Empty Buildings, NYC Kicks Churches out of Schools

Chuck Colson
Chuck Colson
by Chuck Colson –
It’s no secret that Christianity has been unwelcome in public schools for a long time. But recently New York City’s government took an unprecedented step by forcing around 60 churches to vacate sanctuaries they pay to use.

Why? Because Monday through Friday, those sanctuaries also happen to be classrooms.

This deadline was set back in December, when the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the 2nd Circuit’s decision upholding the City’s crass discrimination against communities of faith. New York at this time is the only major city in the nation to ban religious services in its school buildings. But this precedent does not bode well for what may happen in other cities.

The reasoning behind this decision was ludicrous. In his ruling, Circuit Judge Pierre Leval claimed that renting school property to churches implies “an unintended bias in favor of Christian religions,” that makes public schools look like “state-sponsored Christian churches…but not synagogues or mosques.” [Read more…]

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True Ecumenism, Christians United Against Obama’s HHS Mandate

The American Catholic True Ecumenism by Donald R. McClarey –
I must confess that I have never been a great fan of Ecumenism, as a drive for greater Christian unity, as it has played out in the Catholic Church since Vatican II.  Too often it has resulted in “dialogues” with non-Catholic faiths that seek to paper over theological chasms that divide us from them.  If the price of Ecumenism is any watering down of the Catholic Faith, please count me out.

However, there is a true Ecumenism which I interpret as the banding together of people of different faiths to accomplish some great good in the name of God.  A striking example of what I am referring to was the action of the four chaplains of the USS Dorchester on January 22, 1943, a Catholic priest, two Protestant ministers, and a Jewish rabbi, who gave up their life jackets so other men could live, and died together, arms linked, praising God to the end.  Go here to read their story. [Read more…]

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Outrageous Choice: Religious Freedom or Healthcare?

Chuck Colson
Chuck Colson
by Chuck Colson –
I’ve told you that the Obama Administration is intentionally restricting religious freedom. I’ve told you we are in danger of losing the right to exercise our faith in public.

Well, maybe I’ve been too understated. The attack is relentless.

Just recently, the Obama Administration announced that the Affordable Healthcare Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, requires that employers pay for contraception, including abortifacients, and that Catholic institutions are not exempt from this requirement.

Well, Catholic Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh and other bishops are blowing the trumpets on the ramparts. And my hat’s off to them. They see the Administration’s actions for what they truly are. [Read more…]

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Orthodox Bishops Assembly Silent on Moral Issues

Orthodox Bishops Assembly Silent on Moral Issues by John Couretas –
At an October 1970 meeting of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the Americas (SCOBA), which was called to discuss the burning question of an independent American Church, the presiding conference chair Archbishop Iakovos got fed up and quit. Official letters raising the subject of independence had been sent to the “mother Churches” in Constantinople, Bucharest, Belgrade, Athens and other Orthodox “centers” pointing for the need to do something about the chaotic “situation of Orthodoxy in America.” Only three replies came back. To the Greek Orthodox Iakovos, this was proof that no one took SCOBA seriously and, for that matter, the American Orthodox.

The archbishop resigned from SCOBA in disgust, saying that he had no desire to be the head of a “dead body.” According to a contemporary account, the official minutes of the meeting were forged to cover up what would turn out to be a temporary resignation.[Read more…]

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Obama: Abortion Enables ‘Our Daughters’ To ‘Fulfill Their Dreams’

Obama Supports Abortion, Helps Daughters Fulfill Their Dreams by Fred Lucas –
President Barack Obama says the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is the chance to recognize the “fundamental constitutional right” to abortion and to “continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court nationalized abortion law, prohibiting states from deciding on the matter. In his written statement, Obama acknowledged that abortion has been a divisive political issue.

Obama, while serving in the Illinois State Legislature and as president of the United States, has taken a hard line on abortion rights.

In his statement on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling, Obama said it reflects the broader principles of America. [Read more…]

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Orthodox Hierarchs to Participate in 2012 March for Life

Orthodox Bishops Orthodox Church March for Life OCA –
Orthodox Christians everywhere — especially those within driving distance of the US capital — are encouraged to bear witness to their faith at the annual March for Life Monday, January 23, 2012.

As in years past, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, will speak at the pre-March program and offer prayers for the victims of abortion at the conclusion of the March. He will also attend the annual Rose Dinner.

Other members of the Orthodox Church in America’s Holy Synod of Bishops who will participate in the March are His Grace, Bishop Melchisedek; His Grace, Bishop Michael; and His Grace, Bishop Matthias. Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor; Archpriest John Kowalczyk, a pro-life activist and co-founder of the Orthodox Presence at the March for Life; numerous other clergy; and students and faculty members of Saint Tikhon’s and Saint Vladimir’s seminaries also plan to be in attendance. [Read more…]

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Obama: Birth Control Mandate is Final; Catholic Bishops Vow to Fight

Archbishop Timothy Dolan
Archbishop Timothy Dolan
by Kathleen Gilbert –

After being deluged with complaints from outraged religious groups, Obama’s health department has dug in its heels, saying its decision to force employers to provide abortifacient birth control drugs will continue as planned – although faith-based groups will be given a year reprieve. In response, U.S. Catholic bishops have not minced words, vowing to fight the order as “literally unconscionable.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Friday that faith-based entities like hospitals and universities will have until August 1, 2013 to provide employees with free birth control as part of their insurance packages. The mandate will also force such groups to pay for sterilizations and, because the FDA has approved abortifacient drugs such as Ella as “contraception.”

The mandate is being implemented as part of the new health care legislation that was passed in March 2010 despite vigorous opposition from U.S. Catholic bishops, who called it dangerously open to being used as a means of spreading abortion. [Read more…]

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America: The Living Portrait of Dorian Gray

America Freedom Creed Truths - God Bless America by John Jalsevac –
The song “God Bless the USA” is often still sung at commemorative events surrounding national days of remembrance, like the Fourth of July or Veterans’ Day.  But, like with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the true meaning behind the vaunted words of this American doxology has been lost.  More importantly, the claims made in Lee Greenwood’s timeless anthem are no longer accurate.

Public religious expression has been squelched in the last century, violating “free exercise” of faith in the deepest sense and ending America’s status as a nation that unreservedly recognizes freedom of religion.  In one recent exhibition of this new anti-religious zealotry, the Department of Defense (DoD) ordered that Bibles no longer be available to injured personnel at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Priceless civil liberties like “privacy” have been abolished via anti-terrorism measures that neither sought amendment nor claimed constitutional legitimacy.  New legislation promises to permit “indefinite detention” of American citizens, effectively abolishing the right to trial and ending habeas corpus rights.  The legislation classifies America as a “battlefield” in the apparently limitless and never-ending “War on Terror.” [Read more…]

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Christians Need Not Apply?

Christian persecution discrimination by George J. Marlin –
Christians who spar in the political arena have grown accustomed to being pounded by secular ideologists who deny the spiritual and look askance at most traditional moral constraints. Though we have taken punches, we are still standing. But the secularists’ latest offensive to eradicate all traces of our Judeo-Christian heritage from American society is, in my judgment, most disconcerting and may be the knockout blow.

Secularists have moved beyond dismissing Christians as anti-intellectual and anti-rational. They are now publicly ridiculing them and questioning their fitness to participate in public life. They portray religious beliefs as nothing more than superstitions, old wives’ tales, or legends, and claim anyone who believes such drivel is balmy. Is it any wonder, then, that agencies like HHS now think they can ride roughshod over the conscience rights of individuals and religious institutions? [Read more…]

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Observing 9/11 without God

Ground Zero Cross by Robert Knight –

We’ve got a word for people who hate Christmas. The Grinch.

What should we call people who hate America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, even to the point of barring clergy at a ceremony at the site of a major tragedy?

How about “theophobic”? The word is already out there. You can look it up.

In one special case, we can just call the theophobe “Mayor.” That would be Michael Bloomberg, New York’s trendy, formerly Republican leader, who has topped even his own endorsement of a mosque near Ground Zero by forbidding prayer at the upcoming ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Maybe Mr. Bloomberg is only selectively theophobic, and would consider allowing some Muslim prayers, or perhaps an atheistic chant. To be fair, it must be noted that he has not had a problem with the display of the World Trade Center Cross, a 20-foot edifice composed of steel beams found that way in the Ground Zero rubble.[Read more…]

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Christian Church facing a revolution that is shaking its foundations: the gay revolution

Albert Mohler
Albert Mohler

by Albert Mohler –
The Christian church has faced no shortage of challenges in its 2,000-year history. But now it’s facing a challenge that is shaking its foundations: homosexuality.

To many onlookers, this seems strange or even tragic. Why can’t Christians just join the revolution?

And make no mistake, it is a moral revolution. As philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah of Princeton University demonstrated in his recent book, “The Honor Code,” moral revolutions generally happen over a long period of time. But this is hardly the case with the shift we’ve witnessed on the question of homosexuality.

In less than a single generation, homosexuality has gone from something almost universally understood to be sinful, to something now declared to be the moral equivalent of heterosexuality—and deserving of both legal protection and public encouragement. Theo Hobson, a British theologian, has argued that this is not just the waning of a taboo. Instead, it is a moral inversion that has left those holding the old morality now accused of nothing less than “moral deficiency.” [Read more…]

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Yes, We Still Have a Prayer

Pray for America prayer important by Quin Hillyer –
Pray. Really. Pray. Praying might just be what we need if we want this blessed country to thrive as a beacon of freedom.

It’s always a bit of a risk, and can be borderline off-putting, to intertwine prayer and politics in an overt way, or even to seem to do so. Readers or listeners rightly recoil when somebody suggests that God takes sides in politics, or that his (the person’s) own politics are more godly than that of his opponents, or (worse) that he undertook his own candidacy or cause because God “told” him to do so. That’s not what this is about. This also isn’t one of those “the-sky-is-falling” sorts of rants in which the point is that the nation is somehow on the verge of utter disaster and can be saved only by openly miraculous, divine intervention. Things aren’t great in the good’ol USA right now, but we’re not (quite) at that extremity yet.

Instead, at issue here is something more subtle. At issue is a country that has lost its way, in part because far too many millions of its individual citizens have lost their own way in their daily lives. [Read more…]

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The Way or Not the Way – Orthodoxy and Why It Matters

Jesus Christ Lord Orthodoxy by Chuck Colson –
Can we truly live out the Christian faith if we don’t understand its foundational tenets?

According to the Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, 57 percent of self-identified Evangelical Christians agreed with this statement: “Many religions can lead to eternal life.” Think about the staggering implications of what you just heard: 57 percent of Evangelicals believe that many religions can lead to eternal life!

Yet Jesus Himself was very clear. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Either Jesus was right, or he was wrong. What Christians, Muslims, and Jews say about the person and work of Jesus Christ can’t be reconciled. They may all be false, but they cannot all be true.

It’s called the law of non-contradiction — it goes back to Aristotle: If proposition A is true — that is, if it conforms to reality — then proposition B, making a contrary claim, cannot be true as well.

If nearly six out of ten Evangelicals don’t believe the most basic tenets of the faith, it’s no wonder the Church is losing its influence over the culture. Because what we believe affects how we live. [Read more…]

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The Danger in Severing God from America’s Identity

America In God We Trust by William Sullivan –
It is beyond dispute that there is a link between socialism and American progressivism. Both flawed ideologies are predicated upon the soundness of a large and powerful government designed to disperse the fruits of labor by seizing means and property from the productive. And as many conservatives are quick to point out, nothing could be more antithetical to the ideals scribed in the Constitution

But beyond the insidious application of socialism under the less condemning titles of “progressivism” and “social justice,” the liberal left poses another threat to America that is less defended. It has, for over a century, laid perpetual siege upon Christianity, seeking to excise all Christian influence from American government and its institutions piecemeal, from banning prayer in schools to seeking taxpayer-funded abortions. [Read more…]

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Celebrating the Resurrection

Christ Resurrection - Pascha Orthodox by Mark Tooley
Hundreds of millions of Christians will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. And after a century and a half of liberal Protestant attempts to redefine the resurrection into merely a metaphor, the vast majority of Christians still believe that Christ’s body physically arose. Revisionist theologians still find airtime on the History Channel or PBS, but their project never gained a mass following. Even most secular media coverage about religion today focuses largely on orthodox expressions of Roman Catholicism or evangelical Protestantism. Whatever their own beliefs, most reporters and pundits intuit that rationalist liberal theology does not command a lot of adherents.

The Jesus Seminar, founded in 1985 to adjudicate over which Scriptures were historically accurate, and which always excluded any talk about miracles, once gained widespread attention for its routine objections to traditional Christian belief [Read more…]

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