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Episcopalians reject Buddist style bishop

July 31, 2009 --

By Daniel Burke, of Religion News Service reports,  “An Episcopal priest who has practiced Zen meditation and espoused unconventional ideas about Christianity has lost his bid to become a bishop in Michigan, the church announced Monday (July 27). The Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester, who was elected in February to lead the sparsely populated Diocese of Northern Michigan, failed to gain “consent,” or ratification, from a majority of elected standing committees in the Episcopal Church’s 110 dioceses, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori announced. A majority of Episcopal bishops also rejected the election, according to Neva Rae Fox, a church spokeswoman, who declined to release exact tallies. “ Continue reading.

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Oregon churches find new ways to help local needy

July 30, 2009 --

94% of Oregon churches provide resources to assist people who lack basic necessities.
By Betsy Maynard,
Oregon Family Council

Times of economic hardship tend to encourage creativity.  West Salem Foursquare Church is working to creatively partner with social organizations to meet needs they see around Salem.  This is not new for the church – helping people with practical needs is an emphasis of church life that dates to the earliest days of Christianity.

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Vatican Radio takes up ads for the first time

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For the first time in the Vatican Radio’s 80-year history, ads will be featured.  Henry Chu of the Los Angeles Times reports;

“Vatican Radio, the official voice of the Roman Catholic Church, has begun airing advertisements for the first time in its nearly 80-year history, injecting a bit of the profane into its otherwise unwavering lineup of sacred programming.  Now, in addition to tracking every move Pope Benedict XVI makes and every word he utters, listeners are being treated to 45-second ads, made in five languages, extolling Italy’s largest power company, Enel, and the virtues of clean energy. The commercials are a genuflection to economic reality at a time of global downturn. Despite its divine mission, the Vatican has not been insulated from temporal turbulence, running an ungodly deficit of $22 million last year.” Continue reading.

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Were Obama's ancestors posthumously baptized?

July 29, 2009 --

The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper made this report,
“Washington – Mormons have not only posthumously baptized President Barack Obama’s mother into their faith, but they may have performed the ritual for the president’s African ancestors as well, including his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, according to researcher Helen Radkey.  She has uncovered records in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s new FamilySearch database that include personalized identification numbers for Obama’s relatives, including his father, Barack Obama Sr. The president’s father was Muslim, but later in life became a nonbeliever, according to the family.  Records in the FamilySearch database do not indicate if the “baptism for the dead” ceremony was actually performed in an LDS temple, saying only that the information is “not available.” Continue reading/
– Church teachings on baptism, posthumous baptism

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Oregon Holocaust Memorial: Fifth Anniversary

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Community Invited to Celebrate Oregon Holocaust Memorial’s Fifth Anniversary
Local Survivors Will Give Guided Tours on August 30
By Oregon Holocaust Remembrance Center

Portland, Oregon — July 27, 2009 — An event commemorating the fifth anniversary of the dedication of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial will be held on Sunday, August 30, 2009, in Washington Park, in Portland, Oregon. The Oregon Holocaust Memorial, gracefully set into a meadow in Portland’s Washington Park, was completed at the end of August 2004, the culmination of a decade of planning, design, and fundraising by a dedicated volunteer coalition of civic and religious organizations. Since then, tens of thousands of visitors have experienced this powerful Memorial, with its eloquent description of history’s greatest crime, its testimonial to those who rose above the ashes of human suffering, and its fundamental message of morality and compassion.

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CNBC porn special comes under fire

July 28, 2009 --

Morality in Media: NEW YORK, — On July 15, at 8 pm Central Time, CNBC aired a special entitled, “Porn: Business of Pleasure,” which takes a “behind the scenes look inside the multi-billion dollar porn businesses, from the threats to its profitability to exclusive behind the scenes interviews with the industry’s biggest stars.” The same program is scheduled to air on July 28 at 8 pm CT.

Morality in Media President Robert Peters commented:

“Based on the promotional material available on the CNBC website and TV critic reviews, Morality in Media issued a Release on the afternoon of July 15 about the CNBC Special, “Porn: Business of Pleasure,” which first aired that evening at 8 pm Central Time. The porn special has continued to air at various times and will air again this week on Tuesday evening at 8 pm CT.

“I have since watched the program, and it is worse than I had anticipated. Typical of programs of this nature, the program does include brief statements from two eloquent opponents of pornography, but more time is spent interviewing Jesse Jane, one of the top female performers in hardcore pornography, and showcasing her work than the time allotted to those who oppose the proliferation of pornography.

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Slavery then and now

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By Kay Marshall Strom,
Eugene author of 36 books,

Already the clips of President Obama walking through the old slave fortress off the coast of Africa have been replaced with fresh breaking news.  But I cannot get the images out of my mind.

The president and his family walking though the dungeons of Cape Coast Castle in Ghana…  The stark fortress lined with cannons where slaves were once confined to filthy cells awaiting the ships headed for the slave markets of the New World…  My heart was with the Obamas.  I too had walked slave halls.  I too had gazed through “the door of no return” and shivered at the thought of thousands upon thousands of chained captives herded through, never again to set foot on their native soil.  My personal living history lesson was at Goree Island off the coast of Senegal, West Africa.  The image that will haunt me forever is the baby-sized manacles bolted to the wall.

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Question: Relationships in Heaven

July 27, 2009 --

Will we desire relationships in Heaven with anyone except God?
By Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministries
, Sandy Oregon
Author of Bestselling book, Heaven

Genesis 2:18: The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

1 Thessalonians 2:17: Dear brothers and sisters, after we were separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you again.

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Survey: Surprise Data on People's Views of Homelessness

July 26, 2009 --

MEDIA ADVISORY, July 22 /Christian Newswire/ — With Albuquerque homelessness at an all time high and city number crunchers scrambling to balance budgets and meet ever-increasing needs, a survey commissioned by Joy Junction Homeless Shelter reveals some shocking facts.

Just over 86% of 400 respondents polled said they believe various branches of government should be most responsible in addressing homelessness.

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Faith Film Review: The Ugly Truth

July 25, 2009 --

The Ugly Truth, Rated R,
By CatholicFilmReviews.org

Low-minded relationship comedy in which a romantically inept TV producer (Katherine Heigl) enlists the help of the boorish new star (Gerard Butler) of her morning news program—a shock jock who proclaims the supposed ugly truth that all men are sex-obsessed animals—to inveigle her gentlemanly neighbor (Eric Winter) into a relationship. As directed by Robert Luketic, the formulaic odd-couple proceedings feature a relentless barrage of raunchy humor. Brief graphic premarital sexual activity, fleeting rear nudity, pervasive sexual humor and references, much rough and crude language, and a few uses of profanity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive.

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