Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cardinal in winter...

posted December 30, 2012

Raymond took this picture yesterday at a friend's house. -PD

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A matter of perspective...

Found this on Facebook...

 So far, the seasonal snow fall total is 31.6 inches here in Syracuse...

An Unexpected Christmas

Dec 13, 2012

The story of Christmas told by the kids of St Paul's Church, Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fire is the chosen symbol of Heaven...

Fire is the chosen symbol of Heaven for moral passion. It is emotion aflame. God is love; God is fire. The two are one. The Holy Spirit baptises in fire. Spirit-filled souls are ablaze for God. They love with a love that glows. They believe with a faith that kindles. They serve with a devotion that consumes. They hate sin with a fierceness that burns. They rejoice with a joy that radiates. Love is perfected in the Fire of God. ...Samuel Chadwick image

The Story of God

Texas Supreme Court to Decide Property Dispute Between Episcopal Church, Breakaway Diocese

By Michael Gryboski
December 26, 2012

The Texas Supreme Court will determine whether or not a diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church four years ago holds the right to the 52 church properties in its territory.

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, led by conservative bishop Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, appealed a lower court decision giving them 30 days to give the disputed property to The Episcopal Church.

Arguments for the case were heard in October and presently both the departed diocese and its continuing Episcopal counterpart await the court's decision. the rest  

Episcopal Church: I’ve Got 99 Problems but a Priest Shortage Ain’t One
...The overall decline in Episcopal Church attendance (down 23 percent in the past decade) has, quite simply, reduced a need for new priests. As Bishop Budde candidly wrote in her letter explaining discernment suspension: “A Roman Catholic colleague once asked me if the Episcopal Church was also experiencing a clergy shortage. ‘No,’ I said. ‘What we have is a shortage of lay people.’

Scrolling around...December 28, 2012

Church on cutting edge of technology
When Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene holds Sunday services, people around the world can watch.

Capturing and broadcasting its sermons with six cameras and thousands of dollars' worth of cutting-edge equipment, the technology-friendly church streams services online, as well as through Internet-connected Roku boxes, which many customers use to stream Netflix movies on TV.

Churchgoers can pick up a DVD or Blu-ray copy of the service after it's over, and can go to the church's website ( to watch broadcasts...

Pornography: The Facts
...A study of 88 civilisations in the 1940’s by Professor J.D. Unwin from Cambridge University showed that, whenever there was widespread promiscuity, premarital sex, infidelity, and same sex relationships, the civilisation was dead within three generations-with no exceptions! Studies by other historians such as Arnold Toynbee show conclusively, that no society in history has been able to survive for long without a strong moral code, and, that immorality corrupts individuals and destroys societies! Moral and spiritual values have been in constant decline in Britain since the nineteen fifties. The results are: a ten-fold increase in crimes and enormous increases in social problems! WE REAP AS WE SOW!...

Baby Jesus with the Rainbow Halo
Remember the progresive (sic) Anglican church in New Zealand that brought you those disgraceful billboards where Joseph was in bed wondering how he could ever measure up to God. Last year’s Christmas billboard showed Mary holding a pregnancy test.

This year, the Revrend Glynn Cardy's latest billboard depicts the baby Jesus with a rainbow halo. It reads, “It’s Christmas. It’s time for Jesus to come out.” Cardy said he’s simply trying to highlight the humanity of Jesus.

In an interview, Cardy said, “The fact is we don’t know what his sexual orientation was.”...

Gallup: Americans 77% Christian, 0.6% Muslim
America is largely a Christian nation with 77 percent of adults identifying themselves as Christian, according to a Gallup survey, while only 0.6 percent identified as Muslim. The survey also found that Mormons were the most religious in practicing their faith.

“The United States remains a largely Christian nation; more than 9 in 10 Americans who have a religious identity are affiliated with a Christian religion,” reported Gallup on Dec. 24. “There has been little change in this portrait of religious identity in the U.S. from last year.”...

Christianity could be ‘wiped out’ in Middle East
...Christians living in the region where the faith was born are coming under increasing threat from Islamic oppression, the think tank says in a new report.

Civitas says Western politicians and media are ignoring the widespread persecution of Christians in the Middle East and the wider world because they are afraid they will be accused of racism.

The report, Christianophobia, says that Christians are more likely to be the target of discrimination or persecution that any other religious group and warns that they are particularly at risk in Muslim-dominated societies...

The Most Amazing Science Images of the Year and Can you spot the 'invisible animal'?

Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of Muslim Inmate’s Ramadan Dinner But Rejected Christian Hobby Lobby’s Appeal for HHS Exemption
Justice Sotomayer ruled in favor of Muslim inmates but ruled against Christian business owners...

Will 'Fiscal Cliff' Accelerate Millionaire Deaths?
...Many families are faced with a stark proposition. If the life of an elderly wealthy family member extends into 2013, the tax bills will be substantially higher. An estate that could bequest $3 million this year will leave just $1.9 million after taxes next year. Shifting a death from January to December could produce $1.1 million in tax savings.

It may seem incredible to contemplate pulling the plug on grandma to save tax dollars. While we know that investors will sell stocks to avoid rising capital gains taxes, accelerating the death of a loved one seems at least a bit morbid—perhaps even evil. Will people really make life and death decisions based on taxes? Do we don our green eye shades when it comes to something this serious...

Blogger publishes names, address of newspaper staff after gun-permit database
...Fountain, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment, told CNN he was offended by the newspaper’s “conflating legal gun owners with some crazed tormented devil up in Newtown” and wondered how its employees would handle the same treatment.

Fountain said he has since received emails from “abused women” who were under protective order.

“They’re terribly afraid that now their names and addresses are all over the Internet and accessible through that map,” he told CNN...

Sandy Victims Still Stranded As ‘Red Tape’ Hinders Help From FEMA
...Victims are shuffled from one desk to another for registration, an identification check, and one-on-one interviews – then referred to something called a “Mitigation Desk,” a FEMA official at a local Disaster Recovery Center explained to MRCTV...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Scrolling around...December 27, 2012

The Top Seven Regrets of Pastors
I recently interviewed more than twenty pastors who had been in ministry for at least 25 years. All of these men were over 55 years old. A few of them were retired, but most of them were still active in full-time vocational ministry.

The interview was simple. I asked one open-ended question: "What regrets do you have about the years you have served as a pastor?" Each of the men could provide as many responses as they desired. They could make the answers succinct, or they could elaborate upon them...

Sotomayor Refuses to Block Contraceptives Mandate
...In an order issued on Wednesday, Sotomayor said two for-profit companies controlled by Oklahoma City billionaire David Green and his family did not qualify for an injunction while they challenge the requirement in court.

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc, an arts and crafts chain with more than 500 stores, and Mardel Inc, a chain of 35 Christian-themed bookstores, said it violated their religious beliefs to require that their group health plans cover treatments that could induce abortions...

Six killed in Christmas church attack in Nigeria
Gunmen have killed six people at a church in Nigeria, making 2012 the third year that Christmas services have come under deadly attack in the country...

Iran re-arrests Pastor Nadarkhani on Christmas Day
The Iranian Christian pastor who had been imprisoned in Iran for converting from Islam to Christianity was taken into custody again on Christmas Day, according to several Iranian media sources and individuals close to the pastor and his family...

Germany 'exporting' old and sick to foreign care homes
Growing numbers of elderly and sick Germans are being sent overseas for long-term care in retirement and rehabilitation centres because of rising costs and falling standards in Germany.

The move, which has seen thousands of retired Germans rehoused in homes in eastern Europe and Asia, has been severely criticised by social welfare organisations who have called it "inhumane deportation"...

Math Is Coming
...Politicians have long ignored Math. And it’s no wonder: Math is unelected, unsympathetic, and highly biased toward the rich and keeps demanding cuts to spending and changes to entitlements that are politically infeasible. In a nation filled with obese poor people, we’ve discovered a long list of things everyone should be entitled to besides food, clothing, and shelter — things people need, like subsidized hybrids — but heartless, uncompromising Math keeps looking at our revenue and telling us we can’t have all of that...

Facebook Shifted $700 Million to Cayman Islands in 'Double Irish' Tax Reduction Strategy

Digging out

December 27, 2012

Our Syracuse neighborhood early this am.  Actually, cars are getting through now and the plows should be getting to the side streets soon. After the unusually mild winter of last year, we seem to be returning to our typical Syracuse winter.  -PD
(picture by Raymond Dague)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Re-creation of the Icon

Dec 2, 2012

Classically trained iconographer, Lynette Hull, draws fascinating parallels between contemporary and ancient "icons."

Scrolling around...December 26, 2012

Opposed to same-sex marriage, company ends wedding business ...The owner of Discover Annapolis Tours said he decided to walk away from $50,000 in annual revenue instead of compromising his Christian convictions when same-sex marriages become legal in Maryland in less than a week. And he has urged prospective clients to lobby state lawmakers for a religious exemption for wedding vendors...

Fathers disappear from households across America ...America is awash in poverty, crime, drugs and other problems, but more than perhaps anything else, it all comes down to this, said Vincent DiCaro, vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative: Deal with absent fathers, and the rest follows. People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father,” he said...


It’s a Wonderful Country: Pottersville or Bedford Falls? In the classic Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the humane society of Bedford Falls is built on conservative principles, not contemporary liberal ones...

  Albert Mohler: “And Them That Mourn”—Celebrating Christmas in the Face of Grief and Death ...Is Christmas also for those who grieve? Such a question would perplex those who experienced the events that night in humble Bethlehem and those who followed Christ throughout his earthly ministry. Christmas is especially for those who grieve. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Galatians, reminds us of the fact that we are born as slaves to sin. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” [Galatians 4:4] Out of darkness, came light. As the prophet Isaiah foretold, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who walk in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.” [Isaiah 9:2] This same Christ is the Messiah who, as Isaiah declared, “has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” [Isaiah 53:4] He fully identifies with and shares all our afflictions, and he came that we might know the only rescue from death, sorrow, grief, and sin. The baby Jesus was born into a world of grief, suffering, and loss. The meaning of his incarnation was recognized by the aged Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, who prophesied that God had acted to save his people, “because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” [Luke 1:78-79] There are so many Christians who, even now, are suffering the grief that feels very much like the shadow of death. How can they celebrate Christmas, and how might we celebrate with them?...

Earliest Known Audio Recording of Christmas Found and Digitized Recently discovered wax cylinders have been shown to contain what could be the earliest audio recordings of Christmas in the world. The Museum of London discovered 24 wax cylinders dating back to 1902 that contain a British family’s home phonograph recordings taken at Christmas. The recordings are considered incredibly rare because wax cylinders are fragile. They are made of wax after all, and as such they don’t store very well. Finding them over one hundred years later in playable condition is a Christmas miracle of science...

Benedict Defends Traditional Family in Christmas Address to Roman Curia ..."The Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper. While up to now we regarded a false understanding of the nature of human freedom as one cause of the crisis of the family, it is now becoming clear that the very notion of being—of what being human really means—is being called into question. He quotes the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: “one is not born a woman, one becomes so” (on ne naît pas femme, on le devient). These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term “gender” as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature, that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society. The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female—hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of rights, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being. The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man...."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Love came down at Christmas...

 Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
...Christina Rossetti image

Merry Christmas to all the readers of this blog!
Raymond and Pat Dague
and Herschel dog

Monday, December 24, 2012

The King shall come when morning dawns...

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And light triumphant breaks;
When beauty gilds the eastern hills,
And life to joy awakes.

Not as of old a little child
To bear, and fight, and die,
But crowned with glory like the sun
That lights the morning sky.

O brighter than that glorious morn
Shall this fair morning be,
When Christ, our King, in beauty comes,
And we His face shall see.

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And earth’s dark night is past;
O haste the rising of that morn,
The day that aye shall last.

And let the endless bliss begin,
By weary saints foretold,
When right shall triumph over wrong,
And truth shall be extolled.

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And light and beauty brings:
Hail, Christ the Lord! Thy people pray,
Come quickly, King of kings.
...Unknown au­thor image

Friday, December 21, 2012

Scrolling around...December 21, 2012

Marriage is safest place for pregnant women: study
A new study of Canadian women finds that pregnant women who are married suffer less partner abuse, substance abuse, and post-partum depression than women who are cohabitating or single.

Dr. Marcelo Urquia, an epidemiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, found that about one in 10 married women (10.6 per cent) suffered partner abuse, substance abuse, or post-partum depression. However, 20 per cent of women who were cohabitating but not married suffered from at least one of those three conditions.

The figure rose to 35 per cent for single women who had never married—and to 67 per cent for those who separated or divorced in the year before birth...

Economist: Keep it in the family-Home schooling is growing ever faster
...Three decades ago home schooling was illegal in 30 states. It was considered a fringe phenomenon, pursued by cranks, and parents who tried it were often persecuted and sometimes jailed. Today it is legal everywhere, and is probably the fastest-growing form of education in America. According to a new book, “Home Schooling in America”, by Joseph Murphy, a professor at Vanderbilt University, in 1975 10,000-15,000 children were taught at home. Today around 2m are—about the same number as attend charter schools.

Although home schooling started on the counter-cultural left, the conservative right has done most to promote it, abandoning public schools for being too secular and providing no moral framework. Today the ranks of home-schoolers are overwhelmingly Christian, and 78% of parents attend church frequently. According to the National Household Education Survey in 2007, the main motivation for home schooling was for religious or moral instruction (36%), followed by school environment (21%) and the quality of instruction available (17%). After this comes concerns about special education, the distance of travel and even nut allergies.

Home schooling is not exclusively white and Christian. In 2007 a report found that Muslim children were one of the fastest-growing groups; black-home schoolers are around 4% of the total and comprised 61,000 children. The super-wealthy, and parents who must move around a lot, are also taking up home schooling in increasing numbers because of its flexibility....

Vatican Says Pope Beats Justin Bieber on Re-tweets
Pope Benedict, white-haired, 85, and a neophyte to social media site Twitter, has beaten out 18-year old heartthrob Justin Bieber to set a percentage record for re-tweeting by his followers, the Vatican said on Thursday...

Why atheist scientists bring their children to church
...The researchers found that agnostics attend religious services (e.g., church) at about the same rate regardless of whether they have any children. By contrast, the attendance rate of atheists with children jumps 70% compared to those without. Children constitute a statistically significant factor in atheists attending religious services and joining religious communities. It should be noted that the atheists and agnostics in this study are all top-tier scientists, so these findings may not hold for atheists in general.

Looked at another way, contrary to popular expectation, atheist scientists show a proclivity to join a religious community when raising children. Unlike many atheists who feel isolated in a region of heavy religiosity, scientists have ready access to a community of fellow, morally minded atheists, and yet choose to raise their children in a religious community. Several reasons account for this...

Intimidation, fear keep Egypt's Christians away from polls on disputed charter
A campaign of intimidation by Islamists left most Christians in this southern Egyptian province too afraid to participate in last week's referendum on an Islamist-drafted constitution they deeply oppose, residents say. The disenfranchisement is hiking Christians' worries over their future under empowered Muslim conservatives.

Around a week before the vote, some 50,000 Islamists marched through the provincial capital, Assiut, chanting that Egypt will be "Islamic, Islamic, despite the Christians." At their head rode several bearded men on horseback with swords in scabbards on their hips, evoking images of early Muslims conquering Christian Egypt in the 7th Century...
Egypt: 50,000 Muslims led by sword-wielding men march through Christian areas, chanting that country would be "Islamic, Islamic, despite the Christians"

State Dept. focusing on 'deteriorating security' at diplomatic posts
State Department officials on Thursday said the department is evaluating all high-risk posts in the wake of a report that found systemic security problems were to blame for the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Thomas Nides told panels in the House and Senate that the department would focus on a troubling pattern of “deteriorating security” at U.S. diplomatic posts...

8,000 People a Day Becoming NRA Members
Over the past six days, the National Rifle Association has come under fire as somehow responsible for the horrific shooting that happened in Connecticut last week. NRA members and leaders have also received death threats. The civil rights organization waited to release a statement about the tragedy until the facts about what happened were verified and now, they're seeing 8,000 new people per day joining as members...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hiltz calls on Canterbury to say "no" to the ACNA

Archbishop Fred Hiltz lobbies Bishop Justin Welby during UK trip
December 19, 2012
By George Conger

The leader of the Anglican Church of Canada has lobbied the Archbishop of Canterbury-designate not to extend formal recognition to the Anglican Church in North America. However, the decision who is an Anglican does not rest with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The communion’s formal statement as to who is an Anglican looks to fellowship with the Archbishop of Canterbury and fidelity to the doctrines and disciplines set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.

The 6 Dec 2012 meeting at Auckland Castle, Durham with Bishop Justin Welby was one of four stops for Archbishop Fred Hiltz, who also met with the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams at Lambeth Palace and with the general secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council, Canon Kenneth Kearon, in London, and preached at Southwark Cathedral.

According to the Anglican Journal, Archbishop Hiltz said he mentioned his ongoing concern about efforts by the ACNA to be recognized by the Church of England. Archbishop Hiltz said he requested that if bodies of the Church of England are to meet with representatives of ACNA, “in fairness, they should also meet with us to get a better picture.”

Bishop Welby was “very appreciative” of the place of the Anglican Church of Canada in the Communion and the contributions it has been able to make, Archbishop Hiltz reported.

In its legal battle with breakaway congregations in the Diocese of New Westminster, the Anglican Church of Canada argued that it was the sole legitimate expression of Anglicanism in Canada and cited as proof of this contention statements made by Dr. Rowan Williams that the Anglican Church of Canada was a member of the Anglican Consultative Council. Were the General Synod of the Church of England to give formal recognition to the ACNA, it could well undercut the claims of exclusivity made by Archbishop Hiltz to the Anglican brand in Canada. the rest

I Like Adoption


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Scrolling around...December 19, 2012

Viewing porn leads to short-term memory loss: study
Researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen have found that viewing pornography has a significant negative effect on a man’s ability to complete short-term memory tasks that are important for understanding, reasoning, problem solving and decision making.

“Some individuals report problems during and after Internet sex engagement, such as missing sleep and forgetting appointments, which are associated with negative life consequences,” the introduction to the research report states...

...The study found a significantly greater number of incorrect answers when the men viewed the pornographic images than when they saw the nonsexual images...

A Hundred Percent of Nothing
JoAnn Watson, Detroit city council member, said, "Our people in an overwhelming way supported the re-election of this president, and there ought to be a quid pro quo." In other words, President Obama should send the nearly bankrupted city of Detroit millions in taxpayer bailout money. But there's a painful lesson to be learned from decades of political hustling and counsel by intellectuals and urban experts.

In 1960, Detroit's population was 1.6 million. Blacks were 29 percent, and whites were 70 percent. Today, Detroit's population has fallen precipitously to 707,000, of which blacks are 84 percent and whites 8 percent. Much of the city's decline began with the election of Coleman Young, Detroit's first black mayor and mayor for five terms, who engaged in political favoritism to blacks and tax policies against higher income mostly white people. Young's successors, Dennis Archer and Kwame Kilpatrick, followed his Third World tyrant policies, but neither had his verbal vulgarity. Kilpatrick (2002-2008) went to jail and is on trial today on charges of corruption. Mayor David Bing is making an effort to revive Detroit. His problem is that he's not God.

Policies that ran whites and other more affluent people out of Detroit might have been Young's and his successors' strategy. After all, why not get rid of people who aren't going to vote for you anyway? The problem is that getting rid of these people left Detroit with a lower tax base, fewer jobs and fewer consumers. Fewer whites might be good for the careers of black politicians, but it's not in the best interests of ordinary blacks. Blacks have political control of Detroit, but the relevant question is whether some control of something is better than 100 percent control of nothing. By most measures, Detroit is one of the nation's most tragic cities, and it's mostly self-imposed. ..

Obamacare could drive Little Sisters of the Poor out of the US
A religious order of nuns is concerned about its future presence in the United States because of Obamacare’s impact on its charitable operations. The Little Sisters of the Poor told The Daily Caller that it may not qualify for a long-term exemption from Obamacare’s healthcare mandate. The law requires the order to provide government-approved health insurance to its 300 sisters who tend to the elderly in 30 U.S. cities...

Newtown Residents Complain of Media Showing Up at Funeral Homes
There's no question the media needs to be in Newtown covering this story, but as we've seen since the beginning, too many members of the media are crossing too many lines; interviewing children, interrupting worship services, and now we have complaints about the media showing up at funeral homes:...

Taxpayers to Lose Billions as GM Buys Stake Back from Government
The American taxpayers stand to lose billions as General Motors today announced a plan to buy back 40 percent of the company owned by the federal government.

"The Detroit automaker said it will purchase 200 million shares of GM stock held by Treasury for $5.5 billion — or $27.50 per share — nearly $2 above the stock's closing price on Tuesday," the Detriot News reports.

However, the break even price — the price that GM would need to pay for each share in order to pay back the money the government put in to the company —was $53 a share. That number has now risen dramatically...

Court: Obama Admin Must Rewrite HHS Mandate to Protect Religious Liberty
In a victory for the pro-life battle against the HHS mandate, a federal appeals court yesterday reinstated two of the top legal challenges to the mandate, which requires religious employers to pay for drugs that may cause abortions.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals handed Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College a major victory in their challenges to the HHS mandate. Previously, two lower courts had dismissed their lawsuits as premature because the Obama administration is expected to revise the mandate next year. However, the appellate court reinstated those cases...
Also:Court: Obama must rewrite contraception mandate to accommodate religious liberty

Bork, whose failed nomination made history, dies
Robert H. Bork, who stepped in to fire the Watergate prosecutor at Richard Nixon's behest and whose failed 1980s nomination to the Supreme Court helped draw the modern boundaries of cultural fights over abortion, civil rights and other issues, has died. He was 85.
Robert Bork: From Atheism to Christian Faith

Anglican Unscripted Episode 60

Dec 19, 2012

Kevin and George sadly bring you news from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT. A tragic event that leaves more questions than answers and lets hope Kevin and George don't make it worse. There is also news of GAFCON and ACNA having an audience with the pople and other news from around the Communion.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Anglican vicars threaten to defy gay marriage ban

Vicars are threatening to bypass the ban on same-sex weddings in the Church of England by blessing homosexual marriages performed in other churches.
 15 Dec 2012

Leading Anglican campaigners have warned that Government plans to exempt the Church from the new legislation will lead to hundreds of homosexual clergy and worshippers marrying in Quaker and Unitarian services and then returning to the Church.

In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, dozens of clergy, including Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, today urge homosexual Anglicans to follow this course of action.

“Until the Church of England allows us to solemnise same-sex marriages in our churches, as a matter of pastoral expediency we will counsel lesbian and gay members of our congregations to marry in those churches willing to celebrate faithful same-sex relationships,” the letter, which is also signed by scores of lay members of the Church, states. the rest

Homosexual baby Jesus billboard outside New Zealand Anglican church enrages community
A new billboard outside of a church in New Zealand is drawing criticism from the local community and the wider Christian population by inferring that the son of God was homosexual. The billboard states that its "time for Jesus to come out."

The church, St. Matthew-in-the-City in Auckland, is described on their home page as a progressive Anglican church and posted the advertisement as a way to start a new debate. Their argument is that Jesus might have been gay- a dubious claim that has been met with stern opposition.

Notable theologians have repeatedly charged that the Bible is clear over which unions were acceptable in the eyes of Jesus, though...

Scrolling around...December 18, 2012

Homosexual group publishes the 'Queen James Bible'
The Queen James Bible seeks to legitimize the homosexual equivalency movement by changing the language of the Bible. Multiple verses throughout the book have been rewritten so they read in a fashion different from their original intent...

Islam: Fastest-Growing Religion in Britain
...The census data shows that the number of Christians in England and Wales declined by 11% (4.1 million) during the past decade, from 37.3 million in 2001 to 33.2 million in 2011.

During the same period, the Muslim population in England and Wales increased by 80% (1.2 million), from 1.5 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2011, making it the second-largest religion in Britain.

The third-largest religion in England and Wales is Hinduism (817,000), followed by Sikhism (423,000), Buddhism (248,000) and Judaism (263,000)...

Abortion: Every sixth foetus showed signs of life
...But statistics from Denmark’s second largest maternity clinic at the Aarhus University Hospital Skejby show that out of 70 late terminations between August 2011 and November 2012, 11 – or 16 per cent - showed signs of life.

Translated into national figures from 2010, during which 877 foetuses were terminate after the 12th week, the statistical figure for life signs in aborted foetuses would be 140...

Organizers of French traditional marriage march expect crowds of up to 350,000
Organizers of the first nationwide demonstration against same-sex “marriage” in Paris on January 13th say they hope to bring together over 350,000 people. If they succeed, it would make the event one of the most important rallies in the French capital since a giant march in favor of freedom of education in 1984 mobilized over a million people...

“No religion” is the third-largest world group after Christians, Muslims
People with no religious affiliation make up the third-largest global group in a new study of the size of the world’s faiths, placing after Christians and Muslims and just before Hindus.

The study, based on extensive data for the year 2010, also showed Islam and Hinduism are the faiths mostly likely to expand in the future while Jews have the weakest growth prospects...

Out-of-wedlock childbirths are becoming the “new norm” in America
More children are now being born outside of marriage, according to a new study by the National Marriage Project and the Institute for American Values.

The report focuses on what it calls “middle-America,” the nearly 60 percent of Americans who complete high school but not college.

Among that group, 44 percent of children are now born outside of marriage. That’s up from 13 percent in the 1980s...

CA: Solar power adds to nonusers' costs
Booming rooftop solar installations in California are bringing an unwelcome surprise to the homes and businesses that don't have the devices: an extra $1.3 billion added to their annual bills, more than half of that for Pacific Gas & Electric customers...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Primates of the Global South Send Letter of support to Bp. Mark Lawrence

14 December 2012

Our dear Bishop Mark,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

We, the Steering Committee of the Primates of the Global South of the Anglican Communion, were very sad to hear that the Presiding Bishop of TEC has interpreted your address to the Diocesan
Convention on 17 November 2012 as a renunciation of your ordained ministry.

We want to assure you that we recognize your Episcopal orders and your legitimate Episcopal oversight of the Diocese of South Carolina within the Anglican Communion.

You and your Diocese of South Carolina are in the thoughts and prayers of all our congregations and our colleagues in the Global South.

Please be assured of our prayers and support.

May the Lord bless you!

Yours in Christ,

The Most Revd Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
The Most Revd Nicholas Okoh
The Most Revd Ian Ernest
The Most Revd Datuk Bolly Lapok
The Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo
The Most Revd Dr. Eluid Wabukala
The Most Revd Hector “Tito” Zavala

Bishop warns of civil war as Egypt heads to the polls
Bishop Mouneer Anis calls for prayer for Egypt ahead of Saturday's referendum on the constitution...

Saturday, December 15, 2012


He has shown you, O man, what is good;

 And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,to love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God -Micah 6:8
(I think you're even cuter now!)

Friday, December 14, 2012

“A voice was heard in Ramah"

“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:18

A Day for Hatred
...Days like today give us no choice but to hate. They leave us only with a choice of where that hatred will land: Will we hate God, or will we hate sin?

I choose to hate sin. On days like today I will reflect again on the ravaging effects of rebellion against God, multiplied across millennia, manifested in a freshly printed headline. The more shocking the headline, the more I must come to grips with my minimized reckoning of the severity of sin. With Nehemiah I will cry out, "I and my fathers have sinned," freshly grieved over the sins of others---yes---but freshly grieved over my own sin as well. I have not pulled a trigger, but I have harmed my share of victims. The killer lies dead, but I live on to harm again. On days like today I will renew my resolve not to participate in tearing down what God pronounced good at the dawn of human existence. I cannot stop a murderer, but by the grace of God I can stop sinning against those he has given into my care... image

The Anchoress: Newtown and the God who Knows
...People will ask, “where was God, in all of this.” God was in the teachers who pulled little kids into classrooms and went into lockdown, and in the first responders who got survivors to safety and reunited with their parents (pray for the first responders, too; they suffer — often in silence — after they have made safe). God was right beside everyone, and is with them in grief. Because he is the God Who Knows all we feel and experience.

And that is not much help today. There is no new wisdom. There is only what we have always known...

Albert Mohler: Addressing the Connecticut tragedy. How should Christians think, pray?

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
-Psalm 34:17-18

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Soul Of America

An important evangelistic Christian sermon on the Soul Of America. In this sermon, from October 1998, Dr. Lawrence White discusses the moral decay that America has fallen into, and that Christians must repent of our sins and of our apathy in that we have tolerated evil for too many years in this great country. Though it was recorded in 1998, it is completely relevant today, as the moral decline continues almost to the brink even now. Obama has far surpassed Clinton as the most pro-abortion President ever.

Brilliant Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight

Meteor Showers : Geminids
December 13, 2012
By Mike Wall 

Skywatchers around the world are in for a treat tonight, as the annual Geminid meteor shower is poised to put on a spectacular show.

The Geminids will peak overnight tonight (Dec. 13) with the moon at its new phase. The skies will thus be free of the moon's glare, allowing viewers in rural areas to see perhaps 100 or more meteors per hour, experts say.

A new and as-yet unnamed meteor shower may also make an appearance tonight, ramping up the celestial display even further.

"Meteors from the new shower (if any) will be visible in the early evening, with the Geminids making their appearance later on and lasting until dawn," Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, said in a statement. [Photos: Geminid Meteor Shower of December 2011]

The Geminids — so named because they appear to emanate from the constellation Gemini (The Twins) — result when Earth plows through debris shed by the huge, enigmatic asteroid 3200 Phaethon. This is unusual for annual meteor showers, which are typically caused by comet particles. the rest image-NASA

Falling Plates

Best Friends

Scrolling around...December 13, 2012

UNFPA Youth Conference Calls for Unfettered Abortion and Plenty of It
...The final outcome document calls for legal abortion, and an end to all restrictions on abortion including waiting periods, parental consent, and age of consent. The “delegates” also called for comprehensive sexuality education including information on sexual orientation and gender identities free of religious intolerance. They want the decriminalization of sex work and government recognition of “constantly evolving” concepts of the family.

The document was so edgy that Dr. Eddy Hasni, who represented the Indonesian government on the steering committee, said that all the recommendations should be consistent with the 1994 ICPD, and that “some recommendations . . . particularly on safe abortions, are in fact not in line with the international framework. We should be very careful on this issue as moral and religious debates are still raging.”...

Albert Mohler: Newsweek vs. the New Testament—It Must Be Christmas
...Timed for this Christmas, Newsweek just released a cover essay by Bart D. Ehrman, who is well-known for his belief that the New Testament is largely historical fiction. “Who is Jesus?” is the question on the cover. “The Myths of Jesus” is the headline on the essay itself...

'Obama's "Plan" Adds $8.6 Trillion to the Debt'
"President Obama's 'Plan' Adds $8.6 Trillion to the Debt," the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee contends...

Rep. Frank Wolf: Tunisia Won't Let FBI Interview Benghazi Suspect
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to testify on Capitol Hill next week about last September’s attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, a Republican lawmaker is urging her to cut aid to Tunisia over its refusal to allow the FBI to talk to the only known detained suspect in the attack...

Great news: Your permanent record is now available on demand
Remember when government needed something called a warrant or even probable cause to look at your records? Good times, good times. I’m nostalgic for the halcyon days of, er, February of this year, before the Attorney General of the United States signed off on an order allowing the government to access pretty much everything it wanted in the name of counterterrorism. The Wall Street Journal found out about the order and got a FOIA request to force its exposure...

France steps up struggle against religious radicals
France will deport foreign-born imams and disband radical faith-based groups, including hardline traditionalist Catholics, if a new surveillance policy signals they suffer a "religious pathology" and could become violent...

New Army manual orders soldiers not to criticize Taliban, pedophilia, or Islam, or advocate women's rights
Total capitulation.

Eeeww! The 15-Stone Babies: The Adults Who Choose To Live As Children

Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge

Papal meeting for conservative Anglican leaders

Duncan, Wabukala, Sutton meet with Vatican officials in Rome

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Best Christmas Lights Display

Scrolling around...December 12, 2012

UK: "Better Off On Benefits"
There is "no point" earning less in a minimum wage job is how Leanna Broderick - 20-year-old mother of two - justifies the benefits she claims adding that "she is better off on benefits" and would not get a job unless she could continue her luxury lifestyle, which includes designer outfits, holidays abroad, clubbing, lunches out and expensive gifts for her daughters Zelekah, two, and Zakirah, one. The UK's Daily Mail reports that Leanna saved GBP2,500 (~USD4,000) last year while living on GBP15,480 (~USD25,000) which she intends to spend on iPads and gold earrings for her kids - adding that "This way, taxpayers know I'm raising two well-brought-up kids." However, all is not rosy in Leanna's house as she fears next year may not be so lavish because of Government benefits cuts. "I'm not against the cuts, but only if the Government helps me find a job," she said, "In the meantime, I’ll stay on benefits and get as much as I can out of it."
...coming to America...

Ireland: Child Abuse Horror
A RICHHILL man who claims he and several others were abused as children in a Protestant Church-funded orphanage in County Wicklow is heading a campaign for justice.

Married couples: the new minority in 2012 Britain
I belong to a minority. No, not because I'm an immigrant, or a Catholic, though I am both of those things. I belong to the newest minority to emerge from the 2011 census: married couples. Only ten years ago, married people constituted the majority of the population; today, under 50 per cent of Britons are married. Most, are now single, or cohabiting, or divorced...

Subtlety and Scalia
...Speaking at Princeton University, Scalia was asked by a gay student why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder. [ . . . ]

“It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd,’” Scalia told Hosie of San Francisco during the question-and-answer period. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”

Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both...

The Decline of Traditional Honor in the West in the 20th Century
...In cities and smaller towns alike, civic participation and community-mindedness has fallen significantly since WWII. And while honor formerly centered on one’s clan, extended families no longer live close together and familial relations have constricted to the nuclear family alone, which itself is often split up.

As a result of these shifts, immoral, unethical, and cowardly behaviors are rarely known outside one’s immediate circle of family and friends. And even then, for reasons we’ll discuss below, they are more likely to shrug and say, “It’s none of my business,” or, “To each his own,” than to condemn and challenge the errant behavior.

The internet has only accelerated the shift towards impersonal and anonymous relationships. Traditional honor is designed to act as a check on people’s claims to merit and force them to stand behind and defend their insults; exaggerations of one’s deeds or shameful actions are called out and challenged by one’s associates. On the internet, however, people can claim to be a Navy SEAL or issue the basest of insults to another person without having to prove their claim, suffer consequences for their character, or allow the insulted person to defend themselves. They can be anyone and say anything, all while safely ensconced behind a screen... 
Related: Let’s Give Chivalry Another Chance

'There Will Be Blood': Union Violence in the Age of Obama
...This week, menacing union goons unleashed threats, profanity and punches in Michigan, which is now poised to become a "right-to-work" state. Obama met the initial outbreak of violence with the same response he's given to every other union outbreak of violence under his reign: dead silence...

Your silence gives consent. -Plato

Of course...Obama Takes The Christmas Out Of The White House Christmas Card…

Chaplains concerned about war on Christmas-Navy leadership failed to support religious liberty
...For several years, military personnel at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain have chosen to celebrate the Christmas season with a tree-lighting ceremony along with a live Nativity scene. They also announce the arrival of Santa Claus, sing carols, and enjoy refreshments.

This year, after a complaint by the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, the Navy leadership ordered the Nativity scene to be removed from this year’s celebration...

The Pope's First Tweet

Democrats urge delay for ‘job-killing’ Obamacare tax
...None of the senators found his or her earlier objections to the tax a sufficient reason to vote against Obamacare. In December 2009, with 60 votes in the Senate and a determined Republican opposition, Democrats needed every vote they could get to pass the president’s national health care plan. But now, with Obamacare — and the taxes to fund it — about to become a reality, some of those Democrats are singing a different tune...

In northern Mali, Islamists’ attacks against civilians grow more brutal
On a sweltering afternoon, Islamist police officers dragged Fatima Al Hassan out of her house in the fabled city of Timbuktu. They beat her up, shoved her into a white pickup truck and drove her to their headquarters. She was locked up in a jail as she awaited her sentence: 100 lashes with an electrical cord.

“Why are you doing this?” she recalled asking.

Hassan was being punished for giving water to a male visitor...

Ex-diplomat: I was beaten by the Muslim Brotherhood

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Baby Joins Street Performer

Statement from the Diocese of South Carolina on the Presiding Bishop's Special Convention

Loyalists free to meet but not to take the name of the diocese

By Mark Lawrence

Following the announcement that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church plans a trip to Charleston for a January 25-26 convention of those wishing to re-associate with the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of South Carolina released the following statements:

“They are certainly free to gather and meet, but they are not free to assume our identity. The Diocese of South Carolina has disassociated from the Episcopal Church, we’ve not ceased to exist. We continue to be the Diocese of South Carolina – also known, legally as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina and as the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, of which I remain the Bishop. We are eager to get on with the ministry of Jesus Christ to a broken world! I suggest that the Steering Committee of this new group will want to do the same. A good first step for them would be to select a new name or choose another Diocese with which to associate.”

The Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence

XIV Bishop, Diocese of South Carolina
More at Anglican Ink

A.S. Haley: Why General Convention and 815 Are Irrelevant
...We start with the observation that the Church's national leadership is corrupt -- and by "corrupt", I do not mean that they are accepting bribes, or committing high crimes and misdemeanors in office. Rather, I mean that they are corrupt as Christians: they continually do and say things that emphatically are not Christian. (Suing fellow Christians; treating the Resurrection as allegorical and spiritual, rather than physical; preaching religious pluralism; supporting abortion -- the list could go on and on.)

And this corruption extends not just to the leadership at 815 Second Avenue; it permeates the House of Bishops and the entire General Convention, as well. The House of Bishops is corrupt, because after selecting the Presiding Bishop, it has given her free rein and refused to curb her petty despotism -- to say nothing of its sanctioning same-sex blessings and now marriages, in open violation of the rubrics and canons. And General Convention shows its increasing corruption with the legislation it sees fit to enact at each new session. It also has allowed the Presiding Bishop's litigation agenda to run amok, while funding it willingly out of Church trust funds and other monies it is robbing from mission work...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Character is the product of daily, hourly actions...

Character is the product of daily, hourly actions, and words and thoughts; daily forgivenesses, unselfishness, kindnesses, sympathies, charities, sacrifices for the good of others, struggles against temptation, submissiveness under trial. Oh, it is these, like the blending colors in a picture or the blending notes of music which constitute the man. ...JR Macduff image

Scrolling around... December 10, 2012

Studies Show Abortion May Increase Premature Death, Breast Cancer Risk
A recent study out of Denmark appears to show a higher incidence of premature death among women who have had an abortion than for women who give birth. The study tracked a group of Danish women over a 25-year period, finding that those who had undergone a single abortion had a 45-percent higher mortality rate over that time period than those who had carried babies to full term. The death rate among women rose dramatically for subsequent abortions, with women who had two abortions having a 114-percent greater likelihood of mortality during the study period, and women with three or more abortions facing a 192-percent chance of premature death...

The Sebelius Coverup-Obamacare’s insurance exchanges need scrutiny
Many states are wisely signaling that they aren’t interested in doing the Obama administration’s bidding on Obamacare. As a result, many if not most of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges — the heart of the beast — will have to be set up and run by the Obama administration at the federal level...

The Truth Behind Obamacare's 'Death Panels'
...While the term "death panels" certainly takes it to an extreme, Americans should be aware of how government's increased involvement in the provision of health treatments—and their understandable desire to control rising healthcare costs—will impact the availability of some medical care, and is already doing so. Moreover, experience suggests that Americans can expect decisions about best practices will be made not only with an eye toward keeping down costs, but also toward politics...

University settles lawsuit after expelling counseling student for abiding by her beliefs
...“Public universities shouldn’t force students to violate their religious beliefs to get a degree. The 6th Circuit rightly understood this and ruled appropriately, so the university has done the right thing in settling this case,” said Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who argued before the court in October of last year. “When Julea sought to refer a potential client to another qualified counselor--a common, professional practice that is endorsed by her profession’s code of ethics--EMU denied the referral. Then it attacked and questioned her religious beliefs, ultimately expelling her from the program. We are pleased that Julea and her constitutionally protected rights have been vindicated.”

U.S. knew for years of Benghazi extremism
...The agencies’ long-standing knowledge about Islamic extremists in Benghazi raises questions about the level of security at the U.S. Consulate on Sept. 11, when heavily armed militants stormed the diplomatic mission and a CIA annex and killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, State Department officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty...

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Rejoice, all ye believers...

 Rejoice, all ye believers,
And let your lights appear!
The evening is advancing,
And darker night is near.
The Bride-groom is arising,
And soon He draweth nigh.
Up, watch, and pray, and wrestle,
At midnight comes the cry!

The watchers on the mountain
Proclaim the Bride-groom near;
Go meet Him as He cometh,
With hallelujahs clear.
The marriage feast is waiting,
The gates wide open stand!
Up, up, ye heirs of glory,
The Bride-groom is at hand!

Ye saints, who here in patience
Your cross and suff’rings bore,
Shall live and reign forever,
Where sorrow is no more.
Around the throne of glory
The Lamb ye shall behold,
In triumph cast before Him
Your diadems of gold!

Our Hope and Expectation,
O Jesus now appear;
Arise, Thou Sun so longed for,
O'er this benighted sphere!
With hearts and hands uplifted,
We plead, O Lord, to see
The day of earth’s redemption,
That brings us unto Thee!
...Lau­ren­ti­us Lau­ren­ti  image