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Pope's Exhortation to Church and World
By Mike McManus
December 4, 2013
Pope Francis has issued his first apostolic Exhortation, a 224-page blueprint to jolt the church out of its complacency by enlisting all Catholics in two tasks: to evangelize the world and serve the poor.
"I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," he wrote in a document called "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel).
The task he has assigned to the church is monumental. At one level it is to attack consumerism or what he calls "the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures and a blunted conscience."
However, the far larger task is to restructure an economy characterized by a "survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed on the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without possibilities, without any means of escape."
A Hindu Monk and a Baptist Preacher got married...
by Jeff Gissing
November 29, 2013
Rev. J. Dana Trent and husband Fred Eaker (photo credit: Saffron Cross)
About one in four Americans (27%) is intentionally sharing their married life with someone whose religious belief system is different from their own. If difference within traditions like Protestantism is included, the number jumps to 37%. This emerging trend is consistent with the generally agreed-upon trajectory of our culture. We are moving into a period of intense plurality. Difference-in all its forms-is pushing its way into the lives, churches, schools, and neighborhoods of Americans.
As people face these new experiences they often look for resources to help them navigate their new reality. This has produced what the Huffington Post calls a "mini-boom of guides to interfaith marriage and family." A case in point is J. Dana Trent's recently released book, Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk.
Karen Armstrong's 9/11 British Empire Blowback Thesis
by Andrew Harrod
November 28, 2013
"We did this," popular British religion writer Karen Armstrong said in a November 21, 2013, keynote address at Georgetown University in reference to her country's imperial history and Al Qaeda's September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Speaking to Georgetown's Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) Armstrong clearly showed with bizarre, anti-Western self-accusatory explanations for jihadist violence how "I like to turn the finger against myself first."
"We have all done terrible things," Armstrong stated at ACMCU's 20th anniversary conference on "Muslim-Christian Relations in the 21st Century: Challenges & Opportunities." Armstrong in particular was "very conscious as a person of the British Empire" about how "we are all implicated" in problems afflicting Muslims globally. Armstrong referenced Anglo-French involvement during World War I in determining Middle Eastern borders and Pakistan's "almost impossible" borders derived from Indian partition in 1947. Armstrong also considered "our Palestinian mess" as a British sin inciting Muslim violence today.
LONDON: Britain's public health chief warns of catastrophic global gay HIV epidemic
Fenton laid the blame for the epidemic squarely on the two most obvious characteristics of homosexual sex: anal intercourse and promiscuity
By Thaddeus Baklinski
November 25, 2013
The UK's National Director of Health and Wellbeing warns that there is an increasing and potentially catastrophic HIV epidemic in homosexual men in every part of the world.
Speaking at the British HIV Association's Autumn Conference earlier this month, Professor Kevin Fenton said that despite an increasing number of tools to combat HIV infection, the incidence and prevalence of the disease in MSM (men who have sex with men) is increasing rather than decreasing globally.
Supreme Court Upholds Texas Abortion Law
By Mike McManus
November 21, 2013
Pro-life advocates won a major victory at the Supreme Court this week when it refused to block a Texas law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. Result: 12 of Texas' 36 abortion clinics closed.
However, pro-lifers lost a nationally unprecedented election in Albuquerque to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy by a 55% to 45% vote. They were outspent 4-1 by pro-abortion supporters. Ironically, the Texas law passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Perry - also limits abortion to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The Left's Midas Touch
Everything leftists control turns to rubble
By Dennis Prager
November 19, 2013
Detroit declined for decades under Democratic leadership.
The Midas Touch is named for the mythical Greek king Midas, who is said to have been able to turn everything he touched into gold.
The Left has the opposite ability: to turn virtually everything it touches into rubble. Sometimes it happens quickly; sometimes it takes generations. But it is inevitable.
Almost the only time this is not true is when the Left takes a position that is shared by non-leftists. But whatever the Left transforms in its direction is damaged, and often destroyed.
Name the institution or the value transformed by the Left, and that institution or value is ruined.
Here is a partial list:
Obama Administration Puts a Price Tag on Your Religious Freedom
By Matthew Clark
Nov. 15, 2013
Can you put a price on religious liberty?
Apparently the Obama administration has.
If you value your faith; if you are one of the millions of Americans who believe that abortion pills cause the destruction of innocent, God-given human life; if you are an employer who believes that being forced to pay for others' abortion pills is morally reprehensible, the Obama administration wants you to pay a dramatically steep price for your religious liberty.
The penalty for failure to abide by the Obamacare HHS abortion-pill mandate is an astounding $36,500 a year.
Refusal to violate your faith will cost you.
When You Are Invited to a Same-Sex Wedding ...
By John Rankin
November 18, 2013
I have been asked a number of times by fellow Christians: How do I respond when a family member or friend invites me to his or her same-sex wedding ceremony? These are people we love, yet how can we affirm what we do not believe in? Here is a sample letter I recently developed (in the singular case that can be made plural as need be). I am seeking a) to be clear in terms of biblical conviction about human sexuality, and b) hospitable to the humanity of those with whom we disagree. The truth is, that in time, hospitality always wins out over rejection.
As well, and this is key, we give hospitality on the terms of the Gospel, which is open to all people (e.g., Matthew 11:28 where Jesus says: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest"). But we do not participate in receiving a hospitality that requires us to compromise our convictions. The truth is, also, that the invitation of the Gospel touches eternity in the hearts of people; whereas an invitation to a same-sex marriage wedding serves only a fading and broken hope. Feel free to send this along to others, and I am glad for your input.
Objects of Extreme Hate: Ex-Homosexuals
By BILL MUEHLENBERG
Nov. 14, 2013
That the militant homosexual lobby is expert at hatred and spewing forth venomous bile at anyone who dares to differ is of course well known, and has been amply documented here hundreds of times. But the great focus of their rage and hatred is on those who dare to leave the homosexual lifestyle. That is the really big taboo.
They absolutely hate it when a homosexual is set free from this deadly and dead-end lifestyle. Of course the reason for this is obvious: it derails their entire false premise that this is a condition one is born with and is completely unalterable. The fact that so many have fully left the homosexual lifestyle obviously gives lie to the myth that homosexuals cannot change.
Leaving My Lesbian Past
The church that walked with me away from homosexuality.
By Charlene E. Hios
It was a Sunday morning, the beginning of football season. I was wearing my Dallas Cowboys jersey, ready to root for them. I was visiting my parents who lived in Las Vegas. I looked forward to spending more time with them after the game. They were heading off to church, and I was heading to the casino to watch the game.
That is, until Mom and Dad asked me to go with them to church that morning. They wanted me to meet some of their new friends and to meet the pastor and his wife.
I had nothing against going to church, mind you. It was just that the game would be starting at 10:00, and, well, I preferred watching football to attending church. In the back of my mind was also the fact that their church is one that believes homosexuality is a sin. My thinking was that it would be easier on everyone if their lesbian daughter just took herself to the casino to watch some football.
Same-sex marriage has an unexpected foe
The respectability of marriage would be a disaster for gays and lesbians, argues a leading academic
By Michael Cook
November 12, 2013
Just when you thought that all the arguments against same-sex marriage had been led to the starting gates, a new horse canters up. Writing in The Conversation, a op-ed site for academics, Annamarie Jagose, an internationally renowned expert in feminist studies, lesbian/gay studies and queer theory at the University of Sydney, argues that legalisation would be a disaster for gays and lesbians. "Why should marriage continue in the 21st century to be a primary mechanism for the distribution of social recognition and privilege?," she asks.
"In recognising some gay and lesbian relationships as marriages, same-sex marriage emphasises the continued illegitimacy of other sexual arrangements and the continued exclusion of other social actors.
The legalisation of same-sex marriage has risky consequences that exceed the good intentions of many of those arguing for it."
On Our Emasculated Churches
VOL: If this does not speak directly to the Episcopal Church then nothing does
By BILL MUEHLENBERG
November 2, 2013
OK, so just put this down to a rant if you like. Of course many folks - certainly my many critics - think everything I write is a rant. So nothing new there. But it is something that has long troubled me, and in fact is something I have often discussed previously.
What I am referring to can be described in various fashions:
-spineless wonders in our pews
-man-pleasing wimps in our pulpits
-weenies and woosies in our churches
-cowards in our midst
-believers without backbone
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