Now this is just what Pennsylvania’s businesses need: A cleverly disguised income redistributing tax increase. Of course, it goes by the more politically palatable name of minimum wage hike. The Legislature is closing in on a bill that will boost the state’s minimum wage to $7.15 per hour by July 1, 2007; January 1, 2008 if the Senate version passes. The current minimum is the Federal rate of $5.15. Continue
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, criticized several Western countries for allowing abortion and introducing gay marriage and civil unions.
"I fear that faced with current legislation, speaking in defense of life, of the rights of the family, is becoming in some societies a crime against the state, a form of disobedience of the government, a discrimination against women.
"The Church risks being brought in front of some international court, if the debate gets any more tense, if the most radical opinions are heeded," Lopez Trujillo told Famiglia Cristiana, a Catholic Italian weekly.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the West Virginia American Civil Liberties Union say the painting, "Head of Christ," sends the message that Bridgeport High School endorses Christianity as its official religion.
Indeed, this is not the first time that the OWM has gotten into liturgical mischief. The phrase used by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori appears in a "Eucharist Using Female Nouns and Pronouns" on the OWM's section of the Episcopal Church (TEC)-sponsored website. The rite is accompanied by "Morning Prayers to the Lady" - and this does not mean our Lord's mother. Both services offer worship to "Our Lady" and to the "Holy Mother," and end with the salutation "Blessed be" - a common statement of farewell among Wiccans.
The author of the services, Sandra Thomas Fox, wrote them in 2001, five years after she had a feminist epiphany during her first walk in a labyrinth - a spiritual exercise that actually has New Age roots - at the National Cathedral. There, she became sensitized to "the misogyny in the liturgy."
The webpage that leads to the two feminist liturgies has an all-capitalized disclaimer for each: "NOT AN OFFICIAL LITURGY - FOR USE IN DISCUSSION." Nevertheless, the pages from which each of the services can be downloaded invite readers to use them as well in "gathering communities of worship." Therefore, these services can be used anywhere.
Today I learn negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on a $26 billion budget . Fine, we need a budget. What we don't need is what's in that budget. A 6 percent increase in spending for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in public schools.
Overall, the budget deal calls for a 6.8 percent spending increase over this year's budget. Are you making 6.8 percent more this year?
Counting Rendell's supplemental requests for about $360 million to cover unforeseen expenses in the current fiscal year, this year's state budget will come to more than $24.6 million, or a 7 percent increase over 2005-06.
The budget for the coming year would push about $290 million in reimbursements to health care providers for treating the poor and elderly into the 2007-08 budget -- a short-term cost-saving tactic that has concerned some lawmakers.
Rendell's proposal to expand state-sponsored health care for children, would cover an extra 15,000 children at a cost to the state of $4.5 million.
Here are some thoughts for those in Harrisburg:
CUT TAXES NOW. I COULD BE DEAD OR LIVING IN ANOTHER STATE BY 2008
STOP OVER SPENDING. CHECK THE BALANCE BEFORE YOU WRITE THE CHECK
DON"T SPEND WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE. I CAN'T WITHOUT GOING TO JAIL. SAME RULES SHOULD APPLY TO YOU.
YOU CAN'T INVENT MONEY. DON'T SPEND GAMBLING MONEY BEFORE THE SLOTS ARE EVEN PLUGGED IN!
UNDERSTAND PEOPLE HAVE TO WORK HARD TO EARN EVERY PENNY YOU SPEND!
T.F. BOGGS is a 24-year-old sergeant in the Army Reserves serving his second tour of duty in Iraq, where he helps to provide security for a military base in Mosul. He is also an occasional blogger, venting his views at www.boredsoldier.blogspot.com. On Sunday, those views took the form of a letter to Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times. Two days earlier, the Times (along with The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times) had exposed the existence of a top-secret government effort to monitor the international movement of funds between Al Qaeda and its financial collaborators.
``Your recent decision to publish information about a classified program intended to track the banking transactions of possible terrorists is not only detrimental to America but also to its fighting men and women overseas," Boggs wrote.
``Terrorism happens here every day because there are rich men out there willing to support the . . . terrorist who plants bombs and shoots soldiers. . . . Without money, terrorism in Iraq would die because there would no longer be supplies for IED's, no mortars . . . and no motivation for people to abandon regular work in hopes of striking it rich after killing a soldier. Thank you for continually contributing to the deaths of my fellow soldiers."
Boggs isn't the only angry soldier the Times has heard from. Lieutenant Thomas Cotton, a Harvard Law School graduate who practiced law in Washington before becoming an infantry officer, wrote from Baghdad about the roadside explosion that recently ``killed one soldier and severely injured another from my 130-man company."
Cotton, too, underscored the fact that terrorism runs on money. The people trying to kill him and his men ``require financing to obtain mortars and artillery shells, priming explosives, wiring and circuitry, not to mention for training and payments to locals willing to emplace bombs . . . You may think you have done a public service, but you have gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here."
My thanks to both of these fine men. Sergeant Boggs blog has now been added to the PowerBlog! "Voices of Soldiers" links.
I will be happy to point you to a good RCIA and act as your sponsor. This is not to win people to my "team". The reason is much greater. The ECUSA is manifestly an enemy of the gospel now. Similarly, if the PCUSA decides to scrap baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it will render invalid all its future baptisms in the name of the god of trendiness (as well as constituting a direct assault on the sacrament of baptism, just as the ECUSA is assaulting practically everything in the Catholic tradition).
All Christians should be outraged, especially other Protestants. So please feel free to help euthanize these two dying Liberal Theology Clubs by removing yourself from them.
CNS states: "During the Mass, Kerry, who supports keeping abortion legal, received Communion in the hand from Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States and Pope Benedict XVI's representative to the U.S. bishops."
CNS also reported that Archbishop Wuerl shook hands with Senators Kerry and Ted Kennedy as he processed into the church. "During his entrance procession, the archbishop shook hands with Democratic Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts, seated side by side in the third row along the center aisle," reported CNS.The issue of allowing pro-abortion politicians to receive Holy Communion has loomed large in the Catholic Church in the United States with a committee on the matter having been chaired by former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick concluding only last week. While it was finally decided that bishops should decide for themselves on the matter, the church's canon law and the man who now serves as Pope Benedict XVI have indicated that such politicians "must" be denied communion.
Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi, Iran's minister of science, research and technology said that based on the Islamic principle, Iran must take advantage of all its potential resources including nuclear technology for the prosperity of its people.
Zahedi called on Western countries not to try and prevent developing nations from producing their own nuclear power when it is designed for peaceful purposes.
"Islamic doctrine does not allow us to produce mass destruction weapons or nuclear ones and the Iranian state is based on that principle," Zahedi told a news conference after meeting with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
But I guess suicide bombings, beheadings, flying planes into buildings is just fine. Yeah, sure, I believe him....
Calling the disclosure “disgraceful.” (IHT) Treasure Secretary John Snow blasted Times editor Bill Keller in a letter to the editor, explaining “The fact that your editors believe themselves to be qualified to assess how terrorists are moving money betrays a breathtaking arrogance and a deep misunderstanding of this program and how it works. While terrorists are relying more heavily than before on cumbersome methods to move money, such as cash couriers, we have continued to see them using the formal financial system, which has made this particular program incredibly valuable.” (Treasury)
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, NY Times Editor Bill Keller claimed “We're not passing judgment on the usefulness of this program. That's not our job to do.” In the next sentence, however, he did seem to find it his job to pass judgment: “There are, as with the NSA case, people who are expert and involved in the program who have questions both about its legality and about the way in their view of what was supposed to be a stopgap measure has become something permanent.” (CNN)
The two words that stand out here are threat and warning. The word “threat” as used by North Korea that they intend to conduct this test, and the word ’warning” from the United States against such a test. The very fact that North Korea has this missile on the launch pad, despite warnings from the United States to stand down, makes this a future precedent setting scenario.
If we use empty words with the North Koreans then every nutcase with a missile in their possession will feel free to set up long range missiles on the launchers. This means quite simply that Iran, Russia, China and others with missiles could set them up and fuel them, ready to launch at any time. Kind of scary at that point, since they are ready to launch and all that has to be done is initiate the countdown. At that point do we just try to guess which ones might reach us? Or maybe which ones have nuclear warheads?
North Korea is one third of the Axis of Evil as named by the United States a few years back. So what are we waiting on? Do you think for one second that Iran isn’t watching this intently to see our reaction? Has anyone considered that Iran may have put North Korea up to this to test the resolve of the United States? Remember, Iran is under the gun from the United States over the nuclear facilities and uranium enrichment that we “warned” them against. We have also warned them about stalling the “talks” regarding their own actions. Iran, the master of distraction may well be buying more time by using this North Korean missile issue to distract and buy time as they develop the materials to assemble nuclear weapons.
It seems that every time we put the pressure on Iran, there is a world-wide media covering distraction that switches the spotlight off of them for days or even weeks.T ruthfully, I’m not worried near as much about North Korea launching this missile as I am about the precedent we are setting by letting them threaten us with a launch and doing nothing about it. I believe that we are simply inviting trouble by delaying action against them, because if they launched the missile against the United States, it would probably be the last thing North Korea ever did on this planet. I’m far more concerned with the message we are sending by letting them threaten us in such a manner and delaying in our response.
We are under a barrage of assaults against the United States and our interests through terrorist attacks, Islam itself, the organizations within this country that are trying to shove Islam down our throats, third world countries that control oil that we consume, the terrorist and insurgent groups attacking our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. When will this “Sleeping Giant” wake up and set a precedent that is in the favor of this country and will send a message worldwide that says ‘Don’t even consider threatening this country”?
I was very impressed with the advisors that said we should destroy the missile in place, on its launcher with a Tomahawk Cruise missile. We aren’t talking about killing a large civilian population by knocking the missile and facility out, as the missile launch site at the Musudan-ri Missile Test Facility is in a remote area. As you weigh out the advantages to a precise strike by the United States, the answer becomes quite clear.
• The immediate threat of a missile being fired at us by North Korea would be eliminated;
• The missile facility isn’t located within a densely populated area and therefore, the loss of life would be minimal;
• The message sent by a strike against the facility would be quite clear;
• Iran would realize the seriousness of even opening a silo or setting up a launch vehicle;
• Japan, our ally would be safe from the missile which is more likely to land on Japan intentionally or by error than ever reaching the continental US;
• The same missile that can hit the United States can hit Israel as well and North Korea’s relationship with Iran (the latter having openly promised the destruction of Israel) cannot be ignored;
• The Axis of Evil would realize that threatening the US will bring death and destruction to them instantly.
I think back to previous moments in history when the action of readying missiles capable of hitting the United States came into play. What would we have done then? What will we do now?
Brussels: Electronic identity cards for all children under 12 are to be introduced in Belgium. They will bear a code designed to allow parents of missing children to be traced instantly.
The announcement came as Belgian police continued to search for two young girls who vanished from the street outside a bar in the middle of the night a fortnight ago.
Though the ID cards would be useless in protecting children from an abductor or adult determined to do them harm, they are intended to offer a secure way of making sure a lost child can be reunited with family.
GUANTANAMO TRIALS: Whether President Bush has overstepped his authority with military war-crimes trials for foreigners held at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
TEXAS REDISTRICTING: Whether to throw out all or part of a 2003 congressional map promoted by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
INSANITY: Whether to strike down Arizona's insanity defense law, in an appeal brought on behalf of a schizophrenic teenager who killed a police officer.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: If Vermont and other states can limit how much money is contributed and spent in political campaigns.
FOREIGN SUSPECTS: If two foreigners convicted of violent crimes in the United States have to be given new trials because police did not tell them they could seek legal help from their countries' governments, as required by a 1969 treaty.
INMATE NEWSPAPERS: Whether states can keep troublesome inmates from reading most newspapers and magazines.
DEATH PENALTY: Whether Kansas' death penalty law is constitutional.
LAWYERS: Whether criminal defendants who are denied the lawyer of their choice, even though they are paying for their own defense, are automatically entitled to a new trial if convicted.
Strange to see “corporate logos of such companies as Delta Air Lines and Wells Fargo streamed by” near “One float carried a bearded man, wearing a white lace miniskirt and fishnet stockings, who sang Madonna's "Like a Virgin" as a band backed him. A half-dozen men dressed in underwear and top hats danced behind him.”
New York congressman Peter King explained “We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous.” (Washington Post)
Meanwhile, Hugh Hewitt has been pushing NY Times editor Bill Keller to come on the show and explain himself. Keller has reused. (Hugh Hewitt) Instead, Keller issued a letter to his critics. (NY Times)
From Michael Barone: Why do they hate us? Why does the Times print stories that put America more at risk of attack? They say that these surveillance programs are subject to abuse, but give no reason to believe that this concern is anything but theoretical. We have a press that is at war with an administration, while our country is at war against merciless enemies. The Times is acting like an adolescent kicking the shins of its parents, hoping to make them hurt while confident of remaining safe under their roof. But how safe will we remain when our protection depends on the Times? (Real Clear Politics)
Santorum and Hoekstra compare the media’s desire to release information that could damage the war on terror to their silence on WMD. (WSJ)
PowerBlog! reader Monty sent me a piece claiming these munitions are assessed to be pre-1991 vintage and were likely left over from previous conflicts. Regardless of the year that were made, Saddam should not have had them. Later on the story is summed up by claiming "this story is a big fat hoax".
Not so fast. Putting aside all politics and who gets credit for what, let look at the facts:
First we must agree on what a WMD is. Is it chemical, explosive, or any military weapon?
We have all seen the photos of fighter jets buried in the sand. Strange place to park a plane. A fight jet can create some mass destruction. But maybe that doesn't count to some of you.
The let's move on and look at what was found in 2005. 500 tons...that's right...TONS...make that 1 million pounds of yellow cake uranium. Does that count?
It was found at Saddam's nuclear weapons facility (yup...he had one of those too.)-1.8 tons of partially enriched uranium found at the same place. You know, the stuff you need to make nukes. -Hidden centrifuge parts and blueprints. -Two dozen artillery shells loaded with Sarin and mustard gas. How about now?
Maybe you think I'm just making all this up. Well lets go back to 2004 when a roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent exploded near a U.S. military convoy. Go read the story here.
Go ahead and read it. I'll wait.
Despite this, the CIA said in April of 2005 no weapons of mass destruction were found. Huh? I'm confused.
The Iraq Survey Group, ISG, whose intelligence analysts were managed by Charles Duelfer, a former State Department official and deputy chief of the U.N.-led arms-inspectionand his predecessor, David Kay, reported to Congress in 2004 "a clandestine network of laboratories and safe houses with equipment that was suitable to continuing its prohibited chemical- and biological-weapons [BW] programs."
"They found a prison laboratory where we suspect they tested biological weapons on human subjects" they reported.
They found equipment for "uranium-enrichment centrifuges" whose only plausible use was as part of a clandestine nuclear-weapons program. In all these cases, "Iraqi scientists had been told before the war not to declare their activities to the U.N. inspectors."
This guy Saddam was up to no good. I think we can all agree on that. But maybe that's not enough for some you. Maybe you are still not convinced. You want hard proof that Saddam had WMD's and you will continue to chant "Bush Lied" untill you are handed that proof.
Ok here you go......
That's a dead mother holding her dead child in the aftermath of Saddam's attack using chemical weapons and cluster bombs on the Kurdish city of Halabja (population estimated at 70,000). The attack, said to have involved mustard gas, nerve agent and possibly cyanide, killed an estimated 5,000 of the town's inhabitants. Need more proof?
The guy in the photo is not looking at you. He is dead. The mother and baby are not resting. They were killed by Saddam's chemical weapons.
The United Nations had three investigations into the use of chemical warfare agents and they said unequivocally on all three occasions that Iraq has used chemical warfare agents. Are you convinced yet?
Article from Halabja by David Hirt, Middle East correspondent of London Daily, the Guardian, published on March 23, 1988:
" No wounds, no blood, no traces of explosions can be found on the bodies - scores of men, women and children, livestock and pet animals - that litter the flat-topped dwellings and crude earthen streets in this remote and neglected. The skin of the bodies is strangely discolored, with their eyes open and staring where they have not disappeared into their sockets, a grayish slime oozing from their mouths and their fingers still grotesquely twisted."
" Death seemingly caught them almost unaware in the midst of their household chores. They had just the strength, some of them, to make it to the doorways of their homes, only to collapse there a few feet beyond. Here a mother seems to clasp her children in a last embrace, there an old man shields an infant from he cannot have known what..."
Ask this young boy with chemical burns on his arms if he thinks there were WMD's. The ultimate weapon of mass destruction in Iraq was found in a spider hole hiding like a coward he is. Thank you to all the troops who have risked there lives to find and remove these weapons of mass destruction.
Alan Colmes, like liberal bloggers are trying to downplay this situation. Why are they not happy that we found WMD in Iraq, and more importantly why are liberals trying to question the authenticity of them? Is it okay to question their patriotism, now?
Colmes tries to spin this as a “desperate attempt” on Santorum’s part to win re-election in his Senate race. That is absolutely disgusting, but Alan’s a liberal, so it’s understandable. Colmes kept saying that the WMD is outdated and old, at the end of the segment co-host Sean Hannity suggested a liberal should house the WMD and see how they feel about that.
Some out there are trying to speed the promised arrival of the messiah. For some Christians this means laying the groundwork for Armageddon.
The Times reports: "With that goal in mind, mega-church pastors recently met in Inglewood to polish strategies for using global communications and aircraft to transport missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission: to make every person on Earth aware of Jesus' message. Doing so, they believe, will bring about the end, perhaps within two decades."
In Iran they have a similar idea. They have speant millions to welcome the return of a Muslim messiah known as the Mahdi. (To the majority of Shiites, the Mahdi was the last of the prophet Muhammad's true heirs, his 12 righteous descendants chosen by God to lead the faithful.) They hope to welcome the Mahdi to Tehran within two years.
According to various polls, an estimated 40% of Americans believe that a sequence of events presaging the end times is already underway. Among the believers are pastors of some of the largest evangelical churches in America, who converged at Faith Central Bible Church in Inglewood, CA in February to finalize plans to start 5 million new churches worldwide in 10 years.
For Christians, the future of Israel is the key to any end-times scenario, and various groups are reaching out to Jews — or proselytizing among them — to advance the Second Coming.
But are we really in control of the time table? Is God just waiting for us to finish our job? A growing number of fundamentalist Christians in mostly Southern states are adopting Jewish religious practices to align themselves with prophecies saying that Gentiles will stand as one with Jews when the end is near.
Christians, Roman Catholics and some Protestant denominations, believe in the Second Coming but don't try to advance it. It's important to be ready for the Second Coming, they say, though its timetable cannot be manipulated.
Lawmakers took another step Wednesday toward putting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage on the ballot in Pennsylvania.The state Senate approved the proposed amendment 38-12.
Pennsylvania already has a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But Sen. Jane Orie and other Republicans warned that without a constitutional amendment, a judge could act on a legal challenge and effectively legalize gay marriage or civil unions.
Opponents questioned the need to guard against a hypothetical challenge. "Mind your own business, stay out of the bedroom," said Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, a Democrat.
Amending the state constitution requires approval by the House and Senate in successive two-year sessions of the General Assembly and then the approval of voters in a statewide referendum.
Senators must now work out differences with a version passed by the House, which also prohibits civil unions.
Conservatives called the General Convention resolution meaningless since it fell far short of demands from top Anglican leaders for a moratorium. Liberals said the call for any restriction, no matter how mild, was offensive to gays - and one bishop vowed to defy it.
But Episcopal leaders said the legislation, however inadequate, was critical to buy time for talks over whether the world's Anglican churches can stay together despite their deep differences over the Bible and gay relationships.
The new Mideast policy, approved Wednesday, says that regarding both Israel and Palestinian territory, church assets should "be invested in only peaceful pursuits."
The 2004 assembly had vexed grass roots Presbyterians and Jewish groups by authorizing "phased selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel" because of its policies toward Palestinians.
Delegates approved 381 to 117 the shift in abortion policy, declaring that "viable unborn babies - those well-developed enough to survive outside the womb if delivered - ought to be preserved and cared for and not aborted."
The dioceses had pledged to do the fingerprint background checks as a way to prevent pedophiles from working with children. But church leaders said the background checks could prevent illegal immigrants from volunteering, since they lack government-issued photo IDs, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
Instead, volunteer candidates without photo IDs in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are allowed to give a sworn affidavit stating that they have not been convicted of any crime, officials said. In Orange, they can provide a sworn affidavit and two character reference letters.
The United States has found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered, two Republican lawmakers said Wednesday.
"We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons," Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said in a quickly called press conference late Wednesday afternoon.
Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."
He added that the report warns about the hazards that the chemical weapons could still pose to coalition troops in Iraq.
"The purity of the agents inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal," Santorum read from the document.FOX News
Now U.S. bishops have approved a new English translation for the Mass so that it adheres more closely to its Latin roots. It's a sort of of changing the changes
If approved by the Vatican, it would be the most significant changes to mass since parishioners began worshipping in English instead of Latin following the Second Vatican Council. It's in an effort to satisfy Vatican calls for a more accurate translation of mass -- the Sunday ritual that is the center of Catholic worship.
Twelve of the 19 texts spoken by Catholics during mass, including the Nicene Creed, the Gloria, the Penitential Rite, the Sanctus and Communion, would be changed. That's some major changes!
The Vatican recently issued updated guidelines for the translation of the Latin texts at the root of mass that aim not only for accuracy but also for "a deeper language that's more expressive and more poetic".
If you have never attended a Catholic Mass this may be hard to comprehend. Catholc around the world worship in exactly the same way as part of the worldwide church. The only difference being the mass is said in the local language.
Some of the proposed changes are:
Exchanges between priests and parishioners that now say "The Lord be with you" / "And also with you" would become "The Lord be with you" / "And with your spirit."
The Act of Penitence, in which parishioners confess that they have sinned "through my own fault," would include the lines "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."
In the Nicene Creed, the opening words "We believe" would become "I believe."
Early in the Eucharistic Prayer, "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might" would become "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts."
Before Communion, the prayer "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you" would become "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof."
Before the Mass changes at the parish level, the American bishops' version must go to offices in the Vatican for final approval.
The Episcopal Church elected Katharine Jefferts Schori, 52 the world's first female presiding bishop. The 70-million-member Anglican Communion is now split with a mix of cheers and jeers. Her election presents problems on multiple levels.
First, you have a female in the role of bishop. Some would claim that this is not even biblical. There are many Anglican leaders who believe women should not even be priests. Those opposed to female clergy cite the unbroken tradition of male priesthood in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, and in the Anglican Communion until about 30 years ago.
Second, she has already come out in support of homosexuality. She voted in the past in favor of same-sex unions and the consecration of homosexual bishops. Both acts have earned condemnation from 22 Anglican provinces.
This latest move only serves to weaken the Episcopal Church, which is facing a declining membership and is estranged from the rest of worldwide Anglicanism because of its election of the openly homosexual New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson in 2003.
It seems clear the deputies gathered in the Greater Columbus Convention Center voted to lead the Episcopal Church away from the Anglican Communion.
Schori defeated five men for the post, winning on the fifth ballot on votes cast by 188 Episcopal bishops. Out of those 188, 95 bishops (supposed men of God) voted Schori in as bishop. That was just enough votes for her to win.
This whole process started long ago. Schori was brought into the Episcopal Church when her parents abandoned the Roman Catholic tradition. In a sense she has grown up rejecting the traditional church and saw ecclesiastical authority as something to fight against. That authority includes the Bible.
Shori said in an interview, "One of the church's greatest challenges, in this and in every age, is re-contextualizing the gospel. There are signs of great hope in some places, but we as a church will have to be far more intentional, and far more willing to push our own comfort zones, if we are to be attractive to the unchurched. "
It is not clear what the reaction to the Schori election will be from Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, which teach that women cannot be ordained. Just the fact that her ordination as a bishop is not accepted by a large portion of the Communion introduces division.
The one thing we can be sure of is that God has his hand on all of this. This act may serve as a wake up call, and in the end, drive believers back to the true church . It may also allow those who choose to reject truth to "re-contextualize" the gospel and pretend they are Christians in the facade of the episcopal church.
The American Family Association (AFA) is asking supporters to express their concerns after a Metro transit board member was fired for expressing opposition to homosexuality.
Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. fired Robert J. Smith of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority last Thursday, after the board member, a Roman Catholic, referred to homosexual behaviour as “deviant” on a talk show interview.
One of his colleagues on the transit board, who is openly homosexual, complained about the comment during a board meeting on Thursday and demanded Smith retract his comments or resign from the board, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Smith declined, saying he stood by his beliefs as a Roman Catholic, and a few hours later he received notice from the governor that he was fired.
“Robert Smith’s comments were highly inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable,” Gov. Ehrlich said in a statement. “They are in direct conflict to my administrations’ commitment to inclusiveness, tolerance and opportunity.”
The governor said he was intolerant to any view that opposes the full social acceptance of homosexual behavior and its promotion in government, the AFA reported.
“Gov. Ehrlich contradicted his own statement,” the AFA press release said. “He is promoting tolerance toward homosexual practice while being intolerant to Smith’s Christian beliefs and the teaching of his church.”
The AFA has launched an email campaign asking readers to “help preserve the rights of Christians to publicly express their beliefs and the teaching of their church on homosexuality without the fear of being fired,” by challenging Governor Ehrlich to reinstate Robert Smith.
“If this firing stands, it means that any Christian who states publicly that homosexual practice is morally wrong does so at the risk of being fired.”
Speaking to reporters after the confrontation with Jim Graham, Smith reaffirmed his remarks and said he was “entitled to his opinion.”
"The comments I make in public outside of my [Metro board job] I’m entitled to make.” His personal beliefs, he said, have “absolutely nothing to do with running trains and buses and have not affected my actions or decisions on this board.”
“The notion that I consider homosexual behavior as deviant behavior is correct,” Smith said. He declined to apologize to Graham, saying, “I didn’t make the comments to Mr. Graham…I’m sorry that he feels that way, but I don’t agree that his lifestyle is an appropriate way to live one’s life".
To contact Governor Ehrlich:
The AFA email form:
Various Arabic postings and claims of responsibility suggest the possibility that some are attempting to appear more operational than they actually are since the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi.
A number of messages, posted on at least two Arabic language terrorist forums, state that our soldiers were "slaughtered," or beheaded, in accordance with Quranic law. This is unconfirmed. My heartfelt prayers go out to their families.
Despite the fact that BP was a "Bronze Sponsor" of the Coalition's 35th annual conference held this week in Chicago, Jackson announced that he was returning the company's $10,000 donation as part of a boycott to demand greater minority involvement in the corporation's business practices.Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) was not impressed with Jackson's gesture.
"It is pretty obvious what is going on here," Flaherty stated. "BP sponsors Jesse Jackson's conference at the $10,000 level, but the company is certainly capable of a lot more. No doubt, Jackson seeks to upgrade them to the $150,000 'Platinum Sponsor' level for next year."Nobody likes being called a racist for obvious reasons, but instead of these corporations defending themselves and standing up for themselves, they basically just want to buy off the enemy," Flaherty added.
In addition, any money BP spends to stay in Jackson's favor would be wasted, Flaherty said."Jesse Jackson is bluffing a foreign company," Flaherty noted. "He has virtually no ability to affect the consumer habits of Americans, or even African-Americans."The reason he is going after BP is the same reason he threatened a boycott of Toyota in 2001," Flaherty said.
"Executives of foreign companies are often under the misimpression that Jesse Jackson still commands wide respect in this country."
The Pentagon has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prohibits the military from inquiring about the sex lives of service members but requires discharges of those who openly acknowledge being gay.
Newly elected leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said on Monday she believed homosexuality was no sin and homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same gender.
Jefferts Schori, bishop of the Diocese of Nevada, was elected on Sunday as the first woman leader of the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church. the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. She will formally take office later this year.
Interviewed on CNN, Jefferts Schori was asked if it was a sin to be homosexual.
"I don't believe so. I believe that God creates us with different gifts. Each one of us comes into this world with a different collection of things that challenge us and things that give us joy and allow us to bless the world around us," she said.
"Some people come into this world with affections ordered toward other people of the same gender and some people come into this world with affections directed at people of the other gender."
This is a wolf is really bad heep clothing!
At the dedication ceremony, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England praised the roughly 4,000 Muslim Americans now serving with the U.S. military, saying Muslims have a long tradition of service going back to World War I. He also congratulated the Marine Corps and Chaplain Corps for “seeing the need for a prayer center for Muslim Marines.”
A closer look at those numbers is quite revealing, however. According to Stars & Stripes magazine, there are a total of 426 Muslims serving in the Marine Corps, and roughly 4,000 Muslims serving throughout all branches of the U.S. Military. The base at Quantico, however, has only 24 Muslims serving at this location. Based on the numbers cited, along with the seemingly forgettable fact that we are at war with Islamic fundamentalism, it would be prudent to identify the individual behind the idea of the prayer center and mosque at this location. That individual has been identified as Navy Lieutenant and Muslim Chaplain Abuhena Mohammed Saifulislam.
Following the attacks of 9/11, SAIFULISLAM, a native of Bangladesh and a self-proclaimed Sunni Muslim was assigned to the Guantanamo military prison, where he successfully lobbied the Pentagon to issue Qurans and prayer rugs for each prisoner. He also successfully lobbied for prayer beads and special Islamic halal meals for each of the prisoners, and further insured that the prisoners are awakened each morning with calls to prayer over loudspeakers according to Islamic tradition. Lt. SAIFULISLAM served as the personal chaplain to the prisoners, talking to them in Arabic and Urdu, languages SAIFULISLAM fluently speaks.
Lt. SAIFULISLAM attended an Islamic school in Virginia that is well known to espouse and teach the Wahabbi Doctrine and was raided by federal authorities following the 2001 attacks. In spite of his past associations with Islamic centers known for their orthodox beliefs, SAIFULISLAM insists that he is a “moderate.” Nonetheless, one of his mentors, according to a June 13, 2006 article written by Paul Sperry at FrontPageMagazine.com, is Taha Jaber Al-Alwani, an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism related case of Sami al-Arian.
As Paul Sperry so adeptly points out, the Pentagon “is giving him [SAIFULISLAM] a permanent, taxpayer-supported platform from which to convert grunts to Islam. With the Quantico Mosque, the pentagon is facilitating the study of the holy texts the enemy uses, heretically or not, as their manual for war.”
Such acts would have been unthinkable during WWII, yet the disease of political correctness has infected every aspect of western thought. To the delight of our enemy, we have acquiesced to nearly every demand placed on us since 9/11 to prove our respect and tolerance for an enemy that is entrenched in our society. Sadly, the citizens of the United States are paying for this now – and more sadly, if we do not immediately recognize what is happening and change our course now, we will be paying for this in a larger sense for generations to come.
The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would expand its review of a federal law banning some abortion procedures and would decide a California case on whether the law was too vague and imposed a burden on women.
The justices in February agreed to rule on a Nebraska case on whether the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is unconstitutional because it lacks an exception to protect the health of a pregnant woman.
The California case involved additional issues on whether the law imposed an undue burden on a woman's right to seek an abortion and whether it is unconstitutionally vague. A U.S. appeals court declared the law unconstitutional and upheld an injunction barring its enforcement.
A senior American official said that intelligence from satellite photographs suggested that booster rockets had been loaded onto a launching pad, and liquid-fuel tanks fitted to a missile at a site on North Korea's remote east coast.
While there have been steady reports in recent days about preparations for a test, fueling is regarded as a critical step as well as a probable bellwether of North Korea's intentions.
A launching could also ignite a political chain reaction in Japan, the United States and China, which have been trying to re-engage North Korea in stalled talks about its nuclear weapons program. The Bush administration might step up financing for missile defense; Japan might increase its missile defense efforts as well, while militant Japanese politicians might push to reconsider the nation's nuclear weapons options. Such moves would most likely alienate China.
It was another groundbreaking and controversial move for a denomination that consecrated Anglicanism's first openly gay bishop just three years ago.
And the slide continues.......
One reason is that language limited to the Father and Son "has been used to support the idea that God is male and that men are superior to women," the panel said.
Two professors at the Presbyterians' Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Andrew Purves and Charles Partee, said there is potential danger that "we not only lose the ground for our language for God, we in fact lose the Trinity. We lose God."
"We do not need a diluted, metaphorical Trinity; rather, we need our confidence in the Christian doctrine of God to be restored," they said.
Also Wednesday, the SBC unofficially barred members who drink alcohol from serving as trustees or members of any SBC entity.The ban, part of a larger anti-alcohol resolution that was easily approved by delegates, was proposed by Jim Richards, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
While stopping short of officially preventing drinkers from serving, it "urges" that no one be elected or appointed to SBC offices if that person is "a user of alcohol.""Use of alcohol as a beverage can and does impede the message of Jesus Christ" that Southern Baptists are trying to spread, Richards said.
I'll drink to that!
Not realizing the sculpture of a head had been separated from the device used to prop it up. Then this madness from the story: "Given their separate submission, the two parts were judged independently," it said in a statement. "The head was rejected. The base was thought to have merit and accepted.
That's like the cleaning lady who tossed out bags of garbage that were supposed to be art. It's all in the eye of the beholder.
The movie was given a PG rating because of it's Christian content. Congressman Roy Blunt has stepped in to ask why, by sending a letter to the MPAA Chief.
From the letter: "This month, it has been widely reported that MPAA gave a PG rather than G rating to the moving Facing the Giants, apparently solely because the movie contained Christian themes. This incident raises the disquieting possibility that MPAA considers exposure to Christian themes more dangerous for children than exposure to gratuitous sex and mindless violence."
You can read the entire letter here. My thanks to Congressman Blunt for providing PowerBlog! a copy of the letter.
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” – (1 Corinthians 10: 16-17).
The center of Catholic life and worship is the celebration of the Eucharist, the “one bread” where “we who are many are one body.” The Eucharist is the living presence of Christ in His Church, and is the deepest sign of our faith and unity of belief.
By his sacrifice on the cross, Christ is the unique high priest, the mediator between God and humanity. This priesthood of Christ is made present in our lives through the priesthood, which serves as an “icon” – or representative – of Christ in the world.
The call to the ministerial priesthood comes from God and is authenticated by the Church, not by any individual. Holy Orders is a gift that those called do not earn, deserve, or have as a right. The call to ordination is received unmerited through the grace of God. Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time. It is the sacrament of apostolic ministry and it is through the bishops, the successors of the apostles, that this gift of God is passed on from generation to generation through ordination.
“(The Catholic Church) holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in Sacred Scripture of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God’s plan for his Church” (Pope Paul VI, 1977)
As apostolic succession represents the living presence of the apostles in the Church until Christ’s return, and the priest serves as an icon or representative of Christ’s sacramental presence in the Church, the Church must conform to the delegation made by the Lord.
The ordination of males to the priesthood is not merely a matter of practice or discipline within the Church. Rather, the Church has determined that this is part of the Deposit of Faith handed down by Christ through his apostles. The Church is therefore bound by it and not free to change in this regard.
“In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time” – Pope John Paul IIOrdination to the priesthood must be conferred by an ordained bishop on a baptized man. A candidate must receive the blessing of the Church, which has the authority and responsibility to determine if a true call to the priesthood exists.
Just as a priest cannot consecrate the Eucharist if he uses something other than unleavened wheat bread and wine from grapes, so too a bishop cannot confer Holy Orders on anyone other than a baptized man. Because the sacrament of Holy Orders can only be received by a baptized man, no sacramental ordination took place for the women now claiming to be ordained bishops. Nor have the women who are alleged to be ordained at the upcoming event been accepted by the Church as they do not meet essential criteria for the ordained priesthood as found in the Deposit of Faith. “Take care, then, to have only one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to show forth the unity of his blood; one altar, as there is one bishop, along with the priests and deacons, my fellow servants. All this is so, so that, whatever you do, you may do it according to the will of God.” – St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. 107 AD).
This unfortunate ceremony will take place outside the Church and undermines the unity of the Church. Those attempting to confer Holy Orders have, by their own actions, removed themselves from the Church, as have those who present themselves for such an invalid ritual. Additionally, those who by their presence give witness and encouragement to this fundamental break with the unity of the People of God place themselves outside the Church.
This separation is not a discipline, judgment or mandate of the Church. Nor is it the result of opinion or advocacy of a theological view by those involved. Rather, by conducting and taking part in such a ceremony, it is the choice of the participants to place themselves outside the community of believers.
The Catholic Church is prepared and eager to welcome back those who separate themselves from the community. Catholics in the Diocese of Pittsburgh are called to pray that those who involve themselves in this upcoming ceremony will reconcile with the Church and return to unity with the Body of Christ.
"In the past few days, I've gained a new perspective on life," the Super Bowl-winning quarterback said in a statement released by the team. "By the grace of God, I'm fortunate to be alive ... "
"I never meant any harm to others nor to break any laws," Roethlisberger said. "I was confident in my ability to ride a motorcycle and simply believed such an accident would not happen to me."
"I look forward to being at training camp in Latrobe and winning football games this season," Roethlisberger said in the statement.
Steve was born and raised in Ecuador where his parents were missionaries. His father, Nate Saint, was the “Jungle Pilot” who was one of five young men killed in 1956 by the Waodani Indians (known as Aucas) whom they were trying to reach with the Gospel. Miraculously, two years after the killings, Steve’s Aunt Rachel (along with Elisabeth Elliot) was invited by the tribe to live with them where she was based until her death in 1994. Steve’s mother Marj moved with her three children to Quito, where Steve attended school, visiting his aunt and the Waodani during the summers. He grew up knowing the men who had killed his father and came to love them, to regard them as family, to be baptized by their hands, and to be embraced as a son.
It's a great story. Don't miss this movie.
On July 31, a dozen well-educated, experienced Roman Catholic women will pass into uncharted spiritual waters on a boat cruising Pittsburgh's rivers.
On that afternoon, three women in vestments will lay their hands on the heads of the 12 women and anoint their hands with oil during an ordination ceremony that will be the first of its kind in the United States.
It will be the fourth such ceremony in the world since 2002, all unrecognized by the Vatican. The women are part of a growing international movement to push for women's ordination.
My 2 cents:
These women are not Roman Catholic once there reject the authority of the church. They are "ordained" by those who are neither ordained themselves and do not have the power to do so. In fact those who claim that right, have been excommunicated by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI back in 2003.
I did some checking on these women who claim to be ordained and I found some very interesting things. Cheryl Bristol is a self declared "lesbian by birth, Catholic by choice". Rebecca McGuyver is a divorcee. Most are married and have children and grandchildren. One remains anonymous.
Is clear that they do not hold to the vow of celibacy. At least one does not adhere to the Catholic teaching on homosexuality and they all reject the church they claim to represent.
None of these women were called by God to reject the authority of the church. God does not call anyone to go against His Word. They can put whatever label they wish on themselves. Many people often do. It does not make it true. They have no church, no valid ordination and parade as Priests while rejecting truth. I'm sorry, but the emperor has no clothes.
About 20 to 25 parishioners attending 7:30 Mass at Transfiguration Church were receiving Communion at 7:55 a.m. when someone noticed smoke coming from the eaves, said West Deer Police Chief Jon Lape.
Flames spread across the roof, and Chief Lape said the building, a wooden structure built in 1915, is a total loss. As of mid-morning, fire crews were still pouring water on the building.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Senator Santorum "has had no qualms calling this 'reform' the amnesty that it is." (Editorial, "Midweek Briefing," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 7, 2006)
The Washington Times: "On Thursday, by a vote of 62-36, the Senate passed a reckless immigration bill which, among other things, grants amnesty to the estimated 11 million illegal aliens already in the country..." (Editorial, "The Senate's Amnesty Pill," The Washington Times, May 27, 2006)
Associated Press: "'I think the general conclusion of everybody who has studied guest or temporary worker programs is that they are never as advertised,' said Michael Teitelbaum, a demographer with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York. 'They are never temporary programs, nor are the workers temporary.' Fewer than half the 'Bracero' workers brought in to work the farms in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War went home, said Vernon Briggs, a labor economist at Cornell University. 'These things are a disaster,' he said. 'They don't stop illegal immigration. What they basically do is encourage people to keep coming.' (Lynn Brezosky, "Immigrants say temporary worker program will be anything but," Associated Press, June 13, 2006)
Associated Press: "The bill would allow border crossing workers...to apply for unlimited enrollment in the guest worker program." (Associated Press, "Guest workers could stay indefinitely, under bill," June 11, 2006)
Well he is broke and about to be tossed out of his home. Not only that, he wants your help. He needs $250,000 fast and wants to sell you a $15 ($20 for an autograph) t-shirt to get it. His website that sells the shirts, displays the F word and also shows a sign reading "Screech 3:16".
He better hope he is saved by the bell!
If this works for him, there will be PowerBlog! shirts for sale very soon.
You want one for $20?
Full story (If you really want to waste your time)
A reputed leader of the al-Qaida-linked terror group blamed for deadly bombings across Indonesia on Thursday accused President Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard of waging wars against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir also called on Bush and Howard to convert to Islam, saying it was "the only way to save their souls," adding that families still grieving after the 2002 Bali blasts that killed many foreigners should also become Muslim to find "salvation and peace."
When people are forced to survive most will. When they are handed things they did not earn the become all too comfortable and lazy. They then depend on others to work and fund their existence. That's where my sympathy runs out.
People in the wake of Katrina mourned the loss of loved ones, were homeless, jobless and had nowhere to turn. An incredible outpouring of compassion followed with people donating record amounts of money to assist. This story about how money was wasted while people really suffered makes me sick.
Let's make one thing clear, there is no such things as FEMA funds, Federal Assistance or welfare. That's how the media reports it but they should call it what it is, YOUR MONEY. That's tax money folks. If you get up, work a job and pay taxes that's your money they hand out.
So what was your money used for after the Katrina disaster? An all-inclusive, one-week Caribbean vacation in the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic. Five season tickets to New Orleans Saints professional football games. Adult erotica products in Houston and "Girls Gone Wild" videos in Santa Monica, Calif. Dom Perignon champagne and other alcoholic beverages in San Antonio. One person spent 70 days at a Hawaiian hotel at $100 per night while at the same time got 2,358 in rental assistance aka YOUR MONEY!
FEMA says it has identified $16.8 million in improperly awarded disaster relief money and has started efforts to collect the money. Yeah, like that will happen. The money is gone and the people who had no shame and took it should be in prison. I'd also like to see each one of their names and faces published nationally for all to see. These people stole from everyone. Widows, elderly, homeless, children and you and me. They don't deserve to enjoy and ounce of compassion before a judge.
Between $600 million and $1.4 billion is gone and real people still need real help. Shame on the people who handed out this money and shame on those who took it. They should all be locked in that trailer park in Arkansas.
On the eve of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference in Los Angeles (June 15-17), more and more Catholics are asking, is Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas (Tucson, Arizona) assisting pro-abortion candidates in their campaigns for public office? “The Bishop’s deafening silence vis-à-vis pro-choice politicians campaigning in locales under his canonical oversight is fueling this developing scandal,” says Kelly Copeland, Director of the Holy Family Society of Tucson. “Does the Bishop’s tacit consent, and permission given to pro-choice politicians to speak, constitute support for abortion rights and politicians supporting them?”
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, well-known for her aggressive pro-choice activism, generated large protests among the faithful when she came to Tucson on March 25th to draw support for Richard Elias, member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, and Steve Leal, Tucson City Councilman. According to witnesses at the event, held at the hall of a local Knights of Columbus chapter under the canonical oversight of Bishop Kicanas, the right to abortion was publicly advocated. In days preceding and following the event, Bishop Kicanas refused to be vigilant as he is obliged to be under canon 305 of the Code of Canon Law. In April 2005, Bishop Kicanas even allowed Napolitano to speak from the pulpit at a Tucson Catholic Church. “What is going on here?” asks Copeland. “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
In June 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops forbade the granting of speaking platforms or the giving of honors to “those who act in defiance of fundamental moral principles which ‘would suggest support for their actions’ according to the Statement “Catholics in Political Life” adopted by the Bishops at their semi-annual meeting that year. “In an increasing amount of smokescreen activism reported by the press, Bishop Kicanas has not only remained outrageously inactive when obligated to enforce this USCCB norm in his Diocese, but has heaped lavish praise upon those who notoriously defy fundamental moral principles in contradiction with both Vatican and USCCB norms – and not only in matters concerning abortion” says Copeland.
“In open departure from official doctrine, Bishop Kicanas has preached that the fight against poverty - - not abortion as Pope John Paul II taught -- as “first and foremost” among moral duties; honored radical pro-homosexual marriage activists such as Rep. Jim Kolbe with glowing and fond words; spoken against Vatican policy encouraging intervention by public authority in regulating Internet content; and sided with migrants who break the law to gain access into this country against the explicit teaching of the Catechism, which holds that a nation has the sovereign right to set conditions for legal entry.”
“The bottom line is this,” says Copeland: “When you see a thief entering your neighbor’s house and the neighbor being robbed heaps praise upon the thief, you seriously begin to wonder.”