Daily Archives: January 26, 2008

Bulletin for Today's Consecration of Mark Lawrence as South Carolina's Next Bishop

Check it out. The link was provided yesterday to watch it live on the diocesan website.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Religious leaders urge Bush to redeem 'shameful' legacy

Catholic and evangelical social justice leaders on Thursday urged President Bush to use his upcoming State of the Union address to turn around what they called his faltering moral legacy.
Frequently referring to the state of American public policy as “shameful,” the representatives of five major religious organizations said Bush has sidestepped pressing religious concerns, despite his recurrent religious rhetoric.

Specifically, they said the White House has failed to deal with growing poverty at home and abroad, turned a blind eye to torture, ignored climate change, and neglected the human suffering from the war in Iraq.

“We have yet to fully sort out the legacy of an explicitly evangelical president, who sadly has had such a truncated vision of what a moral leadership looks like,” said the Rev. David Gushee, president of Evangelicals for Human Rights.

“I am hopeful that the evangelical community as a whole has been chastened by that and is open to reconsidering what we think a truly evangelical moral leadership would look like.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

South Carolina Democrats Get Their Turn

Early returns are encouraging. Mike Cinnamon, executive director of the Richland County election commission, said there were long lines of absentee voters Friday. Cinnamon said there were about 700 Republican absentee votes and at least twice that in Democratic votes.

The State Election Commission has issued more Democratic absentee ballots than Republican, a reversal of typical elections.

Last week ”” in ice, rain and cold ”” Republican turnout dipped about 22 percent from the all-time high in 2000. About 445,000 voted in last Saturday’s Republican primary.

Few think that many Democrats will turn out, but the three candidates, Clinton, Obama and former North Carolina U.S. Sen. John Edwards, have drawn larger crowds this week than most Republican rallies.

“Some of those people are going to vote in the Democratic primary,” Obama supporter former Gov. Jim Hodges said of those who did not vote Republican. “We’ve got three good candidates.”

Voters are allowed to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary, but not both.

Despite the trend of high turnout, University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato said it does not foreshadow a Democratic win in November. Democrats turned out in 1980 and 1988 primaries, Sabato said, only to see Republicans win the presidency.

Democrats have had a difficult time winning Southern states, with Bill Clinton the last candidate to claim Southern electoral votes in 1996.

“This has been happening all over the country,” Sabato said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean anything … it’s a good sign Democrats are engaged.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, US Presidential Election 2008

The Bishop of Durham Responds to Gafcon

ST PAUL, facing shipwreck off Malta, spotted the soldiers getting into a small boat to rescue themselves. “Unless these men stay in the ship,” he said to the centurion, “you cannot be saved.”

A similar urgent plea must now be addressed to those who, envisaging the imminent break-up of the good ship Anglican, are getting into a lifeboat called GAFCON, leaving the rest of us to face the future without them.

I have shared the frustration of the past five years, both in the United States and around the world. I have often wished that the Windsor report could have provided a more solid and speedy resolution. But the ship hasn’t sunk yet.

The rationale of GAFCON (the Global Anglican Future Conference) is: “The Communion is finished; nothing new can happen; it’s time to split.” No mention is made of the Windsor report, the proposed Anglican Covenant, or, indeed, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Advent letter, insisting as it does on scriptural authority, which GAFCON seems to regard as its monopoly.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Global South Churches & Primates, Lambeth 2008, Middle East

LA Times Offers Important Correction on an Earlier Story

From here:

Hindu-Episcopal service: An article in Sunday’s California section about a joint religious service involving Hindus and Episcopalians said that all those attending the service at St. John’s Cathedral in Los Angeles were invited to Holy Communion. Although attendees walked toward the Communion table, only Christians were encouraged to partake of Communion. Out of respect for Hindu beliefs, the Hindus were invited to take a flower. Also, the article described Hindus consuming bread during Communion, but some of those worshipers were Christians wearing traditional Indian dress.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Hinduism, Inter-Faith Relations, Other Faiths

Scientists Take New Step Toward Man-Made Life

Taking a significant step toward the creation of man-made forms of life, researchers reported Thursday that they had manufactured the entire genome of a bacterium by painstakingly stitching together its chemical components.

While scientists had previously synthesized the complete DNA of viruses, this is the first time it has been done for bacteria, which are much more complex. The genome is more than 10 times as long as the longest piece of DNA ever previously synthesized.

The feat is a watershed for the emerging field called synthetic biology, which involves the design of organisms to perform particular tasks, such as making biofuels. Synthetic biologists envision being able one day to design an organism on a computer, press the “print” button to have the necessary DNA made, and then put that DNA into a cell to produce a custom-made creature.

“What we are doing with the synthetic chromosome is going to be the design process of the future,” said Dr. J. Craig Venter, the boundary-pushing gene scientist. He assembled the team that made the bacterial genome as part of his well publicized quest to create the first synthetic organism. The work was published online Thursday by the journal Science.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Life Ethics, Science & Technology, Theology

Resolution Passed by South Carolina Diocesan Convention Today


Be it resolved that the 217th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina dissociates itself from the affiliation of The Episcopal Church (TEC) with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC).


On the 12th of January 2006, the Executive Committee of The Episcopal Church voted to formalize the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the RCRC, a registered political lobby, which advocates for unlimited abortion rights in the political realm. The literature and website of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice reveal that it advocates positions specifically at odds with those of the Episcopal Church as expressed by a resolution of the 1994 General Convention declaring that, “As Christians, we believe strongly that if [the right to abortion] is exercised, it should be used only in extreme situations. We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience.” Further on this the final day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, it must be noted that this affiliation represents yet another divergence from the normative moral teaching of Catholic Christianity.

[b]Update (from elfgirl):[/b]
For those readers who may have been unaware of the Episcopal Church’s formal affiliation with the RCRC, we’ve compiled a pretty extensive list of links which will provide much background and commentary on the topic, which has (in our opinion) flown much too far under the radar in many dioceses and much of the debate about TEC’s current beliefs and actions.

Here’s the link: http://new.kendallharmon.net/wp-content/uploads/index.php/t19/article/9529/#175687


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Life Ethics, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Catholic order warns Dutch priests not to split Church

A leading Catholic religious order has said its Dutch branch risks a split within the Church with its recommendation to allow lay people to celebrate mass to overcome a growing shortage of clerics.

The proposal ‘risks not only worsening the polarisation within the Dutch Church but also encouraging schism,’ said a report for the Dominicans, an order that has produced many prominent theologians since its founding in 1216.

The Dutch Dominicans, who sent a booklet entitled ‘Church and Ministry’ to all Dutch Catholic parishes last August proposing that an ordinary person could lead the service if there was no priest available, deny wanting to create a schism.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Anthony Esolen: Leviathans Make Nice Pets, Don't They?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch

Bishop Michael Scott-Joynt of Winchester Speaking

For those of you who are following the South Carolina Convention.

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

Charlotte Allen: The Unorthodox Patriarch

Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, can be regarded as the “pope,” or at least the symbol of unity, of Orthodox Christianity. The denomination’s 300 million or so adherents make it the second-largest body of Christians in the world, after Roman Catholicism. The 67-year-old Bartholomew also represents one of Christianity’s most ancient branches as the latest in a line of 270 archbishops of his city — modern Istanbul — that traces itself back to the apostle St. Andrew, brother of St. Peter, in a part of the world where the Christian faith has existed since New Testament times.

In December 2006, Bartholomew, patriarch since 1991, was thrust under the world-wide media spotlight when he celebrated the Orthodox Divine Liturgy with Pope Benedict XVI. The two met in the tiny Church of St. George in the equally tiny patriarchal compound in Istanbul, all that remains of an Eastern Christian civilization on the Bosporus so glistening and powerful that for more than 1,500 years Constantinople called itself the “new Rome.”

Now Bartholomew has a forthcoming book, in English, “Encountering the Mystery: Perennial Values of the Orthodox Church” (Random House). It purports to be a primer to Orthodoxy, with short chapters on ritual, theology, icons and so forth. What it really is, perhaps inadvertently, is a telling glimpse into the mindset of a church that, venerable and spiritually appealing though it may be, is in a state of crisis. And the book reveals the jarringly secular-sounding ideological positions its leader seemingly feels compelled to take in order to cultivate the sympathy of a Western European political order that is at best indifferent to Christianity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Orthodox Church, Other Churches