Friday, November 30, 2012

Scrolling around...November 30, 2012

CBC trashes homeschooling mothers as incompetent, uneducated, and sexually irresponsible
Homeschoolers are incensed after Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC’s The Current, decided to air what she called the “last word” on her show discussing homeschooling.

Following her November 14 show, a two minute skit cast homeschooling mothers as incompetent, uneducated, and sexually irresponsible...

Let’s Not Wave the White Flag so Fast
...To that end, here are five practical ways the election tide could be turned.

1. Our churches need a serious housecleaning. What liberalism did for most Protestant denominations, the seeker sensitive church growth movement is doing for evangelicalism.
2. Despite the oft repeated myth that evangelicals are getting divorced at the same rate as unbelievers, evangelical homes are suffering the ravages of no-fault divorce to the tune of one out of every three marriages. It is a canard for the gay community to argue for same-sex marriage because we have made such a hash of it, but it sure would help us protect something we treated with more care.
3. It is time to reclaim the massive territory taken by John Dewey and his progressive heirs, the education system. It is time to raise up missionaries who will be teachers in secular schools.
4. It is time to reignite that great Biblical tradition of open-air preaching. We need an army of well equipped, winsome and bold open-air preachers to invade college campuses and public spaces to proclaim the good news.
5. To our shame, the top three Christian TV networks are filled with big-haired, fancy suit wearing, charlatan kooks. It is time to create quality television programs that are sound and captivating. There is no excuse for Christians to not be competing in this arena. We have the talent, ideas and money.

...Our job is not to reclaim America. Our job is to be Biblical Christians and America will be transformed....

Planned Parenthood mandates abortions; affiliates flee
A third affiliate of the nation’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, is leaving the organization because of a demand that all local groups provide abortions starting no later than 2013.

“Planned Parenthood of South Central New York is the latest affiliate to become independent because it won’t comply with the rule,” Marjorie Dannenfesler, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement today...

U.S. Birth Rates Hit Record Lows
The U.S. birth rate dropped to its lowest level in more than 90 years, led by a drop among immigrants, according to a report data released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

In 2011, the overall birth rate was 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, the lowest since at least 1920, Pew reported, citing numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics. The birth rate reached 122.7 in 1957, the peak of the Baby Boom. After the mid-1970s, the birth rate stabilized at about 65 to 70 births per 1,000 women annually, until the beginning of the Great Recession...

...Despite the recent decline, foreign-born moms continue to give birth to a disproportionate share of the country’s babies, the report said. In 2010, immigrants represented about 13 percent of the U.S. population while foreign-born mothers accounted for 23 percent of all births...

The Danger of International Internet Regulation | Heritage Foundation
...Schaefer and Gattuso warn that regulating the Internet is, in short, a very bad idea. “At best, this is unnecessary, as the Internet is doing quite well under the current framework. At worst, the expansion will allow the U.N.—parent organization of the ITU—to stifle the Web.”...

India: Twelve convictions for anti-Christian violence in Orissa, but “much remains to be done”
A court of first instance in Orissa sentenced to six years in jail 12 persons guilty of violence against Christian communities, during the campaign of indiscriminate violence which occurred in the district of Kandhamal (Orissa) in 2008. "It is the first step toward justice. People are still suffering, it is undeniable, but this ruling is a sign for legality, against impunity," comments to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. John Barwa SVD, Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar. "Much remains to be done to ensure full justice. The victims are still waiting for adequate compensation. On the other hand I can confirm that the Christians of Kandhamal, where I went a few days ago, have totally forgiven their torturers. And, despite the difficulties, the hardships and poverty of present life, they live faith in joy," added the Archbishop...

Colleges and the Tyranny of Good Intentions
...So institutions that once prided themselves as arenas for the free exchange of ideas — and still advertise themselves as such — have become the least free part of our society.

How? One answer is that university personnel almost all share the same liberal-left beliefs. Many feel that contrary views and criticism are evil and should be stamped out.

It also helps to follow the money. Government student-loan programs have pumped huge sums into colleges and universities that have been raising tuition and fees far faster than inflation.

The result is administrative bloat. Since 2005, universities have employed more administrators than teachers...

IRS blamed in massive South Carolina data breach
South Carolina's governor faulted an outdated Internal Revenue Service standard as a contributing factor to a massive data breach that exposed Social Security numbers of 3.8 million taxpayers plus credit card and bank account data.

Gov. Nikki Haley's remarks on Tuesday came after a report into the breach revealed that 74.7 GB was stolen from computers belonging to South Carolina's Department of Revenue (DOR) after an employee fell victim to a phishing email...

D.C. Group Throwing Christmas Party Celebrating Abortion
It’s the holiday season, and the abortion industry is working hard to capitalize on it. They already got Black Friday covered… next up? Christmas! You know, for choice!

Because what better way to celebrate the most famous birth in history than by celebrating abortion?...

Photo of New York police officer giving boots to homeless man sparks online sensation (video)

ACI’s letter to the Bishops of the Episcopal Church – revisited

From Anglican Mainstream
November 30th, 2012

Read open letter from The Rev. Prof. Christopher Seitz, The Rev. Dr. Philip Turner and The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner here.

Read also some of the comments from Kendall Harmon's blog, including this one by Pageantmaster (an Englishman) :

If I were an Episcopal Church Bishop receiving this letter as an addressee, which thankfully I am not qualified to be, and therefore do not have to swear allegience to a particular interpretation of TEC’s constitution as Goodwin Proctor shall feel like making it up from time to time, I think I would not be very pleased with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. Consider:

1. She has a dreadful record of wasting Episcopal Church resources, mostly on the dreadful firm of Goodwin Proctor and its partner acting as her Chancellor.

2. She has made the Episcopal Church into a by-word for arbitrary and reckless behaviour and persecution around the world and in doing so has now purported to depose hundreds of priests and dozens of bishops, including Bishop Henry Scriven of the Church of England, to the extent that her actions are regularly quoted in England as an example we do not want to follow, and we treat her purported depositions which put Madame Defarge in the shade with contempt, including her presumption against Bishop Henry Scriven and her latest escapades against Bishop Lawrence.

3. Her latest little escapade has backfired massively, because she triggered by her latest attack on South Carolina an automatic dissociation of the entire diocese, and this is no tiny diocese like Nevada from which desert place she hails as its bishop and Dean of a divinity school which exists only as her ‘Truth’ in the Walter Mitty world in which she lives.

4. South Carolina is a huge loss to TEC – virtually its only consistently growing diocese, at 29,444 members.

5. Between 2010 and 2011, TEC lost 28,861 members. In one fell swoop, the Presiding Bishop managed to ensure a similar loss in 2012. Got to keep up her average, I suppose. Now in Episcopal Church terms, South Carolina is one of the largest dioceses, and is equivalent to the Presiding Bishop losing a small Anglican Communion province, being larger than the Scottish Episcopal Church, or the Province of South East Asia, or the Southern Cone.

Let me just repeat that figure, twenty-nine thousand Epsiscopalians in a diocese have been alienated by the sole actions of the Presiding Bishop. That is a breathtaking record of failure by this Presiding Bishop, all of which comes down to her personal mendacity and total incompetence. It need not have happened but so determined is this vicious zealot that it seems not to matter to her. If I were a TEC bishop, I would be appalled.

Read more here at TitusOneNine

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Presiding Bishop taking charge in South Carolina

Loyalist meeting learns Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is behind them

By George Conger

A gathering of national church loyalists has learned that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is backing their move to claim the mantle of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

The presiding bishop's attorney told the 15 Nov 2012 meeting of TEC loyalists the national church had been preparing for the fight with Bishop Lawrence and the majority faction in the diocese for some time. However assertions made at the meeting that the former Bishop of East Tennessee will be intervening on behalf of the presiding bishop supplant Bishop Mark Lawrence were unfounded.

The Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg told Anglican Inkhis officiating at public worship as a priest in the jurisdiction of the Diocese of South Carolina was permitted under a license he held by Bishop Mark Lawrence, while his actions as a bishop were of a pastoral nature. The retired bishop said the had been given “no special or particular authority” to exercise episcopal office in South Carolina. the rest

My advice to Justin Welby

The next Archbishop of Canterbury cannot ignore the media

Rowan Williams would speak to reporters from outside the field of religion journalism – and it was in these “safe” environments he would blunder by being too clever, tripped up by his egotism and inability to communicate simply and clearly.

Justin Welby’s first press conference following the announcement of his appointment leaves me hopeful we won’t see the mistakes of the past continued. I do hope he is able to bring in his own staff and clean the Lambeth stables.

But there are signs that he may not be ready for prime time. This photo leaves me worried. True, it is not on the order of Rowan Williams’ druidical wimple, but I would ask what he was thinking. the rest

Church of England aims to revive women bishops plan

Scrolling around...November 29, 2012

British teen suffers 7 heart attacks, hundreds of blood clots after one month on the Pill
The Daily Mail has reported that a British teenager suffered seven heart attacks after the popular contraceptive pill Microgynon caused her to develop hundreds of blood clots...

Hollywood: Where Christian conversion is a ‘meltdown’
...I don’t want to make any claims about the authenticity or longevity of Mr. Jones’ conversion, and I don’t know anything about the church he’s joined up with. I pray he’s sincere and is able to stay the course.

But what’s amazing is how his reported conversion to Christian faith and profession of traditional sexual values is somehow being compared to the meltdown of former lead Charlie Sheen...

The Rise of Faux Diversity-Should skin color be a determining factor in college admissions?
...The complexities of actual diversity are ignored by its more superficial variant. The contradiction in most universities’ idea of diversity is that it functions in terms of stereotypical, simplistic, race-based categories that ignore all of the other ways in which people are diverse, ways that could actually enrich the university. For example, most universities today are secular and philosophically materialistic; they could use the intellectual diversity that more religious believers might bring to the student body. Wouldn’t those perspectives confer “educational benefits” in the classroom, providing alternative points of view that might enrich the learning experience of their classmates?

Additionally, given that faculties are overwhelmingly liberal, a concern with genuine diversity surely would include the recruitment of conservative students and faculties. But the admissions officers at elite colleges and universities are not worried about having too few Christians or Republicans. Indeed, a sure-fire way for a candidate to be blacklisted in academia is to profess a belief associated with conservativism or Christianity.

Moreover, of all the various categories of diversity—whether ethnic, economic, political, or religious—most universities are really interested in only those minorities that the Civil Rights industry recognizes: Hispanics, African Americans, and occasionally Third-World “persons of color,” no matter how rich and privileged they may be. Indeed, in the Fisher oral arguments, the University’s lawyer explicitly said that a minority applicant from a privileged background would add diversity to the university. It helps that these minority groups have organized vocal lobbies adept at putting together telegenic demonstrations or applying political pressure whenever an administrator does something they don’t like...

Sweden bans mention of Jesus at kids’ Advent services
Head teachers in Sweden have been told they can take pupils to Christmas services in church – but Jesus cannot be mentioned.

Advent services for children are part of the curriculum, but religious content has been ruled out by education officials.

They said “prayer, blessings or declarations of faith” are all banned, yesterday’s Metro newspaper reported...

Egyptian parliament endorses Sharia law
Egypt’s Constituent Assembly has endorsed Article 2 of the country’s proposed constitution making Sharia law the basis for the country’s civil legal code.

On 29 Nov 2012 members of the Egyptian parliament began voting on each of the 234 article proposed by a constitutional committee chartered by President Mohammad Mursi. However, representatives of Egypt’s Christian communities and the opposition walked out of the talks last week after the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated drafting committee refused to compromise over Sharia law...

UK: Now sick babies go on death pathway: Doctor's haunting testimony reveals how children are put on end-of-life plan
...One doctor has admitted starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone.

Writing in a leading medical journal, the physician revealed the process can take an average of ten days during which a baby becomes ‘smaller and shrunken’.

The LCP – on which 130,000 elderly and terminally-ill adult patients die each year – is now the subject of an independent inquiry ordered by ministers...

The Coming Middle Class Tax Hike
Employee payroll taxes are scheduled to rise nearly 50 percent in 2013 absent action by lawmakers, and there is a growing sense that both parties might be willing to let that happen.

Party leaders have about five weeks to resolve a host of budget issues to avoid going over the “fiscal cliff,” the term used to describe more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to occur on Jan. 1, 2013...

Baby named 'Hashtag' draws Internet fame, ire, skepticism
Media outlets introduced the world to Hashtag Jameson, a baby girl reportedly named after Twitter's #

A color-coded map of the world’s most and least emotional countries
Singapore is the least emotional country in the world...
The Philippines is the world’s most emotional country...

Girl, 15, ‘beheaded’ in Afghanistan after her family turned down marriage proposal
A teenage girl was beheaded by a relative in northern Afghanistan after she turned down his marriage proposals, according to reports.

The victim, named as Gisa, was decapitated with a knife in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province on Tuesday, local police said. She is believed to be around 15-years-old.

No God, not even Allah
...MOB attacked Alexander Aan even before an Indonesian court in June jailed him for two and a half years for “inciting religious hatred”. His crime was to write “God does not exist” on a Facebook group he had founded for atheists in Minang, a province of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Like most non-believers in Islamic regions, he was brought up as a Muslim. And like many who profess godlessness openly, he has been punished.

In a handful of majority-Muslim countries atheists can live safely, if quietly; Turkey is one example, Lebanon another. None makes atheism a specific crime. But none gives atheists legal protection or recognition. Indonesia, for example, demands that people declare themselves as one of six religions; atheism and agnosticism do not count. Egypt’s draft constitution makes room for only three faiths: Christianity, Judaism and Islam...

Re-evangelizing New England
...The Northeast is the historic cradle of American Christianity, and just about every postcard-ready town here boasts a white church with a steeple. But sometime between the Second Great Awakening and today, the region evolved into the most secular part of the country. In the words of one regional missions group, “pulpits that once boasted gospel preachers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield now proclaim universalism, liberalism, and postmodernism.” A Gallup poll this year found that the four least-religious states in America are in New England. For evangelicals, the issue is more pointed: Evangelical researcher J.D. Payne has found that of the five U.S. metro areas with the lowest percentage of evangelicals, New England cities are beat only by Mormon-dominated Provo, Utah. New England is relatively wealthy and educated, and overall, its population is shrinking and aging. That’s why some Christians see New England as “hard soil”—and desperate for re-evangelizing. There’s a palpable sense of momentum growing among evangelicals in New England, who say this hard soil may soon bear fruit thanks to institutional efforts, individual leaders, and an intangible sense of energy often credited to the Holy Spirit. But do they have any hope of success in the most proudly and profoundly secular region in America?...
Also excellent... Brothers, Live a Visible, Exemplary, Everyday Life

$500 Million Powerball Jackpot: The Tragic Stories of the Lottery’s Unluckiest Winners
Need a little proof that money doesn't buy happiness? For these 10 lottery winners, cashing in turned out to have been the worst decision of their lives...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

God is pursuing with omnipotent passion...

God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose. If we do this, God’s omnipotent committment to His name will be over us like a banner, and we will not lose, in spite of many tribulations. 
...John S. Piper image

Scrolling around...November 28, 2012

Washington state drafting same-sex marriage certificates
The Washington state Health Department will be changing marriage and divorce certificates in response to the same-sex marriage law that takes effect Dec. 6.

Words such as "bride," "groom," "husband" and "wife" will likely be gone. The department wants to use gender-neutral terms.

Is marijuana harmless?

Obamacare's many contraception lawsuits
War on women — meet war on religious employers.

The first battle played out in the voting booth.

Two-thirds of millionaires left Britain to avoid 50 percent tax rate
In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.

This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50p top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election.

The figures have been seized upon by the Conservatives to claim that increasing the highest rate of tax actually led to a loss in revenues for the Government...

Catholics imprisoned in Mali for refusing to listen to Muslim sermon
Three Congolese Catholics have been imprisoned in Timbuktu for refusing to attend a Muslim sermon.

Earlier this year, the city and much of northern Mali fell under the control of Islamist rebels who have implemented shari'a with brutality. “Thieves have had their arms amputated, and smokers and drinkers have been whipped,” Agence France-Presse reported.

Nigeria car bombs kill at least 11 at church
Twin suicide car bombs exploded Sunday at a church inside one of Nigeria's top military bases, killing at least 11 people and wounding another 30 in an embarrassing attack showing the continued insecurity that haunts Africa's most populous nation.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but suspicion immediately fell on the radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram, whose suicide bombers target Sunday worship services in what has become a weekly macabre routine in Nigeria...

CDC: HIV spread high in young gay males
...The government on Tuesday released new numbers that spotlight how the spread of the AIDS virus is heavily concentrated in young males who have sex with other males. Only about a quarter of new infections in the 13-to-24 age group are from injecting drugs or heterosexual sex...

Tab for Superstorm Sandy Repairs Grows-worse than Katrina
The focus of efforts to clean up and rebuild after superstorm Sandy is moving from flood-ravaged streets to the halls of power in Washington.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday increased his request for federal aid to $42 billion from an earlier estimate of $30 billion, adding $12 billion for rebuilding and projects that would protect against future storms and laying the groundwork for a fight in a busy lame-duck U.S. Congress scrambling to cut spending.

Mr. Cuomo's request, laid out first in a meeting with New York's congressional delegation and later to reporters, is the most comprehensive accounting to date of the fiscal toll from a storm that killed 60 people across the state. The tally includes some strikingly large numbers, prompting the governor to say that the financial impact from Sandy was worse than that of Hurricane Katrina...

AS Haley: ACI to Bishops: "Restore the Good Order of our Church!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Close on the heels of my last post about dysfunction permeating the leadership of the Episcopal Church (USA) comes this devastating indictment of the Presiding Bishop and her cohorts from the three clergy members of the Anglican Communion Institute. The facts recited deal only with the Diocese of South Carolina, and as such represent but a tiny portion of the lawlessness which the Presiding Bishop allows to guide her actions in the whole Church, as you may read about in the links just on this page.

This call should move any Bishop who truly cares about the "good order" of the Church, and who takes seriously a bishop's responsibilities to shepherd and maintain that good order. Copies of it should be sent to every diocesan office in the Church, to the reporters who are covering the story in South Carolina, and to any other newspaper outlets which will print a story about it. These three brave clergy are putting their own careers in the Church on the line in order to call their own Presiding Bishop to account! When has that ever been done before, since the unhappy end of Pope Urban VIthe rest

    We disagree with those among you who think the Presiding Bishop and her agents have done no wrong. As our Appendix demonstrates, the evidence is overwhelming that they have violated canons and engaged in discussions deceitfully. We disagree with those who accept the evidence, but think the matter inconsequential. If our leaders will not follow the canons and formal procedures of the church, not only in letter but in spirit, they forfeit any trust they may hold and undermine the mutual trust of the church as a whole. We disagree with those who think that such disregard of letter and spirit is merited by the misbehavior of Bishop Lawrence. Canonical violation and deceit will never produce peace in the church or render a just outcome. Further, the diocese of South Carolina has, for a long time, struggled to maintain its unity as a conservative Christian body and to remain within The Episcopal Church. Bp. Lawrence was given a tightrope to walk from the moment of his election and did so successfully and honestly. He did not jump from this difficult position but was intentionally pushed by the Presiding Bishop and the Disciplinary Board in ways that were neither necessary nor responsible. We disagree with those who believe that, in any case, all this is of little importance for the future of The Episcopal Church. The departure from The Episcopal Church, under moral duress, by one of our strongest and few growing dioceses, taking with it a range of energies and vital witness, threatens to subvert the hopes and good will of thousands of faithful members of our church and discourage the willingness of younger leaders to come forward in our midst. Indeed, all this constitutes a crisis for The Episcopal Church of the gravest kind.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Musical Interruption - Carol Of The Bells

Yousef Nadarkhani thanks Christians for their prayers

Jailed Iranian pastor addresses CSW conference in London

  By George Conger

Yousef Nadarkhani, the Iranian pastor jailed sentenced to death for apostasy from Islam but released after an international protest campaign was in London this month to thank Christian Solidarity Worldwide for its advocacy on his behalf.

On 10 Nov 2012 Pastor Nadarkhani spoke to the For Such a Time as This conference through an interpreter thanking Christians in the West for their prayers and petitions on his behalf. The following Sunday he preached at Holy Trinity Brompton in London, speaking to the plight of Christians in Iran. the rest

Scrolling around...November 27, 2012

Canada: Football star’s mom, a lesbian priest, no big deal in Anglicanism
...But stories like that of Rev. Margaret Cornish, who has been vicar of St. Alban’s Church in Richmond for almost seven years, are becoming commonplace in liberal Christian churches in Canada and the United States.

There are hundreds of women in the ministry in the Anglican Church and United Church of Canada who have either always been in lesbian relationships or have moved into them in their middle years.

Rev. Cornish had five children via male partners before taking on a female wife, Andrea Mann, who works with the Vancouver School of Theology. The Christian seminary on the University of B.C. campus has long been training men and women for the ministry who are homosexual. As they say in journalism, it’s “old news.” Even while shocking to some...

Dear Rob Bell, the Episcopal Church Welcomes You
...So as an Episcopal admirer, to Rob Bell I say, the Episcopal Church welcomes you and more than that we need you. You seem lonely preaching the gospel that Love wins, but we have been preaching that gospel a long time. You will find a welcome place for your theology in the Episcopal Church, but you can also find a new canvas for your artistry...

Bishop Guess Who: Jesus would back gay marriage
...Robinson said in order to both hold the Bible to be sacred and support gay marriage one must interpret the Bible as the "word of God, not the words of God," meaning not interpreting it literally and taking historical context into consideration...

Obamacare in crisis as 2013 approaches
...The bitter irony is that all of this billion-dollar confusion is happening because ObamaCare seeks to replace far less expensive and more efficient market forces with one-size-fits-all mandates and central planning. The purpose of these health care exchanges is to create a titanic fifty-state bureaucracy that helps consumers find the best Washington-approved health care policies, and collect all of the tax credits owed them – a sort of “” for health insurance, as Viebeck describes it.

In other words, it’s a hideously expensive and clumsy replacement for market competition and advertising. Instead of allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines and win over customers with advertising – by far the most efficient way to educate consumers about the features and benefits of any product – we’ve got a red-tape nightmare machine that’s already running over budget and failing to meet deadlines, as the federal politicians who seized control of the health insurance market belatedly realize their arrogance in presuming to know local conditions better than the people who live there...

Justice Ginsburg: We Need An All-Female Supreme Court
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says there will be enough women on the Supreme Court when all nine justices are female...

Canada: 491 Babies Born Alive After Failed Abortions, Left to Die
...The lack of prosecution demonstrates two things: first, that political correctness surrounding the abortion issue trumps common sense, common decency and the rule of law; and second, that those who advocate for this type of behaviour are truly pro-abortion and not pro-choice. Let me explain: the only defense that could possibly justify such a procedure would be to save the life of the mother. But note well that in order to save the life of the mother a physician would only need to end the pregnancy – and that can happen, at this late stage of pregnancy, with either a live, albeit premature, baby or a dead baby. If the terminated pregnancy results in a human being dying after birth, it is because that death was the end goal; saving the life of the baby’s mother was only a pretext...

The Future of Marriage: Why “The Inevitable” Is Not Inevitable
Election Day was a drubbing for marriage. The ballot initiatives to protect marriage lost by over 4% in Maine, Minnesota, Washington State, and Maryland. Those who support same-sex “marriage” reportedly spent over $33 million, while those who defend marriage spent just over $10 million.

Many friends have said that same-sex marriage is inevitable. It is not. I have confidence that fence-sitters will enter the fray in support of traditional marriage. As we continue to debate this issue, three important forces can shift the outcome in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Consider first, public opinion; second, the methods and the message of LGBT activists; and third, reality...

Court clears path for health lawsuit; Bible publisher wins injunction
The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Nov. 26 for a federal appeals court to take up a Christian college's challenge to the Affordable Care Act, reopening one of several lawsuits filed by religious and other groups who oppose elements of the law.

The court ordered the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the argument of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., that the health care law infringes on the Christian school's religious freedom. The court had rejected an earlier challenge by the university, made prior to the Supreme Court's June ruling upholding the health care law. The university appealed again, asking for its challenge to be considered in light of the June Supreme Court ruling...

Morsi's Egypt: More power, more persecution
Christian human-rights analysts warn the expanded powers seized by Egypt’s president means more anti-Christian persecution to come.

In a set of legal maneuvers this week, Muslim Brotherhood-anointed President Mohamed Morsi moved to sidestep the courts and make his office immune to judicial oversight. With no constitution to restrain him, Morsi holds broad executive and legislative authority...

2012 'Naughty and Nice' List Shows More Companies Now Say 'Christmas'
"Nice" companies that acknowledge Christmas far outnumber the ones that censor it, according to Christian legal group Liberty Counsel's 10th annual "Naughty & Nice" checklist. Those on the "Naughty" side include Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., and Banana Republic...

Angus T. Jones of 'Two and a Half Men' Finds Christ, Slams Show
Angus T. Jones of "Two and Half Men" fame converted to Christianity and denounced and criticized his past life and activities, including his role on the famous TV show. Throughout his two videotaped testimonies in October, he chronicled his journey to Christ and decried the worldly influence of entertainment... (also video testimony)

Germany expected to bring back law preventing sex with animals after rise in bestiality cases
Germany is poised to reinstate an old law forbidding sex with animals after a sharp rise in incidents of bestiality along with websites promoting it.

Parliament begins debating changes to the national Animal Protection Code this week with the agricultural committee of the Bundestag pledging fines of up to £20,000 for a first offence.

Bestiality dropped off the statute books as a crime in 1969 but in recent years the number of people believed to be participating in such acts has increased significantly...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Scrolling around...November 26, 2012

Jamie Foxx calls Barack Obama 'our lord and savior'
Appearing on Sunday night's Soul Train awards in Las Vegas, Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx called Barack Obama "our lord and savior."

"It's like church over here. It's like church in here. First of all, give an honor to God and our lord and savior Barack Obama. Barack Obama," he said.

Since the 2008 election, several have attempted to deify Barack Obama...

U.N. to Seek Control of the Internet
Next week the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union will meet in Dubai to figure out how to control the Internet. Representatives from 193 nations will attend the nearly two week long meeting, according to news reports...

Do You Live In A Death Spiral State?
...Eleven states make our list of danger spots for investors. They can look forward to a rising tax burden, deteriorating state finances and an exodus of employers. The list includes California, New York, Illinois and Ohio, along with some smaller states like New Mexico and Hawaii...

The right not to work for Obamacare-Government medicine means servitude for doctors
...Today, most would agree that people have a right to turn down a job or to work for some employers but not for others.

I do not want to work for the Department of Health and Human Services — not for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius or for her successor. I don’t want to work for Medicare, Medicaid, United Healthcare, other third-party payers, accountable care organizations or other Obamacare creations.

I want to choose my employer. I think it is generally a bad idea to choose an employer who is bankrupt, as the U.S. government surely is. I don’t intend to sign a managed care contract in which I promise to keep working even if the billion-dollar company goes bankrupt and stops paying me. Those contracts have an Enrollee Hold Harmless Clause that forbids billing patients when the plan doesn’t pay...

Supreme Court Orders New Look at Obamacare, Abortion Funding
The Supreme Court today ordered a federal appeals court to take a new look at the controversial Obamacare law and whether it unconstitutionally forces taxpayers to fund abortions and contraception, violating religious freedoms...

World Health Organization Urges Global Abortion-on-Demand and Disposal of Aborted Babies as ‘Waste’
The World Health Organization (WHO) is coming under criticism after recently releasing a new manual that urges worldwide abortion-on-demand and the subsequent disposal of babies as “waste,” which includes flushing their blood into the sewer.

The manual, the second of its kind, entitled Safe Abortion: Technical and Policy Guidance for Health Systems, explains that the organization wants all restrictions to abortion removed worldwide.

Study Shows Abortion Linked to High Breast Cancer Risk
...“This study showed an increased risk of breast cancer with times of abortion. The association between abortion and risk of breast cancer in a study in China showed that the risk factors of female breast cancer included abortion times more than two (Li et al., 2006),” they continued. “Another study found that risk was raised among women reporting at least one abortion, but no trend was seen with number of abortions (Heuch et al., 2008). In a meta-analysis study, pooled odds ratio for number of abortions greater than and equal three was statistically significant (95%CI:1.68-5.36) (Tao et al.,2011).”

“In conclusion, in this study the estrogen related risk factors of breast cancer included woman who had longer menstrual cycle, older age of first live birth, never breastfeeding, nulliparity, and number of abortions more than one. Therefore, it is recommended to women with these risk factors perform breast cancer screening tests earlier and regularly,” they said...

Brits concerned about marriage breakdown
...In a poll of over 1,700 adults by the Centre for Social Justice, 60% agreed that marriage has become less important and that this is a "bad thing" for Britain.

Over half (55%) said there was at least one area close to where they lived that was affected by serious social problems like broken families, poor schools and crime.

Most of those surveyed (85%) felt that family and parenting were key to mending broken society...

Women Are Cutting Off Their Pinky Toes to Wear Stilettos.
...Having your pinky toe completely severed in order to be able to squish your foot into a sexy pair of stilettos sounds totally ridiculous -- but yes, women are doing it.

Other "foot job" procedures that are seeing a rise in popularity include getting injections into the balls of the feet for extra padding and cushioning, and also having one or more toes shortened as opposed to slicing the whole toe off. (Still kind of nuts if you ask me.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hail To the Lord's Anointed...

Hail to the Lord’s anointed, great David’s greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free;
To take away transgression and rule in equity.

He comes in succor speedy to those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in His sight.

He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in His path to birth.
Before Him, on the mountains, shall peace, the herald, go,
And righteousness, in fountains, from hill to valley flow.

Kings shall fall down before Him, and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him, His praise all people sing;
For He shall have dominion o’er river, sea and shore,
Far as the eagle’s pinion or dove’s light wing can soar.

For Him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end:
The mountain dews shall nourish a seed in weakness sown,
Whose fruit shall spread and flourish and shake like Lebanon.

O’er every foe victorious, He on His throne shall rest;
From age to age more glorious, all blessing and all blest.
The tide of time shall never His covenant remove;
His Name shall stand forever, His Name to us is Love.
...James Montgomery image

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Anglican Unscripted Episode 57

Nov 24, 2012

This week Kevin and George talk about the Diocsese of South Carolina and the response to their vote to leave the Episcopal Church. Peter talks about the recent vote for Women Bishop in the Church of Englican and Alan Haley discusses the legal remification facing the Diocese of South Carolina and the Episcopal Church. And as always there is much much more in Episode 57.

Every growth of spiritual life...

Every growth of spiritual life, from the first tender shoot until now, has been the work of the Holy Spirit.... The only way to more life is the Holy Spirit. You will not even know that you want more unless He works in you to desire it.... The Spirit of God must come and make the letter alive, transfer it to your heart, set it on fire, and make it burn within you, or else its divine force and majesty will be hid from your eyes.... Prayer is the creation of the Holy Spirit. We cannot do without prayer, and we cannot pray without the Holy Spirit. ...CH Spurgeon image

Scrolling around... November 24, 2012

...In the past, Americans often took foreign jobs for the adventure or because their career field demanded overseas work. Today, these young people are leaving because they can’t find jobs in the United States. They’re leaving because the jobs they do find often don’t offer benefits such as health insurance. They’re leaving because the gloomy atmosphere of the American economy makes it hard to break through with a new innovative idea or business model. “This is a huge movement,” says Bob Adams, president and chief executive of America Wave, an organization that studies overseas relocation... image

Emboldened gay-marriage supporters now want more
Bolstered by their recent wins at the ballot box, gay-marriage activists say they are looking to build on their newfound momentum at the ballot box and in the courtroom.

Having broken a long losing string at the polls Nov. 6, gay marriage backers already have targeted several states for statewide voting drives, even as they await an imminent announcement from the Supreme Court that could reignite the battle over same-sex marriage in California.

Among the states being primed for marriage battles are New Jersey, one of just two states electing a governor and new state legislature in 2013, Delaware, Illinois and Rhode Island...

Democrats Groom the Mentally Disabled to Vote
...But even knowing this, I was not prepared for a conversation I had at Thanksgiving dinner with my brother-in-law, Henry, who has lived most of his life in a home for the mentally disabled and although now in his 40s, has the intelligence level of a 6-year-old.

“Obama saved me,” he said to me out of the blue.

“What do you mean?”

“I voted for him for president and now he’s saving me.”

I was taken aback by these words, since Henry had no idea who Obama was, or what a president might be, and would be unable to fill out a registration form let alone get to the polling place by himself.

So I asked him how he knew that and how he had registered and cast his vote. In halting, impeded speech he told me that the people who take care of him at the home filled out “the papers” to register him to vote, told him how Obama cared for him, even taught him the Obama chants, and then took him to the polling place to vote. They did the same for all of the mentally disabled patients in their care, approximately 60 in all...

Electronic tracking: new constraint for Saudi women
Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women's male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together...

Jewish Group Concerned About Anti-Semitism at European Soccer Games
The World Jewish Congress is expressing concern about an anti-Semitic and racist outburst at a recent soccer game. The concern relates to a Europa League game between Italian team S.S. Lazio and the English the Tottenham Hotspur. The match took place Thursday night in Rome...

Jurors Agree: University of Iowa Law School Discriminated Against Faculty Applicant Due to Her Conservative Views
Following up on my previous posts (links below) about Teresa Wagner's federal lawsuit: Des Monies Register, Jurors Say They Saw Hiring Bias at University of Iowa; But University, Not Former Law Dean, Wronged Conservative Job Applicant:
A federal jury believed the University of Iowa’s law school illegally denied a promotion to a conservative Republican because of her politics, former jurors told The Des Moines Register.
However, jurors said they felt conflicted about holding a former dean personally responsible for the bias. They wanted to hold the school itself accountable, but federal law does not recognize political discrimination by institutions. “I will say that everyone in that jury room believed that she had been discriminated against,” said Davenport resident Carol Tracy, the jury forewoman.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thou hast given so much to me...

Thou hast given so much to me
Give one thing more-a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
But such a heart whose pulse may be
Thy praise.
...George Herbert image

This way of seeing our Father in everything...

This way of seeing our Father in everything makes life one long thanksgiving and gives a rest of heart, and, more than that, a gayety of spirit, that is unspeakable. Some one says, "God's will on earth is always joy, always tranquility." And since He must have His own way concerning His children, into what wonderful green pastures of inward rest, and beside what blessedly still waters of inward refreshment is the soul led that learns this secret. If the will of God is our will, and if He always has His way, then we always have our way also, and we reign in a perpetual kingdom. He who sides with God cannot fail to win in every encounter; and, whether the result shall be joy or sorrow, failure or success, death or life, we may, under all circumstances, join in the Apostle's shout of victory, "Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ!" ...Hannah Whitall Smith

A "liberal" member of Synod explains his "no" vote on women bishops

Protections for conservatives were "insufficient"
November 21, 2012
By Tom Sutcliffe

voted for women priests in 1992 and I am in principle keen that we should have women bishops in the Church of England. But I voted against the Measure being proposed for final approval yesterday. I had two main reasons for voting no.

The Provision is not sufficient

It simply is not true that it made appropriate provisions for the two minorities of less than a third of Church members who cannot accept the ordination or consecration of women as being consistent with their understanding of scripture and tradition. It may well be that traditionalist Anglo-Catholics could have lived awkwardly with the Measure as proposed had it got through. But conservative evangelicals would have been severely affected and in an impossible position. the rest

Church of England in crisis: Archbishop of Canterbury attacks members for voting against women bishops
The Archbishop of Canterbury has launched a scathing attack on those within his own church who voted down legislation to approve women bishops accusing them of being “unrealistic”.

In an impassioned speech at the General Synod this morning that vividly illustrates the depth of the current crisis facing his organisation, Dr Rowan Williams admitted that the Church of England loses credibility every day it fails to approve women bishops.

GetReligion: On women bishops: Who voted “no” and why?
To the shock of legions of mainstream reporters, the Church of England fell just short of approving the long-debated step of raising women to the Anglican episcopate.

The issue that seems to have some reporters stumped, a bit, is why the laypeople who cast these votes didn’t go along with this latest evolution in Anglican orders. Take, for example, the pretty solid report from Reuters, as offered by The Huffington Post. Here are two summary passages that contain the key material...

Albert Mohler: The Church of England Votes Against Women Bishops — What Does This Mean?
“This is a train crash,” said one frustrated priest. Yesterday was a decisive day in the history of the Church of England, but it was also a deeply divisive day. After 37 years of controversy and turmoil, the church’s General Synod turned down a proposal to consecrate women as bishops. The proposal required a two-thirds majority in all three houses of the General Synod in order to pass, and it failed to receive that vote among the laity...

Scrolling around...November 21, 2012

Hamas 'blesses' terror attack on Tel Aviv bus
Sweet cakes handed out in Gaza's main hospital after TA bombing, celebratory gunfire reported throughout Strip...

21 wounded in terror attack on Tel Aviv bus
An explosion ripped through a bus in central Tel Aviv around noon on Wednesday — the first bombing attack in the city since 2006.

Twenty-one people were injured in the bombing, three of them seriously. No one was killed...

Hobby Lobby Appeals Decision Forcing It to Obey HHS Mandate
Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned and run company, is fighting back against a judge’s decision siding with the Obama administration saying that it has the right to force it to pay for drugs for women that may cause abortions.

The privately held retail chain with more than 500 arts and crafts stores in 41 states filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The company says it would face $1.3 million in fines on a daily basis starting in January if it fails to comply with the mandate, which requires religious employers to pay for or refer women for abortion-cause drugs that violate their conscience or religious beliefs...

Same-Sex Marriage Ten Years On: Lessons from Canada
...At first glance, clergy and houses of worship appeared largely immune from coercion to condone or perform same-sex marriages. Indeed, this was the grand bargain of the same-sex marriage legislation—clergy would retain the right not to perform marriages that would violate their religious beliefs. Houses of worship could not be conscripted against the wishes of religious bodies.

It should have been clear from the outset just how narrow this protection is. It only prevents clergy from being coerced into performing marriage ceremonies. It does not, as we have seen, shield sermons or pastoral letters from the scrutiny of human rights commissions. It leaves congregations vulnerable to legal challenges if they refuse to rent their auxiliary facilities to same-sex couples for their ceremony receptions, or to any other organization that will use the facility to promote a view of sexuality wholly at odds with their own.

Neither does it prevent provincial and municipal governments from withholding benefits to religious congregations because of their marriage doctrine. For example, Bill 13, the same Ontario statute that compels Catholic schools to host “Gay-Straight Alliance” clubs (and to use that particular name), also prohibits public schools from renting their facilities to organizations that will not agree to a code of conduct premised on the new orthodoxy. Given that many small Christian congregations rent school auditoriums to conduct their worship services, it is easy to appreciate their vulnerability.

Changes to the Public Conception of Marriage

It has been argued that if same-sex marriage is institutionalized, new marital categories may be accepted, like polygamy. Once one abandons a conjugal conception of marriage, and replaces it with a conception of marriage that has adult companionship as its focus, there is no principled basis for resisting the extension of marriage licenses to polygamist and polyamorist unions...

Communion-sponsored mediation proposed for South Carolina

ACI urges use of the Windsor process to resolve split
November 21, 2012
By George Conger

Resolution of the South Carolina standoff would best be served by an international intervention of the type proposed by the Anglican Communion's Windsor Continuation Group, the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI) said last night in a paper released on its website.

The American-based church think tank has proposed the national Episcopal Church and the Diocese of South Carolina take up the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group formed by Dr. Rowan Williams.

The ACI stated the WCG recommended that in cases of theological dispute between a diocese and province “a provisional holding arrangement” for the diocese be crafted that would “enable dialogue to take place and which will be revisited on the conclusion of the Covenant Process." the rest
It is unclear if such a proposal will be received favorably by the national church. Speaking on 17 Nov 2012 in Chicago at an academic conference, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey described the situation in South Carolina as "utter madness." He argued the Episcopal Church had lost sight of its essential mission and was now a creature of its canons. While not sharing Lord Carey’s views on the underlying issues, the former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Frank T. Griswold conceded the Episcopal Church in recent years seemed to have lost its spirit of “liberality” and did not handle well dissent.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Church of England rejects women bishops

Consecration and Ordination of Women Measure falls six votes short
November 20, 2012
By George Conger

The General Synod of the Church of England has rejected legislation allowing women priest to be appointed to the episcopate.

Following 12 years of legislative progress and several hours of debate during the 20 Nov 2012 afternoon session of synod, the Consecration and Ordination of Women Measure failed to pass in all three houses of the Church of England's legislative body.

In the House of Bishops the vote was 44 for and 3 against with 2 abstentions; in the House of Clergy 148 for and 45 against; and in the House of Laity 132 for and 74 against.

A two-thirds margin was required in all three houses to amend church canons to permit women bishops. While the bishops and clergy endorsed the measure, it fell six votes short amongst the laity. the rest

Stand Firm: Church of England general synod votes against women bishops

BBC: Church of England general synod rejects women bishops

First Things: Church of England Votes Against Women Bishops

Telegraph: Women bishops: the Anglican Church is paralysed by its conflicting obsessions of equality and consensus
Wow – we truly live in an age of miracles. The Church of England just voted in favour of tradition. To be precise, its Synod failed to garner the necessary two thirds majority to allow for women bishops. A majority did want change, just not a large enough one – and most of the opposition seems to have come from the laity rather than the clergy...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Church of England will not break with South Carolina

General Synod told the CoE seeks to maintain relations with both sides in the US church civil war
November 19, 2012
By George Conger

The Church of England has declined to accept Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori’s assertion the Diocese of South Carolina may not withdraw from the Episcopal Church. Nor will Saturday’s vote by the South Carolina Special Convention affect the standing of its clergy with the Church of England at this time, General Synod learned today.

Speaking for the church’s Council for Christian Unity (CCU), Bishop Christopher Hill said the Church of England sought to maintain good relations with all sides in the Episcopal Church’s civil war and would take no “hasty” actions at this time.

On 19 November 2012 two questions were put to the CCU by members of General Synod on the South Carolina affair. the rest
Bishop Hill said that “on Saturday, a Special Diocesan Convention endorsed the South Carolina withdrawal from the Episcopal Church. The Bishop has stated that their position would be to remain within the Anglican Communion as an extra-provincial Diocese. The Episcopal Church on the other hand maintains that General Convention consent is necessary for any withdrawal. So the legal and indeed theological and ecclesiological position is extremely complicated. And it is absolutely not certain.”

The bishop concluded “it has therefore not been possible to consider the consequences for our relationships at this immediate stage. And, in my view, any statement just at this point would be premature.”

South Carolina quits the Episcopal Church

Special Convention affirms disaffiliation of the diocese from the General Convention
November 19, 2012
By George Conger

The Diocese of South Carolina has withdrawn from the Episcopal Church.

On 17 Nov 2012 delegates to a special meeting of the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina endorsed resolutions affirming the withdrawal of the diocese from the General Convention of the Episcopal Church made last month by the Standing Committee and adopted resolutions amending the constitution and canons to delete reference to the national church.

“Ask yourself how long do I want to spend my time, my soul and my energy in a resistance movement that has proven so fruitless,” Bishop Mark J. Lawrence asked the convention. “We have spent far too many hours and days and years in a dubious and fruitless resistance to the relentless path of the Episcopal Church,” the bishop said, saying it was not time to “move on.”

He added: “Let me state it more accurately. We have moved on. With the Standing Committee’s resolution of disassociation the fact is accomplished: legally and canonically. The resolutions before you this day are affirmations of that fact.” the rest

Scrolling around...November 19, 2012

Tax Preparers and IRS Agents May be Stealing Taxpayer Direct Deposit Refunds
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has released Processes for the Direct Deposit of Tax Refunds Need Improvement to Increase Accuracy and Minimize Fraud

Investment Falls Off a Cliff-U.S. Companies Cut Spending Plans Amid Fiscal and Economic Uncertainty
U.S. companies are scaling back investment plans at the fastest pace since the recession, signaling more trouble for the economic recovery.

Half of the nation's 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders have announced plans to curtail capital expenditures this year or next, according to a review by The Wall Street Journal of securities filings and conference calls.

Nationwide, business investment in equipment and software—a measure of economic vitality in the corporate sector—stalled in the third quarter for the first time since early 2009. Corporate investment in new buildings has declined...

NYT: Church of England Prepares for Vote on Female Bishops
Two decades after it supported the introduction of female priests, the Church of England was set to begin three days of deliberations on Monday that will include a critical vote on the ordination of female bishops — a notion that still splits its members and priests into rival camps.

The 470-member national assembly of the church, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion that is deeply divided on issues of gender and sexuality, is to vote on Tuesday on the issue. The measure requires the approval of all three houses of the synod — grouping bishops, clergy and laity — by a two-thirds majority...

France: 100,000 protest gay marriage
FRENCH opponents of same-sex marriage and adoption have staged their first major protests, rallying more than 100,000 people nationwide as police used tear gas against counter-demonstrators in one city.

Wearing pink scarves and T-shirts and carrying pink balloons with the image of a man and woman holding two children's hands, demonstrators on Saturday marched against plans by the socialist government to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption...

How Free Speech Died on Campus
A young activist describes how universities became the most authoritarian institutions in America...

Public nudity ban eyed in fed-up San Francisco
San Francisco may be getting ready to shed its image as a city where anything goes, including clothing.

City lawmakers are scheduled to vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would prohibit nudity in most public places, a blanket ban that represents an escalation of a two-year tiff between a devoted group of men who strut their stuff through the city's famously gay Castro District and the supervisor who represents the area...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

NASA Sun Observer Captures Two Solar Eruptions Over Four Hours

The Sun erupted with two prominence eruptions, one after the other over a four-hour period (Nov. 16, 2012). The action was captured in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. It seems possible that the disruption to the Sun’s magnetic field might have triggered the second event since they were in relatively close proximity to each other. The expanding particle clouds heading into space do not appear to be Earth-directed.

NASA Sun Observer Captures Two Solar Eruptions Over Four Hours
...NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) caught spectacular images and video of the Sun bursting with two prominence eruptions over a four-hour period on November 16, between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. EST. The SDO captured the event in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.

While some solar flares can potentially disrupt satellites and electrical systems around Earth, this latest “double trouble” eruption was aimed away from the third rock from the Sun, so we should be out of harm’s way.

Still, the event was nothing less than stunning, as the short NASA video shows a red-glowing loop of plasma shooting out from the surface of the Sun. The plasma loop was so massive it shot out past the range of the SDO’s view...

Resistance has been futile, Mark Lawrence tells South Carolina, and it is time to go

Address to the 17 Nov 2012 Special Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina
by Bishop Mark Lawrence
November 17, 2012

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith….” Hebrews 12:1—2a

When this Diocese last met in a convention at St. Philip’s, it was September 16h, 2006. I was one of three candidates for the XIV Bishop of South Carolina. In my opening address the week before, I spoke these words to the assembled clergy and laity : “We meet this morning in this lovely city of Charleston. Inside the walls of this great old historic edifice—we can only hope the wisdom of the years might seep into our minds that we might rightly appreciate the present, and more importantly imagine an even greater future for tomorrow.” I purposely referenced the past, present and future in this opening sentence. So too we meet here today, our hands reaching back to bring the rich heritage of the past with us and with our feet firmly placed in the present—and with our hearts seeking God’s grace for an even greater future for tomoorow we are facing reality as it is, not as it was nor as we wish it were, but as it is. Before, however, turning our minds to consider the future, I need to say word about what in recent years we have come through. For since that day on September16th this Diocese and I have passed through two consent processes for Bishop, and two Disciplinary Board procedures for Abandonment of the Communion of The Episcopal Church—the last without our even knowing it and while we were seeking a peaceable way through this crisis. I have not done the research but I suppose two consent processes and two disciplinary board procedures is and may well remain unique in the annuals of TEC. You may remember that during that stormy first consent process I stated that: “I have lashed myself to the mast of Jesus Christ and will ride out this storm wherever the ship of faith will take me.” Well it brought me two years later here to the marshes and cypress swamps of the Low Country. Where many of your relatives landed centuries before—some searching for wealth and others herded like cattle in the hulls of ships. During these past years I have grown to love this land, set down roots in your history and, even more to our purpose, become one with you in a common allegiance to Jesus Christ, his Gospel, and his Church.

Consequently, I trust you will understand that I have strived in these past five years, contrary to what some may believe or assert, to keep us from this day; from what I have referred to in numerous deanery and parish gatherings as the Valley of Decision. There is little need to rehearse the events that have brought us to this moment other than to say—it is a convergence of Theology, Morality, and Church Polity that has led to our collision with the leadership of TEC. I hope most of our delegates and clergy who have heard me address these matters know in their hearts and minds that this is no attempt to build gated communities around our churches as some have piously suggested or to keep the hungry seeking hearts of a needy world from our doors. Rather, let the doors of our churches be open not only that seekers may come in but more importantly so we may go out to engage the unbelieving with the hope of the gospel and serve our communities, disdaining any tendency to stand daintily aloof in self-righteousness. Indeed, let us greet every visitor at our porch with Christ and while some of our members stand at open doors to welcome, still others will go out as our Lord has directed into the highways and byways of the world—across seas and across the street—with the Good News of a loving Father, a crucified-yet-living Savior and a community of wounded-healers learning, however falteringly, to walk in step with His Spirit. Let not God’s feast go unattended. This is our calling and our mission... the rest