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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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CHARLESTON, SC, February 6, 2014 – The Diocese of South Carolina today asked the South Carolina Supreme Court to intervene in an appeal filed “primarily for the purpose of delay” by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).
TEC’s appeal challenges a lower court ruling on the process both sides may use in discovery leading up to a trial that will decide whether the denomination may seize South Carolina property, including churches and the diocesan symbols. The diocese argues that TEC is appealing a court order that is “unappealable”.
“[TEC and TECSC] are misusing the judicial system to delay resolution of this case,” says the diocese’s request for Supreme Court action. “Their strategy of appealing an interlocutory order is evidence of that intent. This is the same strategy that caused eight months to be wasted at the start of this case in federal court where they asked the federal court to override the state court injunction.”
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * South Carolina * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
A Brunswick Episcopal priest is exploring a new way to reach busy people at the start of the Lenten season.
On Ash Wednesday, the Rev. Lisa O’Rear-Lassen conducted an “Ashes to go” drive-through in front of St. Patrick Episcopal Church on Center Road.
The drive-through was open to anyone of any religion.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Lent * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Theology
Film critics have spoken: Son of God is a dud.
Just don’t tell that to the film’s producers, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. They found evidence of divine favor in the film’s release, citing the “truly miraculous” support they received as Catholic and evangelical leaders from Charlotte to Los Angeles threw their influence behind the movie. Clearly, their efforts were successful—a film that was a re-packaged version of scenes that aired during last year’s Bible miniseries brought in $26.5 million in ticket sales for its first weekend.
Burnett and Downey attribute the wave of support to a grassroots movement and the “quiet commitment of people of faith to spread the word about the life-changing love of Jesus to their friends and neighbors.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Media Movies & Television Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Christology Theology: Scripture
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-Watch Children Globalization Marriage & Family Psychology Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The REALITY at All Saints’ Church, Peshawar, on Sunday, 22 September 2013
This cataclysmic act committed by two suicide bombers shook the very foundations of our people and changed the very course of not only their lives but of the whole Christian community in Pakistan. It happened after the morning worship of Holy Communion while they were sharing an agape fellowship in the small compound of this historic church. The church was built in 1883 as the first church building of its kind, being designed like a mosque and especially for the use of the native Christians of the local area. Even at that time its foundations were filled with the blood of nine local Christian martyrs. It is located in the heart of the ancient historic city of Peshawar and in the neighbourhood of the famous Qissa Khawani (story tellers) bazaar, which was the hub of the travellers of ancient times when entering from Khyber Pass onto the Silk Route.
My relationship with this ‘gharana’ (family) goes back almost quarter of a century. I have shared their joys and sorrows during these years. I have been their friend and father-figure. Many of them I had Baptized, Confirmed and Married. It has been one of the two largest parishes in the Diocese of Peshawar and a bastion of indigenous Christianity in this famous border area of Pakistan/Afghanistan. Most of the families can claim their lineage in this area for well over a century. One of the most celebrated aspects of their Christian witness has always been their Easter procession, very often numbering up to five thousand young and old, women and children, singing and praying through the winding and narrow streets of the neighbourhood. Almost all of them speak and communicate in the local Pakhtun language and are also well versed in Pakhtun culture. So they have never felt themselves to be either outsiders or unfamiliar with the local customs and traditions. For this reason they were always open and at ease with their Muslim neighbours.
This horrendous tragedy claimed nearly 300 victims of all ages, with 117 passing away and 162 receiving very serious and other injuries...
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * International News & Commentary Asia Pakistan * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Faiths * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
As the political situation in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula heats up and Ukrainians are still reeling from three months of determined occupation protests in Kiev that culminated in dozens of deaths and injuries, churches and religious officials have taken an active role.
“Our own Church stayed with the people as the struggle widened from a political one over integration with Europe into a larger one for basic human rights and dignity,” said Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, from Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church, which combines the Eastern Rite with loyalty to Rome. “It supported the people’s just aspirations throughout, while our priests led prayers and administered sacraments. It’s important we now look at things in a Christian way — seeking justice without revenge.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Europe Russia Ukraine * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Thank you for your news story on Monday entitled “Church ready to split from England on Homosexuals.”
I would like to make a very important clarification, and hope you will publish this clarification as widely as you did the first story, because the story paints a very misleading picture of the Church of Uganda’s actual relationship with the Church of England.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Church of Uganda Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
Google’s playful primary colors, quirky Doodles and whimsical office spaces are outward expressions of the company’s “Don’t be evil” motto. But the real work Googlers do trying to uphold that mantra goes far beyond flash.
I recently spoke with Ross LaJeunesse, Google’s global head of free expression and international relations, about what the company is doing to address hate speech, free speech and religious freedom online. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Brian Pellot: Why does Google have an entire team devoted to freedom of expression?
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Globalization Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture Science & Technology Sexuality * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and prayers today for our community. Our prayers are with the family of Deacon Terry Star. Deacon Terry left this earth for the glories of heaven on March 4. His death was unexpected, caused by a heart attack that likely happened suddenly and peacefully in the night or early morning hours of March 4.
Read it all and enjoy the pictures.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Executive Council * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
The thing we need to remember as we try to get at this problem of sin is that it is very hard to get at it at all. There is so much that protects it from our inner eyes. The axiom of the Reformers is apropos here: “What the heart desires, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.” When we try to get at the motives of the heart, the mind and will are forever getting in the way justifying ourselves. These are like layers of garments swirling around the heart of our sin. But in Christ we can pray that through the work of the Holy Spirit, who convicts our hearts of sin; the liturgy’s use of Psalm 51 and the Litany of Penitence’s brutal naming of sins; and with the Scripture’s constant entreating us to turn to God’s mercy and forgiveness; these will rend or tear through the layers and layers of these garments eventually leaving the sinful heart revealed that we might by grace turn and look to Jesus Christ—to his cross and death. St. Paul’s letter assigned for today reminds us of this. “For our sake he [God] made him [Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21) He reminds us that the heart of our need is nothing less than the Cross; God’s forgiving love, his reconciling work and grace. Nothing else will do. For once the sin in the heart is revealed and his forgiveness received, the transforming work of God’s Spirit begins to tune our lives. And from here, through Divine-human cooperation, even the disciplines of the Spiritual life (as enumerated in the Ash Wednesday liturgy, see BCP, p. 264) may be of service. But we must get the order correct. Begin with the Lenten disciplines and we will go awry every time—going from infestation of mice to cats to dogs to lions to elephants and back to mice again. Begin and remain in a grace-filled repentance that yields a torn and contrite heart and God’s grace shall abound. Then we may seek God’s guidance about self-denials and devotionals and whatever else we find to mark our mortal nature in grace. Yet we dare not side step the word of apostolic proclamation—“We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
Read it all.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
If the number of awards scooped up by George Marsden's 2003 biography of Jonathan Edwards is taken as the index of achievement, Marsden stands as the dean of living interpreters of American religion. With The Twilight of the American Enlightenment, he offers another compelling study, one that relates more to his own life and times than to a life from the past.
In six artfully crafted chapters, Marsden sketches the tectonic shifts set in motion in the years immediately following World War II. He looks at common assumptions held by the leading cultural analysts of the age, intellectuals writing for middlebrow Americans. The protagonists were mostly white, male, well educated (especially at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia), centered in New York City, and descended from old-stock Protestant culture. Alongside these were a fair number of Jews, many of them émigrés from Nazi Europe. Leading figures included journalist Walter Lippmann, poet Archibald MacLeish, historian Arthur Schlesinger, magazine tycoon Henry Luce, culture critic Hannah Arendt, and especially sociologists Vance Packard, Erich Fromm, and David Reisman. Taken together, their views constituted what might be called the liberal mainline consensus.
The two books bear important similarities. Both are beautifully written and reveal imposing erudition. But they also bear important differences. While Jonathan Edwards is long, richly detailed, and largely descriptive, American Enlightenment is short, elegantly interpretative, and strongly argued. Another difference concerns the reaction from readers and critics. The Edwards biography won virtually unanimous praise. This latest offering likely will provoke both sustained praise and spirited debate (sometimes both at once).
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Books Education History Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Personal Finance * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
I have become more and more suspicious of the concept of the nominal Christian. Our parish churches are supposed to be full of nominal Christians who are just going through the motions, of half-believers who are relying on their good works and who have not really surrendered to Christ and accepted the Gospel. In any parish church there are a few real apostates, and a few real scoffers and perhaps a few who genuinely hate God. Their numbers are routinely exaggerated. Most of the people who come to the church Sunday by Sunday know they are dying and are placing their hope in Christ. It may be an inarticulate hope, it may be a confused hope. Often there are huge brambles of misunderstanding that must be cleared away before the whole power of the good news can come in upon them. Often there is real darkness into which the light of Christ has not yet come and which cries out for a light-bearer. Yet, they come. When Jesus saw such as these gathered in their multitudes on the hill side, the sight provoked in him not contempt for the nominal but compassion, “for they were like sheep without a shepherd.”
Read the whole thing.
"Confess your faults one to another" (Jas. 5:16). He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. This pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. so we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!
But it is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; He wants you alone. "My son, give me thine heart" (Prov. 23:26). God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation through truth. You can hide nothing from God. The mask you wear before men will do you no good before Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to on lying to yourself and your brothers, as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner. Thank God for that; He loves the sinner but He hates sin.
--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
...We are all over stimulated. Blessed Lent, the sad springtime of the Church's year is the time when we support each other as believers in simplifying our lives; removing fuel from the fires of rage and fear; facing a little more of the shadow world within by laying aside some of our usual comforters...
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Lent * Theology Anthropology Christology
Are human beings born good or born with a volcanic anti-God allergy in their hearts? Answering this theological question is one of THE great challenges for Christians as we stand on the brink of a new millennium.
On one side of the divide stands Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Men and women “are born free,” he famously said in his Social Contract, yet “everywhere” they are “in chains.” Rousseau believed that we are born good. His explanation for the deep problems in the world? They came to us from outside us. Error and prejudice, murder and treason, were the products of corrupt environments: educational, familial, societal, political, and, yes, ecclesiastical.
Note carefully that the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM is located outside men and women, and the MEANS of evil developing comes from the outside in. The NATURE of the problem is one of environment and knowledge.
Augustine (354-430) saw things very differently. Describing the decision by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Augustine writes in The City of God: “Our parents fell into open disobedience because they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not an evil will preceded it.” The motive for this evil will was pride. “This is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself … By craving to be more” we “became less;” and “by aspiring to be self-sufficing,” we “fell away from him who truly suffices” us.
For Augustine, men and women as we find them today are creatures curved in on themselves. We are rebels who, rather than curving up and out in worship to God, instead curved in and down into what Malcolm Muggeridge once termed “the dark little dungeon of our own” egos.
In this view the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM is located inside men and women, and the means of evil developing comes from the inside out (note Jesus’ reasoning in Mark 7:18-23). The NATURE of the problem is one of the will.
The difference between Augustine and Rousseau could not be more stark. In a Western world permeated by Rousseau, we need the courage to return to the challenge and depth of Augustine’s insight.
To do so makes the good news of the gospel even better. Think of Easter. What is the image which Paul uses to describe what occurs when a man or woman turns to Christ? New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)! Jesus rose to transform the entire created order from the inside out, beginning with our evil wills which he replaces with “a new heart…and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26).
--Kendall S. Harmon from a piece in 2007
Read and look through it all.
Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Energy, Natural Resources Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Europe Russia Ukraine * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Principally focusing on John 12:32, "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself" (ESV), Bp. Lawrence related how this verse addresses why suffering so often draws people in varying ways to the foot of the cross. He also shared his own personal experience of seeking the Truth as a young man.
Our first parents fell into open disobedience because already they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not an evil will preceded it. And what is the origin of our evil will but pride? For "pride is the beginning of sin." And what is pride but the craving for undue exaltation? And this is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself. This happens when it becomes its own satisfaction....The devil, then, would not have ensnared man in the open and manifest sin of doing what God had forbidden, had man not already begun to live for himself....By craving to be more, man became less; and by aspiring to be self-sufficing, he fell away from him who truly suffices him.
--Augustine, The City of God 14.13
The idea of national repentance seems at first sight to provide such an edifying contrast to that national self-righteousness of which England is so often accused and with which she entered (or is said to have entered) the last war, that a Christian naturally turns to it with hope. Young Christians especially-last-year undergraduates and first-year curates- are turning to it in large numbers. They are ready to believe that England bears part of the guilt for the present war, and ready to admit their own share in the guilt of England. What that share is, I do not find it easy to determine. Most of these young men were children, and none of them had a vote or the experience which would enable them to use a vote wisely, when England made many of those decisions to which the present disorders could plausibly be traced. Are they, perhaps, repenting what they have in no sense done?
If they are, it might be supposed that their error is very harmless: men fail so often to repent their real sins that the occasional repentance of an imaginary sin might appear almost desirable. But what actually happens (I have watched it happening) to the youthful national penitent is a little more complicated than that. England is not a natural agent, but a civil society. When we speak of England's actions we mean the actions of the British government. The young man who is called upon to repent of England's foreign policy is really being called upon to repent the acts of his neighbor; for a foreign secretary or a cabinet minister is certainly a neighbor. And repentance presupposes condemnation. The first and fatal charm of national repentance is, therefore, the encouragement it gives us to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the congenial one of bewailing-but, first, of denouncing-the conduct of others.
--C.S. Lewis, "Dangers of national repentance"
O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would hearken to his voice!
Suspected Islamic extremists bombed three church buildings on Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar in February, with one of the blasts injuring several Christians, sources said.
A bomb exploded near the door of the Evangelistic Assemblies of God Zanzibar (EAGZ) church building on Feb. 23 in Kijito Upele-Fuoni, outside Zanzibar City, just before the end of the service at about 1:15 p.m., according to area Christian leader Lucian Mgaywa.
The loud explosion shook the building on the island 16 miles (25 kilometers) off the coast of Tanzania, a church member said.
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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.
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Channel Islands churches could stop paying money to the Diocese of Winchester and instead pay it into a shared fund.
Lay members of the Anglican Church in Jersey have brought forward the plan.
Bruce Willing, a lay member, says paying the money into a shared fund will help if they decide to become a separate diocese.
The Channel Islands split from Winchester in January after a dispute over how abuse complaints were handled.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Church of England is ramping up the exposure of its £6bn endowment to alternative investments such as hedge funds and private equity in a move that will cement its position as one of the UK’s largest single investors in these types of assets.
The Church Commissioners who manage the endowment will meet next month to decide on the fund’s allocations and are set to increase its exposure to alternative investments, which also include residential property and farm land, according to a Church spokesman. Alternatives already account for almost a third of the fund.
Read it all (if necessary another link may be found there).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Currency Markets Stock Market * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Jesus Christ is serious business. The remarkable ratings of The Bible miniseries on the History Channel led to the release of the new film Son of God. Producers played up the fact that it had been 10 years since Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ was released and grossed at the box office more than $600 million internationally. In its opening weekend, the Son of God made $26 million—not bad, given that its content had previously aired on television.
Both films are serious for their revenue generating, their strategic niche marketing to the religiously devout, and their tone, style, and approach. The Passion was two hours of brutality. Some reviewers screamed that it was a horror flick, not a holy one. Gibson was intent on accuracy (or at least how his particular Catholicism viewed the sacred story). The characters did not speak English and he had the color of actor Jim Caviezel’s eyes digitally altered from blue to brown and gave him a prosthetic nose to make him look “authentically” Jewish. The Son of God is serious in its own way. A “political thriller” and an epic “love story,” the film features overtly evangelical themes of the virgin birth, miraculous healings, vicious crucifixion, and the resurrection.
Jesus films have not always been so serious, and they have not always been directed toward particular segments of the Christian community. In the 1970s, Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar used whimsy, even silliness, to tell the old, old story, and both sought mass appeal.
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In his most recent column, Douthat strives to reframe the current debate about anti-gay discrimination (and even segregation) into one about sincere believers being brutally trampled by gay rights activists eager to bury religious freedom. It’s a failed effort, but a useful failure nonetheless. Arizona’s anti-gay bill may be dead, but several more are alive and kicking, and Douthat neatly anticipates the many straw men, euphemisms, and verbal chicanery anti-gay forces will deploy to make their case.
In fact, Douthat’s column is such an effective piece of homophobic apologia that I expect many red state politicians to borrow from its playbook in the coming months and years. To make their job easier, I’ve laid out the most effective means of disguising raw hatred as religious liberty and rounding discrimination down to “dissent.” If you’re thinking about introducing an anti-gay discrimination bill to your own state’s legislature, you should pay close attention.
Read it all.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Psychology Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
While we pray today for the people of Ukraine we might also examine our own consciences about the ways in which we have lived a double-standard and the consequences for others of our own sins. Repentance isn’t just about saying sorry to God and having a firm purpose of amendment.
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If Daniel Nadler is right, a generation of college graduates with well-paid positions as junior researchers and analysts in the banking industry should be worried about their jobs. Very worried.
Mr Nadler’s start-up, staffed with ex-Google engineers and backed partly by money from Google’s venture capital arm, is trying to put them out of work.
Its algorithms assess how different securities are likely to react after the release of a market-moving piece of information, such as a monthly employment report. That is the kind of work usually done by well-educated junior analysts, who pull data from terminals, fill in spreadsheets and crunch numbers. “There are several hundred thousand people employed in that capacity. We do it with machines,” says Mr Nadler. “We’re not competing with other [tech] providers. We’re competing with people.”
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Just why is American politics so dysfunctional? One answer is that both parties, for different reasons, have created self-serving mythologies that reward them for not dealing with pressing problems that, though daunting, are hardly sudden or secret. For proof, see Paul Taylor’s new book, “The Next America.” Taylor oversees many of the Pew Research Center’s opinion surveys. His masterful synthesis of polls shows that three familiar mega-trends lie at the core of America’s political and social stalemate.
Second, family breakdown. In 2011, unmarried women accounted for 41 percent of U.S. births, up from 5 percent in 1960....
Finally, aging. Every day 10,000 baby boomers turn 65. The retiree flood is swamping the federal budget. By 2022, Social Security, Medicare and the non-child share of Medicaid will exceed half the budget, up from 30 percent in 1990, projects an Urban Institute study. To make room for the elderly, defense and many domestic programs are being relentlessly squeezed.
There’s no generational justice, argues Taylor: “The young today are paying taxes to support a level of benefits for the old that they themselves have no prospect of receiving when they become old.”
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But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
The Church of England is launching a year long project on Twitter to tell the story of the Church of England through the eyes of its people, providing a daily insight into modern faith in action.
The Project - @OurCofE - will be launched on 3rd March 2014 where over the course of a year, bishops, clergy, chaplains, youth workers and churchgoers from around the country will be given a week each to tweet about their life inside the Church of England.
The project is inspired by similar twitter accounts such as @sweden which was set up by the Swedish tourist board who invited people to take turns in tweeting their life in Sweden for a week, each with their own unique view of the country.
Read it all and Kate Reynolds has comments there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Media Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
On the first anniversary of the Newtown shootings, Rep. Tim Murphy, a Republican from Upper St. Clair, rose in the House to propose a bill in response to this tragedy and others like it. As the only clinical psychologist in Congress, and in a party that has resisted gun control efforts, his suggestion may seem to some beside the point. That would be a mistake.
The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, the result of a yearlong investigation by a House subcommittee led by Mr. Murphy, is a serious attempt to reduce gun violence by another means.
Although Mr. Murphy’s HR 3717 may not fix every defect in the mental health system, it is a bold, sweeping attempt at reform. It comes at a time when governments have cut their mental-health budgets for community care, leaving the nation’s prison system the last hope for many with mental illness (up to an estimated 50 percent of inmates have a mental illness).
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Prison/Prison Ministry Psychology Mental Illness Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General House of Representatives * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
After an extended, mediated negotiation, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, which has over 3,300 members, including former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University academia, and those in the Silicon Valley...[voted by 93% to]... move forward with the recommendation by their elders and pastors.
In a sermon delivered on Feb. 2, MPPC's senior pastor John Ortberg explained how the $8.89 million was arrived and explained why the elders still voted unanimously against the option of simply staying in PCUSA.
"As you all know, we have a vision. We have a mission. We want to reach thousands of people for Jesus Christ around this Bay Area that needs him so much," he said. "We want to launch new sites to help us do that."
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Presbyterian * Theology
Whatever course the Russian intervention may take, it is not an attempt to stop a fascist coup, since nothing of the kind has taken place. What has taken place is a popular revolution, with all of the messiness, confusion, and opposition that entails. The young leaders of the Maidan, some of them radical leftists, have risked their lives to oppose a regime that represented, at an extreme, the inequalities that we criticize at home. They have an experience of revolution that we do not. Part of that experience, unfortunately, is that Westerners are provincial, gullible, and reactionary.
Thus far the new Ukrainian authorities have reacted with remarkable calm. It is entirely possible that a Russian attack on Ukraine will provoke a strong nationalist reaction: indeed, it would be rather surprising if it did not, since invasions have a way of bringing out the worst in people. If this is what does happen, we should see events for what they are: an entirely unprovoked attack by one nation upon the sovereign territory of another.
Insofar as we have accepted the presentation of the revolution as a fascist coup, we have delayed policies that might have stopped the killing earlier, and helped prepare the way for war. Insofar as we wish for peace and democracy, we are going to have to begin by getting the story right.
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Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long.
Sudanese authorities arrested a pastor in Omdurman as he was preaching on Sunday (Feb. 23) and threatened that he would “face justice” unless he resigned his position, sources said.
Personnel from the Criminal Investigation Department entered the compound of Omdurman Evangelical Church and arrested the Rev. Yahya Abdelrahim Nalu as part of a government plan to take over properties of the church’s denomination, the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC), the sources said. Omdurman is opposite Khartoum on the River Nile.
The Federal Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments seeks to replace Nalu, senior leader at the church and moderator of the SPEC Synod, with a government-appointed committee that favors turning SPEC properties over to the government, they said.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Sudan * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Theology
While passages from the Psalms appeared in all 10 of the most populous countries' top five searches, they account for three of the top five searches in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh. The Old Testament rounded out all five of the top spots in Nigeria and Pakistan, while 1 Cor. 13 was the only New Testament passage to reach the top five in Bangladesh.
Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh rank No. 8, No. 14, and No. 48 respectively on Open Doors' World Watch List. The Pew Research Center also ranked the most populous countries and their levels of religious hostility.
Bible Gateway and GMI also reported on specific words people in the most populous countries are seeking: "guidance," "God," "comfort," "the word," "hope," "strength," "identity," "the beginning," "refuge," "mercy," and "love."
Just three search words—love, hope and strength—overlapped with the list of top 10 topical keywords searched last year.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Globalization Religion & Culture Science & Technology * Theology Theology: Scripture
What makes [The publicity of the Arizona debate and its]... response particularly instructive is that such bills have been seen, in the past, as a way for religious conservatives to negotiate surrender — to accept same-sex marriage’s inevitability while carving out protections for dissent. But now, apparently, the official line is that you bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.
Which has a certain bracing logic. If your only goal is ensuring that support for traditional marriage diminishes as rapidly as possible, applying constant pressure to religious individuals and institutions will probably do the job. Already, my fellow Christians are divided over these issues, and we’ll be more divided the more pressure we face. The conjugal, male-female view of marriage is too theologically rooted to disappear, but its remaining adherents can be marginalized, set against one other, and encouraged to conform.
I am being descriptive here, rather than self-pitying. Christians had plenty of opportunities — thousands of years’ worth — to treat gay people with real charity, and far too often chose intolerance. (And still do, in many instances and places.) So being marginalized, being sued, losing tax-exempt status — this will be uncomfortable, but we should keep perspective and remember our sins, and nobody should call it persecution.
But it’s still important for the winning side to recognize its power. We are not really having an argument about same-sex marriage anymore, and on the evidence of Arizona, we’re not having a negotiation. Instead, all that’s left is the timing of the final victory — and for the defeated to find out what settlement the victors will impose.
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Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses’ face because of its brightness, fading as this was, will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor.
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
--2 Corinthians 3:7-18
[Charles VonRosenberg]...emphasized, however, the need for Christian unity among different denominations and groups who might not agree on all issues but who can still operate as a family with common roots and missions of faith and service.
"The spirit of God moves through history in the direction of unity among God's people. I believe that principle," vonRosenberg said. "I pray for our unity, and I encourage you to join me in that belief and prayer."
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For Anglicans considering how to observe Lent this year, the Anglican Church of Canada is offering two online resources—one, a study of the Gospel of John and the other, a study of baptismal identity.
Love life: Living the gospel of love is a Lenten video series produced by the brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) for the Anglican Church of Canada. Those who subscribe will begin receiving daily emails starting on Ash Wednesday, March 5, which will include short videos and a thought-provoking question to ponder during the day.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Lent Spirituality/Prayer * Theology Theology: Scripture
The Bishop of Leicester, Rt. Revd. Tim Stevens and the Bishop of Birmingham, Rt. Revd. David Urquhart, have released a joint statement today in response to the draft child poverty strategy issued by the government.
The Bishops said: "We welcome the Government's firm commitment to ending child poverty by 2020. The measures announced in this paper are a step in the right direction, though much more will need to be done to enable us to come close to achieving this very ambitious target. As the economy recovers we encourage the Government to pursue policies to ensure that the proceeds of growth will be shared by low income families with children, and by other groups that have been most adversely affected by the recession."
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch Poverty Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Divorce is not God's will or desire for us. Even where divorce is allowed, it is not commanded, and then it is still a tragedy. Divorce leaves behind devastation and victims in its wake.
That God himself is a divorcee, despite his faultless covenant faithfulness, calls us to a more nuanced understanding of marriage and divorce. In our own marriages, God calls us to follow his example of covenant faithfulness, and has demonstrated how much grace and forgiveness is needed to maintain a relationship in the face of human sinfulness. God's example give us a framework to talk meaningfully about commitment and grace, and yet also to say that in situations of hard-hearted and deliberate covenant violation, divorce was allowed as God's way of officially declaring a broken covenant "broken."
We find wisdom when we view hot topics within the larger framework of Scripture. A discussion on purity should not just be about whether a person is a virgin when they marry (even if they've done "everything but"), but about how they steward their sexuality throughout their lives. Similarly, the litmus test for covenant faithfulness in marriage should not just be about whether or not someone got divorced (even if they did "everything but"), but about how we steward our marriages and make daily attempts to model God's faithfulness to our spouses.
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Canadians are “split into haves and have-nots by marriage lines,” the report concludes. “The big story is that Canadian are divided along marriage lines by income, and that share of marriage has remained remarkably stable among high income earners,” says co-author Peter Jon Mitchell, a senior researcher.
Among its recommendations: The government should “consider tax initiatives and youth education campaigns that promote marriage,” better work-life balance in workplace practices, and even support for marriage counselling, an approach adopted recently in Australia. Certainly, there’s an economic and social value in helping families stay together, especially when kids are involved.
But are Canadians split along marriage lines, or is income influence how they approach marriage? The Institute study argues “there is evidence for both.” But if it’s the latter, then encouraging the swapping of vows is not a particularly useful poverty measure on its own, as researchers in the United States have observed.
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I do not come to bury our culture (for it may well bury itself). Rather, I write to understand it. And there are few topics that we need to understand more than how our culture is viewing sex. Some of what I say may be familiar. I’m not striving to be creative, really, so much as I am seeking to speak a true word so as to be able to engage folks around me.
Nowhere are modern sexual mores more evident than in pop music. Pop music today is not singularly occupied by sex, but nearly so. And not just sex generally, but increasingly sexual acts. I think it’s important for Christians who want to engage the culture well to know that this development is not merely owing to an aberrant way of life, but to a different worldview. I commend Peter Jones’s The God of Sex, a prescient and underappreciated work from a few years back. Jones helped me to see that many people today have, wittingly or unwittingly, adopted a pagan outlook on life. In our modern neo-pagan world, the body is paramount, sex is cathartic and even gives meaning to life, and there is no telos or purpose for sex and relationships.
I cannot help but think of these matters when I listen, as I infrequently do, to secular rap and R&B.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Men Movies & Television Music Psychology Religion & Culture Sexuality Women * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Wicca / paganism * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Episcopalians are obliged to violate earthly laws in order to advance the higher law established by God, the dean of Washington National Cathedral said on February 24. During a panel on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the Very Rev. Gary R. Hall cited the actions of Episcopalians in the 1960s to desegregate the racially divided church.
Hall said every faith community has to decide whether it is prepared to engage in “disturbing the peace.” Otherwise, he asked, “Are we protectors of the status quo?”
“The church sometimes has to break the law,” he said, “in the service of a higher law.”
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The economy finished 2013 on a weaker footing than first thought, the government said on Friday, heightening concern that the United States is in the midst of another of the periodic slow patches that have dogged the recovery over the last five years.
The Commerce Department now estimates the economy grew at an annual pace of 2.4 percent in October, November and December, down from an initial estimate of 3.2 percent. The revised figure also represents a substantial slowing from the pace of growth in the third quarter, which totaled 4.1 percent. The department is scheduled to provide one more estimate of growth during the fourth quarter on March 27.
The downward revision comes after new data showing lackluster retail sales, inventory adjustments and a slightly less impressive trade balance late last year. Disappointing reports on job creation in December and January have also prompted fear of continued weakness into the spring of 2014.
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- The U.S. Government * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lo'is and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you. Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.
--2 Timothy 1:5-7
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.
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GCHQ, Britain’s electronic spying agency, intercepted and stored images of 1.8m Yahoo users taken from their personal webcams even though most of them were not suspected of wrongdoing, documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden show.
A secret programme called “Optic Nerve”, run in conjunction with the US National Security Agency, recorded millions of webcam images from ordinary internet users – as many as one in 10 of them sexually explicit – “in bulk”, the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday.
“Optic Nerve” tapped into Yahoo users’ accounts and took still images from their computer webcams every five minutes.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
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"Who do you like?" asked recent ads on Facebook...featuring young women in alluring poses.
Some of the ads were configured to reach young teens, who were invited to join an app called Ilikeq that let others rate their attractiveness, comment on their photos and say if they would like to date them.
That's how 14-year-old Erica Lowder's picture ended up on display to adult men online. Users of Ilikeq, one of Facebook's fastest-growing "lifestyle" apps, were able to click through to the Indianapolis girl's Facebook page.
"How can Facebook say here's how we're going to protect your kids, then sell all these ads to weird apps and sites that open kids up to terrible things?" asked Erica's mother, Dawn Lowder.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Media Psychology Science & Technology Teens / Youth * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Anglican priests in Enugu State on Thursday blocked the entry gates of eight primary and secondary schools, preventing academic activities.
The schools are located within an environment known as Women Training Centre. They include Urban Anglican Girls Secondary School, Metropolitan Anglican Secondary School and City Anglican Secondary School, as well as five primary schools.
The clerics were protesting an alleged directive to authorities of the schools by the state Ministry of Education that they should cease dealing with the Anglican Church on the ground that government had repossessed mission schools.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Culture-Watch Education Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The simmering dispute between the Anglican Church and the Enugu State Government deepened on Thursday, leading to a shut-down of activities at some parts of the state.
The latest crisis followed moves by the Enugu State Government to reclaim some schools owned by the church.
Before now, the leadership of the Anlican Church in the State had consistently accused the Chime-led government of having some bias against it.
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Ukraine's interior minister has accused Russian naval forces of occupying Sevastopol airport in the autonomous region of Crimea.
Arsen Avakov called their presence an "armed invasion".
But Russia's Black Sea Fleet has denied that Russian servicemen are taking part.
The other main Crimean airport, Simferopol, has also been occupied by armed men. The men are thought to be pro-Russia militia.
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The seven of us sit in a room in a maximum-security prison. I come and go weekly; they will be there for the rest of their lives. They tell me about their faith. One man has a calloused bump on his forehead, the result of his salat, bowing down to God, pressing his head into his rug, into the concrete floor of his cell: a dedication to prayer. “Allah found me in my cell,” he says. The other men nod their heads, even though they are not Muslims; they are Christians of various traditions: Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness. Yet each knows what it feels like for his God to find him in prison, regardless of profound differences in theological language and faith practices. When I’m with them, I’m within a religious pluralism unknown to me outside of prison.In Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison, Joshua Dubler explores this phenomenon of religious pluralism within U.S. prisons by spending time with the various faith communities that congregate in the chapel at the maximum-security prison in Graterford, Pennsylvania. From the chapel, Dubler tracks the religious practices of the faithful among the 3,500 men confined inside Graterford’s walls. His book is a tapestry of scenes from worship services, small group discussions, and conversations with imprisoned men who open their spiritual lives to him. A Roman Catholic chaplain describes his visitation of the forgotten men on death row as a “ministry of presence”: “to have somebody drop in . . . to show them that they’re remembered.” A correctional officer engages in “Christian apologetics” while policing the chapel. A Muslim prisoner named Baraka’s discussions and debates enlighten the author’s observations of incarcerated life.
Dubler shows up at Graterford as a budding ethnographer and becomes a man captured by friendships—by relationships mediated through religious encounters in prison. “How truly bizarre that this awful place,” he reflects, “should afford such profound pleasure to those who feel called to enter into it and partake in its overflowing meaningfulness.”
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The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, has described the House of Bishops' pastoral statement on same-sex marriage, which he signed a fortnight ago, as "Anglican fudge".
The Bishops have also been challenged over the accuracy of their guidance, issued on 15 February. In it, they reiterated the ban on same-sex marriages in church, and stated that clergy may not enter into gay marriages... Several priests have publicly declared their intention to defy the Bishops.
Dr Sentamu, speaking at a meeting of Jewish and Christian students in Durham in the middle of last week, said that the Church of England's position was that "a clergy person has a right, an expectation, to live within the teaching of the Church, but for lay people and others they should be welcomed into the Church.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to thy name; the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
Married couples will be able to draft their own DIY divorce settlements using an officially-approved financial formula without having to fight over details in court under plans put before ministers today.
Under proposals put forward by the Government’s legal reviewer, prenuptial agreements would become legally binding in England and Wales for the first time.
The Law Commission is also urging the Government to consider devising a specific numerical formula which separating couples could use to calculate how to divide their assets.
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Unfortunately, in the eyes of many Central Asians, America’s interest does not extend beyond gas and oil. Washington’s decision to pull back from Afghanistan in 2014 will likely erode American influence at the very moment when it could do the most good — especially as rising prosperity increases pressure for governments to loosen their grip. Greater freedom presents great dangers, as the disillusions of the Arab Spring have so sadly demonstrated.
Yet it may be in Central Asia, rather than the Middle East, Pakistan or Indonesia, where the ideals that both Presidents Bush and Obama have espoused will be most actively pursued in coming years. This is not to suggest that Washington pay less attention to the Arab world, but perhaps it is time for us to listen to our own lectures on the possibilities of a peaceful and intellectually open version of Islam, and to back those societies that are trying most successfully to advance it today.
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The National Council of FIFNA endorses and affirms the ACNA College of Bishops’ statement (See below) issued on Feb 25, 2014, regarding the invitation to Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach at Nashotah House.
In the interest of restoring “the trust that this particular invitation has seriously shaken,” we request that the invitation either be rescinded or that the venue be changed to an academic lecture by Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori in a non-liturgical context, followed by a time for discussion and response.
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As Prime Minister David Cameron enters into tortuous negotiations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the future shape of Europe; and as Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson threatens to resign over certain secret assurances given to Irish Republican terrorists classified as "On The Run"; and as the Ukraine descends into a bloody civil war about historic matters of ethnicity, identity, religion, and whether or not Russia is more Christian and free than the EU; and as Syria (remember that?) pours out a vast sea of destitute and diseased humanity, where Christians are beheaded and mothers die in childbirth; spare a thought for Church of England as it continues to agonise over the House of Bishops Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is trying to move on (with an ecumenical focus on social action projects), but the Bishop of Oxford has written a letter to his clergy in which he pours out his anguish and sorrow over the House of Bishops' statement, and explains his personal torment and the torture deep within his soul over the limbo caused by the statement. For Bishop John, civil partnership is not and can never be the same thing as marriage, and he has long trodden a narrow path which has pleased neither wing of the sexuality divide. It is not so much a question of sheep and goats, as which pasture is most conducive for spiritual grazing and where the theological grass is greener. But the inadequacy, ambiguity, obfuscation and internal contradictions contained in the Bishops' Dog's Breakfast Pastoral Guidance would do Sir Humphrey proud. For some, it comes as a great relief; for others, it is cruel and absurd. God reveals Himself in His Word, which requires exegesis, interpretation and a grasp of its fundamental Sitz im Leben. But the Bishops cloak Him in shadowy puzzlement and shroud the Word in smog. Doing theology in this context is nigh impossible.
This guidance permits the Church of England to begin the facilitated conversations that were advocated in the Pilling Report. There is no predetermined outcome, but the distrust and suspicion on both sides clouds understanding, makes prayer a profound spiritual struggle, and fellowship a depressing hassle.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The impression is that if only poor people would organise their lives more effectively, work harder at work or at finding work, and help each other out a little more, the problems would disappear.
This is not just a comforting fantasy for the comfortably-off, it’s a dangerous delusion. It ignores the huge structural changes affecting the British economy, thanks to technology, international competition and immigration. The top 1 per cent have seen their share of earnings increase from 7 to 10 per cent in two decades, but median pay has been static or falling for ten years. The decline is sharpest for those at the bottom of the scale.
Poor people are getting poorer because full-time jobs are disappearing or wage rates are being cut. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that the income of those in the bottom tenth of the income range peaked in 2004 and has been falling ever since. At the same time there have been above-inflation rises in essential costs. Since 2008 gas and electricity prices have risen by almost two thirds, food by a third, transport by a quarter. The result is that incomes and wealth are being squeezed as never before. Half of all families on average to low incomes have no savings whatsoever.
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For healthcare reform to mature unimpeded, the debates surrounding the Affordable Care Act require concentrated, nonpartisan attention. And for reform to succeed, we also need hospitals to flourish, especially in places with few options.
Every hospital has a story to tell. Lower Oconee Community Hospital will not keep the nation's attention for long, but its absence and that of other hospitals that close will certainly leave profound voids throughout their communities. Rather than ignore these continuing cracks in the foundation of our evolving healthcare system, there is much to be learned from these now-defunct facilities. We would do well to address the underlying problems behind the closures.
As any medical practitioner will tell you, it is wiser to treat the cause today than alleviate the symptoms tomorrow.
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The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori has not ruled out seeking a second nine year term as Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of the USA.
Her comments came amidst a wide ranging interview broadcast on 25 Feb 2014 interview Kansas City National Public Radio affiliate station KCUR.
Asked about the sharp decline in membership since the 1960s, Bishop Jefferts Schori said the decline did not worry her. While there were fewer Episcopalians today, they were nonetheless better Episcopalians. The “membership levels of 50 years ago are not reflective of the faith” of the people in the pews she noted.
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Leaders of the Episcopal Church in Alabama were vocal in their belief that slavery was a benign institution. "Its members tended to be disproportionaately slaveowners," Vaughn said. "They believed there wasn't any discrepancy between the Christian message and slave ownership. They didn't see any conflict at all. They were blinded by their financial self-interests."
One of the towering but controversial figures in Alabama's church history was Bishop C.C.J. Carpenter, who was scolded by both the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and by Episcopal seminarian Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who took part in marches in Selma in 1965 and was killed in Hayneville protecting a black girl from a shotgun blast. Daniels defied Carpenter, coming to Alabama in spite of Carpenter's warning to outside agitators. Daniels and other Episcopal seminarians picketed Carpenter House, the diocesan headquarters in Birmingham, and wrote that "The Carpenter of Birmingham must not be allowed to forever deny the Carpenter of Nazareth," in a harsh letter to Carpenter.
"I think Carpenter was a great bishop in many ways," Vaughn said. "He's remembered as a kindly, warm grandfatherly figure. He increased membership; he increased the budget. He just didn't get it though when it came to the civil rights movement."
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Books Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The elements of Benedict's "hermeneutic of reform" are nothing new in the life of the Church. Both Yves Congar in the 1960s and John Henry Newman in the late 1800s made exactly the same arguments for genuine reform: the application of a principle of internal ressourcement is the only way to a true expression of catholicity. Here I quote from Congar and Newman respectively:
"There are only two possible ways of bringing about renewal or updating. You can either make the new element that you want to put forward normative, or you can take as normative the existing reality that needs to be updated or renewed ... You will end up with either a mechanical updating in danger of becoming both a novelty and a schismatic reform, on the one hand, or a genuine renewal (a true development) that is a reform in and of the Church, on the other hand."It is no mere coincidence that both Newman and Congar are universally recognised as being two of the great "prophets" who shaped the reforming agenda taken up by the Second Vatican Council.
"Those [developments] which do but contradict and reverse the course of doctrine which has been developed before them, and out of which they spring, are certainly corrupt; for a corruption is a development in that very stage in which it ceases to illustrate, and begins to disturb, the acquisitions gained in its previous history."
Any analysis of the reception of the Council in the life of the Church today, any contemporary call for reform in the life of the Church precipitated by current events and times, and any reform proposed by Pope Francis, would do well to keep in mind the elements by which genuine ecclesial reform will happen. As a theological friend from outside of the Catholic tradition has recently put it, "No one who has not learned to be traditional can dare to innovate."
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
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A Song of Ascents. Of David. O LORD, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother's breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.
Brunei's all-powerful sultan, stung by rare criticism, has ordered social media users to stop attacking his plans to introduce harsh Islamic criminal punishments in the placid oil-rich kingdom.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah -- one of the world's wealthiest men -- announced last October that Brunei would phase in sharia law punishments such as flogging, severing limbs and death by stoning beginning April 1.
The move has sparked a growing outcry on social media, the only outlet for public criticism of authorities in the Muslim country where questioning the 67-year-old sultan is taboo.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Asia Brunei * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
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.
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A row has broken out between faith leaders and the Government over the impact of reforms to the welfare system.
The war of words was sparked by a letter in the Daily Mirror last week, signed by 27 Anglican bishops, which accused the Government of creating a food-poverty crisis by changing and restricting various benefits.
David Cameron denied that his government was to blame for up to 500,000 visits to foodbanks last year. He said that he was on a "moral mission" to end dependency on welfare payments.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch Dieting/Food/Nutrition Poverty Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Last June, in an interview with Adam Bryant of The Times, Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google — i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies — noted that Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. ... We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also noted that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time” — now as high as 14 percent on some teams. At a time when many people are asking, “How’s my kid gonna get a job?” I thought it would be useful to visit Google and hear how Bock would answer.
Don’t get him wrong, Bock begins, “Good grades certainly don’t hurt.” Many jobs at Google require math, computing and coding skills, so if your good grades truly reflect skills in those areas that you can apply, it would be an advantage. But Google has its eyes on much more.
“There are five hiring attributes we have across the company,” explained Bock. “If it’s a technical role, we assess your coding ability, and half the roles in the company are technical roles. For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.”
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Please take the time to read them in order (from bottom to top). An excerpt follows:
My experience at both Trinity and Nashotah House has led me to conclude:
1. You can be an Anglican seminary outside the control of the Episcopal Church and still survive.
2. You cannot be a seminary in the Episcopal Church and remain orthodox.
In witness to that, I point to the following news I received today: Bishop Iker Resigns in Protest From Nashotah House Board (because Bp. Salmon has invited Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach in Nashotah House's Chapel), an event that is shocking and tragic to many alumni.
Just as my "getting the House in Trouble" by reaching out to the AMiA and the ACNA and starting a congregation in the seminary chapel may have been the low point (as some would reckon it) of my deanship, the scandal of inviting Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach in the seminary chapel will probably go down as the low point of Bp. Salmon's deanship. I can only say that I would put the low point of my deanship up against the low point of Bp. Salmon's deanship any day. (I would also gladly compare the high points of my deanship with the high points of his.)
In Bp. Salmon's first interview as Dean and President, Doug LeBlanc reported:
Salmon said he plans to strengthen relationships, both among seminary faculty and staff and between the seminary and bishops of the Episcopal Church. (Emphasis added.)
Well, now we see where that has led, don't we? Salmon is further quoted as saying,
"The name of leadership is relationships - people connecting with each other and working together," he said. "Our broken relationships in the Church are a testimony against the Gospel."
No, Bishop, the heterodoxy of the Episcopal Church, in general, and of Katharine Jefferts Schori, in particular, are a testimony against the Gospel. We are called to separate ourselves from false teachers; and a shepherd, whether of a diocese, a parish, or a seminary, is called to protect his flock from wolves. In the words of the ordination vows Bishop Salmon took: “Are you ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God’s Word; and both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others to do the same?” To lead a seminary like Nashotah House in these days, and to fail to keep that ordination vow, is to see your seminary turn into another Seabury-Western, or General, or worse.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Seminary / Theological Education Theology: Scripture
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,...
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch Children Dieting/Food/Nutrition Marriage & Family Poverty Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Bishop of Truro, Rt Rev Tim Thornton, is to co-chair a major parliamentary inquiry into foodbanks and food poverty in Britain.
The inquiry, which will involve MPs and Peers from all parties, will focus on the underlying causes of food poverty and reasons for the growth in food banks.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch Dieting/Food/Nutrition Poverty Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Solidarity with the persecuted Church is an obligation of Christian faith. Reflecting on how well each of us has lived that obligation is a worthy point on which to examine one’s conscience during Lent. And that brings me to a suggestion: Revive the ancient tradition of daily readings from the Roman Martyrology this coming Lent by spending 10 minutes a day reading John Allen’s new book, The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution (Image).
The longtime Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and CNN’s senior Vatican analyst, Allen has recently moved to the Boston Globe as associate editor, where he (and we) will see if talent and resources can combine to deepen a mainstream media outlet’s coverage of all things Catholic, both in print and on the Web. Meanwhile, Allen will continue the Roman work that has made him the best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever—work that has given him a unique perspective on the world Church, and indeed on world Christianity. His extensive experience across the globe, and his contacts with everyone who’s anyone in the field of international religious freedom issues, makes him an ideal witness to what he calls, without exaggeration, a global war on Christian believers.
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Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
officer or ruler,
she prepares her food in summer,
and gathers her sustenance in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a vagabond,
and want like an armed man.
Listen to it all.
After herding the female students into a classroom, Islamist militants from the group Boko Haram fatally burned or shot dozens of male students in an attack late Monday on a state college in northeastern Nigeria, officials said on Tuesday. It was the fourth school assault attributed to the group in less than a year.
The assailants, who have vilified public education as blasphemous, then burned down dormitories and other buildings and shot at anyone trying to escape. None of the women were reported to have been harmed.
Abdulla Bego, a spokesman for the governor of Yobe State, where the attacks took place, said the killers had traveled in nine pickup trucks to the attack site, the Federal Government College Buni Yadi, about 45 miles from the state capital, Damaturu. They staged the ambush when soldiers in a military garrison assigned to protect the school were absent.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Education Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Religion & Culture Teens / Youth * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Politics in General Terrorism * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Chris Young will become a pioneer in the Diocese of Davenport this summer when he is ordained to the Catholic priesthood by Bishop Martin J. Amos.
Young, 53, is a married, former Episcopal priest, and Pope Francis has given Bishop Amos permission to ordain for the diocese him under a 1980 pastoral provision admitting former Episcopal priests who have become Catholic into the Catholic priesthood.
Under the provision, more than 100 men have been ordained to the Catholic priesthood in U.S. dioceses since 1983.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Francis * Theology Ecclesiology Pastoral Theology
June 28, 2006
Irenaeus of Lyon
The Members of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina have received with great thankfulness the clear statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury issued to the whole Communion on June 27, 2006 in which he states that disagreements over human sexuality must be settled on the basis of “Holy Scripture and Historic Teaching” and not through “social and legal” considerations. The Archbishop makes it very plain that the dignity and worth of every person is not the question under discussion. Prejudice and bigotry are clearly wrong, and must be exposed and rejected. The rhetoric of “inclusion” has, however, often been used to obscure the Communion’s teaching that, on the basis of Holy Scripture, the Church cannot bless same sex unions, nor can we ordain those engaged in homosexual practice.
For this reason, the consecration of Eugene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 created a crisis in the Communion. The election of a new Presiding Bishop who supported his consecration, and who has advocated and permitted same-sex blessings in her diocese is another painful complication. Archbishop Williams has given his conclusion that the actions of our recent General Convention have not produced a complete response to the challenges of the Windsor Report.
The Archbishop envisions a future for the Communion, through a covenant process, in which full membership will require adherence to those commonly held values found in Holy Scripture and the Sacred Tradition of the Church. Churches unable to agree to the terms of the covenant will be reduced to some kind of “affiliate” status. This work will begin immediately, but will take time for all the details to emerge. As this process unfolds, we wish clearly to number ourselves among the dioceses and parishes that seek full constituent membership in the Anglican Communion.
We also have a mandate to reassure the people of the Diocese of South Carolina that the status quo is now impossible. We have watched with great sadness as the Episcopal Church has, year after year, taken actions and adopted teachings which further and further distance it from the Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We are grieved that relationships have now been so strained that we are no longer in impaired, but rather broken communion. For that reason, we do hereby request of Archbishop Williams that he, in consultation with the Primates of the Communion and the Panel of Reference, speedily provide alternative Primatial oversight for the Diocese of South Carolina. In a spirit of humility, we acknowledge our own imperfection and sin. We renew our commitment to the Great Commission, to the Holy Scriptures, Creeds and Sacraments of the Church Catholic, and to the reconciliation of the Anglican Family of Churches by means of the full implementation of the Windsor Process.
Fr. M. Dow Sanderson,
President of the Standing Committee
Note: This statement was passed without dissent by the Standing Committee, meeting on June 28, 2006 at Church of the Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island.
Philadelphia, which imposed a calorie-label law in 2010, provides a good case study of the law’s impact. Researchers studied 2,000 McDonald’s and Burger King customers after it went into effect. The law made virtually no difference in the calorie count of food that people purchased or the number of times they ate at the restaurants. About 60 per cent of them didn’t even notice.
In another study, researchers at Carnegie Mellon wondered whether more information might help. So they gave McDonald’s customers pamphlets with recommended calorie intakes for a single meal and for a day. Nothing changed. Despite their new-found knowledge, a third of the customers continued to eat 1,000-plus-calorie meals. The researchers also found that people of healthy weights made the same choices as obese people.
“It is hard to counteract the fact that fast food is cheap and tastes pretty good,” Dr. Brian Elbel, lead researcher for the Philadelphia study, was quoted as saying. “We need to consider other, more robust interventional policies in places where obesity is most prevalent.”
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Dieting/Food/Nutrition Law & Legal Issues * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
South Carolina's military communities are bracing for an uncertain future after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday called for deep cuts to the Army in 2015.
While Fort Jackson in Columbia - where more than 45,000 recruits are trained annually - is the obvious target, Charleston's and other installations also may be in the cross hairs since Hagel also called for a new round of base-closure reviews in 2017.
Still, the decision on rekindling a Base Realignment and Closure Commission depends on Congress, which has delayed the assessments in recent years in the interest of protecting jobs at home.
Read it all from the local paper.
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The Defense Department on Monday proposed cutting the Army to its smallest size in 74 years, slashing a class of attack jets and rolling back personnel costs in an effort to adjust a department buoyed by a decade of war to an era of leaner budgets.
The five-year budget blueprint outlined by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reflects a willingness by the Pentagon to make deep cuts to personnel strength to invest in technology and equipment as it eases off a war footing.
“The development and proliferation of more advanced military technologies by other nations mean that we are entering an era where American dominance on the seas, in the skies and in space can no longer be taken for granted,” Hagel told reporters at an afternoon news conference.
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Niebuhr would ask, about drones: “given the resentments among local populations,...how many terrorists are we creating for every one we kill?” What sort of precedents are we creating with a program of “targeted assassinations?” “Will targeted assassinations ever eliminate or even reduce the causes of violent Islamic radicalism?”
So [Andrew] Bacevich thinks that Niebuhr would condemn the drone campaign as ill-conceivedand immoral.
Yes, after 9/11 "doing nothing may not be an option,” but is it the only option? Let the questioning and debate continue, with IRONY not only on our sweatshirts, but as a perspective on what has to be on the minds of the thoughtful. - See more at: http://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/niebuhrian-irony-and-drones-%E2%80%94-martin-e-marty#sthash.P1sXnXFg.dpuf
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Foreign Relations Iraq War Politics in General Terrorism War in Afghanistan * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
A Nigerian senator has expressed outrage over the security forces' failure to prevent a second attack on a town by suspected Islamist militants.
Gunmen believed to be from the Boko Haram group killed several residents and burnt down Izghe over the weekend.
A week earlier, 106 people were killed by gunmen in a raid on Izghe.
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I don't suppose anyone today would say that the problem with our politicians is that they are too deeply immersed in humanistic learning. Even in Snow's time and in Britain, the picture was far more complicated than he let on. When Snow delivered his Rede Lecture, the prime minister of the United Kingdom was Harold Macmillan, an Old Etonian who read classics at Oxford (and received a first-class degree); Macmillan fit to a T Snow's picture of the "traditional culture," But by the time Snow died in 1980, the holder of that office was Margaret Thatcher, who often said that she was less proud of being the first female prime minister than of being the first with a science degree. I suspect that Snow, a lifelong member of the Labour Party, was not especially consoled by Thatcher's status as a chemist. Moreover, the P.M. who made Snow minister of technology and elevated him to the peerage was Harold Wilson, the most academically gifted of 20th-century British politicians, who read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford and then became a lecturer in economic history there at the ripe old age of twenty-one. (Wilson's father was a chemist, though.) The arrows here point in many directions; they don't tell the coherent story that Snow would like them to tell. It is hard to discern what connects politicians' academic training with their political judgments.
Snow wanted to believe something like this: political decisions in the modern world often concern how to deploy science and technology, so people well-trained in science and technology will be better prepared to make those decisions. But that's a syllogism without a minor premise. And before we fill in that minor premise, we might reflect on one little story, which I offer, though it's a true story, as a kind of parable. At the height of the Red Scare in the 1950s, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who had directed the American atomic bomb program during World War II, found himself under scrutiny for alleged Communist sympathies. He was interviewed at length, and at one point found himself reflecting on how he and his people had made their decisions. Oppenheimer said, "When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you've had your technical success. That's the way it was with the atomic bomb."
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Education History Philosophy Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
--1 John 4:16
Russia has stepped up its rhetoric against Ukraine's new Western-leaning leadership as tensions rise over the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych.
Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev said interim authorities in Kiev had conducted an "armed mutiny".
And the Russian foreign ministry said dissenters in mainly Russian-speaking regions faced suppression.
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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.
It would be pure cheek for me, as a Quaker, to comment on the substance of an internal matter for Church of England but I am not convinced that the statement by House of Bishops “is in error”. The extract quoted by Professor Woodhead is about what it says it’s about: “the general understanding and definition of marriage in England as enshrined in law”; Archbishop Davidson, however, was commenting on “the law of the State” in relation to whom one could legally marry, not on the definition of marriage itself.
The Deceased Wife’s Sister’s Marriage Act 1907 did not change the definition of marriage: what it did do was to remove a particular bar in the Table of Kindred and Affinity. Nor did it have anything to do with the indissolubility of marriage as such because, by definition, the man whose wife had died was free to remarry someone: the issue was whether or not he could marry his wife’s sister.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Two homemade bombs exploded on Monday on the popular Indian Ocean tourist island of Zanzibar, but with no casualties, police said, in the latest in a series of attacks.
"Investigations are ongoing to find out details of the blasts and the motive behind them," assistant police commissioner Mkadam Khamis told reporters.
One blast took place at the Anglican cathedral, a historic building in the heart of the narrow and winding ancient streets of Stone Town, the UNESCO-listed historical centre of the capital of the semi-autonomous Tanzanian archipelago.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Tanzania * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * International News & Commentary Africa Tanzania * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").
Like something out of a science-fiction flick, the four-rotor apparatus looks the part of an oversize, mechanical dragonfly.
A distinct hum similar to the insect exudes from the gadget when it hovers at eye level. The buzz fades to silence in seconds when the device darts skyward and nearly out of sight.
A small camera captures all that lies within its line of vision - in this instance, a mix of cobblestone, historic homes and church steeples that comprise Charleston's French Quarter.
No, this contraption isn't being maneuvered by engineers on some military testing site. It isn't soaring beside airplanes at a local airport. It's under the control of a 27-year-old College of Charleston student killing time on a sunny afternoon.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending * General Interest Photos/Photography * South Carolina * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Listen to it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Theology
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).
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Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or show forth all his praise? Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!
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