Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mainline Churches See Slowest Growth, Research Shows

Tue, Jan. 31 2012
By Michael Gryboski

Compared to other religious groups in the U.S., mainline denominations had the slowest growth rate with only 19 percent of their congregations reporting growth between 2005 and 2010, according to a researcher from The Episcopal Church.

By contrast, conservative Protestant churches had the highest growth rate at 43 percent, followed by non-Christian congregations with 33 percent.

C. Kirk Hardaway, Congregational Research Officer for the Episcopal Church and chairman of the research task force for the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership, presented the findings on Tuesday.

The research findings were based on surveys conducted by around 11,000 American congregations representing various Christian and non-Christian congregations. The growth rate of said congregations was measured from 2005 until 2010. Those filling out the survey were the leaders of the congregations, including clergy and laymen.

Hardaway attributed the strong growth of conservative Protestant churches to them being largely concentrated in the South, as well as having other attributes found in stronger churches that were measured by the research. This included more innovative worship practices, having a clearer mission and purpose, and having more newer congregations. the rest

Anglican Ink: TEC in One Word: DOWN

A.S. Haley: Episcopal Church Faces Budget and Structural Changes

Greece decides to 'pay child molesters'

Also included in the officially expanded list of "disabilities" are exhibitionists, kleptomaniacs, and pyromaniacs.
Charlie Butts

Greece is now designating pedophilia as an infirmity, and one attorney deems it outrageous that such offenders will qualify for disability funds from the economically broken government.

According to Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel Action, it is an outrage that people will receive payments for their attraction to children. He says rewarding such an alleged "disability" is evidence that the "sexual anarchy movement" is running amok.

"This is the logical conclusion of what we can expect here in the United States with the sexual anarchy movement," he warns. "Part and parcel of that movement is the homosexual movement, the pedophile movement, the radical pro-abortion movement -- [and] those who push this idea of [values-neutral] comprehensive sex education ...." the rest

ObamaCare and Religious Freedom

How about some respect for Catholics and others who object to treating pregnancy as a disease?
JANUARY 25, 2012

Religious freedom is the lifeblood of the American people, the cornerstone of American government. When the Founding Fathers determined that the innate rights of men and women should be enshrined in our Constitution, they so esteemed religious liberty that they made it the first freedom in the Bill of Rights.

In particular, the Founding Fathers fiercely defended the right of conscience. George Washington himself declared: "The conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great delicacy and tenderness; and it is my wish and desire, that the laws may always be extensively accommodated to them." James Madison, a key defender of religious freedom and author of the First Amendment, said: "Conscience is the most sacred of all property." the rest

Marco Rubio Introduces Bill to Reverse Contraception Mandate on Religious Employers

Religious Liberty and Civil Society

Obamacare’s Great Gift: Clarification
January 31, 2012
Elizabeth Scalia

...But HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Obama “botched” nothing. The decision put forth is a purposeful one, transparently provocative. If the administration had simply wanted to provide free contraception and sterilization to those who want it, they could have inserted that notion into any one of a number of spending or entitlement bills. Had they meant to demonstrate respect for conscience–and according to Archbishop Timothy Dolan the president said he “considered the protection of conscience sacred”–the administration could have taken the advice of others and looked closely at how Hawaii managed conscience exemptions under their law.

There are questions as to whether HHS has authority to issue exemptions to Obamacare, although quite a few have been issued for reasons other than conscience. There appear to be no questions in the president’s mind, or in Secretary Sebelius’, that they have the authority to intrude on freedom of religion. With this ruling they insist that church-affiliated institutions either act against their own belief or so narrow the scope of their community service as to be removed from the public square; either way, the government is deliberately affecting the free exercise of religion. Considering some Catholic schools, hospitals and charities were serving their communities before the secular governments even thought to follow suit, that is a damnable, and damning, legacy for a president who once taught constitutional law...  Full essay

Mohler says insurance mandate not just 'Catholic' issue
By Bob Allen
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) – A Southern Baptist seminary president applauded Roman Catholic bishops for refusing to obey an insurance mandate forcing employers to offer coverage for contraceptives and sterilization, and predicted that evangelical leaders will soon face similar choices.

“Our religious liberty is being similarly subverted and attacked,” Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said of the Obama administration’s inclusion of pregnancy in “preventive services” that health insurers must provide.

In his daily podcast briefing Jan. 31, Mohler commented on a letter from bishops read in Catholic churches Jan. 27 stating in part, “We cannot -- we will not -- comply with this unjust law.”  the rest

WH:‘No Constitutional Rights Issue’ in Forcing Catholics to Act Against Their Faith

Komen to Stop Grants to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

by Steven Ertelt

After years of protests and criticism from pro-life advocates, the biggest breast cancer organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has announced it is halting further grants and donations to the Planned Parenthood.

Figures from August directly from the Komen for the Cure foundation show 18 affiliates of the breast cancer charity gave a total of more than $569,000 to the Planned Parenthood abortion business in 2010. That was down from the $731,303 Komen officials publicly confirmed in October 2010, when they acknowledged that 20 of the 122 Komen affiliates gave to Planned Parenthood during the 2009 fiscal year.

Now, Komen says it is halting all grants because of public pressure from pro-life groups and due to the impending investigation in Congress of the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

The policy makes it so no further Planned Parenthood grants will be given unless the investigation results in Planned Parenthood’s favor.
the rest

Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood
...Every time a woman has an abortion and part of the money to fund that center staying open came from Komen, they are putting women at a greater risk for breast cancer...

Yet Another Study Links Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk

Fifty-one of 68 epidemiological studies since 1957 report an abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link (not counting biological and experimental evidence). found here

Canada: Afghan Family Found Guilty in Honor Killings

Monday, Jan. 30, 2012

(KINGSTON, Ontario) — A jury on Sunday found three members of an Afghan family guilty of killing three teenage sisters and another woman in what the judge described as "cold-blooded, shameful murders" resulting from a "twisted concept of honor," ending a case that shocked and riveted Canadians.

Prosecutors said the defendants allegedly killed the three teenage sisters because they dishonored the family by defying its disciplinarian rules on dress, dating, socializing and using the Internet.

The jury took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58; his wife Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. the rest

Ex-clinic manager becomes abortion protester

Jan. 28, 2012

Iowa abortion opponents have picked up a startling ally.

A longtime Storm Lake clinic manager for Planned Parenthood has switched sides, and she is speaking out against her former employer’s use of an electronic system to dispense abortion pills throughout the state.

“You couldn’t really write a story that’s as odd as all that’s happened,” Sue Thayer told about 150 activists Saturday at an Iowa Right to Life meeting in Des Moines.

Thayer, 52, said she ran Planned Parenthood’s Storm Lake clinic for more than 17 years before being fired in 2008. She believes she was dismissed because she’d raised questions about the agency’s remote-control system for providing abortion pills at small-town clinics. the rest

Monday, January 30, 2012

'Father' and 'Son' Ousted from the Trinity in New Bible Translations

By Hussein Hajji Wario
Fri, Jan 27, 2012

A controversy is brewing over three reputable Christian organizations, which are based in North America, whose efforts have ousted the words "Father" and "Son" from new Bibles. Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Frontiers are under fire for "producing Bibles that remove "Father," "Son" and "Son of God" because these terms are offensive to Muslims."

Concerned Christian missionaries, Bible translators, pastors, and national church leaders have come together with a public petition to stop these organizations. They claim a public petition is their last recourse because meetings with these organizations' leaders, staff resignations over this issue and criticism and appeals from native national Christians concerned about the translations "have failed to persuade these agencies to retain "Father" and "Son" in the text of all their translations."

Biblical Missiology, a ministry of Boulder, Colorado-based Horizon International, is sponsoring the petition. the rest

Colson: Obama Admin. Restricting Religious Freedom

Fri, Jan. 27 2012
By Chuck Colson

I warned you that the Supreme Court's decision to grant religious groups a "ministerial exception" in hiring, while important, does nothing to halt the Obama Administration's relentless crusade to restrict religious freedom.

Just Friday, the Administration announced it would not expand exemptions for religiously affiliated organizations when it comes to insurance. So, a Catholic hospital, for instance, will be forced to purchase insurance for its employees that would provide free contraception and sterilization services.

Now, in case you didn't know, the Catholic Church teaches that using artificial contraception or undergoing sterilization are grave sins. The government now said, "Tough."

Even the liberal Washington Post sees this for what it is: a restriction of religious freedom. Its lead editorial called the Administration's decision, "wrong." the rest

UK: Girls as young as nine forced into Muslim marriages

January 27, 2012

IKWRO, which made headlines last month when they revealed there had been almost 3,000 “honour-based” violence cases in 2010, has shown the Tribune records which revealed at least three 11-year-old girls and two nine-year-olds had been forced into marriage with older men within Islington. The oldest girls involved were 16.

They have warned that hundreds of Islington girls could be suffering sexual, emotional and physical scars as a result of the child marriages every year and are calling for teachers, social workers and police to be better trained to spot and manage the abuse.

Information from the Ministry of Justice, following a Freedom of Information request, revealed that 32 Forced Marriage Protection Order applications were made for children under 16 in Britain last year.

Six of these were made for under-16s within Islington at the Royal Courts of Justice, although these were not necessarily made for Islington residents.

At the Islington court, “five or fewer” orders were made to protect children between the ages of 9-11.

The orders are a form of injunction that threaten legal punishment if marriage takes place due to emotional or physical force. the rest

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Anglican congregations moving forward after losing church buildings

By Colette M. Jenkins
January 28, 2012

The Holy Spirit congregation is among five Northeast Ohio parishes that were displaced after a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge ruled that the church properties they occupied belonged to the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio.

The five congregations — Holy Spirit; St. Luke’s, Fairlawn; St. Barnabas, Bay Village; St. Anne in the Fields, Madison; and Church of the Transfiguration, Cleveland — left the Episcopal Church in 2003 and realigned with the Anglican Communion.

The split grew from disagreements over biblical teaching on salvation and other issues, including homosexuality. After the Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, in 2003, some of the more theologically conservative parishes, including the five in Northeast Ohio, disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church and realigned themselves with Anglican organizations that share their views on issues like homosexuality.

In March 2008, the diocese sued, asking the county court to declare that the property associated with the five parishes belongs to the diocese and the Episcopal Church. Last April, the court ruled in favor of the Episcopal Church and the diocese. Several months later, the Anglican congregations began vacating the buildings.

All five congregations have been taken in by other churches — Church of the Transfiguration worships at a former Methodist building on Martin Luther King Drive in Cleveland; St. Anne’s worships in the youth center at Cornerstone Friends Church in Madison and St. Barnabas, now Christ Church Westshore, has weekday services at Bay Presbyterian Church Westshore and a 10 a.m. Sunday service at Bay High School in Bay Village. the rest

Friday, January 27, 2012

Court: 'Tolerance is a two-way street'

Jody Brown, Charlie Butts, and Bob Kellogg

The Sixth Circuit has ruled in favor of Christian graduate student Julea Ward, who almost three years ago was expelled from a university counseling program for her religious beliefs.

In a strongly worded opinion earlier today, the Sixth U.S. Circuit of Appeals reversed a district court decision in favor of Eastern Michigan University, sending it back for trial along with this message: "A reasonable jury could conclude that Ward's professors ejected her from the counseling program because of hostility toward her speech and faith ...."

As part of her counseling practicum course in early 2009, Ward had been assigned a potential client who was homosexual and was seeking affirmation of that sexual orientation. Because she was unwilling to violate her own religious beliefs in the context of the counseling relationship, Ward was permitted to refer the client to another counselor -- but was told to remain in the counseling program she would have to undergo a "remediation" program that would help her "see the error of her ways."

When Ward refused, a faculty committee dismissed her from the program. In her subsequent lawsuit, a district federal court ruled in favor of EMU -- a ruling that has now been reversed. the rest
"A university cannot compel a student to alter or violate her belief systems based on a phantom policy as the price for obtaining a degree ...," wrote the Sixth Circuit. "Why treat Ward differently? That her conflict arose from religious convictions is not a good answer; that her conflict arose from religious convictions for which the department at times showed little tolerance is a worse answer."

Rescued Hostage Buchanan Sold Her Belongings to Become Missionary

Jan. 25, 2012

Jessica Buchanan, the woman rescued from Somalia bandits by U.S. special forces, is so dedicated to helping others that she sold all of her belongings to become a missionary in Somalia.

Buchanan, 32, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated from Valley Forge University, a Christian college in Phoenixville, Pa., in 2007. She was a student teacher in Africa before graduating and her romance with the continent began.

"She fell in love with Africa," Rev. Don Meyer, dean of Valley Forge University told the Associated Press. "She could hardly talk about Africa without tears in her eyes." the rest

Survey: Record number of Israeli Jews believe in God

First comprehensive study in a decade also shows that 70 percent of Israelis believe the Jews are the 'Chosen People.'
By Nir Hasson

Fully 80 percent of Israeli Jews believe that God exists - the highest figure found by the Guttman-Avi Chai survey since this review of Israeli-Jewish beliefs began two decades ago.

The latest survey of the "Beliefs, Observance and Values among Israeli Jews" was conducted in 2009 but the results were released only on Thursday, after a detailed analysis had been completed. The two previous surveys were in 1999 and 1991.

The study also found that 70 percent of respondents believe the Jews are the "Chosen People," 65 percent believe the Torah and mitzvot (religious commandments ) are God-given, and 56 percent believe in life after death. the rest

Clergyman jailed for sham marriage scam

An Anglican clergyman who advised the Church of England on how to handle sham marriages has been jailed for two and a half years for conducting dozens of the illegal ceremonies himself.
By John Bingham
26 Jan 2012

The Revd Canon Dr John Magumba married a stream of Nigerian men to EU citizens giving them a “golden ticket” to stay in Britain, a court heard.

At one point he was conducting so many weddings involving foreigners that he was put him in charge of a committee of diocesan working party on how to handle the issue – including how to spot sham relationships, Bolton Crown Court heard.

He "asked no questions" despite a dramatic surge in African men choosing his churches in Greater Manchester to marry Polish, Slovak or Czech women. the rest

Woman set to marry building undeterred by demolition work

Jan 26, 2012

SEATTLE -- Bruised or not, she says she'll marry her beloved building as planned come Sunday.

Babylonia Aivaz's bride-to-be is a 107-year-old warehouse that sits at 10th and Union in the Capitol Hill neighborwood. She has been planning to enter into what she described as "a gay marriage" with the building.

"If corporations can have the rights as people, so can buildings," said Aivaz, referencing a Supreme Court decision on political advertising. "I'm doing this to show the building how much I love it, how much I love community space and how much I love this neighborhood. And I want to stop it from gentrification.” the rest
"Yes, I'm in love with a 107 year old building! Yes, ITS A GAY MARRIAGE! How is that possible? Well there must obviously be a deeper story," she wrote.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A hidden cause of Baltimore's population loss: abortion

City's rate of terminated pregnancies is indicative of a wayward society
January 23, 2012
By Diana Schaub

The decline of marriage, particularly among African-Americans, is all too familiar. Not as well-known is that Maryland has a very high abortion rate (third highest among the states in 2005, the year that the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stopped collecting abortion statistics). The breakdown by jurisdiction reveals that Baltimore City is driving those deadly numbers, and also that the abortion rate among African-American women is at least triple the white rate.

Even for those in favor of legal abortion, the situation should be dismaying. And it certainly represents what Montesquieu termed "a change of customs." For comparison: In 1970, Baltimore City abortion rates for single white and black women stood at 7.43 and 10 respectively (the abortion rate is the number of abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44), with the married women's rates half that. By 2005, the Baltimore rate was 86.2. The National Abortion Rights Action League, which cites that figure, did not provide the African-American rate, but it would be substantially higher.

Lest one think that poverty accounts for this shift, the poverty rate in Baltimore has remained relatively fixed at around 20 percent for decades. The marriage dearth and the abortion deluge among all races are not attributable to material causes as much as moral causes: young women's loss of respect for themselves as the bearers of new life and their resulting willingness to treat abortion as a method of contraception. the rest

Vatican official warns pope of corruption

January 25, 2012

VATICAN CITY — An Italian news program has obtained letters from a top Vatican official to the pope in which he begs not to be transferred after exposing corruption in the awarding of Vatican contracts that cost the Holy See millions of euros (dollars).

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano was removed in October as the No. 2 administrator of the Vatican city-state and was named the pope's ambassador to Washington. While the job is highly prestigious, the posting took Vigano far from headquarters and out of the running for the Vatican's top administrative job, which carries with it the rank of cardinal.

The investigative news program "The Untouchables" on the private La7 network broadcast a series of letters Vigano sent Pope Benedict XVI and the secretary of state last year in which he claimed to have exposed corruption and abuse of office in the running of the Vatican's administration. the rest

Steven Spielberg Near Commitment To Direct Moses Epic For Warner Bros

Wednesday January 25, 2012

Steven Spielberg is near to etching in stone with Warner Bros on that biopic portraying the Jewish leader as the warrior to beat all warriors. With a working title of Gods And Kings, what’s envisioned is “a movie like a Braveheart-ish version of the Moses story,” an insider tells me. “Him coming down the river, being adopted, leaving his home, forming an army, and getting the Ten Commandments.” And despite the awesome screen possibilities of the parting of the Red Sea, the movie isn’t being contemplated in 3D. Back in 1956, Paramount release The Ten Commandments in VistaVision to give moviegoers a more spectacular experience of scenes like that. But this film is as far from a remake of the Cecile B. DeMille-directed epic as you can get even though they cover similar ground. Instead Warner Bros wants Speilberg to direct it with the gritty reality of Saving Private Ryan, which is considered a masterpiece redefining battle movies. ”There have been glossy versions of the Moses story but this would be a real warrior story,” an insider tells me.

The studio has wanted Spielberg on the project since last September when he first read the script. (See previous, Warner Bros Goes To The Mountaintop For Moses Epic.) Getting Spielberg seemed a long shot because his deals are always complex and his dance card is always full. Talks intensified, and now insiders tell me the dialogue should consummate by the end of the month. Warner Bros wants to start production sometime in March or April of 2013. the rest

Anglican Unscripted Episode 25

Jan 25, 2012

Yosemite timelapse HD

Yosemite HD from Project Yosemite on Vimeo.

Project Yosemite

US Supreme Court backs religious independence in surprise decision

The unanimous decision is a major setback for the Obama Administration.
James S. Cole
Monday, 23 January 2012

Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court decided a case filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a teacher against a church-operated grade school in Michigan. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 10-553 (January 11, 2012). (The Slip Opinion, the official pre-publication version of the Court’s decision, is available on-line here.) The Supreme Court's 9-0 decision in favor of the First Amendment is a noteworthy setback to the anti-religious campaign waged by the Obama Administration in the law.

Hosanna-Tabor is a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod that "called" Ms Perich to teach in its school. To be “called,” a teacher had to complete eight college-level courses in aspects of Lutheran theology and obtain the approval of the local District of the LCMS. After that training and approval, once a congregation “called” the teacher, the teacher was employed indefinitely and was commissioned as a minister in the church. Duties as a teacher included teaching religion, leading a prayer service in class, and occasionally organizing larger religious services for the entire school. The school also employed “lay” teachers, who were not considered ministers and had year-to-year contracts. the rest

'Do not touch me': the wisdom of Anglican thresholds

By Stephen Hough
January 25th, 2012

This past Sunday I went to Westminster Abbey to attend Evensong, their superb choir conducted by James O'Donnell and accompanied by Robert Quinney. Woven between Thomas Cranmer's matchless words was music of Herbert Howells, William Byrd and a sparkling anthem by Jonathan Dove. If you are visiting London and want a perfect slice of England there's no better place to go.

The Church of England's evening service, adapted after the Reformation from the monastic hour of Vespers, is a wondrous phenomenon. Even the word 'Evensong' is poetic, and it seems to chime in perfect harmony with England's seasons: Autumn's melancholy, early evening light; the merry crackle of Winter frost; Spring's awakening, or the lazy, protracted sun strained through the warmed windows of a Summer afternoon.

Evensong hangs on the wall of English life like a old, familiar cloak passed through the generations. Rich with prayer and Scripture, it is nevertheless totally nonthreatening. It is a service into which all can stumble without censure – a rambling old house where everyone can find some corner to sit and think, to listen with half-attention, trailing a few absentminded fingers of faith or doubt in its passing stream.
 the rest image by Herry Lawford

Child sacrifice in 21st Century America

Jan 25, 2012
George Weigel

The Hebrew Bible is not for the squeamish. And its harshest maledictions are called down upon those who practiced the abomination of child-sacrifice.

Thus the Psalmist:

“They sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons/they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood./Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the harlot in their doings./Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage./… they were rebellious in their purposes, and were brought low because of their iniquity” (Psalm 106:38-40, 43).

And the prophet Ezekiel, delivering the word of the Lord:

“And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?... Behold, therefore, I stretched out my hand against you, and diminished your allotted portion, and delivered you to the greed of your enemies…” (Ezekiel 16:20-21, 27).

Thirty-nine years after Roe v. Wade created an unrestricted abortion license in the United States, and during the week when hundreds of thousands of Americans pray and march for life, all Americans ought to ponder these words—and the kind of country to which Roe v. Wade led. the rest

Detaching biology from marriage and parenthood

Washington State House Judiciary Testimony
January 23, 2012

Church of England attendance decreasing, continuing downward trend

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The latest statistics from the Church of England show a two per cent drop in attendance between 2009 and 2010.

Average Sunday attendance fell from 944,400 in 2009 to 923,700 the following year, continuing the long-term downward trend.

The number of children and young people at weekly services also dropped by two per cent, from 223,000 in 2009 to 218,600 in 2010.

Marriages rose in the Church of England by four per cent, from 52,730 in 2009 to 54,700 in 2010.

It is the biggest increase in marriages in any one year in the last decade and follows the launch of a range of initiatives designed to make marrying in the Church of England easier. the rest

More weddings, but fewer worshippers on average

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Massive Solar Storm Causes Planes To Be Rerouted

m9 solar flare jan 23
January 24, 2012

Radiation from an immense solar blast hit the Earth Tuesday -- forcing Delta Air Lines to redirect at least half a dozen airplanes that had been routed over the North Pole.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center -- the nation’s official source of warnings about space weather and its impact on Earth -- issued a geomagnetic storm warning Monday after a satellite witnessed an ultraviolet flash from the massive solar eruption.

There is no risk to people on Earth, Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center told FoxNews.com.

But as a rare precaution, some polar flights were re-routed to avoid communication lapses and exposing pilots and passengers to excessive radiation.  the rest/image

Solar storm expected to fire up northern lights

House bills promote religion at war memorials

Jan 24, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House on Tuesday passed two bills endorsing the use of religious symbols at military memorials. One writes into law the propriety of displaying religious markers at war memorials while the other orders that the Interior Department add to the World War II Memorial in Washington a plaque with Franklin Roosevelt's prayer to the nation on D-Day.

The first bill would codify the existing practice of allowing religious symbols at military monuments established or acquired by the federal government. It was introduced by San Diego Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter in response to a 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling a year ago that a cross placed on Mount Soledad in nearby La Jolla, Calif., in 1913 was unconstitutional. the rest

Mere Anglicanism 2012: The Rt. Rev'd Mark J. Lawrence

posted January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Eternal Father Source of all life and light...

Eternal Father
Source of all life and light
Whose love extends to all people,
All creatures, all things:
Grant us that reverence for life
Which becomes those who believe in you;
Lest we despise it, degrade it
Or come callously to destroy it.
Rather let us save it
secure it, and sanctify it,
After the example of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
...by Robert Runcie image

Human life is a manifestation of God and His glory...

“God’s love does not distinguish between the infant in the mother’s womb or the child or the youth or the adult or the older person. In each one God sees His image and likeness. Human life is a manifestation of God and His glory.” ...Pope Benedict XVI

"Nothing we do to defend the human person, no matter how small, is ever unfruitful or forgotten. Our actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world. Don’t ever underestimate the beauty and power of the witness you give in your pro-life work." ...Archbishop Charles Chaput image by Richard Topalovich

The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion...

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. " ...Mother Teresa image

India: Sharia Court convicts Anglican priest of blasphemy for baptizing Muslims

January 21, 2012
by George Conger

The All India Christian Council has condemned an indictment issued by a Sharia law court in Kashmir that charges two priests with blasphemy by enticing Muslims to convert to Christianity.

On 11 January 2012 Muslim leaders in the Northern Indian state issued a statement saying that “it was proved beyond doubt that the accused” the vicar of All Saints Church in Srinigar, the Rev Chander Mani Khanna of the Church of North India, “along with other accomplices was luring Muslim people to change their religion.”

A second priest, Fr. Jim Borst, a Roman Catholic missionary who has worked in Kashmir for 46 years, was also charged with converting Muslims to Christianity. the rest

Obama praises ‘fundamental constitutional right’ to abortion

by Patrick B. Craine
Mon Jan 23, 2012

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Marking the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment to the “fundamental constitutional right” to abortion.

“I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right,” the president said in a brief statement on Jan. 22nd.

“As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters,” he continued. the rest

Obama: Abortion Enables 'Our Daughters' To 'Fulfill Their Dreams'

How to react to a phone going off during your solo

TODAY! Watch ProLifeCon

January 23, 2012

This morning Family Research Council will host its annual event geared for online pro-life activists: ProLifeCon.

ProLifeCon is always a fascinating, fast-paced three hours, packed with great speakers and information specifically for those of us with a passion to spread the message of the sanctity of life through blogging and social media. the rest

Watch here

The Unbearable Wrongness of Roe

by Michael Stokes Paulsen
January 23, 2012

39 years ago, the Supreme Court delivered a radical, legally untenable, immoral decision. It has forfeited its entitlement to have its decisions respected, and followed, by the other branches of government, by the states, and by the people.

Today, thousands of people at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., are commemorating the thirty-ninth anniversary of a legal and moral monstrosity, Roe v. Wade, and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton. The two cases, in combination, created an essentially unqualified constitutional right of pregnant women to abortion—the right to kill their children, gestating in their wombs, up to the point of birth. After nearly four decades, Roe’s human death toll stands at nearly sixty million human lives, a total exceeding the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s purges, Pol Pot’s killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined. Over the past forty years, one-sixth of the American population has been killed by abortion. One in four African-Americans is killed before birth. Abortion is the leading cause of (unnatural) death in America.

It is almost too much to contemplate: the prospect that we are living in the midst of, and accepting (to various degrees) one of the greatest human holocausts in history. And so we don’t contemplate it. Instead, we look for ways to deny this grim reality, minimize it, or explain away our complacency—or complicity. the rest
The right created by the Supreme Court in Roe is a constitutional right of some human beings to kill other human beings. I do not mean for my description to be provocative, but simply direct—blunt about facts. One need not presume that the human fetus has a right not to be killed in order to recognize that, as a descriptive matter, Roe creates a right for one class of human beings to kill other human beings.

Tens of Thousands Join West Coast Pro-Life March in San Francisco

Sun, Jan. 22 2012
By Anugrah Kumar

More than 40,000 pro-life activists and supporters participated in the eighth annual Walk for Life West Coast event in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday to celebrate life and proclaim, "Women deserve better than abortion!"

The crowd gathered at Civic Center Plaza in front of the San Francisco City Hall on Saturday morning for an "Info Fair," which featured music, speakers and activities for kids. The march began in the afternoon. The activists walked down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza at the Embarcadero, filling the length and breadth of the street. the rest

AAC response to Archbishops' report on ACNA

By The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey
Chief Operating and Development Officer, American Anglican Council
posted January 23, 2012

Dear Friends in Christ,

I wish to make a view brief observations about the Report of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England General Synod which was released today and which we have published in this Update. As you will recall, this Report was requested by the CofE General Synod's response to a Private Member's Motion seeking recognition of the ACNA. The American Anglican Council was there at the Synod on behalf of the ACNA, both before and during the debate, to counter misinformation by TEC about the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), and to provide updates on litigation, canonical abuses and the realignment of Anglicanism in North America. Our brief, "TEC: Unjust Episcopal Acts," clearly helped shape the debate.

The Report of the Archbishops is short, and with less clarity than you or I might have desired. But it reflects a particular culture that abhors a "winner-takes-all" outcome, having fought civil and religious wars where such an outcome was only narrowly averted, and with much bloodshed. In that light, here are some important observations about the Archbishops' report that are, on balance, positive for ACNA:

1. The ACNA as an institution was not rejected, as TEC and its proxies no doubt desired. Our Anglican "bona fides" will be subject to review and discussion while the wounds remain fresh from the realignment here in North America. The Archbishops state that the concept of membership in the Anglican Communion is not straightforward (Paragraph 8). Within that declaration, they discuss the role of both the ACC and the assent of 2/3 of the Primates of the Churches already listed in the current schedule of membership as providing a basis for membership. But in contrast to previous statements by ++Canterbury and the Secretary of the Anglican Communion, there is no insistence here upon the ACNA submitting an application to the ACC or following its "schedule" as necessary steps for recognition. I believe this is a significant concession between the lines to those who have challenged the purported authority of the ACC to make such decisions, especially in light of actual precedent where it was recognition by the Primates that gave membership within the Communion.

2. Given the likely wish of TEC to have the ACNA rejected, I believe it is a back-handed compliment to the development of the ACNA as an Anglican Church within the Communion that the Archbishops found it necessary to allay TEC and The Anglican Church of Canada's fears by reaffirming their communion with TEC and ACoC.

3. With respect to the question about the interchangeability of Holy Orders between ACNA and the Church of England, Paragraphs 11 and 21 make clear that the ministers of ACNA stand in exactly the same place in relation to the CofE as other clergy in the Communion.

Of course, this leaves many questions unanswered. If ACNA clergy seek to be licensed in the Church of England under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure of 1967, how will their applications be received? Will they be received and recognized? Or will they be delayed and put off like the clergy validly ordained in the Anglican Church of Kenya for the Anglican Mission in England, who are still waiting? We will be watching carefully to see how evenhandedly the Archbishops proceed, in keeping with the report.

Where then do we go from here? On mission, of course - to present Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit so that people everywhere (and particularly here in North America) will come to know Christ as Lord and to put their trust in Him as Savior, in the fellowship of the church! the rest

Anglican Church Embraces Working Relationship with Church of England

Church of England General Synod Report Encourages “Open-Ended Engagement”
Posted January 23, 2012

The General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England, released a report this week providing further clarity on its working relationship with the Anglican Church in North America, and encouraged an “open-ended engagement with ACNA on the part of the Church of England and the (Anglican) Communion.”

“We are encouraged by the desire of the Church of England to continue to embrace the Anglican Church in North America and remain in solidarity with us as we proclaim the Gospel message and truth as revealed in Scripture in the way it has always been understood in Anglican formularies,” said Archbishop Duncan.

The Church of England General Synod report can be viewed here.

“As we have demonstrated successfully to the GAFCON primates, the Anglican Church in North America remains committed to our growing relationships with Anglican provinces outside of North America. Our biblical orthodoxy and ministries are strengthening our bond to our Anglican brothers and sisters around the globe. We are gratified that we are already in a relationship of full communion with many Anglican Provinces and look forward to expanding that circle.” the rest

Obama administration refuses to change contraception mandate

By Michelle Bauman
Jan 20, 2012

(CNA/EWTN News).- The Obama administration announced Jan. 20 that it will not expand an exemption for religious groups that object to its requirement for health insurance plans to cover sterilization and contraception – including abortion-causing drugs – free of charge.

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a Jan. 20 statement that religious employers who object to providing the coverage will be required to comply with the new law by Aug. 1, 2013, one year later than the initial deadline.

Sebelius noted that “important concerns” had been “raised about religious liberty.”

Those speaking out against the mandate included many Catholic organizations, such as schools, hospitals and social agencies, which serve all people in need, regardless of their religious affiliation. the rest

 "First Time in History Goverment Has Forced Organizations to Buy Product That Violates Conscience"

UK: Ministers ban extra benefits for multiple wives

Ministers are to bring to an end an "absurd" benefits regime which has seen husbands with multiple wives able to claim extra welfare payments.
By Patrick Hennessy
21 Jan 2012

Although bigamy is illegal in Britain, men who married more than one woman in countries where the practice was legal and then brought them to the UK have been allowed for years to receive multiple benefits.

Critics claimed the controversial system meant the state is effectively "recognising" polygamous marriages, of which there are thought to be about a thousand in the UK.

The practice is largely confined to Muslim men, who are permitted under some interpretations of Islamic law to have up to four wives in a harem – as long as they spend equal amounts of time and money on each partner.

The system of paying extra benefits for multiple wives was reviewed under Labour in an exercise involving four separate Whitehall branches – The Treasury, the Department for Work & Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs and the Home Office. the rest

Arrests made over Nigerian bombings that have killed at least 166 people

January 23, 2012
NIGERIAN President Goodluck Jonathan has said that arrests have been made over a wave of attacks in the city of Kano that killed at least 166 people and vowed to hunt down the backers of Islamist group Boko Haram.

"Some arrests have been made. Some died in the process. Some were suicide bombers," Mr Jonathan said in a BBC interview during a visit to Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north.

"There must be people who are sponsoring them. Terrorists all over the world have their source of income," said Mr Jonathan, whose visit came two days after the coordinated bombings and gunbattles rocked Kano after Friday prayers.

Mr Jonathan is battling with the worst crisis of his rule as the sectarian violence has raised fears of an all-out civil war in Africa's most populous nation and its biggest oil producer. the rest

Nigerian police say four Boko Haram members killed

More churches attacked in Nigeria violence
Two churches and a security checkpoint were attacked in Nigeria as President Goodluck Jonathan visited the country’s second-largest city Sunday, following the wave of Islamic extremist attacks...

Conservative Presbyterians launch new denomination

By Daniel Burke January 20

Conservative Presbyterians launched a new denomination on Thursday (Jan. 19), saying that the Presbyterian Church (USA) is too consumed by internal conflicts and bureaucracy to nurture healthy congregations.

“This ‘new Reformed body’ is intended to foster a new way of being the church, just as traditional, mainline denominations rose to serve in their day,” wrote leaders of the new Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.

More than 2,000 people attended the ECO’s meeting in Orlando, Fla., this week, but a straw poll indicated that most have not yet decided whether to leave the PC(USA), according to the Presbyterian Outlook, an independent magazine. the rest

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Small bird joins bluegrass band

posted January 22, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Discipling the Dragon: Christian Publishing Finds Success in China

Despite stringent controls, 1,300 Christian books are now available—legally—inside the communist country.
John W. Kennedy

China's communist government may be constricting freedom of worship in some places, such as Beijing's Shouwang house church, but Chinese consumers are gaining access like never before to legally published books by best-selling American evangelical authors.

Since early April, the 1,000-member-strong Shouwang church has held services outdoors rain or shine, and eight of its pastors are under house arrest. The government, citing the church's lack of registration, pressured the church's landlord to cancel Shouwang's lease.

At the same time, there has been a surge across China in the availability of popular Christian titles by authors Rick Warren, Gary Chapman, and Beth Moore, as well as classic titles by C. S. Lewis and others. Statistics on Christian book sales are unreliable in China. But figures on Bible publishing provide one reliable snapshot of the phenomenal growth. Amity, the official publisher of Bibles inside China, increased Bible printing each year from 1998 (2.8 million) to 2008 (10 million). Other than Bibles, top sellers are Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life, with more than 100,000 in print, and the Francine Rivers novel Redeeming Love.

A big reason for this growth is the 2008 debut of the online-only retailer Baojiayin (GoodNewsinChina.com). For decades, the government heavily limited the retail sales of Christian literature. But all that changed with Baojiayin.

For instance, Paul Douglas, an Australian medical doctor living in China, uses Baojiayin to send about $140 worth of books to local churches, creating an instant lending library. Douglas can donate sets of theological commentaries, marital advice books, and biographies of Christian leaders. the rest

Rising violence in Nigeria has reached a critical point

Condemnation after escape of Christmas Day church bombing suspect
by Setrige Crawford
January 20, 2012

The rising violence in Nigeria has reached a critical point as the main Boko Haram suspect in the Christmas day bombings has escaped custody and officials are struggling to protect their citizens from the violent militant group.

The main suspect of the Christmas Day church bombings in Nigeria escaped after spending less than 24 hours in custody, according to Reuters. Now police officers involved in the case have been detained and will be investigated.

The suspect, Kabiru Sokoto, was arrested on Tuesday by Nigerian policeman. During a trip to his home in Abaji to conduct a search, their vehicle came under fire. the rest

 Boko Haram Islamists Slaughter 80 in Nigeria’s Second Largest City of Kano (Video)
Saturday, January 21, 2012
...At least 80 bodies were piled in a morgue in Nigeria’s second-largest city of Kano on Saturday after coordinated bomb attacks and shootouts the previous night, an AFP correspondent reported.

The journalist was able to count at least 80 corpses in the morgue at Kano’s main hospital, many with gunshot wounds, and the toll was expected to be higher...

Bankrupt Solyndra caught destroying millions of dollars in parts

...despite owing the taxpayer half a billion
21st January 2012

They are the green energy company that filed for bankruptcy while owing the American public half a billion dollars.

But the Fremont solar company have been taped smashing up millions of dollars worth of glass parts which they haven't even paid for yet.

Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration in 2009 as part of the Energy Department’s drive to build a clean energy economy. the rest

Friday, January 20, 2012

Post Abortion Syndrome Healing Testimony

posted January 20, 2012

Sydna's Testimony

I'm not a medical doctor or a counselor -- just a woman who chose abortion and lives today without that child in my life. Truly if there was one thing I could go back and undo in my life, it would be that abortion. I was 19 years of age and in college. I had all the wrong reasons but especially because my boyfriend wasn't supportive of a life decision -- he insisted on the abortion. While my head said abortion was the eraser to my mistake, my heart knew the truth because I had already connected to my unborn child. Had my boyfriend been supportive, I would probably have not aborted but I will never know. You have a true choice, more than I did and that provides a great deal of freedom. And I'm glad you are seeking answers to your questions before you abort.

First of all, abortion has an extreme amount of emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual consequences. The fact that 43% of all women have experienced abortion is a good reference (www.agi-usa.org - The Alan Guttmacher Institute, "Facts in Brief: Induced Abortion," 2000). If nearly half of all women have had abortions, why is it that you never hear any of them sharing about their experiences?

I know from ministering to thousands of post-abortive women that the shame and grief keeps them from sharing. We expect judgment from most. Many of us never allowed ourselves to actually grieve our lost children until years afterwards when we couldn't erase the memory of the child from our hearts. While we may have initially felt relief, the forever pain of being the mothers of dead children has long outlasted any initial relief. the rest

Health plans ordered to cover birth control without co-pays

By Julian Pecquet

Most healthcare plans will be required to cover birth control without charging co-pays or deductibles starting Aug. 1, the Obama administration announced Friday.

The final regulation retains the approach federal health officials proposed last summer, despite the deluge of complaints from religious groups and congressional Republicans that has poured in since then. Churches, synagogues and other houses of worship are exempt from the requirement, but religious-affiliated hospitals and universities only get a one-year delay and must comply by Aug. 1, 2013.

“This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services."

Congressional Republicans slammed the decision as an assault on religious freedom. the rest

Albert Mohler: “Abortion is as American as Apple Pie”

— The Culture of Death Finds a Voice
Friday, January 20, 2012

Abortion is now one of America’s most common surgical procedures performed on adults. As many as one out of three women will have at least one abortion. In some American neighborhoods, the number of abortions far exceeds the number of live births.

Most Americans will pay little attention to the 39th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a woman has a constitutional right to arrange the killing of the unborn life within her. Since that decision was handed down, more than 50 million babies have been aborted, at a rate of over 3,000 each day.

One of the most chilling aspects of all this is the sense of normalcy in American life. Abortion statistics pile up from year to year, and each report gets filed. Moral sentiment on the issue of abortion has shifted discernibly in recent years, as ultrasound images and other technologies deliver unquestionable proof that the unborn child is just that — a child. Nevertheless, the larger picture of abortion in America is basically unchanged. the rest
“Abortion is as American as apple pie.” Hoffman made that statement in a recent interview about her book. She laments that abortion is the cause of shame in some women and that shame attaches itself to abortion in the larger culture, even now. In her view, if women would start talking more honestly and directly about their abortions, the shame would be removed and women would discuss their abortions like they speak of “a bikini wax.”

Germany's New Islamic Centers Funded by Taxpayers

by Soeren Kern
January 19, 2012

One of the oldest universities in Germany has opened the country's first taxpayer-funded department of Islamic theology.

The Center for Islamic Theology at the University of Tübingen was inaugurated on January 16 and is the first of four planned Islamic university centers in Germany.

The German government claims that by controlling the curriculum, the school, which is to train Muslim imams and Islamic religion teachers, will function as an antidote to "hate preachers."

Most imams currently in Germany are from Turkey and many of them do not speak German.

German Education Minister Annette Schavan, who attended the opening ceremony, said the Islamic center was a "milestone for integration" for the 4.3 million Muslims who now live in Germany.

But the idea has been fiercely criticized by those who worry the school will become a gateway for Islamists who will introduce a hardline brand of Islam into the German university system. the rest

Schools spying on students?

Bob Kellogg

A number of schools throughout the United States are beginning to bypass parental permission and use electronic devices to monitor students as a way to combat obesity. But some critics are wondering how far officials will take the effort.

School officials in Bay Shore, Long Island (New York) recently purchased eight "Polar Active" monitoring devices to electronically monitor students. Schools in St. Louis and South Orange, New Jersey, are doing likewise. Bay Shore superintendent Peter Dion says the devices inform or motivate students by giving them immediate feedback about their fitness.

But John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, says schools "attaching devices to people, tracking their vital signs, and watching … what they eat and what they're doing, which is really none of anybody's business," is comparable to an electronic concentration camp. "Even with parental approval on this, I think this is still a very dangerous way to go." the rest

MA State Department of Health defends seeking forced abortion for mentally ill woman

by Christine Dhanagom
Thu Jan 19, 2012

BOSTON, January 19, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After news broke this week that the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) was seeking to force a mentally ill woman to abort her child, the state agency has dug in its heels in the face of widespread outrage, defending its decision in a statement to the Boston Herald this week.

The DMH had filed a petition to have the parents of a 32-year-old mentally ill woman appointed as the woman’s temporary guardians for the purpose of forcing her to have an abortion.

The woman, who is identified in court documents under the pseudonym “Mary Moe,” suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. According to court documents, she had a psychotic breakdown after a previous abortion and “believed people were staring at her and stating that she killed her baby.” She is also the mother of a son, born after the abortion, who is in the custody of her parents.

Despite the apparent link between the previous abortion and Moe’s mental illness, DMH Commissioner Barbara Leadholm told the Herald the Department believed that a second abortion would be in the patient’s best interest.

“The Department conveyed the request of health-care providers and the parents’ wishes in order to ensure the safety of a patient with severe mental illness,” Leadholm said.

Norfolk Probate and Family Court Judge Christina L. Harms had ruled in favor of the Department’s petition, ordering not only an abortion but a forced sterilization. the rest

Pope: America is “increasingly hostile to Christianity”

by John-Henry Westen
Thu Jan 19, 2012

 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a meeting with various U.S. Bishops today, Pope Benedict XVI said that the consensus which once existed in America supporting “ethical principles deriving from nature and nature’s God,” has faded. “Today that consensus has eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such,” he said.

The Pope was emphatic in insisting that the threat posed by current trends threatens not only Christianity but “humanity itself.” He said: “To the extent that some current cultural trends contain elements that would curtail the proclamation of these truths, whether constricting it within the limits of a merely scientific rationality, or suppressing it in the name of political power or majority rule, they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate vocation, our relationship to God.”

The Pope used strong language to describe the grave situation he perceives in America. “(I)t is imperative,” he said, “that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realise the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres.” He continued, “The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life.” the rest

New Definition of Autism Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests

January 19, 2012

Proposed changes in the definition of autism would sharply reduce the skyrocketing rate at which the disorder is diagnosed and might make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services, a new analysis suggests.

The definition is now being reassessed by an expert panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association, which is completing work on the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the first major revision in 17 years. The D.S.M., as the manual is known, is the standard reference for mental disorders, driving research, treatment and insurance decisions. Most experts expect that the new manual will narrow the criteria for autism; the question is how sharply.

The results of the new analysis are preliminary, but they offer the most drastic estimate of how tightening the criteria for autism could affect the rate of diagnosis. For years, many experts have privately contended that the vagueness of the current criteria for autism and related disorders like Asperger syndrome was contributing to the increase in the rate of diagnoses — which has ballooned to one child in 100, according to some estimates. the rest

Muslims in Egypt Burn Christian Homes and Shops, Attack Church


(AINA) -- A Muslim mob attacked Copts today in the Upper Egyptian village of Rahmaniya-Kebly, Nag Hammadi, Qena province, destroying and torching their homes, straw huts and shops, while chanting Allahu Akbar. No one was reported killed or injured (video). According to reports, security forces were present but did not intervene and the fire brigade arrived 90 minutes late.

An eye-witness said that a straw hut belonging to a Copt was torched to clear the area for a mosque. There are more than 300 mosques in the village and one church.

According to Coptic residents, the reason behind the violence was the parliamentary elections. The Salafists wanted to prevent Copts, who number more than 50% of the inhabitants (20,000), from voting because they intended to vote for two moderate Muslims and not the Salafi candidates. "No Copt from Rahmaniya-Kebly was able to vote today, so the Salafists will win the elections," said a witness. Copts were forcefully prevented from voting.

US-based WAY TV, which covered live today's Rahmaniya attacks, called commander Osama, head of security at Rahmaniya, who said "everything was OK" -- despite live pictures on TV of the burning homes. Joseph Nasralla of WAY TV spoke to security and made them aware that the videos of the fires were being broadcast in the U.S. and Middle East, which caused the immediate dispatch of security vehicles. By late evening the violence had stopped. the rest

Begin Sex Ed in Kindergarten, Says New ‘National Standards’ Report

By Elizabeth Harrington
January 17, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – By the time they leave elementary school, children should be able to “define sexual orientation,” and by the eighth grade be able to “define emergency contraception and its use,” according to a report containing controversial new recommendations for sex education in U.S. public schools.

“Ideally, comprehensive sexuality education should start in kindergarten and continue through 12th grade,” says the “National Sexuality Education Standards” report, drawn up by a range of advocates, academics and public education officials.

The Future of Sex Education (FoSE), an initiative started by sex education advocates, developed the standards “to create a strategic plan for sexuality education policy and implementation.” the rest

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thou didst call, and cry aloud...

Thou didst call, and cry aloud, and break through my deafness. Thou didst blaze forth, and shine, and scatter my blindness. Thou wert fragrant, and I drew in my breath, and pant for Thee. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace.  ...Augustine image

Nigeria: Believers Gunned Down "while their eyes were closed in prayer"

First-hand report of a native missionary ministry leader supported by Christian Aid.
Thursday January 19, 2012

I received this message on 16 January from an indigenous missionary ministry leader supported by Christian Aid. He had called me late at night on 6 January to ask for prayer. He and his family were behind locked doors with others from the ministry, keeping vigil so they would not be slaughtered in their sleep.

"We could never have imagined what would happen next when those two buses drove into town filled with Boko Haram Muslim fanatics. Authorities did nothing, and the next day, two of their young men on a motor cycle sped toward the Christ Apostolic church, raised their AK47's, and coldly and brazenly opened fire on believers gathered for prayer. Twelve people were killed, openly gunned down in daylight, while their eyes were closed in prayer. Twelve died, including three Christian brothers who support our missionary work. Anyone could be a target as it is now. We have no weapon but prayer, and we want you to join with us as the Lord and His kingdom are attacked."

Those murdered comprise only a small percentage of the total number that have been massacred in ruthless attacks by Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group intent on driving Nigeria's Christians from the nation's Muslim-dominated northern regions and imposing Shariah law throughout the nation.

After the church attack, still thirsty for blood, the killers went to a beauty salon, opened fire, and murdered four more. When several dozen Christians gathered together to mourn the loss of fellow believers murdered the previous day, Boko Haram members surrounded the crowd and began shooting, killing more than 20 people and leaving others severely wounded.

The attacks intensified throughout the Christmas season, leaving more than 50 people dead in a wave of bombings, mostly outside church buildings as services were ending. the rest

One Fifth of Human Race Being Aborted

Over the past three decades, about 20 percent of all pregnancies around the world have ended in abortion, according to the research.
Jan. 19, 2012

From 2003 to 2008, the abortion rate per 1,000 women of childbearing age (15 to 44) changed slightly, from 29 to 28 per 1,000. women But the proportion of unsafe abortions that took place across the world rose 44 percent in 1995 to 49 percent in 2008.

"The stall in the abortion rate coincides with a plateau in the level of contraceptive use, which had been increasing in prior years," said Dr. Gilda Sedgh, lead author of the study and senior researcher at the Guttmacher Institute in New York. "Before the abortion rate stalled, it was declining, and contraceptive use was increasing. Also more abortions are unsafe because a growing proportion of abortions are taking place in the developing world." the rest

Honor Killing in Germany

Muslim Beats His Girfriend and Kills Her Unborn Baby Because She Saw Male Doctor
January 18, 2012

A Muslim punches his pregnant girlfriend several times in the abdomen because she was examined by a male doctor.
Thanks to the heavy punches the unborn baby suffered cerebral haemorrhages while still in its mother's womb. It was possible for it to be delivered later through emergency Caesarian section, but it died of its serious injuries two days later in the hospital.

As the child was not born at the time of the action, the indictment against the 21-year-old refers only to "abortion" and not to murder.

The starting point for the fateful event was a routine gynaecological examination of the pregnant woman. As the female doctor who was usually responsible for her was on holiday, the examination was performed by a male substitute on an exceptional basis. For the then 20-year-old boyfriend of the heavily pregnant woman, a practising Muslim, this was horrific.   the rest

One Happy Dog!

Flood of ‘de-baptisms’ worries European church leaders

By Elizabeth Bryant
January 18, 2012

PARIS — A decade ago, Rene Lebouvier requested that his local Catholic church erase his name from the baptismal register. The church noted his demands on the margins of its records and the chapter was closed.

But the clergy abuse scandals rocking Europe, coupled with Pope Benedict XVI’s conservative stances on contraception, hardened Lebouvier’s views. Last October, a court in Normandy ruled in favor of his lawsuit to have his name permanently deleted from church records — making the 71-year-old retiree the first Frenchman to be officially “de-baptized.”

“I took the judicial route to get myself de-baptized because of the church’s excesses,” said Lebouvier, speaking by telephone from his village of Fleury, near the D-Day beaches.

“It’s a sort of honesty toward the church because they have a guy on their register who doesn’t believe in God.” the rest
The bigger worry, experts say, are plummeting rates of new baptisms. Half a century ago, for example, 90 percent of French children were baptized, said Sorbonne University religion professor Philippe Portier. Today, roughly one in three are.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Construction of 40 Russian churches to be underway in Moscow in 2012


(Itar-Tass) – Construction of forty Russian Orthodox churches will be underway in Moscow City’s densely populated bedroom communities in 2012, Vladimir Ressin, an advisor to the Mayor of Moscow told reporters Wednesday.

All in all, the authorities plan building some 200 new Russian Orthodox churches in the city’s dormitory districts that have an apparent shortage of church facilities.

“Foundations of twenty church buildings have already been laid and we’re supposed to make arrangements on another twenty land plots this year,” Ressin said after a conference on the Program 200 that envisions the construction of 200 fast-to-build churches. the rest

Parents: Disabled Toddler Denied Kidney Transplant

Dale Hurd
January 18, 2012

Chrissy and Joe Rivera of Stratford, N.J., say they were shocked when a doctor at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia told them their 3-year-old daughter Amelia was not eligible for a

"He had told us she wasn't eligible for a transplant because of 'mental retardation,' was the word he used," Chrissy Rivera said.

"It was upsetting, and I think it was handled the wrong way," Joe Rivera added.

Amelia has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare genetic condition that has mental and physical effects. She can't walk or talk, but she communicates with her eyes and smile.

"We just love her. She is part of the family," her mother said. the rest

Kuwait: The prince's mysterious conversion

In an audio file posted on a Christian satellite TV channel, prince Abdullah al-Sabah declared his faith in Jesus Christ. Muslims have attacked him saying “he isn’t a member of the royal family”
Marco Tosatti

According to reports, a Kuwaiti royal prince has become a follower of Jesus Christ. In an audio file posted with his name, he affirms that if he is killed because of a recording he made where he talks about his conversion, he firmly believes that he will meet Jesus Christ face-to-face. The news comes from Middle Eastern sources which state that al-Haqiqa – a Christian satellite TV channel in Arabic that transmits Christian religious programmes – broadcast an audio file attributed to the Kuwaiti prince, identified as Abdullah al-Sabah. The al-Sabahs are the royal family of Kuwait, a country rich in oil. The name Abdullah (servant of God) frequently appears in the Emir’s family tree.

In his audio file, Abdullah declared: “First of all, I fully agree with the distribution of this audio file and I now declare that if they kill me because of it, then I will appear before Jesus Christ and be with him for all eternity.” In this statement, the prince demonstrates his awareness of the fate in store for a martyr of the faith, according to Christian doctrine. The television channel stated that Abdullah is a member of the royal family, and that he recently renounced his faith in Islam and became a Christian, without specifying which particular branch of Christianity he had chosen. After stating his full name, the prince declared: “I will accept whatever they do to me, because the truth in the Bible has guided me towards the right path.”  the rest