Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NY: Judge Refuses to Dismiss Open Meeting Violations Suit Against New York Homosexual Marriage

November 29, 2011

Livingston County, NY – Judge Robert Wiggins dealt a major setback to New York Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg in the lawsuit brought by Liberty Counsel against the same-sex marriage law (“Act”). In response to the flagrant violations of the New York state constitutional and legal procedures, Liberty Counsel filed suit in the New York Supreme Court against the Act, which was signed into law on June 24, 2011, by Gov. Cuomo. The state asked the court to dismiss the case, but yesterday afternoon, Judge Wiggins sided with Liberty Counsel on the Open Meetings complaint, ruling that the case may proceed to trial. Liberty Counsel represents New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and several other plaintiffs.

New York law requires that a bill be printed and in its final form on the desks of the legislators three days prior to a vote, unless an emergency exists. Gov. Cuomo ignored the provision and declared an emergency, stating that waiting three days would deprive same-sex couples of marriage. Judge Wiggins wrote: “Logically and clearly this cite by the Governor is disingenuous. The review of such concept altering legislation for three days after generations of existing definitions would not so damage same-sex couples as to necessitate an avoidance of rules meant to ensure full review and discussion prior to any vote.” The judge then wrote that “although the disregard for the statute seems evident, the Court feels constrained to not rule on the Governor’s certification of necessity.”

However, on the Open Meetings complaint, Judge Wiggins wrote that “clear arm-twisting by the Executive on the Legislative permeates this entire process.” The Court noted that New York law requires every meeting of a public body to “be open to the general public,” with few exceptions, none of which apply here. On this significant aspect of the complaint, the court allowed the case to proceed to trial. Liberty Counsel will now pursue discovery on the Open Meetings violations, including the depositions of Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the President of the Senate. the rest

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A.S. Haley: Disciplinary Board Clears Charges Against Bishop Lawrence

Tuesday, November 18. 2011

The Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson, President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops, has released a statement announcing that the eighteen-person Board could not muster a majority to charge the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence of South Carolina with "abandonment of the Communion of this Church." Thus ends a clumsy attempt to take seriously the allegations of "abandonment" lodged by dissidents from Bishop Lawrence's own Diocese, who tried to turn his steadfast insistence on the central importance of Holy Scripture to the life of the Church into a case for his abandonment of it.

Bishop Henderson, stung by the vehemence with which his initial announcement of "serious charges" against Bishop Lawrence was greeted, appears to have been unable to refrain from letting loose a parting shot, even as he retreated from the fray in ignominy (my italics added):
It is also significant that Bishop Lawrence has repeatedly stated that he does not intend to lead the diocese out of The Episcopal Church—that he only seeks a safe place within the Church to live the Christian faith as that diocese perceives it. I speak for myself only at this point, that I presently take the Bishop at his word, and hope that the safety he seeks for the apparent majority in his diocese within the larger Church will become the model for safety—a “safe place”— for those under his episcopal care who do not agree with the actions of South Carolina’s convention and/or his position on some of the issues of the Church.

"Apparent majority", Bishop Henderson? Did your investigations uncover that the dissident Episcopal Forum (some of whose members must have anonymously filed the childish charges) has at best about a thousand members? (There are even fewer, if we count just those who are willing to have their names publicly associated with the group.) And did you learn that Bishop Lawrence's Diocese has more than twenty-five times that number of Episcopalians, who are choosing to remain under his pastoral care?  the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury backs 'fast-tracking' women bishops to Lords

The first women bishops in the Church of England could be “fast-tracked” into the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury has suggested.
By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Editor
28 Nov 2011

Dr Rowan Williams, giving evidence to peers on reform of the Upper House, admitted there is a “somewhat restricted pool” of potential Lords Spiritual at the moment.

He said for the first time that he favoured rewriting the rules on how bishops are appointed to the chamber, so that women would be eligible once the first female bishops are created over the next few years.

The church’s governing body, the General Synod, will vote on the historic move next year and the first woman is expected to be made a bishop in 2014.

Dr Williams told the Joint Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill on Monday evening that the ranks of the episcopacy are currently not very “representative in gender terms” and that there is a “somewhat restricted pool” of potential representatives in the Lords.
the rest

Nigeria Militants Kill Children Of Christian Convert, Missionaries Say

Wednesday, November 23, 2011
By Stefan J. Bos

ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)-- A militant group seeking to enforce Sharia, or Islamic law, throughout Nigeria, has shot and killed two children of an ex-terrorist and "murderer" because he converted to Christianity, well-informed missionaries told BosNewsLife Wednesday, November 23.

Boko Haram, meaning “Western education is a sin”, carried out the killings this month after discovering that a former fellow fighter refused to kill a Christian and instead accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, explained Rae Burnett, Africa Director of the U.S. based Christian Aid Mission (CAM) group.

Burnett told BosNewsLife that the father and Boko Haram militant "was poised to slit the throat of his Christian victim" during November attacks in northern Nigeria that killed at least over 130 Christians, including missionaries, when "he was suddenly struck with the weight of the evil he was about to commit." the rest

Nigerian town and churches burn in Islamist sect attack: police

Canadian polygamy case likely to be appealed

Fri, 25 Nov 2011

A judge in Canada has upheld the country’s ban on polygamous marriages, but the case is likely to be appealed.

Canada legalised same-sex marriage in 2005 and polygamist supporters say it is therefore unfair to ban polygamy.

Miriam Chatwin, a fundamentalist Mormon, said: “We’re in the 21st century, you know, we have marriages of every kind”.  the rest
“To say that I can choose to be gay, I can choose to be a swinger, I can choose to be whatever I want to be but I can’t choose to be in a relationship with more women and one man, I think it’s unrealistic.”

Christian worker loses her job after being 'targeted' by Islamic extremists

A Christian worker has launched a landmark legal action after she lost her job when she blew the whistle on what she says was a campaign of "race hate" by fundmentalist Muslims.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
27 Nov 2011

Nohad Halawi, who worked at Heathrow Airport, is suing her former employers for unfair dismissal, claiming that she and other Christian staff at the airport were victims of systematic harassment because of their religion.

She claims that she was told that she would go to Hell for her religion, that Jews were responsible for the September 11th terror attacks, and that a friend was reduced to tears having been bullied for wearing a cross.

Mrs Halawi, who came to Britain from Lebanon in 1977, worked in the duty-free section as a perfume saleswoman of the airport for 13 years but was dismissed in July. the rest

Monday, November 28, 2011

Devotional: Advent is a time of waiting...

Advent is a time of waiting. Our whole life, however, is Advent—that is, a time of waiting for the ultimate, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth, when all people are brothers and sisters and one rejoices in the words of the angels: “On earth peace to those on whom God’s favor rests.” Learn to wait, because he has promised to come. “I stand at the door...” We however call to him: “Yes, come soon, Lord Jesus!”
...Dietrich Bonhoeffer image

Abortion Nearly Triples Breast Cancer Risk, New Study Finds

by Steven Ertelt

A new study published by scientists who examined diabetes mellitus type 2, reproductive factors, and breast cancer found a statistically significant association showing a 2.86-fold increased breast cancer risk from one induced abortion.

The study, led by Lilit Khachatryan, included researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the University of Pennsylvania. Khachatryan is from the Department of Public Health, American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia; Robert Scharpfb is from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Sarah Kagan is from the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.

The study, published in Taylor and Francis, also found that delaying a first full-term pregnancy, which is frequently done by women having abortions, also raises the breast cancer risk wheras giving birth resulted in a 64% reduced risk.

Khachatryan’s team reported a statistically significant 13% increased breast cancer risk for every one year delay of a first full term pregnancy (FFTP), with delayed FFTPs until ages 21-30 or after age 30 resulting in 2.21-fold and 4.95-fold increased risks respectively. On the other hand, women with FFTPs before age 20 did not see a comparable breast cancer risk. the rest

A.S. Haley: Rot from Without, Decay from Within

Monday, November 28, 2011

The reports of same-sex marriage ceremonies carried out within the Episcopal Church (USA), such as those conducted by Bishop Thomas Shaw of the Diocese of Massachusetts, and by clergy at All Saints Church (Pasadena) in the Diocese of Los Angeles with the approval of Bishop J. Jon Bruno, thus make a mockery of both the foregoing canons, as well as of the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer.

The latter (rubrics), by the way, outrank the canons of the Church. General Convention can vote to amend the Canons at any single session, but it can effect an amendment to the Book of Common Prayer only in the same manner that it can amend ECUSA's Constitution -- by passage of the amendment at two successive General Conventions, with referral in the interim to each of the Church's several dioceses for their consideration and approval.

Thus, same-sex marriage ceremonies in the Church could not be approved unless and until there was an amendment approved to the Book of Common Prayer. To my knowledge, no such proposal to amend the BCP rubrics has been proposed for GC 2012 in Indianapolis -- the only proposal of which I am aware is to establish rites for the blessings of same-sex civil unions (or "marriages", if that is what the law of the particular State involved recognizes). If none is properly proposed before the applicable deadlines for such legislation, then same-sex marriage ceremonies in the Episcopal Church (USA) could not be approved at least until GC 2018.

The foregoing paragraphs describe, to the best of my ability, the current state of the canon and liturgical law of the Episcopal Church (USA) with regard to "marriage" between persons of the same sex. Such "ceremonies" are neither recognized, nor allowed to be performed, within the authorized liturgies of the Church. It is once again a measure of the lawlessness that reigns at all levels of ECUSA (with the primary example having been long since established by the Presiding Bishop's repeated defiance of the Canons) to note that neither Bishop Shaw nor Bishop Bruno has been required to account, under the more flexible disciplinary canons which took effect last July 1, for their open and flagrant violations of the BCP rubrics, and the canons of the Church, as quoted above. (One can only wonder what kind of "certificate" Bishop Shaw required Dean Ragsdale and her lesbian partner to sign, before he "married" them, that was in complete accordance with Canon I.18.3 (d) quoted above.)  the rest

Charges Dismissed against Bishop Lawrence

Statement by the President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops

Comments at Stand Firm

Comments at Titusonenine

Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans

Officials say an $80,000 Stonehenge-like worship center underscores a commitment to embrace all religions.
By Jenny Deam, Los Angeles Times
November 26, 2011

Reporting from Colorado Springs, Colo.— In the still of a cold November evening, a small gathering of pagans, led by two witches, begins preparations for the coming winter solstice. But these are not just any pagans, and this is not just any setting. They are future officers of the United States Air Force practicing their faith in the basement of the Air Force Academy's cadet chapel.

Their ranks are slim. According to the academy's enrollment records, only three of 4,300 cadets identified themselves as pagans, followers of an ancient religion that generally does not worship a single god and considers all things in nature interconnected.

Still, the academy this year dedicated an $80,000 outdoor worship center — a small Stonehenge-like circle of boulders with propane fire pit — high on a hill for the handful of current or future cadets whose religions fall under the broad category of "Earth-based." Those include pagans, Wiccans, druids, witches and followers of Native American faiths. the rest

Removal of Cross From Army Chapel in Afghanistan Stirs Controversy

Some fear megachurch bubble may soon burst

Aging pastors, big overheads may threaten longevity
Nov. 20, 2011

The past three decades have been boom times for big churches like the Lord’s Chapel. In the 1970s, only a handful of churches drew more than 2,000 people on Sundays. Now they number in the thousands.

But the collapse of the Crystal Cathedral near Los Angeles, which is being sold to pay off more than $40 million in debt, has prompted fears that the megachurch bubble may be about to burst.

Most megachurches — which earn that label around the 2,000-attendance level — are led by baby boomer pastors who soon will hit retirement age and without suitable replacements in the pipeline. And some fear the big-box worship centers with lots of individual programs no longer appeal to younger generations. the rest

Bethlehem's Nativity Church to Get Overdue Repairs

Mon, Nov. 28 2011
By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor

The church is the main tourist attraction in Palestine, which gets about 2 million tourists each year.

The three Christian sects have had the money to renovate the church but none of them wants the others to be granted a right to a part of the church that is not theirs. “If you repair the roof, under Ottoman law, you own the structure,” Raymond Cohen, author of a book about renovations at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Selpuchre, told the U.K.’s Independent newspaper. “In the pub, you want somebody else to buy the round. In the Church of the Nativity, it’s the opposite. Everyone wants to pay.”

The church was placed on the 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites by the World Monuments Fund.

“The present state of the church is worrying,” the Watch List said. “Many roof timbers are rotting, and have not been replaced since the 19th century. The rainwater that seeps into the building not only accelerates the rotting of the wood and damages the structural integrity of the building, but also damages the 12th-century wall mosaics and paintings. The influx of water also means that there is an ever-present chance of an electrical fire.” the rest image by Lyn Gateley

It is now all but certain that human embryonic stem cells will not deliver cures to dread diseases. Apologies, anyone?

Non, je ne regrette rien
Michael Cook
Thursday, 24 November 2011

 Embryonic stem cell research is looking increasingly like a dead end. Last week, after many false starts and a year after launching a human trial for spinal cord injuries, the California-based biotechnology firm Geron pulled the plug on all of its embryonic stem cell research to focus on cancer drugs. It had to: it was going broke.

This is a landmark moment in the stem cell debate. Geron was the leading company in embryonic stem cell research. It had been the focus of media attention for years. The National Institutes of Health directed readers to its website. A cure for spinal cord injury would have been the ultimate vindication of hES cell research.

But these hopes have crashed and burned. There have been no cures. The main development for therapeutic cloning in the past decade was a gigantic fraud by a Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk who suckerpunched the world’s leading science journals. Nowadays there is only one other company conducting a clinical trial with hES cells.

History seems to have passed this technique by. In 2007 a Japanese scientist, Shinya Yamanaka, published a technique for morphing ordinary skin cells into pluripotent cells. Most of the leaders in embryonic stem cell research jumped ship overnight because the new cells were both pluripotent and ethical. It was like moving from vacuum tubes to semiconductors. The CIRM now looks like a white elephant which cash-strapped Californians can hardly afford.

Most stem cell scientists still argue that human embryo research is needed to understand how organisms develop. But they did not sell their research to the public as blue sky science. They sold it as cures for devastating diseases.

Is there any hope left after the hype?

Yes, said New Scientist, in its response to Geron’s failure. Without a smidgen of remorse or irony, it said: “Treatments based on adult stem cells are undoubtedly in the lead, with some very encouraging results this year… So at the moment, adult cells are leading the way clinically? Absolutely… In terms of sheer numbers and commercial potential, they are way in front.” the rest

Nigeria: Four dead, eight churches burned in latest round of attacks in northeast

November 28, 2011

These attacks appear to be a continuation of an earlier rampage by Boko Haram in Nigeria's Yobe state. An update on this story. "4 dead, churches burned in north Nigeria attack," from the Associated Press, November 27:
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Witnesses and authorities say at least four people died in an apparent attack on a northeast Nigeria city that saw churches and businesses burned to the ground.
It's probably safe to assume it was an attack.
The attack happened Saturday night in the city of Geidam in Nigeria's Yobe state, which sits near the country's arid border with Niger.
Jihad causes poverty:
Witnesses say attackers blew up a local police station and attacked a bank, as well as set fire to businesses and at least eight churches.
The attacks come after a Nov. 4 attack in the state capital claimed by the radical Muslim sect known as Boko Haram that killed more than 100 people.
Meanwhile, police blamed the sect for two killings Sunday morning in neighboring Borno state.
Jihad Watch

Children Are Being Exposed To Shocking Levels Of Sexual Content

posted November 28, 2011
By Marsha West

This probably won’t shock most people because we live in an age where the envelope has been pushed so far it’s disappeared over the horizon. According to the Daily Mail, pink and leopard-print thong panties with no crotches sized to fit a seven-year-old were being sold at Kids N Teen in Greeley, Colorado. The panties were yanked after a mortified mother complained. As one writer put it: “It’s a new kind of memory: A daughter’s first pair of crotchless panties.”

It’s also a sign of the times when a retailer decides there’s nothing wrong with selling sleazy leopard-print thong panties with a split crotch alongside stuffed animal backpacks.

While I’m on the subject of seven-year-olds, the Parents TV Council (PTC) reports that there are some disgusting children’s programs being aired on TV during the family hour. The PTC released a Special Report “exposing the shocking levels of sexual content in animated programs on cable networks popular with children.” One such program is “Allen Gregory.” According to the PTC “The program’s namesake, Allen Gregory, is a precocious seven-year-old who has sexual fantasies about his sixty-something-year-old school principal. The program includes Allen circulating rumors of a sex tape of him with the principal; and some of the most explicit language imaginable, including vulgar euphemisms for male anatomy and bleeped f-words.” the rest
PTC president, Tim Winter, gave this warning:

“Adult content isn’t just creeping into the cartoons that kids today are watching the most; it has overtaken much of that animated programming. We’re not talking about cartoon characters slipping on banana peels and ramming into doors. Our data demonstrates that today’s norm is profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth. There is now more sexual content on these cartoons than violence – even when counting traditional ‘light’ cartoon violence.”

Mark Levin Show: Death Panels Will Be A Reality With Obamacare

Assessing People as “Units” is Evil – UPDATED
As regular readers know, I rarely listen to talk radio — the reception is lousy in the house and when I’m driving I like to listen to my cd’s. But I was monitoring traffic on the all-news station and something annoyed me so I started flipping around. I hit the Mark Levin show and was stopped in my tracks by a conversation between Levin and a caller who identified himself as a neurosurgeon. Now I need to confirm if this is real.

The caller said that he had recently gone to Washington to participate in a conference involving both the American Association of Neurosurgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). I couldn’t take notes while driving, but the gist of the call was this: these surgeons were told, by a member of the Department of Health and Human Services that under the new health insurance legislation (aka Obamacare) government-insured people over the age of 70 who present with brain issues — stroke, hemorrhages, etc — would see no automatic surgical intervention, as they might now. Before any surgery could be begun, an “ethics” panel — made up not of doctors but of administrators and bureaucrats — would convene assess whether the person would be treated. “As a general course, though,” the caller said, “only ‘comfort care’ would be offered if you’re over 70.”

“So, generally speaking, it will be ‘comfort care only’ for patients over 70? That will be the rule, rather than the exception?” Asked a horrified-sounding Levin.

“Yes, but they’re not referred to as patients, or even subjects,” the caller corrected, “they’re called ‘units’. That’s what they called them.”   more...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christians contemplate their future in secular Europe

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christians have been told they must find a framework for promoting their beliefs if they are to confront the challenge of aggressive secularisation and the erosion of Christian values across all spheres of life.

Opening the Beyond Individualism conference on Friday, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali said it was “amazing” that a Christian nurse in Britain today could be suspended for offering to pray for a patient, when it was Christians who had set in place many of the institutions and public services now taken for granted.

He warned that the Christian values inherent in Europe’s heritage have been eroded by a process of “aggressive secularisation” that Christians must understand if they are to challenge it. the rest
Bishop Nazir-Ali took issue with attempts to detach concepts like equality and diversity from their Christian roots, arguing that they could only be properly understood from the vantage point of Christianity, with its emphasis on the common origins of all human beings and their intrinsic value as God’s creation.

Orlando's new Episcopal Bishop Greg Brewer made trip from nonbeliever to church leader

By Jeff Kunerth, Orlando Sentinel
 November 26, 2011

Greg Brewer grew up in a family where his father went to the Catholic church and his mother went to the Baptist church. Neither seemed to fit Brewer. He tried other churches, and none of them seemed to speak to him either.

Brewer went to college thinking religion was for people who needed a crutch. A chance religious retreat with a college group changed his mind, and his life — forever.

Last week, Father Greg Brewer was elected the fourth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida. His consecration is March 24, 2012, when he takes over from Bishop John W. Howe, who is retiring.  the rest

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Roman Missal debuts this weekend at Catholic churches

By Jennifer Garza
Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011

Soon after Sandi Holland began teaching workshops on the new English Roman Missal, she began hearing from Sacramento-area parishioners that the language was too formal. But the first time the Rev. Innocent Subiza read the new text, he thought it was perfect.

Sunday, worshippers will be able to decide for themselves as Catholics throughout the English-speaking world begin using the third edition of the Roman Missal. The new text, a book of prayers and instruction used to celebrate Catholic Mass, is the most significant change to the liturgy in more than 40 years.

For some Catholics, the changes are a welcome step toward more authentic language. For others, the new text is awkward and old-fashioned. The missal, in the works for a decade, replaces a looser translation with a more faithful translation from the Latin. The changes are meant to unify Catholics worldwide with words as close to the Latin translation as possible. the rest

As Catholics Prepare for New Mass Translation, Parish Carves Its Own Path

New translation of prayers is rooted in Catholic Church's past

Friday, November 25, 2011

Devotional: O My God, Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects...

O My God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
 my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee
in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee,
 ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
 crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
 for adorning it, for sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;

I bless thee for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
 for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;

I bless thee for thy royal bounty
 providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness;

I bless thee for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express,
 for what thou art to thy creatures.
Increase my love, O my God,
 through time and eternity.
...The Valley of Vision image by David Goehring

Hospital Kills “Wrong” Twin in Abortion, Both Babies Now Dead

by Steven Ertelt

A hospital in Australia making news for having killed the “wrong” twin in an abortion of a healthy unborn child when the mother of the babies wanted an abortion on her child who doctors said had little chance to live. Now, both babies are dead.

The Herald Sun newspaper reports that the unnamed woman from Victoria had already named her unborn children when doctors told her one of the unborn babies had a congenital heart defect that would requires years of operations, assuming the baby survived long enough to have them. The mother decided to have an abortion, terminating the life of one of her unborn children and allowing the other baby to live. the rest

Abortion and mental health: science vs politics

Publication in a leading psychiatry journal did not prevent a barrage of criticism for the author of a study showing the mental health risks of abortion.
MercatorNet interviews the author of a major study with hotly-contested findings.
Wednesday, 23 November 2011

MercatorNet: In September you had a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry showing an association between induced abortion and mental health problems. What were your main findings and how significant is this study?

Priscilla Coleman: This review offers the largest estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature. The results revealed moderate to high increased risk of mental health problems after abortion. Consistent with evidence-based medicine, this information should be used by health care professionals.

These are the basic results and what should women know:

Overall, women with an abortion history experience an 81% increased risk for mental health problems. The results showed that the level of increased risk associated with abortion varies from 34% to 230% depending on the nature of the outcome. Separate effects were calculated based on the type of mental health outcome with the results revealing the following: the increased risk for anxiety disorders was 34%; for depression it was 37%; for alcohol use/abuse it was 110%, for marijuana use/abuse it was 220%, and for suicide behaviors it was 155%.

When compared to unintended pregnancy delivered, women who terminated had a 55% increased risk of experiencing any mental health problem.

Finally, nearly 10% of the incidence of all mental health problems was shown to be directly attributable to abortion.

the rest

A.S. Haley: Analyzing the Georgia Decisions (I): the Dissenters Have the Better Arguments

November 23, 2011
[Note: in this opening post on the recent Georgia cases, I begin with the case involving the Presbyterian Church (Timberridge), because it is the pivot on which the Court's decision in the Christ Church Savannah case turns. I will have more to say about the latter decision in a subsequent post.]

The majority opinion of the Georgia Supreme Court in the recent Christ Church Savannah case offers a study in judicial dynamics. The author of the opinion is Justice David E. Nahmias; he also wrote the opinion for the 4-3 majority in the case of Timberridge Presbyterian Church, which the Court decided the same day. [UPDATE 11/24/2011: I have been given some information which I find simply amazing. I am informed that Justice Nahmias is a prominent member of an Episcopal congregation in Atlanta, while the Presiding Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, the Hon. George H. Carley, is an equally prominent member of a church that has joined the Anglican Province of America. The latter saw enough of a potential conflict in the Christ Church case to recuse himself from participation in it, while Justice Nahmias not only did not see fit to recuse himself, but authored the majority opinions in both cases! It's pretty good when you find yourself in a position to be able to take a decisive stance in favor of your own Church, while purporting to decide the case on purely secular grounds.]
In the Timberridge case, the dissenters included Presiding Justice George H. Carley, who had recused himself from the Christ Church Savannah case (perhaps because he is a prominent Episcopalian); he was joined in his opinion by Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein (I am not certain about the distinction in Georgia between the "Chief Justice" and the "Presiding Justice", but there seems to be one). The third dissenting vote came from a lower court judge, the Hon. Deborah C. Benefield, sitting in the place of Justice P. Harris Hines, who did not participate because he serves as an Elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Marietta.  the rest

Archbishop John Hepworth to return to Catholic fold as Indian, not chief

by Verity Edwards
The Australian
November 25, 2011

ARCHBISHOP John Hepworth will be forced to relinquish his role as the primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion if he is to reconcile with the Catholic Church, after being informed he will only be accepted as a layperson.

Archbishop Hepworth has been notified by the Catholic Church that his bid to reunify the TAC with Rome has been successful, but his own case is conditional.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference general secretary Brian Lucas confirmed that under the Anglicanorum coetibus -- guidelines created by the Vatican two years ago -- Anglicans and members of the TAC would be welcomed.

"Each Anglican bishop or each group of Anglicans who apply are treated individually, so we anticipate there will be some groups within the TAC that for their reasons do not want to join the Catholic Church," Father Lucas said. the rest

Kashmir: Life of the Anglican clergyman who christened 7 young Muslims at risk

The son of Mani Khanna warns of the deteriorating health of his father, arrested on November Chander 19 on charges of forced conversion. A video spreads hatred against Christians. On Youtube and Facebook Muslims vow to burn buildings, churches and Christian schools
by Nirmala Carvalho

Srinagar (AsiaNews) - "My father is seriously ill, suffering from diabetes and needs constant care. We fear for his life. " This is what Nathan Khanna, 28, told AsiaNews, son of Chander Mani Khanna, pastor of All Saints Anglican Church in Kashmir, accused by the Grand Mufti of the region of having forced the conversion of young Muslims in exchange for money. The pastor was arrested on November 19 last after a complaint filed by a local Islamic court. As proof, the Muslims have shown a video, posted on Yuotube and Facebook, showing the pastor baptizing seven young Muslims.

"The accusations against him are false - says Nathan Khanna - the images show only a ceremony it is not an attempt at forced conversion." The rapid spread of the video on Internet has triggered a witch hunt against Christian, likely to provoke clashes between Christian and Muslim communities. On Facebook, several hate-filled comments have appeared regarding the Pastor: "We swear to kill all Christian missionaries and burn their buildings, churches and schools, I offer myself volunteer to find this man, this priest should burn .. etc". Nathan says this happens in the total indifference of the authorities, who have no intention to remove the video. "I have no doubt that my phone and my mother’s phone are under control - he says - it is clear that someone is trying to provoke Muslims against my father in the name of religion." Despite the charges, the young man is proud to be the son Chander Mani Khanna, a man strong in faith and in his mission to witness to the truth. the rest
Kanta Khanna, wife of an Anglican pastor, said that the accusation of forced conversion was false. "My husband - she says - has appeared before the Islamic court even if it is only for Muslims. When he entered the room all present shouted Allah Akbar. " She said that young Muslims attended a course for a year to prepare for baptism, who had asked for it without any constriction after witnessing some of the activities of the Christian community.

Dio. of SC: Bishop being investigated amid Episcopal schism

November 25th,2011
By The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The conservative leader of the Episcopal diocese of South Carolina, which has roots stretching to before the American Revolution, is the first bishop facing discipline from the national church over the ongoing schism over the ordination of gay ministers.

While some conservative congregations left the national Episcopal church to join a new Anglican denomination over the issue, the South Carolina diocese has stayed in, while pushing back on theological differences and what it calls the increasing centralization of the church.

Now Bishop Mark Lawrence is facing discipline under new national church rules that took effect last summer — rules that give the national church a greater role in disciplining of priests and bishops. Depending on the outcome, Lawrence could be deposed as a spiritual leader in a church to which he has given his life.

“Personally, I’m not afraid, I’m concerned for the diocese,” the 61-year-old bishop told The Associated Press in his first interview since the allegations were announced this fall. “What’s at stake here is the worldwide Anglican community: the third largest body in Christendom.” the rest

Homosexual flag hoisted over Oxford University college

Fri, 25 Nov 2011

A 17th century Oxford University college has flown the homosexual rainbow flag over one of its buildings, reportedly becoming the first Oxford college to do so.

Wadham College, which was founded in 1610, hoisted the flag as it marked “Queerweek” – a collection of talks, discussions and social events.

The move was supported by the college Dean and the Governing Body. the rest

Quebec to ban prayer in home-based daycares

by Patrick B. Craine
Thu Nov 24, 2011

 ( – Nearly a year after the Quebec government banned religion from the province’s subsidized daycares, they have signaled that they will extend the directive into daycares run in private homes.

Jean Charest’s Liberal government issued a directive last December stipulating that government-funded daycares must not offer any activity that aims to teach a belief, dogma, or practice of a particular religion.

The directive, which took effect June 1st, banned religious prayers, crafts, and songs – including many Christmas carols. Religious symbols, such as Christmas trees, crucifixes, and menorahs were allowed as cultural expressions, but staff cannot explain their religious significance. the rest

What Else Is Wrong with Obamacare?

It's not just the mandate.
November 22, 2011

With the Supreme Court’s decision to review the constitutionality of Obamacare’s individual mandate, that feature of Obamacare has been getting a lot of attention. The individual mandate is the requirement that essentially every American buy government-approved health insurance under penalty of law. The Obama administration claims that because Congress is empowered to regulate interstate commerce, it is also empowered to compel interstate (or, more often, intrastate) commerce — which is a rather novel interpretation of the Constitution.

Moreover, the news from the Court comes hot on the heels of the passage of an anti-individual-mandate measure in Ohio. The measure was approved by voters in all 88 counties of that crucial swing state — and by at least 20-point margins in 81 of those counties.

In light of these developments, it’s not surprising that the individual mandate has been getting plenty of attention of late. But is the mandate really the only thing that’s wrong with this 2,700-page de facto legal code that’s masquerading as a “law”? Hardly.

Here’s a partial list of the myriad other objectionable features of Obamacare: the rest

Cross removed at base in Afghanistan


A large cross that had been prominently displayed outside a chapel on an isolated military base in northern Afghanistan was taken down last week, prompting outrage from some American service members stationed there.

“We are here away from our families, and the chapel is the one place that feels like home,” a service member at Camp Marmal told POLITICO. “With the cross on the outside, it is a constant reminder for all of us that Jesus is here for us."

"Not having it there is really upsetting,” added another. “I walk by the chapel daily on the way to chow and the gym, and seeing the cross is a daily reminder of my faith and what Jesus accomplished for me. It is daily inspiration and motivation for me to acknowledge my faith and stay on the right path.” the rest

New find sheds light on ancient site in Jerusalem

Wed, Nov 23, 2011

JERUSALEM (AP) — Newly found coins underneath Jerusalem's Western Wall could change the accepted belief about the construction of one of the world's most sacred sites two millennia ago, Israeli archaeologists said Wednesday.

The man usually credited with building the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary is Herod, a Jewish ruler who died in 4 B.C. Herod's monumental compound replaced and expanded a much older Jewish temple complex on the same site.

But archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority now say diggers have found coins underneath the massive foundation stones of the compound's Western Wall that were stamped by a Roman proconsul 20 years after Herod's death. That indicates that Herod did not build the wall — part of which is venerated as Judaism's holiest prayer site — and that construction was not close to being complete when he died.

"The find changes the way we see the construction, and shows it lasted for longer than we originally thought," said the dig's co-director, Eli Shukron.

The four bronze coins were stamped around 17 A.D. by the Roman official Valerius Gratus. He preceded Pontius Pilate of the New Testament story as Rome's representative in Jerusalem, according to Ronny Reich of Haifa University, one of the two archaeologists in charge of the dig. the rest

Religious freedom doesn't protect polygamy, B.C. court says in landmark case

By James Keller, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The celestial marriages performed in the polygamous commune of Bountiful, B.C., are inherently harmful and must be outlawed to protect women, children and the institution of marriage, a B.C. judge said Wednesday as he concluded Canada's 121-year-old law against polygamy is constitutional.

The landmark decision is seen as just a step in a legal odyssey that will likely see the Supreme Court of Canada decide whether the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the religious practice of multiple marriage.

Chief Justice Robert Bauman of the B.C. Supreme Court concluded there is no such right.

The Criminal Code section banning polygamy does infringe on the right to freedom of religion, Bauman concluded, but that was outweighed by the long list of harms polygamy inflicts on women and children, including sexual and physical abuse, child brides and the institutionalization of gender inequality. the rest

Advertisers fleeing 'All-American Muslim' 'propaganda'

Sears, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, others drop support for program
November 22, 2011
By Bob Unruh

"All-American Muslim," a new program on The Learning Channel that is being touted as a "powerful series" that carries viewers "inside the rarely seen world of American Muslims," is being dropped by advertisers.

Critics say the program is nothing more than video jihad propaganda, and the Florida Family Association says it is contacting companies whose advertising appears on the show to ask them to quit. So far, 18 of 20 companies contacted have done so, the group said. the rest

Chihuahua Dog Playing Pool

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving: For those of us who live in a free country...

For those of us who live in a free country, we have so much to be grateful for. May we never take our freedoms for granted and always live and act responsibly in every area of life. And for all of us who are Christians, we can thank God even if we aren't free outwardly, that we can find freedom within in our spirit, freedom from guilt because of God's gift of sins forgiven, and freedom regarding the future knowing that God has a home in Heaven for us where there will be no more bondage physically, emotionally, spiritually or in any other way! ...Dick Innes
  image by Paulo Ordoveza

Climategate 2.0? More Emails Leaked From Climate Researchers

November 22, 2011

A new batch of emails purportedly stolen from the servers at the University of East Anglia were posted online Tuesday, echoing the 2009 data breach dubbed "Climategate" that turned the world's attention to the internal debates among scientists hoping to determine whether man's actions are warming the planet.

Excerpts from the emails posted on climate skeptic websites are certainly eye-opening:

<1939> Thorne/MetO: Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. the rest

German bishops to quickly sell shares in porn publisher

By David Kerr
posted November 22, 2011

(CNA).- The Catholic Church in Germany says it will act “without delay” to sell its stake in a publishing company that offers pornography among its products.

“We cannot earn money during the week with what we preach against on Sundays,” Cardinal Joachim Meisner told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper Nov. 22.

The Weltbild Publishing Group is one of Germany’s largest publishers, with an annual income of $2.2 billion dollars, nearly 6,500 staff and book stores on the main street of many German towns and cities. However, it also publishes and distributes nearly 2,500 pornographic titles, largely through their Internet sites. the rest

SF Most Holy Redeemer parish invites “First bishop to wed his same-sex partner” to lead Vespers

November 22, 2011

Most Holy Redeemer Church, San Francisco’s notoriously ‘gay-friendly’ parish, has invited a retired Episcopalian bishop who left his wife and family to ‘marry’ a man as guest speaker at a Nov. 30 Advent Vespers Service.

The invited guest is Episcopal Bishop Otis Charles, who in 2005 provided a biographical statement to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Religious Archives Network, which said in part: “Since 1979 he has been among a growing number of bishops who have spoken out for full and complete inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the church without restriction, recognizing their calling to ministry and rejecting the notion that a baptized homosexual must live a celibate life. Whether in an informal gathering or the pulpit, he characteristically begins, ‘I am a gay man, an Episcopal (Anglican) bishop, a queer who only just mustered the courage to publicly acknowledge the truth of my life.’"

Not included in the statement is that Charles divorced his wife of 42 years, and has five children. It also does not include the fact that, on April 24, 2004, he “married” a man named Felipe Sanchez Paris in a ceremony at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco.

The event was covered in the San Francisco Chronicle as “the world's first bishop to wed his same-sex partner in church.” The Chronicle also reported that, following the “marriage,” the Right Rev. William Swing, then Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of California, severed ties with Bishop Charles: "No longer is he an assisting bishop, and no longer is he licensed to celebrate the Sacraments here."

Pro-homosexuality Vespers speakers are not unusual at Most Holy Redeemer. In 2010 such speakers included Episcopal Rev. Jay Emerson Johnson, a staff member at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. His biographical page on the CLGS website says, “His current research and writing interests involve the intersections of queer theory and Christian traditions.” the rest

Over 20 million kindergarten-age children living without their parents in China

One sad side effect of China's economic miracle: 23 million children under the age of five now live apart from both their parents, who have left home to find work in the country's cities, according to a newly released statistic.
By Malcolm Moore, Shanghai
21 Nov 2011

In scenes reminiscent of wartime Britain, villages across China's countryside have emptied of all working-age adults, leaving only the elderly and young behind.

For three decades, Chinese workers have been migrating from the countryside to the cities in search of work. In the beginning, only the men left, their wives remaining to look after the family. But as the world demanded more and more Made-in-China goods, the women began to join them.

Now, a third of all kindergarten-age children in China have been left behind by both parents, often in the care of their grandparents or other relatives, according to Deng Li, an official at the All China Women's Federation, a government-run campaign group.

They see their mothers and fathers only once or twice a year, usually during national holidays. the rest

In vitro fertilization raises ovarian cancer risk

By The New York Times, Herald-Tribune
Monday, November 21, 2011

Women who have had ovarian stimulation to produce eggs for in vitro fertilization are at slightly increased risk for a type of ovarian cancer, a large study has found.

Dutch researchers studied more than 19,000 women age 40 and younger who had IVF and about 6,000 who had visited fertility clinics without having the procedure.

After 15 years of follow-up, they found that women who had undergone IVF were more than four times as likely those who had not to develop borderline ovarian cancer, a malignancy that is treatable and survivable.

The findings, published online recently in the journal Human Reproduction, held even after adjusting for age, previous pregnancies, the cause of infertility and other factors. the rest

Campus conformity

Christian university groups hope the Supreme Court will protect them from rules that sabotage their mission
Leigh Jones
posted November 22, 2011

Four Christian groups at Vanderbilt University soon could be kicked off campus as school administrators quietly adopt a policy that prohibits student organizations from holding members or leaders to any standard of belief or behavior.

Representatives from Beta Upsilon Chi, Graduate Christian Fellowship, Christian Legal Society, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes are negotiating with school officials in hopes of persuading them to reverse their decision. But Jim Lundgren, director of collegiate ministries for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, said they are preparing themselves for the likelihood of becoming "third-class citizens" at Vanderbilt: "We all see the handwriting on the wall."

What's happening at Vanderbilt is part of a national trend. Last year, only two InterVarsity chapters faced challenges from university administrators over the groups' right to pick leaders, or remove them, based on their beliefs. This year, 15 chapters have run afoul of school nondiscrimination policies. the rest

The Muppets

Movie review
..."The Muppets," a quirky musical fantasy that brings back memories of the old Muppets movie and the TV show of the same name, is the oddest, sweetest movie you're likely to see this season, according to Seattle Times film critic Moira Macdonald. Directed by James Bobin, with the voices of Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Rashida Jones, the film is playing at several theaters in Seattle...

NJ hospital ignoring court order

Charlie Butts

The Alliance Defense Fund is back in court defending a group of New Jersey nurses who are being "bullied into employment discrimination."

In September, ADF filed suit against the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) on behalf of a dozen nurses who were told to undergo training and assist with abortions. A federal court issued a temporary order to block the action, but attorney Matt Bowman tells OneNewsNow the hospital has now violated the existing court order and taken some troubling steps. the rest

Hospital Forcing Nurses to Assist Abortions Now Targets Jobs

Downgrade watch begins as debt panel concedes defeat

By Peter Schroeder

Credit rating agencies reiterated Monday that the U.S. is at risk of a downgrade following the announcement that the supercommittee has failed.

Standard & Poor's warned lawmakers not to try and roll back the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts set to begin in 2013. The rater said an effort to reverse those cuts could increase "downward pressures" on the U.S. rating, which S&P already lowered for the first time in August.

Another top rater, Moody's Investors Service, said that the nation's rating is still on a "negative outlook."

S&P became the first rater to downgrade the nation's credit in August, citing the nasty political fight over the debt limit and the lackluster deal that resulted from it. the rest

Children living amid drug users at squalid St Paul's camp

Children as young as nine have been living among drinkers and hard drug users amid the squalid surroundings of the St Paul’s protest camp, a report has found.
By John-Paul Ford Rojas
21 Nov 2011

Police have even arrested a sex offender at the site, which is littered with needles. A church official reported that the historic building has been subjected to “desecration” by graffiti and even human waste.

Meanwhile primary school age choristers boarding at St Paul’s are being kept awake at night by hardened drinkers shouting abuse.

The lurid picture of life camp life at the centuries-old Christian site has emerged in statements submitted as part of the City of London Corporation’s legal bid to have demonstrators evicted. the rest

Brussels: The New Capital of Eurabia

by Soeren Kern
November 22, 2011

Muslims now make up one-quarter of the population of Brussels, according to a new book published by the Catholic University of Leuven, the top French-language university in Belgium.

In real terms, the number of Muslims in Brussels -- where half of the number of Muslims in Belgium currently live --- has reached 300,000, which means that the self-styled "Capital of Europe" is now the most Islamic city in Europe.

In practical terms, Islam mobilizes more people in Brussels than do the Roman Catholic Church, political parties or even trade unions, according to "The Iris and the Crescent," a book that is the product of more than one year of field research and was released to the public on November 18.

The book's author, the sociologist Felice Dassetto, predicts that Muslims will comprise the majority of the population of Brussels by 2030...

...The book also warns that ultraconservative elements within Islam are increasingly gaining ground in Brussels. the rest

Thai Ha priest insulted and threatened during Mass

A uniformed man bursts into the church in front of indifferent police agents, scaring children who were attending a weekly mass for Eucharistic groups. Some fear the act might be followed by more terrorist actions.
by Mai Khoi

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Hundreds of children from Eucharistic groups were attending Mass yesterday morning in Thai Ha Parish Church, Hanoi, when a local uniformed civil defence team member (pictured) entered the building shouting and proffering threats against the celebrating priest. His actions had the effect of frightening the children. Outside, dozens of plainclothes police agents witnessed the incident but chose not to intervene.

In an open attempt at intimidation, the man crossed the church courtyard, patrolled by plainclothes police, shouting and swearing. Wielding an electric baton, he burst into the church, smoking. When he reached the altar where Fr Martin Vu Dong was celebrating the weekly Mass for the parish’s Eucharistic groups, he began hurling insults and threats at him.

Since police did not move in to remove the man, adults present in the church apprehended him and escorted him out of the building. “It was true act of terrorism that really scared the children,” said Bac, a parishioner present at the incident, “especially if you consider that uniformed police were pacing up and down in the church courtyard with a scary attitude.” the rest

All the News That’s Fit to Forget

Why you’re not hearing much about embryonic stem cells these days.
Nov 28, 2011

The media have always been in the tank for embryonic stem cell research, often breathlessly reporting hype and spin from company PR spokesmen as if it were hard news. This approach sprang largely from the media’s antipathy for the pro-life movement, the most prominent opponent of research requiring the destruction of human embryos. Then there was the anti-George W. Bush prism through which science journalists and other reporters usually analyzed the issue. For nearly Bush’s entire presidency, the media used people’s yearning for cures as a hammer to pound the president for his decision to limit federal research funding to projects using stem cell lines already in existence and therefore not requiring the new destruction of human embryos. Rarely noted in all the criticism: During the Bush years, the NIH spent more than $600 million on human embryonic stem cell research.

Making matters worse, even though Bush is off the national stage, most media continue to ignore the parade of advances demonstrated in human trials of treatments relying on adult stem cells. On the very day that Geron packed its bags, for instance, the news broke of a hopeful adult stem cell treatment for heart disease. It was a big story in the United Kingdom: The headline in the Telegraph called it the “Biggest Breakthrough in Treating Heart Attacks for a Generation.” The story noted:

In the trial, cardiac stem cells were used to repair the severely damaged hearts of 16 patients. It was the first time this had ever been done in humans. After one year, the ejection fraction or “pumping efficiency” of the hearts of eight patients had improved by more than 12 percent. All patients whose progress was followed underwent some level of recovery. .  .  . Although this was an early stage trial and larger studies are needed, scientists believe the promise it shows has huge implications.

How did the New York Times report this story? It didn’t. The L.A. Times? A blog entry. USA Today? Nada. San Francisco Chronicle? At least it was in the paper—on page A16, under the hardly descriptive headline “Regimen Shown To Aid Heart Patients.” And so it goes.

Imagine if a human trial using embryonic stem cells had shown improvement to damaged human hearts. You can just see the banner headline in the New York Times and the breathless announcements on the network news. The thought experiment makes blatantly obvious the malpractice that plagues reporting in this field—which is doubly regrettable, since not only are editors and reporters undermining the media’s already tarnished reputation for objectivity, but many suffering people and their families still have not heard the hopeful news generated by the ethical exploration of regenerative medicine. the rest

Why 'All the Single Ladies' Shouldn't Give Up on Marriage

Frustrations with men and the institution are real, but shouldn't obscure our hope in what God is doing.
Jennifer A. Marshall

In a fawn-colored silk dress and up-do, a contemplative young woman sips champagne while a bridal bouquet flies over her head. As other never-married wedding-goers readily will detect, she's scrupulously ignoring this ritual reminder of an unrealized longing for marriage.

This is the photograph of Kate Bolick, 39, that runs alongside her cover story, "All the Single Ladies," in the November edition of The Atlantic. Beginning with that picture, her piece captures the anxiety of many single women as the age of first marriage continues to climb.

Those who always expected to be married by now are wondering whether to keep hoping for marriage, how to find fulfillment without it, and why relationships with men these days can be so frustrating. Rather than pointing to answers for these important questions, however, Bolick's article leads to a dead end of further disappointment and confusion.

The author is one of countless women who have struggled with the unexpected in-between of prolonged singleness. "If I stopped seeing my present life as provisional," she writes, "perhaps I'd be a little … happier." the rest

Mob of 50 Shoplifts at Silver Spring 7-Eleven

By Matthew Stabley
Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011

About 50 people simultaneously shoplifted from a Silver Spring, Md., 7-Eleven Saturday night.

Officers arriving at the store in the 12200 block of Tech Road after 11:20 p.m. saw several people gathered in surrounding parking lots and on side streets, police said. They began to disperse when police arrived.

The shoplifters -- described as teens and young adults -- took items including snacks and drinks, police said. the rest

Monday, November 21, 2011

Anglican Unscripted Episode 19

posted November 21, 2011

Kevin and George discuss Dr. Jeffert-Shori's denial letter and AMiA's role the 2008 Rwanda Canons. Also in this week's episode Peter Ould discusses the on going saga of the Church of England and women Bishops; and AS Haley gives his time slot to the latest news from Georgia and the Diocese of South Carolina. Oh... and there is important news at the end of Episode 19 too.

Pornography on Airplanes, Where You Can’t Look Away

November 18, 2011

WHEN Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, announced this month that his airline may soon offer in-flight pornography, he told the British tabloid The Sun, “Hotels around the world have it, so why wouldn’t we?”

The flaw in Mr. O’Leary’s logic notwithstanding (hotel rooms have doors; airplane seats are surrounded by eyeballs, some very young), his proposal isn’t so radical. As most any flight attendant will confirm, passengers are already indulging in racy content downloaded onto their phones, tablets or laptops from outside sources.

Beth Blair, a flight attendant and travel writer based in Minneapolis, said she once worked on a flight out of Burbank, Calif., during which an adult-film editor and his assistants began editing footage on their laptops. A child was sitting behind them. “I asked them to turn it off ASAP,” she wrote in an e-mail. “Instead of obliging, they built a private area/tent out of newspapers. Luckily, the volume was turned down.” the rest

Lawsuit: Ga. man fired for refusing to wear ‘666′

By Associated Press
November 18, 2011

(AP) ATLANTA - A Georgia factory worker claims in a federal lawsuit that he was fired after he refused to wear a 666 sticker he feared would doom him to eternal damnation.

Billy E. Hyatt claims he was fired from Pliant Corp., a plastics factory in northern Georgia near Dalton, after he refused to wear a sticker proclaiming that his factory had been accident-free for 666 days. That number is considered the "mark of the beast" in the Bible's Book of Revelation describing the apocalypse.

Hyatt, who said he's a devout Christian, had worked for the north Georgia plastics company since June 2007 and like other employees wore stickers each day that proclaimed how long the factory had gone without an accident.

But he grew nervous in early 2009 as the number of accident-free days crept into the 600s. As the company's safety calendar approached day 666, Hyatt said he approached a manager and explained that wearing it would force him "to accept the mark of the beast and to be condemned to hell." He said the manager assured him he wouldn't have to wear the number. the rest

Rev. Gregory O. Brewer Is New Head Of Episcopal Diocese Of Central Florida

November 19, 2011

Orlando, FL -- Episcopal pastors and lay leaders have elected The Rev. Gregory O. Brewer, rector of Calvary-St. George’s Church in New York City, to head the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida.

Fr.Brewer replaces Bishop John Howe, who will retire early next year. The diocese says Brewer’s selection is “… pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church.”

The diocese reports Brewer was chosen on the 4th ballot from the seven nominees for the position. He got 141 votes of 241 cast by lay order and 110 of the 192 votes by the clergy. An election on that ballot required 125 in the lay order and 95 in the clergy order.  the rest

Christ Church Savannah: GA high court sides with national Episcopal Church

November 21, 2011

ATLANTA — Georgia's highest court has sided with the national Episcopal Church in a property dispute with the oldest church in Georgia.

The Georgia Supreme Court voted six to one to uphold a lower court's October 2009 ruling confirming the national Episcopal Church's claim to historic Christ Church in Savannah.

The dispute arose after members of the local congregation decided in 2007 to leave the Episcopal Church, which they said was straying from Biblical teachings. After the split, the Georgia diocese and the national church claimed ownership of the church building.

In the 45-page majority released Monday, Justice David Nahmias writes that the Episcopal Church passed the "Dennis Cannon" in 1979, which says any property held by a local congregation is held in trust for the national church and diocese. Story here (image by Raymond Dague)


A.S. Haley: Georgia Supreme Court Awards Christ Church to Diocese on Implied Trust Theory
The Supreme Court of Georgia, in a 45-page decision which no doubt was lengthened by having to respond to a 96-page dissent, has decided the appeal of Christ Church, Savannah against the majority which voted to leave ECUSA and the Diocese of Georgia in 2006, and to award the property (four parcels, the first and principal one of which was granted to the local parish by the colonial authorities in 1759) to the minority who chose to remain in ECUSA...

S.C. Episcopal Diocese releases property claim

By Adam Parker
Monday, November 21, 2011

The distance between The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina widened last week when the diocese relinquished its legal oversight of all church property, sending what’s called a quitclaim deed to each parish.

The move merely formalizes an arrangement already in place, according to Bishop Mark Lawrence. “A quitclaim deed isn’t giving someone something they don’t have if they already own the deed,” he said.

Some observers say the move could heighten the risk of litigation or other challenges by national church authorities and provide additional evidence to a disciplinary committee now evaluating allegations that Lawrence has abandoned his responsibilities.

“This kind of action, along with participating in the conventions that severed legal ties to the national church, I think those are real problems,” said Melinda Lucka, an attorney critical of recent diocese actions. “On a diocesan level, this further opens the door to parishes that are considering leaving the Episcopal Church.” the rest

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader orders Egyptians not to vote for secularists or non-Muslims

November 20, 2011

After Youssef Qaradawi -- whom Western academics portray as a "moderate" -- commands Egyptian Muslims to vote only for Islamic parties and avoid non-Muslims, he hypocritically asserts his support for "every person of the Syrian people, including the Alawites, the Druze, and the Christians."
“Don’t Vote for Those Who Don't Accept Allah as their God, Islam as Their Religion and Mohamed as Their Prophet”- Qaradawi, by Coptic Solidarity, November 20:
Prominent Islamic advocate Youssef El Qaradawi averred that voting is a "religious obligation" and urged Egyptians not to vote for secularists or non-Muslims. Qaradawi stated that the Egyptian Military Council has no right to impose its constitutional document, and acclaimed the Islamic forces in Friday’s demonstration in Cairo. Qaradawi also resumed his denunciation of both the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Syria's Bashar El Assad, dubbing his family "the monster's family."

In his Friday address from Qatar, his country of residence, Qaradawi said: "Egypt's revolution is at the threshold of the elections which is the most essential stage and the purpose of the revolution". Qaradawi said that people are confident that, unlike its precedents, these elections won't be rigged; accordingly, he believes that there will be a massive turnout.
the rest

Roman Catholics' prayer approved for Queen's Diamond Jubilee

By Steve Doughty
19th November 2011

Roman Catholic bishops have for the first time in modern history approved a prayer for the Queen for use in Catholic churches.

It has been authorised for use next June as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The prayer reflects the deepening reconciliation between the monarchy and Roman Catholic leaders which gathered pace after the Pope’s successful visit to Britain last year.

While Roman Catholics have professed loyalty to the sovereign since they were granted civil rights in the 19th century, there have never been official prayers for British monarchs. the rest

Woman behind the voice at 200 airports

Horse and dog play together

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

A.S. Haley: Trojan Horse Sent Packing from South Carolina

November 19, 2011

As I have remarked on many occasions, the Dennis Canon, probably (but not definitely) enacted at General Convention 1979, is the Episcopal Church (USA)'s Trojan Horse. Sneaked in under everyone's radar at the last possible minute, it lay dormant for over twenty years before suddenly unleashing its hidden forces to go out and attack unsuspecting parishes. Unable to accomplish anything by itself, it needed the assistance of various State courts and legislatures to achieve its results. And in the process, it has cost the Episcopal Church alone over Twenty-Five Million Dollars, and tens of thousands of lost parishioners, hundreds of parishes, and four entire dioceses. A Trojan Horse, indeed!

Now comes word that the ugly beast has been definitively and decisively banished from the Church's Diocese of South Carolina. After receiving a crippling wound last September from that state's Supreme Court, the creature was sent finally packing by the Diocese and its bishop, when last week they mailed out quitclaim deeds to every single one of their incorporated parishes. The legal effect of such deeds was that the Diocese gave up and released any and all claims ("quit its claim" -- hence "quitclaim deed") it may have had, from whatever source or reason, and however long ago acquired, in those parish properties. Chancellor Wade Logan explained:

For 190 years (1789-1979) there had never been any idea that somehow the parishes did not completely and fully own their property. Our Supreme Court has now said that the attempt to change that in 1979 by the General Convention was not binding on the parish of All Saints, Pawley's Island, SC. In recognition of that ruling, and in continued pursuit of our historic unity based on common vision rather than legal coercion, the Diocesan Convention removed the relevant section from our canons in October 2010. The issuance of these quitclaim deeds lays to rest any lingering issue that may exist for some parishes when they seek to obtain title insurance or secure bank financing for parish projects. Parishes may choose to file them or not based on their individual needs. We trust this action will enable parishes to freely exercise their rights and responsibility to oversee that which God, through the faithfulness of prior generations, has bequeathed to them.

The usual suspects are muttering imprecations against Bishop Lawrence as a result of this brave deed. They of course have to see it as betraying the Episcopal Church (USA), instead of strengthening it.
the rest

Iraqi Christians ‘living in fear’

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It’s been more than a year since an attack on a church in Baghdad left 58 Christians dead, but Christians in the Iraqi capital still fear for their lives, says one church leader.

Fr Amir Jaje, Superior of the Dominican Order in Baghdad, told Aid to the Church in Need: “Living in Iraq means living in fear. There’s no feeling safe and during the last two or three weeks the situation has got worse, because of tensions among political parties.”

Despite police protection outside churches, congregations still feel anxious and fear infiltration by extremists, he says. the rest

Jefferts Schori, Presiding Episcopal Bishop, Defends Abuse Priest Rev. Bede Parry

By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service
November 18, 2011

(RNS) The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church on Thursday (Nov. 17) defended her decision to allow a former Roman Catholic monk to become an Episcopal priest even after he admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori has been under increasing pressure to answer charges that she did not properly investigate the Rev. Bede Parry's past when she was bishop of Nevada in 2004.

Jefferts Schori said she knew of only one incident when Parry, now 69, sought ordination as an Episcopal priest. She also said that Parry passed a background check and a psychological evaluation before he was ordained.

After ordination, she said, Parry was supervised by another priest and not permitted to work alone with children.

"I made the decision to receive him," Jefferts Schori said in a statement, "believing that he demonstrated repentance and amendment of life and that his current state did not represent a bar to his reception." the rest