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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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That Western governments preferably want WikiLeaks crushed is indisputable. Former US soldier Bradley Manning languished in solitary confinement for 11 months on suspicion of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, leading to the UN's special rapporteur on torture to accuse the US government of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. A US grand jury is currently examining evidence that might link Assange to Manning, though it is yet to report. Fears that Assange could end up extradited to the US – and what might happen to him there – are not without foundation.
But that does not mean Assange should be immune from very serious allegations in Sweden. Two women have both accused Assange of rape, and there have been repeated attempts by some of his supporters to discredit them. There have been suggestions that they are part of some kind of CIA honeytrap. The campaigning journalist John Pilger has described them as "concocted charges". But Assange's own lawyer, Ben Emmerson, does not dispute the sincerity of the accusers, arguing in court: "Nothing I say should be taken as denigrating the complainant, the genuineness of their feelings of regret, to trivialise their experience or to challenge whether they felt Assange's conduct was disrespectful, discourteous, disturbing or even pushing at the boundaries of what they felt comfortable with."
But what has been particularly disturbing is the attempt by some supporters of Assange to claim that the allegations do not constitute rape....
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One of the most dangerous and daunting challenges we face is global climate change. This is, at least in part, a direct result of our burning of fossil fuels. Such human activities could raise worldwide average temperatures by three to eleven degrees Fahrenheit in this century. Rising average temperatures are already wreaking environmental havoc, and, if unchecked, portend devastating consequences for every aspect of life on earth.
The Church has always had as one of its priorities a concern for the poor and the suffering. Therefore, we need not agree on the fundamental causes of human devastation of the environment, or on what standard of living will allow sustainable development, or on the roots of poverty in any particular culture, in order to work to minimize the impact of climate change. It is the poor and the disadvantaged who suffer most from callous environmental irresponsibility. Poverty is both a local and a global reality. A healthy economy depends absolutely on a healthy environment.
The wealthier nations whose industries have exploited the environment, and who are now calling for developing nations to reduce their impact on the environment, seem to have forgotten that those who consume most of the world's resources also have contributed the most pollution to the world's rivers and oceans, have stripped the world's forests of healing trees, have destroyed both numerous species and their habitats, and have added the most poison to the earth's atmosphere. We cannot avoid the conclusion that our irresponsible industrial production and consumption-driven economy lie at the heart of the current environmental crisis.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops * Economics, Politics Energy, Natural Resources * International News & Commentary South America Ecuador * Theology
For the "sake of the diocese" the leadership of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Ecuador – including members of the Standing Committee, Bishop Luis Fernando Ruiz, the chancellor, its legal representative and all other diocesan leaders – have agreed to resign by Oct. 1.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Sept. 20 convened a meeting of the leadership, along with Bishop Victor Scantlebury and Bishop Clay Matthews, the Episcopal Church's bishop for pastoral development, at the Hilton Colón Hotel in Quito, where the agreement was reached.
By resigning their positions, the leadership yields its authority to the presiding bishop; she appointed Scantlebury, who had served as an assisting bishop in the Diocese of Chicago until he retired July 1 to serve as interim bishop.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Conflicts * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * International News & Commentary South America Ecuador
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Ecuador declared a state of emergency on Thursday as protests by police and some members of the military led to nationwide unrest, accusations of a coup d'état, and the dramatic rescue by army troops of the country's president, who was holed up in a hospital after being tear-gassed by police.
The troubles tilted dangerously when police protesting cuts to their benefits surrounded a hospital where President Rafael Correa was being treated after inhaling tear gas during an earlier visit to a police barracks, where Mr. Correa was apparently verbally and physically threatened by angry police.
The showdown came to a dramatic climax as night fell, with soldiers clashing with police and storming the hospital. Minutes later, amid a barrage of gunfire broadcast live on Ecuadorean television, the army emerged with Mr. Correa safe and sound.
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