Daily Archives: June 27, 2007

Toronto Star: Canadian gay marriage vote blow to U.S. Anglicans

Canadian Anglicans further isolated the U.S. wing of the church with their narrow weekend vote against allowing church blessing of same-sex unions.

But those within the U.S. branch of Anglicanism ”“ known here as the Episcopal Church ”“ pointed to the slim margin of the Canadian vote as a sign that the two churches are not that far apart.

“Naturally I’m disappointed,” said Rev. Susan Russell, the California-based president of the U.S. branch of Integrity, which advocates on behalf of gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church.

“The fallout will not only be for the faithful gays and lesbians in the United States, but all ministries of the church because it will only further drag out this issue to the detriment of larger questions which should be dealt with.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canadian General Synod 2007, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

White House, Cheney's Office, Subpoenaed

The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s office Wednesday for documents relating to President Bush’s warrant-free eavesdropping program.
Also named in subpoenas signed by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D- Vt., were the Justice Department and the National Security Council.

The committee wants documents that might shed light on internal squabbles within the administration over the legality of the program, said a congressional official speaking on condition of anonymity because the subpoenas had not been made public.

Leahy’s committee authorized the subpoenas previously as part of its sweeping investigation into how much influence the White House exerts over the Justice Department and its chief, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics

Young Americans Are Leaning Left, New Poll Finds

Young Americans are more likely than the general public to favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policy on immigration and the legalization of gay marriage, according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV poll. The poll also found that they are more likely to say the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion.

The poll offers a snapshot of a group whose energy and idealism have always been as alluring to politicians as its scattered focus and shifting interests have been frustrating. It found that substantially more Americans ages 17 to 29 than four years ago are paying attention to the presidential race. But they appeared to be really familiar with only two of the candidates, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats.

They have continued a long-term drift away from the Republican Party. And although they are just as worried as the general population about the outlook for the country and think their generation is likely to be worse off than that of their parents, they retain a belief that their votes can make a difference, the poll found.

More than half of Americans ages 17 to 29 ”” 54 percent ”” say they intend to vote for a Democrat for president in 2008. They share with the public at large a negative view of President Bush, who has a 28 percent approval rating with this group, and of the Republican Party. They hold a markedly more positive view of Democrats than they do of Republicans.

Among this age group, Mr. Bush’s job approval rating after the attacks of Sept. 11 was more than 80 percent. Over the course of the next three years, it drifted downward leading into the presidential election of 2004, when 4 of 10 young Americans said they approved how Mr. Bush was handling his job.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Teens / Youth

George Will: Marriage and Speech in the State of California These Days

Marriage is the foundation of the natural family and sustains family values. That sentence is inflammatory, perhaps even a hate crime.

At least it is in Oakland, Calif. That city’s government says those words italicized here constitute something akin to hate speech, and can be proscribed from the government’s open e-mail system and employee bulletin board.

When the McCain-Feingold law empowered government to regulate the quantity, content and timing of political campaign speech about government, it was predictable that the right of free speech would increasingly be sacrificed to various social objectives that free speech supposedly impedes. And it was predictable that speech suppression would become an instrument of cultural combat, used to settle ideological scores and advance political agendas by silencing adversaries.

That has happened in Oakland. And, predictably, the ineffable 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ratified this abridgement of First Amendment protections. Fortunately, overturning the 9th Circuit is steady work for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

Church of Uganda welcomes Bishop Andy Fairfield to its House of Bishops

(Church of Uganda News)

At the request of the Rt. Rev. Andrew (Andy) H. Fairfield, retired Bishop of North Dakota, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda voted to receive Bishop Fairfield as a member of its House at its 21st June meeting. Bishop Fairfield will assist Bishop-elect John Guernsey in providing episcopal care and oversight to the 26 congregations in America that are part of the Church of Uganda .

Bishop Fairfield has written to The Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, and resigned from their House of Bishops.

In considering his new role as a Bishop in the Church of Uganda , Fairfield said, “Now, although I am ”˜retired’ (from a jurisdictional and financial point of view), I seek further Christian service, especially in the process of this transition in Anglican orthodoxy.”

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda , said, “It is an honour for us to receive into our House of Bishops such a man of God. At the 1998 Lambeth Conference, he proposed the resolution on The Authority of Scripture, which we passed. We believe he will be a great support to Bishop-elect John Guernsey and all the congregations in America that are under our care.”

Bishop Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, said, “Bishop Fairfield is one of the most respected Bishops in the entire American Church, and has served the Network very well as our ordinations suffragan. I know his work has been especially valuable to congregations in our International Conference. I am delighted to know that he has found a new ecclesiastical home in the Church of Uganda , a Province which has declared a state of broken communion with The Episcopal Church’s majority, but embraces full communion with all in the Anglican Communion Network. We look forward to many years of continued fruitful ministry together.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

USA Today: Doctors often shift focus from patients to themselves

Internist Howard Beckman used to try to inspire older patients by talking about his active mother, who, in her late 80s, walked two miles a day. “It worked great until she wasn’t doing so well,” says Beckman, whose mother is now 94. By then, people got used to asking, ‘How’s your mother?’ I’d have to say, ‘Well, she’s struggling.’ ”
Patients began worrying about his mother, and they wondered how good a doctor he was if he couldn’t even keep his own mother healthy.

Beckman had thought that talking about himself and his family strengthened his connection with patients, but he came to realize it wasn’t such a good thing. “It created a complex set of issues, totally unnecessary in caring for these people.”

Beckman has more proof. He’s a co-author of a study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine titled “Physician Self-disclosure in Primary Care Visits,” or “Enough About You, What About Me?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

Religion under wraps

From the Chicago Tribune:

On a shelf in the office of Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen, mixed in among the family photos, the Roberto Clemente bobblehead and the Napoleon Dynamite figurine, are four small but intimidating religious icons.

“If you see my saints, you’ll be like ‘Golly, they’re ugly,’ ” Guillen had said before inviting a visitor to come in. “They’ve got blood. They’ve got feathers. You go to the Catholic church, the [saints] have got real nice clothes.

“My religion, you see a lot of different things you never see.”

Guillen’s religion is Santeria, a largely misunderstood Afro-Cuba spiritual tradition that incorporates the worship of orisha ”” multidimensional beings who represent the forces of nature ”” with beliefs of the Yoruba and Bantu people of Africa and elements of Roman Catholicism. And Guillen, born in Venezuela, is one of a growing number of Latin American players, managers and coaches who are followers of the faith.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture

The Full Text of the Court Ruling in the Diocese of Los Angeles Property Lawsuit

The 77 page pdf file is here (For those who prefer it, the Microsoft Word version there).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Diocese of Los Angeles Press Release on the Court Ruling

“This has been a long ordeal for the Diocese and its faithful members, but we now have clear judicial recognition that parish property is dedicated forever for the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church,” said the bishop. “While individuals are always free to leave the Episcopal Church and worship however they please, they do not have the right to take parish property with them. We welcome with open arms all persons who desire to be part of the Episcopal ministry, including those persons who chose to leave the Church in 2004.”

John R. Shiner, Chancellor for the Diocese and its attorney in the litigation, called the ruling a “decisive decision” for the Episcopal Church. Shiner, a partner of Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP, noted, “Yesterday’s decision contains the most thorough analysis yet of church property law in California, and should dispel any notion that local congregations of a hierarchical church may leave the larger church and take property with them.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

A LA Times Article on Yesterday's Court Ruling on the Episcopal Church Fight in Los Angeles

One church observer, the Rev. Eddie Gibbs, senior professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena and an Episcopal priest, called the ruling “a sad reversal.”

He said the issues went beyond the church’s stance on gay ordination and involved statements that its leadership has made on doctrinal issues. “It’s an ongoing, tragic saga. It’s a gross failure of leadership of the Episcopal Church,” Gibbs said.

[Bishop Jon] Bruno and diocesan attorney John R. Shiner have argued that the issue was not free speech or even theological differences, but who had rightful claim to the property. “While individuals are always free to leave the Episcopal Church and worship however they please, they do not have the right to take parish property with them,” Bruno said.

But Bruno also said he would welcome back “with open arms” any dissident church members ”” or their rectors ”” who chose to return. “We want to move forward with these as Episcopal churches,” he said. “I don’t want to be punitive with them. I want to be loving and go forward.”

Meanwhile, the diocese’s lawsuit against a fourth parish ”” St. Luke’s of the Mountains in La Crescenta ”” may be decided, at least in the first round, on July 3 when it is set for a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on motions for a summary judgment.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

For the T19 trivia buffs out there

A little quiz for our resident data geeks.

Anyone want to take a guess at the blog stats for the new blog since it began on May 22? (36 days)

How many blog entries?
How many comments?

And for extra credit: how does this compare with the debut of the old blog in Jan 2004?

We’ll post the answers sometime Wed. evening.
We figured a little navel-gazing and number crunching might be relaxing after a very event-filled week or two in the Anglican blogosphere 😉

Posted in * Admin

An Interesting Globe and Mail Poll after Candian General Synod

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canadian General Synod 2007, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Andrew Goddard: The Anglican Covenant

The Communion has grown and developed through the missionary vision and labours of, among others, Evangelical Anglicans in the Church of England. Evangelicals have never understood the Church of England as simply the national church of the English people but part of the worldwide church of Christ sharing in his mission. We should have a vision for a global communion committed to mission and to partnership together in mission with other provinces. The covenant process provides a means of developing structures for such a missional vision. It also offers the hope of being able (in a theologically rich and biblically based form of a covenant) to express biblical and creedal faith and to develop the structures of a distinctive global Anglicanism which is both Catholic and Reformed and which will help us work for the unity among all his disciples for which Christ prayed.

There are no solid reasons – either in principle or pragmatically in the current political context – for evangelicals or anyone else to object to Synod making a commitment to positive participation in the covenant process. There are many reasons – theological and political – why evangelicals and others who share our commitments to world mission, to learning from Anglicans around the globe, to safeguarding biblical faith and to facilitating harmony among Anglicans should wish the Church of England wholeheartedly to support the covenant process. Indeed, in terms of our life together as a Communion, the covenant process is – like the Windsor Report in which it originated – now ‘the only poker game in town’. If the Communion is to have a future together then the form of this will be discerned in and through this covenant process. For the Church of England to abandon that process through non-participation, or destructive participation, would therefore be for the eye to say to the hand ‘I don’t need you’ and for us as a province to embrace a vision of Anglicanism in which every one does what is right in their own eyes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Homophobia accepted in church, Bishop Ingham says

From the Toronto Globe and Mail:

Canada’s only Anglican bishop to authorize the blessing of homosexual unions said yesterday the refusal by his fellow bishops to approve the rite for the national church is the product of institutional inertia rooted in homophobia.

Bishop Michael Ingham of the Vancouver-area diocese of New Westminster said homophobia, hiding behind interpretations of scripture, remains an acceptable prejudice in Canadian Anglicanism.

“There are members of our church who staunchly defend that. In my view, [it] is a total misreading of scripture and a misuse of the Bible to oppress people. But they clearly want to continue to do that.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

A Reversal from the California Court of Appeals in the LA Church Fracas

A press release received via email:

SANTA ANA, Calif. ”“ June 26, 2007 ”“ A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, today reversed the Orange County Superior Court’s prior ruling that three former Episcopal churches which disaffiliated from the national denomination in 2004 did not forfeit their property. This division of the appellate court broke with nearly thirty years of California church property law, and instead ruled that hierarchical church denominations can take over local church property by simply passing an internal rule ”“ even if the local church is separately incorporated, bought and maintained the property.

In August 2004, St. James Church in Newport Beach, All Saints’ Church in Long Beach, and St. David’s Church in North Hollywood, disassociated from the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the national Episcopal Church (TEC) because of theological differences, which drew international attention because of similar issues facing the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The appellate court’s ruling returns the lawsuits brought by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and TEC against the three local churches to The Honorable David Velasquez of Orange County Superior Court. Still at issue is whether the Episcopal Church validly passed an internal rule claiming to hold local church property in trust for itself, and whether that rule applied to the three local churches. St. James, All Saints’ and St. David’s, as the property owners, never agreed to relinquish their property to the Episcopal Church upon ending their affiliation. St. James, All Saints’ and St. David’s have maintained all along that they have the right to use and possess the property they have owned and maintained for decades.

Legal spokesperson, Eric C. Sohlgren, said, “This decision puts one division of the appellate court in direct conflict with other California court of appeal decisions that for almost thirty years have rejected the idea that a court must automatically defer to a church denomination in church property disputes. Under this ruling, any big church which calls itself hierarchical could try to confiscate the property of a local congregation simply by passing an internal rule. That idea offends basic principles of fairness and property ownership. St. James, All Saints’ and St. David’s are seriously evaluating an appeal to the California Supreme Court.”

* * *

A Brief Recap: The Diocese of Los Angeles brought lawsuits against St. James, All Saints and St. David’s Anglican Churches and their volunteer board members in September of 2004. Subsequently, the national Episcopal Church intervened into the lawsuits against the three local churches.

On August 15, 2005, Judge Velasquez ruled in favor of St. James against the complaint brought by the Diocese of Los Angeles. In October 2005, Judge Velasquez issued a similar ruling in favor of All Saints and St. David’s. The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles appealed the rulings to the California Court of Appeal.

In August 2005, the Complaint in Intervention filed separately by the national Episcopal Church (“TEC”) was still pending in the Orange County Superior Court.

In Fall 2005, the Court granted the three Churches’ challenges to TEC’s original Complaint in Intervention, but gave TEC an opportunity to amend the Complaint (but only if it could do so in good faith). TEC filed a First Amended Complaint in Intervention, which rehashed many of the church-rule arguments the Court had already rejected in prior rulings. The three local churches filed another challenge (called a demurrer) asking the Court to dismiss the First Amended Complaint without further leave to amend on the ground that even if all of the factual allegations were true, they did not state a legal wrong under California law. TEC also appealed that ruling to the California Court of Appeal.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles