Daily Archives: April 12, 2008

The Bishop of North Dakota Writes His Diocese

As one whose responsibility it is to guard the faith, unity and discipline of the church, let me be clear. The diocesan policy I uphold is not one of my own invention or devising. Rather, it is the teaching of the Church for 2,000 years as derived from the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. It is based on the order of creation as recorded in Genesis and reasserted in the Gospels when Jesus says: “From the beginning of creation ”˜God made them male and female.’ ”˜For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’” (Mark 10:6-8).

Obviously, there have always been people who for one reason or another are unable or unwilling to live by this standard. These “exceptions to the rule” are matters of personal conscience between the individual and God. They do not, however, supplant or replace the traditional teaching of the Church, which until recent times was unquestioned as the behavior expected of all Christians.

The Episcopal Church and the other churches of the Anglican Communion have traditionally held together the Liberal, Catholic and Evangelical wings of the church by common worship and a common relationship with a bishop in the historic succession. This theoretically provides us with balance, correction and comprehension for the sake of truth.

What we are seeing in our national church and in other parts of the Anglican world is Liberals moving out on their own without benefit of the moderating and balancing effects of Catholic and Evangelical perspectives.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Why China is the REAL master of the universe

[In the 19th century] Britain was the workshop of the world, dominating science, manufacturing and trade.

To many Victorians, unquestioning of the ideology that underpinned much imperialism, British supremacy was a simple matter of racial supremacy – Europeans, and the English in particular, were fated to be the masters.

The truth is that we are masters of the world no more.

The global power shift from the West to the East is no longer just a matter of debate confined to learned journals and newspaper columns – it is a reality that is beginning to have a huge impact on our daily lives.

What would those Victorian masters of old have made of the fact that Chinese security men were on the streets of London this week, ordering our own police about and fighting running battles with British protesters while bewildered athletes carried the Olympic torch on its relay through the capital?

It was a brazen display of how confident China has become of its new place in the world, just as the British Government’s failure to take a firm stand on Chinese abuses of human rights shows how craven we have become.

The dire warnings from the International Monetary Fund this week that the West now faces the largest financial shock since the Great Depression, while the Asian economies are still powering ahead, simply underlines our vulnerability in this new world order.

The desperately weakened American dollar appears to be on the verge of losing its global dominance, in the same way as sterling lost it a lifetime ago.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, England / UK, Globalization

Patrolling Philadelphia's meanest streets

I really love stories like this where people slog it out in the trenches in their local community and seek to make a difference–watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Teens / Youth

Preparing African Warriors to Meet the British

Six Maasai warriors have left their village in Tanzania for the first time in their lives. On Sunday, they will be among 30,000 people running the London Marathon. The Maasai aren’t running for glory, but to raise money to build a drinking water well for their village.

In anticipation of their trip, the conservation charity Greenforce prepared a pamphlet to help the Maasai meet the strange residents of London. Below are two selections typical of the cultural translation:

Even though some may look like they have a frown on their face, they are very friendly people ”” many of them just work in offices in jobs they don’t enjoy and so they do not smile as much as they should do!!

Although English people share a lot, they do not do so to the same extent that the Maasai do. If you see something that someone else has (like a bracelet) and you like it, then the person will find it very unusual if you were to take it and wear it!

A very good story on cultural differences and culture shock–read or listen to it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, England / UK

Texas A and M's St. Mary's Catholic Center's Blog Assembles a Bunch of Links for the Pope's Visit

This is a helpful compendium.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Making 'green' cheese in Wisconsin

Watch it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources

Pope Benedict XVI Speaks about His Upcoming American Visit in English

Watch it all (hat tip: PM)

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

Our Youngest Child, Selimah, Eventing on her Horse Aherlow Last Weekend

Check out all the pictures if you care to; my favorite is here.

Posted in Uncategorized

A BBC Northern Ireland Sunday Sequence Audio Report on Franklin Graham's Visit last Weekend

Listen to it all, it includes an interview with the evangelist himself.

There is more here, including this:

Northern Ireland has always had a soft spot for evangelists, and it was no surprise that Franklin Graham, a son of the famous Billy, should have drawn more than 30,000 people to the Odyssey last weekend. He will be able to tell his father how the tumultuous scenes at his Windsor Park mission in 1961 were rekindled in post-Troubles Belfast.

A lot has happened here since Billy Graham thrilled huge audiences with his inspiring Christian message, changing many lives for good.

Yet despite, or because of, 35 years of civil conflict – turning neighbours against each other – there is still an appetite for a message that was born 2,000 years ago.

I really like the chosen title of a Festival of Hope–KSH.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Evangelicals, Other Churches

BBC: Hope over US Alzheimer's therapy

Further research is needed into a US treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that appears to produce marked improvements in some patients, experts say.

California researchers believe they have found a way of improving brain cell communication by injecting a drug called etanercept into the neck.

The Institute for Neurological Research team has described changes taking place in Alzheimer’s patients within minutes.

British experts have expressed caution, but say further research is merited.

More than 400,000 people in the UK have Alzheimer’s disease.

Current medication can slow the disease, but charities say there is a desperate need for research to develop more effective treatments.

Read it all.

Update: There is a lot more in the Belfast Telegraph here.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

A BBC Radio Four Audio Report: Obama and the black Christian vote

The race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to be the Democrat nominee for the US presidential election seems to have gone negative, with each team attempting to exploit the opposing candidate’s alleged flaws and weaknesses. The furore over Senator Clinton’s “exaggeration” of her war experiences in Bosnia has rivalled fierce criticism of Senator Obama, for failing to leave his Chicago church over the pastor, Jeremiah Wright’s, controversial sermons.

African-American churchgoers have largely rallied to defend Obama’s handling of the affair, but as Matthew Wells reports from New York, many black leaders remain firmly inside the Clinton camp.

Listen to it all.

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

”˜Shocking’ GE results show size of crisis

General Electric underlined the depth of the global financial crisis on Friday, announcing its worst quarter in five years and slashing full-year forecasts.

The news, described as “shocking” by a senior GE executive, combined with data showing that US consumer confidence was at a 26-year low to send shares lower. The S&P 500 fell 2 per cent in New York to 1,332.83.

Shares in GE, which derives more than half its revenues overseas and is seen as a bellwether of the global economy, led the way, falling 12.8 per cent ”“ its biggest loss since the 1987 stock market crash.

The results are a blow to Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and chief executive, and could increase pressure for action at the group’s underperforming financial and healthcare divisions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Obama under fire after fundraiser remarks

Video of the fundraiser, which was closed to the press, surfaced as Obama was campaigning in Indiana, trying to highlight issues of concern to working-class voters, such as job losses and rising mortgage foreclosures.

“You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” Obama, an Illinois senator, said.

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

From the Local Paper: Home foreclosures soar … Rates in tri-county area mirror national trends

Home foreclosures in the Charleston area rose dramatically during the first three months of this year, mirroring national trends and reinforcing worries about the shaky U.S. economy.

Lenders filed foreclosure proceedings on 874 residential properties in the tri-county area in the first quarter, according to statistics compiled by The Post and Courier.

While comparable data from a year ago is unavailable for Dorchester County, the number of foreclosures in Charleston and Berkeley counties jumped to 638 this year from 425 in the same period last year, a 50.1 percent increase.

Dorchester County, which reports the number of properties set for county auctions, rather than foreclosure filings, saw a 53.8 percent increase from the same period last year.

Read it all from this morning’s front page.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

–Psalm 30:11, 12 (KJV)

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture