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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

Why God Isn’t Doing Well These Days

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager –

God is not doing very well these days. Here are four reasons:

The first is that increasingly large numbers of men and women attend university, and Western universities have become essentially secular (and leftist) seminaries. Just as the agenda of traditional Christian and Jewish seminaries is to produce religious Christians and religious Jews, the agenda of Western universities is to produce (left-wing) secularists. The difference is that Christian and Jewish seminaries are honest about their agenda, while the universities still claim they have neither secularist nor political agenda.

That is why the more university education a person receives, the more he is likely to hold secular and left-wing views. The secular left argues that this correlation is due to the fact that a college graduate knows more and thinks more clearly and therefore gravitates leftward and toward secularism. But if you believe that the average college graduate is a clear and knowledgeable thinker as a result of his or her time at university, I have more than one bridge to sell you. [Read more…]

Shhhh: Judeo-Christian Culture Is Actually…Superior

Judeo Christian Morality Bible by Stuart Schwartz –
Shhh. I am about to say is something so radical that it will jangle every politically correct nerve in your body. And yet…it is true. The founding and traditional culture of the United States, its Judeo-Christian heritage and boots-on-the-ground decency is superior to all other cultures this world has produced. And it certainly beats the radical worldview (part Marxist, part Islamic, and all thug) that our political and media elites — led by the president of the United States — are imposing upon us.

Scream if you must — but then think. Think about what former Godfathers Pizza CEO Herman Cain — Christian and African-American — and so many others recognize as “the greatest country in the world.” Outside of the cocoons of condescension wrapping the university and urban strongholds of our trendy elites, this is recognized not as jingoism but truth. [Read more…]

Vigorous Defense, Getting Serious About DOMA

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

by Chuck Colson –

As I have told you, the President and the attorney general will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts. It’s outrageous, it’s disingenuous, but it’s not the end of the story. As a co-equal branch of government, Congress has a stake in seeing that the laws it enacted are enforced and defended in the courts. The question is “Are they serious about doing so?”

Federal law requires the attorney general to notify the House if he decides not to defend the constitutionality of a federal statute. Federal law also authorizes the Senate and the House of Representatives to intervene in litigation over the constitutionality of a federal statute. What’s more, the House can hire outside counsel to represent its interests in the litigation if that’s the best way to defend the law. [Read more…]

Neutering God

by Mark Tooley – It’s a wonderful mercy that much of the more extreme elements of radical feminist theology in the churches peaked in the 1990s and have since faded. The high tide of radical feminist theology was the 1993 ecumenical Re-Imagining Conference, endorsed by nearly all the Mainline Protestant denominations or their women’s agencies, where speakers condemned traditional Christianity as patriarchal and instead acclaimed ancient feminine deities like Astarte, Isis, and Athena. God was also commonly called “Sophia,” based on the Greek word for wisdom. There was a special altar call for lesbians, not for repentance, but for acclamation. A milk and honey ritual replaced the traditional Eucharist. [Read more…]

Civic Courage Then and Now, Bonhoeffer and Barmen

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

by Chuck Colson – July 27, 1945. London is still slowly recovering from six years of war with Germany. Hundreds of thousands of British soldiers are dead. British cities are in ruins. As newsreels expose fresh horrors from the Nazi death camps, the British people wonder, “Is there no end to German atrocities?”

Thus, it was not surprising that many Brits recoiled when they heard about a memorial service at London’s Holy Trinity Church—not for England’s war dead, but for a German. The service would be broadcast on the BBC. Many wondered: Could there be such a thing as a good German, worthy of such an honor?

The answer was emphatically yes. The service was for Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed by the Nazis three weeks before the war’s end. Bonhoeffer is often remembered for his resistance to Hitler, in fact taking part in the plot to kill him. But Bonhoeffer is also celebrated for his role in a significant event in the life of the Church—the drafting of the Barmen Declaration. [Read more…]