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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Lent Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * South Carolina * Theology Anthropology Christology Soteriology
+ Final Communiqué from the Primates 2016 Gathering (January 15, 2016 at 10:10 am)
+ Statement from the Anglican Primates Gathering of 2016 (January 14, 2016 at 11:16 am)
+ The Press Conference after the Primates Gathering (January 16, 2016 at 4:09 pm)
+ GAFCON statement on the 2016 Primates Gathering (January 14, 2016 at 10:00 am)
+ Archbishop Stanley Ntagali’s Update on the Primates Gathering in Canterbury (January 14, 2016 at 8:21 am)
+ CoU: Hundreds Show Support for Archbishop Stanley Ntagali’s Stand in Canterbury [Statement] (January 19, 2016 at 3:52 pm)
Responses and Comment
+ Statement of the Archbishop of Nigeria on the Canterbury primates gathering (February 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm)
+ [ACI - Canada] Response to the Meeting of Primates in Canterbury, January 2016 (January 26, 2016 at 11:26 am)
+ A Statement on ACNA Leader Foley Beach’s Participation at the 2016 Primates Gathering (January 25, 2016 at 10:29 am)
+ Reform Statement on the Primates Gathering (January 24, 2016 at 10:17 pm)
+ Anne Kennedy: Three Thoughts About the Anglican Primates Meeting (January 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm)
+ Church of Ireland begins facilitated conversations on sexual immorality (January 22, 2016 at 7:49 am)
+ Bp Mouneer Anis: A Personal Reflection on the 2016 Primates’ Meeting (January 22, 2016 at 7:38 am)
+ FIFNA’s Statement on the Primate’s Communique (January 22, 2016 at 7:36 am)
+ Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on the Canterbury primates communique (January 19, 2016 at 5:19 pm)
All posts for category Primates Gathering in Canterbury 2016
Prior key posts may be found here
The resolution [passed at the recnet diocesan Convention] did not change the bishop's ruling, nor did it ask him to. But it does explain that "many in our diocese believe that LGBTQ members are painfully excluded from the full sacramental ministry of the Episcopal Church in our diocese," while also urging unity.
Bauerschmidt said in a statement to The Tennessean that he appreciated the support.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
The tables are finally turning. The world may look absolutely ghastly if your metric is the stock market, but it is much the same or slightly better if you are at the coal face.
The MSCI index of world equities has fallen almost 20pc since its all-time high in May of 2015, implying a $14 trillion loss of paper wealth. Yet the world economy has carried on at more or less the same anemic pace, and the OECD's global leading indicators show no sign that it is suddenly rolling over now.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Globalization * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Currency Markets Euro European Central Bank Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance Stock Market The U.S. Government Federal Reserve Energy, Natural Resources Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Asia China Europe * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
He said it was a statement of love and fellowship that steadfastly refuses to exclude American Anglicans, including those who are LGBT, while at the same time reaffirming ‘what cannot be but obvious to most people’ – that the majority of the Communion’s member Churches have not reached the point where they can go along with TEC’s position.
“The Primates’ ‘consequences’ should not, I believe, be seen as punitive, but as a reflection of the current state of play in the Communion with respect to marriage equality,” he said.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
Consider these findings from two of the largest surveys of U.S. congregations:
• In just the last five years, the percentage of mainline Protestant congregations where more than one-fifth are ages 18 to 35 has decreased dramatically. In 2010, some 4.8 percent of mainline congregations reported having that large a proportion of young adults in the pews; by 2015, just 1.3 percent reported that high a percentage, according to initial findings from the 2015 Faith Communities Today (FACT) survey.
• Children made up just 16 percent of regular attenders in mainline Protestant congregations, compared to an average of 29 percent in other Christian traditions, according to a new analysis of the 2012 wave of the National Congregations Study (NCS).
• Mainline Protestants recorded a nearly 30 percent decline – from 24 percent in 1998 to 17 percent in 2012 – in the proportion of its members filling U.S. pews, the NCS study found.
• In the 2005 FACT survey, a little more than half of mainline churches said fewer than 100 people on average were at weekend worship; in 2015, nearly two-thirds attracted less than 100 worshippers. Sociologist David Roozen, a FACT study director, reported the findings at the annual meeting of the Religious Research Association.
How serious are the numbers?
“It might already be beyond that point” where a significant recovery is possible, said Duke University sociologist Mark Chaves, NCS director and author of “American Religion: Contemporary Trends.”
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Children History Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sociology * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Methodist Pentecostal * Theology
Two-thirds of the 37 leaders of the Communion voted for the censorship, suspending the Episcopal Church from voting and decision-making for the next three years.
While the decision is said to have derived from the Episcopal Church’s decision in July of last year to allow its priests to perform same-sex marriages, Father Joe Mikel, priest at St. Timothy Episcopal Church in Chehalis, agrees with the Episcopal Church’s acceptance.
“If you’re gay, a lesbian, transgender human being, do I throw you on the ash heap of life?” Mikel asked. “Are they human beings? Do they need love? Do they long for inclusion and forgiveness … just like me?”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Primates Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Economics, Politics Politics in General * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Secondly, what’s it for? This bit’s easy. For me, the purpose of R&R is to contribute to turning around the decades-long decline in the Church: a decline which we all know is there, on almost any measure we choose to look at – but also a decline which we know can be reversed, because in many places there are hopeful signs of how it can be done. R&R can only be a contribution, because the Church exists in the parishes, not in Synods or Councils. But Synods and Councils can contribute – and they can help work towards a hopeful future, in which we once again have a growing Church, with more people coming to faith, with more people deepening their faith and living Christian lives, and the Church doing more good for this country.
Thirdly, why now? If the question is “why not before now?”, I can’t answer that. If it’s “why do we have to do it now?”, that’s because our Church is shrinking fast, and it could start diminishing faster at any moment without action. Only the Church of England has a national mission to be a Church for everyone, in every community. Other denominations have shrunk and withdrawn from great swathes of the country.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
Theologically, we need to start by accepting first that we live out what we are facing in the world, in every area of our lives, as fallen human beings in a fallen world. As Christians, I believe profoundly we must recapture and rename the theology of the Fall. The effect of the Fall is that we are consumed by fear of the other, and we cannot name things well. In Genesis chapter 1, Adam and Eve, before the Fall, name everything. And they are not afraid of each other. By the time they fall, they are incapable of seeing each other transparently.
We need, therefore, to name and develop truth, as part of the theological narrative of reconciliation, not merely to condemn violence. I’m often asked, if there’s some terrible event, to say something in 140 characters on Twitter or a couple of sentences on Facebook that adequately and completely describes a bomb explosion that has killed 200 people. It’s absurd. How do we name truth? Condemning violence by itself is not good enough; there must be something positive that we can say.
Read it all.
Between 1978 and 1995, Kaczynski placed or mailed 16 bombs that killed three people and injured 23 others, according to authorities.
In 1995, before he was identified as the Unabomber, he demanded newspapers to publish a long manuscript he had written, saying the killings would continue otherwise. Both the New York Times and Washington Post published the 35,000-word manifesto later that year at the recommendation of the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI.
A professor of philosophy, Patrik recognized familiar sounding ideas in the manuscript from letters her husband David Kaczynski had received from his older brother Ted, including a 23-page essay in which he raged against the modern world. In the essay, Ted wrote phrases such as, "Technology has already made it impossible for us to live as physically independent beings."
Read it all (or watch the video which is recommended).
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children Marriage & Family Psychology Mental Illness * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Theodicy
O God, the blessed assurance of all who trust in thee: We give thee thanks for thy servant Fanny Crosby, who, though blind from infancy, beheld thy glory with great clarity of vision and spent her life giving voice to thy people’s heartfelt praise; and we pray that we, inspired by her words and example, may rejoice to sing of thy love, praising our Savior all the day long; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God in perfect harmony, now and for ever. Amen
so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
If they are, it might be supposed that their error is very harmless: men fail so often to repent their real sins that the occasional repentance of an imaginary sin might appear almost desirable. But what actually happens (I have watched it happening) to the youthful national penitent is a little more complicated than that. England is not a natural agent, but a civil society. When we speak of England's actions we mean the actions of the British government. The young man who is called upon to repent of England's foreign policy is really being called upon to repent the acts of his neighbor; for a foreign secretary or a cabinet minister is certainly a neighbor. And repentance presupposes condemnation. The first and fatal charm of national repentance is, therefore, the encouragement it gives us to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the congenial one of bewailing-but, first, of denouncing-the conduct of others.
--C.S. Lewis, "Dangers of national repentance"
"Confess your faults one to another" (Jas. 5:16). He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. This pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. so we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
But it is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; He wants you alone. "My son, give me thine heart" (Prov. 23:26). God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation through truth. You can hide nothing from God. The mask you wear before men will do you no good before Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to on lying to yourself and your brothers, as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner. Thank God for that; He loves the sinner but He hates sin.
Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
My Beloved in the Lord,
MEETING OF PRIMATES OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION WITH THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, THE MOST REV’D AND RT HON. JUSTIN WELBY, MONDAY 11 – FRIDAY 15 JANUARY, 2016
Grace and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We thank God for His inestimable grace that strengthens us in His service. To Him be the glory.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev’d and Rt Hon. Justin Welby, invited all the Primates of the Anglican Communion to a meeting in Canterbury to discuss issues affecting our Communion. After some regional and sub-regional consultations with the Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON) and the Global South Groups, it was decided that we should accept the invitation for whatever it was worth, irrespective of the fact that some of our provinces are in impaired relationship with The Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) in particular, and other churches that are following their footsteps.
It has been the collective resolution of the GAFCON Group for several years that we shall not participate in any gathering in the Anglican Communion to which TEC and The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) were invited, until they repented of their erroneous doctrinal and theological postures and practices. However, following the almost unanimous resolution of the GAFCON and the Global South Groups, we decided the invitation.
Attached is the statement of the meeting regarding TEC.
The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) was not focused on because it claimed that it has not altered its Marriage Canon. However, we know that the Anglican Church of Canada, Scotland, Wales, Brazil and New Zealand are on the way to toeing the footsteps of TEC. We are yet to be convinced that the restrictions imposed on TEC will be implemented. The bottom line, therefore, is that nothing has changed.
That is the kind of thing that is said by the youngest and least experienced. In fact, as I have said, TEC won’t repent. They are too far turned over to their reprobate thinking. Other leaders, usually the battle hardened older leaders who have seen how far things have gone are saying, “Of course they won’t repent, but now, in three years’ time, we will have a much larger and firmer coalition to hold the line as TEC has to walk apart.”
Many things are still unfolding from the Canterbury meeting. People will offer lots of spin, but I am convinced that something profound was offered to the future of the Anglican way, the chance for the institution to speak the truth.
The other positive thing is that the Archbishops of several Provinces that have not been in GAFCON have indicated that they want to join now. There will be a process for the Province to make that move, but there is no question in my mind that they will follow through. Even better, there will be others as well...
Read it all
During his planned comments, Curry elaborated on two mission priorities established at the church’s General Convention this past summer: evangelism and racial reconciliation.
“The Presiding Bishop needs to be the Chief Evangelism Officer,” Curry trumpeted, declaring a commitment “to what I call the Jesus Movement – the way of God’s love in this world.”
The bishop lamented that “extremism is happening in Judaism, Christianity and Islam” and that a religious center “is very quiet and intimidated.”
Curry pointed to Pope Francis as an exemplar of the “Jesus Movement.”
“He wouldn’t use the world inclusion, but that’s what he’s doing,” Curry determined.
Stating of religion, “If it’s not about love, it’s not about God – period,” Curry elaborated that the “love of God is about self-sacrifice of self-interest for the good of others.” The Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop defined the way of evangelism as about “drawing towards the center – not about increasing Episcopal market share.”
“I’m in this business because we’re going to learn to live together – and the Episcopal Church will lead the way as part of the Jesus movement.”...
Read it all
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--Augustine, The City of God 14.13
The "Psalm 22 project" follows on from the Church of England's "Lord's Prayer" campaign which was banned by cinemas before Christmas and promotes the justpray.uk website.
The new justpray.uk campaign will feature short teaser films over the next five weeks concluding with the launch of a two minute film on Easter Sunday which casts the five main characters in their own interpretation of a scene from the Passion of Christ. The film is based on Psalm 22 which includes the words "my God, my G
Read it all.
...the story in New Hampshire was how Rubio’s opponents, especially those in the establishment, hit the one-term U.S. senator repeatedly over his lack of experience.
“I don’t think South Carolina will decide anything for Republicans,” Vinson said. “It’s more of a race whether it salvages Rubio or makes those concerns linger longer.”
Read it all.
The victors were an ageing socialist who had almost zero name recognition a year ago and America’s most famous reality television host. The scale of Bernie Sanders’ and Donald Trump’s victories were breathtaking.
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When Stephanie visited a nearby Catholic church, hoping to get connected, she couldn't help but notice that most of the parishioners seemed affluent. They dressed nicely, and she felt that her t-shirt from Goodwill, jeans, and tattoos made her conspicuous. She felt like if she wanted to go back, she needed to buy new clothes, but she didn't want to spend the money to do that. No one seemed to smoke, either, so she was the only one who needed to step out during the two-hour Bible study to take a smoke break, which also made her feel awkward.
When she tried bringing her children to Mass, there was no childcare available, and she felt self-conscious about and distracted by their poor behavior in church. As a single parent, it was doubly difficult to get them to behave because there was just one of her and two of them. There was a class her son could attend, but it wasn't the kind of thing you were just supposed to walk into. There were fees and paperwork, so it didn't feel like the kind of place she could just drop her son off, even though the teacher was kind and accommodating when Stephanie inquired.
Even social events meant to foster parish community often seemed to have a cost attached. While that's understandable, it meant attending Lenten fish fries and similar events entailed somewhat of a financial sacrifice for her.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Young Adults * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
“The slide [from the meeting] also showed that COGA is predicting membership losses of 100,000 for both 2015 and 2016,” reported The Layman.
PCUSA’s Office of the General Assembly and Presbyterian Mission Agency Board Executive Committee held a meeting last Wednesday when projected losses were discussed, according to a recent account by the conservative Presbyterian publication The Layman.
Read it all from the Christian Post.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Presbyterian * Theology
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Psychology Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Anglican primates voted last month in Canterbury, England, to remove the Episcopal Church from votes on doctrine and to ban it from representing the communion in ambassadorial relationships for three years.
In an appearance at the National Press Club on Monday (Feb. 8), Curry said the decision was a “very specific, almost surgical approach” that allowed both sides to express their differences and yet find a way to remain together.
“There was clarity on our part, both about who we are as a church and about our love and commitment to the communion and there was clarity on their part that they disagreed with us,” he said. “But they didn’t vote us off the island.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Primates Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 Episcopal Church (TEC) * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
On reflection I believe my words were not as clear as they could have been and I welcome this opportunity to provide further clarity.
Almost three years ago a civil claim was made, raising allegations of abuse by George Bell, the former Bishop of Chichester.
In response to the claim independent legal and medical reports were commissioned and duly considered. The evidence available was interrogated and evaluated. This led to a decision to settle the claim and to offer a formal apology to the survivor. This decision was taken on the balance of probabilities - the legal test applicable in civil claims.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture Sexuality Violence * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General City Government * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam
Nearly 50 years after the same region of Nigeria seceded, sparking a devastating civil war, separatists are once again threatening the fragile national unity of Africa’s most populous country. Back in 1967, the federal government deployed a quarter million troops to quash the secessionist movement, while also imposing a land and sea blockade. Over a million civilians died in the nearly three years of fighting that followed, mostly from starvation.
Why is the southeast once again considering secession when the region’s last attempt resulted in such horrendous suffering?
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Violence * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Speaking to the Financial Times, the founder of the eponymous financial information group criticised the quality of the debate in the presidential race. He said that he was “looking at all the options” when asked whether he was considering putting his name forward.
“I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” Mr Bloomberg said in an interview, before adding that the US public deserved “a lot better”.
Read it all.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Now the country has one of the fastest-growing Christian populations in the world, according to the World Christian Database, which tracks global trends in Christianity.
Bishwa Mani Pokharel, news chief at Nepal's Nagarik newspaper, pulls out copies of the census to show the statistical gallop of Christianity across Nepal. It listed no Christians in 1951 and just 458 in 1961. By 2001, there were nearly 102,000. A decade later that number had more than tripled to more than 375,000. Pokharel and others think the increase is really much higher but inaccurately reported.
"Before, when the Christians had a party, they slaughtered a chicken. Now, they slaughter a goat," says Pokharel, who has been reporting on the conversions. That extra meat, he explains, is necessary to feed all of the new people who've joined the guest list.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Asia Nepal
St. Matthias Anglican Church on Parkdale Avenue is closing as declining attendance numbers are forcing parishioners to join All Saints' Anglican Church in Westboro.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada
If sex is just a matter of physical pleasure, then the freedom to enjoy it becomes the default moral position. Any further question concerns the use to which this pleasure is put. Such is implied by Foucault’s title, The Use of Pleasure. This way of seeing things feeds into two other orthodoxies of our time. My pleasures are mine, and if you are forbidding them you are also oppressing me. Hence sexual liberation is not just a release but a duty, and by letting it all hang out I am not just defying the bourgeois order but casting a blow for freedom everywhere. Self-gratification acquires the glamor and the moral kudos of a heroic struggle. For the “me” generation, no way of acquiring a moral cause can be more gratifying. You become totally virtuous by being totally selfish.
Furthermore, it becomes easier to weigh sex in the cost–benefit balance. As society retreats from the vestigial experience of the sacred and the forbidden, we easily imagine that sex has nothing especially to do with love, and that it has lost its sacramental aura. We then try to reconstruct sexual morality in utilitarian terms. Pleasures can be weighed in terms of their intensity and duration, and if there is no more to sex than pleasure we can form a clear and decidable distinction between “good sex” and “bad sex,” qualified only by the principle of consent. It is in these terms that the ethos of sexual liberation is now expressed, with “good sex” being esteemed as the natural outcome of a truly liberated and self-expressing desire—the desire being precisely a desire for pleasure.
If we see sex in that way, as the release of the real me inside, the reward of which is pleasure, then the sexual revolution does not lead to the “withering away of the state,” such as the Marxists foretold. It leads to the withering away of society.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Marriage & Family Psychology Science & Technology Sexuality * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
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