Daily Archives: January 4, 2008

Update from Nigeria on the now-inaccurate Church Times report

Dear Graham, JPM and Malcom+
Regarding your comments above, Archbishop Peter Akinola will like you and others so inclined to know that he has not been in conversation written or otherwise with Dr Poon concerning GAFCON.
I however believe Dr. Poon knows how to reach the Archbishop if he wants to.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Global South Churches & Primates

David Sanders: For Mike Huckabee it is More God, More Government.

As Iowa Republicans prepared to caucus yesterday, polls showed Mike Huckabee, the Southern Baptist minister-turned-politician, leading in some polls and placing a close second to Mitt Romney in others. The core of Mr. Huckabee’s support, of course, comes from evangelical voters. Couching his policy positions in the language of faith and morality, Mr. Huckabee portrays himself as the dream candidate of the religious right. In October, he boasted to a gathering of conservative Christian activists: “I don’t come to you, I come from you.” The “language of Zion,” he said, was “his mother tongue and not a recently acquired second language.” Echoing the Gospels, he told the Des Moines Register editorial board that the essence of what made him tick was: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” He admitted that his faith shapes his policy, but “if [voters] understand in what way, I think that they will say ‘good, that’s the kind of policy we would like.’ ”

But one wonders whether his newfound supporters would really say that if they took a close look at his policies. With increasing frequency, Mr. Huckabee invokes his faith when advocating greater government involvement in just about every aspect of American life. In doing so, Mr. Huckabee has actually answered the prayers of the religious left.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

LA Times Editorial: First aid for Kenya

The international community flunked its first genocide prevention test in Rwanda. It failed again in Darfur. Now comes another chance at redemption — in Kenya, where, mercifully, there is still time and opportunity to keep one of the few peaceful, stable and prospering countries in Africa from jumpingover the precipice of ethnic warfare. It will require a swift and concerted effort to help the Kenyan people and institutions eager to save their own nation. It can still be done, but only if we learn the lessons of ethnic cleansings past: The longer the killing goes on, the harder it will be to stop the cycle of atrocities and revenge.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa

Weaker than Expected Employment report Causes more Worries

Job growth shrank significantly in December, the government reported on Friday, setting off renewed fears of a recession and all but assuring that interest rates will be lowered this month. The news sent stocks down sharply in morning trading.

The economy added 18,000 jobs to nonfarm payrolls, the Labor Department said, the smallest monthly gain in more than four years. The unemployment rate rose to 5 percent after hovering near 4.7 percent since the summer.

“This is a far weaker report than we expected,” Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Economics Policy Institute, wrote in an e-mail message. “The uptick in the unemployment rate alone, which won’t be revised away, is flashing recession.”

Investors appeared to concur. By 11:15 a.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was down 194.28 points, or 1.5 percent, at 12,862.44. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index lost more than 1.8 percent, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite was off by 2.9 percent.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Stock Market

Asians and The Episcopal Church: A Century of Spreading the Gospel

The history of the Episcopal Church in the American West is tied intimately to the history of Asian Americans, particularly Chinese Americans. In the late 19th century, a Chinese Christian named Ah Foo began to preach the Gospel to railroad workers in the Diocese of Nevada. According to the Sheng Kung Post (the newsletter of the Episcopal Chinese Convocation), Ah Foo built a small chapel for 80 congregants in 1874 in Carson City.

In 1905, the first evangelical foundation for the Chinese in San Francisco was established. The True Sunshine Mission, which celebrated its centennial in Chinatown last year, ordained Father Daniel Wu, the first Chinese priest of the Episcopal Diocese of California.

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake forced Wu and the church to move to Oakland. After San Francisco’s reconstruction, half of True Sunshine’s congregation remained in Oakland to form the Church of Our Savior. The congregants who returned to San Francisco established the church under the official name of True Sunshine Church. Wu continued as the vicar of both churches.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC)

An Open Thread on the Iowa Caucus Results

It helps if you are specific about what you think and what the coverage is like where you live.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

A Huge Iowa Election Coverage Round Up

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Diocese of Virginia Takes out 2 Million Dollar Credit Line

The Virginia Episcopalian, the official publication of the Diocese of Virginia, is reporting in the current edition that the Executive Board has “authorized the treasurer to open a $1 million line of credit to cover anticipated legal expenses for the near-term. That line has since been increased to $2 million and about $1 million has been accessed.”

In addition, the Executive Board of the Diocese of Virginia authorized diocesan staff to plan “the sale of non-strategic diocesan real property” to raise needed cash.

The Diocese also revealed that nine churches have not paid any of their pledges which Mike Kerr, Treasurer of the Diocese, estimated a loss to the diocese of $50,000. In addition, other churches have not paid their pledges in full causing the diocese is to run a deficit of expenses over income from those pledges.

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

Notable and Quotable

“One of the charges against Iowa is that we don’t really represent the rest of the country,” he said, alluding to the fact that blacks form less than three percent of the caucus participants. “Here’s a chance to make a statement about the inclusiveness of Iowa.”

Jon Muller, 42, an Obama supporter and the chief financial officer of an education nonprofit group, in the New York Times

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Hope and horror in Kenya

The murderous tribal violence that has spread through Kenya in recent days would be horrifying anywhere. It is particularly tragic to see this happening in a country that seemed finally to be on the path to a democratic and economically sound future. There may still be a chance to retrieve some of these hopes. That will likely require stepping back from the suspicious and hastily declared election results that sparked this ugly upheaval.

Officially, those results gave a second term to President Mwai Kibaki, despite independent reports of egregious irregularities. Even the chairman of Kenya’s national election commission now says that he was pressured into an early declaration and cannot say who won.

Kibaki should renounce that official declaration and the embarassingly swift swearing-in that followed. He should then meet with his principal challenger, Raila Odinga, to discuss a possible vote recount, election re-run or other reasonable compromise.

That isn’t likely to happen without outside prodding.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa

Yours Prayers for Kenya Encouraged

January 3, 2008

Dear Kenyan Friends and Friends of Kenya,

You may have heard that there is a terrible outbreak of violence in Kenya in the wake of the most closely contested election in Kenya’s history. So far probably 300 have been killed. In Eldoret, about fifty were burned to death when an Assembly of God church containing people seeking refuge was set on fire.

I was able to speak with the Archbishop. He and Mama Alice were in good spirits despite the fact that they were unable to leave the house because the streets are so dangerous. He has also been battling malaria, but is feeling better today.

Bishop Murdoch and I are asking that you please re-double your prayers for the Archbishop and for Kenya that peace would prevail. ABp Nzimbi confirmed that the overwhelming majority of Kenyans want peace.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill Atwood

Suffragan Bishop for International Affairs

All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi

Anglican Church of Kenya

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Politics in General

Notable and Quotable

One would be in less danger
From the wiles of a stranger
If one’s own kin and kith
Were more fun to be with.

–Ogden Nash, Family Court

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family, Poetry & Literature

Plans for pre-Lambeth meeting for conservatives do not signal disloyalty – Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury told a national radio audience on December 19 that the gist of his Advent letter was that he “wanted to encourage bishops around the world to come to the Lambeth conference because I think that it is better to meet face to face and talk about these things rather than dealing with them at right angles or through other people or through slogans.”

He said he intended his Dec 14 Advent letter to ”˜set out what I thought were the basic minimum conditions for staying in a close relationship as a world wide church. I wanted to suggest some practical steps in the next few months to make some conversation happen and get some facilitated meeting moving among the Anglican Communion’s disparate factions.’

Plans to hold a pre-Lambeth meeting for conservatives did not signal disloyalty, Dr Williams said, as such a meeting ”˜would not have any official status as far as the Communion is concerned’.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East

Voting In 2008: New Guidance From Roman Catholic Bishops

Early in the statement, they warn against two opposing “temptations” in public life that “can distort the Church’s defense of human life and dignity.”

The first temptation is “moral equivalence” that treats issues as diverse as abortion and minimum wage policy, for example, as equally weighty.

The bishops repeatedly emphasize that “the direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed” (No. 28).

The second temptation is to think that the Church cares about only one issue, dismissing or ignoring all other serious threats to human life and dignity.

The bishops explain that the Church cares about the dignity of the human person in a wide variety of ways, while noting that not every individual can be actively involved in each of these concerns.

The statement helpfully distinguishes between actions that are intrinsically evil, that is, those that are “so deeply flawed that they are always opposed to the authentic good of persons” and can never be condoned (No. 22), and positive policy initiatives that foster human dignity and the common good.

In the category of intrinsically evil actions, the statement names abortion, euthanasia, destructive research on human embryos, human cloning, genocide, torture, racism and the targeting of noncombatants in acts of terror or war.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, US Presidential Election 2008

Robert George: Law and Moral Purpose

Finally, there is the question of civil unions. Some politicians and others say that they are against same-sex marriage but in favor of legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, with all or most of the rights and responsibilities of marriage, only falling under a different rubric. If law and policy are at least to do no harm to marriage, it is critical that they avoid treating nonmarital conduct and relationships as if they were marital. There are clear moral lines””and not merely semantic ones””between what is marital and what is not, and the law should respect them. If they are blurred or erased, the public understanding of the meaning of marriage will erode.

Some of the benefits traditionally associated with marriage may legitimately be made more widely available in an effort to meet the needs of people who are financially interdependent with a person or persons to whom they are not married. Private contracts between such people should be sufficient to accomplish all or most of what they consider desirable.

If, however, a jurisdiction moves in the direction of creating a formalized system of domestic partnerships, it is morally crucial that the privileges, immunities, and other benefits and responsibilities contained in the package offered to nonmarried partners not be predicated on the existence or presumption of a sexual relationship between them. Benefits should be made available to, for example, a grandparent and adult grandchild who are living together and caring for each other. The needs that domestic-partnership schemes seek to address have nothing to do with whether the partners share a bed and what they do in it. The law should simply take no cognizance of the question of a sexual relationship. It should not, that is, treat a nonmarital sexual relationship as a public good.

The defense of life against abortion and embryo-destructive research calls America back to the founding principles of our regime and to reflection on the justifying point and purposes of law and government. The defense of marriage, meanwhile, shores up the cultural preconditions for a regime of democratic republican government dedicated to human equality, fundamental human rights, and principled limits on governmental powers.

These causes should not be regarded as distractions from other pressing goals, such as economic growth, assistance to the needy, environmental protection, and the defense of the nation against terrorism. They are, rather, causes that spring from the foundational moral purposes of law and the state. They are today among the most urgent causes.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Theology