s primary report did not explore religion, some additional analysis focusing on sexual activity and religious identification yielded this result: 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex - slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organization. the rest image

Nigeria: Anglican Primate attacks gay marriage, homosexuality

September 20, 2011

Peeved by the growing malaise of sexual immorality in the country, Primate, Church of Nigeria, the Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, has described the practice of homosexuality, lesbianism and gay marriage as great evils that must neither be condoned nor allowed to further exist in our society.

Primate Okoh, who spoke Sunday in Owa, the headquarters of Ika North-east Local Government Area of Delta State during the marriage ceremony between Princess Ewere Efeizomor and Dr. Jimoh Onaivi, stated that homosexuality, lesbianism and same-sex marriage was not the original plan of God.

The war against “improper marriage” had been strongly waged by Rt Rev Peter Akinola who led other Anglican Bishops in East and West Africa to oppose the practice which had taken root in parts of Britain and the United States of America, so much that even the church was ordaining gay priests. the rest

Congress to Investigate Planned Parenthood Abortion Business

by Steven Ertelt

A Congressional committee has taken the first steps in investigating the Planned Parenthood abortion business over abuses ranging from financial disparities to its compliance with federal regulations on taxpayer funding to concerns that it is covering up cases of sex trafficking.

In a September 15 letter obtained, Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican who is the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations, writes to Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood.

“Pursuant to Rules X and XI of the United States House of Representatives, the Committee on Energy and Commerce is examining the institutional practices and policies of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates, and its handing of federal funding,” Stearns writes. “That Committee has questions about the politics in place and actions undertaken by PPFA and its affiliates relating to its use of federal funding and its compliance with federal restrictions on the funding of abortion.”  the rest
Planned Parenthood has come under heavy criticism in recent years for covering up cases of statutory rape by failing to report abortions done on unborn children of teen girls who have been victimized to authorities and by aiding and assisting alleged sex traffickers in obtaining abortions and other “services” for the women and girls they victimize. As such, as the Stearns letter asks for information related to those concerns.

Dead Sea scrolls online as ancient meets modern

September 26, 2011

JERUSALEM — Five of the main Dead Sea scrolls, containing some of the oldest-known surviving biblical texts, were on Monday put online as part of a joint project between the Israel Museum and Google.

The project gives the public access to ultra high-resolution images of the ancient scrolls in a format which is easily searchable, with the magnified text revealing details previously invisible to the naked eye, a museum statement said.

So far, five of the scrolls have been digitised as part of the $3.5-million project which uses space-age technology to produce the clearest renderings yet of the ancient texts: the Great Isaiah scroll, the Community Rule scroll, the commentary on Habbakuk, the Temple scroll and the War scroll.

By visiting The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls web users can view all of the text, as well as a translation tool and other background information on the documents, the museum said. the rest-awesome!

Monogamy on the ropes?

So the sexual avant garde would have us believe. It's the oldest trick in the book.
Peter Jon Mitchell
Monday, 26 September 2011

By the sounds of our cultural elite, monogamy is bruised, battered and against the ropes. Or is it?

Choosing to be monogamous may be challenging, but only in the way that many virtues are, such as honesty or generosity. This is why Princeton academic Robert P. George argues that monogamy requires cultural support to succeed as the difficult virtue that it is. Monogamy is not simply a personal lifestyle choice. In The meaning of marriage: Family, state, market, and morals (2006) George argues that monogamy’s understood value requires support in law, policy and through the informal support of other monogamous marriages within society.

Writing in support of monogamous marriage, sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox argues in a Washington Post blog that monogamy protects against unintended pregnancy outside of marriage and the risk of affecting a spouse with an STD. He states that open marriage places children at greater risk of physical, emotional and sexual abuse when they are exposed to their parent’s multiple romantic partners. Wilcox points to research that suggests that monogamy delivers greater satisfaction and emotional security than infidelity and that maintaining relationships outside of marriage takes time, money and emotional effort that would have been devoted to spouse and family. Wilcox maintains that open marriage is bad for the institution of marriage and it puts family members at risk.

The current debate around monogamy illuminates a larger issue about the meaning of marriage in the 21st century. the rest

Pakistan: ten year old girl accused of blasphemy and sentenced for a spelling mistake

Faryal Bhatti misspelled a word in urdu referring to Muhammad, resulting in incredible reactions from teachers and the ulema. Expelled from school, her mother, a nurse, forced to leave work.
by Jibran Khan

(AsiaNews) - A spelling error has led to an accusation of blasphemy, and serious consequences for a Christian girl of 10 years of age and her family in Abbottabad. Faryal Bhatti, the daughter of a nurse, Sarafeen Bhatti is a student at Colony High School Havelian POF. On September 22, during an examination she misspelled a word in Urdu, putting the full top in the wrong place. Thus the word, referring to the prophet Muhammad, was transformed from "poem of praise" (naat) to "curse (lanaat). The Urdu teacher, Mrs. Fareeda, sternly rebuked Faryal in front of the class and took the matter to the headmaster, even though the child defended herself saying that it was a mistake.

The news of the alleged insult to Muhammad spread through the school, among teachers and the direction accused the girl of blasphemy. The school authorities informed the religious authorities who together with the inhabitants of the colony staged a demonstration, demanding the child be reported to police, expelled from school and her family expelled from the Colony. A mob chanted slogans against Christians, and in Friday sermons religious leaders denounced the episode as "a conspiracy against Islam", which was to be crushed. 
the rest

In a meeting with teachers and religious leaders the child (in tears) and her mother explained that it was a mistake and apologized. Maulana Syed Ejaz Ali, a religious leader of the Jamia Masjid saw the piece of paper, talked with the child and mother and concluded: "I have no precise idea about the intentions of Faryal, her eyes filled with tears show her innocence, but the error has transformed the word into an insult and this is sufficient reason for a punishment, she should never throughout her entire life, think against Islam. "

“She misspelled Muhammad’s name in class: Let's kill her!”
The mind boggling affair of a Pakistani Christian girl who made one grammar mistake which led to her being accused of blasphemy, expelled from school and forced to flee....

Listeria outbreak in cantaloupes is deadliest in a decade

Associated Press
September 28, 2011

WASHINGTON — Health officials say as many as 16 people have died from possible listeria illnesses traced to Colorado cantaloupes, the deadliest food outbreak in more than a decade.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that 72 illnesses, including 13 deaths, are linked to the tainted fruit. State and local officials say they are investigating three additional deaths that may be connected.

The death toll released by the CDC Tuesday — including newly confirmed deaths in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas — surpassed the number of deaths linked to an outbreak of salmonella in peanuts almost three years ago. Nine people died in that outbreak.

The CDC said Tuesday that they have confirmed two deaths in Texas and one death each in in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Last week the CDC reported two deaths in Colorado, four deaths in New Mexico, one in Oklahoma and one in Maryland. the rest

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

IVF babies up to 10 times more likely to suffer rare genetic disorders: geneticist

by Jeremy Kryn
Mon Sep 26, 2011

 ( – Babies born from in-vitro fertilization (IVF) are up to 10 times more likely to suffer from rare genetic disorders, according to a pro-IVF geneticist. In an address to the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, University of Toronto geneticist Dr. Rosanna Weksberg called for more study of a link between fertility treatment and certain rare genetic disorders.

“We are seeing a significant increase in risk,” she said, according to the Financial Post. “The most important message is ... we need follow-up study.”

Weksberg said that she is already seeing many IVF children with rare genetic disorders in her genetics clinic. Among these are children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and Angelman syndrome. the rest

Women who use abortion drug feel more pain, emotional distress: study

by Kathleen Gilbert
Tue Sep 27, 2011

 ( - The abortion drug mifepristone (more commonly known as RU-486) was supposed to herald an age of “safer” abortions in the privacy of women’s own homes. But a new study out of England finds women who had the drug-induced abortions preferred the surgical abortion procedure.

They complained of more medical problems and more mental health issues following the use of the abortion drug and the passing of the body of the dead baby than woman who underwent surgical abortions.

More than half the women who took the abortion drug (53 percent) told researchers their experience was worse than expected. the rest
The report also showed 57 percent of places that do abortions now have the abortion drug, compared with just 33 percent in 2001.

Churches under attack in Indonesia

by Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A day after a suicide bomb attack wounded 28 at a church in Indonesia, affiliated with Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback megachurch, explosives were found in front of another church in a different district Monday, exposing the magnitude of the threat to minority Christians.

While a suicide bomber struck Sepenuh Injil Bethel Church (translated as “Bethel Full Gospel Church”) in Solo City in Central Java province Sunday morning, police found another bomb in front of Maranatha church in Ambon Island, the capital of Maluku province, Monday. the rest

Coffee may prevent depression, scientists say

By Michelle Roberts
September 26, 2011

Women who drink two or more cups of coffee a day are less likely to get depressed, research suggests.

It is not clear why it might have this effect, but the authors believe caffeine in coffee may alter the brain's chemistry. Decaffeinated coffee did not have the same effect.

The findings, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, come from a study of more than 50,000 US female nurses.

The experts are now recommending more work to better understand the link.

And they say it is certainly too soon to start recommending that women should drink more coffee to boost mood. the rest
 image by Julie Jordan Scott

CANA: Julian Dobbs and Felix Orji made Bishops


The Right Reverend Julian Dobbs and the Right Reverend Felix Orji have been made bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and will serve in North America. Dobbs and Orji were consecrated for their new leadership roles at a four-hour worship celebration on Sunday, September 25, 2011 in Lagos, Nigeria. Four additional bishops were also consecrated at the service for ministry based in Nigeria.

The Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, presided at the consecration service. Over 1,500 people packed into Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral in Lagos to participate in the celebration, capping a week of missional work by the Church of Nigeria’s General Synod. Earlier in the week, the Church of Nigeria received the Right Reverend Derek Jones as a bishop of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). Jones is based in Alabama. the rest/slideshow

Why Did 8 People Turn 180 Degrees on Abortion Stance in Seconds?

By Alex Murashko
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Sep. 19 2011

The evangelist producer of an online documentary to be released this Sunday has high hopes that the film, which shows eight pro-abortion young adults change their stance to pro-life just moments after being asked a question, goes viral.

The 33-minute documentary called “180” is produced by Ray Comfort and his ministry, Living Waters. Even after watching the film’s trailer on its website, viewers are left with no clues as to what question was asked or what exactly prompted eight people to change their views on abortion.

Comfort told The Christian Post that in the process of making the film he asked a question that was “so powerful that it not only changed the people’s minds about abortion, and made them do a 180 (degree turn in viewpoint), but it made them do a 180 when it comes to their own eternal salvation.” the rest

   * Warning: movie has graphic pictures of Holocaust victims *

Planned Parenthood Makes $155 Million Doing Abortions

by Brad Mattes

My pro-life friends at Live Action recently dismantled Planned Parenthood’s favorite talking point—that abortion accounts for only 3% of their services. The abortion industry giant could slyly arrive at this fuzzy math simply by stating that they hand out 97 condoms for every 3 abortions performed.

But their pro-abortion spin doesn’t work in business terms when crunching the numbers.

According to their own figures, in 2009 alone, Planned Parenthood performed 332,278 abortions. That’s like wiping out the population of a sizeable city. Since the average cost of an abortion was $468, Planned Parenthood’s total abortion income that year was $155,506,104. In light of their total “health center” income of $404,900,000, Planned Parenthood made out like bandits with abortion, which generated 38.4% of this total revenue. the rest

British Muslims reviving polygamy

Rosemary Bennett
The Times
September 27, 2011

A GROWING number of young British Muslims are taking second or third wives in an unexpected revival of polygamy, according to religious leaders.

The new wave of polygamy is revealed in a special report by the BBC Asian Network using findings from the Islamic Sharia Council.

The council, which provides legal advice and guidance to Muslims, said it was receiving an unprecedented number of inquiries about polygamous marriages.

Its most recent figures show that, for the first time, polygamy is now among the top ten reasons cited for divorce, as wives decide that they can no longer tolerate competing with one another. the rest

The Pope, Martin Luther, and Our Time

File:Luther46c.jpgSeptember 25, 2011
By Mark Brumley

In his address Benedict makes a number of key points regarding Luther. First, there is Luther’s “burning question”, as Benedict puts it: “what is God’s position towards me, where do I stand before God?” This remains the central question of life today, even though many people don’t realize it.

Second, there is Luther’s Christ-centered spirituality. For Luther, “This God has a face, and he has spoken to us. He became one of us in the man Jesus Christ – who is both true God and true man," explains Pope Benedict. According to Luther, Christ is the interpretative center of the Bible, notes Benedict, which presupposes “that Christ is at the heart of our spirituality and that love for him, living in communion with him, is what guides our life.”

Benedict clearly thinks on both of these points Luther is right and that calling attention to this fact is important for all Christians today. Of course the fact that, in this particular address, Pope Benedict doesn’t critique Luther on other points hardly amounts to an endorsement of Luther’s overall approach to Christianity, anymore than the fact that German’s Lutheran leadership invited the German Pope to address them means they are ready to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Having made his points, Benedict turns to the wider question of ecumenical relations in the present moment. In this he gives a model for ecumenical cooperation without theological compromise. the rest image

Losing jobs to China

Chris Woodward

A new study shines light on the number of U.S. jobs lost to China since that nation entered the World Trade Organization ten years ago.
The Economic Policy Institute has recently discovered that the trade deficit with China has cost America 2.8 million jobs, most of which were in the manufacturing sector. Scott Paul is executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), which commissioned the study. He says the problem is a lack of trade balance with China.

"China manipulates its currency, it provides state support for its industrial firms, [and] it keeps our products out of the [Chinese] market," Paul explains. "There is a lot of intellectual property theft. And when you add all of that up together, it's not a level playing field." the rest

Professor Says Vanderbilt Suppressing Christian Student Groups Amid Shutdown Threats

By John Roberts
September 26, 2011

Is Vanderbilt University flirting with the suppression of religion? Yes, according to Carol Swain, a professor at Vanderbilt’s Law School.

Specifically, Swain is referring to four Christian student groups being placed on "provisional status" after a university review found them to be in non-compliance with the school’s nondiscrimination policy.

Vanderbilt says the student organizations cannot require that leaders share the group’s beliefs, goals and values. Carried to its full extent, it means an atheist could lead a Christian group, a man a woman’s group, a Jew a Muslim group or vice versa. the rest

Paying for a Church You Don’t Believe In

Monday, September 26, 2011
Joe Carter
Two years ago, over two-thirds of the congregation of St. Marks-on-the-Mesa of the Diocese of the Rio Grande voted to leave the Episcopal Church to join the Anglican Church in North America. As Rev. Canon Phil Ashey, chief operating and development officer of the American Anglican Council, explains:
When those parishioners left the parish, the Diocese of the Rio Grande, and the Episcopal Church, they left everything. They left the property, building, endowments, bank accounts – even paperclips and pencils. They did so in good conscience, with generosity, and with love for those who in good conscience could not leave The Episcopal Church. Based on their reading of scripture, these parishioners did not want to fight over buildings and property in civil courts. Instead, they walked away and began a new life together as Anglican followers of Jesus Christ at Christ the King Anglican Church. Not only did the new parish draw former Episcopalians, but also Christians from other denominations who wanted to worship and serve at Christ the King Anglican.
Although St. Mark’s on-the-Mesa got to keep everything, the church still decided that they needed more: They want another $20,000 from the Anglicans to cover expenses of a church they no longer attend. As one non-profit lawyers says,

In the 25 years that I have been involved in litigation involving religious bodies, I have never seen or heard of a request that those who leave a religious organization have any continuing financial obligations to support the organization they left. I know of no passage in the Bible or legal theory that supports the request made by The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande. 
Asking people who live the church to cough up money for its maintenance may not be a Biblical move, but you have to give them style points for audacity.  First Things

Anglican Unscripted September 25, 2011

Today is history is still happening and Kevin and George explain the Déjà vu that surrounds the first and (maybe) last Lambeth conference. Sound confusing -- then click to play. Also in this episode your hosts discuss the Global Souths momentous challenges on the other side of the Great Wall, and Canterbury Contributor Peter Ould brings us news on the new woes in the Church of Ireland. Finally AS Haley has help for those of you who can’t sleep at night because you are uncertain if TEC will ever change?

Monday, September 26, 2011

UK: Christian café owner warned by police over Bible verse display

Monday, September 26, 2011

The owner of a Christian café has been told by police to stop displaying “offensive” Bible verses.

Police visited Jamie Murray, owner of the Salt & Light Coffee House in Blackpool last Monday following a complaint about “insulting” and “homophobic” material, according to The Christian Institute, which is advising Mr Murray.

The café has a TV mounted on the wall that displays verses of the Bible from a set of DVDs called the Watchword Bible. the rest
He said: “I couldn’t believe the police were saying I can’t display the Bible. The officers were not very polite, in fact they were quite aggressive. It felt like an interrogation.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Popular 'I Am Second' Site Urges Putting God First

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The "I am Second" website is taking the phrase 'I surrender all' to heart, encouraging believers from all walks of life to put Christ first in their lives.

"I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others -- actors, athletes, musicians, business leaders, drug addicts, your next-door neighbor, people like you," the website states.

The site was launched in December 2008 in the Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas area by businessman Norm Miller, with the help of e3 Partners, a world missions organization.

As of Monday, 5 million people have visited the website, according to The Christian Post. the rest

The AFL-CIO Defends Union Violence As A ‘Legitimate’ Union Activity…

NLRB Chairman’s Former Law Partner Defends Union Violence
by LaborUnionReport

A little over a month ago, in a case that drew national attention, a man was targeted at his home, shot and injured, all because he dared to run union free business. Now, in Buffalo, New York, a case involving outrageous allegations of labor-racketeering and union violence aimed at non-union construction workers and company owners is proceeding through the judicial process. Its outcome, however, may have wide-ranging ramifications on a national level.

Forget for a moment that a man was stabbed in the throat, hot coffee thrown on non-union workers, sand put into gas tanks and a woman threatened with sexual assault. Forget the fact that the judge presiding over the federal racketeering case against Operating Engineers, Local 22, in Buffalo, NY ultimately rejected the AFL-CIO’s attempt to file a amicus brief, the sheer fact that the national AFL-CIO even attempted to intervene speaks volumes:

“We’re not condoning the allegations or arguing that union officials are completely immune from prosecution,” said Jonathan D. Newman, a lawyer for the AFL-CIO. “Instead, we simply want to make sure that the [federal law] is not interpreted in a way that could have a chilling effect on legitimate union activity.”

The union violence as a ‘legitimate union activity’ that the AFL-CIO’s Newman is referring to is a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case called United States vs. Enmons, in which the Supremes upheld a District Court ruling determining that unions could not be found in violation of an anti-racketeering law called the Hobbs Act if the violence was in pursuit of legitimate union objectives. the rest

In Phoenix, unions fleecing the taxpayers
...So how much “release time” are we talking? As Flatten discovered, top level union bosses are authorized 2,080 hours per year. For those who left their calculators at home today, that works out to 52 weeks at 40 hours per week. In other words, they are being paid a full time salary out of the public coffers without ever having to put in a single day of work for the city...

Bishops Take Different Paths in Recalling 9/11

The leaders of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America showed their true -- and very different -- colors in their responses to 9/11.
Jeff Walton
September 21, 2011

Here's a quick test for you. On the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the senior bishops of the two Anglican provinces in the United States gave sermons commemorating the events of that fateful day. See whether you can identify who made the following statements—
a) Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori or
 b) Anglican Church in North America Archbishop Robert Duncan.


Episcopal Church Insurance Fund VP Says TEC Is Losing a Diocese a Year

Average Sunday Attendance, Easter Attendance, Child Baptisms all down
By David W. Virtue
September 22, 2011

A Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Church Insurance Companies of The Episcopal Church says that TEC has 6,900 parishes and missions worth $20 billion, but average Sunday Attendance (ASA) and all other indicators are down. Church leaders will need to close entities to make the church more mission viable in the future.

Rod Webster said in a video on the state of the church that while TEC's properties are sometimes as large as denominations twice TEC's size, to stay efficient an organization needs to build new sites and close ones that are not working.

"The issue we have is the shrinking size of the church, and the fact that closing churches outnumber new churches by two point five to one (2.5 to 1). For every new church that has opened over the last 10 years 2.5 of them have closed. Just over 40 churches each year are closing, based on the data we collect and the data we have managed very carefully over the last 39 months. The number of churches closing are about the size of a very small - admittedly - Episcopal diocese each year."

Webster said the large number of closings was going on everywhere in all regions of the country. "We're talking about 40 to 50 closings in a year, averaged over a 10 year period, continuing into the current time." the rest

Our Lack of Moral Vocabulary

By Peter Wehner
Friday, September 16, 2011

Earlier this week, David Brooks wrote a fascinating column on young people's moral lives, basing it on hundreds of in-depth interviews with young adults across America conducted by the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith and his team.

The results, according to Brooks, were "depressing"—not so much because of how they lived but because of "how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues." Asked open-ended questions about right and wrong, moral dilemmas and the meaning of life, what we find is "young people groping to say anything sensible on these matters. But they just don't have the categories or vocabulary to do so." What Smith and his team found is an atmosphere of "extreme moral individualism—of relativism and nonjudgmentalism." The reason, in part, is because they have not been given the resources—by schools, institutions and families—to "cultivate their moral intuitions, to think more broadly about moral obligations, to check behaviors that may be degrading." the rest

Canada: Elderly priest suspended for denouncing abortion, homosexual behavior

by Patrick B. Craine
Thu Sep 22, 2011

BATHURST, New Brunswick, September 22, 2011 ( – The Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, New Brunswick has removed an elderly priest from active ministry after he caused a storm of controversy by denouncing homosexuality, cohabitation, and abortion in an August homily.

85-year-old Fr. Donat Gionet had retired to his home town of Caraquet in June to serve palliative care patients, and now laments that in his declining years he is being forced to celebrate Mass “in secret.”

Fr. Wesley Wade, the diocese’s vicar general, told Radio-Canada that Fr. Gionet’s comments were consistent with Church teaching, but lacked the proper “pastoral” sensitivity. the rest

El Paso diocese backs away from priest's stance against homosexuality

Bishop: Priests may participate in 40 Days for Life
...Wow. If priests support 40 DFL (which is endorsed by the USCCB) they are not "considered disobedient to their ordinary". Feel the enthusiasm!...

Texas School Punishes Boy for Opposing Homosexuality

By Todd Starnes
September 22, 2011

An honors student in Fort Worth, Texas, was sent to the principal’s office and punished for telling a classmate that he believes homosexuality is wrong.

Holly Pope said she was “absolutely stunned” when she received a telephone call from an assistant principal at Western Hills High School informing her that her son, Dakota Ary, had been sent to in-school suspension.

“Dakota is a very well-grounded 14-year-old,” she told Fox News Radio noting that her son is an honors student, plays on the football team and is active in his church youth group. “He’s been in church his whole life and he’s been taught to stand up for what he believes.”

And that’s what got him in trouble.  the rest

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Great Recession yields a lost generation of workers

New 2010 census data show wrenching impact of economic downturn on young adults

 Call it the recession's lost generation.

In record-setting numbers, young adults struggling to find work are shunning long-distance moves to live with Mom and Dad, delaying marriage and buying fewer homes, often raising kids out of wedlock. They suffer from the highest unemployment since World War II and risk living in poverty more than others — nearly 1 in 5.

New 2010 census data released Thursday show the wrenching impact of a recession that officially ended in mid-2009. It highlights the missed opportunities and dim prospects for a generation of mostly 20-somethings and 30-somethings coming of age in a prolonged slump with high unemployment.

"We have a monster jobs problem, and young people are the biggest losers," said Andrew Sum, an economist and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. He noted that for recent college grads now getting by with waitressing, bartending and odd jobs, they will have to compete with new graduates for entry-level career positions when the job market eventually does improve.

"Their really high levels of underemployment and unemployment will haunt young people for at least another decade," Sum said. the rest

Without work, young adults aren't starting careers and lives in new cities, instead hanging out with their parents.

Failing Churches Find New Life as Outposts for Megachurches

By Greg Garrison
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PELHAM, Ala. (RNS) Five years ago, Living Word Church had dwindled to 40 members, had lost its founding pastor and was unable to pack more than about 80 people into its 280-seat sanctuary and unsure of the future.

Now, it’s part of one of the nation’s largest megachurches—and could serve as a model for the thousands of small U.S. churches that are closed every year.

“The story’s pretty amazing,” said the Rev. Layne Schranz, associate pastor at Church of the Highlands, a Birmingham megachurch that attracts an average of more than 13,500 across its six campuses.

After the merger, teams from Church of the Highlands spent six weeks renovating the building, expanding parking and adding technology for its heavy emphasis on video feeds. Highlands then sent a worship team to lead weekly services at what was now the megachurch’s Riverchase campus. the rest

Largest Anglican Church Congregation in Canada Leaves Buildings, Puts Faith into Action

September 22nd, 2011
Anglican Mainstream

St. John’s Vancouver Anglican Church, the largest Anglican congregation in Canada, will begin Sunday services at a new location after moving from its historic location on Granville Street and Nanton Avenue. The congregation, through a lengthy legal action, chose to leave their buildings rather than compromise their beliefs.

St. John's Vancouver, which had been meeting at the Granville Street location for almost 100 years, will begin Sunday services on September 25 at Oakridge Adventist Church, at West 37th Avenue and Baillie Street in Vancouver...

...“It is remarkable to be part of a Christian community which is putting faith into action in a way that seems inexplicable to those who love the world,” explained Canon David Short, Rector of St. John’s Vancouver. “We are doing something countercultural and counterintuitive for the truth of God’s word, losing something very valuable for the surpassing worth of Jesus Christ, holding the unity of faith by acting together as one, and joyfully accepting the confiscation of our property.”  the rest

San Juan Capistrano Fines Family for Reading Bible without Permit

Tim Cavanaugh
September 21, 2011

The city of San Juan Capistrano, California is laying heavy fines on a local couple for hosting semi-regular bible readings in their home. From the Los Angeles CBS affiliate:

Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, of San Juan Capistrano, were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called “a regular gathering of more than three people”.

That type of meeting would require a conditional use permit as defined by the city, according to Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), the couple’s legal representation.

The Fromms also reportedly face subsequent fines of $500 per meeting for any further “religious gatherings” in their home, according to PJI… the rest
Pacific Justice Institute president Brad Dacus notes the irony of the city’s violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious expression in a city that was founded as a mission by Junipero Serra and is best known for a quasi-religious legend about cliff swallows. “In a city so rich with religious history and tradition, this is particularly egregious,” Dacus says in a PJI statement.  “An informal gathering in a home cannot be treated with suspicion by the government, or worse than any other gathering of friends, just because it is religious. We cannot allow this to happen in America, and we will fight as long and as hard as it takes to restore this group’s religious freedom.”

OC Couple Threatened With $500-Per-Meeting Fines For Home Bible Study.

Also here.

An abortion worker’s ‘ah-ha’ moment...

...An abortion worker’s ‘ah-ha’ moment
by Jewels Green
Tue Sep 20, 2011

Well, then she went on to describe a woman in her surrogacy support group who underwent prenatal genetic testing on the tiny, helpless, not-genetically-related, innocent baby growing in her body (I think you can guess where this is going.) Down syndrome. I followed the daily posts with increasing horror as she related the story of this surrogate mother who accepted “payment of her contract in full” to abort rather than to carry this baby to term and give birth. One among us pleaded with our friend to tell her about Reece’s Rainbow, that if the genetic parents didn’t want their child, he or she could have a chance of finding an adoptive home through this amazing organization that helps match children with Down syndrome with loving families, and in many cases helps defray the costs of adoption. Nope.

This was my Ah-HA moment: This woman was paid to kill the child. And she did. This is murder. Abortion is murder. I cried. I cried for that (now dead) baby. Then I cried for all of the little cold souls in the IVF freezers around the world. Then, only then, could I cry for all of the babies murdered at the clinic where I worked for so long. How many tissue boxes my small counseling office went through and I walked that pregnant mother back to the procedure room and smiled as I held the door open for her to enter the chamber of death. “You’ll be alright, I’ll come visit you in the recovery room.” My God. What had I done? No, I did not pull the trigger; but I cleaned the gun, readied the ammunition, and loaded it. Sure as the guilt of the killer himself, I was sure of my own guilt as well. The wave of remorse and regret was overwhelming. I prayed. I prayed for peace for the babies. I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed for the strength to become a better person. the rest

The Muslim "Overtaking" of France: as Mosques and as Faithful

Disclosure of the results of a study by the Hudson Institute, which provides a framework certainly unprecedented in the country's religious landscape
Marco Tosatti

In France there are more Islamic mosques being built, and more frequently, than Catholic churches, and there are more practicing Muslims than practicing Catholics in the country.
Nearly 150 new mosques are currently being built in France, home to the largest Islamic community in Europe. The projects are in various stages of completion, according to Moahmmed Moussaoui, President of the Muslim Council of France, who provided this data in an interview on August 2 with RTL radio.

The total number of mosques in France has already doubled to exceed 2,000 in the last ten years, according to a research entitled: "Building mosques: the government of Islam in France and Holland." The best known French Islamic leader, Dalil Boubakeur, Rector of Great Mosque of Paris recently suggested that the total number of mosques should double, to 4,000, to meet the growing demand.

Instead, the Catholic Church in France has only twenty new churches built in the last ten years, and formally closed more than 60 churches, many of which could become mosques, according to research conducted by the French Catholic daily La Croix. the rest