Thursday, June 25, 2009

Homosexual Exorcism: There really are churches that practice this

UPDATE: I just found that Ruth Gledhill has posted this as well. On her blog I left a comment explaining that this stuck in my mind because of the complaints from the 1998 Lambeth Conference that some African Provinces of the Anglican Communion practice exorcism for homosexuality.

ORIGINAL POST: The Daily Mail Online has a disturbing video from Connecticut of a homosexual demon exorcism. This is what the GLBT activists say happens, and I didn't believe them. We need to be sure that nothing like this would ever happen in the new Anglican Church in North America.

From the article:
McKinney denied the ritual was an exorcism, describing it instead as a casting out of spirits. She said the church took care of the youth, providing him clothes.

'He was dressing like a woman and everything. And he didn't want to be like that,' McKinney said.

The teen had been in reform school for stealing but was eager to get out and go to the church to have what he thought were his demons driven out, Herrington said.

Exodus International, a Christian group that believes gays can become straight through prayer and counseling, does not advocate the church's approach, said Jeff Buchanan, director of church equipping.

On one side we see some churches doing this, and on the other side we will probably be seeing the Episcopal Bishop of California riding in the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade again this Sunday. I am hoping that the Anglican Church in North America will find the middle path.

Hat Tip: The Two Malcontents

Monday, June 22, 2009

ACNA will not be divided by differences over role of women

Here's an interesting report of the day's business of the Anglican Church in North America meeting in Ft. Worth sent out by Rev. Ed McNeill of New Anglican Church and Ed's Blog :
We are at the end of the first full day of the Assembly. There are many highlights I'd like to share with your. Mostly though, I wish you could have been here. The opening service was packed and the singing was magnificent. Bp. Duncan's opening address, given in place of a sermon, was upbeat, joyous, and realistic. He acknowledged that there are differences amongst those who would join us.

He named two such divisions. The theological differences between those of Evangelical orientation and Anglo Catholics. This is nothing new, as it has been a tension in Anglicanism since the English Reformation. Recently this has flared up around aspects of the proposed Constitution. The second set of differences are between those who believe Woman's ordination was a mistake and those who hold that a strong argument for Woman's ordination can be made from scripture. Bp. Duncan's perception of the situation was that the willingness to work together to build a vibrant Anglican Church in North America's very strong and that the present Constitution represents our best way forward.

In the afternoon, amidst many presentations, The Constitution was passed with few comments and no drama. As it was being discussed I received an email from a member of New Anglican Church reporting a rumor from some of her Episcopal friends that the provision for Women's Ordination would be pulled from the Constitution. In fact the provision passed without debate. The situation in the ACNA reflects the situation within the wider Anglican Communion (as well as our reality at New Anglican Church); some support Woman's ordination, some do not, yet all are Anglican brothers and sisters called to work together for the Gospel.

The passage of the Constitution officially constituted the ACNA. We are now a church, albeit a loosely knit together church made up of multiple overlapping jurisdictions. We are an unusual church. At New Anglican Church we understand this very well, having as we do parishes in AMiA, Bolivia, REC, San Joachim, and the diocese of Pittsburgh to name a few.

On a personal note it was great to reconnect with a couple of classmates from Nashotah House, one of whom I hadn't seen in 23 years. It was also great to see friends from some of our parishes. I sat with Fr. Steve Gartman of Trinity Life Parish in Yuba City and Charlie McCoy from St. James in San Jose. Steve, Charlie, and I sat on the back bleachers as attendees while our delegates did the heavy lifting. These included Kimberely Talbot, a delegate for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Brian (Can't place last name - sorry Brian) from Christ the King in Campbell who was representing AMiA.

To Sum up: Today was a great day. We have a new National Church that is willing to live with differences that stretch us within a Biblical Framework. Thanks be to God, In the ACNA mission is more important than differences.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Asians in USA Aborting Baby Girls (and Exactly How Did They Say Abortion is a Women's Rights Issue?)

According to Sunday's New York Times, some Asian immigrant groups in the USA are selecting for baby boys. That means aborting baby girls.
Demographers say the statistical deviation among Asian-American families is significant, and they believe it reflects not only a preference for male children, but a growing tendency for these families to embrace sex-selection techniques, like in vitro fertilization and sperm sorting, or abortion.

New immigrants typically transplant some of their customs and culture to the United States — from tastes in food and child-rearing practices to their emphasis on education and the elevated social and economic status of males. The appeal to immigrants by clinics specializing in sex selection caused some controversy a decade ago.

But a number of experts expressed surprise to see evidence that the preference for sons among Asian-Americans has been so significantly carried over to this country. “That this is going on in the United States — people were blown away by this,” said Prof. Lena Edlund of Columbia University.

She and her colleague Prof. Douglas Almond studied 2000 census data and published their results last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In general, more boys than girls are born in the United States, by a ratio of 1.05 to 1. But among American families of Chinese, Korean and Indian descent, the likelihood of having a boy increased to 1.17 to 1 if the first child was a girl, according to the Columbia economists. If the first two children were girls, the ratio for a third child was 1.51 to 1 — or about 50 percent greater — in favor of boys.

Studies have not detected a similar preference for males among Japanese-Americans.

The findings published by Professors Almond and Edlund were bolstered this year by the work of a University of Texas economist, Prof. Jason Abrevaya. He found that on the basis of census and birth records through 2004, the incidence of boys among immigrant Chinese parents in New York was higher than the national average for Chinese families. Boys typically account for about 515 of every 1,000 births. But he found that among Chinese New Yorkers having a third child, the number of boys was about 558.

Progressives who advocate for abortion rights say they are for women's rights. But I am not so sure that abortion and women's rights really go together than seamlessly. I have recently posted a case where the teenage girl was coerced into having an abortion by her father and other family members. And posted about the threat of murder for women who do not abort their babies when the father of the baby doesn't want her to have it. Now here we see that boys are preferred in Asian cultures, and women are pressured into producing baby boys. And that means women being pressured to abort their babies because they are girl babies. I am starting to think that being anti-abortion is the real women's rights position.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How one father coerced his daughter into having an abortion

Northern Plains Anglican has an interesting post, Abortion: The overestimation of "choice" and denial of duress. In response, I am posting here an article from the New York Times Magazine told by a father about how he and his wife coerced their 15 year old daughter into have an abortion. I was stunned when I read the article because the father is so self confident that abortion was the right decision although the daughter wants to have and keep the baby. This is from seven years ago, July 7, 2002, and I have often wondered how the daughter is doing.

My wife knew the girl was pregnant before she did. She was bedridden for several days, and my wife took her to the doctor. According to the laws of my Bible-belt state, a minor needs her parents' permission to have an abortion, but her parents can't tell her not to have a baby. She thought she wanted to keep it and swore she'd be a good mother. My wife and I -- and my oldest daughter -- freaked, and not just because of our dashed aspirations for this girl. We were too old to want to raise another baby -- and we felt sure the raising would fall to us.

Of course there was a boy involved, and he hadn't fled. He lives with his grandparents, and they asked us all to come talk. The grandfather lectured the young couple on responsibility. The boy admitted he wasn't ready to be a father. The only person in the room who wanted the baby was my daughter, but in the face of family advice, she decided she couldn't go through with the pregnancy. My wife scheduled her for an abortion.

The day before surgery, our daughter announced that she had a meeting with a guidance counselor and a county probation officer because of her truancies. She wanted her mother to go with her. Finally, it seemed, we were getting help. My wife came clean, explaining that many of her late arrivals to school had been due to morning sickness. But when she mentioned the abortion, my daughter started crying, and the officer, a woman, ordered my wife to take the girl to a counseling center.

''Like Planned Parenthood?'' the guidance counselor asked.

''No,'' she snapped. She had to go to a pregnancy center that ''tells all sides of the story.'' They drove directly to said ''counseling'' office, which turned out to be an anti-abortion propaganda center, where a counselor showed my daughter aborted fetuses on a video and talked about the after-effects of abortion -- with no mention of the complications of pregnancy. My daughter was right back on the teenage-mommy track. While the counselor went home thinking she had saved a life, we felt we had been sentenced to 18 years of hard labor.

As word spread about the pregnancy, other women called offering to tell about their own abortions. My daughter's friends, her sister, her sister's friends all counseled against having the baby, but she wouldn't listen. [Wouldn't listen or wouldn't agree to have an abortion?]We decided to stage an intervention. When my daughter came into the living room, there were 15 women waiting for her, including four mothers. They asked me to leave; I listened from the kitchen, and though I couldn't hear anything other than sobs and laughter, I could feel the gravity. But when it was over, she still hadn't decided.[Still hadn't decided or still hadn't agreed to have an abortion?]

The next week, I took her to a counseling appointment at Planned Parenthood. As I sat in the waiting room, I thought about my own sister, who had a botched abortion before it was legal. She got kicked out of college for nearly bleeding to death in a dorm room. That night when we got home and my wife asked our daughter what she was going to do, she blurted out, ''I don't have a choice.'' The next day, she turned on Saturday-morning cartoons, as if she'd decided to be a kid again.

We spent a week wondering if she'd change her mind, but she didn't. I realized later that I would have more to worry about if she had easily and immediately decided on an abortion. Ultimately, she did, but she struggled with her decision, and I hope she made the right one.

I remember being most outraged at this paragraph where he claims it was "her decision" after so many paragraphs in which she is coerced into having the abortion although she clearly does not want to have one.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pakistan: Muslim forces 12 year old to convert and to marry him

I am posting this Compass Direct article because I think it is important for us to understand that Christians do not have equal rights in a country ruled by Islamic Law. The most import part of the story comes for me at the end:
Masih’s lawyer and other legal representatives said police and officials at the Municipal Corporation’s office, which keeps birth and death records, have been reluctant to help, saying that Huma had converted and that therefore there was no reason that she should be returned to non-Muslim parents.

The idea there is that being Muslim is better than being Christian. So, returning this kidnapped 12 year old girl who is now Muslim to her Christian family would be returning her to ignorance from enlightenment.

Here is the whole article:
Police ridicule Christian mother for kidnapping complaint; others demand money, labor.

LAHORE, Pakistan, June 4 (Compass Direct News) – The Christian mother of a 12-year-old girl in Punjab Province who was kidnapped, coerced into converting to Islam and forcibly married to a 37-year-old Muslim hopes to recover her daughter at a court hearing next week.

The reaction of Pakistani law enforcement authorities to Sajida Masih’s complaint so far – ridiculing her and asserting that there is nothing she can do because her daughter is now a Muslim – does not encourage her hopes of recovering her daughter Huma at next Thursday’s (June 11) hearing.

Masih said that Muhammad Imran abducted Huma at gunpoint on Feb. 23 from Hanif Kot village in Gujranwala district, forcibly converted her and then married her. Imran has since disappeared along with his first wife, three children and new child-bride.

Masih, who worked alongside Imran as a farmhand, said the kidnapping occurred on her son’s wedding day. Masih said that when she sent Huma and the child’s aunt out of their home to see if transportation had arrived for the wedding party, Imran – who had helped in preparing for the ceremony – was waiting and told her to sit on his motorbike.

Huma did not understand and, with her concerned aunt tightly holding her hand, she refused.

Masih’s attorney, who requested anonymity for security reasons, said Imran took out a pistol and told Huma that he would shoot her as well as her parents if she did not obey; he also pointed the weapon at her aunt and said that he would kill her. Huma got onto the bike with him; her family has not seen her since.

Masih immediately ran to the owner of the farm where she and Imran work, Khan Buhadur, who told her to first finish the wedding and then see him in the evening. Masih’s attorney said that when she and relatives went to Buhadur after the ceremony, however, he said only that Imran had fled with his family along with the girl, and that he did not know where they were.

Suspecting that Buhadur was complicit in the kidnapping, Masih went to Sadar police station in Gujranwala. Police officers first ridiculed her, the attorney said, and then told her to go back to Buhadur because “only he could do something.” For several days officers and Buhadur shuttled her back and forth between them.

Unable to get police to register the case, Masih submitted a report with the help of a lawyer and took it to the police station, where officers consigned it to the dustbin.

Three days after the kidnapping, police finally registered a First Information Report (FIR) on Feb. 26 – but changed the age of the kidnapped girl from 12, as her mother reported, to 16. Moreover, Investigating Officer Niaz Khan told Masih that the FIR was useless since she was too poor to hire a lawyer, and that she should try to reach an out-of-court agreement with Buhadur – implying that he knew of the child’s whereabouts.

The Masih family learned from a friend of Imran, identified only as Javed, that Huma had converted to Islam and had married the fugitive father of three. Javed further said that Imran had told him police would do nothing as he had paid them 50,000 rupees (US$620).

The family subsequently received a court notice, the attorney said, stating that Imran had requested nullification of the FIR on Huma’s abduction, claiming she was an “adult” and had “willfully” converted to Islam and married him.

According to Huma’s birth certificate, issued by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gujranwala, she was born on Oct. 22, 1996. The attorney said that Imran had submitted a fake birth certificate stating she was born on Dec. 23, 1990, which would make her 18 years old. The legal marriage age for girls in Pakistan is 16.

Only then did Masih obtain the services of the lawyer now handling the case, who is supported by the American Center for Law & Justice.

A hearing on the case had been scheduled for May 6, but because of a change of judge a new date was set for June 11. Unwilling to wait, the family and their lawyer went with a court bailiff to a factory owned by Buhadur in Gujranwala on May 14, hoping to get help in recovering Huma, but Buhadur did not cooperate.

Buhadur had been demanding that Masih pay him 100,000 rupees (US$1,240) that she had supposedly borrowed from him, but this demand only surfaced after the kidnapping – an implied attempt to extort money from her in exchange for information on the whereabouts of her daughter, according to the lawyer. Buhadur withdrew this pressure on Masih after the visit from the court bailiff and efforts by the attorney.

At a meeting of villagers on May 16 at the Sadar police station, Buhadur said that Imran owed him money and that he would inform officers if he learned anything of his whereabouts.

Another land owner, Karamat Ali Saroyya, subsequently called Masih saying that Huma was in Muridke, near Lahore, but when Masih and her lawyer set out again and met with Muridke police, they were unable to find her.

Saroyya later demanded that Masih work his fields for one year in order to get her daughter back.

Masih’s lawyer and other legal representatives said police and officials at the Municipal Corporation’s office, which keeps birth and death records, have been reluctant to help, saying that Huma had converted and that therefore there was no reason that she should be returned to non-Muslim parents.


Hat Tip: Christian Persecution Blog

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Never Talk About Religion in a Bar

Here's a disturbing article from San Diego about a Christian man getting shot by a Muslim man during an argument about religion. I wouldn't have thought that a devout Muslim man would be drinking in a bar at 4 am. But maybe one needn't be devout to be touchy:

What started as an argument over religion at a bar escalated when one man shot another five times overnight, as the victim's sister watched in horror.

Toni Simpson says she was waiting for her brother, Ernest McCullough, 29, in the 3800 block of Van Dyke Avenue at about 4:30 a.m. after a night of drinking at Nancy's Pub. She was listening to the pair argue over religion but never thought it would lead to what happened next.

"He pulled up his shirt and it looked like a knife and it was a gun. He pulled it out and shot him,” she said.

Simpson says she was so shocked that she blacked out after the first two rounds were fired. When she came around she saw her brother covered in blood.

"I said ‘he shot you?’ And he said ‘yeah, he shot me’ and then he fell to the ground," Simpson said.

The victim, who is Christian, was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in serious condition but is expected to be okay.

The suspect, who Simpson says was of Muslim faith, remains at large.

Hat Tip Women Against Shariah

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Half of US Hispanic Voters Oppose Sotomayor's Affirmative Action Ideology

Here's the results of a new Quinnipac poll that shows the great majority of Americans disagree with the nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, on her decision in the New Haven, Connecticut firefighters case Ricci v. DeStafano:
American voters say 55 - 36 percent that affirmative action should be abolished, and disagree 71 - 19 percent with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's ruling in the New Haven firefighters' case, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

More than 70 percent of voters say diversity is not a good enough reason to give minorities preferential treatment in competition for government or private sector jobs, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey of more than 3,000 voters finds.

What I really like about this poll is that it breaks down the opinions of blacks and Hispanics:
Oppose 70 - 25 percent giving some racial groups preference for government jobs to increase diversity. Black voters support it 49 - 45 percent while Hispanic voters are opposed 58 - 38 percent;
Oppose 64 - 29 percent affirmative action for Hispanics in hiring, promotion and college entry. Black voters support it 59 - 30 percent while Hispanics split 47 - 48 percent;
Oppose 61 - 33 percent affirmative action for blacks in hiring, promotion and college entry. Black voters support this 69 - 26 percent, as do Hispanics 51 - 46 percent;

The opinion writer Ruben Navarrette had an piece in this morning's paper "GOP risks losing Latino vote for decades" if they continue in their disrespectful opposition to Sotomayor. But he avoided mentioning her Ricci decision in the article. And now we see in this poll that roughly half of Hispanic voters oppose affirmative action. I think Republicans need to be respectful. But they do not have to give her a pass on her opinion on affirmative action as reflected in her dismissive treatment of the Ricci case. USA Today reports:
The case offers a test of overlapping anti-discrimination laws, as well as of how judges handle incendiary disputes over racial policies. Federal law bars both intentional discrimination and indirect bias from seemingly neutral exams that disproportionately hurt women or minorities.

Six of Sotomayor's appeals court colleagues who urged further review of the dispute said the Sotomayor majority was failing "to grapple with ... questions of exceptional importance."

More scathingly, since her nomination last week by President Obama, critics such as the Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro say the case suggests Sotomayor takes a different tack toward whites who allege bias than she does to minorities. "The lead plaintiff in this case is dyslexic," said Shapiro, referring to Frank Ricci, a white firefighter who says he spent $1,000 on study aids for the exam. Shapiro said if anyone deserved the "empathy" Obama has said he wants in a Supreme Court jurist, it's Ricci.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dr. George Tiller: "Saint and Martyr"

The late-term abortion doctor George Tiller was called a saint and a martyr by the Very Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, president of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in an interview on Monday:
"This is about the loss of a man who was a saint and a martyr," she said in an interview before the service. "He was a prayerful man who put his life at risk to protect others and died for it. People are in shock, outrage and mourning. They need a place to go."

In the same Washington Times article a Jewish rabbi also called George Tiller a martyr but did not call him a saint:
Reconstructionist Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Philadelphia-based Shalom Center said Dr. Tiller "joins the list of martyrs for ethical decency and human rights, killed for healing with compassion."

The rabbi said Dr. Tiller was "a religious martyr in the fullest classical sense, killed in his own church as he arrived to worship, killed for acting in accord with his religious commitments and his moral and ethical choices."

Here is the testimony of the one of the many woman for whom Tiller "put his life at risk to protect".

Hat Tip: Midwest Conservative Journal

Monday, June 1, 2009

Berkeley Protesters Target Professor Yoo's House (Code Pink?)

The Berkeley Daily Planet had an announcement Neighborhood Alert: Berkeley Home to Possible War Criminal on Thursday inviting people to congregate in protest in front of a private home in the Berkeley hills Sunday afternoon. The announcement says that having this man live in the neighborhood is like having a child molester living in the neighborhood. They are targeting the UC Berkeley, Bolt Hall law professor who wrote the torture memos, John Yoo. (Hmmm, if this Wikipedia article on him is up to date, he is currently on sabbatical down in Southern California, so they are not really harassing him so much the neighbors and perhaps people to whom the house has been rented during the sabbatical.)

I understand why people are concerned about child molesters living in the neighborhood. They are worried about the molester getting a local child. But how is the crime of which they are accusing John Yoo of particular concern to the neighborhood? I don't think they have any legitimate reason to be taking this to his private home.

But they seem to plan to do this on a weekly basis on Sunday afternoons. Zombie has a great photo of the few who showed up this Sunday:

Something suspicious about the color scheme inspired me to post this old Daily Show piece with Ron Riggle and Code Pink:

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