Thursday, January 23, 2020

Church of England: Sex is for married heterosexual couples only

The Church of England has stated that sex belongs only within heterosexual marriage, and that Christians in gay or straight civil partnerships should be sexually abstinent.

Bishops have issued pastoral guidance in response to the recent introduction to mixed-sex civil partnerships, which says: “For Christians, marriage – that is, the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows – remains the proper context for sexual activity.”

The church “seeks to uphold that standard” in its approach to civil partnerships, and “to affirm the value of committed, sexually abstinent friendships” within such partnerships.

It adds: “Sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God’s purpose for human beings.”


Read the rest here.

Given the recent trajectory of the CofE, I find this more than a bit surprising.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Methodist Church's Plan for the Future Does Not Include Its Older Members

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. (AP) — A struggling Minnesota church is asking its older parishioners to leave in hopes of making it more attractive to young families.

Grove United Methodist Church in the St. Paul suburb of Cottage Grove is closing in June, with plans to relaunch in November. The present members, most of them over 60 years old, will be invited to worship elsewhere, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported. The church is asking that they stay away for two years, then consult the pastor about reapplying.


“I pray for this church, getting through this age-discrimination thing,” William Gackstetter said at church on a recent Sunday as the gray-haired heads around him nodded in agreement.

But church officials said the congregation needs a reset and the best way is to appeal to younger people.

The Grove United Methodist Church is the product of a 2008 merger with a larger church in Woodbury.

The Cottage Grove church has struggled with membership and finances. Seven years ago, Methodist officials said they could no longer pay for its minister, so the church switched to lay ministry, with weekly sermons by members. The church’s attendance and finances have stabilized recently, with an average weekly attendance of 25.

But Cottage Grove is growing quickly and the church should be growing with it, said the Rev. Dan Wetterstrom, head of the two-location Grove church.

The Methodists’ regional body is paying $250,000 to restart the church, Wetterstrom said. They have hired a specialist in starting new churches, 30-year-old Jeremy Peters who moved to Cottage Grove with his wife and two children for the relaunch, probably in November.

“It’s a new thing with a new mission for a new target and a new culture,” he said.

The older members will not be physically barred from attending, Peters said, but the expectation is that they won’t.


Read the rest here.

Unbelievable.

Monday, January 20, 2020

New York during the 1930s in Color



Home movies, likely shot over the winter of 1937-38. Very high quality showing street scenes, well known landmarks, harbor of New York with famous ocean liners and etc. Shot in kodachrome color, appx 41 minutes.

The Annual Theophany Russian Ice Water Dip


Friday, January 17, 2020

Quote of the day...

The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be only a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and comcribs. Men will walk upright now, women will smile, and the children will laugh. Hell will be forever for rent.
 
-Evangelist Billy Sunday January 17, 1920

American Nation Permanently Dry

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Jerry Kammer: I’m a Liberal Who Thinks Immigration Must Be Restricted

In 2001, when I was the new Washington correspondent for The Arizona Republic, I attended the annual awards dinner of the National Immigration Forum. The forum is a left-right coalition that lobbies for unauthorized immigrants and expansive immigration policies. Its board has included officials of the National Council of La Raza, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, as well as the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association and the American Nursery and Landscape Association.

After dinner, the group’s executive director, Frank Sharry, made a pitch to business allies who wanted Congress to allow them unfettered access to foreign workers. “You guys in business get all the workers you want, whenever you want them,” he proposed. “No bureaucracy.”

“Sold!” yelled John Gay, a lobbyist for the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Mr. Sharry quickly added that the deal must include advocacy for “three little, tiny pieces of paper: a green card, a union card and a voter registration card” for unauthorized immigrants.

For me, a reporter who had long covered immigration in the Southwest and Mexico, the exchange was a revelation about the politics of immigration in Washington. Business lobbyists like Mr. Gay — conservatives who seek loose labor markets so employers can keep wages down — align themselves with liberal activists like Frank Sharry to pursue policies that serve their groups.

Who, I wondered, was lobbying for the American workers competing with the new arrivals? The answer, I learned, was no one. As the former labor secretary Robert Reich once put it, “There’s no National Association of Working Poor.”

This mismatch of political influence, combined with the social and fiscal consequences of a wave of low-skilled immigrants, led me to believe that immigration should be restricted so that its power to invigorate our country is not eclipsed by its potential to harm workers. I think immigration, like capitalism itself, should be regulated in the national interest, not shaped to serve the free-market libertarianism of the right or the post-national humanitarianism of the left.

That’s why I call myself a liberal restrictionist.


Read the rest here.

100 Years Ago: Last Call

And a century on, we seemed to have learned little.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

RIP: Sir Roger Scruton



A great champion of political/social conservatism and traditionalism, Sir Roger Scruton has died.

Memory eternal.


On Being Consrevative.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The blue-state exodus gains momentum

Nine years ago I published a piece that asserted, “Voters around the country are concluding it’s better to be red than dead” — applying almost the exact opposite meaning to an old phrase referring to communism. New Census Bureau figures appear to confirm my prediction — mostly.

My point was that many voters were, and are, increasingly fed up with the high-tax, heavy-regulation and increasingly social wokeness model that has come to characterize most blue states — i.e., those dominated by liberal politicians and policies.

I argued that voters wanting to live in a business-friendly, fiscally responsible state that minimizes its tax burden would either vote out the liberals destroying their state’s economy or flee to a red state. The latest Census Bureau report highlights the red-state shift.

According to Election Data Service’s analysis of the Census Bureau report, “population projections point to a ten [congressional] seat change over 17 states across the nation by year 2020.”

Seven states are projected to gain one or more congressional seats after the 2020 election; 10 states are projected lose one seat.

The red-state leader is Texas, with a projected pickup of three congressional seats following the 2020 census — and that after gaining four congressional seats after the 2010 election. Florida will pick up two seats, and Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one, according to the analysis.
All 10 losing states – Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia – lose only one seat.
Of the seven states gaining seats, five voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Of the 10 states losing seats, five voted for Trump and five for Hillary Clinton

But two or those five losing states that voted for Trump – Michigan and Pennsylvania – surprised most analysts, since they have been blue-leaners for several years. And West Virginia is losing population in part due to a struggling state economy that has been so dependent of coal.

Arguably, even some of the blue-state gainers may support my general point.

If you are blue-leaning Californian who wants to escape the Golden State’s drift into madness but stay on the left coast, Oregon might be a reasonable alternative.

Ditto for Colorado, which has turned from red to blueish over the last decade or so as Californians increasingly head for the hills, so to speak.

But that trend also highlights a problem: Some of the people fleeing destructive blue-state taxes and regulations appear to drag their pro-big-government philosophy with them — apparently oblivious to the fact those policies destroyed the state they are trying to escape. 

Read the rest here.

Bishop nixes Nicene Creed at Epiphany Mass to avoid offending unbelievers

ROME, January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A northern Italian bishop refused to openly profess the Nicene Creed on the Solemnity of the Epiphany because he said he didn’t want to offend the Orthodox, Waldensians, and unbelievers who were present in the congregation. 

Bishop Derio Olivero of the Piedmontese diocese of Pinerolo announced at the end of his homily on January 6 that the profession of the Creed would be replaced with a moment of silence so that everyone could quietly recite their own beliefs. 

Addressing Catholic faithful, representatives of other religious traditions, and civic authorities at what was called the “Mass of the Peoples,” Bishop Olivero said, “Since there are also non-believers, everyone will say it in silence. Those who believe can say it and those who do not believe or are of other faiths will say in silence the reasons for their belief.”

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Cancer Death Rate in U.S. Sees Sharp Drop

The cancer death rate in the United States fell 2.2 percent from 2016 to 2017 — the largest single-year decline in cancer mortality ever reported, the American Cancer Society reported on Wednesday. Since 1991 the rate has dropped 29 percent, which translates to approximately 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths than would have occurred if the mortality rate had remained constant.

“Every year that we see a decline in cancer mortality rate, it’s very good news,” said Rebecca Siegel, director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the organization’s report, which was published online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Experts attributed the decline to the reduced smoking rates and to advances in lung cancer treatment. New therapies for melanoma of the skin have also helped extend life for many people with metastatic disease, or cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Progress has slowed for colorectal, breast and prostate cancers, however.

The rising rate of obesity among Americans, as well as significant racial and geographic disparities, likely explain why the decline in breast and colorectal cancer death rates has begun to taper off, and why the decrease in rates of prostate cancer has halted entirely.


Read the rest here.

Monday, January 06, 2020

United Methodist Church's future looks bleak

If the reports are true, then “a tentative plan” has been put in place “to split the [Methodist] church over differences on same-sex marriage and the inclusion of gay clergy.”

In 2019, “The division, which has been brewing for years, came to an impasse last May when delegates in St. Louis voted 438-384 to ban gay marriage and the inclusion of gay clergy.

“A majority of U.S.-based churches opposed the ‘Traditional Plan’ but were outvoted by conservatives in the U.S., Africa and the Philippines,” Fox News reported.

Assuming that this split actually takes place, what will happen to these two branches, one conservative and the other liberal?

The answer is easy, based on history and common spiritual sense.

History says that the conservative branch will grow and the liberal branch will diminish.


Read the rest here.

Iran Declines To Sign Colin Kaepernick After Reviewing Workout Video

TEHRAN—Colin Kaepernick sent his workout video to Iran after learning they may have recently opened up a position but has yet to receive a phone call.

Kaepernick condemned American attacks on Iranian terrorists last week, inciting rumors that he may have found a team interested in him in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. But Iranian officials have dispelled the rumors, stating clearly and unequivocally that "we have no interest in signing Kaepernick at this time, but we wish him well in his future endeavors."

"It's disappointing to see that Iran is as hateful as America," a downcast Kaepernick said in a press conference. "I expected to be welcomed as a hero over there, but apparently, they too are biased against people with dark skin." Kaepernick plans to protest Iran's hate by continuing to kneel during the American national anthem.

Iran has clarified that they agree with Kaepernick ideologically, but they need someone who can throw.


Source.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

US Forces Kill Two Senior Iranian Military Officials in Targeted Attack

One of those figures was the head of Iran's equivalent to military intelligence and black-ops.

...The high-profile assassinations are seen as a massive blow to Iran, which has been locked in a long conflict with the United States that escalated sharply last week with the storming of the US embassy perimeter in Iraq by pro-Iranian militiamen following an American air raid on an Iraqi Shi’ite militia. 

Soleimani, who has led the foreign arm of the Revolutionary Guards and has had a key role in fighting in Syria and Iraq, acquired celebrity status at home and abroad. 

He was instrumental in the spread of Iranian influence in the Middle East, which the United States and Tehran’s regional foes Saudi Arabia and Israel have struggled to keep in check. 

He survived several assassination attempts against him by Western, Israeli and Arab agencies over the past two decades. 
 
Soleimani’s Quds Force, tasked with carrying out operations beyond Iran’s borders, shored up support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when he looked close to defeat in the civil war raging since 2011 and also helped militiamen defeat Islamic State in Iraq. 

Source.

Monday, December 30, 2019

New Archbishop of York: ‘Bible has to fit the current culture’

The incoming Archbishop of York believes biblical teaching on sexuality should come second to 21st century Western cultural beliefs.

Stephen Cottrell is currently the Bishop of Chelmsford and will take over from Dr John Sentamu next year to become the second most senior clergyman in the Church of England.

Bishop Cottrell made his comments on the Bible in 2017 as he welcomed the Archbishops of Canterbury and York’s plea for a “radical new Christian inclusion”.

 ‘Culture’

He said it would be wrong to ignore the “damage” that is done by rejecting Western society’s current view of human sexuality.

“I am not sure the church has ever before had to face the challenge of being seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set.”


Read the rest here.

Mass for the Feast of the Holy Innocents According to the Orthodox Western Rite


Friday, December 20, 2019

Christianity Today: Trump Should Be Removed from Office

It’s time to say what we said 20 years ago when a president’s character was revealed for what it was.

In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith. The impeachment of Donald Trump is a significant event in the story of our republic. It requires comment.

The typical CT approach is to stay above the fray and allow Christians with different political convictions to make their arguments in the public square, to encourage all to pursue justice according to their convictions and treat their political opposition as charitably as possible. We want CT to be a place that welcomes Christians from across the political spectrum, and reminds everyone that politics is not the end and purpose of our being. We take pride in the fact, for instance, that politics does not dominate our homepage.

That said, we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear—always, as Graham encouraged us, doing so with both conviction and love. We love and pray for our president, as we love and pray for leaders (as well as ordinary citizens) on both sides of the political aisle.

Let’s grant this to the president: The Democrats have had it out for him from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion. This has led many to suspect not only motives but facts in these recent impeachment hearings. And, no, Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.

But the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.

The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.

Trump’s evangelical supporters have pointed to his Supreme Court nominees, his defense of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy, among other things, as achievements that justify their support of the president. We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.


Read the rest here.