Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Mustang, Okla., school board voted Monday (April 14) to adopt a Bible course developed by Steve Green, clearing the way for the Hobby Lobby president, whose suit against the Affordable Care Act is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, to enter another charged arena at the borderline of church and state.

The board, whose district is practically in Hobby Lobby’s Oklahoma City backyard, agreed to beta-test the first year of the Museum of the Bible Curriculum, an ambitious four-year public school elective on the narrative, history and impact of the Good Book.

For at least the first semester of the 2014-15 year, Mustang alone will employ the program, said Jerry Pattengale, head of the Green Scholars Initiative, which is overseeing its development. In September 2016, he hopes to place it in at least 100 high schools; by the following year, “thousands.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksChildrenEducationReligion & Culture* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It starts with a reading from John's gospel and is deeply moving--watch it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilySports

1 Comments
Posted April 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Around 100 girls are thought to have been abducted in an attack on a school in north-east Nigeria, officials say.

Gunmen reportedly arrived at the school in Chibok, Borno state, late last night, and ordered the hostel's teenage residents on to lorries.

The attackers are believed to be from the Islamist group, Boko Haram, whose militants frequently target schools.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 15, 2014 at 3:41 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was the two whales,
swimming each an inch
below the surface of my eight-year-old
mind that confused me,
left me standing before the Sunday School class
mute in my corduroy pants,
hair as stiff and slicked as the oil-spill
collected in the rushes along the beach,
trying to remember
what God sent a marionette
to Nineveh and whether the message
was “repent” or “always tell the truth.”

Read it all and consider reading his "Elegy for Trains" which contains not only this poem but many others--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBooksChildrenPoetry & Literature* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted April 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"The Drop Box" - Documentary Trailer from Arbella Studios on Vimeo.



Worth every second of the three minutes of your time it takes to watch--touching, heart-rending, and encouraging--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaSouth Korea* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted April 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jeff Bauman knows the exact moment his life was changed forever. It was the moment he looked Boston Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the face.

“He just seemed out of place,” said Bauman in his most recent interview with Brian Williams. “Everybody there was having fun, you know, clapping, taking pictures, and he was just standing there with a backpack ... he just looked really odd. So I looked at him and I stared at him.”

And then, in an instant: a flash, and what sounded like a pop, and he was lying flat on his back.

Watch and/or read it all from NBC.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychologyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When LaTisha Styles graduated from Kennesaw State University in Georgia in 2006 she had $35,000 of student debt. This obligation would have been easy to discharge if her Spanish degree had helped her land a well-paid job. But there is no shortage of Spanish-speakers in a nation that borders Latin America. So Ms Styles found herself working in a clothes shop and a fast-food restaurant for no more than $11 an hour.

Frustrated, she took the gutsy decision to go back to the same college and study something more pragmatic. She majored in finance, and now has a good job at an investment consulting firm. Her debt has swollen to $65,000, but she will have little trouble paying it off.

As Ms Styles’s story shows, there is no simple answer to the question “Is college worth it?” Some degrees pay for themselves; others don’t. American schoolkids pondering whether to take on huge student loans are constantly told that college is the gateway to the middle class. The truth is more nuanced, as Barack Obama hinted when he said in January that “folks can make a lot more” by learning a trade “than they might with an art history degree”. An angry art history professor forced him to apologise, but he was right.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Once upon a time, we pasted photos of our babies and kids into scrapbooks. The scrapbook has increasingly moved online – in many cases onto social media sites such as Facebook – and the ease of filling up virtual page after virtual page is hard to overstate. This is not without consequences, of course.

These days, parents need to develop a strategy – either through forethought or facts on the ground – in order to use social media services such as Facebook as a way to document and share the moments of their kids' lives. Err too far toward conservatism, and you lose a sense of community (and irritate the grandparents). Err too far in the other way, and some of your friends may view you as the equivalent of a polluter, clogging up their news feed with baby photo after baby photo.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMarriage & Family* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Whether a lesson be mastered in obedience to conscience, or from a dread of punishment, from filial affection, or determination to beat a rival, is a question of little moment, I grant, in reference to the stock of knowledge acquired, but of incalculable consequence when asked in reference to the bearing upon moral character. The zeal to make scholars, should, in the minds of Christians at least, be tempered by the knowledge that it may repress a zeal for better things. The head should not be furnished at the expense of the heart. Surely, at most, it is exchanging fine gold for silver, when the culture of gracious affections and holy principle is neglected for any attainments of intellect, however brilliant or varied. What Christian parent, would wish his son to be a linguist or a mathematician, of the richest acquirements or the deepest science, if he must become so by a process, in which the improvement of his religious capabilities would be surrendered, or his mind accustomed to motives not recognised in the pure and self-denying discipline of the Gospel. Not that such discipline is unfriendly to intellectual superiority; on the contrary, the incentives to attain it, will be enduring, and consequently efficient, in proportion to their purity. The highest allurements to the cultivation of our rational nature, are peculiar to Christianity. Hence, literature and science have won their highest honors in the productions of minds most deeply imbued with its spirit. The effect, however, of exclusively Christian discipline in a seminary of learning, when fairly stated, is not so much to produce one or two prodigies, as to increase the average quantum of industry; to raise the standard of proficiency among the many of moderate abilities, rather than to multiply the opportunities of distinction for the gifted few.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryAdult Education* Culture-WatchChildrenEducation* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[My husband and I]...both work in higher education and run in circles that are highly educated and liberal. In our community, intellect is the only viable form of religion, and the fact that I’m a Christian calls into question my intellectual grit. When my colleagues find out, they are hard-pressed to reconcile the bright, open woman they see before them with the stereotypes they understand about evangelicals. You know the ones: judgmental, anti-intellectual, homophobic, which we are not.

We are the types of young adult Christians who love our faith, but who’ve moved slightly left of center. Just enough so that we have to keep our social and political views quiet in our faith communities. On the other hand, we have to tamp down the religious talk in our work and social communities. I am constantly negotiating how much of myself to share in either group.

Nothing embodies the tension I feel around integrating my identity into both these communities like Noelle’s first explorations with faith. She is extroverted and vocal in ways I am not brave enough to be. She is unselfconscious — completely unaware of the stereotypes that linger around conservative faith.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* Theology

3 Comments
Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Enjoy it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMusic* General Interest* International News & CommentaryEuropeAustria

0 Comments
Posted April 6, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A little boy, "Jesus", is walking carefully in his plimsolls across a sea of tables to save his diminutive disciples, who are grouped together in the prayer corner and unable to suppress their giggles at the re-enactment of the Biblical miracle. This is the surprising, if entertaining, religious scene I am met with when I stick my head around the corner of a classroom at St Matthew's Primary in Blackburn.

But the surprise is not so much the sight of a child walking on makeshift water. St Matthew's is, after all, a Church of England school, where the walls are adorned with crosses and religious drawings, and which regularly organises Christian activities, readings, prayers and songs. No, the surprise is that almost every child in the class is Muslim.

In fact, 97 per cent of the 265 pupils schooled in the 1980s-style building that is perched on a hill overlooking the Lancastrian city are from Muslim families. The head teacher, Julian Rogers, believes that the word of God should be spoken and Christian values and morals upheld at the school no matter what background the children are from. Indeed, during assemblies, his biblical stories hold his audience – of excited, intrigued and sometimes confused-looking pupils – captive.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted April 4, 2014 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Catholic primary school is to become a Church of England school because of falling numbers of Catholic pupils.

Sacred Heart RC Primary School in Lynwood Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, will become an Anglican academy, a spokesman for Blackburn Diocese said.

It will no longer come under the control of the council, and will be sponsored by the Cidari Trust, set up by the diocese to run academies.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



More than half of the 2.6 million Americans dispatched to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with physical or mental health problems stemming from their service, feel disconnected from civilian life and believe the government is failing to meet the needs of this generation’s veterans, according to a poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The long conflicts, which have required many troops to deploy multiple times and operate under an almost constant threat of attack, have exacted a far more widespread emotional toll than previously recognized by most government studies and independent assessments: One in two say they know a fellow service member who has attempted or committed suicide, and more than 1 million suffer from relationship problems and experience outbursts of anger — two key indicators of post-traumatic stress.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryIraq WarWar in Afghanistan

0 Comments
Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The response to your Facebook post has been staggering. Was it written on the fly or what?

In the last month, there were four instances where I was subtly or not subtly moved along. I was having lunch with a mother younger than I am who was recently bereaved. Her loss was 14 months ago. I said, "Before the one-year mark was up, did you have people telling you, hinting or saying to you that you should move on?" I asked other people who had lost children. I was hearing the same story. It just made me mad. I jotted off that Facebook post and have been completely astounded by the response—3,780,000 views and more than 10,000 comments.

Aren't most of the comments supportive?

Somebody wrote, "I want to print words around my neck that say, 'Please just read Kay Warren's Facebook post.'"

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologyMental IllnessReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"The main reason for the state to be involved with marriage is children," says Prof David Paton, an industrial economics lecturer at the University of Nottingham and a supporter of the Coalition for Marriage, a group arguing that traditional marriage is beneficial to society and would be undermined by a definitional change. "It seems reasonable for the state to treat the one type of relationship from which children can directly result in a different way to others, and this is the basis for marriage laws," says Paton.

Not all marriages will result in children, he concedes, and also suggests that issues such as pension rules or inheritance may require the state to recognise alternative relationships in different ways.

But the same-sex marriage law is not about this, he says. "It's about changing the very definition of marriage to encompass other types of relationships that are inherently different. That is both unnecessary and carries the risk of weakening the legal structure designed to encourage the attachment of children to their natural mother and father."

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPhilosophyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted March 26, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“There’s such a status thing here: ‘I went Georgetown. I want my kid to go to Georgetown or better.’ It’s such a rat race,” says Bowers, who has lived in McLean for 24 years. “Nobody is taking a step back and asking, ‘Is going to Princeton going to make me happier in the long run? Is this even right for my child?’ Because there are real consequences to living this way.”

Bowers knows it’s a high-stakes parenting arms race in McLean and communities like it. The obsession with grades and college résumés can overwhelm everything. She wants people to back off — and is trying to get them to, with film screenings, workshops, lectures and meetings with clergy and mental health professionals.

Many fellow parents think that disarming sounds good, in theory. The problem is, they’re reluctant to try it with their own kid.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & Family

1 Comments
Posted March 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What makes a family? Love and support, for sure. People who challenge you, who tell you life's brutal truths and then pick you up again.

And family shouldn't end at 18, though it does for children in state custody, often removed from their biological families due to abuse and neglect. For many, foster or institutional care ends at the doorstep to adulthood.

Out into the world they step, usually alone.

That might have happened to Isaiah, Christopher and Jacob Flood if not for a Summerville couple's calling to adopt kids who face the toughest road to finding permanent homes: foster teens with behavioral or learning challenges who have bounced from home to home, never knowing what forever means.

Read it all from the Faith and Values section of the local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* South Carolina* Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 23, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the earthquake also had quieter consequences that didn't make headlines. In the London Review of Books, Richard Lloyd Parry investigates a peculiar phenomenon revealed in the aftermath of the storm. His piece is called "Ghosts of the Tsunami."

RICHARD LLOYD PARRY: People reported neighbors - neighbors who died in the tsunami - appearing at their houses and coming and sitting down in puddles of water.

MARTIN: Parry has lived in Japan for 18 years and has known it to be a mostly secular culture. In global polls, Japan ranks as one of the least religious countries in the world.

PARRY: But there's a bit more to it than that. I mean I'd got used to seeing, in the homes of friends, these little altars you find to the family ancestors. And I'd always assumed they were nothing much more than a quaint piece of interior decoration. But I realized in following this story and returning to the tsunami zone, that actually the religion of the ancestors is alive and well and very strong.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan

0 Comments
Posted March 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the future, it seems, there will be only one “ism” — Individualism — and its rule will never end. As for religion, it shall decline; as for marriage, it shall be postponed; as for ideologies, they shall be rejected; as for patriotism, it shall be abandoned; as for strangers, they shall be distrusted. Only pot, selfies and Facebook will abide — and the greatest of these will probably be Facebook.

That’s the implication, at least, of what the polling industry keeps telling us about the rising American generation, the so-called millennials. (Full disclosure: I am not quite one of them, having entered the world in the penultimate year of Generation X.) A new Pew survey, the latest dispatch from the land of young adulthood, describes a generation that’s socially liberal on issues like immigration and marijuana and same-sex marriage, proudly independent of either political party, less likely to be married and religious than earlier generations, less likely to identify as patriotic and less likely — by a striking margin — to say that one’s fellow human beings can be trusted.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPhilosophyPsychologyReligion & CultureSociologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General

0 Comments
Posted March 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After escaping Sudan’s civil war and being separated for 24 years, a mother and daughter have finally located each another on Facebook.

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMarriage & FamilyViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaSudan

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A devoted Chinese father who carries his disabled son 18 miles to school every day will be provided with government-funded accommodation nearby.

Yu Xukang walks the huge distance with his son, Xiao Qiang, strapped to his back in a specially constructed basket.

The 40-year-old, from Fengyi township in Yibin county in southwest China’s Sichuan province - 2,000 miles west of Shanghai - refused to give up on the boy now aged 12, despite the fact that both his arms and legs are twisted and his back is hunched.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyTravel* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 1941, Tolkien wrote a masterful letter to his son Michael, dealing with marriage and the realities of human sexuality. The letter reflects Tolkien’s Christian worldview and his deep love for his sons, and at the same time, also acknowledges the powerful dangers inherent in unbridled sexuality.

“This is a fallen world,” Tolkien chided. “The dislocation of sex-instinct is one of the chief symptoms of the Fall. The world has been ‘going to the bad’ all down the ages. The various social forms shift, and each new mode has its special dangers: but the ‘hard spirit of concupiscence’ has walked down every street, and sat leering in every house, since Adam fell.” This acknowledgement of human sin and the inevitable results of the Fall stands in stark contrast to the humanistic optimism that was shared by so many throughout the 20th century. Even when the horrors of two world wars, the Holocaust, and various other evils chastened the century’s dawning optimism of human progress, the 20th century gave evidence of an unshakable faith in sex and its liberating power. Tolkien would have none of this.

“The devil is endlessly ingenious, and sex is his favorite subject,” Tolkien insisted. “He is as good every bit at catching you through generous romantic or tender motives, as through baser or more animal ones.” Thus, Tolkien advised his young son, then 21, that the sexual fantasies of the 20th century were demonic lies, intended to ensnare human beings. Sex was a trap, Tolkien warned, because human beings are capable of almost infinite rationalization in terms of sexual motives. Romantic love is not sufficient as a justification for sex, Tolkien understood.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilySexuality* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 14, 2014 at 4:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Legal definitions of insanity still focus on psychosis, the delusions of which are held to diminish responsibility. Medical conceptions include many additional bizarre behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. The legal definition has historically encompassed both questions of agency (he didn’t know what he was doing) and morality (he didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong). The psychiatric profession doesn’t consider mass killers to be necessarily insane, which distresses Peter. For him, the crime defines the illness—as he said, soon after we met, you’d have to be crazy to do such a thing. He found the idea of Adam’s not being insane much more devastating than the thought of his being insane. Peter has searched the psychiatric literature on mass killers, trying to understand what happened to his son. He came across the work of Park Dietz, a psychiatrist who, in 1986, coined the term “pseudocommando.” Dietz says that for pseudocommandos a preoccupation with weapons and war regalia makes up for a sense of impotence and failure. He wrote that we insist that mass killers are insane only to reassure ourselves that normal people are incapable of such evil.

Crimes of passion are relational, whereas plotted crimes such as Adam’s are unsocial. But the dichotomy isn’t clear-cut; most crimes lie along a spectrum. So Sandy Hook was a culmination—neither sudden nor entirely calculated, at least until the very end. James Knoll, a forensic psychiatrist at suny, has written that Adam’s act conveyed a message: “I carry profound hurt—I’ll go ballistic and transfer it onto you.” That’s as much motive as we’re likely to find.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyPsychologyViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheodicy

1 Comments
Posted March 13, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My oldest daughter asks her hardest questions at bedtime, when we flop open the pages of Scripture atop her flowered quilt.

We flip through pages of her Bible, rustling like onion skins between our fingers. We land on the story of David and Goliath, and I read aloud the story of a heroic boy who felled a giant with one smooth stone.

In the bluish light of her bedside lamp, I can see on her face what’s coming next. She wears the hard questions in her knitted brow and tilted head.

“Mom?” she asks. “Why would God think it’s OK to kill Goliath? Isn’t all murder wrong?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksChildrenMarriage & Family* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted March 11, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Church of England bishop has accused the Government of penalising stay-at-home mothers and carers by discriminating against families in the tax and benefits system.

The criticism came after an inquiry by a Christian charity to be launched on Tuesday found that that married couples with only one earner keep less of every extra pound they earn in the UK than in any other country in the developed world.

Last month, church leaders including 27 Anglican bishops condemned the Coalition’s welfare policies for causing hardship and hunger, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said its benefit cuts were “a disgrace". Now the Government is under attack for being “anti-family” in a study carried out by the charity Christian Action Research and Education (CARE).

Read it all from the Independent.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketTaxesPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

1 Comments
Posted March 10, 2014 at 5:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In his new book, The Next America, Pew Research executive vice president of special projects Paul Taylor identifies two key trends that are already reshaping the United States and will continue doing so for decades to come. The first: far greater racial and ethnic diversity, driven largely by immigration. In 1960, the U.S. population was 85% white, 10% black and 4% Hispanic. By 2060 whites will be a minority (43%), while 31% of the population will be Hispanic, 13% black, 8% Asian and 6% other races or ethnicities. As Taylor puts it, “We were once a black and white country; now we’re a rainbow.”

But there’s also going to be a lot more gray in that rainbow. Not only are some 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day (and will continue doing so till 203o), but Americans are living longer and having fewer children than ever. Result: The nation’s “age pyramid” is turning into more of a rectangle. That poses challenges for, among other things, Social Security. In 1960, near the peak of the Baby Boom, there were 5.1 workers for every Social Security-eligible retiree. By the time the last Boomer retires, that ratio will be down to 2 workers per retiree.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted March 8, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Before giving birth to her first child, Sheona Beaumont avoided watching One Born Every Minute, deeming it to be "too raw, too real".

By the time she was pregnant with her second child, she was ready not only to watch the programme, which documents births in close detail, but to participate in it. Furthermore, she is planning to use the reaction to the episode to create a piece of artwork.

Mrs Beaumont, an artist, who is married to the Revd Adam Beaumont, Assistant Curate of Holy Trinity, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, has been commissioned to contribute to the Birth Online: Birth Offline art project, which will explore perspectives on public birth. It will form part of the Birth Rites Collection, on permanent public display at the University of Salford and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyMovies & TelevisionReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted March 7, 2014 at 5:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Canadians are in a funk. Things are better than ever, but people are feeling worse. “The trend lines are disturbing,” EKOS pollster Frank Graves wrote recently, reporting that public pessimism is deepening. “… Only around 10 per cent of Canadians and Americans think the next generation will enjoy a better quality of life.”

Well, maybe they will or maybe they won’t. Meantime, this generation is doing pretty well. Despite recessions, globalization and the inexorable rise of the robots, most of us never had it so good. In 2011, the median real income for Canadian two-parent families with two earners was $100,000 – $13,000 higher than in 2000. The annual average unemployment rate is down to 7 per cent. Despite the soaring cost of housing, nearly 70 per cent of us have an ownership stake in our own homes.

So what’s our problem?...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationMarriage & FamilyPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 6, 2014 at 3:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Americans who have at least one child under the age of 18 report spending $29 more daily, on average, than those without younger children. Parents with younger children across all age and income groups report higher spending levels.

These results are based on 2013 Gallup Daily tracking, which asks Americans about the amount of money they spent on purchases "yesterday," excluding normal household bills and major purchases. Americans without children under 18 reported average daily spending of $79, while Americans with children reported a $108 daily average.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was early in the spring about 15 years ago—a day of pale sunlight and trees just beginning to bud. I was a young police reporter, driving to a scene I didn’t want to see. A man, the police dispatcher’s broadcast said, had accidentally backed his pickup truck over his baby granddaughter in the driveway of the family home. It was a fatality.

As I parked among police cars and TV news cruisers, I saw a stocky, white-haired man in cotton work clothes standing near a pickup. Cameras were trained on him, and reporters were sticking microphones in his face. Looking totally bewildered,he was trying to answer their questions. Mostly he was only moving his lips, blinking, and choking up.

After a while, the reporters gave up and followed the police into the small white house. I can still picture that devastated old man looking down at the place in the driveway where the child had been. Beside the house was a freshly spaded flower bed and nearby a pile of dark, rich earth.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMedia* General InterestPhotos/Photography

0 Comments
Posted March 2, 2014 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On New Year's, [Carrie] Davis picked up a book by Christian writer Jen Hatmaker, "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess."

The book tells Hatmaker's story as the wife of a pastor to a big church in Austin, Texas, where they were busy loving their fellow well-to-do neighbors as themselves.

Then Hurricane Ike tore through town, and they opened their home to displaced strangers. A 10-year-old boy walked in and yelled, "Dad! This white dude is RICH!" Hatmaker writes.

She hadn't thought they were.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted March 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A long-simmering movement to scale back the use of standardized tests in K-12 education is beginning to see results, with policy makers and politicians in several states limiting—or trying to limit—the time used for assessments, or delaying the consequences tied to them.

In recent months, officials in Missouri have cut back on allocated testing time while New York capped it. Connecticut agreed to let districts delay, for a year, linking teacher evaluations to state test scores. Tennessee officials rescinded a plan to deny teacher licenses based, in part, on their students' growth on state tests.

Meanwhile, 179 bills related to K-12 testing—a number of them seeking to curb it—have been introduced in statehouses nationwide this legislative session, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which hadn't tracked such bills so comprehensively until this year.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducation* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Scientists have already experimented with combining genetic material from cells of three people. In 2001, researchers in New Jersey did so using material from the cytoplasm, the material that surrounds the nucleus of the egg and directs its development after fertilization, from fertile women into the eggs of infertile women. More than 17 babies have been born this way in the United States.

The practice raised questions and eventually led the F.D.A. to tell researchers that they could not perform such procedures in humans without getting special permission from the agency. Since then, studies have been confined to animals.

But a researcher in Oregon, Shoukhrat Mitalipov, has performed the mitochondrial procedure in monkeys and has said that it is ready to be tried in people.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I applaud the 27 bishops of the Church of England for drawing attention to the phenomenon of hunger. Churches and clergy are present in all communities throughout the land and observe at first hand the plight of families facing shortages of money and food. They are right in describing a serious problem but only partially correct in their analysis. It is much too simplistic to blame these problems on cutbacks to welfare and “failures in the benefit system, whether it be payment delays or punitive sanctions”.

The problems relate to a great variety of factors, including the loss of essential family networks in which basic skills such as cooking, household management and budgeting are no longer passed down the generations. The welfare system is being asked to replace kinship and neighbourliness and, in contrast to these, it is never going to pass muster as the ideal vehicle to deliver aid to those in greatest need when they most need it.

There is something Canute-like about resistance to welfare cuts. All three political parties acknowledge the need for reductions to welfare spending, wastage and fraud in the system and have all talked about the dangers of welfare dependency and the need to get people into work. They are not agreed on precisely where the axe should fall,...

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchChildrenDieting/Food/NutritionMarriage & FamilyPovertyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the cafeteria, through the door on the left, a 17-year-old boy who went by the inititals “TJ” was shooting to kill. He’d put 10 rounds in his gun and six letters across his shirt. “Killer,” it said.

Frank Hall: I saw a young man firing into a crowd. I just stood up, shoved my table out of the way and started after him.

It’s tough even now for Frank Hall to speak of it. But with the support of his wife, he told us what happened when he charged at the boy with the gun.

Frank Hall: He raises his weapon at me, I jumped behind a Pepsi machine, I hear another fire.

That bullet missed Hall, so he kept chasing the student down the corridor.

Yes, I know, you are busy--but this is a must not miss. Really. Read (or better watch) it all--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilySportsTeens / YouthViolence* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted February 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The repeated and prolonged phone waits were Sisyphean, the competence and customer service abysmal. When finally she found a plan that looked like it would cover her Sandostatin and other cancer treatments, she called the insurer, Humana...to confirm that it would do so. The enrollment agent said that after she met her deductible, all treatments and medications—including those for her cancer—would be covered at 100%. Because, however, the enrollment agents did not—unbelievable though this may seem—have access to the "coverage formularies" for the plans they were selling, they said the only way to find out in detail what was in the plan was to buy the plan.

[My mother].. is a woman who had an affordable health plan that covered her condition. Our lawmakers weren't happy with that because . . . they wanted plans that were affordable and covered her condition. So they gave her a new one. It doesn't cover her condition and it's completely unaffordable.

Though I'm no expert on ObamaCare (at 10,000 pages, who could be?), I understand that the intention—or at least the rhetorical justification—of this legislation was to provide coverage for those who didn't have it. But there is something deeply and incontestably perverse about a law that so distorts and undermines the free activity of individuals that they can no longer buy and sell the goods and services that keep them alive. ObamaCare made my mother's old plan illegal, and it forced her to buy a new plan that would accelerate her disease and death. She awaits an appeal with her insurer.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine--The 2009 American Health Care Reform DebateMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

8 Comments
Posted February 24, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the boys’ classroom at Lamplighters Yeshivah in the Hasidic Jewish stronghold of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Montessori number-counting boards and decimal beads share space with Hebrew-learning materials. A colorful timeline on the wall shows two strands of world history in parallel: secular on the left, Jewish on the right. A photo of the grand rabbi of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement hangs above a list of tasks that children perform individually: make a fractions poster, practice cursive, learn about the moon’s phases.

Into the classroom on a recent morning came Rivkah Schack, one of the school’s principals, holding a tool whose form, if not its content, would be familiar to any Montessori teacher: a small nomenclature booklet in which the students were to write words from the Bible by hand and illustrate them. In secular Montessori, the booklets might be used to teach botanical terms; here, they were for Hebrew.

“Not to mix our metaphors, but that’s our holy grail,” said Ami Petter-Lipstein, the director of the Jewish Montessori Society, based in Highland Park, N.J., as Ms. Schack gathered a few pupils around her on the rug for a group Hebrew lesson.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

0 Comments
Posted February 24, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A silent epidemic of anorexia is sweeping through the country’s top independent schools, affecting thousands of teenage girls, experts say.

Girls from aspirational families are the “fastest-growing” group using mental health services as they struggle to cope with the pressure to achieve top grades, according to psychologists. Mental health charities say that many of the top private schools are in denial about the scale of the problem because they do not want to damage their brands.

“Being high-achieving, perfectionist and competitive are all traits that are celebrated in highly academic girls’ schools,” Susan Ringwood, of the eating disorder charity BEAT, said. “They are also among serious risk factors contributing to an eating disorder.”

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDieting/Food/NutritionHealth & MedicineHunger/MalnutritionPsychology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 22, 2014 at 10:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last year, one of the worst songs in the entire Eurovision contest was the entry from Belgium. It was called "Love Kills." The refrain of the song was:

Waiting for the bitter pill
Give me something I can feel
'Cause love kills over and over
Love kills over and over

Whatever this means exactly, it's a radical inversion of the normal juxtaposition of love with life and generativity. Other countries offered the usual assortment of Eurovision styles - some heavy metal, some punk, a few soft ballads - but the Belgian entry stood out as something very dark and creepy, a culture of death pop song.

Poor King Philippe is now in a position of having to decide what to do about the fact that his government has voted in favour of euthanasia for children. Many hope that he will follow the precedent of his saintly uncle, King Baudouin, who in 1990 abdicated for a day rather than have his name on pro-abortion legislation. At the time, King Baudouin rhetorically asked: Is it right that I am the only Belgian citizen to be forced to act against his conscience in such a crucial area? Is the freedom of conscience sacred for everyone except for the king?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeBelgium* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted February 22, 2014 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For most people with ADHD, these medications — typically formulations of methylphenidate or amphetamine — quickly calm them down and increase their ability to concentrate. Although these behavioural changes make the drugs useful, a growing body of evidence suggests that the benefits mainly stop there. Studies indicate that the improvements seen with medication do not translate into better academic achievement or even social adjustment in the long term: people who were medicated as children show no improvements in antisocial behaviour, substance abuse or arrest rates later in life, for example. And one recent study suggested that the medications could even harm some children1.

After decades of study, it has become clear that the drugs are not as transformative as their marketers would have parents believe. “I don't know of any evidence that's consistent that shows that there's any long-term benefit of taking the medication,” says James Swanson, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine.

Now researchers are trying to understand why. The answer could lie in sub-optimal use of the drugs, or failure to address other factors that affect performance, such as learning disabilities. Or it could be that people place too much hope on a simple fix for a complex problem. “What we expect medication to do may be unrealistic,” says Lily Hechtman, a psychiatrist at McGill University in Montreal.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineMediaPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 21, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Madison Holleran, a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania freshman, died in Philadelphia Friday night in what police called an apparent suicide. Her father later said her death was linked to the “stress” of keeping good grades at her Ivy League school.

According to NorthJersey.com, Holleran jumped off the roof of a parking garage Friday night. Just an hour earlier, the Allendale, N.J., native reportedly posted a photo of the lights at Rittenhouse Square in Center City Philadelphia on her Instagram account.

Holleran was a soccer and track star in her hometown at Northern Highlands Regional High School and called a “perfectionist” by her father, Jim Holleran. He also said she had “grown depressed” while adjusting to college life away from home.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyPsychologySuicideYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More American women have had medical help to have their babies than ever, according to the latest annual report from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.

The group represents the greater majority of in vitro fertilization clinics in the United States.

Their report showed that doctors at these clinics performed 165,172 procedures, including IVF, with 61,740 babies born as a result of those efforts in 2012.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineScience & TechnologyWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“When I saw ‘All My Sons,’ I was changed — permanently changed — by that experience....It was like a miracle to me. But that deep kind of love comes at a price: for me, acting is torturous, and it’s torturous because you know it’s a beautiful thing. I was young once, and I said, That’s beautiful and I want that. Wanting it is easy, but trying to be great — well, that’s absolutely torturous.”

--Philip Seymour Hoffman as quoted in the New York Times.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMovies & TelevisionPsychologyTheatre/Drama/Plays* TheologyAnthropology

0 Comments
Posted February 16, 2014 at 11:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Belgian nurse Sonja Develter, who has cared for 200 children in the final stages of their lives since 1992, said she opposed the law.

"In my experience as a nurse, I never had a child asking to end their life," Ms Develter said before the vote.

But requests for euthanasia did often come from parents who were emotionally exhausted after seeing their children fight for their lives for so long, she added.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife Ethics* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeBelgium

0 Comments
Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the year 2000, scholars Suzanne M. Bianchi and Lynne M. Casper argued that by some measures, the late twentieth-century revolutions in the American family had slowed. There has been a recent “quieting of changes in the family, or at least of the pace of change,” they wrote.... “Whether the [1990s] slowing, and in some cases cessation, of change in family living arrangements is a temporary lull or part of a new, more sustained equilibrium will only be revealed in the first decades of the 21st century.”

Fourteen years after they wrote those words, it seems fair to say that the 1990s slowing of family change was just a temporary lull. The percent of births to unmarried women resumed its multi-decade increase in the 2000s, and the percent of adults that are married resumed its multi-decade fall. Family life has also continued to change on another less widely cited measure: cohabitation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMenPsychologyWomenYoung Adults

0 Comments
Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fourteen percent of adults between the ages of 24 and 34 -- those in the post-college years when most young adults are trying to establish independence -- report living at home with their parents. By contrast, roughly half of 18- to 23-year-olds, many of whom are still finishing their education, are currently living at home.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 14, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rob and Kelly Mitchell were prepared for their two sons to have a four-day weekend, but when nasty weather tacked on two additional days, they were caught off guard.

"We had a sitter set up for Friday and I'm off work Monday," said Rob Mitchell, a government contractor and father of Ellis, 7, and Jeremy, 5. "Those days were covered, but we had to scramble to cover the ice days" Wednesday and Thursday.

Read it all from the local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducation* General InterestWeather* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted February 14, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all. Also an AP story is now there it begins this way:
Belgian lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to extend the country's euthanasia law to children under 18.

The 86-44 vote Thursday in the House of Representatives, with 12 abstentions, followed approval by the Senate last December.

The law empowers children with terminal ailments who are in great pain to request to be put to death if their parents agree and a psychiatrist or psychologist find they are conscious of what their choice signifies. The law was opposed by some Belgian pediatricians and the country's leading Roman Catholic cleric.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife Ethics* International News & CommentaryEuropeBelgium* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted February 13, 2014 at 11:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the wake of the prescription painkiller epidemic, heroin, much of it Mexican, has wormed its way into unsuspecting communities far from the Southwestern border as a cheaper and often more easily obtained alternative. Ms. Ivy’s was believed to be the seventh fatal heroin overdose in eight months in this town of 13,000 on the St. Croix River near Minneapolis. Two months after her death, and before yet another young Hudson woman died — at a “sober house” — of a heroin overdose in October, nearly 500 townspeople crowded into the First Presbyterian Church for a forum called “Heroin in Hudson: A Community in Crisis.”

Ms. Ivy’s death certificate, recently released, revealed that a mix of drugs was to blame; the police declined to specify the drugs since her death remains under investigation. But “Alysa was a heroin abuser, and her addiction to drugs killed her,” said Patty Schachtner, the St. Croix County medical examiner.

“It’s a tightknit community, and these kids all knew each other,” Ms. Schachtner said of those who overdosed. “They were not what you might expect. They were not the faces of heroin addiction we see on television.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMarriage & FamilyRural/Town LifeYoung Adults* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted February 12, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment—from personal earnings to job satisfaction to the share employed full time—young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education. And when today’s young adults are compared with previous generations, the disparity in economic outcomes between college graduates and those with a high school diploma or less formal schooling has never been greater in the modern era.

These assessments are based on findings from a new nationally representative Pew Research Center survey of 2,002 adults supplemented by a Pew Research analysis of economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance

0 Comments
Posted February 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At some point before 35-year-old Jesse Ryan Loskarn hanged himself in his parents’ home outside Baltimore, he wrote a painful letter soaked in shame and self-loathing in which he attempted to explain the unexplainable.

The former chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) had lived a secret life, hiding memories of child abuse and his addiction to child pornography. Even as U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents used a battering ram to enter his house, it appeared that he was trying to hide an external hard drive - containing hundreds of videos - on a ledge outside a window.

“Everyone wants to know why,” he wrote, in a Jan. 23 letter posted online by Gay Loskarn, his mother.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesPornographyPsychologySuicideScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 10, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of St Davids, Wyn Evans, said violence against the weak and defenceless, particularly when sanctioned by the state, should have no place in a civilised society.

The Bishop was speaking at a vigil at St Davids Cathedral on Monday (Feb 3) dedicated to Ending Legalised Violence against Children. The service was led by the Dean, Jonathan Lean, and Canon Dorrien Davies. It was attended by the Mayor of St Davids, members of the City Council and the Churches’ Network for Non-violence which is part of an alliance of organisations under the umbrella of Children Are Unbeatable! Cymru which campaigns for a change in the law to give children the same protection under the law on assault as that currently enjoyed by adults.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Wales* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Wales* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There’s a strong possibility the fusillade from the UN panel may backfire, however, by blurring the cause of child protection with the culture wars over sexual mores.

In several sections of its report, the committee joins its critique on abuse with blunt advice to Rome to jettison Church teaching on matters such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception. At one stage the panel even recommends repealing a codicil of Church law that imposes automatic excommunication for participating in an abortion.

Not only are those bits of advice deeply unlikely to be adopted, they may actually strengthen the hand of those still in denial in the Church on the abuse scandals by allowing them to style the UN report as all-too-familiar secular criticism driven by politics.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexualityViolence* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVIPope Francis * TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 6, 2014 at 8:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An American family was able to live out their Olympic dream thanks to the generosity of their community.

Watch it all--heartwarming stuff.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenGlobalizationMarriage & FamilyRural/Town LifeSports* International News & CommentaryEuropeRussia

0 Comments
Posted February 6, 2014 at 6:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New York City is moving to close school for two Muslim holidays and the Lunar New Year — but Mayor de Blasio isn’t so sure about the Hindu festival Diwali.

Appearing on WNYC’s “Brian Lehrer Show” on Monday, the mayor said he hadn’t taken a position on whether Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated in India and other South Asian countries, should be a day off from school.

But he said he’d move forward with closing schools for Lunar New Year and for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, Muslim holy days.

“It is complicated in terms of logistics and school calendar and budget. But it’s something I want to get done in a reasonable time frame,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted February 5, 2014 at 7:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Genetic testing of embryos has been around for more than a decade, but its use has soared in recent years as methods have improved and more disease-causing genes have been discovered. The in vitro fertilization and testing are expensive — typically about $20,000 — but they make it possible for couples to ensure that their children will not inherit a faulty gene and to avoid the difficult choice of whether to abort a pregnancy if testing of a fetus detects a genetic problem.

But the procedure also raises unsettling ethical questions that trouble advocates for the disabled and have left some doctors struggling with what they should tell their patients. When are prospective parents justified in discarding embryos? Is it acceptable, for example, for diseases like GSS, that develop in adulthood? What if a gene only increases the risk of a disease? And should people be able to use it to pick whether they have a boy or girl? A recent international survey found that 2 percent of more than 27,000 uses of preimplantation diagnosis were made to choose a child’s sex.

In the United States, there are no regulations that limit the method’s use. The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, whose members provide preimplantation diagnosis, says it is “ethically justified” to prevent serious adult diseases for which “no safe, effective interventions are available.” The method is “ethically allowed” for conditions “of lesser severity” or for which the gene increases risk but does not guarantee a disease.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 4, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[In this next video report]...one brother competes and the other is cheering him on, that could be said of a lot of olympic athletes, but for Alex Bilodeau who won a gold medal in Canada yea years past it is all about the remarkable bond we first learned about in the last winter games; Bob Costas has more.

Watch it all--fantastic and heartwarming.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychologySports* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

All day long, customers at LoDo Wellness Center, one of Colorado’s new recreational marijuana stores, reach into the refrigerator and pull out tasty ways to get high. They buy sparkling peach and mandarin elixirs, watermelon Dew Drops, and sleek silver bags of chocolate truffles, each one packed with marijuana’s potent punch.

“The stuff just flies off the shelves,” said Linda Andrews, the store’s owner.

As marijuana tiptoes further toward the legal mainstream, marijuana-infused snacks have become a booming business, with varieties ranging from chocolate-peppermint Mile High Bars to peanut butter candies infused with hash oil.

Read it all from the front page of the national edition of the printed copy of the paper..

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDieting/Food/NutritionDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in GeneralState Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), who lectured in English literature at Oxford for most of his life, was a prolific writer in many areas and a man who powerfully and eloquently defended Christianity. Half a century after his death many of his books remain bestsellers: one, Mere Christianity, sells a quarter of a million copies a year.

Why have Lewis's books endured? There are several reasons. For a start, he was a brilliant writer who used English to maximum effect. He was also an enormously intelligent and creative man capable of analysing problems from different angles, courageous enough to tackle difficult topics (for example, two of his books are called Miracles and The Problem of Pain) and creative enough to branch out into children's fantasy (the Narnia Chronicles). Yet although these are all important in explaining the lasting popularity of C. S. Lewis, I think there are other factors and they are all to do with how he saw the world.

First, Lewis was always intensely aware of the past. There is a tendency in our culture to dismiss dead authors as 'irrelevant'. Such views were alien to Lewis, a remarkably well-read man, even by the standards of his contemporaries at Oxford and Cambridge.

Read it all (I see it is also in this week's Church of England Newspaper on page 7).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchBooksChildren* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted January 30, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Church Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has strongly opposed the bill that aims at taxing the bereaved family saying it will drop the country’s economy.

“As Anglican Church we oppose the bill with strong terms, in the place first if somebody has lost a relative he or she gets affected psychologically and even financially, taxing such a person is killing him,” Archbishop Wabukala said.

He said county governments should come out and help its people by giving out loans and any other necessary support for the growth of business and farming as a way of increasing revenue collection instead of overburdening poor families who have lost their beloved ones.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Kenya* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceTaxesPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Zac Gossage, 6, lost his hair to chemotherapy treatments for leukemia, he cried to his mother that he didn't want to go to school.

Luckily, he has a friend in 7-year-old Vincent Butterfield.

When Vincent's first grade teacher told their class at Central Elementary School in Union, Mo. that Zac had leukemia, Vincent told his dad he wanted to shave his head.

Read it all and if you have time the video is wonderful. Also, another link for the video if necessary may be found there.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 28, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“This is not about the adult being able to smoke a joint,” said Mr. Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “It’s about widespread access, it’s about changing the landscape of a neighborhood, it’s about widespread promotion and advertising, and it’s about youth access.”

Supporters of legalization say that because voters statewide approved a system guaranteeing adults access to legal marijuana, they will push state regulators and lawmakers to meet that mandate, possibly by pushing for penalties against local governments that enact bans.

But Dave Ettl, a Yakima City Council member who voted for the ban, said he was willing to risk penalties, saying he considered the promised tax revenues from marijuana sales tainted.

“There’s some money that’s not worth getting,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

5 Comments
Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[DEBORAH] POTTER: At this pediatric practice in Amherst, Massachusetts, most children get all their vaccines on time. But Dr. John Snyder sees a growing number who insist on delaying vaccinations or flatly refuse them.

DR. JOHN SNYDER (Amherst Pediatrics): These are not bad parents. These are parents who do want to do the best thing, and unfortunately they are misinformed, and there’s an enormous amount of misinformation out there. You have parents who are certain that vaccines are the cause of maybe autism or autoimmune diseases or whatever else they may have heard, and they know because they’ve done their “research,” and they know the answers, and I’m just part of the problem.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & Family* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Eighty percent of Americans in 2012 said most children in their country have the opportunity to learn and grow every day, while 66% said they are treated with dignity and respect. Although these figures might seem high, they are actually on the low end among 29 advanced economies where UNICEF studies children's well-being.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted January 25, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Among those marching for the first time were Geoffrey and Alayne Boland of St. Nicholas Anglican Church in Kissimmee, Florida, who (at the encouragement of their bishop) took vacation time to participate.

The Bolands said they were happy to join the march, adding that as native New Yorkers they were prepared for winter weather.

“The babies who are being aborted need a voice,” said Madeleine Ruch, a high school junior from the Chicago area and a member of Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois. Ruch was joined by her father, the Rt. Rev. Stewart Ruch, Bishop of the Upper Midwest.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 25, 2014 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Tallulah, an aspiring dancer from West Hampstead in London, threw herself under a train at St Pancras Station on October 14, 2012. Her mother said she had been unable to prevent the troubled teenager from becoming increasingly withdrawn at home and at school, as she developed a fantasy cocaine-taking persona online.

Ms Wilson said: “Like any parent I sought to protect my daughter, seeking help from professionals at her school, the NHS and the Tavistock Clinic. Her sisters and I did everything we could to keep her safe, but she had fallen into a world of nightmares. She was in the c lutches of a toxic digital world where in the final few weeks we could no longer reach her.

“I was shocked by the ease with which Tallulah and other children can access online self-harm and suicide blogs. Tallulah entered a world where the lines between fantasy and reality became blurred. It is every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychologySuicideScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Early childhood education advocates called out state lawmakers Wednesday to put aside their differences and reach a bipartisan compromise that invests in pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk children.

The call was made in the lobby of the Statehouse, where the heads of three organizations met to urge lawmakers to implement a statewide policy to measure the progress of children participating in early childhood education programs. More than a dozen organizations, including the United Way and Institute for Child Success, joined the effort dubbed South Carolina's Early Childhood Common Agenda.

"We're spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this state on early childhood education, and we haven't been able to prove that the way we're doing is effective in every case," said Tim Ervolina, president of the United Way, during the conference. "We're just asking the people upstairs spend the money smartly."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Four bishops and a retired civil servant shut away in a palace, talking about human sexuality — it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. But the resulting Pilling Report is, in spite of 200 pages’ worth of double entendres, neither funny nor enlightening.

It has been clear ever since the Lambeth conference in 1998, which contained the ponderous resolution that ‘we commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons’, that the Anglican church’s position has been to agree not to agree on the issue. From the Jeffrey John affair to the debate over gay marriage, the church has handled the question like a whoopee cushion at a vicar’s tea party — with a mixture of bemusement and embarrassment.

Having spent many months interviewing everyone from the Society of Ordained Scientists to the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, Sir Joseph Pilling’s report comes up with the less than profound conclusion that the issue requires the church to have a ‘facilitated conversation’.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than five years later, there is still no answer to perhaps the most critical question raised by the man-made disaster: How much did it all cost?

In July, three economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Tyler Atkinson, David Luttrell and Harvey Rosenblum, gave it a shot, at least as far as the United States economy goes.

...their examination offers a panoramic view of the variety of ways in which the financial crisis diminished the nation’s standard of living. At a bare minimum the crisis cost nearly $20,000 for each American. Adding in broader impacts on workers’ well-being — an admittedly speculative exercise — could raise the price tag to as much as $120,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. With this kind of money we could pay back the federal debt or pay for a top-notch college education for everyone.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyPovertyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--The U.S. GovernmentFederal ReserveThe National DeficitPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

5 Comments
Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Embrace the Journey was developed because Anglicans for Life recognized this growing segment of our population and their unique need for ministry and advocacy. Parishioners also need to hear what Scripture teaches about aging, dying, and death. This Adult-Ed Curriculum educates the people in the pews about the role of heaven in their faith walk and provides assurance of heaven as their home for eternity.

Anglicans for Life also produced Embrace the Journey because the term “end-of-life” for the elderly and terminally ill means something very different in today’s culture than it did 20 years ago. Treating vulnerable people as second class citizens is not something we fear may happen, it is happening. And with it comes a growing disregard for the value of life, especially in the ‘golden years.’ Hastening of death via assisted suicide, the growing number of cases of emotional, physical, and financial abuse and the increasing fear of being a burden puts the elderly at risk. The Curriculum seeks to make people aware of these issues to help them be pro-active in preventing them from happening to loved ones or themselves.

The Embrace the Journey Curriculum includes video presentations by Anglicans for Life President Georgette Forney and interviews with Anglican bishops, parish priests, and experts in “end-of-life” issues...

Check it out.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife Ethics* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 22, 2014 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Obviously no one against abortion likes Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that made abortion on demand the law of the land, and has led to fifty-five million legal abortions in the forty-one years since.

But listen to a few lines from those who call themselves “pro-choice.” Harry Blackmun, the Supreme Court justice who actually wrote it, called the court’s decision to even hear Roe a “serious mistake.” And before joining the court, current Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Roe was not “measured” because it “invited no dialogue with legislators.”

In his new book, “Abuse of Discretion,” Clark Forsythe digs into the nuts and bolts of the decision like no book I’ve ever encountered. Forsythe, the former president and current senior counsel of Americans United for Life, is well versed in the ugly causes and even uglier consequences of Roe v. Wade, and he joined me to talk about it on the current edition of “BreakPoint This Week.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyMenPsychologyScience & TechnologyViolenceWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 22, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is nothing new about French presidents having lovers, nor about the media storm that ensues when their liaisons are exposed. What has changed in France, however, are basic notions about family values and what constitutes the norm in personal relationships....

Hollande is living proof of this shift in attitudes: He took office as the first president not to be married to his partner, who moved into the Elysee with him. He has four children from a previous partner, Segolene Royal, to whom he wasn’t married, either. His current partner, Valerie Trierweiler, has three children from her second marriage. Hollande’s predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, has two sons from his first wife, another son from the second, whom he divorced shortly after taking office in 2007. He also has a young daughter with his current wife, Carla Bruni, whom he married in 2008.

Unlike in the U.S., such nontraditional arrangements enjoy wide acceptance in France. In a poll taken before the latest revelations about Hollande, 91 percent of French voters said they simply don’t care about the family lives or sexual preferences of their politicians.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEuropeFrance* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted January 21, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the past three weeks, Charlton Fisher went from wanting to die to wanting desperately to live.

From his bed at Forbes Hospice, Mr. Fisher, a maintenance worker from Jamaica whose heart is nearly nonfunctional, made a dying wish -- to see his wife, Marion, and daughters, Ashley, 11, and Asha-kay, 3, one last time.

The anticipation of their visit from Jamaica and Saturday night's reunion has revived Mr. Fisher. Where on Dec. 31, his first day in hospice care, his skin was gray and he was unable to stand up or talk without sacrificing too much energy, on Sunday he was walking around, slow and weak, but improved.

That's not the typical trajectory of a hospice patient.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryCaribbeanJamaica

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Posted January 20, 2014 at 9:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLife EthicsWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The culture of death is an idea before it is a deed. I expect many of us here, perhaps most of us here, can remember when we were first encountered by the idea. For me, it was in the 1960s when I was pastor of a very poor, very black, inner city parish in Brooklyn, New York. I had read that week an article by Ashley Montagu of Princeton University on what he called “A Life Worth Living.” He listed the qualifications for a life worth living: good health, a stable family, economic security, educational opportunity, the prospect of a satisfying career to realize the fullness of one’s potential. These were among the measures of what was called “a life worth living.”

And I remember vividly, as though it were yesterday, looking out the next Sunday morning at the congregation of St. John the Evangelist and seeing all those older faces creased by hardship endured and injustice afflicted, and yet radiating hope undimmed and love unconquered. And I saw that day the younger faces of children deprived of most, if not all, of those qualifications on Prof. Montagu’s list. And it struck me then, like a bolt of lightning, a bolt of lightning that illuminated our moral and cultural moment, that Prof. Montagu and those of like mind believed that the people of St. John the Evangelist—people whom I knew and had come to love as people of faith and kindness and endurance and, by the grace of God, hope unvanquished—it struck me then that, by the criteria of the privileged and enlightened, none of these my people had a life worth living. In that moment, I knew that a great evil was afoot. The culture of death is an idea before it is a deed.

In that moment, I knew that I had been recruited to the cause of the culture of life. To be recruited to the cause of the culture of life is to be recruited for the duration; and there is no end in sight, except to the eyes of faith.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture

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Posted January 19, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Like so many others, I just can't imagine my life without Winnie the Pooh.

I found his Encyclopedia Brittanica entry there.

Also found this from his February 1, 1956 obituary in the [London] Times (behind a paywall):
...it is for his nursery books that his name will be chiefly remembered. Pooh has become an international figure and stands out from countless animals of nursery literature as a classic. There must be in such a classic something that appeals to grown-ups, a quality that makes them wish to introduce the work to their children.


Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchBooksChildren

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Posted January 18, 2014 at 6:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...a new program initiated five years ago in Georgia suggests, these hurdles aren’t insurmountable. The nonprofit FaithBridge was started by Bill Hancock, a director of counseling programs who had lived on the streets as a teenager, and Rick Jackson, an Atlanta businessman who had spent time in the foster-care system.

Hancock wondered why churches weren’t more involved in finding solutions. He said he noticed that in Cobb County, Georgia, there were 1,100 churches and 300 children in foster care. He liked the odds. Plenty of people he knew had an extra bedroom and understood the needs of children. He began to break down the problem.

He would find out the number of children in a particular zip code in need of a foster home, go to a church in the area to present their stories without using their names, and see what happened. He announced at one church that there were 11 kids in his own zip code, representing four sibling groups. Four dozen people showed up at a meeting to volunteer. Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsChildrenReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman may claim he’s "nobody special" but to the millions of people who know his life story, he’s an inspiration.

"I’m just a guy who has hearing aids and wanted to play football and found a way to do it," Coleman, 23, told NBC News.

As the first deaf offensive player in the NFL, his tough road to the big leagues was featured in a Duracell ad that’s been viewed more than 5.6 million times on YouTube.

Read it all (if you have time for the video it is very enjoyable).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineSports

0 Comments
Posted January 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty and everlasting God, whose blessed Son took upon him our manhood and increased in wisdom and stature: Grant that all Christian children may learn that fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom, and as they grow in stature may also grow in love to thee; through the same Christ our Lord.

--Harold Riley

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEpiphanySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchChildren

0 Comments
Posted January 18, 2014 at 6:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is therefore a stark contrast when we compare parents’ dedication to getting their children into a good college with their dedication to getting their children into a good marriage. One cannot help but suspect from the lackadaisical approach of middle class parents to their progeny, that they do not consider marriage very important at all. Of course, this attitude is expected for those who have unfortunately come to believe that marriage is an outdated and irrelevant custom. However, it is not at all reasonable for those social conservative parents who still find marriage important—those who (rightly) profess it to be the most fundamental building block of society and (rightly) wish to defend it against various contemporary perversions of the institution.

Even conservative defenders of marriage lack intentionality when it comes to the marital prospects of their own children. It’s not as though they’re ignorant of how to handle important things because they also deeply involve themselves in goals like securing a college education. It is simply that they do not treat marriage with their actions the way they treat it with their rhetoric. They complain about institutions when they redefine marriage. They complain about the media when they demean or devalue marriage in various ways. Nevertheless, when it comes to that segment of society in which they have the most influence—their own family—they often do not seem to make the “college” kind of effort to cultivate a desire for marriage, to prepare their sons to be good husbands, to prepare their daughters to be good wives, or to help them find a good spouse.

Consider, as one small example of this, the virtue of chastity—a disposition to prepare and direct our sexuality towards marriage—and contrast it with the far more popular term among social conservatives: “abstinence.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 17, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After working four long years to earn a spot on the Olympic team, U.S. biathlete Tracy Barnes decided to give it all up for a teammate she felt deserved to go to Sochi even more: her twin sister.

Tracy Barnes, 31, who just missed qualifying for the 2010 Olympics, gave her spot to her sister, Lanny, who finished just behind Tracy in sixth place during qualifying. Lanny had missed three of the final four qualifying races in Ridnaun, Italy, due to illness and appeared to be out of the running for one of the five spots on the team in Sochi before her sister’s selfless act.

The sisters appeared live on TODAY Thursday to talk about Tracy’s surprising decision, which will send Lanny to the third Olympics of her career.

Read it all (Video highly recommended).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationMarriage & FamilySportsWomenYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, said family breakdown had become a “modern plague”.

He blamed a “conspiracy of silence” perpetrated by the Church, the BBC, Parliament and the Press that discouraged people from speaking up for marriage. It has left hundreds of thousands of children “living a tragic life,” he said.

“In our permissive society a view has grown up that people are happiest if they are totally liberated. It is about ‘me’,” he said. “We are told Britain has changed and we have to accept it but don’t we have a responsibility to speak out for what’s right?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 16, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More Americans, 42%, say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, reversing the lower levels found over the past two years. Just more than a third of Americans say their financial situation has improved from a year ago.

These results come from Gallup's annual "Mood of the Nation" poll, conducted Jan. 5-8. Gallup has found that Americans' economic confidence, self-reported consumer spending, and perceptions of job creation improved in 2013. Despite Americans' more positive views of the overall U.S. economy in 2013, nearly two-thirds believe their personal financial situation deteriorated or was stable over the past year.

Though down from mid-2013, the percentage of Americans saying they are financially better off than a year ago is nearly in line with the historical average (38%), spanning 1976-2014. On the other hand, the share of Americans saying they are financially worse off compared with a year ago is, by historical standards, high -- eight percentage points above the average. The record high of 55% occurred in May and September 2008, the year (and, in the latter case, the month) of the global financial meltdown.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

0 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

His story has been told often, but only from the age of 11 onward. Family members preferred it that way. The story always made passing reference to a father and a mother and to the construction of Knowshon's unusual name, but only began in earnest when he was in middle school in New Jersey, living with McQueen, his maternal grandmother, outrunning his classmates in furious games of tag, hinting at the athletic skills that would carry him all the way to the NFL. But there is more.

Sitting in the glass lobby of the Broncos' practice facility, Moreno sketches the edges of a life he lived as a child. He tells the story only because he was asked, and he tells it without pause or drama, with the same smile he wears for most of every day. He sheds no tears, alligator or otherwise. Afterward, Moreno's mother, grandmother and his uncle Gary, three relatives with whom he has close relationships, fill in more details about Knowshon's early life. His father does not participate in the retelling of this story.

Moreno was born as the child of two children: His mother, Varashon McQueen, was 16 when Knowshon was conceived; his father, Freddie Moreno, was 17. Both teenagers lived in the Bronx. Varashon, one of three children, was named after a character in a short story written by her father, William McQueen. Freddie was called Knowledge, a name he received as a member of the Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam that was founded in the 1960s; he was the second of five children born to Puerto Rican immigrants and was raised by his mother at a housing project on Fish Avenue. The young couple gave their son a name built from their own: Know for Knowledge, Shon for Varashon.

His story has been told often, but only from the age of 11 onward. Family members preferred it that way. The story always made passing reference to a father and a mother and to the construction of Knowshon's unusual name, but only began in earnest when he was in middle school in New Jersey, living with McQueen, his maternal grandmother, outrunning his classmates in furious games of tag, hinting at the athletic skills that would carry him all the way to the NFL. But there is more.

Sitting in the glass lobby of the Broncos' practice facility, Moreno sketches the edges of a life he lived as a child. He tells the story only because he was asked, and he tells it without pause or drama, with the same smile he wears for most of every day. He sheds no tears, alligator or otherwise. Afterward, Moreno's mother, grandmother and his uncle Gary, three relatives with whom he has close relationships, fill in more details about Knowshon's early life. His father does not participate in the retelling of this story.

Moreno was born as the child of two children: His mother, Varashon McQueen, was 16 when Knowshon was conceived; his father, Freddie Moreno, was 17. Both teenagers lived in the Bronx. Varashon, one of three children, was named after a character in a short story written by her father, William McQueen. Freddie was called Knowledge, a name he received as a member of the Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam that was founded in the 1960s; he was the second of five children born to Puerto Rican immigrants and was raised by his mother at a housing project on Fish Avenue. The young couple gave their son a name built from their own: Know for Knowledge, Shon for Varashon.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyPovertySportsUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted January 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here’s what we learned from the in-depth report on how women are doing in post-recession America.

--1 in 3 American women, 42 million women, plus 28 million children, either live in poverty or are right on the brink of it. (The report defines the “brink of poverty” as making $47,000 a year for a family of four.)
--Nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and these workers often get zero paid sick days.
--Two-thirds of American women are either the primary or co-breadwinners of their families.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPovertyWomen* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted January 15, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Forty years after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision, a leading pro-life legal expert believes the decision has never been more vulnerable to being overturned.
In his new book, Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade, Clark Forsythe, senior legal counsel at Americans United for Life, details what he uncovered in examining the private papers of the justices, their case files, and oral arguments. After 20 years of research, Forsythe found that
--The justices decided to hear Roe under a misunderstanding that it concerned state criminal prosecutions, not a constitutional right to abortion.
--They arbitrarily expanded fetal viability from 12 weeks to 28 weeks with little discussion or medical knowledge.
--The Court's majority relied heavily on popular, but unproved, '70s-era evidence that there was an urgent need for population control in the United States.
Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureScience & TechnologySexuality* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 15, 2014 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Amid conflicting news reports over changes to the one-child family planning policy in China, disturbing reports continue to arrive about serious abuses of human rights.

On Dec. 31 the BBC reported that a Chinese obstetrician is on trial, accused of stealing newborn babies and selling them to child traffickers.

Zhang Shuxia was accused of selling seven babies, according to the BBC. Apparently she told the parents their infants were sick, and persuaded them to give the children to her.

Just the day before, Radio Free Asia reported that four Uyghur women in China's north-western region of Xinjiang have been forced by authorities to undergo abortions—one of them nine months into her pregnancy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Admittedly, the idea of a “pregnant man” makes many people uncomfortable, and photos of Mr. Inkster caressing his bulging belly are startling. The issue is controversial even within the transgender community. “Some people believe if you’re a trans man you shouldn’t be wanting to bear kids,” Jamison Green, the author of “Becoming a Visible Man,” told me. “That’s not something men do. Others think, If you have a body part that does something, why can’t you use it? It’s your body.”

The issue brings up unprecedented questions: Do you use your genetic material to reproduce, and at what time during your transition? Before or after hormone therapy? Before undergoing reassignment surgery that will make you sterile? Should a transgender man like Mr. Inkster keep his breasts so he can nurse later? Is it generally psychologically healthier for someone like him to freeze his eggs and have them inseminated and the embryos transferred to a female partner or surrogate, rather than leave his female reproductive parts intact? How might years of estrogen or testosterone therapy affect eggs and sperm?

These questions matter.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicinePsychologyScience & TechnologySexuality* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 13, 2014 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This Jan. 22, when marchers on the Mall again protest the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision legalizing abortion, Pope Francis might very well follow Pope Benedict's lead by tweeting his support. If he does, those words will be among the relatively few Pope Francis has devoted to the subject.

Pope Francis' decision to talk less than his predecessors about abortion has puzzled and distressed some supporters of the pro-life movement. Yet the pope has made clear his commitment to the defense of unborn life and, thanks to his colossal popularity and gift for communicating across cultural divides, his pontificate could prove a boon to the pro-life cause in enormous and unprecedented ways.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis * TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 12, 2014 at 6:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The U.S. fertility rate hit an all-time low in 2012, according to the latest statistics released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

According to the CDC, in 2012 3,952,841 births were registered in the U.S., which was 749 fewer than in 2011. This translated into a total fertility rate of 63.0 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44, down from 63.2 births in 2011.

While a fertility rate of about 2.1 babies per women over their lifetime is required to maintain a steady population in developed countries, in the United States it currently sits at 1.88, down from 1.89 in 2011.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationMarriage & Family* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted January 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There should be more religious education in Australian schools, says one of the men tasked with reviewing the national curriculum.

Former teacher and ex-Liberal Party staffer Kevin Donnelly says Australian education has become too secular, and the federation's Judeo-Christian heritage should be better reflected in the curriculum.

The review was announced yesterday by Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne, after concerns the curriculum had become too left-leaning and was failing students.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

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Posted January 11, 2014 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thousands of small satellite dish-based computer systems that transmit often-sensitive data from far flung locations worldwide – oil rigs, ships at sea, banks, and even power grid substations – are at high risk of being hacked, including many in the United States, a new cyber-security report has found.

Very-small-aperture terminals, or VSATs, are workhorses for the oil and gas industry, utilities, and even news media. Journalists send reports via VSAT from firebases in Afghanistan, energy companies gather production data from oil drilling operations, and retail outlets send sales data back to corporate headquarters every day. Banks use VSATs for transactions between branches and headquarters.

But at least 10,500 of those terminals globally are wide open to being hacked, including some used in critical US infrastructure systems, according to the new report by IntelCrawler, a Los Angeles-based cyber-security firm.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMovies & TelevisionScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Sixteen schoolgirls are to make history by ending a tradition of male-only choral singing at Canterbury Cathedral stretching back more than a thousand years.

The girls took part in their first full rehearsal this week and will make their debut, dressed in purple cassocks and white surplices, at evensong on 25 January. "It is all a completely new experience," said Ellen Spurling, 15, from Pett Bottom, near Canterbury, one of the choir. "I have not done anything like it. We have had choral arrangements at school but nothing like this."

The rehearsal was memorable, she said, but "to be able to sing like you have seen boys do, in the choir stalls, will be amazing".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenWomen

4 Comments
Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Do higher living standards for the poor mean that the war on poverty has succeeded? No. To judge the effort, consider LBJ's original aim. He sought to give poor Americans "opportunity not doles," planning to shrink welfare dependence not expand it. In his vision, the war on poverty would strengthen poor Americans' capacity to support themselves, transforming "taxeaters" into "taxpayers." It would attack not just the symptoms of poverty but, more important, remove the causes.

By that standard, the war on poverty has been a catastrophe. The root "causes" of poverty have not shrunk but expanded as family structure disintegrated and labor-force participation among men dropped. A large segment of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than when the war on poverty began.

The collapse of marriage in low-income communities has played a substantial role in the declining capacity for self-support. In 1963, 6% of American children were born out of wedlock. Today the number stands at 41%. As benefits swelled, welfare increasingly served as a substitute for a bread-winning husband in the home.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentSenate* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 10, 2014 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Governor [Peter] Shumlin hauled out his own list of grim statistics. In Vermont, treatment for opiate abuse has risen 770 percent since 2000. In just the past year, treatment for heroin addiction has risen a dramatic 40 percent, and deaths from heroin overdoses have doubled. Nearly 80 percent of those jailed in Vermont, he said, are now or have been drug addicts.

Perhaps even more sobering were the stories he told of lives ruined by drug addiction. One Vermont teen started using Oxycontin in the 10th grade and was soon addicted to a $500-a-day habit. He stole $20,000 in farm equipment from his own family to pay for his drugs. And not long ago another young man, an undergraduate at the University of Vermont who was a science major and member of the school’s ski team, died of a heroin overdose. Because the quality and potency of each batch of black-market heroin varies widely, even those who think they are cautious users can accidentally and suddenly overdose at any time.

Both stories sought to shatter perceptions that heroin addiction is a problem only for large urban areas. In fact, Vermont represents a particularly lucrative market for heroin dealers, the governor said, who find that they can sell a bag of heroin that would fetch $6 on the streets of New York City for $30 or more there. Each Vermont addict yields five times the income from the same amount of “product.”

Read it all and you call find the full text of Governor Peter Shumlin's 2014 State of the State Address there.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

2 Comments
Posted January 10, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almost a tenth of babies and toddlers in England and Wales are Muslim, a breakdown of census figures shows.

The percentage of Muslims among the under-fives is almost twice as high as in the general population. In an indication of the extent to which birthrate is changing the UK’s religious demographic, fewer than one in 200 over-85s are Muslim.

One expert said it was foreseeable that Muslims who worshipped would outnumber practising Christians. “It’s not inconceivable,” said David Voas, Professor of Population Studies at the University of Essex.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

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Posted January 10, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Kody Brown, his four wives and 17 children want to be the new face of polygamy, what some consider the next frontier after same-sex marriage.

That is why, the Browns say, they invited TLC television cameras into their homes for their reality show “Sister Wives,” why they have written a best-selling book about their lives, and why they challenged Utah’s polygamy ban in federal court.

Fear of prosecution under that law led them to flee to Nevada. Last month, a federal judge partly overturned the ban, ruling that prohibiting “cohabitation” violates the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted January 9, 2014 at 9:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On 20 April 2012, Tom Mortier, a chemistry lecturer, got a message to call a Brussels hospital. His mother was dead. Godelieva De Troyer was 64 and had been suffering from depression. She had sent her son an email three months before she died telling him she had asked for euthanasia, but he did not think doctors would allow it.

He is enraged. He does not accept the argument that his mother had a "right to die".

"From my perspective this is not a law for patients, it's a law for doctors so they won't be prosecuted," Mortier says. "Performing euthanasia is unethical. It's killing your patients, and now they're promoting it as the ultimate form of love. What have we become here in Belgium? I don't understand it…"

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsPsychologyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeBelgium* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 9, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

ITV News has found evidence that children are being targeted in one of Africa's bloodiest civil wars.

Many have suffered horrific injuries, as violence in the Central African Republic sinks to what the United Nations calls a "vicious new low".

Read it all and note the many video links available.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaCentral African Republic* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

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Posted January 9, 2014 at 7:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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