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How the World sees US * Gene Robinson targeted Catholics using ARCUS Foundation Money * Gay Marriage could collapse like Communism * Dean Silences York Minister Bells * Church in Wales condemns Aleppo Bombing

Called to be holy. Holiness is the very purpose of our election. So ultimately the only evidence of election is a holy life. --- John R.W. Stott

The culture has become so sissified and feminized and emotion-driven that the only thing that matters, even more than truth, is your feelings. And that is the exact same template being overlaid on the Church. It doesn't matter if you are committing sacrilege by receiving Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin by being an adulterer or pro-abortion politician; all that matters is your feelings. The great sissification, feminization that has overtaken the Church and the nation as a whole is shortly going to come back and bite us very hard. The whole culture, the national culture and the Church culture, is severely out of balance. All that is authentically masculine is rejected out of hand, and all that is feminine is celebrated and glorified, even when it is evil. --- Michael Voris

Nominal Christianity. The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half-built towers -- the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ's warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so-called 'nominal Christianity'. --- John R.W. Stott

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
October 21, 2016

After spending nearly two weeks in North Africa and Europe, writing stories and posting other stories that my trusty associate could find, I have come away with some observations that I would like to share with you.

The first is that North Africa is very religious, while Europe is very secular. That is hardly surprising given the state of things in, say, Egypt and France.

In Egypt, one cannot escape the call of the Minaret (five times a day) and in France, you cannot escape the need for fine dining, equally fine wines and the call of good truffles. In France, the churches, though beautiful to look at, are empty just like most churches in England. By contrast, everybody has a religion in Egypt, with few if any declaring themselves agnostic or atheist. You are either a Muslim (90% of the nation,) Coptic, Armenian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican or one of the handful of Protestant sects. One can practice one's faith openly in the big cities but there are occasional flare-ups in villages where Christians are often harassed and occasionally killed. But it is not the norm.

I had dinner one evening in Heliopolis, Cairo with the president of the Protestant Council of Churches of Egypt and he said that the churches (he is Presbyterian) can flourish, but conversions across lines are rare. For the vast sea of Egyptians, life is about making a living, looking after their families, and just plain getting along. My own take on the Egyptian character is that they are a gentle people, useless at making war with Israel, and do much better keeping the peace with their Israeli neighbors and doing business with them, which they have done for more than 50 years. They like Americans, but do not like President Obama. They will not be sorry to see him go and they absolutely and totally fear a Trump presidency. They marvel at how this man rose without trace to become the Republican nominee. (More on that later). They see Clinton as basically sane on international affairs and think she would keep the status quo even if the Middle East remains a bubbling cauldron of uncertainty, violence and war. A steady hand is better than a Trump hand that could start a Third World War, they tell me.

This was much the same message in France. The French are quite liberal and people I talked to wonder what the world will become if Trump is elected President. They wonder if America is losing its collective mind, even contemplating such a man for president whose sole obsession seems to be about other peoples' sex lives. The French are used to their presidents having mistresses and think nothing of it if the current president has a mistress while living happily with his wife. Live and let live is their response. Most of the French never could understand why Bill Clinton was hounded for his sexual indiscretions when he was otherwise a good president in political and economic affairs.

In both nations, people fear a Trump presidency. They told me over and over that their lives would be changed irrevocably, perhaps even fatally. People want security and they don't see it in Donald Trump. Your average citizen does not want war; they want peace and security to raise their families. They fear the world will go mad if Trump is elected president. They say he is loyal to no one and nothing except himself and winning, and even their worst politicians are better than that.

They wonder who these evangelicals are who vote for him. Most Egyptians and French people don't know who or what an evangelical is, and they marvel about a group of people who claim such belief in the Bible and yet believe and vote for a man who believes or knows so little about what the Bible really says.

More liberal Muslims I spoke with ask what the difference is between ISIS who interpret the Koran to condone mass killings of even their own people, and American Christian fundamentalists who interpret the Bible to kill Muslims and their own people who don't see the universe their way! Do they have the same God, they ask? They ask what the meaning of tolerance is to ordinary people, both Christian and Muslim who want to live at peace. Many told me that they admired Mr. Kahn for standing up to Trump. "He is our kind of Muslim," they told me.

Whenever I had occasion to walk the streets of Cairo looking for a restaurant, I would ask the hotel concierge, "Is it safe", and the answer was always the same, "Yes it is, no one will harm you. Yes they will know you are probably American, but they will not molest you. You will be treated with kindness. Yes, we have some pickpockets, but that is the extent of what you will experience. Carry your wallet carefully." And it was true. I found the Egyptians to be endlessly polite and helpful and always they would say "welcome" which had a deeper meaning for them than us. They would place their hand over their hearts and their "welcome" meant you are welcome into their homes, 'come and drink tea with us'. The gentleness of the Egyptian was most exemplified in Anglican Archbishop, Mouneer Anis, a gentle soul if ever there was one. The Brotherhood are being kept firmly in their place; they were too radical for the average Egyptian and we should not forget that. No one picked my pocket.

In France, the issue was people saw the statements of Trump that were anti migrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, even anti-women as divisive and troubling. Their view of America is a place of opportunity for all and hearing these comments and seeing the police violence has made them see beneath the covers of the American Dream and they are both horrified and disappointed that an uncouth man like Donald Trump could be a candidate for president.

It is ironic, that France, which is a secular society, wants homosexual marriage outlawed. Despite France legalizing same-sex marriage in 2013, more than 20,000 people protested against the law in Paris, just as I was leaving France. The demo comes just weeks before the conservative primary ahead of the 2017 presidential election.

After two years out of the spotlight, anti-gay marriage movement "Manif Pour Tous" (Protest for Everyone) was reactivated on Sunday. According to police figures, between 23,000 and 24,000 people gathered at the Trocadero Plaza in western Paris, to protest against France's same-sex marriage laws. Organizers, however, put the turnout at approximately 200,000.

Protesters marched through the streets waving French flags and the movement's blue and pink colors. Some held signs declaring "All together for the family" and "In 2017, I'll vote for the family."

"Even if the gay marriage law has been adopted, we will continue the protest to show that it is not good and we want it to be repealed. We want to influence the political debate that will take place in the coming months," said one protester.

A 29-year-old man told news agency AFP that he was protesting because he wanted a "return to the principles of Christian civilization in terms of family, institutions and work."

France's Socialist government legalized same-sex marriage, which it called "Marriage for All," in 2013. Now, with the conservative primary less than a month away, protesters hope to pressure politicians into agreeing to repeal the law if they are elected president.

The French are not always predictable, but on one issue they remain firm if not bewildered, "Who is this Donald Trump and how is it he got so far to possibly become president, when even many of his fellow Republicans will not vote for him?"

*****

While Archbishop Justin Welby toddles off to Rome to talk with the Pope about unity (which could be another 2,000 years down the line) and later rage on about the environment, creation and global warming, the chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council set out his vision for the Communion and he described it as "being proactive, building links and bringing peace to a world in turmoil -- those are the main tasks ahead for the Anglican Communion and its leaders," he said.

Archbishop Paul Kwong -- the Primate of Hong Kong -- in celebrating his first six months in the post, told the Anglican Communion News Service that it was vital for the Communion to be relevant.

No, actually that is not the case. Being relevant is not remotely why the Communion is a communion -- members of the Body of Christ. The Communion is called to be faithful to the gospel of Christ and to proclaim the Good News of the Cross and Resurrection. Being relevant has cost The Episcopal Church millions of parishioners. Being "proactive" whatever that means and "building links", but with whom is not stated, and "bringing peace to the world", is something that world powers and the UN tries to do, not the Anglican Communion. If it is, no one is listening to us, and 1.3 billion Chinese are certainly not listening to the Anglican consultative Council or Kwong about bringing peace on earth and goodwill to men. They are more concerned with trade deals with the US. But such noble high sounding sentiments make good press copy, accompanied by much hubris. The failure to bring peace within the Anglican family that has been decidedly elusive for the last three decades and growing more hopeless with each passing year, seems not to concern Archbishop Kwong. It is vital that the communion be found faithful to the gospel in its witness to the world. Bringing peace to the world is mockingly absurd when the Anglican Communion is torn by 'heresies distressed' and can't find 'peace' in its own house of disorder. I have written about this at length in today's digest and have taken apart Archbishop Kwong's thesis that he hopes will bring a fractured Communion together.

*****

Bishop Gene Robinson worked for Podesta group targeting Catholics. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants from the Arcus Foundation to "reclaim" religious freedom as a progressive value that 'includes LGBT equality and women's reproductive health and rights.' The Center for American Progress also hosts Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson as a senior fellow. The first openly gay bishop's 2003 election as Bishop of New Hampshire caused massive rifts within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. You Can read the full story in today's digest.

*****

A document written by Sydney Bishop Michael Stead, says that gay marriage may collapse like Communism.

Stead, who is the chairman of the Archbishop's Plebiscite taskforce on gay marriage described same-sex marriage as "a long way from the good picture of marriage given to us by Jesus and the Bible."

The arguments are put forward in draft booklet that suggests ways churchgoers can put forward winning arguments against same-sex marriage and was distributed to the church's nearly 1000 Synod members.

The Sydney Synod released the document, citing polling saying only 8 per cent of Anglicans supported gay marriages in churches. You can read the full document in today's digest.

*****

The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith will be inducted as Eleventh Dean of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Washington National Cathedral, on Sunday, by The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, who will preach. Washington Bishop, Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, will preside.

Don't look for any real changes to occur at the Cathedral. Hollerith is Virginia blue blood with financial connections, who has been hired to restore the financial fortunes of the cathedral. One will not hear the ringing sounds of gospel proclamation or biblical exegesis flowing forth from the pulpit, just more of the same old inclusive nonsense that has being played out there for years. Still and all, no one has explained why the hardest hit building in secular Washington, DC, was the cathedral, when an earthquake hit in 2011 and racked up millions of dollars needed for repairs. Perhaps God was sending a message to the cathedral and its then dean to clean up its spiritual and moral act. Apparently, no one is listening.

*****

The York Minster bell ringing band was sacked because of a row about "safeguarding" concerns over a local ringer's conduct, the Archbishop of York has revealed.

The Most Rev Dr. John Sentamu defended the decision to sack 30 volunteers. He said the move followed a row with the band over an investigation into the conduct of a bell ringer who, it is understood, was banned from the cathedral's bell tower in July.

Dr. Sentamu said: "It was necessary for the chapter to take action regarding a member of the bell ringing community on safeguarding grounds. You can read the full story and some commentary in today's digest.

*****

The Aleppo hospital bombing constitutes war crime, says the Church in Wales. The Anglican body, which is rapidly going out of business, has joined five other UK Christian churches in calling for an end to the fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo. They have called for those responsible for "the targeting and killing of civilians" to be held to account for war crimes. They say that the targeting of civilians "can never be passed off merely as a consequence of war" and say that "aerial strikes on homes, hospitals and aid convoys are never acceptable, under any circumstances." One suspects Aleppo will still be around long after the last Welsh Anglican has died and there is no eye to pity or arm to save.

*****

The role of Lord Carey of Clifton in the case of Peter Ball will be scrutinized by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The former Archbishop of Canterbury could face "explicit criticism" over how he dealt with a pedophile bishop, the head of the child abuse inquiry has warned.

The role of Lord Carey in the case of Peter Ball, a former Bishop of Gloucester, who was jailed last year for sex offences and misconduct in public office, will be scrutinized by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), reports the Times.

There have been allegations of a cover-up in the case of Ball, who resigned his ministry in 1993 after accepting a police caution, rather than being charged for indecent assault.

*****

The Anglican Church in Thailand offered its condolences to the Royal Family and prayers for the people of the Southeast Asian nation following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A Buddhist, King Bhumibol supported the rights of Christian churches.

On its website, Christ Church Bangkok, one of four Anglican congregations in Thailand, offered a prayer, commending the king's soul to the mercy of God.

Almighty God, we thank you for the life of His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej -- for his devotion to duty and his love for his people. We pray that he may be at peace and commend him to Your mercy. We pray for his family and for all the people of Thailand; Grant them your peace and the certain knowledge of Your love. Give wisdom to those with responsibility for making decisions which affect the life of the nation. And may we prepare ourselves for the coming of Your Kingdom, and live as servants of our Living Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen

*****

A disturbing video on child sex education in Kenya which you can see here http://www.comprehensivesexualityeducation.org/ advocates masturbation and oral sex, among other sexual activities for school children.

The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has come out in opposition to the introduction of sex education classes in primary schools, saying introducing the subject to children without input from the church would harm their moral character. The Most Rev. Jackson Ole Sapit, ACK Primate, in an address given at the graduation ceremony at St Paul's University in Limeru, said sex education was best handled in consultation with the family, church and other education "stakeholders" and not imposed by government fiat. The archbishop urged young people to be faithful to the church's teachings and avoid fornication and sexual immorality.

"Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is one of the greatest assaults on the health and innocence of children. This is because unlike traditional sex education, comprehensive sexuality education is highly explicit and promotes promiscuity and high-risk sexual behaviors to children as healthy and normal. CSE programs have an almost obsessive focus on teaching children how to obtain sexual pleasure in various ways. Yet, ironically, comprehensive sexuality education programs are anything but comprehensive as they fail to teach children about all of the emotional, psychological and physical health risks of promiscuous sexual activity. The ultimate goal of CSE is to change the sexual and gender norms of society, which is why CSE could be more accurately called "abortion, promiscuity, and LGBT rights education." CSE is a "rights-based" approach to sex education and promotes sexual rights to children at the expense of their sexual health."

*****

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