Religion & Culture (Religion)

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  • [Former UK Attorney General] Dominic Grieve: 'British Christians Forced to Hide Belief’

    09/01/2014 5:54:07 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 12 replies
    The Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8/23/14 | Steven Swinford
    Interview: the former attorney general says he fears that 'aggressive' secularism is pushing the Christian 'faith out of the public space' Britain is at risk of being “sanitised” of faith because an “aggressive form of secularism” in workplaces and public bodies is forcing Christians to hide their beliefs, a former attorney general has warned. Dominic Grieve said he found it “quite extraordinary” that people were being sacked or disciplined for expressing their beliefs at work. He described Christianity as a “powerful force for good” in modern Britain and warned that Christians should not be “intimidated” and “excluded” for their beliefs....
  • Pray for our American Heroes

    09/01/2014 1:19:52 AM PDT · by Kitty Mittens · 8 replies
    9-1-14 | Kitty Mittens
  • Let My People Go: The Catholic Church and Slavery

    08/31/2014 6:04:39 AM PDT · by NKP_Vet · 77 replies
    “How many divisions does the Pope have?” Joseph Stalin once ironically asked the official warning him of the Vatican's “power.” Decades later, totalitarian regimes have all but vanished, while the Catholic Church, founded strictly on an evangelical message of love, has continued to grow. “I’d like to buy your argument,” replied the professor, “but the facts are other than you assert. How is it that Catholic countries such as Spain and Portugal promoted the slave trade in America, if, as you claim, the Catholic Church actually brought the end of slavery? How do you explain certain bishops of the American...
  • Victoria Osteen Ripped for Telling Church 'Just Do Good For Your Own Self'; Worship Is Not for God.'

    08/30/2014 7:00:33 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 239 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 08/30/2014 | Leonardo Blair
    Victoria Osteen, wife of megachurch preacher and New York Times bestselling author Joel Osteen, is now facing withering criticism online for a viral video clip in which she is shown telling congregants at Lakewood Church that obedience, worship and church attendance is not for God but themselves. "I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we're not doing it for God—I mean, that's one way to look at it—we're doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we're happy," she said in the 36-second clip posted on YouTube, with her husband smiling...
  • Pray for our American Heroes

    08/30/2014 10:20:11 AM PDT · by Irish Rose · 12 replies
    August 30, 2014 | Irish Rose
    May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth. May they sing of the ways of the LORD, for the glory of the LORD is great. Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever –...
  • Bring Back Lust

    08/30/2014 8:23:24 AM PDT · by EscondidoSurfer · 26 replies
    Overcoming-Lust.com ^ | August 29, 2014 | Jim Vander Spek
    Have you noticed that the word “lust” is being purged from the Bible? The Greek word for lust (epithemia) points to inner sin thirty-four times in the New Testament. In the vast majority of these places it has traditionally been properly translated as “lust” or the archaic and more precise word, “concupiscence.” Not Any More Unfortunately, modern translations, such as the New International Version (NIV) are abandoning the word lust....
  • A Line in the Sand (Michael Farris contra Gothard and Phillips)

    08/30/2014 7:03:26 AM PDT · by fishtank · 23 replies
    HSLDA ^ | August 2014 | Michael Farris
    A LINE IN THE SAND by Michael Farris The following article will appear in the Second Quarter 2014 Home School Court Report, due in mailboxes late August. Two prominent speakers on the homeschooling circuit have experienced dramatic falls from favor due to admitted sin. Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips have both been accused of serious sins involving young women. The accusations are sexual in nature. Both men have admitted to some form of sin with regard to these accusations, although each has disputed some of the details. Gothard disputes that his sins were sexual in nature. Phillips admits to an...
  • Libertarians and the Church

    08/30/2014 3:01:15 AM PDT · by matthewrobertolson · 41 replies
    Catholic Analysis ^ | 30 August 2014 | Matthew Olson
    I have argued before that, in their fullest, libertarianism and Catholicism are incompatible -- but to what degree are they so? Leaders of the libertarian movement have certainly said silly, anti-Catholic things. Ludwig von Mises, for example, compared Christ to the Bolshevists and also said, "..[I]t is the resistance which the Church has offered to the spread of liberal ideas which has prepared the soil for the destructive resentment of modern socialist thought" (Socialism, Chapter 29). Translation: opposition to liberalism of one stripe must be blamed for inspiring liberalism of another. Huh? Much of the conflict between libertarians and the...
  • Regensburg Revisited: Faith, Reason and the Islamic State

    08/29/2014 9:16:19 AM PDT · by AncientAirs · 13 replies
    National Catholic Register | 08/28/2014 | FATHER RAYMOND J. DE SOUZA
    Is Islam inherently violent? Does it justify violence against infidels? Does it encourage the faith to be spread by the sword? The establishment of an “Islamic State” in northern Iraq this summer has brought such questions to the forefront in the face of the lethal brutality the Islamic State has unleashed against religious minorities, including the expulsion and killing of Christians. There are political and military aspects to those questions, but they are most fundamentally theological. Does God desire violence to spread his revelation? Theology addresses reality at its deepest level, and, therefore, theological ideas matter a great deal in...
  • A New Direction in (Catholic) Church Design

    08/27/2014 3:30:10 PM PDT · by NYer · 115 replies
    Crisis Magazine ^ | August 27, 2014 | MICHAEL TAMARA
    One day fifteen years ago, I happened to be channel surfing past the Eternal Word Television Network when I was greeted by a momentary flash of heavenly beauty across the screen. Quickly flipping back, I realized that it was a Mass being celebrated in an unusually majestic church with an extensively gilded and marbled interior.Having never seen this church before, I distinctly remember asking myself why today’s churches can’t still be built to glorify God the way this beautiful “old” work of art had been. Within minutes, however, I felt as though a joke too good to be true...
  • Onward Christian Soliders? Not Likely

    08/27/2014 2:36:58 PM PDT · by NYer · 12 replies
    Standing on my head ^ | August 27, 2014 | Fr. Dwight Longenecker
    George Tate George Tate was in the US Army in World War II. He served in a unit that was establishing communication lines across the Himalayas.George’s son, Sid is a parishioner, he said about his Dad, “His plane was riddled with enemy gunfire going in, and as I understand it his job was conducted in an active combat zone. He received the Bronze Star, which was the military’s 4th highest award: Awarded to ‘any person whom while serving in with the United States military after 6 December 1941, that distinguished himself or herself apart from his or her comrades...
  • USCCB Loses Its Head

    08/27/2014 2:08:59 PM PDT · by NYer · 37 replies
    onepeterfive ^ | August 27, 2014 | PATRICK ARCHBOLD
    It is a curious conceit of an obtuse generation that it believes itself to be committed to modernity, embodied by devotion to science and reason, and yet is so irrevocably immutable to evidence.The spiritual (but not religious) Mecca of modernity in the Catholic Church is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the headquarters of which would likely be a smoking ruin if we had a God quick to anger rather than slow.The absurdity of this very modern institution is embodied perfectly in their recent USCCB statement on their “Commitment To Dialogue With Muslims.”What is the bottom line? They are...
  • ...Turkey and it’s Initial Plans to Invade Libya, Sudan and Egypt

    I truncated the title; full title: Antichrist Nation of Turkey and it’s Initial Plans to Invade Libya, Sudan and EgyptThe entanglement between the “World Federation of Muslim Scholars” and the “International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood” in Istanbul Turkey is a master plan designed by the devil. It brings together an assortment of Muslim demons to spark a Turkish campaign to create some serious trouble in Libya, Sudan and Egypt and few are paying attention how significant this is prophetically.Before the red dragon goes after Israel and the Church, and before it’s crescent is stomped on by the woman (Revelation...
  • Dhimmitude: Coming Soon to a Country Near You

    08/27/2014 5:26:23 AM PDT · by NYer · 26 replies
    onepeterfive ^ | August 26, 2014 | ANDREW BIESZAD
    The former Archbishop of Mosul, Amel Nona, said that the end of the Church in Iraq at ISIS’s hands is a warning to fellow Catholics throughout the world, particularly in the West: Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not...
  • Taking Offense: An Enemy of Truth

    08/26/2014 11:34:50 AM PDT · by NYer · 2 replies
    Crisis Magazine ^ | August 26, 2014 | PETE JERMANN
    Taking offense certifies the modern man as one who cares. If we take offense on behalf of another, we can number ourselves among the sensitive and loving. If we take offense personally, we can brandish a stop sign declaring to all that the offense must cease. In either case, the offending words must stop and the conversation must end. For the modern lover never offends. Instead he unfailingly affirms. He affirms us with an “okay” that builds our self-esteem, engenders good feelings, and requires nothing of us beyond self-affirmation.But can people who love one another do so simply by...
  • Dear Mr. Gothard

    08/26/2014 10:53:34 AM PDT · by DariusBane · 119 replies
    redemptionpictures.com/ ^ | 8 July 2014 | Heather E. Corcoran
    You would see me across the room when we arrived on Saturday night for staff dinner. You’d signal to me in a personal and private way that you wanted me to sit with you. And you always positioned me just directly across from you. You’d slide your feet out of your shoes and play footsies with me. You would use your feet to feel But rather than offering that protection, you exploited that situation. You asked me to tell you how it felt. To tell you if my body was aroused by their touches. You wanted vivid details. But you...
  • An Open Letter to Duggar Defenders - "you likely do not understand the Duggar’s subculture"

    08/26/2014 9:23:43 AM PDT · by fishtank · 104 replies
    The Aquila Report ^ | 8-25-14 | Libby Anne
    An Open Letter to Duggar Defenders The problem real here is that you very likely do not understand the Duggar’s subculture Written by Libby Anne | Monday, August 25, 2014 The Duggars are part of a very specific subculture of the Christian homeschooling world, one dominated by leaders like Doug Phillips of Vision Forum and Bill Gothard of ATI, whose incredibly restrictive teachings and controlling practices have earned them the adjective “cult-like.” These organizations and leaders teach that children must be trained to obey their parents completely, without question, and with a smile; that women are not to have careers...
  • In Ethiopia, an Adrenaline-Filled Act of Faith

    08/25/2014 7:44:10 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    BBC ^ | 8/22/14 | Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll
    Ethiopia’s little-known churchesWith their sheer cliffs, surreal rock formations and vertical spires, northern Ethiopia’s Gheralta Mountains recall stretches of the southwestern United States’ red desert landscape. The primary difference: perched high and tucked away into these mountain cliffs are some of the country’s least visited rock-hewn Ethiopian Orthodox cave churches, some of which are more than 1,000 years old. The Gheralta cluster, located in Tigray Province, includes more than 30 structures. Although local legend claims that these churches date to between the 4th and 6th Centuries, historians believe that they were more likely built from the 9th to 12th Centuries....
  • LGBT culture clash primed by western activists

    08/25/2014 6:04:29 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 8 replies
    Communities Digital News' The Washington Outsider ^ | August 24, 2014 | Matthew Geiger
    Although LGBT behavior and lifestyles are gaining acceptance in the West, the same cannot be said about many corners of the world. Where the more “liberal” West is defined by its focus on individual rights, the Middle East, Africa, and East are defined more by their focus on cultural rights, thus the individual right to express sexual identity is less significant in these regions than the cultural right to maintain traditional values. Because sexual identify plays a significant role in cultural identity, even tolerating LGBT behavior is asking for a considerable shift in cultural values and practices. Instead of inspiring...
  • Pray for our American Heroes

    08/25/2014 11:23:14 AM PDT · by Kitty Mittens · 10 replies
    8-25-14 | Kitty Mittens
    Revelation 1:5-7 Glory and Strength to Christ Who Loves us, Who Blood-Washed our Sins from our Lives, Who Made us a Kingdom; Priests for His Father, Forever, and Yes, He's On His Way! Riding the Clouds, He'll be Seen by Every Eye, Those who Mocked and Killed Him will See Him, People from All Nations and All Times Will Tear their Clothes in Lament. Amen.
  • Catholics and the "Men's Rights Movement"

    08/25/2014 6:15:44 AM PDT · by matthewrobertolson · 19 replies
    Catholic Analysis ^ | 25 August 2014 | Matthew Olson
    In this show, I discuss the central concerns of the "Men's Rights Movement", how the social doctrine of the Church matches up with it, and what simply must be done in this area in order to prevent societal collapse. LISTEN ON YOUTUBE (Alternative link, via Vimeo.) Summary: I start off with a note to women and I complain about the modern media's terrible influence in these matters. I make note of what I call "practical polygamy" (80-90% of women chasing after 10-20% of men). Perhaps most controversially, I tackle the issue of the advanced education of women and their "right"...
  • Conservative Editorial Overload With Zero ETERNAL Insight

    08/25/2014 4:16:22 AM PDT · by The Ignorant Fisherman · 6 replies
    IFB ^ | 8/25/14
    Today there is absolutely no shortage of political commentary from the Right and as a matter of fact, it has become a deluge of daily commentary that is drowning the conservative laymen with no REALITY or ETERNAL hope (John 1:12, Acts 16:28-30, 1 Cor. 2:2, 1 John 2:15-17)! I have found that much of this commentary is just gazed over by conservative readers and that conservative commentary writers are just preaching to conservative commentary writers the majority of the time. It seems like everybody who is anybody has a blog or a political editorial column on the Internet, or a...
  • How To Shrink Your Church In One Easy Step

    08/24/2014 12:21:56 PM PDT · by ReformationFan · 42 replies
    The Aquila Report ^ | 24Aug14 | Alexander Griswold
    By now, we’ve all heard the refrain that U.S. churches need liberalize their teachings on sexuality and homosexuality or rapidly decline. The logic behind the argument is simple: more and more Americans are embracing homosexuality and same-sex marriage, including growing numbers of religious Millennials. So long as churches remain the face of opposition to gay marriage, those churches will shrink into irrelevancy when gay marriage (inevitably, we are told) becomes a settled political issue. These arguments often see church acceptance of homosexuality as a carrot as well as a stick. It isn’t so much that denouncing homosexuality will drive people...
  • Barbarians at The Gate

    08/24/2014 9:28:10 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 15 replies
    Our Sunday Visitor ^ | 8/20/14 | Greg Erlandson
    ISIS leader’s terror in Iraq, threat to ‘march on Rome’ is forcing Western leaders to take actionIt may sound perverse, but perhaps we owe a small note of thanks to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Like a bullet whistling overhead, the ruthless rise of ISIS under al-Baghdadi has had the effect of concentrating the fretful and forgetful minds of Western leaders. Despite the various terrors inflicted by al-Qaida, the Taliban and other radical Muslim groups over the years, and despite the spreading regional war between Islam’s Sunni and Shia factions, America...
  • Fox News star jumps into 'gay' Christianity

    08/24/2014 7:06:43 AM PDT · by NKP_Vet · 120 replies
    http://mobile.wnd.com ^ | June 4, 2014 | Joe Kovacs
    The Fox News analyst who made headlines last December for saying she personally met Jesus is now entering the battle over homosexual relationships, suggesting U.S. Christians could support the concept. “Could there be a future where most American Christians support same-sex relationships?” asks Kirsten Powers, a former atheist who went public with her conversion to Christianity last year. “If so, it will be due to the emergence of conservative Christians who say orthodox believers can support life-long, monogamous gay relationships without undermining their commitment to biblical authority.” In her column in USA Today, Powers mentions by name evangelical Matthew Vines,...
  • Pray for our American Heroes

    08/23/2014 10:28:29 AM PDT · by Irish Rose · 11 replies
    August 23, 2014 | Irish Rose
    I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you – the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. (Psalm 121:1-6)
  • A New Mosque Rises—in Alaska

    08/23/2014 6:46:21 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 34 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | 8/14/14 | Tamara Audi
    Construction Is Part of a Building Boom Nationwide as Muslim Population RisesANCHORAGE—On the edge of this northern outpost an unfamiliar sight is emerging: twin minarets. Alaska's small but growing Muslim community is building the state's first newly constructed mosque. "This is our future," said Osama Obeidi, one of the Muslim-Americans leading the building effort for the Islamic Community Center of Anchorage. "We have second-generation Alaskans now, and new people coming all the time. We need a place to call home." The 15,000-square-foot mosque, taking shape near a Sons of Norway Viking Hall, will eventually include a Sunday school and a...
  • Surprised by Joy: A response to Richard Dawkins on Having a Child with Down syndrome.

    08/23/2014 6:33:35 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 31 replies
    National Review ^ | 08/23/2014 | By Matthew Hennessey
    Every once in a while people let their guard down and say what they really think. For Richard Dawkins, Wednesday was one of those days. In an extraordinary moment of public honesty, Dawkins, the British evolutionary biologist and militant atheist, wrote on Twitter that “it would be immoral to bring [a child with Down syndrome] into the world if you have the choice.” It was a statement that no doubt delighted the utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer, his friend and fellow traveler, who has advocated the killing of disabled infants on the grounds that they are not rational and self-conscious...
  • Frankensteins' Monster Redux The Creation of a Muslim Caliphate

    08/22/2014 9:29:23 PM PDT · by yldstrk · 2 replies
    blog ^ | unknown | Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel
    As the world watches the never-ending saga of the Israeli and Gazan conflict, civilized countries of the world are looking away from a very serious genocidal attack that is taking place in one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, the Assyrian Christian population of Mosul, Iraq, which is now controlled by ISIS. A couple of weeks ago, the Islamic Jihadists issued the following ultimatum: If they did not leave by July 19th, they would all have to convert to Islam, pay a fine, or face death by the sword. Within a few days, 3000 of the Assyrian Christians...
  • NY Christian Couple Fined $13,000 for Refusing Lesbian Wedding Ceremony on Farm

    08/22/2014 6:09:47 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 30 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 08/23/2014 | Samuel Smith
    A New York judge issued a Christian family a $13,000 fine after the family's refusal to allow a same-sex couple to use their family farm, which they live on and rent out for various events and ceremonies, as the venue for the couple's wedding ceremony. Cynthia and Robert Gifford's denial of the same-sex ceremony was ruled a violation of the state's Human Rights Law and deemed to have "unlawfully discriminated against complainants" by administrative judge Migdalia Peres in her ruling. Additionally, the family will have to post an anti-discrimination poster on their farm for everyone to see. The Giffords live...
  • Faith of Iraqi Christians called unbreakable, despite persecution (wear religious symbols)

    08/22/2014 3:17:19 PM PDT · by NYer · 8 replies
    cns ^ | August 22, 2014 | Blanca Ruiz
    A family of Christian refugees in Iraq who are taking shelter at the Syriac Catholic Mrtshmony Shrine in Erbil. Credit: Aid to the Church in Need-USA. Erbil, Iraq, Aug 22, 2014 / 04:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Iraqi Christians' faith is not diminished, even as they face exile from their homes and profound suffering, an official with a Catholic pastoral charity has said after visiting Kurdistan, where many have taken refuge. “The faith is the reason for their lives. And despite the persecution, children wear rosaries around their necks and the people do not hide their tattoos of crosses or their...
  • Papal envoy: Francis donated $1 million to Iraqi refugees

    08/22/2014 3:12:26 PM PDT · by NYer · 13 replies
    cns ^ | August 22, 2014 | Andrea Gagliarducci
    Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who traveled to Iraq Aug. 12-20 as Pope Francis' personal envoy, speaks to CNA in Rome, Aug. 22, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA. Vatican City, Aug 22, 2014 / 01:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has given $1 million as a personal contribution to help Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq who have been forced from their homes, according to his personal envoy to the country. Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, visited Erbil as Pope Francis' envoy from Aug. 12-20. Erbil, where more than 70,000 Christians have fled from the...
  • A Letter on Divine Worship (Sign of Peace in the Latin Rite)

    08/22/2014 2:12:44 PM PDT · by NYer · 8 replies
    The Catholic Thing ^ | August 22, 2014 | Fr. Gerald E. Murray
    The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments published a Circular Letter entitled “The Ritual Expression of the Gift of Peace at Mass” on July 8.  Pope Francis approved it the previous day and ordered its publication. The letter treats the question of the Sign of Peace, resolving the question whether the Holy See would move the Sign of Peace to earlier in the Mass. The decision was made to leave the Sign of Peace where it is. The Letter explains: In the Roman liturgical tradition, the exchange of peace is placed before Holy Communion with its...
  • Catholic school superintendent takes part in ALS ice bucket challenge

    08/22/2014 1:33:28 PM PDT · by Welchie25 · 9 replies
    Catholic Review ^ | 8/22/14 | John Stegeman
    Showing his support for those suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, the superintendent of Catholic schools for the Cincinnati Archdiocese took part in the ice bucket challenge Aug. 21. Superintendent Jim Rigg was joined by Tom Otten, principal of Elder Catholic High School, on the school’s campus. The challenge has taken the nation by storm to raise money in support of research into the disease, which is formally known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure and no proven treatments. In the challenge, people are asked to share videos through...
  • Spectator’s hard-hitting commentary on pontificate of Pope Francis

    08/22/2014 11:31:03 AM PDT · by NYer · 3 replies
    WDTPRS ^ | August 21, 2014 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    At The Spectator there is a must read piece by Damian Thompson for anyone who is puzzled about what Pope Francis may be up to, especially in regard to the Roman Curia.Here is an excerpt with my emphases: [...]As a Latin American who didn’t know his way around Rome when he became pope, he approaches the Curia as an outsider. That is why the cardinals elected him. They did not imagine that this previously austere figure, who even as a prince of the church travelled on buses dressed as a simple priest, would turn on the charm for journalists and...
  • UCSSB Calls for Special Collection For Victims Of Violence In The Middle East (Catholic related)

    08/22/2014 11:11:30 AM PDT · by RBStealth · 7 replies
    Patheos Blog ^ | Aug 21, 2014 | Lisa M. Hendey
    If you’ve been watching the nightly news and wondering how in the world you can possibly help amidst the rising tide of violence that seems to be running rampant, mark your calendars for September 6-7. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for a special collection that will enable each of us to help with the work being done by Catholic Relief Services, Caritas, and other Catholic agencies in the region. CRS food distribution. CRS food distribution. Over at the CRS website, you’ll find a comprehensive overview of steps...
  • “Today is a miraculous day”: Dr. Kent Brantly speaks after recovering from Ebola

    08/22/2014 5:23:38 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 22 replies
    Hotair ^ | 08/22/2014 | AllahPundit
    To cleanse the palate, your feelgood video of the day. Skip to 5:00 for Brantly’s portion of the presser; he speaks for more than seven minutes but the key bit, in which he describes coming down with Ebola, comes in the first three minutes. I didn’t know what to expect when I heard he’d be released but I’m surprised regardless at how fully he seems to have recovered. According to his own timeline, it’s been slightly less than a month between the moment he began to feel unwell and today’s triumphant reemergence. I’m curious to know how he thinks...
  • How To Shrink Your Church In One Easy Step

    08/22/2014 5:17:27 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 29 replies
    The Federalist ^ | 08/22/2014 | By Alexander Griswold
    By now, we’ve all heard the refrain that U.S. churches need liberalize their teachings on sexuality and homosexuality or rapidly decline. The logic behind the argument is simple: more and more Americans are embracing homosexuality and same-sex marriage, including growing numbers of religious Millennials. So long as churches remain the face of opposition to gay marriage, those churches will shrink into irrelevancy when gay marriage (inevitably, we are told) becomes a settled political issue. These arguments often see church acceptance of homosexuality as a carrot as well as a stick. It isn’t so much that denouncing homosexuality will drive people...
  • Catholic, Orthodox patriarchs visit Irbil to support displaced Iraqis

    08/21/2014 2:33:46 PM PDT · by NYer · 3 replies
    cns ^ | August 20, 2014 | Doreen Abi Raad
    BEIRUT (CNS) -- A delegation of Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs visited Irbil, Iraq, to show their support and solidarity with the more than 100,000 Christians and minorities displaced in the country by the advance of Islamist militants. Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, patriarch of the Maronite Catholics, said the Aug. 20 trip was "a first step in the implementation of the statement issued by the patriarchs," referring to a special summit Aug. 7 to address the crisis facing Christians in Iraq and Syria. ebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, the patriarch of Maronite Catholics who headed a delegation of Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs...
  • Kurdish forces retake 2 Christian villages; crosses restored to churches

    08/21/2014 1:02:21 PM PDT · by NYer · 9 replies
    Catholic Culture ^ | August 21, 2014 | Diogenes
    Assisted by US airstrikes, forces of the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan have retaken the historically Christian towns of Tel Isqof (or Telskuf) and Batnaya from the Sunni jihadist forces. Christian residents who returned to Tel Isqof were “shocked” by the level of destruction committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Assyrian International News Agency reported. They restored crosses to their churches before beginning the task of cleaning up their town. Additional sources for this storySome links will take you to other sites, in a new window. Interactive Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Los Angeles...
  • Why South Korea is so distinctively Christian

    08/21/2014 12:10:32 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 20 replies
    The Economist ^ | 08/21/2014
    SOUTH KOREA, a dynamo of growth, is also afire with faith. This week Pope Francis will spend five days there, for Asian Youth Day and to beatify 124 early martyrs. About 5.4m of South Korea’s 50m people are Roman Catholics. Perhaps 9m more are Protestants, of many stripes. Yoido Full Gospel Church’s 1m members form the largest Pentecostal congregation on Earth. Belief’s farther shores include the Unification Church, soon to mark the anniversary of its founder Sun-myung Moon’s "ascension". The late Yoo Byung-eun, the shifty and versatile tycoon behind the ferry Sewol which sank in April, killing 304 mostly teenage...
  • China accused of ‘crime’ against Christianity

    08/21/2014 12:07:35 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 3 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 08/21/2014 | By Tom Phillips, Shanghai
    An ongoing demolition campaign targeting churches in eastern China represents a “crime” against Christianity and threatens to foment social unrest, a group of Chinese lawyers has warned. Hundreds of churches in Zhejiang province have suffered partial or complete demolition this year as part of what activists describe as a major crackdown designed to slow the growth of Chinese congregations. The anti-church campaign resulted in bloodshed in late July when hundreds of security forces launched a pre-dawn raid on Salvation Church in Wenzhou, a city sometimes referred to as China’s Jerusalem, in an attempt to remove its cross. One Christian suffered...
  • Satanist Claims Catholic Priest Gave Him Host for Black Mass

    08/20/2014 7:00:41 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 29 replies
    Aleteia ^ | 8/20/14 | John Burger
    Archbishop Coakley sues satanic group to hand over consecrated Host.With one month to go before a satanic group in Oklahoma City a public “black mass,” the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is suing to force the group to hand over a consecrated Host it claims to have. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the District Court of Oklahoma County, claims Satanic leader Adam Daniels and his religious organization, the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, have "unlawfully taken possession of property belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, specifically a Consecrated Host." Daniels, who has claimed publicly to have the Host, clarified in an interview...
  • China to Pope Francis: Don’t ‘Interfere’ with Religion

    08/20/2014 6:51:10 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 8/20/14 | Josephine Mckenna
    VATICAN CITY — China has reacted cautiously to a bid by Pope Francis to open new dialogue with Beijing, with some officials quick to warn the Vatican not to “interfere” with the country’s religion. On his return flight from a five-day tour of South Korea, Francis said he was ready to go to China — “For sure! Tomorrow!” — after receiving a positive response to two goodwill telegrams he sent to President Xi Jinping as the pope flew over Chinese airspace. “We respect the Chinese people,” Francis told journalists on the return flight Monday (Aug. 18). “The church only asks...
  • Considering three factors at play in Ferguson

    08/20/2014 6:25:11 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 36 replies
    National Catholic Reporter ^ | August 20, 2014 | Mary Ann McGivern
    I want to consider three things in this blog: first, the harm that has been done; second, our white gaze; and third, nonviolent direct action. The harm Michael Brown is dead at 18. He graduated from high school and was headed for college. The promise of his life is gone. He leaves behind parents and brothers and sisters, extended family, friends, neighbors, teachers. His body lay in the street for hours and the watchers, standing outside the yellow crime-scene tape, must have been harmed by that experience. For all of them, Michael's death leaves a lifelong void. What can be...
  • St. Louis archbishop urges prayers for peace to calm chaos in streets of Ferguson

    08/20/2014 2:16:55 PM PDT · by Welchie25 · 4 replies
    Catholic Review ^ | 8/20/14 | Catholic News Service
    Residents of Ferguson “are struggling to find peace in the chaos” that has followed the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer and “as people of Christ, we are struggling to find direction in the unrest,” said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis. “We are all aware of the turmoil and tragedy our St. Louis community is experiencing,” he said in an Aug. 18 letter to Catholics of the archdiocese. After visiting Ferguson, about 11 miles from downtown St. Louis, and offering prayers at a memorial there to 18-year-old Michael Brown, Archbishop Carlson said he has...
  • College Prof Calls Catholic Church Barbaric, Sexist, and Medieval

    08/20/2014 2:02:05 PM PDT · by NYer · 53 replies
    Creative Minority Reporta ^ | August 20, 2014 | Matthew Archbold
    Professor Jerry A. Coyne, professor of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago, wrote one of the nastiest anti-Catholic diatribes I've read in a while; painting the Church as barbaric, sexist, and medieval and accusing it for torturing women. And then because he was still feeling it, he compared the Church to the most evilest of organizations in his estimation - The National Rifle Association. Insert gasp here. And The New Republic saw nothing wrong with this and decided to publish it. The issue at hand has to do with a woman in Ireland (but not a citizen there)...
  • These Charts Show How The World Feels About 8 Moral Issues

    08/20/2014 9:19:20 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 18 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 08/20/2014 | CHRISTINA STERBENZ
    What people find morally acceptable and unacceptable depends on where they live in the world.The charts below from the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project show people's views on eight topics, often considered moral issues: extramarital affairs, gambling, homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, alcohol consumption, divorce, and contraceptives.Pew surveyed 40,117 respondents in 40 different countries in 2013 to obtain the data.The first graphic below gives the median response across the world. People were the most disapproving of extramarital affairs, with 78% calling them morally "unacceptable," while 14% of respondents, the lowest in the survey, felt contraceptive use was "unacceptable." Topics like premarital sex and alcohol...
  • Francis’ Outlook on the Conflict in Iraq

    08/19/2014 4:01:59 PM PDT · by NYer · 6 replies
    Vatican Insider ^ | August 19, 2014 | ANDREA TORNIELLI
    The Pope recalls the teaching of the Catechism about the legitimacy of halting aggressors, but he does not endorse American bombings. He also reminds us of the consequences of recent wars waged by Western powers in the area and values the role of the United Nations ANDREA TORNIELLIVatican City “Today we are in a world at war, everywhere! Someone told me: you know, Father, that we are witnessing the Third World War - but waged in chunks, in  different chapters”. Francis’ words on war, and on the bombs that kill both guilty and innocent alike, hitting women and children, describe...
  • Pope Francis visits Benedict XVI before trips, archbishop reveals

    08/19/2014 2:52:38 PM PDT · by NYer · 7 replies
    cna ^ | August 19, 2014 | Andrea Gagliarducci
    Pope Francis and Archbishop Georg Ganswein in St. Peter's Square after the Wednesday general audience, May 7, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibåñez/CNA. Vatican City, Aug 19, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Before any international trip Pope Francis visits Benedict XVI, a key Vatican archbishop revealed, noting the good relations between the two and how Pope Francis is carrying forward Benedict's vision.   Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, who serves as prefect of the Pontifical Household, spoke in an all-out interview Aug. 15 with the Austrian Catholic press agency in “Kath.net” while he was in the diocese in Freibourg. There he led  Aug....