Friday, July 13, 2012

Herman Cain Weighs In: Is the NAACP Nonpartisan?

Farmers suffer as soaring temperatures worsen drought in Midwest

(CNN) -- A severe drought is spreading across the Midwest this summer, resulting in some of the worst conditions in decades and leaving more than a thousand counties designated as natural disaster areas, authorities said.
Farmers in the region are suffering, with pastures for livestock and fields of crops becoming increasingly parched during June, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Many areas in the southern Midwest are reporting the poorest conditions for June since 1988.
The farmers' difficulties come amid a record-setting level of hot, dry weather across the nation.
Aerial video from CNN affiliate WISH shows low water levels in Indiana.
Aerial video from CNN affiliate WISH shows low water levels in Indiana.
As of Tuesday, about 61% of the contiguous United States (excluding Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico) was experiencing drought conditions, the highest percentage in the 12-year record of the U.S. Drought Monitor.

God Brings Healing to a Marriage That Was Falling Apart

Champion of Marriage: Kirk Cameron

Sandusky, Sexual Abuse, and Security in Your Church: Learn From Joe Paterno's Tragic Mistake

Penn State University released the findings of an internal investigation led by former FBI director Louis Freeh. The investigation was to determine who knew what, when they knew, and what they did with the knowledge that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sexually abusing children both on and off the campus. Sandusky was convicted of 45 criminal counts last month and is awaiting sentencing, and the coach who, according to the report, knew about it passed away earlier this year.

Some of the key findings of the Freeh's report (per
• Paterno and others showed "callous and shocking disregard for child victims."
• Evidence shows Paterno, Spanier, Schultz and Curley did know of 1998 investigation and Paterno "failed to take any action."
• Penn State "concealed critical facts ... in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity."
• Penn State changed its plan and did not alert authorities of Sandusky's alleged actions after consulting with Paterno.
• Penn State failed to adhere to federal law requiring collecting and reporting crimes such as Sandusky committed.
I wrote about the incident asking, "How Should We Remember Joe Paterno." I received tweets, comments, and even a couple of postal letters of complaint that I was rushing to judgement. But, I think that this is a big issue-- and institutions, colleges, and churches need to do more. Paterno did not and you should not make that tragic mistake. Children matter.
In that article, published yesterday's report came out, I wrote:
Coach Paterno reported the abuse to his supervisors-- but he did not do enough. Coach Paterno understood and said, "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."...

Small Church Gives 100 Percent of Tithe to Needy for a Year

Simply passing the collection plate during Sunday services in order to help meet the budget was not good enough for the leaders of a small church in Mississippi.

So two years ago, the pastor and leaders of Traceway Baptist Church in Clinton began to pray about how to better serve their community. After two months of praying and fasting, they decided they needed to take all of their congregation's tithes and offerings and give it to those in need for an entire year.

"At the end of 2009 our leadership was praying and trying to figure out how we could better represent Jesus Christ in our community," Pastor John Richardson told The Christian Post. "Essentially, our prayer was 'God, what can we do so that when people look at us they will see you?'

"The more we prayed the more we felt like God was saying, 'If you want to show me to the communities, then become generous because I am generous,'" Richardson explained. "The way that we interpreted that was that we were to give away all our tithes and offerings for an entire year."
Just 50 people, many of them transient in nature, regularly attend the six-year-old Traceway Baptist Church. Yet, from April 2010 to April 2011, the church was able to give away $60,000 to people in the community that were hurting in many ways, said Richardson, who has written a book on the story and subject of generosity called Giving Away the Collection Plate (June 2012).

"Everything that was given to our church in the offering plates was given away to abused mothers that got out of bad situations basically with the clothes on their backs, or people that were trying to break free from addiction, or people that had lost jobs or facing foreclosures, or had extreme medical bills, or anything like that," he said.


'Nigeria’s Christians must convert,' says Islamist group

Islamist militants have claimed responsibility for the deaths of more than 50 people in north-central Nigeria – and called on the country’s Christians to convert to Islam.
Boko Haram spokesman Abu Qaqa, issued a statement that the Islamist group carried out the attacks on more than a dozen villages last weekend and said it will continue to attack the country’s Christians.

According to the statement: “Christians in Nigeria should accept Islam, that is true religion, or they will never have peace.

“We do not regard them as trusted Christians as some illiterates are campaigning because it was Christians that first declared war on Muslims with the support of government.”
Violence in Plateau state last weekend was blamed on members of the predominantly Muslim Fulani ethnic group, which attacked Christian tribes in the region in March 2010 due to political and social tensions.

According to a Red Cross statement issued late 1 July, aid workers counted 58 dead – but other estimates place the number higher. Press Trust of India reporters stationed in the capital Abuja stated that 135 people were killed.


IRD Praises 'Indianapolis Statement' of Traditionalist Episcopal Bishops

IRD Praises 'Indianapolis Statement' of Traditionalist Episcopal Bishops
"These bishops stand within the mainstream of the thriving global Anglican Communion, rather than the loud voices of rapidly drifting Episcopal Church officials." -- Jeff Walton, Director of IRD's Anglican Action Program
Contact: Bart Gingerich, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131,
WASHINGTON, July 11, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Twelve traditionalist Episcopal Church bishops have released a statement today dissenting from the actions of the 1.9 million-member U.S.-based church after officials at the governing General Convention certified a "provisional" rite for the blessing of same-sex unions.
"We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that God's vision for sexual intimacy is that it be exercised only within the context of marriage between a man and a woman," the statement reads in part. The minority report states that the bishops took an oath at ordination declaring scripture "to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation."

The dissenting bishops name the new liturgy as "for all practical purposes same-sex marriage."

"We believe that the rite subverts the teaching of the Book of Common Prayer, places The Episcopal Church outside the mainstream of Christian faith and practice, and creates further distance between this Church and the Anglican Communion along with other Christian churches," the twelve bishops write. The worldwide Anglican Communion has repeatedly asked the Episcopal Church not to proceed with same-sex blessing rites.

Jeff Walton, Director of IRD's Anglican Action program, commented:
    "Jesus Christ calls his followers to be salt and light amidst a culture of chaos. These twelve bishops have stood fast for the truth of the scriptures, even as they are maligned as perpetuators of injustice.

    "Rather than conform to prevailing societal trends and label it 'prophetic', these bishops have chosen to stand up for the revealed word of God and consistent teaching for 2,000 years that marriage points beyond itself to the 'mystery of the union of Christ and his Church.'

    "These bishops stand within the mainstream of the thriving global Anglican Communion, rather than the loud voices of rapidly drifting Episcopal Church officials."

‘Cross-Dressing Clergy’: These Are the Reasons the Episcopal Church Could Be Near Collapse

Editor’s Note: This is a crosspost from It was composed by Rob Kerby, Senior Editor, Beliefnet.
The headlines coming out of the Episcopal Church’s annual U.S. convention are stunning — endorsement of cross-dressing clergy, blessing same-sex marriage, the sale of their headquarters since they can’t afford to maintain it.

The American branch of the Church of England, founded when the Vatican balked at permitting King Henry VIII to continue annulling marriages to any wife who failed to bear him sons, is in trouble.
(Related: Episcopal Bishops Approve Trial Blessing for Gay Couples & Clear the Way for Transgender Ordination)

Somehow slipping out of the headlines is a harsh reality that the denomination has been deserted in droves by an angry or ambivalent membership. Six prominent bishops are ready to take their large dioceses out of the American church and align with conservative Anglican groups in Africa and South America.

“An interesting moment came at a press conference on Saturday,” reports convention attendee David Virtue, “when I asked Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies, if she saw the irony in that the House of Deputies would like to see the Church Center at 815 2nd Avenue, New York, sold (it has a $37.5 million mortgage debt and needs $8.5 million to maintain yearly) while at the same time the national church spent $18 million litigating for properties, many of which will lie fallow at the end of the day.”