Posted by Kendall Harmon

Let's turn this around for the ESPN crew: OK, when you look at Christian McCaffrey, who and what do YOU see? What about his name? What about those high-school videos with him playing at Valor High Christian school near Denver? What about his active, outspoken Christian parents, including his NFL pro dad? Might these factors play a role in this in-depth story probing the mystery that is McCaffrey?

Apparently not. Here is a sample of the content in this totally faith-free ESPN report on this young Christian named Christian. This scene is set on an airplane:
The intensity of this kid! There's an immersion and stillness and deep rhythmic groove he achieves as he traces with his right index finger the motions plotted out for him and his teammates while also quietly incanting their mnemonic tethers. White. Sixty. Ox. Robin. One row over, one of McCaffrey's teammates, smirking, unburdens himself. It's silent but deadly – a weaponized, wet-velvet, all-but-visible wave of flatulence that warps the air of the cabin. I exclaim Save us from Satan while pulling my shirt collar over my nose and mouth. Others around me do the same (more or less). But not McCaffrey. No, McCaffrey is in his bubble, impervious, tracing, incanting, learning, maintaining his rhythm: After "finishing" a given play, he moves on, then returns exactly five minutes later to test his retention.
It's not the intensity that I'm loath to disturb but the earnestness. It somehow seems of a piece with his regard for the flight attendant making the safety announcement, quietly touching in the same way. I table my voice recorder for the moment and open a notebook. Perhaps because McCaffrey happens to be a pretty good self-taught pop-song pianist (again, see YouTube), I scribble this mincing fancy: Like a conservatory piano student working his way through a Chopin ?tude. The instant I do, though, another, even less appetizing, phrase bubbles up to consciousness. That phrase.
He's a student of the game. You know it well. We all do, and what it's code for: He's white.
Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted August 26, 2016 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In retrospect, Facebook’s takeover of online media looks rather like a slow-motion coup. Before social media, web publishers could draw an audience one of two ways: through a dedicated readership visiting its home page or through search engines. By 2009, this had started to change. Facebook had more than 300 million users, primarily accessing the service through desktop browsers, and publishers soon learned that a widely shared link could produce substantial traffic. In 2010, Facebook released widgets that publishers could embed on their sites, reminding readers to share, and these tools were widely deployed. By late 2012, when Facebook passed a billion users, referrals from the social network were sending visitors to publishers’ websites at rates sometimes comparable to Google, the web’s previous de facto distribution hub. Publishers took note of what worked on Facebook and adjusted accordingly.

This was, for most news organizations, a boon. The flood of visitors aligned with two core goals of most media companies: to reach people and to make money. But as Facebook’s growth continued, its influence was intensified by broader trends in internet use, primarily the use of smartphones, on which Facebook became more deeply enmeshed with users’ daily routines. Soon, it became clear that Facebook wasn’t just a source of readership; it was, increasingly, where readers lived.

Facebook, from a publisher’s perspective, had seized the web’s means of distribution by popular demand. A new reality set in, as a social-media network became an intermediary between publishers and their audiences.

Read it all from the New York Times.

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

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology


Posted August 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Culture-WatchMedia* General InterestHumor / TriviaWeather* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted August 5, 2016 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the story of how celebrated Harvard scholar Karen King, author of books such as The Gospel of Mary of Magdala, was duped really gets thick. It involves East Germany, BMW brakes, porno films, antiquities scholarship, and an academic fitting the evidence to her prejudices. Really, it’s a story worthy of Werner Herzog. I’m not giving away too much when I say that the papyrus is clearly a fake and proves nothing about Jesus’s marital status.

The Catholic Church puts an enormous amount of emphasis upon marriage. Isn’t this odd for a tradition that was founded upon the teachings of a celibate Messiah? What could celibates know about marriage and sexuality?

Most Catholics have probably heard a millions versions of these questions from people with smug looks on their faces. It is the sort of look that says “I’ve caught the simpletons in a massive contradiction. Let’s watch them squirm.”

My preliminary surveys indicate some, not all, Catholics might be surprised that the perfectly orthodox (small “O”) answer to this question is that there’s nothing odd about the Catholic obsession with marriage, because Jesus is married as well. No, I’m not talking about Swedenborg’s The Delights Of Wisdom Pertaining To Conjugial Love where people get married in heaven. This is different and decidedly not heterodox.

Read it all (from Patheos) and take special note of Addison Hart (yes, the brother of David Hart) and his new book The Woman, the Hour, and the Garden: A Study of Imagery in the Gospel of John.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooksHistoryMedia* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have met Jo many times, but an interview just before Christmas in the House of Commons stands out. I couldn’t help but be impressed by her journey from Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, to Cambridge University, the charity sector then to the House of Commons. I was met with a hug - most rare in Parliament I can assure you - and we chatted for an hour about her life over a cup of tea. I think it might have been one of the first times she had sat and taken stock of what she had achieved. Anyone who knew Jo knows she was a tiny woman, absolutely petite, with a blunt brown bob, with a love of bright scarves that always made her stand out in Parliament. You weren’t to be fooled by that diminutive stature though. Sarah Champion MP for Rotherham described her a lion, and I’d agree. She was incredibly fit, and is such a dare-devil she found out she was pregnant with her son while climbing on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyMediaViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

1 Comments
Posted June 17, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Are there political implications to much of what takes place at an SBC gathering? Of course there are. You'd have to be blind not to see that. However, it is just as important to listen to the debates about WHY the convention takes some of the stands that it does.

It was nice of AP, in a piece containing very few attributions for quotes from real people, to note that the SBC has not changed its doctrinal stand on the moral status of sexual acts outside of marriage. It would have been nice, however, to have allowed readers to see a few quotes from actual Southern Baptists describing why they supported one type of action for the powerful people who lead the Disney corporation, yet another set of actions for the LGBT victims of a hateful act of terrorism.

Once again, journalists do not have to AGREE with the theological content of these arguments and decisions. But it is inaccurate, flawed, biased journalism to ignore the religious content of these kinds of events. By the way, this happens when journalists cover liberal, "mainline" Protestant events almost as often as it happens with coverage of doctrinal conservatives.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptists* TheologyApologeticsEthics / Moral TheologySoteriology

0 Comments
Posted June 16, 2016 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has today launched a search for its first Head of Digital Communications.

The advertisement for the new post states the Church is seeking someone to "take risks for the Gospel in exploring how digital engagement can lead to spiritual and numerical growth."

The job description for the new role suggests the postholder will be responsible for "leading a team developing and implementing digital evangelism, discipleship and digital communication strategies for the Church of England".

Commenting on the new post the Rev Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Church of England said: "We are looking for someone who is as confident and comfortable talking about Jesus as they are talking about the latest developments in tech and social media. As a digital evangelist they will utilise the best of digital to proclaim the Gospel.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

1 Comments
Posted June 14, 2016 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out (about 27 1/2 minutes).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMediaReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyChristologySoteriology

0 Comments
Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite easy assumptions of secularity, true diversity also means paying proper attention to religion. After all – and this should not really need stating – it is impossible to understand the world today without understanding religion. Not religion as an exercise in private piety that needs to be covered simply to keep some strange people happy; but because religion is a prime motivator of behaviour for both individuals and communities.

A religious commitment or worldview shapes the ethical choices, political priorities, economic preferences and cultural expressions of whole societies. We cannot hope to understand why people do the things they do if we don't understand what drives them – consciously or unconsciously.

You could argue that one of the great crises of our times is that we are facing religiously-motivated threats for the first time in more than 200 years, and broadcasters have neither the images nor the interpretative skills needed to face them.

Read it all (my emphasis).

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

0 Comments
Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Broadcasters should give religion the same depth of analysis they provide for sport, the Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed.

The Rt Rev Justin Welby called for the “promotion of religious literacy” to be written as a specific duty into the new BBC charter.

Faith issues should be treated as seriously as sport and drama on television, he argued.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The headlines stressed the demotion of Baylor’s now-former President and now-chancellor Kenneth Starr in the wake of gross sexual abuse incidents, patterns, and cover-ups at the school, and the suspension-with-intent-to-terminate of the football coach who was accused of mishandling and misrepresenting the occasions in which athletes misused and attacked Baylor women.

Whoever will check the sources (below) or others easily available to them will note that virtually all stories stressed that Baylor was a Christian, particularly a Baptist, university. The press doesn’t identify most other schools denominationally, unless the school name banners it—as in Southern Methodist University. Newswriters don’t say that Princeton is Presbyterian, etc.

But Baylor does not hide its official and traditional faith commitment, and puts it to work in many policies, such as compulsory chapel for students for a year or two. Let it be noted, as we will note, that some features of the commitment are strong: a “Top Ten” (in some measures) religion department, notable graduate programs, and not a few eminent scholars. But they are in the shadows cast by the scandal right now.

So, that’s one of the two religions. The other? Football, as it is supported and publicized endlessly, especially, as in Baylor’s case, under the working of the now-suspended head coach.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationMediaReligion & CultureSexualitySportsViolenceYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptistsEvangelicals* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted June 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

How many Southern Baptists are there in the greater Houston area, out of a population of four to six million people?

This is not an easy question to answer, just poking around online. It doesn't help, of course, that Texas Baptists are a rather divided bunch and things have been that way for several decades. But one thing is sure, there are hundreds of Southern Baptist congregations in the area and several of them are, even in Donald Trump terms, YYHHUUGGEE.

Now, the important journalism question – when looking at Houston Chronicle coverage of Baylor University issues – is whether there are any Southern Baptists, or even former Southern Baptists, who work on this newspaper's copy desk or in its suite of management offices.

Can I get a witness?!? Is there anybody there who knows anything about events in recent Southern Baptist life and how they affect the news?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesMediaReligion & CultureSexualitySportsViolenceYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptistsEvangelicals* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 1, 2016 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a column a few weeks ago, I offered “a confession of liberal intolerance,” criticizing my fellow progressives for promoting all kinds of diversity on campuses — except ideological. I argued that universities risk becoming liberal echo chambers and hostile environments for conservatives, and especially for evangelical Christians.

As I see it, we are hypocritical: We welcome people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.

It’s rare for a column to inspire widespread agreement, but that one led to a consensus: Almost every liberal agreed that I was dead wrong.

“You don’t diversify with idiots,” asserted the reader comment on The Times’s website that was most recommended by readers (1,099 of them). Another: Conservatives “are narrow-minded and are sure they have the right answers.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicalsOther FaithsSecularism

0 Comments
Posted May 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Wartime looks like this.

The steely greyness of the city. The clouds are so low, but not low enough to hide government helicopters carrying barrel bombs, which usually appear at the same time each day, in the mornings and late afternoons, circling for a while at altitudes of 13,000–16,000 feet, little more than tiny dots in the sky, before dropping their payloads.

What does war sound like? The whistling sound of the bombs falling can only be heard seconds before impact—enough time to know that you are about to die, but not enough time to flee.

What does the war in Aleppo smell of? It smells of carbine, of wood smoke, of unwashed bodies, of rubbish rotting, of . . . fear. The rubble on the street—the broken glass, the splintered wood that was once somebody’s home. On every corner there is a destroyed building that may or may not have bodies still buried underneath. Your old school is gone; so are the mosque, your grandmother’s house and your office. Your memories are smashed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMediaPsychologyViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 11, 2016 at 6:53 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

0 Comments
Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The BBC’s head of religion has warned that Britain needs to address its “chronic lack of religious literacy” if it is to accommodate the rise through new immigration of “more assertive” forms of Christianity with “conflicting views” on same-sex marriage and other human rights issues.

Aaqil Ahmed, writing for The Independent, identifies a “more muscular Pentecostalism” emerging among African immigrants and an “upsurge in Catholic numbers” from Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. “Christianity may have been pronounced to be at death’s door in the last century but now it’s firmly back in the public space and how we deal with that is the real battle for Christianity here in the UK.”

Mr Ahmed, the BBC’s head of religion and ethics, talks of a “changing of the guard” in the Church and says: “Christianity is not in terminal decline as many would have us believe, it is just different now and it’s growing.” He asks: “If among this growth is a more assertive Christianity with conflicting views with society on homosexuality, for example, then how do we deal with this?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

1 Comments
Posted March 18, 2016 at 4:58 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Documents that traditionally have been made available to Anglican Journal staff were withheld from them at the March 10-13 meeting of Council of General Synod (CoGS), the church’s governing body between General Synods.

The documents, made available online to CoGS members in advance of their meetings, include reports from various officers and committees of General Synod and updates on developments affecting the church, as well as background information, to help members prepare for discussions.

Archdeacon Michael Thompson, the church’s general secretary, decided not to make the documents available, saying, “The docket is not public. It’s a docket to help CoGS members prepare for the meeting.” Thompson said that Meghan Kilty, General Synod director of communication, had brought it to his attention that, “We have not developed a policy about how a not-public document becomes accessible to the press.”

In the absence of policy, he said in an interview, “The default is, the documents are not public.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted March 18, 2016 at 7:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Communion has appointed former BBC journalist Adrian Butcher as its new director for communications. He will take up the post immediately after Easter.

Adrian brings a wealth of journalism experience to the role. He began his career in newspapers before joining the BBC in 1990 as a producer in its national radio newsroom where he wrote and edited news summaries and bulletins across the range of radio networks. He also worked on television, as a producer on the One and the Six o'clock news bulletins, and for the BBC World Service and at the parliamentary unit in Westminster.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchGlobalizationMedia

2 Comments
Posted March 1, 2016 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As The Daily Telegraph publishes its 50,000th edition, we look back at the vivid snapshots of history detailed in readers' letters to the Editor

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMedia* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted March 1, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted February 29, 2016 at 7:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To be blunt: The last thing this funeral Mass was about was "spirituality." So search the [New York] Times story and look for the role that terms such as "Christian" and "Catholic" played in its contents. What about "Jesus," you ask? Forget about it.

The strongest religious language in the [New York] Times piece linked a kind of vague, Americanized faith with a nod to current fights over religious liberty.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyChristologyEschatologySoteriology

0 Comments
Posted February 23, 2016 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchMedia* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted February 6, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The head of religion and ethics at the BBC has called for the broadcaster to lead the fight against religious illiteracy.

Aaqil Ahmed calls on public service broadcasters such as the BBC to confront a world "defined by religion and conflict" but where most media fail to take religion seriously.

Few people know much about each other's beliefs, values and customs, creating a climate where it is all too easy for prejudice to take root, he says.

Read it all from Christian Today.

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

0 Comments
Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Church in North America has received numerous questions regarding whether or not Archbishop Beach was “a full voting member of the Primates Meeting.” Archbishop Beach did not consider himself a full voting member of the Primates Meeting, but with the exception of voting on the consequences for the Episcopal Church, Archbishop Beach participated fully in those parts of the meeting that he chose to attend.

Prior to Primates 2016 he was informed that there may be certain times when the Primates would move into a formal meeting, and, as the Anglican Church in North America is not an official member of the Communion’s instruments, he would be asked to step out of the room. However, he was never asked to leave the meeting.

While at the meeting, he addressed the gathering and participated in various balloting measures that set the agenda, ordered the agenda, and sought to discern the way those in the room wanted to proceed. He did not vote on the consequences for The Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

So why shout "Allahu Akbar!" when killing these students? Because they are not worshiping and serving Allah in the proper manner. This is a battle between true Islam and false Islam, even in a nation with a notoriously strict approach to Sharia law. It is always important to remind readers how many Muslims are dying in these conflicts, as well as Christians and members of other religious minorities.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted January 21, 2016 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When you look at the current events in the context of an accurate timeline, it's clear that (a) the Episcopal Church has merely been placed in "time out," (b) that the global primates really do think this dispute is about the Bible and marriage, (c) that the state of sacramental Communion among Anglican leaders remains as broken as ever and (d) that all Canterbury has really achieved, with this meeting, is send the contest into extra innings (or perhaps "stoppage time" is a better term among global Anglicans)....the Church of England plays a crucial role, to say the least, in the affairs of the Anglican Communion and there will be tremendous political pressure brought on English church leaders to modernize their doctrines on marriage. Check out the first wave of incoming fire, in this news report at The Guardian.

So journalists: Eyes left. That is where the action will be in the next three years, while the Episcopal Church is in "time out." The conservatives didn't really win. They won on the marriage statement, but not on the ultimate issue of broken Communion.

Does anyone expect the Episcopal Church to compromise and move back to orthodoxy on marriage, after formally changing marriage rites?

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEcclesiologySacramental TheologyEucharistTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 15, 2016 at 10:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted January 15, 2016 at 6:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

SOCOLOVSKY: Well, I think conservative churches want to draw lines. They want to say, “This is what we think about marriage. We are not anti-gay, we just think that marriage should be between a man and a woman,” and the challenge for them is going to be to voice that and express that in what appears to wider society to be a very humane way.

LAWTON: And without changing their positions in some cases. So, you know, there’s talk about being kinder and gentler on the issue, but the reality is many of them aren’t changing their position. I’m going to be watching especially this year the United Methodist Church, a mainline denomination, will be having its general meeting, and this is a denomination that has really struggled on this issue because it’s a very diverse denomination. There are people from Africa as well, church members in other parts of the world that are more conservative on this issue. And that church has been trying to figure out what do we do? There are ministers within the denomination that want to perform same-sex weddings, and there are many that are very opposed to it, so how does that denomination try to straddle both of those points of views?

DIONNE: They are the ultimate big church, or they are one of the ultimate big churches. When you think historically, they have gone politically from right to left. And just think in recent years, Hillary Clinton is a Methodist, and George W. Bush was a Methodist by marriage. He used to go to a Methodist church. They both speak for real traditions inside that church, and theoretically they’re all part of the same church.

DE SAM LAZARO: But the growing congregations are the most conservative, are they not, globally speaking?

JEROME SOCOLOVSKY: That’s correct. In Africa, in Latin America, in Asia. And there is also immigration to this country from those countries who are helping the ranks of, let’s say, Pentecostals or conservative evangelicals. In America we sometimes forget that we are a minority on this view worldwide, and some of these churches like the United Methodists have congregations overseas, too.

DIONNE: It’s a real challenge to be more liberal traditions, or to more liberal people inside big churches, Methodist, Catholics, and others—

LAWTON: Episcopalian, Anglican.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 3, 2016 at 5:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Plans to show a short video promoting the message of Christmas, and featuring a nativity scene, around the festive season have been rejected as too “religious” for the big screen.

An alliance of churches and Christian charities funded and made the 45-second film as part of its annual “Christmas Starts with Christ” campaign.

It was launched online last Christmas and has been viewed 250,000 times and the organisers had hoped to take it to cinema screens this year.

Read it all from the Telegraph.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMediaMovies & TelevisionReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted December 24, 2015 at 6:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ironically, after all of this, Christmas lost its luster for me. The rank materialism became too much to bear, and the Christmas season morphed from being a time I savored into something I tried to survive each year. Santa Claus, Christmas trees, the holiday jingles—they all felt like pagan oppression. When people complained about a war on Christmas I often smirked and thought to myself, Where do I sign up? Honestly: When a sale at Crate & Barrel gets entangled with the birth of Jesus Christ, something has gone horribly wrong.

But then I realized that I had allowed the secular celebrations of Christmas to crowd out its transcendent meaning. As theologian N. T. Wright points out, it’s Christmas that is the moment when God launched a “divine rescue mission” of humankind.

God didn’t just condescend to come to earth as a human. He came as a helpless infant. The King of Kings was born amid barnyard animals and piles of hay after His lowly parents were turned away from better lodgings. When the Magi came to see the Lord, there was no security on hand to judge whether they were worthy. The Messiah was approachable.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicalsRoman Catholic* TheologyChristology

1 Comments
Posted December 22, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Why is this amazing news for everyone? Because so much of what makes headlines, from debates over Syrian refugees to battles over the content of public school plays (looking at you, Charlie Brown!), has a religion angle. And more often than not, the best coverage of such stories comes from full-time religion beat specialists.

Tennessee readers, feel free to insert celebratory whooping and hollering here (and don't forget to hit the play arrow on the Kool and the Gang video above).

The prodigal Godbeat has come home to Music City!

Read it all (from Get Religion).

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

2 Comments
Posted December 21, 2015 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Did you catch the subtle, but very important, difference between the lede and the actual quote from the document?

The lede says that it is wrong for Catholics – which would mean priests, laypeople and other Catholic individuals – to try to win Jewish individuals to Christian faith. But what does the document say? It says that the Catholic Church, as an institution, "neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews (italics added)."

So evangelism by individual Catholics talking with individual Jews is acceptable, while organized efforts targeting Jews alone – perhaps a Catholic version of Jews for Jesus – are considered out of bounds.

Thus, the headline and the lede need to be corrected to reflect the actual content of the story and the document on which it is based.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicOther FaithsJudaism* Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 17, 2015 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted December 16, 2015 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There was a time not so very long ago when the most common complaint about Christmas was that it had become too commercial and that its Christian significance was being forgotten. Since then the decline in religious belief in Britain has grown so much that the secularity of Christmas is taken for granted. It is effectively a pagan festival now. According to the Church of England, only about one million people, or around two per cent of the population, still attend church on Sundays (though about twice that number do so on Christmas Day). The Church is in a bad way, and it is only natural that it should seek, as it has always done, to recruit new members by proselytism: hence its decision, in the run-up to Christmas, to use modern media for the purpose and screen a 60-second commercial in cinemas featuring the Lord’s Prayer.

I haven’t seen the commercial, but it sounds jumpy and irritating in the way that most cinema advertisements are. It reportedly shows the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, reciting the first line of the Lord’s Prayer, with the other lines being said in succession by different groups of people including schoolchildren, refugees, policemen and weightlifters (why weightlifters?).

It may well be irritating, but certainly no more so than all the other advertisements for such things as motor cars, watches, drinks, deodorants, or Jeremy Clarkson advertising his new paymaster, Amazon. But it has been banned by Britain’s biggest cinema chains on the grounds that it would offend cinema audiences. Digital Cinema Media (DCM), the company that handles most of Britain’s cinema advertising and is owned by Odeon and Cineworld, announced very late in the day, well after it had been approved by the appropriate authorities, that the C of E’s commercial should not be shown because it had a policy of not screening religious commercials on the grounds that advertisements reflecting personal beliefs risked ‘upsetting or offending audiences’.

Read it all from the Spectator.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchHistoryMediaMovies & TelevisionReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths

0 Comments
Posted December 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week was Thanksgiving.

This week is fright-giving.

So with apologies to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s epic 1933 pep talk:

We have much to fear, including fear itself.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaPsychology* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted December 6, 2015 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

About [former TEC Bishop Jeffrey] Steenson, his is an interesting side story because of the politics that got him elected as bishop in October 2004. He was running against five other candidates, one of whom was a northern Virginia cleric called Martyn Minns. Minns pastored the historic –- and sizeable – Truro parish in Fairfax, Va., and looked as though he had the election wrapped up. Then Steenson’s name was put in late in the selection process and a more liberal coalition called Via Media was behind him. Steenson was also a local priest and he ended up winning on the third ballot. Minns was first runner-up.

Minns went in a different direction and got elected an Anglican bishop in the province of Nigeria in mid-2006. That gave him the ammunition to lead 11 Episcopal churches in northern Virginia out of the denomination later that year. His story is too long to go into here but I’ve always wondered what would have happened had Steenson been more honest about his bent towards Rome and refused to run for bishop. Had Minns been a bishop in New Mexico instead of pastoring one of the largest conservative parishes in Virginia, the formation of a powerful counter movement against the Episcopal Church might have gone in a different direction.

I’ve always thought that one reason for the American Anglican split-off from the Episcopal Church nearly a decade ago was not so much the election of a gay man as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 although that was a huge factor. It was also the politicking that went on in numerous dioceses where qualified conservative candidates for bishop were foiled by liberal groups who found less-qualified moderate candidates to beat them. Northern Virginia was full of such conservative leaders whose orthodox theological stances made them unelectable and there were a lot of priests like them around the country.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Conflicts* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

3 Comments
Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cinemas are private establishments, and so are free to advertise whatever they like and decline to advertise whatever they don’t like. Pearl & Dean dominated cinema advertising in the 1950s-70s, but multiple mergers and takeovers gradually depleted their market share, and their cheesy theme tune is now just one among a myriad of agencies competing for your money. The best ads, of course, are the memorable ones: they tend to play on fear, sex, thrills or journeys. If the advertisers want to target young teenage males, for example, they’ll inject the erotic, masculine imagery of adventure and aspiration. The more human and intuitively feeling the ad is, the more successful the brand campaign tends to be.

The Church of England produced an advert promoting their new website JustPray.uk, which seeks to create a digital place for prayer with advice on what prayer is and how to pray. The site also provides a ‘live prayer’ feed of prayers being prayed across the globe via Twitter, Instagram and Vine. The promotional 60-second advert features Christians from all walks of life praying one line of the Lord’s Prayer, and includes weight lifters, a police officer, a commuter, refugees in a support centre, school children, a mourner at a graveside, a festival goer and the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was to have been shown in cinemas from 18th December as part of the ad reel before ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. Why not harness the Force for the power of the Lord’s Prayer?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted November 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“If ISIS is allowed to define the terms of this engagement then they’ve pretty much won the battle. We have to understand them and meet them where they’re coming from but not capitulate, not really surrender to the terror they’re trying to spread, because that’s the victory they are looking for,” says Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationMediaReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEuropeFrance* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslam* Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Britain's biggest cinema chains have banned the screening of a film in which the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the public recite the Lord’s Prayer – because they say it could be offensive to movie-goers.

Odeon, Cineworld and Vue have refused to show the one-minute film the Church of England planned to run in cinemas across the UK before the new Star Wars blockbuster, which opens a week before Christmas.

Last night the Church of England threatened legal action against the cinemas, saying it was the victim of religious discrimination.

The astonishing decision to block the film was made even though it was given a Universal certificate by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) – meaning anyone, of any age, can watch it – and approved by the Cinema Advertising Association (CAA).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

5 Comments
Posted November 22, 2015 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has said it is "bewildered" by the refusal of the country's leading cinemas to show a 60 second advert of The Lord's Prayer, adding that the "plain silly" decision could have a "chilling effect" on free speech.

The Church's response follows its launch of a new website to promote the renewal of prayer in a digital age.

The website JustPray.uk creates a place for prayer with advice on what prayer is and how to pray. The site also provides a "live prayer" feed of prayers being prayed across the globe via Twitter, Instagram and Vine.

The Church has produced an advert promoting the new website to be shown in cinemas from December 18 2015 as part of the ad reel before Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted November 22, 2015 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has said it is "disappointed and bewildered" by the refusal of leading UK cinemas to show an advert featuring the Lord's Prayer.
The Church called the decision "plain silly" and warned it could have a "chilling" effect on free speech.
It had hoped the 60-second film would be screened UK-wide before Christmas ahead of the new Star Wars film.
The agency that handles adverts for the cinemas said it could offend those of "differing faiths and no faith".

Read it all and please take the time to watch the Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life

0 Comments
Posted November 22, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMedia* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted November 16, 2015 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted November 13, 2015 at 11:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Ashley Madison hack may have faded from the headlines but one of its key revelations lingers on in our cultural conversations about sex.

It's present in more recent offerings like Rachel Hills's book The Sex Myth: The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality and the romantic comedy Sleeping with Other People, currently showing in cinemas.

That this theme should crop up so repeatedly suggests that we need to be constantly reminded of it - no great surprise, really, since sex is often something that can (if you pardon the phrase) screw with our thinking, feeling, and desiring.

What each of these sex stories reinforces, again and again, is that all of us have great sexpectations that remain, frequently, unfulfilled.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingBooksHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyMediaMenPsychologyReligion & CultureSexualityWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 9, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mark D'Arcy examines the life and times of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. What drives him? And how far is he a political prelate?

Listen to it all (28 minutes).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 27, 2015 at 3:06 pm [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

0 Comments
Posted October 17, 2015 at 11:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Everyone used to know the worship rules, and now we don't. It's that simple, which means that things are getting more complex," said Lee Rainie, the Pew Research Center's director of Internet, science and technology research. He is also the co-author of the book "Networked: The New Social Operating System."

Every venue in public life "has its own context," he said, "and you can't write a set of social-media rules that will apply in all venues. Using technology to enrich our own spiritual experiences is one thing, while interrupting corporate worship is another. ... People are going to have to ask if that phone is pulling them deeper into worship services or if they're using it to disengage and pull out of the experience."

This storm has been building in the pews for more than a decade, and religious leaders will not be able to avoid it, according to new work by the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel. A survey found that 92 percent of adults own cellphones and 90 percent carry them most of the time. Nearly half say they rarely turn off these devices and nearly a third said they never turn them off -- period.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingHistoryMediaReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 15, 2015 at 10:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMedia* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted October 12, 2015 at 12:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The crimes and misdemeanors of science used to be handled mostly in-house, with a private word at the faculty club, barbed questions at a conference, maybe a quiet dismissal. On the rare occasion when a journal publicly retracted a study, it typically did so in a cryptic footnote. Few were the wiser; many retracted studies have been cited as legitimate evidence by others years after the fact.

But that gentlemen’s world has all but evaporated, as a remarkable series of events last month demonstrated. In mid-May, after two graduate students raised questions about a widely reported study on how political canvassing affects opinions of same-sex marriage, editors at the journal Science, where the study was published, began to investigate. What followed was a frenzy of second-guessing, accusations and commentary from all corners of the Internet: “Retraction” as serial drama, rather than footnote. Science officially pulled the paper, by Michael LaCour of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Donald Green of Columbia, on May 28, because of concerns about Mr. LaCour’s data.

“Until recently it was unusual for us to report on studies that were not yet retracted,” said Dr. Ivan Oransky, an editor of the blog Retraction Watch, the first news media outlet to report that the study had been challenged. But new technology and a push for transparency from younger scientists have changed that, he said. “We have more tips than we can handle.”

The case has played out against an increase in retractions that has alarmed many journal editors and authors. Scientists in fields as diverse as neurobiology, anesthesia and economics are debating how to reduce misconduct, without creating a police-state mentality that undermines creativity and collaboration.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetEducationHistoryMediaScience & Technology* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted October 12, 2015 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fox News’ highly reluctant Jesus follower has found a new church.
Kirsten Powers, USA Today columnist and contributor to Fox News, announced her decision on a live broadcast of “The Five.”
“Tomorrow night at 7 o’clock, I'm becoming Catholic!” she told viewers.
Powers, who grew up in the Episcopal Church, became an evangelical about 9 years ago, after attending Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. Listening to Tim Keller preach opened the door for her to believe in God.
“I came to realize that even if Christianity wasn't the real thing, neither was atheism,” she wrote in a 2013 testimony for CT. “I began to read the Bible. My boyfriend would pray with me for God to reveal himself to me.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicalsRoman Catholic* Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Behemoth is a small magazine about a big God and his big world. From the editors of Christianity Today, this ad-free, digital biweekly aims to help people behold the glory of God all around them, in the worlds of science, history, theology, medicine, sociology, Bible, and personal narrative.

See what you make of it.

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

0 Comments
Posted October 10, 2015 at 2:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England is partnering with Twitter UK to broadcast services across the world using mobile technology.

ChurchLive, was created in conjunction with Twitter UK as a way of showcasing a broad range of live church services to global audiences simply and accessibly through use of a smartphone. ChurchLive could be the first taste of Church for those unfamiliar with church services and an introduction to the best of worship, preaching and prayer. ChurchLive will also enable other people to rediscover church in a new way or for those in other countries to learn more about Church of England services.

Rev Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Archbishops' Council said: "This is a project designed to bring Church of England services from Malton to Miami, Middlesbrough to Milan and Manchester to Mumbai. Those who may not make it to church on a Sunday for all sorts of reasons will have the opportunity to be part of a service. The ability to join in worship shouldn't be restricted to geographical constraint. We know that Periscope users are a global audience and we expect that there will be as many watching services broadcast via Periscope as are physically present at the services themselves."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 9, 2015 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At the agency, “I was fascinated by the creative guys,” he said, especially the copywriters. While there was a lot of interesting characters to be seen at such a firm, there were less savoury aspects of the job that he, as a Christian, had to learn to contend with.
“I went to the cathedral at the time,” he remembered. “I was the only person in the agency who went to church…I was always perplexed by people my age who had no ethical qualms about how we did our business and who we represented.”
Around this time, the United Church of Canada was taking part in a boycott of Nestle, the chocolate maker, for their role in milk formula sales to Third World countries. Nestle was one of his clients and a friend asked a co-worker of his, “ “‘Doesn’t that bother you?’ She said, ‘No, this was business.’”
He began to question his direction in life, wondering: “Maybe it’s not possible to live in this world and be a Christian.” (He now believes it is so.)
It was at this time that “God moved me to look somewhere else.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted October 8, 2015 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Islamic State combatants have shown themselves to be resilient, and the group is adept at attracting adherents through social media.

At least eight Islamic State branches in the Middle East and Afghanistan have cropped up in recent years or have redefined themselves as allies, such as the Boko Haram insurgency group in Nigeria.

At the same time, international efforts to combat the Islamic State’s online propaganda messaging has been an abysmal failure, according to a recent State Department assessment.

So far, the Islamic State’s violent narrative — promulgated through thousands of messages each day — has effectively “trumped” the efforts of some of the world’s richest and most technologically advanced nations, the State Department assessment said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationMedia* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Middle East* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 2, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The US State Department is seeking a counter-narrative to the propaganda being spread by ISIL, and it is reportedly turning to some of America’s preeminent storytellers for help. According to The Daily Beast, executives from both HBO and Snapchat are part of a team of filmmakers and social media specialists that’s brainstorming how to hamper the effectiveness of ISIL’s messaging.

Citing unnamed industry and government sources, The Daily Beast reports that HBO and Snapchat representatives were invited to Sunnylands, a California retreat known for hosting important government figures, in June to meet with State Department officials on how best to counter the ISIL narrative, which has lured young men from the Middle East, Europe, and even the United States, to join its violent ranks. Mark Boal, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Zero Dark Thirty, is reportedly part of the team assisting the State Department.

Neither HBO nor Snapchat have responded to requests for comment. The State Department, in a statement to Quartz, neither confirmed nor denied the Daily Beast report but noted that film “is an especially powerful medium for building cross-cultural understanding” of world issues.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationMediaReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 30, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The gulf is widening among the world’s 80 million Anglicans and now the Archbishop of Canterbury has called a summit of church leaders to work out a new way of running the divided church.

Archbishop Justin Welby has asked Anglican primates from each major region to meet in London in January 2016.

He will discuss religiously motivated violence and the protection of children. But it’s the issue of sexuality and same-sex relationships that’s most divisive.

Is Archbishop Welby trying to achieve the impossible—satisfying the demands of liberal and conservative Anglicans for a church that’s totally inclusive or Biblically conservative? The Rev Dr Stephen Burns, associate dean of Trinity College Theological School in Melbourne and an expert in the worldwide Anglican communion, discusses the dilemma.

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of AustraliaGlobal South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)* Culture-WatchMedia* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted September 30, 2015 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMedia* South Carolina* Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Any global timeline would have to include 1998, when the worldwide Lambeth Conference passed a resolution affirming scripture and traditional teachings on marriage and human sexuality. Then 65 Episcopal bishops sign another statement of dissent. That was also the year when [Bishop John] Spong released his famous 12 theses, beginning with "Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead." In his 10th thesis, he added: "Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way."

Looking for issues other than sex? Spong was raising some big ones, rejecting most of the basic elements of creedal Christianity.

On a related issue, I have always thought it was crucial that, in 1992, Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison of South Carolina stopped receiving Holy Communion in meetings of the U.S. House of Bishops after several of his colleagues refused to condemn a liberal theologian's statement that she served a god that is "older and greater" than the deity revealed in the Bible.

How much of that needs to be mentioned in a news story? That is a matter for editors and reporters to determine. But the simple fact is that the actual battles over homosexuality began in the late 1970s and efforts to build alternative conservative structures in the United States began in the 1990s. To say that Robinson's election "precipitated" this division is inaccurate. Why settle for flawed or, at best, simplistic language? Why pretend that the battle is about homosexuality, alone?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & Primates* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted September 24, 2015 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new message is being hinted at to orthodox Christians by the secular state: get with the programme, or we will treat you as extremists.

Thirdly, the episode is an example of revisionist episcopal hypocrisy. David Walker (whose views are well known) claimed on one hand that the “gay” issue was not going to split the church, and that unity in the Anglican Communion was his priority. But then he joined in an attack on the Church of Uganda using false information. If his aim is unity, this will surely have the opposite effect – unless of course he thinks he can bully African churches into following his revisionist views, and creating ‘unity’ that way? Rather than discuss the theological issues behind the fracture in the Communion, the Bishop of Manchester chose to use the radio interview to solicit support from the secular liberal audience for his own brand of Christianity, by demonizing African Anglicans and so further hardening the divisions in the Communion. To what extent does this reflect his own view, or part of a more organized policy?

We are seeing a combination of spin, intimidation and hypocrisy as revisionist church leaders join with the secular media in creating distance between (in their narrative) ‘good religion’ of liberal Western Anglicanism, and the ‘bad religion’ of the orthodox version in the developing world. In North America the faithful confessing Anglicans have faced this, taking a public, costly stand, articulating the Bible’s clear teaching about sex, marriage and what it means to be human as part of a fully-orbed presentation of the counter cultural Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have not been ashamed of association with African Christian leaders, warmly welcoming close fellowship and even oversight from them. The Archbishop of Canterbury needs to show at the January meeting that he rejects the revisionist tactics of the BBC/Guardian/Bishop of Manchester (that is, if the GAFCON Primates accept the invitation). Otherwise English evangelical Anglicans and orthodox anglo-Catholics will need to be moving ahead organizationally along the same lines as ACNA.

Read it all and followi the links, especially noting the one to the detailed background to the situation in Uganda.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsGlobal South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted September 22, 2015 at 7:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted September 21, 2015 at 11:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rob Dempsey was hungry and lonely, digging through trash bins for food, when he found something that would change his life forever.

Dempsey, now a radio host at His Radio 100.5, had been on his own since he was 16 and was living on the streets of his native St. Petersburg, Fla.

He was a teenage alcoholic and drug user. “I felt so disconnected and so alone. Being alone in a situation like that is one of the worst things that anybody could go through, because there’s just nobody there.”

Read it all from the local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* South Carolina* Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Back in the day, the iconic Walter Cronkite closed his nightly CBS newscast with the reassuring words, “And that’s the way it is.” And for a generation at least, Americans believed him.

Well, they don’t any more. Survey after survey has shown that few professions are held in lower regard by the public than journalism. Survey after survey has also revealed that many elite journalists hold to a narrow, secular worldview that sees religious belief as irrelevant to the “real” issues of the day—if not downright dangerous.

“Now the problem with this journalistic orthodoxy,” says Robert Case of the World Journalism Institute, “is that it is disingenuous. … The post-modern journalist subscribes to no external standard for her judgments. … With the post-modern loss of the quest for objective truth, journalistic judgment is subject to personal whim, and manipulation by the media elite who have their own perspective on truth.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaMovies & TelevisionPhilosophyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted September 16, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I had put effort into figuring out who to be so that I could succeed as the host of a Sunday news show. But last year when I lost that job, which offered me satisfaction and a high profile, I had to find out who I was without cameras or prestigious titles. This hasn’t been rosy or easy, though I tried to leave NBC with grace, mostly as an example to my children.

It has been faith that steadied me. The humbling loss turned out to be a gift, because I have seen how many fresh opportunities for growth and happiness await—even if it hasn’t gone according to my plan. Most plainly, I understand: In joy, pain and even in personal failure, God is close.

Erica Brown wrote me a note on my last day in the job. She reminded me to trust God, quoting Isaiah 46:4. “I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted September 12, 2015 at 5:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the hardest questions for the Christian conscience come after she had lost her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. At this point, she has few options. Judge Bunning had his own options, and he opted to send Kim Davis to jail. That, at the very least, is an act of judicial overreach that is more of a political statement than a judicial act.

What are government officials now to do? This story centers on a County Clerk in Kentucky, but the questions will eventually extend to any office holder, anyone wearing the uniform of the United States military, and virtually any government employee. The same pressures will come on anyone teaching on a secular college campus and anyone working for a Fortune 500 corporation.

But the hardest question in this case has to do with the fact that Kim Davis holds a constitutional office that now requires her, according to the federal courts, to do what she believes she cannot do in good conscience. Anyone who sees this case in simplistic terms simply doesn’t understand the issues. Christians of good conscience may answer these questions in different ways. In a fallen world, some questions seem to grow only more vexing.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted September 5, 2015 at 2:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

And what else has Davis done? This returns us to my earlier question. She has also said she can accept compromises that give same-sex couples their marriage licenses, including in her county, through the hands of other people or with licenses that do not require her signature.

Here is a another detail that I wish I was seeing in print: Under current Kentucky law, does the county clerk's signature or name have to be on every marriage license, even if it is physically handed to citizens by someone else? This would explain why Davis is refusing to allow her staff to distribute the licenses in their current form. She has said she has no problem with someone else signing them or issuing marriage licenses that do not contain a signature, if the law can be tweaked to allow that.

Are these important facts in this story, the facts concerning her willingness to compromise and allow same-sex marriages to commence?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted September 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


Picture: River baptisms at Church of the Holy Cross, Bluffton SC
Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMedia* South Carolina* TheologySacramental TheologyBaptism

1 Comments
Posted August 31, 2015 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships

0 Comments
Posted August 22, 2015 at 1:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It would be hard to imagine a story much more hellish than the lengthy New York Times piece that is racing around the Internet today that ran under this blunt headline: "ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape."

However, it is the second piece of the double-decker headline that will be the most controversial and discussed part of this piece: "Claiming the Quran’s support, the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria and uses the practice as a recruiting tool."

The bottom line: To make that statement, the Times team needs to show readers specific references in the Quran, by quoting them, and then show proof of how ISIS leaders are interpreting those passages, perhaps through a lens from earlier expressions of the faith. It would then help, of course, to show how mainstream Islamic scholars, and experts outside of Islam, read those same passages today.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaReligion & CultureSexualityViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

1 Comments
Posted August 17, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted August 16, 2015 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Pennsylvania pastor who’s the key suspect in a global insider-trading scheme must remain in custody while being sent to New York for a bail hearing.
A judge in Philadelphia, whose decision on Tuesday to free Vitaly Korchevsky on $100,000 bail was blocked by a judge in Brooklyn, ordered the pastor temporarily detained while he’s transported by U.S. Marshals to the New York borough for the hearing.
Korchevsky made no comments Friday in court in Philadelphia. He whispered to his wife and brother-in-law across the courtroom. Bob Levant, one of his attorneys, said the father of two is the “centerpiece” of a close-knit Ukrainian community in the Glen Mills area.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetLaw & Legal IssuesMediaScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeStock Market* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted August 16, 2015 at 1:39 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Perhaps John Rhys-Davies was channeling Gimli, his character from The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, because the Welsh actor delivered a soliloquy late Monday about good and evil and even warned of the end of days courtesy of radical Islamic terrorism and political correctness.

"There is an extraordinary silence in the West," said Rhys-Davies on Adam Carolla's podcast posted Monday night. "Basically, Christianity in the Middle East and in Africa is being wiped out — I mean not just ideologically but physically, and people are being enslaved and killed because they are Christians. And your country and my country are doing nothing about it...."

"This is a unique age. We don't want to be judgmental," said Rhys-Davies, who's also known for his role in the Indiana Jones franchise. "Every other age that has come before us has believed exactly the opposite. I mean, T.S. Eliot referred to 'the common pursuit of true judgment.' Yes. That's what it's about. Getting our judgments right."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

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Posted August 13, 2015 at 8:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The news is the most powerful and prestigious force in contemporary society, replacing religion as the touchstone of authority and meaning. It is usually the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we consult at night. What are we searching for?

The news does its best to persuade us we must keep up with its agenda - but to what end? What are the ghastly, wondrous, thrilling, destructive, bitter stories for?

It would be most honest to admit that we don't yet know: we're still working it out collectively. We're still among the first generations ever to have had access to news on the current scale and we're struggling to make sense of the deluge of information.

One thing is for sure: we don't yet have the news we deserve.

Read it all from ABC Australia.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingHistoryMediaPhilosophyPsychologyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 13, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Life is stranger than fiction.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

1 Comments
Posted August 11, 2015 at 7:02 pm [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

0 Comments
Posted July 23, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMedia

0 Comments
Posted July 23, 2015 at 6:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Among other recent fake stories was this shocker, allegedly from NBC News: “Christian Pastor in Vermont Sentenced to One Year in Prison After Refusing to Marry Gay Couple.”

Only the story wasn’t from NBC. It was from NBC.com.co—a fake website, filled with ads, and hosted on an overseas website.

“We are all too gullible,” warned my friend, Ed Stetzer, this week.

Hoax stories like these are likely to become more common as hoaxers become more sophisticated, warned Dan Gillmor, a journalism professor at Arizona State who specializes in digital media.

Read it all from Bob Smietana at CT.

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

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Posted July 19, 2015 at 12:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The first breakthrough into the mainstream media came around 4pm at the Washington Post, which did a relatively good job of providing in-depth perspective on the issue. (The Weekly Standard points out some weaknesses in the article though.) The Post (and many other outlets) interviewed Arthur Caplan, director of New York University’s Division of Medical Ethics: “If you’re starting to play with how it’s done, and when it’s done, other things than women’s health are coming into play. You’re making a huge mountain of conflict of interest.”

Most liberal websites defended Planned Parenthood and attack the undercover video. The debate is nothing new, says Vox, though they do pay some attention to objections. Mother Jones says the video is a “nothingburger,” and New York Magazine stridently refers to pro-lifers as “wacky relatives” whom you have to “deal with.” Ashley Feinberg, for Gawker, writes “In reality, the donation of fetal tissue is no different than any other situation in which a patient might donate tissue to scientific research.” Right.

Amanda Marcotte, for Slate, writes “Abortion is gross, no doubt about it. It becomes grosser the later in a pregnancy it gets. But so is heart surgery. So is childbirth, for that matter.” But the problem is not that it’s “gross,” it’s the double evil of killing innocent life and commodifying her body parts. As an article at The Federalist reveals, the human fetal parts trade has a commercial and profitable nature. Incidentally, the group StemExpress—which was implicated in the story—is undergoing website maintenance and has deleted their Facebook account.

The sad thing is, the body of a child in the womb can be killed and used for research, but outside the womb, it would result in first-degree murder charges, as seen in the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyMediaPsychologyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted July 16, 2015 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From all this, the Religion Guy draws three conclusions for journalists.

*Religious groups and their beliefs are far more complex than the news media typically indicate.

* Strong internal disagreements afflict several denominations – the biggest right out in the open being the United Methodist Church – and will continue to make news.

* Finally, and most obvious, a sizable and variegated lineup of religious believers feels bound to strongly resist America’s new redefinition of marriage for the indefinite future.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 14, 2015 at 5:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This is just wonderful--listen to the whole thing.

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

0 Comments
Posted July 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The question is posed: Can the United States go on as it has been with a good portion of its working class almost entirely isolated from the promise of our country?

It is a yes or no question. A “yes” involves the acceptance of a rigid, self-perpetuating class system in a country with democratic and egalitarian pretentions — a system upheld and enforced by heavy-handed policing, routine incarceration and social and educational segregation.

A “no” is just the start of a very difficult task. The mixed legacy of the Great Society — helping the elderly get health care, it turns out, is easier than creating opportunity in economically and socially decimated communities — has left the national dialogue on poverty ideologically polarized. And many policy proposals in this field seem puny in comparison to the Everest of need.

But there is one set of related policy ideas that would dramatically help the poor and should not be ideologically divisive. How about a renewed effort to help the poor by refusing to cheat them?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGamblingLaw & Legal IssuesMediaPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 10, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was a rough day for tech: The nation’s biggest airline, its oldest stock exchange, and its most prominent business newspaper all suffered technology problems that upended service for parts of Wednesday.

Government officials said that it did not appear that the incidents were related, or the result of sabotage, counter to an endless stream of jokes and conspiracy theories posted on Facebook and Twitter — and even the suspicions of FBI director James Comey.

“In my business, you don’t love coincidences,” Comey told Congress Wednesday. “But it does appear that there is not a cyber intrusion involved.”

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMediaScience & TechnologyTravel* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeStock Market* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Readers of Travel + Leisure ranked Charleston as the No. 1 city to visit in the U.S. and Canada in its 2014 World's Best Awards announced Wednesday.

Charleston landed the No. 2 slot in the publication's top 10 list of best cities in the world overall. Kyoto, Japan, took the leading spot by a fraction.

Cities are given numeric scores based on readers's ratings of sights and landmarks, culture and arts, restaurants and food, people, and value.

"We believe that Charleston encapsulates the authentic travel experience for which Travel + Leisure readers are looking," said Dan Blumenstock, director of hotel operations of Fennel Holdings and chair of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "That readers ranked Charleston the best city in the U.S. and Canada is a testament to Charleston's viability as a world-class destination for travelers."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaTravel* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in GeneralCity Government* General Interest* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted June 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the spirit of reconciliation, the Confederate flag needs to be removed from the Statehouse grounds.

On Monday, Gov. Nikki Haley gave her support to furling the flag. “We are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer,” she said. A growing number of legislative leaders support the idea.

The Legislature has the opportunity to remove the flag before the end of this month’s extended session. It can revise the terms of the session, and vote to bring the flag down.

Do it to honor the nine people who were killed at Emanuel AME Church.

Do it now.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaMilitary / Armed ForcesRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted June 22, 2015 at 8:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMediaSports* Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I never ascended the blogging ranks like Sullivan or Armstrong, and yet I too recently decided to complete my time as a regular blogger here at Christianity Today to pursue writing of a different sort. Like Sullivan, I yearn to slow down. Instead of creating post after post, I want to focus on writing that allows me more time and thought. Blogging itself—its immediacy, its informality, its conversational tone—is fleeting. There’s always an occasion for another update, another issue to comment on.

With such a transient, “what next?” mindset, bloggers and tweeters may experience what media theorist Douglas Rushkoff calls “present shock.” In his book of the same name, Rushkoff explains, “Our society has reoriented itself to the present moment. Everything is live, real time, and always-on. It’s not a mere speeding up… It’s more of a diminishment of anything that isn’t happening right now—and the onslaught of everything that supposedly is.” Our focus upon the present leads to “narrative collapse,” the end of storytelling, the end of understanding our place in the world as something with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted June 15, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The decision by Apple, Walmart, Eli Lilly, Angie’s List, and so on was a business decision—even more, a marketing decision. Coming out in opposition to the Indiana RFRA law was one of the shrewdest marketing coups since E.T. followed a trail of Reese’s Pieces. The decision to #BoycottIndiana was not made because it was the politically courageous thing to do; it was made because it was the profitable thing to do. The establishment could express support for a fashionable social norm while exerting very little effort, incurring no actual cost, and making no sacrifice to secure the goal. It had the further advantage of distracting most people from the fact that corporations like Apple have no compunction doing business in places with outright oppression of gays, women, and Christians. Those real forms of repression and discrimination didn’t matter; Indiana’s purported oppression of gays did.

The public statements, often hyperbolic propaganda about the dire consequences of the Indiana law, were cost-free because gay rights activists have successfully argued that opposition to gay marriage is tantamount to racism. Through a powerful and concerted effort, gay activists have succeeded in convincing the establishment that gays are the equivalent of blacks in Selma, and that their opponents—particularly their Christian opponents—are Bull Connors. There can simply be no brooking bigotry! Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton conveniently forget their previous support for conjugal marriage, and none of their supporters seek to hold them to account. All that matters is that one now deny that there can be reasonable opposition to gay marriage, and affirm that those who maintain that view are rank bigots. Companies like Apple and Walmart eagerly joined the bandwagon once it was clear that the tactic had worked.

There is a deeper reason for corporate support, however. ­Today’s corporate ideology has a strong affinity with the lifestyles of those who are defined by mobility, ethical flexibility, liberalism (whether economic or social), a consumerist mentality in which choice is paramount, and a “progressive” outlook in which rapid change and “creative destruction” are the only certainties. The response to Indiana’s RFRA law shows very clearly that corporations have joined forces with Republicans on economic matters and Democrats on social ones. Corporate America is aligned with the ascendant ­libertarian portion of each party, ensuring a win for the political, economic, and ­social preferences of libertarianism. In effect, there is only one functional party in America today, seemingly parceled between the two notional parties but in reality unifying them in its backing by financial and cultural elites.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMarriage & FamilyMediaPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 14, 2015 at 5:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all as well as the comments. He is gone but not fogotten.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineHistoryMediaMen* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted June 13, 2015 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bailey's story nailed that other development, too, that caused waves on social media:

After Campolo’s announcement, David Neff, retired editor in chief of Christianity Today who still writes a column for the magazine, indicated his similar support on his private Facebook account, drawing notice from some observers.....

Neff confirmed his support for same-sex marriage in a statement. Neff says that he still holds a high view of biblical authority, but that he has learned to read the relevant biblical passages in a different way than he used to.

“I think the ethically responsible thing for gay and lesbian Christians to do is to form lasting, covenanted partnerships,” Neff said in a statement to CT. “I also believe that the church should help them in those partnerships in the same way the church should fortify traditional marriages.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

0 Comments
Posted June 10, 2015 at 4:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted June 8, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lasch was not out to define the future, or to shape it either. He was not even, for some extraordinary reason, out to get rich. He had come to describe the cultural carbon clogging the national carburetor. We weren’t going to be made okay by dieting or jogging or protest-marching, or even by opening up our souls. We might, if we paid careful attention to Professor Lasch, become more fully aware of what was afoot in our culture, and what effects it was producing. Light might break through. The rest was up to us.

What was amiss? Much, it seemed. The Culture of Narcissism grew out of Lasch’s earlier study of the modern family, Haven in a Heartless World, in which he had pointed to an alarming decline in the family’s authority. It seemed, on the basis of the more extensive scrutiny supplied in The Culture of Narcissism, that the culture itself was approaching bankruptcy. “Bourgeois society seems everywhere to have used up its store of constructive ideas.”

Liberalism had nothing to offer, said this disillusioned liberal, weary as he was of cultural libertarianism. “Psychological man” had become “the final product of bourgeois individualism,” liberated from past superstitions but seeking the meaning of life. He lives “in a state of restless, perpetually unsatisfied desire.” All of which was congruent with Jimmy Carter’s presidential perceptions. But no White House speechwriter could afford to go where Lasch now led, which was toward arraignment of the “therapeutic” climate that caused Americans to seek “personal well-being, health, and psychic security.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyMediaMovies & TelevisionPsychologyReligion & CultureSociology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted June 1, 2015 at 3:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

First tale: A tenured sociologist at a prominent research university, with a couple of books under his belt on related subjects, publishes the first-ever research, using a nationally representative sample, on the young-adult outcomes for kids raised by people who have same-sex romantic relationships. The results show that these young adults have more difficult life experiences across a host of variables involving their employment, education, dependence on public assistance, mental health, relationship success and sexuality, trouble with the law, and experience of abuse.

The study, which confirms that the “gold standard” for the rearing of children is the intact biological family, of married mom and dad staying together faithfully and raising their own offspring, naturally causes a furor. The peer-reviewed social science journal that published the study, along with commentary alongside it, commissions a member of its own editorial board (who has an openly hostile view of the study) to “audit” the peer-review process. He concludes that, as much as he dislikes the article, the journal did everything by the book in publishing it. The journal’s editor, who is likewise friendly to the cause of same-sex marriage, stands by its publication, and in a subsequent issue publishes a follow-up article by its author, who cogently defends and restates his findings.

Meanwhile, at the sociologist’s home institution, a “scientific misconduct” inquiry prompted by a hostile non-scholarly ideologue is undertaken, and the sociologist is cleared completely after a thorough review of his methods and even his correspondence. His double vindication, however—by the journal that published his work and the university where he works—makes little headway against the howling media denunciation of his “debunked” research. (This is a world where “we hate your results” means the same thing as “they’re invalid.”)

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMediaSexuality--Civil Unions & PartnershipsSociology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General

0 Comments
Posted May 31, 2015 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaSports* General InterestHumor / Trivia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lying liars lie. That’s clear. But does everyone else lie too? Are we all liars? A new documentary called “(Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies” rounds up the research and lays out what we know. Little lies, white lies, big lies, whoppers. What we condemn and what we roll with. It’s quite a smorgasbord. You may think you’re above all that. But are you? And what about the power-brokers who frame our world? What happens when they lie? This hour On Point: the truth about lies.

– Tom Ashbrook
Guests

Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. Founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. Author of “Predictably Irrational,” “Irrationally Yours” and “The Honest Truth About Dishonesty.” Featured in the new documentary film, “(Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies.” (@danariely)

Dallas Denery, professor of history and chair of the history department at Bowdoin College. Author of the book, “The Devil Wins.”

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaPsychology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 28, 2015 at 3:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This spring, the journal International Archives of Medicine published a delicious new study: According to researchers at Germany’s Institute of Diet and Health, people who ate dark chocolate while dieting lost more weight...

It was unbelievable news. And reporters shouldn’t have believed it.

It turns out that the Institute of Diet and Health is just a Web site with no institute attached. Johannes Bohannon, health researcher and lead author of the study, is really John Bohannon, a science journalist. And the study, while based on real results of an actual clinical trial, wasn’t aimed at testing the health benefits of chocolate. It was aimed at testing health reporters, to see if they could distinguish a bad science story from a good one.

In many cases, they couldn’t.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionHealth & MedicineMediaScience & Technology* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Core Issues Trust offers its gratitude to the many thousands of citizens who voted against changing the Irish Constitution to replace marriage as the union between one man and one woman for life, with a new concept which takes no account of the sex of the marriage partners.

The Irish Government’s poll has enabled simple majoritarianism to usher in a radically new model of marriage based on the lowest possible construct: love while it lasts. Denying that all marriage is thereby redefined, the government has eliminated the very foundation of marriage based on natural male-female complementarity, a complementarity self-evident in human anatomy, physiology (procreative capacity), and even psychology. Now, instead of having sexual unions in which the extremes of each sex are moderated and the gaps filled, we will see the institution of marriage deteriorate even further as the extremes of each sex reshape marriage to be far more accommodating to non-monogamous behaviour and rapid dissolutions. The integrity of the sexes, male and female, will be further dishonoured as people are praised by the state for treating their sex half in relation to their own sex rather than as half of a whole sexual spectrum of male and female, as though two half-males make a whole male or two half-females make a whole female.

In addition, with the elimination of a male-female prerequisite for sexual unions, there no longer remains a logical reason to deny adult-consensual polyamorous unions or even incestuous unions (particularly incestuous unions where procreation is minimized or eliminated). For the limitation of two persons to a sexual union is predicated on the duality of the sexes, male and female; and the principle of embodied otherness upon which incest may be rejected absolutely is discarded in the embrace of the excessive sameness of same-sex sexual unions. The Irish Government in our view has also sacrificed innocent children to the demands of individuals who prioritise their “right” above the right of children to be raised by their natural parents.

We note also that this momentous change has taken place in the vacuum – evident in Irish society and in all our islands and beyond – following the collapse of a faithful Christian witness in Western civilisation: both Catholic and Protestant. Together we have failed to reflect the fruits of repentance and holiness of life in the sanctity of marriage and we are guilty in this fact.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 26, 2015 at 4:15 pm [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

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Posted May 23, 2015 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The reason for Coren’s conversion and the manner of it are newsworthy. It is significant in terms of religious culture and the profession of commentary.

Coren left Catholicism over homosexuality and gay marriage. In the face of cultural juggernauts, people do change their minds. Coren is following the theological path of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I wouldn’t have picked the contrarian Coren to join the trendiest cause around, but that’s how cultural trends become trendy; people join them.

Two weeks ago, Coren told our colleague Joseph Brean that he came back to Catholicism (the second time) for the Eucharist. He then left over homosexuality. In the long Christian tradition, sexual morality has never been more important than Eucharistic theology. Coren lambastes those who put sexual morality at the heart of their faith. Yet in choosing his ecclesial allegiance on matters sexual rather than matters liturgical, sacramental and Eucharistic, Coren did just that. The cultural import of his conversion is that it calls attention to exactly the choice facing churches the world over. Around what principles shall a church organize itself? The sexual revolution? Or divine revelation?

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 20, 2015 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The article brought up more questions than it answered and let stand some amazing assertions by Bill Leonard, a church historian on the "moderate" or progressive side of Southern Baptist life. The church history professor said the reason behind the change is that the Southern Baptists are having so much competition with Pentecostals on the world mission field that they felt they needed to give in this one point.

Really? So the Baptists are so behind on their soul winning among non-whites that they made the calculated decision to dump a decision they got a lot of grief on in 2005 and 2006? Leonard is a very good source, but I would have liked more data to back that one up – another point of view.

Moreover, the link RNS provided to the IMB web site didn’t say that at all. What it did reveal is that divorced people are also being allowed to be long-term missionaries. Christianity Today revealed some other rule changes with the IMB, such as parents of teens being allowed to be missionaries. Before, it was thought that having a teen-ager on a mission post was too challenging for a family.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture

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Posted May 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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