Norma McCorvey files motion to vacate her Roe v. Wade decision
Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion across the U.S., filed a motion this morning in Dallas to reopen and overturn her case.

"My case was wrongfully decided and has caused great harm to the women and children of our nation," she says in her affidavit. "I have an interest in stopping that harm and I have an interest in disclosing the facts which expose the weakness of the underlying assumptions which led to that incorrect decision."

McCorvey, who became a prolife Christian in the mid-1990s, is backed by the Texas Justice Foundation. The foundation will argue for reopening the case on the basis of Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows relief from a judgment on the basis of mistakes, newly discovered evidence, fraud, and other reasons. According to a press release, lead attorney Allan E. Parker Jr. plans to emphasize "changed facts and law," saying that new evidence attests to "the devastating emotional, physical, and psychological trauma of abortion," that since 1973 there has been "an explosion of scientific evidence on human life conclusively answers the question that life begins at conception," and that state law in Texas and elsewhere has put the burden of responsibility for unwanted children on the state instead of the mother.

"The facts and law now demonstrate that it is no longer just or equitable for Roe to have prospective application," says the motion, which concludes with a prayer in legalese.

Since the announcement was just made this morning, there is so far little coverage or reaction. In the meantime, the Texas Justice Foundation's Operation Outcry site has many legal documents and other materials.

Presbytery boots Stephen Van Kuiken for same-sex ceremony
In April, the Cincinnati Presbytery's judicial commission gave Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church pastor Stephen Van Kuiken a slap on the wrist for conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony and told him not to do it again. Who would have thought that they actually meant it?

Yesterday, four weeks after Van Kuiken performed yet another ceremony, the Cincinnati Presbytery formally renounced him, stripping him of both his pastorate and church membership.

"I just think it was unavoidable," presbytery delegate Howard Smith told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "His actions made the action necessary by the Presbytery unless they want to totally disregard the (church) constitution."

Bruce Archibald, chair of the presbytery's committee on ministry, told the presbytery before the vote that Van Kuiken's removal was a question of duty, not damning. "You are not stripping him of his ordination," he said, according to The Presbyterian Outlook. Van Kuiken, he said, is an "honest and good man, who by his own decisions has decided to take a path of defiance. It is his decision. It is not your decision."

"I am grieving right now. And part of this grieving is over the forced separation from my congregation," Van Kuiken said after the 119-45 vote. "I love them, and my heart will always be with them."

He says he'll continue to fight for same-sex marriage in the denomination, and will continue his appeal of the April decision. But now he'll be doing that from outside the pulpit, and from outside the church.

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Wesley at 300:

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  • Salvation on horseback | How John Wesley helped create the modern world (Roy Hattersley, The Wall Street Journal)

  • The party faithful | Roy Hattersley reflects on the legacy of John Wesley, 18th-century preacher, founder of Methodism, passionate advocate of respectability and an architect of modern British politics (The Guardian, London)

  • Methodists to consider unity with Anglicans | If the covenant is agreed by the Methodists and by the Church of England, a commission will be set up by both Churches to implement it, reporting back in 2005 (The Times, London)

  • Methodists mark tricentennial of Wesley's birth (The Toledo Blade)

  • Visit from Wesley warms hearts | Columbia resident Howard Burnham, a native of England, transformed himself Sunday into John Wesley, the founder of Methodism (The State, Columbia, S.C.)

  • Earlier: Wesley at 300 | Anniversary of founder's birth gives Methodists cause to reflect (The Dallas Morning News)

  • Earlier still: The Wesleys | Their struggle for perfection strained their relationship and sparked revival on two continents (Christian History, Issue 69)

  • Also: The Shocking Truth About John Wesley | A visit to the cradle of Methodism (John D. Spalding, Books & Culture, March/April 2003)

Denominational meetings:

Billy Graham:

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Missions and ministry:

  • New pub serves spirits with the Spirit | This Bud's for God: So say bartenders at Graces, a new downtown pub whose spirits move you in the name of Christian evangelism (The Grand Rapids Press, Mich.)

  • God tunes into the digital age | In Australia's new northern bible belt, happiness is a warm transmitter (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Evangelism is accomplished through service to others | Paint sprayer in hand, Craig Shaw evangelized to the Mexican people in his own way (Shreveport Times, La.)

  • Preacher aims for the funny bone | Pour yourself another cup of coffee and let me introduce you to a Charlotte native who has found her home in a Manhattan pulpit on Sunday morning. And in smoky comedy clubs on Saturday night. (Ken Garfield, The Charlotte Observer)

  • The Missionaries | This is the story of the best and the worst in the history Europe's contact with the rest of the world (BBC Radio 4 | Transcript of Program 1: Ghana)

  • Doctrine trims ranks of Baptist missionaries | Forty-three Southern Baptist missionaries lost their jobs in May because they refused to sign a controversial faith statement that opposes women pastors and says wives should "graciously submit" to the servant leadership of their husbands (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

  • Kids do mission work—at home | Youth Force Clermont rejects the notion that mission trips and work projects had to be done in impoverished foreign countries or the back hills of Appalachia (The Orlando Sentinel)

  • 'We love Jesus, how about you?' | Promise Keepers zestfully discuss faith and family (Peoria Journal-Star, Ill.)

Cults and other religions:

Religious strife in India:

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  • Bishops criticize Jaya's comments against the Pope | Calling it ''disdainful'' the comments of the RSS and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa against Pope John Paul II, the Catholic bishops today said Pope's observations on the anti-conversion laws did not amount to interference in the country's internal affairs but only reflected his commitment to the cause of humanity and the dignity of every human being (UNI)

Phoenix bishop arrested in fatal hit-and-run:

Church abuse scandal:

Anglican church debates gay bishops:

  • Confirmation would deepen divisions, likely cause rupture | The confirmation of Canon Robinson would in effect change church teaching (James M. Stanton, The Dallas Morning News)

  • My only call is to share the good news of Jesus Christ | Everyone seems to be focusing on how many people may leave the Episcopal Church over my selection. I want to focus on how many people may come to the church because of this (V. Gene Robinson, The Dallas Morning News)

  • Episcopalians risk schism | Diocese elects an openly gay man as bishop, but will it be approved? (Michael J. McManus, The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)

  • Gay communion | Can the worldwide Anglican church survive the developing schism over whether it should accept the ordination of homosexual clergy? (Stephen Bates, The Guardian, London)

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More on sexual ethics:

  • U.S. warns AIDS group on funding | CDC cites S.F. programs that 'appear to encourage' sex (The Washington Post)

  • Gay sacking right 'unlawful' | Legislation allowing religious employers to sack gay and lesbian staff may be unlawful and should not be passed into law without further consultation and debate in the House of Commons, a powerful committee of MPs and peers warned yesterday (The Guardian, London)

  • Gay Canadians' quest for marriage seems near victory | Dozens of gay and lesbian couples have already rushed to municipal buildings in Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton to marry without waiting for a decision by Justice Minister Martin Cauchon on whether he will appeal the Ontario court decision to the Supreme Court (The New York Times)

  • Gay is the new black | The gay rights issue has been a ticking timebomb for the Bush government. And now it looks about to explode (Gary Younge, The Guardian, London)

  • Sodom and Gomorrah: the true story | It's about rape, not homosexuality (The Times, London)

  • The love that is not a sin | The catechism of the Catholic Church says that homosexuality can under no circumstances be approved. In extracts from the new book by the Dominican priest Gareth Moore, the church's arguments are dismissed (The Times, London)

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