Daily Archives: July 1, 2007

It's summertime, and the flying's anything but easy

After three hours of sitting on a runway at LaGuardia International Airport the night of June 19, and the single glass of water and the mini granola bar issued to her long gone, Alice Norris got off her US Airways flight to look for another plane back to Pittsburgh. None was available. She returned to her seat and sat for another two hours before the pilots announced the federal limit on their flight time had run out and the flight had been canceled.

It was now around midnight. The Butler County woman waited through the crowded customer service line, saying she was an inexperienced flier and didn’t know what to do. The customer representative shrugged.

“I’m tired,” Mrs. Norris said.

“I am too,” the rep replied.

“I’m 70,” Mrs. Norris said.

Such experiences are becoming more and more common this summer, with passengers facing mounting cancellations, delays, lost bags, ruined vacations and emotional scenes at the ticket counter. A product of dangerous summer weather and systemic industry problems, the situation is poised to get even worse as the traveling season gets into full swing this week.

So far this week, members of my nuclear family have had 3 flights cancelled already. Ugh. Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch

Jennifer Graham: Nancy Drew and the Fountain of Youth

Baby boomer mothers who take their daughters to the film expecting the classy heroine of their youth will find instead a 99-minute mockumentary of what Martha Stewart must have been like as a tweener. This character is Nancy Drew in name and convertible only. They began filming when actress Emma Roberts was still 14, and she was grounded by her mother for impudence the week before her publicity tour began.
What accounts for Nancy’s newfound youth? Perhaps Hollywood wanted to make her believable to a modern audience.

When Edward Stratemeyer invented the character in the 1930s, Nancy Drew followed the formula of the other books in his fiction factory: no touching, kissing or violence, according to Marvin Heiferman, co-author of “The Mysterious Case of Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys,” which chronicles the series’ success. But when was the last time you saw a chaste 18-year-old in any Hollywood production? Quick, Nancy: Look 13.

In the books, Ned Nickerson, Nancy’s “special friend,” is a hunky college football player. Theirs is a chaste relationship; they dance sometimes and take strolls in the moonlight, but rarely do they even kiss. In the movie, there is no mention of college, and boyish Ned is little more than a sycophantic satellite for Nancy. They share one kiss, and it’s fleeting and sweet, in one of Mr. Fleming’s few nods to the original. But for a movie heroine to be sexually innocent these days, she can’t have graduated from ninth grade yet.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television, Sexuality, Teens / Youth

General Convention 2006 Remembered

Read it all. What I remember most about Sara is how attentive she was to her child. It was a wonderful witness–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC House of Deputies

What is a Marriage For? Recent Survey Results are Revealing

The Pew Research Center survey on marriage and parenting found that children had fallen to eighth out of nine on a list of factors that people associate with successful marriages ”” well behind “sharing household chores,” “good housing,” “adequate income,” a “happy sexual relationship” and “faithfulness.”

In a 1990 World Values Survey, children ranked third in importance among the same items, with 65 percent saying children were very important to a good marriage. Just 41 percent said so in the new Pew survey.

Chore-sharing was cited as very important by 62 percent of respondents, up from 47 percent in 1990.

The survey also found that, by a margin of nearly 3-to-1, Americans say the main purpose of marriage is the “mutual happiness and fulfillment” of adults rather than the “bearing and raising of children.”

The survey’s findings buttress concerns expressed by numerous scholars and family-policy experts, among them Barbara Dafoe Whitehead of Rutgers University’s National Marriage Project.

“The popular culture is increasingly oriented to fulfilling the X-rated fantasies and desires of adults,” she wrote in a recent report. “Child-rearing values ”” sacrifice, stability, dependability, maturity ”” seem stale and musty by comparison.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

Pope Benedict XVI's Address to European Professors

Among these, I would mention in the first place the need for a comprehensive study of the crisis of modernity. European culture in recent centuries has been powerfully conditioned by the notion of modernity. The present crisis, however, has less to do with modernity’s insistence on the centrality of man and his concerns, than with the problems raised by a “humanism” that claims to build a regnum hominis detached from its necessary ontological foundation. A false dichotomy between theism and authentic humanism, taken to the extreme of positing an irreconcilable conflict between divine law and human freedom, has led to a situation in which humanity, for all its economic and technical advances, feels deeply threatened. As my predecessor, Pope John Paul II, stated, we need to ask “whether in the context of all this progress, man, as man, is becoming truly better, that is to say, more mature spiritually, more aware of the dignity of his humanity, more responsible and more open to others” (“Redemptor Hominis,” 15). The anthropocentrism which characterizes modernity can never be detached from an acknowledgment of the full truth about man, which includes his transcendent vocation.

A second issue involves the broadening of our understanding of rationality. A correct understanding of the challenges posed by contemporary culture, and the formulation of meaningful responses to those challenges, must take a critical approach towards narrow and ultimately irrational attempts to limit the scope of reason. The concept of reason needs instead to be “broadened” in order to be able to explore and embrace those aspects of reality which go beyond the purely empirical. This will allow for a more fruitful, complementary approach to the relationship between faith and reason. The rise of the European universities was fostered by the conviction that faith and reason are meant to cooperate in the search for truth, each respecting the nature and legitimate autonomy of the other, yet working together harmoniously and creatively to serve the fulfilment of the human person in truth and love.

A third issue needing to be investigated concerns the nature of the contribution which Christianity can make to the humanism of the future….

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Notable and Quotable

The Diocese supports freedom of choice in abortion. The Diocesan Council in 1969 endorsed “repeal of all laws governing the performance of an abortion by a licensed physician.” Convention in 1972 gave support to New York’s new law permitting prospective mothers “to choose to give or not to give birth to a child.” Convention in 1974 (reaffirmed in 1986) endorsed the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court “allowing women to exercise their own conscience in the matter of abortions.” The Diocese is an affiliate of the New York State Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights.

The Episcopal Diocese of New York

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Life Ethics

Could You Pass 8th Grade Science?

It is a humbling exercise.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

A Response from Southeast Florida to the Proposed Anglican Covenant

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Identity, Episcopal Church (TEC)

Kitty Galloway: An inclusive church reaps ever greater rewards for all

From the Times:

The current furore about religion and homosexuality has caused something of a dilemma for my children and their friends, who are all in their twenties. So much of what the Church has said about homosexuality is, for them, not so much right or wrong, as simply “nonsense”. They operate within a different worldview. Like many, and perhaps the majority of their peers, they do not believe that either homosexual orientation or practice is sinful or “evil” per se, any more than they believe that about heterosexuals. They do not think it unnatural or disordered that there is a minority of the human population which is attracted to its own gender. They simply accept that as a fact of life. They are shocked that gays and lesbians have continually to make a case for themselves as sexually expressive and relational human beings. For them, this is essentially a justice issue.

Nor do they start from a laissez-faire or ethically disinterested perspective. They have clear positive values about the wrong of cruelty, violence, faithlessness, abuse of power, mercilessness, pride. They have considerable respect for marriage, and a realistic understanding of its challenges, which means that it is something they will never enter into lightly.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

Richard Kew: The Strange Business of the Muslim Episcopalian

The furor surrounding Ann Holmes Redding has a number of fascinating dimensions, not least the appropriateness of her status as a priest in the Episcopal Church. During the last few years it seems that some of us have been regularly lectured about obedience to the doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal Church, and there have for some been dire consequences for stepping outside it. Now Dr. Redding has provided an interesting test case about whether all the talk about the doctrine and discipline of the church of these years is really serious, or if deep down it is about something else.

While the Episcopal Church has turned itself into a maximalist when it comes to obedience to the discipline and canons of the church as interpreted by the leadership, it has steadily become increasingly minimalist regarding doctrinal affirmation. Yet however many fundamental Anglican formularies are shaved away, the Nicene Creed is one fundamental doctrinal statement that the overwhelming majority say they accept.

If Ann Holmes Redding is now free to continue her idiosyncratic course without action being taken, then the creeds are up for grabs and any pretence of being a catholic and reformed church is being deliberately abandoned. That her bishop, Vincent Warner, does not seem to understand the theological implications of the statements Ms. Redding has made is a sad and ominous sign.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Theology

Brevard S. Childs, an iconic figure in biblical scholarship, dies at 83

In case you missed it, please see the comments on the post on the day of his death here–KSH.

Brevard S. Childs, one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the 20 th century, died Saturday, June 23 in New Haven, CT. He was 83 and died of complications from injuries sustained in a fall at his home in Bethany, CT.

“I can think of no person who made a greater contribution to the work of unifying the Bible, theology and church life together in a very serious way, not in a flimsy or a pious way,” said Christopher Seitz, a Biblical scholar at the University of Toronto who was Childs’s student, colleague and friend. “I think of him as a sort of Isaiah figure who was given a very hard job to preach and teach but never complained. He just went about his business in a hopeful way.”

As an Old Testament professor at Yale Divinity School from 1958 to 1999, Childs shaped several generations of students and helped define new approaches to post-war biblical scholarship. With at least eight of his books in print in three languages and a manuscript for a new book completed shortly before his death, Childs was a prolific author who did not shrink from fully engaging the academic debates of his day.

Read it all.

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Should Latin be the common language for worship?

Interesting letters to the editor from the (London) Times.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

One Reaction to the Anglican Church of Canada Decision from Halifax

From the Halifax Daily News:

A Halifax reverend is disappointed the Anglican church continues to shy away from blessing same-sex unions.

Rev. Malachy Egan of the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Spryfield said the Anglican church is a den of hypocrisy. “The Anglican church, in my opinion,” he said, “is very much a gay church.”

Last weekend, bishops, clergy and laity of the Anglican Church of Canada gathered in Winnipeg for a General Synod, part of which included a vote on the blessing of same-sex unions within the church.

The allowance of such blessings was lost by two votes, a decision that will not be revisited for another three years.

Rread it all.

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

The ninth funeral: Kelsey buried among Indiana cornfields

Mark Kelsey’s funeral was held in the high school gymnasium, the casket lying under the “Wall of Champions” where his name is engraved for winning wrestling titles. The service began with the mournful wail of a bagpipe and a boom of thunder and took place to the drone of rain.

More than 300 Indiana firefighters turned out for a service during which Kelsey was posthumously awarded the

Governor’s Medal of Valor. The regional firefighters were joined by three dozen Charleston and Ashley River department firefighters, and Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.

Riley told the family and townspeople Kelsey and the eight others would inspire the Lowcountry for generations.

“Your son gave his life courageously and heroically to save lives and protect our community,” he said.

What an extraordinary drama being played out here in the Lowcountry–and beyond– in the midst of this tragedy. Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina

A Web Space Where Religion and Social Networking Meet

From the NY Times:

Caitlin Todd enjoys making friends on social networking Web sites, but is turned off by content that she believes is inappropriate on a number of popular pages.

So Caitlin, 16, meets people only on Christian social sites like www.hisholyspace.com and www.xianz.com, where profanity is prohibited, prayer is urged and content is strictly monitored.

“I use Xianz because it is a place that I can come to and have fellowship with friends. Sharing God’s word and helping others,” Caitlin wrote in an e-mail message. “Xianz is like a big church!”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Religion & Culture