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Diocese of South Carolina Rebuts Amici Brief Defending State Supreme Court Justice Hearn

The Code of Judicial Conduct still requires recusal.
 
COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 13, 2017) – Today the Diocese of South Carolina (Diocese) filed our Response, at the Court’s request, to the Amici brief submitted on behalf of Justice Kaye Hearn regarding her actions on the South Carolina Supreme Court in its recent ruling in Appellate Case No. 2015-000622.  Her opinion there provided the deciding vote to deprive at least 29 parish churches of their right to properties some have held for over 300 years. Similar to the previous filings on the issue of Justice Hearn’s recusal, 26 attorneys signed this response as well.

Statement by the Rev. Canon Jim Lewis:   

“An essential issue before the State Supreme Court in this matter is whether the Judicial Code of Conduct means what it says. If it does, Justice Hearn should and must be recused from any further participation in this case. At a minimum, she should have no part in the Court’s decision whether to rehear this case. Further, if the Court is to defend the due process rights of the Diocese of South Carolina, we likewise believe it should vacate her existing opinion and grant a fresh hearing before a new bench of Justices that is untainted by her failure to recuse herself.”

Quotes from today’s filed Response:

+   Regarding Justice Hearn’s interest in the outcome, the amici brief “simply disregards the evidence provided with the Motion to Recuse.” [p. 4]

+   The Canons of the State Code of Judicial Conduct places “the determination regarding recusal and duty to disclose and recuse on the judge, not the parties.” [p. 8]

+   There are no grounds for Justices Hearn’s continued participation in this case. The amici brief itself makes “no argument that prospective recusal is unavailable and inappropriate in these circumstance.” [p. 10]

Conclusion: “Respectfully, Justice Hearn should recuse herself from hearing the Petition for Rehearing and the Court should vacate her opinion and appoint a Justice to hear the Petition. Failing that, the Court should vacate all of the opinions and order rehearing.” [p. 12]

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

A Summary of recent posts on the August 2 South Carolina Supreme Court Decision involving “five different, strongly-held opinions”

Careful blog readers should make sure there have read and understood them all. I have been asked why I have not linked to secular media reports or other stories, and the answer is I would be happy to if they were accurate but they have not been–KSH.

South Carolina Supreme Court on Diocese of South Carolina/TEC Diocese in SC Dispute Ruling is Out.

Diocese of SC Statement on the recent South Carolina Supreme Court Ruling.

AS Haley–Massive Conflict of Interest Taints South Carolina State Supreme Court Ruling.

South Carolina Bishop Lawrence Writes his Diocese Following the recent Supreme Court Ruling.

A Message from the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina.

Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina Calls for a Day of Prayer+Fasting on August 30.

Diocese of South Carolina and 29 Parish Churches File Motion for Rehearing in State Supreme Court.

A S Haley–Faults in the South Carolina Supreme Court Decision Laid Bare (I).

A S Haley–Faults in the South Carolina Supreme Court Decision Laid Bare (II).

Jeff Miller–SC Supreme Court ruling against Diocese of South Carolina threatens religious freedom.

(The State) How a South Carolina Supreme Court decision threatens religious freedom.

The Historic Diocese of South Carolina responds to the New TEC Diocese’s Motion on the Rehearing.

The Diocese of South Carolina offers its Rebuttal of TEC Recusal and Rehearing Arguments.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology, Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

O God, whose love we cannot measure, nor even number thy blessings: We bless and praise thee for all thy goodness, who in our weakness art our strength, in our darkness, light, in our sorrows, comfort and peace, and from everlasting to everlasting art our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, world without end.

Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original), p.126

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

To thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in thee I trust,
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Yea, let none that wait for thee be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know thy ways, O Lord;
teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me,
for thou art the God of my salvation;
for thee I wait all the day long.

–Psalm 25:1-4

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Telegraph) Church of England bids to put mothers’ names on marriage certificates

Mothers’ names could finally be included on marriage certificates after ministers said that legislation put forward by the Church of England “provides a solution to this problem”, the Telegraph can disclose.

A draft bill tabled by a senior bishop has been welcomed by the Home Office, following an impasse over plans to update the documents, which currently only include the names of couples’ fathers.

The development comes three years after David Cameron pledged to make the change, saying that the existing system, which dates back to the reign of Queen Victoria, “does not reflect modern Britain”.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Marriage & Family, Women

A Prayer from Eastern Church Vespers at the start of the Day

In the evening and morning and noonday we praise Thee, we thank Thee, and pray Thee, Master of all, to direct our prayers as incense before Thee. Let not our hearts turn away to words or thoughts of wickedness, but keep us from all things that might hurt us; for to Thee, O Lord, our eyes look up, and our hope is in Thee: confound us not, O our God; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—-James Manning,ed., Prayers of the Early Church (Nashville: The Upper Room, 1953)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Percy Dearmer

God, our Shepherd, give to the Church a new vision and a new charity, new wisdom and fresh understanding, the revival of her brightness and the renewal of her unity; that the eternal message of thy Son, undefiled by the traditions of men, may be hailed as the good news of the new age; through him who maketh all things new, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream, for it is a lie which they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord.

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart….

–Jeremiah 29:4-13

Posted in Theology: Scripture

A Must-not-Miss Radiolab Podcast–Anna in Somalia

Take the time to listen to it all–what an incredible story (Hat tip:EH).

Posted in Books, Prison/Prison Ministry, Somalia

Nicholas Davis–11 Classics Every Christian Should Read

Of course, nothing is more classic than the Bible. Aside from the Holy Bible, however, there are certain books that all Christians should read.
The following list of books is not comprehensive but should give you a head start on some great literature that will encourage you in the Christian life. Here are eleven classics (in no particular order) every Christian should read:
1. Basic Christianity by John Stott
“The Bible,” Stott wrote, “isn’t about people trying to discover God, but about God reaching out to find us.” Few books present an intellectually stimulating and satisfying view of the Christian faith as this one. It is chock-full of wisdom and golden nuggets of truth that help us know what we believe and why we believe it.
2. Confessions by Augustine
This is the famous autobiography of Augustine of Hippo, where he writes with such beauty and clarity the words, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
3. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
In this brilliant work, twentieth-century intellectual giant G. K. Chesterton explains with both style and substance his own reasons for being a Christian.

Read it all.

Posted in Books, Church History, Theology

Michael McManus–Why Aren’t Famous Sexual Offenders Prosecuted?

A growing number of prominent media moguls have been accused of sexual assault – Donald Trump, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby and most recently, Harvey Weinstein.

Why have none been successfully prosecuted?

Read it all.

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

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Movies & Television, Sexuality, Violence

(WCC) Kenya church leaders view dialogue as best way out of political crisis

Church leaders in Kenya are proposing a national dialogue conference to help find ways of the resolving the current political and social crises facing the East African nation.

Apart from discussing the stand-off over fresh presidential elections, it would also help resolve a longstanding nurses and clinical officers’ strike.

On 10 October, the political crisis appeared to deepen after National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga announced that his coalition would boycott the polls set for 26 October.

Odinga had cited the failure by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to institute some reforms he had demanded as an “irreducible minimum” before another election is held. High on the list of demands is the removal of officials in the commission who he believes caused him to lose the 8 August polls. One of the officials is the chief executive Ezra Chiloba.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Kenya, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

James Workman Chimes in on the Anglican/Episcopal Dispute and the Supreme Court in South Carolina

From there:

When a friend heard that the Episcopal Church is continuing a lawsuit over ownership of church real estate in the Diocese of South Carolina, knowing it could drive 20,000-plus Christians from their meeting places, that person said, “That’s just not Christian.”

I cannot disagree. Apart from the legal arguments, when a fair person weighs the biggest issues, it’s real estate versus unimpeded worship and ministry.

It is hard to see that the Episcopal Church is being Christian in this action.

Posted in * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(Telegraph) Church of England to debate services for same-sex couples after bishop of Hereford backs diocese’s call

The Church of England will debate blessings for same-sex couples after a motion was passed by one diocese, with the support of the local bishop, calling for a formal liturgy.

The Bishop of Hereford, who spoke in favour of the change and voted for the motion, said he thinks clergy should be helped to carry out a more formal service with recently married gay couples.

Hereford’s diocesan synod has voted to support a motion calling on the House of Bishops to “commend an Order of Prayer and Dedication after the registration of a civil partnership or a same sex marriage”.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(LICC) Jason Gardner–More Human than Human

The androids of the original [Bladerunner] had a simple quest: understandably, they wanted more life. The android protagonist of Blade Runner 2049 – K – who destroys his own kind, wants to know if he is truly alive or not. In many senses, K is the new human: he’s socially isolated and a slave to the rhythm of work and consumption. Respite comes only in the form of hopeless devotion to his hologram bride who flickers between subservient homemaker and vampish sex idol. She’s a slave enslaved to a slave.

But what K wants, just like Pinocchio, is to become a real boy. In the end, he can only aspire to those qualities that, apparently, make us truly human – memory, empathy, romantic love, compassion. Familiar territory explored by the original. Where 2049 furthers the philosophical exploration is in its insistence that the replicants become more human than human in their desire to seek purpose, to celebrate wonder, and their willingness to die for something greater than themselves. As one puts it: ‘Dying for the right cause is the most human thing you can do.’

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Movies & Television

Stephen Freeman–The End of History

There is a proverb from the Soviet period: “History is hard to predict.” The re-writing of history was a common political action – enough to provoke the proverb. Students of history are doubtless well-aware that re-writing is the constant task of the modern academic world. The account of American and World History which I learned (beginning school in the 1950’s) differs greatly from the histories my children have learned. Some of the re-writing was long overdue – while other projects have been more dubious.

Of course, re-writing is not a recent phenomenon. Virgil’s Aeneid was an effort to re-write history, giving Rome a story to rival Greece’s Iliad and Odyssey. The Reformation became a debate not only about doctrine but also about the interpretation of history and the Church. The rise of historical studies in the modern period, which questioned long-held beliefs about the historical veracity of the Scriptures, created an anxiety within modern Christianity. Many of the debates that permeate Christianity at the present time turn on questions of history and historical interpretation. As the debates rage, history becomes increasingly harder to predict.

I would suggest that it is a mistake to describe Christianity as a “historical” religion, despite the space-time reality of its central events. It is more correct to describe Christianity as an “eschatological” religion – a belief that the end of all things – the fulfillment of time and history – has entered space and time and inaugurated a different mode of existence. To put it in the simple terms of the Gospel: the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Read it all.

Posted in Eschatology, History

A Prayer for the Day from The Treasury of Devotion

Most meek Jesu, Prince of Peace, who, when Thou wast reviled, reviled not again, and on the cross did pray for Thy murderers: implant in our hearts the virtues of gentleness, and patience, that restraining the fierceness of anger, impatience and resentment, we may overcome evil with good, for Thy sake love our enemies, and as children of Thy heavenly father seek Thy peace and forevermore rejoice in Thy love. Amen.

–The Rev. T. T. Carter, The Treasury of Devotion: a Manual of Prayer for General and Daily Use (London: Rivingtons, 1871)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer