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Register For Pro-Life Webcast Thursday, Help Stop Abortion Mandate In "Health Care Reform" Legislation

Among the many threats to our way of life by the Obama administration is its insistence on forcing you to fund abortions with your hard-earned tax dollars as part of its proposed multi-trillion dollar hijacking of our best-in-the-world health care system, proving the lie of  "safe, legal and rare." Didn't the president say at Notre Dame and to Pope Benedict recently that he wanted to "reduce abortions"?  But the monstrosity proposed by the administration and its radical leftist lackeys in Congress goes far beyond making "access" to health care available to all. It includes a sweeping reversal of long held bi-partisan policies that Americans should not be forced against their conscience to fund abortions with tax dollars. Not only that, but this legislation requires pro-life doctors and nurses to choose between their careers and their conscience through government mandated abortions

It comes as no surprise, then, that two of the most radically leftist organizations, Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women, are the legislation's primary backers, pushing this provision as if their lives depended on it. With that kind of leftist fanaticism attemping to ram through this bill, it is essential that pro-life Americans rise up!

To learn how you can help stop this tragedy from happening, log on to a one-time-only live Webcast this Thursday — July 23 — at 9:00 p.m. 

The Webcast will feature pro-family leaders, including Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Dr. Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life, and other national leaders on the front lines fighting for the pro-life cause.

There's no charge to participate. It will last approximately 70 minutes and viewers will be able to ask questions. To learn more about this important Webcast, and to register for it, click here to visit  StopTheAbortionMandate.com.

We urge you to take the time Thursday evening to participate in this one-time only national event. Help spread the word by forwarding this link to as many of your pro-life friends as possible and ask them to join the fight as well.

Ending "Disposable Marriage"

In yesterday's News Stand, we posted a commentary from CNN.com entitled, "Let's End Disposable Marriage," by retiring Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears. It is a startling piece about an issue that affects nearly every American family — divorce — yet is seldom addressed by the political class. In her column, Justice Sears wrote:

The coupling and uncoupling we've become accustomed to undermines our democracy, destroys our families and devastates the lives of our children, who are not as resilient as we may wish to think. The one-parent norm, which is necessary and successful in many cases, nevertheless often creates a host of other problems, from poverty to crime, teen pregnancy and drug abuse.

It has become too easy for people to walk away from their families and commitments without a real regard for the gravity of their decision and the consequence for other people, particularly children.

These are the words not of a "right winger," but of someone who has been mentioned as a potential Barack Obama nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court and who was a target of the Georgia Republican Party and Christian Coalition during her 2004 re-election. She has seen the catastrophic results of unilateral divorce both personally and professionally, writing, "As a judge I have long held a front row seat to the wreckage left behind by our culture of disposable marriage and casual divorce."

The tide is turning on the issue of no-fault divorce. Last fall, a poll found that 62 percent of Californians do not think that either spouse should be allowed to terminate marriage at any time for any reason. This from the state that gave us no-fault divorce in the first place! It is time that we address this issue head on, both in the church and in the arena of public policy.

Few can doubt the harm that unilateral divorce has brought to American families. Still, many think this is one of those issues where the most one can do is throw up their hands. It's not. 

The Family Foundation has proposed that mutual consent must be required for a couple to divorce when children are involved — meaning that one spouse cannot simply walk away without cause. Unfortunately, this proposal has met with little support from either political party in Richmond. In fact, when presented, most elected officials we've talked with have run for cover. But we will continue to advocate for this proposal until it receives a fair and complete hearing in the General Assembly and becomes law. 

We can talk all we want about fixing our tax code to help families. We can work toward "fixing" health care and all of the other economic challenges we face. But the fact is that we will not adequately address the issue of saving the American family until we address the issue of unilateral divorce. Until we elect representatives with the courage to tackle this issue we will be doing little to save the next generation from the same devastating consequences that we seek to overcome today.

Poll: What's The Most Embarrassing Loss?

It's official. We now have, thanks to Minnesota courts — which, similar to Iran's government, refused to investigate that there were more votes than voters in certain precincts — a "comedian" U.S. Senator in the person of know-nothing, erratic, hyper-liberal, Al Franken. Losing to a clown like Franken must be pretty embarrassing to former incumbent Republican Norm Coleman. After all, he was a successful mayor of St. Paul and a distinguished senator. It got me thinking, for the fun of it, this question:

These three jump out at us. Add your own answer and comment on any other U.S. Senate election result, or any campaign result you think is particularly embarrassing because of how, why or to whom the candidate lost.

More Statements Coming

The next several posts will be statements from the major players who had significant roles in crafting the legislation that became Virginia's law banning partial birth abortion/infanticide; in defending its constitutionality in the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals; and other organizations that play a leading role in defending unborn, innocent life in Virginia public policy.

If You Didn't Get Enough Of Adnan Barqawi The First Time

By any objective measure, the best and most loved speech at the Republican Party of Virginia Convention in late May was not given by any of the statewide candidates, Congressmen or members of the General Assembly, nor even conservative radio and Fox News commentator Sean Hannity. It was by the Commander of the VPI Corps of Cadets Adnan Barqawi. He simply brought down the house with several thunderous standing ovations with a talk that was at once humorous, stirring, patriotic, enlightening and unapologetic about his legal immigration to America, values, love of country, America's place and meaning in the world, freedom and assimilation (as opposed to the hyphenization society so many foist on us today).

If you haven't seen his speech, we encourage you to watch it by clicking here.

Of course, if you saw it live and want to see it again or share it with others, we highly encourage that, too. But if that isn't enough, Barqawi has accepted an invitation to speak at the 38th Annual National Conservative Fourth of July Soiree. If you haven't been to this event before and haven't made Independence Day plans yet, you owe it to yourself to attend. The Soiree is one huge family picnic gone the good kind of wild, with hundreds of conservatives from all over the mid-Atlantic and beyond who come for the day and then to see the D.C. fireworks at night (or other sight seeing).

The event features barbecue food, a patriotic band, plenty of entertainment for children (including a petting zoo) and the opportunity to make numerous new friends — and it's free! (Guests are requested to bring a dish of food to share). Plus, this year, it will have what surely will be another unforgettable speech by the very impressive young leader, Adnan Barqawi. The festivities will be held from Noon to 4:30 p.m. at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, just west of Washington off I-66.

The Soiree is hosted by conservative stalwart Morton Blackwell and the Leadership Institute, a conservative continuing education center that trains conservatives in political, campaign, public policy and communications strategies. For more information on the Soiree, simply click here to visit its Web site.

What's Missing Here? Can You Say Hypocrisy?

For all the millions of dollars worth of attack ads the Democrat Governors Association continues to run against Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell through the front group CommonSenseVA, you'd think they'd have paid someone to check up on their own nominee's Web site. No mention of jobs, at all! Of course, what's a job when you can print money and hand out temporary unemployment checks?

Check it out here.

Attention Americans United For Separation!

In a case of the left hand ignoring not knowing what the, umm, left hand is doing, we want to make sure that the folks at Americans United For Separation of Church and State, and our friends at People for the American Way, are made aware of a horrible violation of the separation of church and state that may cause the very foundations of our society to collapse. (These "watchdogs" monitor our blog and post on their Web sites some of our material as a warning to "separatists" since we are threatening to the very existence of Amerika as a civilization.) According to yesterday's Washington Post, all Democrat candidates for governor made appearances in, gulp, churches this Sunday! What is worse, if you can imagine, one of the pastors apparently endorsed a candidate right in the pulpit!:

Moran visited Fifth Street Baptist Church in the Highland Park neighborhood on the north side of Richmond, where Deeds appeared two months ago. He came at the invitation of Evelyn Morris-Harris, leader of the Democratic Black Caucus of Virginia, and the Rev. Todd F. Gray, the church's pastor.

Gray encouraged the parishioners to vote tomorrow and told them that he will be casting a ballot for Moran.

"Brian is right on guns. He's right on affirmative action. He's right on taxes. He's right on jobs," Gray said. "I'm not telling you who to vote for. I'm just telling you who I'm voting for. I'm voting for Brian Moran."

Of course, the Post reported these clear violations of all it is to be an Amerikan without so much as a whisper of impropriety. I'm sure, however, the our friends at Americans United and PFAW will be issuing press releases and sending notes to the Department of Homeland Security demanding immediate investigations.

Oh, and don't forget the IRS . . . they must be tired of only investigating churches where Republicans visit.

Virginia News Stand: May 19, 2009

Whadaya know? We lead off the news with two articles and a radio interview about TFF Action's General Assembly Report Card (click here to order, download or print). The WRVA interview marks the News Stand's first radio audio. The Charlottesville Daily Progress article is via the AP and is a little misleading when it says banning funding for embryonic stem cell research failed. It was not banned in a budget amendment, which is the vote recorded for the Report Card. But separate language, as part of another bill, did ban it. (To see more about the Report Card, click the following links for TFF Action's news release, statement and video.) In national news, California's Marriage Amendment ("Prop. 8") is under attack while a study shows abstinence education does better than so-called "comprehensive sex education," contrary to the liberal spin. Medical professionals conscience protections remain under assault by those who claim to promote "choice" and David Limbaugh offers his insights on the importance of understanding the role of abortion semantics in the public debate (we had our own take yesterday).

Finally, check out an interesting cultural item from OneNewsNow.com: Christianity may have a role in American Idol voting.

Audio:

*Victoria Cobb Interview: Saturday Morning With The Lee Brothers (4:52)(WRVA-AM/LeeBrothers.com)

News:

*Va. GOP fares best in Family Foundation scorecard (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

*Conservative group ranks regional legislators (Roanoke Times)

McAuliffe, Moran spar over support for Obama (Richmond Times-Dispatch

Moran rolls out "aging czar"; Deeds pushes energy plan (Richmond Times-Dispatch

Democratic primary: Voters won't have to wait this time (The Daily Press)

National News:

DOMA, Prop. 8 under attack in Calif. (OneNewsNow.com)

Abstinence ed 'outperforms' comprehensive sex ed (OneNewsNow.com)

The fight to preserve conscious laws (OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

Abortion Doublespeak Part Of Pattern (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Is Christianity a factor in 'American Idol' voting? (OneNewsNow.com Blog)

We Had It First: Sampson To Run, Interesting Field Of Democrats

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on its Web site this afternoon something we reported Wednesday: That Republican Ernesto Sampson will run for the 69th House of Delegates seat. Sampson, a financial services advisor and VMI grad, will make it official at a campaign kickoff event tomorrow. Interesting headline, however, from the T-D: "Republican expected to seek Hall's House seat," as if Democrat former Delegate Frank Hall owned it. But that's the mainstream media for you.

Sampson, who is originally from Suffolk, is black, and favors charter schools. Whichever one of the three Democrats he faces will create an interesting match-up: Antione M. Green, president of the Richmond Crusade for Voters; Betsy Carr, a Richmond School Board member; and Carlos Brown, a corporate finance lawyer. Green is only 30; Brown either doesn't live in the district yet, or has only moved into it recently; and Carr is white (as is Hall), while the district is majority black.

Depending on how bruising that battle is, and who the eventual nominee is, it may give Sampson an opening, based on race, experience or carpetbagging. Interesting issue note here: Carr was one of the five school board votes that barely approved Virginia's first charter elementary school last year, while Green was a tireless supporter for it. That can't make the powerful teachers union, which plays a big role in Democrat nomination fights, happy. That may cause a further rift. Sampson has made charter schools a major plank in his platform.

Virginia News Stand: April 28, 2009

The Washington Post today picks up on something we wrote about quite extensively last week — namely, former Delegate Brian Moran's all out adoption of the homosexual lobby's agenda in his bid for the Democrat gubernatorial  nomination. It may work for the short term (the primary) but surely will blow up on him in the general election, if he gets that far. But the big campaign news — as usual, wherever he goes he sucks up all the attention — was former President Bill Clinton's swing through Virginia yesterday in support of Terry "T-Mac" McAuliffe's candidacy for the Democrat gubernatorial nomination. By the way, isn't there a third Dem candidate?

Also, there are two commentaries below. One, by David Limbaugh, is especially timely given how Congressional liberals are trying to rush through and cram down our throats "hate crimes" legislation. Now, who is it that legislates morality? Who limits freedom? Does this remind anyone of the Sedition Act? The other, a OneNewsNow blog comment, reviews how super model Kathy Ireland came to be pro-life and what Planned Parenthood told her.

News:

Brian Moran Gambles on Same-Sex Union Issue (Washington Post)

Bill Clinton campaigns for McAuliffe in gubernatorial primary (Richmond Times-Dispatch

McAuliffe Will Create Jobs, Bill Clinton Says (Washington Post

Clinton lends political clout to McAuliffe's bid for governor (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Del. Tom Gear: 91st District voters will have three choices (The Daily Press)

Commentary:

Beware Abhorrent Hate Crime Legislation (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Supermodel Kathy Ireland Lashes Out Against 'Pro Choice' (OneNewsNow.com blog)

Virginia News Stand: April 20, 2009

Welcome back to the work week where the top story seems to be the Dem gab fest. Funny how different media see the same story. One reports the news out of the debate is the economy, two others say it's the claims and counter claims about fundraising, another says no issues were discussed. Apart from the gubernatorial campaign, the House elections are getting a fair amount of coverage. Liberal activists already are out knocking on doors, making the rejection of federal "stimulus" money an issue. (Maybe they didn't notice last week's Tea Parties.) There is an interesting Democrat primary taking shape in Norfolk, while a Republican is leaving the primary field to run as an indie in the general election in another district. Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R-8, Salem) and House Democrat Leader Ward Armstrong (D-10, Henry) debate each side's chances through a Roanoke Times article. Finally, as in the last article included, not that the issue is settled by any means, the state GOP may have a new leadership team in place.

News:

Issues shortchanged in Democratic candidates' debate (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Gubernatorial candidates trade jabs on donations (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds Criticizes Rivals' Funding (Washington Post)

Democratic gubernatorial candidates debate economy (The Daily Press)

Democrats spar in gubernatorial debate (Washington Times)

Va. Democrats target GOP delegates over stimulus vote (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Va. Democrats set sights on House of Delegates (Roanoke Times)

Poquoson mayor will run as independent for House seat (The Daily Press)

Lionell Spruill Jr. to take on Chesapeake's Del. Howell (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Mullins declares candidacy; Liddy to serve as "Victory" chair (BearingDrift.com)

Liberal Response To Tea Parties

It was inevitable, I suppose. Those of us who believe in limited, constitutional government as envisioned by the Founders and who see the free market as most conducive to individual and family financial success couldn't possibly be allowed to hold rallies in response to the new socialism coming from Washington without being labeled. After all, the postmodern liberal left lives for labels. So, what are all of us who simply want taxes to be reasonable? (Please, don't call us anti-tax . . . we really do believe in limited taxation for a limited government, just not oppressive taxation that has no end in sight.) Racist.

Yup, that's right. Get a decent education, get a good job, wait until you're married to have children, work endless hours, buy a house you can actually afford, make your mortgage payments on time, get frustrated over our government's exponential growth and bailouts for those who made poor economic decisions and failed businesses, decide to stand with your fellow Americans in protest and you, my friend, are a racist.

At least that's what our taxpayer supported friends at ACORN are telling the American people (using some of those tax dollars you greedy fringe wackos want to keep to feed your own children). 

As rumors spread that ACORN plans to crash Tea Parties planned tomorrow for over 250 locations nationwide, they are also putting the PR machine to work to try to stop the bleeding from Obama's increasing unpopular money grab plan. And what better plan than go to your friends in the MSM and get the labels out there.

So are you intimidated? Planning to cower at home tomorrow so you won't be seen on CNN under the banner "Racist Rally"? 

Somehow I doubt it. Then again, conservatives have seldom been intimidated by the label thing. 

Just don't call me anti-tax!

Virginia News Stand: April 10, 2009

Most people have taken today off, but we're still here putting out the best of Virginia's Web — and beyond — so you don't go through political junkie withdrawal. So, what's new? Seems — surprise! — liberal out-of-state groups are raising mega amounts of money and taking aim at Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell. Already. Meanwhile, the non-partisan National Journal senses that independents may be trending back to the GOP. On the culture front, CNN reports illegitimate births are at an all-time high. Looking for irony? A Democrat busts McDonnell's brackets and wins a dinner with the former A.G. (see previous comment). News:

Democratic Groups Target McDonnell (Washington Post)

Democrats attack McDonnell, GOP on rejecting unemployment funds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

GOP Fights Kaine on Jobless Benefits (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Democrat Deeds reports first-quarter fundraising  (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Saxman Latest Valley Delegate To Get Challenge (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Ware says he'll run for re-election (Roanoke Times)

Kaine names Del. Melvin to fill Portsmouth judge post (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Democratic official wins dinner from McDonnell (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News:

Out-of-wedlock births hit record high (CNN.com)

Are Independents Going The GOP's Way? (National Journal)

One Minute Economics Lesson

A delightfully insightful and quick explanation of the wonders and efficiencies of what was once known as capitalism in this county by one of our favorites, Don Boudreaux, chairman of the Economics Department atGeorge Mason University, courtesy a heads up from the Tuesday Morning Group's John Taylor:

Editor, Washington Post

Dear Editor:

Supporting Pres. Obama's efforts to "redistribute" incomes, E.J. Dionne quotes an administration official: "'Over the past two or three decades, the top 1 percent of Americans have experienced a dramatic increase from 10 percent to more than 20 percent in the share of national income that's accruing to them,' said Peter Orszag, Obama's budget director. Now, he said, was their time 'to pitch in a bit more'" ("The Re-Redistributor," March 2).

This "Progressive" mindset poisons sound thinking.

First, in market economies incomes aren't "distributed"; they're produced and earned. Second, persons whose earnings rise disproportionately more than those of other persons generally achieve this outcome by increasing their production disproportionately more than other persons increase theirs; the fact that someone's income rises means that he or she already is pitching in more. Third, the share of federal individual income-tax revenues paid by America's top one-percent of income earners has recently been on the rise. In 2006 (the latest year for which data are available) this tiny group of Americans paid a whopping — and all-time high — 39.9 percent of such taxes.

Sincerely, Donald J. Boudreaux Chairman, Department of Economics George Mason University Fairfax, VA 22030

Virginia News Stand: April 9, 2009

As it turned out, veto session was somewhat eventful. Read all about it here, as that's pretty much what dominates the News Stand today. There's also a couple of pieces about T-Mac's money bags, but is that really new? News:

Kaine criticizes House GOP for spurning jobless benefits (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia likely forfeits $125 million for unemployed (The Daily Press)

Va. lawmakers reject federal jobless help (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Assembly Rejects $125 Million for Expanded Jobless Benefits (Washington Post)

Most of Kaine's vetoes upheld (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Legislators being work on gaming (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Legislators back Kaine on quicker crackdown on payday lendors (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Fairfax delegate says he's stepping down to run for A.G. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Carlos Brown running for 69th House of Delegates District seat (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McAuliffe, Moran report first-quarter fundraising (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McAuliffe Reports Sizable Money Lead Over Moran (Washington Post)

Are Va. Republicans Making a Primary Error? (Washington Post)

The Family Foundation's Official Statement To HHS On Medical Professionals Conscience Protections

Below is The Family Foundation of Virginia's official statement, released this week, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding its consideration of ending regulations that protect the ethical standards and consciences of medical professionals. HHS is seeking public comments on the proposed rollback through today. For information on how to e-mail HHS, click here. 

Official Statement By The Family Foundation of Virginia to the Department of Health and Human Services Regarding Medical Professionals Conscience Protection Regulations

The Family Foundation of Virginia, the Commonwealth's oldest and largest pro-family advocacy organization, urges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to leave in place the current regulations protecting the conscience rights of health care workers. These regulations are needed due to protect the conscience rights of America's health care workers from increased efforts to force these care givers to violate their personal ethics. The area of discrimination that has increased the most involves the issue of the sanctity of human life. 

Examples of this assault include national medical organizations that oppose conscience rights in the area of abortion. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) issued certification requirements last year that could lead to discrimination against obstetricians or gynecologists because they tie their certification requirements to pro-abortion principles adapted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). If an obstetrician or gynecologist disagrees with ACOG's ethical stance, he or she could face decertification by ABOG. In other words, a highly skilled health care worker could lose their ability to treat patients simply because of their ethical stance against abortion. Another example involves medical organizations that would force pharmacists to dispense drugs, such as emergency contraception, that they find unethical because the drug can lead to the destruction of a human embryo by preventing implantation. 

Otherwise qualified health care workers should not be treated as second-class citizens simply because of their personal ethics. Health care professionals should not be forced to violate their consciences simply to fulfill the politically motivated demands of others. Therefore, we urge you to keep these protections in place.

Bolling: It's About Leading The State

Today, at his third annual bloggers conference, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling declared in no uncertain terms the theme in this fall's statewide elections:

"It's not about Bob McDonnell, it's not about Bill Bolling, it's not about Jeff Frederick or our attorney general candidates. It's about leading the state."

He followed that with the equally declarative:

"If we (Republicans) lose, to be honest, it'll be another decade before a Republican wins another statewide race. We will be blue. It'll be hard to argue against that. ...

"If we can't unite and get excited about this campaign we'll be a minority party for a long time."

He said that while it is understandable some Republicans and conservative activists may find recent elections discouraging, it is no reason to disengage given the stakes this fall. He drew stark marks of distinction between his ticket's opponents, who favor such extreme issues as card check but oppose the exploration of energy off of Virginia's shores, and who are beholden to big labor union bosses who announced this week they are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into negative ads against Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bob McDonnell — effective immediately. 

More tomorrow.

BREAKING NEWS: Vermont Makes Four

Vermont's legislature today overrode Governor Jim Douglas' veto of its same-sex "marriage" bill, making it law (New York Times).It is the fourth state to legalize same-sex "marriage" but the first to do so through the legislative process. State courts in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa mandated the "law" in those states, but more may be on the way in New England as per another article in the Times.

More Delay In Virginia's Only Elementary Charter School

Since Virginia has so few charter schools, it was heartening to see the Richmond City School Board, after much political back-and-forth and demagoguery, approve the Patrick Henry Elementary School of Science and Arts. Even then it took three attempts to get a contract signed by the board and the Patrick Henry Initiative, the first two containing set-ups for failure by opponents within the school administration (who developed the contracts). After a reasonable contract was developed by board member Keith West, offered by the board and accepted by PHI, there was good reason for a semblance of optimism among education reformers. The sooner it gets started and, hopefully, is a success, the sooner more charter schools might emerge and, perhaps, finally, the General Assembly will loosen its limitations and obstacles to starting more such education options. It is not a point of Virginia pride that, after years of successful charter schools around the country, this is Virginia's first elementary charter school.

Alas, word came down Friday that PHI will need another year to get ready to open (see Richmond Times-Dispatch, here). The wrangling over the contract set its timeline too far back and it was concerned about rushing to open rather than preparing to educate properly. The due dilligence is welcome, but it doesn't soften the blow of expectations.

We continue to wish PHI the best of luck. We look forward to its success and hope it will become a beacon of emulation across Virginia.

Then Why Go To Church? Episcopals In Disarray

There's an expression in basketball about players who put in practically unnoticed, but incredibly effective performances — as in, "he scored a quiet 20 points." Across the country last week a story made headlines, but not in proportion to its significance or even the buzz at the grassroots level. It had nothing to do with the socialization of our economy through ongoing bailouts of failed industries, nothing to do with politics or the peaceful transition of power. But it quietly was the story. It is about a church schism, an activity which went out of vogue about 500 years ago. Still, this was about as telegraphed as a cross-court pass by point guard who fails first to look away his teammate's defender.

The schism is the break-up of the American Episcopal Church, which is in communion with the Church of England. Traditional dioceses and individual parishes, including 21 in Virginia, had separated under the auspices of a provincial arm of the more orthodox Nigerian Anglicans and other African dioceses. Now, they and some Canadian parishes, are poised to form their own authority, the Anglican Church in North America (see AP article here), with their own bishops. 

Although the Mainstream Media portrays this as "conservatives leaving the church," and although it is the "conservatives" who are doing the physical separation, this, rather, is the classic, "We didn't leave them, they left us," syndrome, for the Episcopal Church for decades has drifted irreproachably into nothingness. Despite its creep into irrelevancy by condoning  homosexuality and other doctrines only recently considered heretical, the "conservatives" gave the Episcopal Church every chance at reconciliation. But the ordination of an openly homosexual bishop living with his "partner" was the last straw.      

What makes this all the more relevant to Virginia is that the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia (or the remnant thereof) is the successor to the Anglican Church set up by the  Jamestown colonists. The Rev. Robert Hunt, the chaplain of the colony, would not recognize his church today. With good reason — and it's not just about openly homosexual clergy, flaunting the Word of God. That is only a symptom of the problem; the problem being irrelevency through its moral, scriptural and theological relativity. 

This is what one of the Virginia diocese's most respected leaders, the Rev. Canon Robert G. Hetherington, the retired rector of historic St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond (which sits across the street from the capitol, known as the "Cathedral of the Confederacy"), told the Richmond Times-Dispatch last week (see article here; read the reader post after the article by an orthodox Episcopal priest):

In my view, the great thing about the Episcopal Church is we're not a doctrinal church. You're not a member based on some narrow set of beliefs. It's a place where divergent views can be expressed and held and you're still part of the same body. (Emphasis added.)

So, exactly why did this man get ordained? Does he not think it matters that a body of faith believe in something? Is it okay for Episcopals to accept into their church people who do not believe Jesus was the Christ, but rather a really cool dude who told some really impressive parables? It cannot be a body of Christ. For what is a church if not a body that shares a foundational understanding, a common belief  and an accepted faith? Otherwise, the Rev. Canon Hetherington simply is running a community center — come join the club and socialize, ladies and gents!

There are plenty of social and networking organizations and clubs, many of which also do good work in their communities. You don't have to believe in a doctrine to join them, only a desire to make friends, have fun and perform a perfunctory community service project (although some probably have more adherence to principles than, apparently, the Episcopal leadership). In other words, why go to church if not for doctrine? How can you be in communion with each other if there is no commonality, a sense of spiritual purpose?  It was the Church of England, after all, which gave us the Book of Common Prayer.

By definition, it is impossible to worship together with no unifying purpose or reason. Now, however, Anglicans of the Church of North America have both purpose and reason — and they can still socialize before and after each service on Sunday.