Posted by Kendall Harmon

The language used by the national media in reporting the story this time reveals the lack of confidence now placed in the fragment. The Boston Globe reported that the tests “have turned up no evidence of modern forgery,” but the reporter had to acknowledge that at least one of the scholars writing in the Harvard Theological Review insisted that the fragment is not only a forgery, but an amateurish effort. The New York Times ran a story that featured a headline announcing that the fragment “is more likely ancient than fake.” Note the uncertainty evident even in the headline.

In her major article released last week, Professor King defended the fragment’s authenticity, but acknowledged that — all previous sensationalism aside — “It is not entirely clear, however, how many women are referred to [in the fragment], who they are, precisely what is being said about them, or what larger issues are under consideration.”

This is a very different message than was sent back in 2012. Professor King now acknowledges that all the references to females in the fragment might be “deployed metaphorically as figures of the Church, or heavenly Wisdom, or symbolically/typologically as brides of Christ or even mothers.” In other words, the fragment might not even conflict with Christian orthodoxy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted April 16, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMedia* South Carolina* Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

ESPN Films, creators of the critically-acclaimed 30 for 30 film series, will premiere a new series in April surrounding the 2014 FIFA World Cup on ESPN. 30 for 30: Soccer Stories will include a mix of standalone feature-length and 30-minute-long documentary films from an award winning group of filmmakers telling compelling narratives from around the international soccer landscape.

“With ESPN being the home of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we know that sports fans will be looking forward to high quality content focused on what is perhaps the world’s most revered sport,” said Connor Schell, VP of ESPN Films and Original Content. “We feel this is the perfect time to expand upon the success of our 30 for 30 series by focusing this collection on some of the incredible stories of soccer’s legendary past.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistoryMediaMovies & TelevisionSports* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As a part of a mutually agreed court settlement of a defamation of character lawsuit, David Jenkins has apologized to Bishop Michael Bird of the diocese of Niagara “for any suffering he has experienced as a result of blog postings” on his blog Anglican Samizdat.

The settlement also stipulated that Jenkins would pay “a majority of the legal costs involved, remove the Bishop from his posts, and agree not to publish any similar posts about the Bishop in the future,” according to a release issued by the diocese of Niagara. In a related post on Anglican Samizdat, Jenkins noted that he had agreed to pay $18,000 toward legal costs, which Bird’s lawyer had stated were $24,000. Jenkins did not pay damages, which were listed as $400,000 in the original claim filed in February 2013.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetLaw & Legal IssuesMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Silicon Valley, where personal quirks and even antisocial personalities are tolerated as long as you are building new products and making money, a socially conservative viewpoint may be one trait you have to keep to yourself.
--The opener of a front page article from Friday saying so much more than the author thinks

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesMediaPsychologyReligion & CultureScience & TechnologySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted April 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When politicians are taken out of their comfort zone and put on the spot to be subjected to unplanned questioning by the public there can be great instants of revelation as the public facade is briefly stripped away. What made Justin Welby’s appearance different is that right from the start he demonstrated a level of humility and vulnerability that we rarely see from our nation’s leaders. This is was the human side of the Church that is seldom portrayed in the media. Justin Welby’s appearance on LBC Radio was a great advertisement for him as an individual, for the Christian faith, the good news of Jesus and even possibly the Church of England.

Hopefully this will be the first of many similar opportunities to come.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted April 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"It [the issue of same sex marriage] is something I wrestle with every day, and often in the middle of the night. I’m incredibly conscious of the position of gay people in this country, how badly they’ve been treated over the years, how badly the church has behaved. And, at the same time I’m incredibly conscious of what I saw in January in South Sudan, in the DRC, and other places. You know, it’s not a simple issue," he continued.

"Personally...I look at the Scriptures, I look at the teachings of the Church, I listen to Christians around the world and I have real hesitations about [same sex marriage]. I'm incredibly uncomfortable saying that because I really don't want to say no to people who love each other. But you have to have a sense of following what the teaching of the Church is. We can't just make sudden changes."

One reason why not, explained the Archbishop, was because doing so could put Christians in danger elsewhere. He explained that he had seen first hand, at a mass grave in South Sudan, the lethal fallout from a decision...[by others].

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchGlobalizationMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Calls for...[Brendan Eich's] ouster were premised on the notion that all support for Proposition 8 was hateful, and that a CEO should be judged not just by his or her conduct in the professional realm, but also by political causes he or she supports as a private citizen.

If that attitude spreads, it will damage our society.

Consider an issue like abortion, which divides the country in a particularly intense way, with opponents earnestly regarding it as the murder of an innocent baby and many abortion-rights supporters earnestly believing that a fetus is not a human life, and that outlawing it is a horrific assault on a woman's bodily autonomy. The political debate over abortion is likely to continue long past all of our deaths. Would American society be better off if stakeholders in various corporations began to investigate leadership's political activities on abortion and to lobby for the termination of anyone who took what they regard to be the immoral, damaging position?

It isn't difficult to see the wisdom in inculcating the norm that the political and the professional are separate realms, for following it makes so many people and institutions better off in a diverse, pluralistic society. The contrary approach would certainly have a chilling effect on political speech and civic participation, as does Mozilla's behavior toward Eich.

Its implications are particularly worrisome because whatever you think of gay marriage, the general practice of punishing people in business for bygone political donations is most likely to entrench powerful interests and weaken the ability of the powerless to challenge the status quo. There is very likely hypocrisy at work too. Does anyone doubt that had a business fired a CEO six years ago for making a political donation against Prop 8, liberals silent during this controversy (or supportive of the resignation) would've argued that contributions have nothing to do with a CEO's ability to do his job? They'd have called that firing an illiberal outrage, but today they're averse to vocally disagreeing with allies.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the Church of England accepting gay marriage could be "catastrophic" for Christians in other parts of the world.

The Most Rev Justin Welby told LBC that hundreds of Christians in Africa had been killed by people who associated Christianity with homosexuality.

He warned the same could happen if the Church of England backed gay unions.

Same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales last week, but is not supported by the Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchGlobalizationMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted April 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Justin spent an hour answering questions on LBC's radio phone-in this morning, tackling topics ranging from same-sex marriage to the nature of God.

Listen again to the full programme... [via youtube] there.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchGlobalizationMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted April 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out--still so chilling and sobering so many years later.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMediaRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK

0 Comments
Posted April 4, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church's real problem, however, is not the hypocrisy of closeted prelates. It's that so many priests are perfectly content to solemnise homosexual marriages in church and will indeed be "creative" in finding ways to do so.

How will Archbishop Justin Welby respond? "I think the church has reacted by fully accepting that it's the law, and should react on Saturday by continuing to demonstrate in word and action, the love of Christ for every human being," he told the Guardian in best Rev J C Flannel mode. Uh-huh. Oh, and there will be "structured conversations" to help resolve the problem.

Here's my prediction. As of today, pro-gay clergy will begin to unpick Cameron's "triple lock" banning parishes from holding gay weddings; during the next Parliament it will cease to exist. Priests who want to marry same-sex couples, or indeed marry their own gay lovers, will just do it. Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical parishes that reject the whole notion won't be forced to host such ceremonies, but both these wings of the C of E are moving in a liberal direction, and in the long run demographic change will finish the job.

Read it all.

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

4 Comments
Posted March 31, 2014 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Local people facing homelessness soon will be able to earn money by selling a news magazine with content about challenges they face and various social justice issues.

Founder Paul Gangarosa put up his own money and time to create The Lowcountry Herald, a monthly news magazine whose first 16-page issue should be published this week.

"I saw through the Great Recession how easy it is for anyone to become homeless," says Gangarosa, an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston who teaches public health. He also saw the concept of so-called street newspapers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaPovertyUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Billions of dollars are flowing into online advertising. But marketers also are confronting an uncomfortable reality: rampant fraud.

About 36% of all Web traffic is considered fake, the product of computers hijacked by viruses and programmed to visit sites, according to estimates cited recently by the Interactive Advertising Bureau trade group.

So-called bot traffic cheats advertisers because marketers typically pay for ads whenever they are loaded in response to users visiting Web pages—regardless of whether the users are actual people.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMediaScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Why Osteenification? Because Joel Osteen is the prime provocateur of a seductive brand of American Christianity that reduces God to a means to our ends. A message that beckons multitudes to the table of the Master, not for the love of the Master but for what is on the table. He is the de facto high priest of a new brand of Christianity perfectly suited for a feel-good generation. And while a host of pretenders (including Prince) follow in his train, Osteen is clearly the biggest of the bunch—according to People magazine, “twice as big as the nearest competitor.” And his claim to America’s largest church is just a small part of the story. With one billion impressions per month on Facebook and Twitter, Osteen is the hip new personification of God-talk in America.

But here’s the problem. Behind Osteenian self-affirmations—“I am anointed,” “I am prosperous,” “My God is a ‘supersizing God’”—there lies a darker hue. Behind the smile is a robust emphasis on all that is negative. If you are healthy and wealthy, words created that reality. However, if you find yourself in dire financial straits, contract cancer, or, God forbid, die an early death, your words are the prime suspect. Says Osteen, “We’re going to get exactly what we’re saying. And this can be good or it can be bad” (Discover the Champion in You, May 3, 2004). In evidence, he cites one illustration after the other. One in particular caught my attention: the story of a “kind and friendly” worker at the church. He died at an early age, contends Osteen, “being snared by the words of his mouth” (I Declare [FaithWords, 2012], viii–ix).

This illustration serves to underscore a predictable trend; a trend now pandemic in American Christianity. Osteen and company simply use the Scriptures to communicate whatever they want. Again and again, Scripture is tortured in the process of deluding the faithful. As even the most cursory reading of Proverbs 6 makes plain, being “snared by the words of your mouth” has nothing to do with negatively professing death into one’s own life and everything to do with a divine warning against making rash pledges.

Read it all (with thanks to Timothy Dalrymple at Patheos for this guest post).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMediaPsychologyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted March 22, 2014 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchMedia* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted March 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Especially today, on a day when we deal with the supernatural, we go to church, the supernatural power of God....People are saying to me, why aren’t you talking about the possibility — and I’m just putting it out there — that something odd happened to this plane, something beyond our understanding?
--CNN anchor Don Lemon during coverage of the disappearance of Flight 370

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & CultureScience & TechnologyTravel

0 Comments
Posted March 18, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are many varieties of fame. Jesus Christ was the first person to achieve it globally, Clive James wrote, “without conquering the world by violence.” The best kind for a poet to earn, W. H. Auden said, is like some valley cheese — “local, but prized elsewhere.” Yet if all fame, like all politics, is to some degree local, how thoroughly it has been transmitted across the planet and through the centuries has been difficult, if not impossible, to quantify.

Pantheon, a new project from the Macro Connections group in M.I.T.’s Media Lab, is giving that a stab. It has collected and analyzed data on cultural production from 4,000 B.C. to 2010. With a few clicks on its website, which just went live, you can swing through time and geography, making plain the output of, say, Brazil (largely soccer players) or Belarus (politicians). It also ranks professions from chemists to jurists to porn stars (No. 1 is Jenna Jameson; No. 2 is the Czech Republic’s Silvia Saint).

For now, you are legitimately famous, the M.I.T. team has decided, if a Wikipedia page under your name exists in more than 25 languages.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetEducationGlobalizationHistoryMediaScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetHistoryMediaScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life

0 Comments
Posted March 17, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Professors on University of Wisconsin System campuses occasionally get into trouble for what they say in class, on social media or on the Internet.

Rachel Slocum, a UW-La Crosse assistant professor of geography, urged 18 students in an online course last October to do whatever they could, despite limited access to data for an assignment, because the federal government had partially shut down as a result of a budget impasse.

The message didn't get her into trouble. The way she said it did.

"Hi everyone," she emailed the students "Some of the data gathering assignment will be impossible to complete until the Republican/Tea Party controlled House of Representatives agrees to fund the government."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationGlobalizationMediaScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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 LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMediaMovies & TelevisionReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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 - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaPsychology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeRussiaUkraine* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Please watch it all from Jimmy Kimmel--very funny.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaMovies & Television* General InterestHumor / TriviaWeather

2 Comments
Posted March 2, 2014 at 1:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.


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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaPsychologyScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 28, 2014 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the anniversary of his surprising resignation approaches, Pope Benedict XVI has rejected as “simply absurd” the speculation that he was forced to step down, and he said he still wears the distinctive white papal cassock for “purely practical reasons.”

“At the moment of my resignation there were no other clothes available,” Benedict wrote in a brief letter to an Italian journalist that was published on Wednesday (Feb. 26).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The researchers are quick to note that not everyone uses Twitter, only 14 percent of the US population, and not all who do use it to talk about politics, for example.
Still, looking at how conversations flow on social media can provide new insights into how people communicate in a way that was not possible until very recently.
"You could never do that in the old days when you were running around with a pen and clipboard," said Marc A. Smith, one of the study's authors and director of the Social Media Research Foundation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaPsychologySociology* TheologyAnthropology

0 Comments
Posted February 22, 2014 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all (a little over 5 minutes and well worth the time).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis * Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 22, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

CITY UNSURE WHY THE SEWER SMELLS

AT LAST SINGER ETTA JAMES DIES

CASE OF INNOCENT MAN FREED AFTER SPENDING 18 YEARS IN PRISON PROVES THE TEXAS SYSTEM WORKS

BRITISH LEFT WAFFLES ON FALKLANDS

Reader's Digest, March 2014 edition, page 23

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMedia* General InterestHumor / Trivia

2 Comments
Posted February 21, 2014 at 10:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An interesting resource--check out the oodles of ideas and links.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMediaReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted February 21, 2014 at 8:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Americans are known risk-takers when it comes to their personal finances. While consumer spending has traditionally been one of the great engines of the U.S. economy, it also helped get the country into the Great Recession. So after five years of economic turmoil we’ve presumably become a little better at keeping track of our debts, right?

Not really. Data released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York show that at $11.52 trillion, overall consumer debt is higher than it has been since 2011. And more unsettling, debt is rising at rapid levels. Americans’ debt—that includes mortgages, auto loans, student loans and credit card debt—increased by 2.1%, or $241 billion in the last three months of 2013, the greatest margin of increase since the third quarter of 2007, shortly before the U.S. spiraled into recession.

And on an individual level, many Americans are in a precarious financial position.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePersonal FinanceThe Banking System/SectorThe U.S. GovernmentFederal Reserve* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 20, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I expected to be pained by Adam Gopnik’s New Yorker essay on atheism and belief, but I didn’t expect to be quite so … puzzled by his depiction of contemporary belief. Gopnik clearly has sympathy for the religious side of the argument he’s describing — or at the very least he’s straining to be sympathetic. But given the premises he’s working from, that sympathy manifests itself in a peculiar and telling misreading of what theists actually believe.

That misreading follows from the fairly stark distinction that Gopnik tries to establish between the God of popular belief — the God of miracles and commandments, signs and wonders, heaven and hell — and the God of more intellectually-minded modern believers. The former sort of almighty, he writes, is simply impossible for serious minds to believe in any more...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOther FaithsAtheismSecularism

0 Comments
Posted February 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHistoryMediaReligion & Culture

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Posted February 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rare references in Babylonian texts and representations from other parts of the Near East show that camels were known in the Age of the Patriarchs, about 2000-1500 BC. Such discoveries are rare because the camel was not at home in urban societies, but useful for long journeys across the steppe and desert.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryMediaReligion & Culture* General InterestAnimals* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 15, 2014 at 9:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

....evangelical scholars say the claims are overblown.

The use of camels for copper mining is an important discovery. "But to extrapolate from that and say they never had domesticated camels anywhere else in Israel in the 1,000 years before that is an overreach," said Todd Bolen, professor of Biblical Studies at The Master's College in Santa Clarita, California. "The conclusions are overstated."

While it has been difficult for archaeologists and historians to pin down the exact time and location when camels were domesticated, there is evidence to suggest that the Genesis accounts are not a biblical anachronism.

Two recent academic papers written by evangelical scholars—Konrad Martin Heide, a lecturer at Philipps University of Marburg, Germany; and Titus Kennedy, an adjunct professor at Biola University—both refer to earlier depictions of men riding or leading camels, some that date to the early second millenium BC.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaReligion & Culture* General InterestAnimals* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 15, 2014 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Around mid-January]... the sports and pop culture website Grantland published a story called “Dr. V’s Magical Putter” — a piece of “long-form,” as we now call multi-thousand-word, narrative-driven reported articles — about a woman named Essay Anne Vanderbilt, who claimed to have invented a golf putter of unsurpassed excellence.

Over the course of 7,000-plus words, the writer, Caleb Hannan, devoted a lot of space to the contentious relationship he had developed with his subject. Ms. Vanderbilt, who was transgender but in the closet — and also probably a con artist — didn’t like Mr. Hannan’s digging into the details of her personal and professional life. In the final few paragraphs of the story, Mr. Hannan revealed some shocking news: Ms. Vanderbilt had killed herself.

The piece was initially met with praise from across the Internet. (“Great read,” raved a typical Tweet. “Fascinating, bizarre,” read another.) Then the criticism started. Mr. Hannan was accused of everything from being grossly insensitive to Ms. Vanderbilt’s privacy to having played a role in her suicide. The controversy soon grew so intense that the editor of the site, Bill Simmons, felt compelled to address it in an apologetic, if defensive, 2,700-word post of his own. Mr. Simmons stressed that the decision to publish the piece had not been taken lightly and that somewhere between 13 and 15 people had read it before it was posted and had all been “blown away.”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaPsychologySports* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted February 11, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMedia* South Carolina

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Posted February 10, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Modern societies are still at the dawn of understanding what kind of news they need in order to flourish. For most of history, news was so hard to gather and expensive to deliver, its hold on our inner lives was inevitably held in check. Now there is almost nowhere on the planet we are able to go to escape from it. It is there waiting for us in the early hours when we wake up from a disturbed sleep; it follows us on board airplanes making their way between continents; it is waiting to hijack our attention during the children's bedtime.

The hum and rush of the news has seeped into our deepest selves. What an achievement a moment of calm now is; what a minor miracle the ability to fall asleep or to talk undistracted with a friend; what monastic discipline would be required to make us turn away from the maelstrom of news and to listen for a day to nothing but the rain and our own thoughts.

We may need some help with what the news is doing to us: with the envy and the terror, with the excitement and the frustration; with all that we've been told and yet occasionally suspect we may be better off never having learnt. So I wrote a little manual that tries to complicate a habit that, at present, has come to seem a little too normal and harmless for our own good. In what follows, I play the role of my own interlocutor in order to make clear just why I believe this to be so urgent.

Read it all.

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

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Posted February 6, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMedia* General InterestAnimals

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Posted February 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A controversial billboard paid for by atheists near the site of Super Bowl 48 takes jabs at organized religion just as a recent survey showed more than half of football fans believe supernatural forces influence the big game.

The 14 feet by 48 feet billboard paid for by American Atheists is on one of the major highways around MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It shows a priest with a football and says ‘A ‘Hail Mary’ only works in football. Enjoy the game!’

This isn’t the first religion-based advertisement linked to the Super Bowl. A now-infamous anti-abortion television ad during Super Bowl 45, in 2010, featured then-college football star Tim Tebow and his mother.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & CultureSports* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism

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Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the Episcopal Church Office of Communication, 2013 was a remarkable year.

“The year 2013 showed continued dramatic growth in audiences for all of our digital publications, our website and our social media outlets,” noted Anne Rudig, Director of Communication. Our internal and external media relations efforts yielded some significant placements and much expanded activity.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Data* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture

5 Comments
Posted January 30, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Justin Bieber is..] 19 and peeling rubber in a rented yellow Lamborghini, drag racing in Miami Beach before dawn Thursday and flunking a street-side sobriety test, according to a police report.

Are his global followers, the Beliebers, still around to read this and weep? Do they even care or have they moved on to other idols of self-expression? (Miley, anyone?) Maybe they have found Bono, who once said, as Falsani noted: “There’s nothing worse than a rock star with a cause … But celebrity is currency and we want to spend it this way.”

It’s certainly not easy to be a celebrity in popular culture and still be taken seriously as a person who practices a religion — Christian or any other faith — in word and deed.
Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaMovies & TelevisionMusicReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 27, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Church of England diocese has issued a list of social media rules to its staff and clergy, urging them to consider God when tweeting the masses.

The guidelines range from practical security advice to more faith-based instructions, including a warning that updates are "transient yet permanent".

The list has been widely shared online, dubbed the "Twitter commandments".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMedia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 25, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...have the Anglican wars played a part in the cathedral’s financial problems? While the amount of money generated by those worshiping on site has grown, giving to support the cathedral from the wider Episcopal world has fallen off. Why? The article states fundraising was easier for the cathedral when it sought to finish construction — an 82 year building campaign.

Could the cathedral’s whole-hearted adoption of the progressive religious and political agenda have anything to do with the little old ladies in Alabama cutting back on their gifts? The article does not ask this question.

As written, the article could have described the problems facing any graying urban institution. Swap out the names and you could recycle this as a story about an art museum, library, orchestra, ballet or other worthy cultural institution. Perhaps the real story here is that the Washington National Cathedral is not seen as a religious institution by the Post but as a temple of ethical culture?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Did you coin the phrase bad hair day?

Prove me wrong. Bryant Gumbel and I were talking about my bad hair days on the Today show in the early '80s. If I had two good hair days out of five it was great. Garry put the phrase bad hair day in Doonesbury. He got it from his wife.

So your career is not a total loss.

I do have a claim to immortality.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaMovies & TelevisionWomen

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Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Behind every important study there are good data that made the analysis possible. And behind every bad study . . . well, read on. People often speak about “lying with statistics.” I would argue that some of the most egregious statistical mistakes involve lying with data; the statistical analysis is fine, but the data on which the calculations are performed are bogus or inappropriate. Here are some common examples of “garbage in, garbage out....”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaPhilosophyPsychologyScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 15, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

He fed the 5,000 and walked on water but now a new advertising campaign suggests that Jesus can work miracles in another area altogether.

Advertisements for a Christian dating agency are set to raise more than eyebrows with a claim that believers make “better lovers”.

The slogan, to appear in London Tube carriages from next week, appears to be based on spam emails promoting herbal anti-impotence drugs.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaMenPsychologyReligion & CultureWomen* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 9, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

. My favorite is the 2 mudskippers--which is yours?

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationMedia* General InterestPhotos/Photography

3 Comments
Posted January 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

PROFESSOR CANDIDA MOSS (Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame): I think that the most important religious and ethical questions of 2014 are going to be us trying to pull apart what church and state means. How do we negotiate different sets of religious freedoms?

RYAN ANDERSON (Heritage Foundation): How will we be treating the unborn in America, particularly with respect to government law that is coercing people into disrespecting the rights of the unborn? And so we see this in a religious liberty context with the HHS mandate cases that are going to go before the Supreme Court.

AMEY VICTORIA ADKINS (Duke Divinity School): I think the most important issues are really going to be surrounding questions of our educational system as well as our health care system. Questions of public access, particularly as historically minority communities have had a lot of trouble in terms of having equal and equitable access to health care and to education, things that really affect our communities.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture

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Posted January 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In an interview with the Italian bishops' newspaper Avvenire published today, Auxiliary Bishop of Malta Charles J. Scicluna said that when he met Pope Francis on Dec. 12, he expressed his concern to the Pope about the proposed law. “The Pope showed his sadness at this development, especially on the question of adoption.”

He added: “I told him that the promoters [of the bill] quote his words: ‘If a person is gay and seek the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge?’ but they don’t quote his words from 2010 when he was still Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The Pope repeated the phrase of his letter of 2010: ‘It's an anthropological regression.’"

In 2010, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio called same-sex 'marriage' an "anti-value and an anthropological regression." In a conversation with Rabbi Abraham Skorka published in the book “On Heaven and Earth”, he said same-sex 'marriage' is a weakening of the institution of marriage, an institution that has existed for thousands of years and is “forged according to nature and anthropology.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis * TheologyAnthropology

0 Comments
Posted January 4, 2014 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Answers from Justin Welby, Joan Bakewell, Giles Coren, Jonathan Sumption, James Rhodes and many more...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchMediaPsychologyReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...at a few minutes past 6am, Chris Aldridge obediently announced to a nation of banker-bashers that Jenkins reckons it will take "up to a decade to rebuild people's trust in his bank following the financial crisis and a succession of scandals".

That line had been pretty well aired in February when Jenkins smoothed: "I see becoming the 'go-to' bank as a five to 10-year journey," but no matter. It was repeated throughout the show's three hours as a constant reminder to listeners that – whatever Barclays' staggeringly broad sins of the past (mis-selling, rigging interest rates, violating sanctions) – it is now firmly on the side of the angels.

For those still too sleepy to grasp the show's theme of simultaneously serving God and Mammon, there was more to come. Somehow, Jenkins then managed to introduce an endorsement for his bank from the Lord himself – or at least one of his representatives on Earth, in the form of the show's star guest, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeThe Banking System/Sector* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 1, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Every cough and splutter is played out on social media nowadays, from the birth of the future King to the death of a former Prime Minister. Here we round up the tweets that tell the story of 2013...."

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingHistoryMedia

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Posted December 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

....and among traditional Christians, precisely who doesn’t take that passage seriously when it comes to talking about the reality of sin in this fallen world? Catholics? The Eastern Orthodox? Most of the world’s Lutherans and Anglicans? Pentecostal believers (the fastest growing flock in worldwide Christianity)?

Pretty quickly, CNN sets this up as a rather typical battle between a country-fried preacher (or two) and a real biblical scholar. Yes, that is ONE biblical scholar, from one seminary.

Read it all.

What Terry doesn't say is that the MOST revealing thing about the article is that CNN believes their own statement about their own article (“best, fairest, article on Christians and homosexuality you’ll ever read. Fact.”) when it so clearly is at odds with the truth--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaMenMovies & TelevisionReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & PartnershipsWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

7 Comments
Posted December 21, 2013 at 11:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...while we need to acknowledge the things Robertson got wrong, we do not need to pretend that his dismissal from A&E had mainly to do with any of those three things. The A&E network does not have a track record of concern about remarks that are sexually explicit or pastorally insensitive. And I suspect that A&E would not have pulled the plug if this were merely a matter of his remarks about growing up in Louisiana. None of these by themselves caused the offense that has led to the current uproar.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaMovies & TelevisionPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted December 21, 2013 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If you and I were talking about all this over a cup of coffee, I’d tell you about the 305,000 people he drew to Charlotte in 1996 for his last hometown crusade. But I’d also tell you about the time he left a message on my answering machine, sharing a long and worried update on his ailing wife, Ruth, a message so long that the machine cut him off. Or, the times I wanted to focus an interview on the world leaders he knew, and he’d turn the conversation back to his childhood and memories of riding the bus to school. The prophetic and the personal, together making a connection.

There’s much that organized religion can learn from Graham.

By setting rules and surrounding himself with honest associates, he remained unsullied by scandal. The Modesto Manifesto was the most famous illustration, established at a meeting in Modesto, Calif., Graham and his colleagues agreeing never to be alone with a woman other than their wives.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

0 Comments
Posted December 20, 2013 at 11:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Christmas holiday brings peak attendance for most churches, and an increasing number of U.S. religious groups are using the boom time to wow parishioners with virtual choirs on YouTube and Instagram advent calendars.

More than 500 churches will stream Christmas sermons online this year, up from just a handful in 2007, said DJ Chuang, host of the Social Media Church, a podcast with church leaders about social media. Hundreds more started Instagram and Pinterest accounts this year to post photos of baptisms and quotes from the gospel, he said.

"Instagram is like the modern day stained glass window," Chuang said. "They use it to tell the stories of the church."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventChristmasParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) in the United States has chosen the Top Ten religion stories of 2014. The online ballot of RNA members was conducted over the past weekend and announced on Monday.

Please guess what the ten are before you read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted December 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise,” said Winston Churchill. “Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

But oh dear, the public. The gap between their perceptions and reality makes you shudder, as shown by pollster Ipsos-Mori in its end-of-year review. How many lone parents do you think there are out of every 100 people in Britain? The public’s mean estimate in a poll of 1,000 people is 28. The correct answer is three.

Similarly, the public thinks that 22 per cent of people are Muslim (in reality 5 per cent); that 22 per cent are unemployed (actually 8 per cent); that 30 per cent are black or Asian (11 per cent); that 36 per cent are aged 65-plus (16 per cent); and that 34 per cent are Christian (59 per cent).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaPsychologySociology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

2 Comments
Posted December 17, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I’d be more sympathetic to complaints about the war on Christmas if they weren’t coming from the very people who have waged a largely successful war on Advent. Because, let’s face it, the idea that Christmas should be celebrated in early December, or even mid-December, is not a Christian concept; Christmas celebrations historically were confined to … Christmas. They were even banned in several of the Protestant colonies, and once the bans were lifted, Christmas remained unrecognizably low-key by today’s standards. The monthlong Christmas celebration is a secular invention, promoted and pushed a little harder each year by a retail industry bent on doing what it does best: convince us to buy more and more things we don’t need.

And the complaint about a societal war on Christmas is not a religious complaint; it’s a political complaint, which politicians have used quite effectively to make too many people believe that Christians have been marginalized by the larger society — as if we weren’t ourselves the larger society.

Adding insult to spiritual injury, the assault on Advent crowds out the real observation of Christmas — the one that starts on the evening of Dec. 24 and runs through Epiphany, 12 days later. Try to find a Christmas carol then or, after the new year, anyone who even says “happy holidays,” much less “merry Christmas.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventChristmas* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyChristologyEschatology

5 Comments
Posted December 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Truth has never been an essential ingredient of viral content on the Internet. But in the stepped-up competition for readers, digital news sites are increasingly blurring the line between fact and fiction, and saying that it is all part of doing business in the rough-and-tumble world of online journalism.

Several recent stories rocketing around the web, picking up millions of views, turned out to be fake or embellished: a Twitter tale of a Thanksgiving feud on a plane, later described by the writer as a short story; a child’s letter to Santa that detailed an Amazon.com link in crayon, but was actually written by a grown-up comedian in 2011; and an essay on poverty that prompted $60,000 in donations until it was revealed by its author to be impressionistic rather than strictly factual.

Their creators describe them essentially as online performance art, never intended to be taken as fact. But to the media outlets that published them, they represented the lightning-in-a-bottle brew of emotion and entertainment that attracts readers and brings in lucrative advertising dollars.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMedia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Michael Luo strolls through midtown Manhattan to a sushi lunch, musing about his latest apartment renovations and the New York Knicks. But when conversation turns to his work these days—reporting for The New York Times on loopholes in current gun laws—Luo turns serious. "My wife would much prefer it if I covered something else," says Luo. "It has certainly led to some apprehension." While working on a story about mental illness and guns, he had to notify his editor where he was going and when he left—similar to his reporting protocols while briefly working in The New York Times's Baghdad bureau.

Yet it's this kind of serious journalism that has earned Luo, 37, the George Polk Award for criminal justice reporting, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists while at the Associated Press, and a job at The New York Times, where he has worked since 2003. He has covered everything from the last two presidential campaigns to Hurricane Katrina to the war in Iraq. Most recently, Luo has zeroed in on the gun industry and the wide availability of firearms—earning him a Pulitzer Prize nomination and frequent spots on the paper's front page.

Luo became a Christian as an undergraduate at Harvard University, and today attends Redeemer Presbyterian with his wife and daughter. He recently spoke with Paul Glader, a journalism professor at The King's College and former staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, about his faith and his work.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 11, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What strikes the analyst of the “War on Christmas” stories, or at least what struck me, was the difference in tone by sets of writers or broadcasters on both, or all, sides of the “culture wars”—there’s that “war" image again—as they dealt with the events, personalities, and trends. The Mandela stories did justice to the flaws of the imperfect human who led causes for freedom in South Africa and inspired strugglers globally, but almost all were written in respectful, humane tones. After all, the Mandela effect is one of reconciliation, even though it was born of conflicts past, whose after-stories linger.

In contrast, both, and all, sides in “The War on Christmas” stories were disrespectful, never empathic. Their authors gave no sign that they could understand why those on the other side were stirred to battle, and they gave every sign that they regarded their side in the argument as totally right in their self-chosen Total War.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaSouth AfricaAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At a December 2 program at Georgetown University, two prominent Washington columnists, E.J. Dionne and Michael Gerson, assess Pope Francis’s call for the Catholic Church not only to make caring for the poor a higher priority but also to work for a more just economic system....

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

0 Comments
Posted December 9, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I love Twitter. You might have already guessed that, since I just finished tweeting the entire Bible, but I just felt the need to say it out loud.

A big part of why I love Twitter is the real-time exposure it gives me to interesting people, including writers whose work I have enjoyed. Here are ten Christian writers who have offered me something marvelous or cool or significant or funny in Birdland, in alphabetical order by last name.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A free press is basic to the health of democratic culture in the civil sphere because it offers one line of public accountability for those in public office. Those who perform immediate public acts should expect to be subject to immediate public scrutiny. And what is true for the culture at large is also true for its various subcultures. A free Christian press is also important for the Christian subculture: it keeps leaders and organizations accountable.

Of course, as with the mainstream media, there is the ideal and there is the reality....

Where the situation becomes sinister is when one group attempts to police the activities of another, or where one Christian organization or leader uses their personal power or share of the market to prevent others, with whom they are not formally connected, from speaking freely and asking the hard questions. At that point, things take a very sinister turn indeed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Oh brother. More lazy stereotypes about celibates. Bill Keller’s op-ed today in The New York Times “Sex and the Single Priest” (ha ha) says that pretty much all celibate priests are lonely and that celibacy “surely played some role” in the sexual abuse crisis. By his own admission, Mr. Keller hasn’t been an active member of the church since around high school. But that’s not the problem with his piece: former Catholics have written perceptively about the church. The problem is that Keller’s article is based largely on the opinions of two priests who left the priesthood and a sister who left her order, and his own speculation about what the celibate life must be like. That’s like writing a piece on marriage and speaking only to divorced men and women. “Yeah,” some of them might say, “married life stinks.”

Maybe it would have been helpful to look at some actual data. Sure, there is some loneliness in the priesthood--and there are problems in married life too. But the picture that Mr. Keller paints is ridiculous. In the latest survey on priests from the Center for Applied Research on the Apostolate in 2009, 95 percent report they would “definitely or probably choose priesthood again,” up from 79 percent in 1970. Wow.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMediaPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On a snowy evening in the early 1900s, a newspaper editor at the New York World was hunched over his desk trying to think of something special for the Christmas issue.

Remembering the small word squares he’d solved as a young Brit in Liverpool, he drew a diamond-shaped grid with numbered squares and numbered clues. It contained 32 words, and his simple instruction read: “Fill in the small squares with words which agree with the following definitions.”

The puzzle appeared Dec. 21, 1913, and what 42-year-old Arthur Wynne had created was the first crossword puzzle.

It was an instant success.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMedia* General Interest

0 Comments
Posted December 1, 2013 at 4:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the early predawn hours of Thanksgiving, Jason Goldberger huddled with his team on the 20th floor of a Target Corp. building in Minneapolis to make sure everything was ready at the chain's most important store: Target.com.

The stakes were high. Online shoppers accounted for 40% of the $59 billion in sales racked up over the four-day Black Friday weekend last year, up from 23% in 2006, according to the National Retail Federation. Store traffic this year has been sluggish

Mr. Goldberger, who runs Target's website and mobile business, arrived at 2 a.m., His staff split into two conference rooms. One held a technology team responsible for the workings of the site. The other had people comparing Target's deals with offers from Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life

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Posted November 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the interview, Cardinal Dolan said the church had been “out-marketed” on the issue of same-sex marriage by Hollywood and by some politicians who have tried to paint the church in a negative light.

“We’re pro-marriage, we’re pro-traditional marriage, we’re not anti-anybody,” he said.

The cardinal’s comments on same-sex marriage come amid a recalibration of tone in the church on the issue of homosexuality, a move led by Pope Francis, even as the substance of its position remains largely unchanged.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 30, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While automakers and dealers lament that younger buyers have neither money nor brand loyalty when it comes to buying a car, a host of services are looking to the crowd to help them save for what could be the biggest purchase they will make for several years.

Geared toward first-time buyers, these services, like BoostUp, a Detroit-based company that Ms. Frandsen and Mr. Burris used, are trying to turn car-buying into a social experience.

Toyota and Google, for example, are announcing on Wednesday the Toyota Collaborator, a social car shopping tool where potential Corolla buyers can discuss decisions with friends and family in real time using Google Hangouts.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaScience & TechnologyTravelYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 27, 2013 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While her husband’s health-care plans founder, Michelle Obama is pressing ahead with her own. Last month, joined by Rosita, a turquoise Latina muppet, and Elmo, a shaggy red one, she announced that Sesame Street’s puppets would promote fruit and vegetables rather than sugary and fatty fare; Cookie Monster may need to find himself a new job. Mrs Obama’s fight against childhood obesity has several fronts (she calls it “Let’s Move!”) but marketing is an important one. In September she convened the first White House meeting on marketing food to children. Their preferences “are being shaped by the marketing campaigns you all create”, she told the assembled executives. “And that’s where the problem comes in.”

To market anything that might appeal to young consumers is to risk a scolding. Advertising entices children to drink and smoke, makes them fat and sexualises them early, its critics allege. To tout even wholesome products to children, some claim, is to exploit their naivety and thus to deceive them. Crusaders like Mrs Obama have helped embarrass companies. Coca-Cola said in May that it would not advertise to children younger than 12 anywhere in the world. Last year Disney promised not to promote junk food on television programmes for children.

Such gestures make the best of an increasingly constraining climate....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMedia* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted November 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A pastor walks into a Costco.

He sees a Bible in the fiction section. He tweets a picture of it. It ends up on Drudge. Christians are outraged. Again.

Only problem: there was no need to be.

Again.

Read it all.To Mr. Stezer's comments I would only add something we have said again and again--just because you read it or hear it, doesn't mean it is true, so learn to CHECK it yourself. Remember the Bereans? They are in the New Testament for a reason--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 23, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

However, it was his comments about youth work that caught the imagination of the British press.

“As I look at the church today the most urgent and worrying gap is in young peoples work. So many churches have no ministry to young people and that means they have no interest in the future. As I have repeated many times in the past ‘we are one generation away from extinction’. We have to give cogent reasons to young people why the Christian faith is relevant to them,” the archbishop said.

Ignoring Lord Carey’s principle points The Times, Daily Mirror, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, and Daily Mail focused on his assertion that “[t]he Church of England could be one generation away from extinction.” Just about all of the press reports and commentary misconstrued what Lord Carey was trying to say. Renewal, growth, evangelism -- even optimism -- was at the heart of the archbishop's Shropshire speech, not doom and gloom.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

4 Comments
Posted November 22, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryAdult EducationMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMedia* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished – tone and tint. They have gone glimmering through the dream of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen vainly, but with thirsty ear, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll.

In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, honor, country.”

— General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, at the U.S. Military Academy, May 12, 1962

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaMilitary / Armed Forces* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Beginning as a self-described amateur journalist (the best kind), [Stephen Jimenez]...studied Shepard’s murder off and on for 13 years, conducted hundreds of interviews with sources on and off the record, and pored over a public record many thousands of pages long. His comprehensive account corrects the approved version in small matters and large. Shepard was not tied to the rail fence as if crucified, for example, and it’s still not clear, even after Jimenez’s exhaustive reporting, how this piece of misinformation became common knowledge—beyond the obvious explanation that reporters thought the detail was, as the saying goes, too good to check.

More surprisingly, Jimenez concludes that Shepard’s death had nothing to do with homophobia. It was instead the horrific result of a drug deal gone wrong. Indeed, in The Book of Matt, Jimenez offers lots of circumstantial evidence that Shepard and one of his murderers, a violent and drug-addled bit of tumbleweed called Aaron McKinney, were rival dealers in crystal meth. Several named witnesses told Jimenez that the two even had a sexual relationship.

“I knew in writing the book that it would stir up a lot of questions, a lot of conversation,” Jimenez said on the phone, “and it has!”

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMediaPsychologySexuality* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology


Posted November 9, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Zombies are coming, according to the Fox News website.

The news outlet's homepage accidentally displayed numerous fake but funny headlines on Tuesday morning in the US after accidentally turning live a homepage prototype. Initially, many believed Fox News' website had been hacked.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaScience & Technology

2 Comments
Posted November 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What was supposed to be a touchy-feely, one-on-one interview by Oprah Winfrey with long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad has morphed into a broader, sometimes angry exchange about what it means to be an atheist.

Earlier this month Winfrey, 59, hosted Nyad on “Super Soul Sunday,” her weekly talk program on cable’s Oprah Winfrey Network. Nyad, 64, recently completed a 53-hour solo swim from Cuba to Florida.

During the hourlong segment, Nyad declared herself an atheist. She then explained, “I can stand at the beach’s edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist, go on down the line, and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity. All the billions of people who have lived before us, who have loved and hurt and suffered. So to me, my definition of God is humanity and is the love of humanity.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaMovies & TelevisionReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism

0 Comments
Posted November 4, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

How do you accumulate material? You pound the pavement and always carry a pen. You describe what they saw, not what you inferred from the situation. Example: If you have seen the front of a house, do not say, “The house is blue.” Say, “The front of the house is blue.” Only after substantial reporting can we sit at a desk and put into practice the advice of novelist/historian Shelby Foote, who once said, “When you have enough specific detail, grit it out.”

To go from grand to gritty, a reporter needs to observe specific detail and then give readers a sense of those observations. David Halberstam, a celebrated journalist who visited my college four decades ago and convinced me to go into journalism, won awards for his street-level reporting in Vietnam and at home. (In 2007 he died in an auto accident at age 73 while visiting a college to talk with students about journalism.) In a terrific book published in 2007, Telling True Stories, Mark Kramer and Wendy Call quote Halberstam saying, “The more reporting—the more anecdotes, perceptions, and windows on a subject—the better. The more views of any subject that you get, the better.”

Telling True Stories and one other book, Robert Boynton’s The New New Journalism (2005), contain great advice on how to report and interview. Other veteran journalists told Kramer and Call that they did not take words too seriously, since deeds speak louder. Katherine Boo recommends that if an interviewee says, “Now I’ve got to go and pick up my kids from day care and go to the grocery store,” the reporter should seize the opportunity to go along and see not just how a subject talks but how she lives.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMedia

0 Comments
Posted November 4, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I grew up in the Episcopal Church in Alaska, but my belief was superficial and flimsy. It was borrowed from my archaeologist father, who was so brilliant he taught himself to speak and read Russian. When I encountered doubt, I would fall back on the fact that he believed.

Leaning on my father's faith got me through high school. But by college it wasn't enough, especially because as I grew older he began to confide in me his own doubts. What little faith I had couldn't withstand this revelation. From my early 20s on, I would waver between atheism and agnosticism, never coming close to considering that God could be real.

After college I worked as an appointee in the Clinton administration from 1992 to 1998. The White House surrounded me with intellectual people who, if they had any deep faith in God, never expressed it. Later, when I moved to New York, where I worked in Democratic politics, my world became aggressively secular. Everyone I knew was politically left-leaning, and my group of friends was overwhelmingly atheist.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

3 Comments
Posted November 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Statement from William Fittall, Secretary General of the General Synod and Archbishops' Council, placing recent media and blog speculation in context:

"At last Friday's Synod press conference a national journalist asked me to confirm the now widely held story that the Pilling Group on human sexuality had been scrapped. I said that, on the contrary, the Group was still meeting and was due to complete its report in time for the House of Bishops to consider it at its meeting in December.

"Then on Monday a clergyman posted a blog saying: "I have now confirmed from a number of sources what the Pilling Report is going to recommend. The final draft is ready and it will propose that the Church of England introduce some form of liturgy that will bless same-sex relationships. There is absolutely no doubt that this is what the outcome of the committee's deliberations will be - This is not spin, it is not trying to influence the outcome, it is the real deal." Our Communications Office responded to this by saying that, on the contrary, "the final draft of the Pilling report has not yet been completed or signed off."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 31, 2013 at 5:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

1. GAFCON isn’t about schism — or sexuality. Archbishop Jensen of Sydney immediately countered talk in the western press of Anglican schism by calling it “nonsense” and defining GAFCON as a movement to renew the Anglican Communion, not a new church. Similarly, press attention on homosexuality hasn’t been realized in the discussions at GAFCON. Instead of flashpoint issues, GAFCON has seen more attention give to bringing the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

0 Comments
Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Same Sex Practice]...goes against the teachings of the Bible and should not be admitted to the Church, conservative Anglican leaders have said.

Gathering in Nairobi for week-long Global Anglican Future Conference, the clergy on Monday said they would preach for adherence to the teachings of the Bible and do not support the infiltration of “secularising” influences.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

0 Comments
Posted October 24, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You may find the video here.

Watch it all (a little over 33 minutes).

Update: a short 3 minute video with excerpts from the Press Conference may be found here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of KenyaGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture

1 Comments
Posted October 22, 2013 at 5:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leaders of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) refuted characterizations in the western press of the gathering as a breakaway movement, with recently retired Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney responding that "nothing could be further from the truth."

Instead, the FCA General Secretary portrayed the movement as seeking to model how the worldwide Anglican Communion can function "particularly when the Communion insists on strong theological standards" centering on the bible.

"There is a temptation to change Christian faith to comply with surrounding culture," Dr Jensen observed at the press conference on the opening day, October 21st, 2013. "We think this has occurred far too often in the world."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013* Culture-WatchGlobalizationMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

0 Comments
Posted October 22, 2013 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the past three years, a quintet of engaging religion news sites has cropped up across the country. Why? By the end of the past decade, it was clear that newspaper editors were cutting costs wherever they could and the religion beat was often the first to go. Numerous cities were without any non-sectarian religion coverage whatsoever as religion reporters were either laid off (which is what happened to me) or transferred to other beats (Jeffrey Weiss for the Dallas Morning News is a key example). One writer who was laid off from her Connecticut paper was Tracy Simmons. She dreamed up her own religion news web site for the Hartford area called creedible.com and did quite well, eventually winning an award in 2011 for best religion news section. She was a pioneer in independent religion news sites.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetHistoryMediaReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted October 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out (there are 57 in all).


Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationMedia* General InterestPhotos/Photography

0 Comments
Posted October 19, 2013 at 9:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Longley, wanting to sound positive, says that he could “imagine and foresee one of the fruits of our ecumenical engagement as moving towards a deeper understanding of communion and a deeper sharing between our churches … which perhaps would lead to a reconsideration of some of the circumstances.” That’s all very well-meaning: but since the chances of prelate-speak of this kind being misunderstood by the secular press are about 100 per cent, it really would have been better not to have said it....Archbishop Longley’s fantastical notion that there has been a “deeper theological understanding of one another’s Churches”, presumably because of the work of ARCIC, requires a little more attention. What theological understanding would that be? The trouble with ARCIC always was (as a former Catholic member of it once explained to me) that on the Catholic side of the table you have a body of men who represent a more or less coherent view, being members of a Church which has established means of knowing and declaring what it believes. On the Anglican side of the table you have a body of men the divisions between whom are just fundamental as, and sometimes a lot more fundamental than, those between any one of them and the Catholic representatives they face: they all represent only themselves.

Read it all from William Oddie in the Catholic Herald (emphasis his).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVIPope Francis * TheologySacramental TheologyEucharist

15 Comments
Posted October 18, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Malaysian court ruled on Monday that a Christian newspaper may not use the word "Allah" to refer to God, a landmark decision on an issue that has fanned religious tension and raised questions over minority rights in the mainly Muslim country.

The unanimous decision by three Muslim judges in Malaysia's appeals court overturned a 2009 ruling by a lower court that allowed the Malay-language version of the newspaper, The Herald, to use the word Allah - as many Christians in Malaysia say has been the case for centuries.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaMalaysia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

1 Comments
Posted October 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A radio advertisement for a prayer vigil at St Paul’s Cathedral has been rejected because it is too “political”.

Premier Christian Radio planned to run a brief commercial advertising the vigil, which takes place next Monday.

The station condemned the decision by the RACC, the commercial radio advertising clearance body, as a “gross perversion of reality flying in the face of basic freedoms”.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted October 7, 2013 at 8:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture

4 Comments
Posted October 7, 2013 at 7:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all, noting especially the bishop's first blog entry for those of you who may have missed it.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMedia* South Carolina* Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 4, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Francis' highly publicized recent interview with an Italian Jesuit magazine has ushered in a new era for the Roman Catholic Church - an era of record levels of misinterpretation of the pontiff's words, both by the liberal media and by conservative Catholics who have been grousing about Francis ever since he washed the feet of a Muslim girl during Holy Week....

In fact, Francis, as he made clear in his interview, isn't likely to deviate from any aspect of traditional Catholic teaching. He reiterated that God doesn't "condemn and reject" anyone, including gays, but loves them, is cognizant of the pain they feel and yearns for them to repent of their sins and confess them. The very day after the interview was published, Francis, in an audience with Catholic gynecologists, vociferously denounced abortion as a symptom of today's "throwaway culture."

But that is in some ways beside the point. The Catholic Church really is changing, although not exactly in the fashion liberals would like. The church is changing because the world itself is changing. The hegemony of the West, technologically advanced but in demographic, economic, cultural and religious decline, may well be over.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

2 Comments
Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Francis cranked up his charm offensive on the world outside the Vatican on Tuesday, saying in the second widely shared media interview in two weeks that each person “must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them” and calling efforts to convert people to Christianity “solemn nonsense....”

Some conservative Catholics were also taken aback by the interview.

“My e-mail is filled with notes from people who need to be talked off the ledge,” wrote the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, author of one of the more popular blogs for Catholic conservatives.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEuropeItaly* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis * Theology

1 Comments
Posted October 2, 2013 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Please note that this is a follow up to this article posted on the blog September 22--KSH).

A Methodist minister who resigned her pulpit last year after deciding that she was no longer a believer, and who was recently hired by a humanist group based at Harvard to help build congregations of nonbelievers throughout the country, has acknowledged fabricating aspects of her educational background.

The former minister, Teresa MacBain, whose crisis of faith was described in the On Religion column last Saturday, claimed she had earned a master of divinity degree from Duke University.

She had also listed that degree in the résumé she submitted to the Humanist Community at Harvard in the course of being hired as director of its Humanist Community Project. In addition, she had made references to the degree in previous public statements, some of which were reported online.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchEducationMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsSecularism* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

5 Comments
Posted October 2, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As some of you may remember, that ad brought to light President Obama’s voting record on infants born alive and the reality of my life as a survivor. As some of you may also remember, that fact check was more like a bias un-check, and although the writer questioned the credibility of my use of the word “discarded” in the ad when describing what it was like for me to survive an abortion and be left to die and was blatantly out to attack that ad and me, scores of people and political commentators from across the nation responded to the Post’s article pointing out the bias of the article and the negative treatment of such a painful experience that my family and I have lived through.

What a difference a year makes.

If Josh Hicks, the fact check writer from the Washington Post, was doing that article now, not only would I have all of the damning evidence about the abortion that I survived that was provided to him last year, including copies of my medical records that reflect the abortion that I survived and the statements by my adoptive parents about what they were told about everything that occurred, but I now also have additional information from a medical professional about the circumstances that surrounded my survival and information from my biological family, whom I’ve been blessed to have enter into my life this year, that further solidifies all that happened thirty-six years ago.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyMediaScience & Technology* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 27, 2013 at 7:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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