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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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This Lent we, and thousands of others, made the rise of hunger in the UK the focus of our fasting. It has been a time of sorrowful and deep reflection on a rise we see every day in the numbers visiting food banks in towns and cities across the country.
The Trussell Trust figures, released today, only further illustrate this terrible rise, from 350,000 last year to over 900,000 this year. This figure, shocking as it is, is far from the total number of people going hungry in our country today – from those too ashamed to visit their local food bank to those many families not in crisis but ever more worried about keeping the cupboards full. One in four is cutting portion sizes and half are cutting their household food budgets.
Lent has finally seen the beginning of a real national discussion on what this hunger means, what causes it and how we as a society can begin rising to the challenge of this national crisis.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Holy Week Lent * Culture-Watch Dieting/Food/Nutrition Globalization Hunger/Malnutrition Poverty Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
In 2004, The New Yorker magazine quoted the screenwriter Dennis Klein as saying that Mr. Ramis rescued comedies from “their smooth, polite perfection” by offering a new, rough-hewn originality. The writer of the article, Tad Friend, compared Mr. Ramis’s impact on comedy to that of Elvis Presley on rock and Eminem on rap.
“More than anyone else,” Paul Weingarten wrote in The Chicago Tribune Magazine in 1983, “Harold Ramis has shaped this generation’s ideas of what is funny.”
Read it all.
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.”
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children Dieting/Food/Nutrition Health & Medicine Hunger/Malnutrition Psychology * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
But during the conference, sponsored by the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services, ...[Cardinal Timothy Dolan] also called on Catholics to deepen their knowledge of this issue and register their concerns with their elected representatives.
"Americans generally, and our Catholic brothers and sisters especially, need to become better informed of the systematic challenges to the fundamental right of religious freedom in far too many countries," the cardinal urged.
The first freedom, which we too often take for granted in our own nation, even as we are vigilant in its defense, is under often violent attack.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Globalization Hunger/Malnutrition Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Libya
Significant progress on global malnutrition can be made in 2011, the ecumenical anti-hunger group Bread for the World said Monday (Nov. 22) in its new annual report on hunger.
The U.S. government’s “Feed the Future” initiative has the potential to reduce hunger by addressing long-term economic development and focusing on small farmers, said Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the World Institute.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Hunger/Malnutrition Poverty * Economics, Politics Economy The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
The president of a Christian anti-hunger lobbying group won the premier award for fighting world hunger.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton awarded the World Food Prize to Bread for the World President David Beckmann at the State Department on Wednesday (June 16).
Beckmann, an economist and ordained Lutheran minister, shared the $250,000 prize with Jo Luck, president of Heifer International.
Read it all.
It's hard to get credit these days, except when it comes to fixing your teeth. Across the country, dental credit cards are becoming more popular for those who don't have insurance or enough money to pay for a procedure. But a growing number of critics warn the cards cause more problems than they solve.
Joseph Lopez, 75, lives in a Sacramento trailer park. Last year, his wife needed a bridge for her teeth. It had a $3,000 price tag and Lopez didn't have dental insurance. So, he says, he got a special kind of loan.
"They told me I would not have any interest for two years," Lopez says, but when the bill came, the treatment hadn't been completed. And it was for $5,000 — $2,000 more than he agreed to.
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A painful reminder of the consequences of the current recession--watch it all.
Thanksgiving came early this year for residents of Johns and Wadmalaw islands.
Nineteen churches pulled together Saturday to host "Feeding the Multitude," which included a free Thanksgiving meal, entertainment and Christian fellowship.
Although Sunday mornings have been called one of the most segregated times in America, black, white and Hispanic volunteers contributed food, time and talent to serve their neighbors Saturday afternoon.
The event was held at St. John's Episcopal Church on Johns Island, and organizers hope it will become an annual event.
Hooray for Saint John's! Read it all.
Food insecurity in America continued to rise last year, and participation in the food stamp program is approaching record highs, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday (Nov. 17).
In 2007, 11.1 percent of U.S. households reported food insecurity -- what used to be labeled as "hunger" -- up from 10.9 percent in 2006. About 4 percent of households were severely food insecure, meaning one or more adults had to adjust their eating habits because the household lacked resources for food.
The food stamp program now has more than 30 million people enrolled, an increase of 9.5 percent from 2006, and half of all babies receive supplemental nutrition from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, according to the report.
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A lovely and inspiring story, watch it all.
You've probably never heard a good news story about malnutrition, but you’re about to. Every year, malnutrition kills five million children -- that's one child every six seconds. But now, the Nobel Prize-winning relief group "Doctors Without Borders" says it finally has something that can save millions of these children.
It's cheap, easy to make and even easier to use. What is this miraculous cure? As CNN's Anderson Cooper reports, it's a ready-to-eat, vitamin-enriched concoction called "Plumpynut," an unusual name for a food that may just be the most important advance ever to cure and prevent malnutrition.
"It's a revolution in nutritional affairs," says Dr. Milton Tectonidis, the chief nutritionist for Doctors Without Borders.
Another from the long list of have-not-had-time-to-post-yet stuff. Read it all or better yet take the time to watch the video (a little over 11 minutes)
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