Daily Archives: July 15, 2007

Nevada Couple Blame Internet for Neglect

A couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.

The children of Michael and Iana Straw, a boy age 22 months and a girl age 11 months, were severely malnourished and near death last month when doctors saw them after social workers took them to a hospital, authorities said. Both children are doing well and gaining weight in foster care, prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Michael Straw, 25, and Iana Straw, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts each of child neglect. Each faces a maximum 12-year prison sentence.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Marriage & Family

Age, time threaten historic churches

The problem facing historic churches is vividly illustrated in the heart of New Haven.

Trinity Episcopal Church, one of the three iconic churches on the New Haven Green, has a makeshift awning over the front doors, set on a scaffolding across the front of Ithiel Towns’ Gothic Revival masterpiece.

Much of the tower is made of sandstone, which absorbs water, freezes and cracks over time.

“Some of that loosened stone came off and almost hit somebody in the head,” said the Rev. Andrew Fiddler, Trinity’s rector.

Challenges such as falling stone, which Fiddler said must wait until spring to be repaired, were among the issues scheduled to be addressed at the New Haven Museum and Historical Society in a recent panel discussion about preserving historic churches.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry

Religion and Ethics Weekly: God Not Guns

SEVERSON : Like many of the 41 murders in Harlem last year, most were committed with illegal guns — double the gun deaths from a year before.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN : Because we were out here last summer and saw a shoot out right on the corner like it was the O.K. Corral.

SEVERSON : When her sons were killed, Jackie says at first she was angry with God but now she credits God for transforming her anger into a cause.

Ms. ROWE ADAMS : I woke up one morning and I said, “No! Enough is enough!” My husband said, “What’s the matter?” I said, “I can’t take it.” I said, “What are the elected officials doing? What are the churches doing?”

SEVERSON : The influential Riverside Church on Harlem’s West Side is trying to do something. Jackie met with Reverend Arnold Thomas to offer her group’s help. He’s registering churches around the country to participate in a “God Not Guns” Sabbath the weekend of September 29 and 30.

Reverend ARNOLD THOMAS (The Riverside Church, New York City): Americans need to have a serious conversation about how guns have contributed to really the destruction and the continuing demise of our way of life and our culture.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Violence

Gerard Baker: Iraq and immigration have shown US politics at its worst

From yesterday’s (London) Times:

Democracy, Winston Churchill famously observed, is the worst form of government ever devised ”“ except for all the others. Well, he was right about the first part.

In America these days democracy is living down to its reputation, producing sticking-plaster solutions to epochal challenges, indulging the worst populist instincts of its voters, throwing up demagogic leaders unworthy of the job and rejecting those of true courage. The most depressing spectacle is unfolding over Iraq. Washington has reached the stage where vital national interests ”“ and the security of much of the world ”“ are being determined almost entirely by immediate, panicky political considerations. Americans want their troops home.

It’s a wholly understandable sentiment. But it is one that needs to be resisted, not massaged and nurtured, as members of Congress from both parties have been doing.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Foreign Relations

Learning theology from an agnostic

Dick Tracy isn’t concerned that he’s learning about theology from an agnostic.

Tracy is in the Adult Forum Sunday school class at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vt. The class is working its way through a 24-part video series by Bart Ehrman (at right), a noted theologian at the University of North Carolina who grew up attending Trinity.

“I have heard that he is an agnostic now,” Tracy says. “Of course I’m not, so we disagree on that point. However, I don’t think that affects what he presents. Maybe it just makes his point of view less slanted in favor of one or another sect.”

The video series is called “The Great Courses,” and Ehrman’s portion talks about the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans.

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