Daily Archives: June 1, 2008

John Thavis: Pope Benedict’s Top 10?

A useful resource I think.

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

Black bloggers fight to make voices heard

“I’d say that the new black voices are much more organic than those of the past. They don’t need to emanate from the pulpit in order to be heard, or to inform, or to galvanize people from across the nation,” said Avis Jones-DeWeever, director of the National Council of Negro Women’s Research, Public Policy and Information Center. “These voices epitomize the next evolution of black political activism.”

There’s a difference in the types of stories that black and mainstream media cover, McCauley said. While some in the mainstream might analyze the influence of large media corporations on the Internet, black bloggers might focus on shows produced by Viacom-owned TV networks like VH1’s “Flavor of Love” and question the cartoonish depiction of African Americans.

And when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton mentioned Robert F. Kennedy’s June 1968 assassination while defending her decision to continue her presidential campaign, “a lot of the mainstream media covered it as a statement unto itself,” said Hicks. “But in the black community it was part of a pattern.” He, like others, noted that Clinton made her statement four days after the Roswell (Ga.) Beacon put a photo of Obama on its front page with the crosshairs of a rifle scope over him, and former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee made a joke about somebody aiming a gun at Obama during a speech to the National Rifle Association.

“The mainstream media had a reason to look at black voices in the media because of the Obama campaign,” Hicks said. “But these voices have always been out there.”

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Race/Race Relations

In Iraq, month ends with lowest U.S. death toll yet

The U.S. military on Saturday announced the death of a Marine in Anbar province, as May ended with what could be the lowest monthly toll since American-led forces invaded five years ago.

If no additional deaths are reported, the U.S. military toll for the month will be 19, according to the independent website icasualties.org. The next-lowest toll was in February 2004, when 20 service members were killed. At least 4,084 U.S. personnel have died since the start of the war.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Iraq War

Notable and Quotable

“It was like, ”˜Build it and they will come’…Except they didn’t come.”

Lewis Tillman, who, with his wife Tara, owns Westchester Realty in the Greensboro, North Carolina area in today’s New York Times

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

What Accounts for the Spike in Gas Prices?

Gas prices rose another cent on Saturday to $3.96 a gallon nationwide. The high prices are already prompting thousands of SUV owners to try and dump their gas guzzlers. Andrew Leonard, who writes the “How the World Works” blog for Salon.com, talks with Guy Raz about all the things that affect prices at the pump.

Listen to it all from NPR.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources

Fresco depicting 23rd Psalm graces hospice chapel

Visual artists today tend to use the wall in practical ways. They hang paintings on it or cast moving images upon its white surface. Often, artists apply an explanatory plaque or sticker beneath or beside their work.

Sculptors place their objects in the exhibit space using the walls of the room as a kind of framing device, for our perception of objects is partly determined by the way they relate to their surroundings.

Mass and shape define sculpture and, to a lesser extent, framed paintings, for these are objects with which the viewer interacts within a defined space. It is this interaction that influences what we think and how we feel about the art on display.

The wall, then, is typically a means to an end, a little-noticed support system.

Read it all from the Faith and Values section of the local paper.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Bishop of Northern California on the recent Court Decision

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Sexuality

Young Evangelicals Seek Broader Political Agenda

Southern Baptists, as a rule, do not drink. But once a month, young congregants of the Journey, a Baptist church here, and their friends get together in the back room of a sprawling brew pub called the Schlafly Bottleworks to talk about the big questions: President Bush, faith and war, the meaning of life, and “what’s wrong with religion.”

“That’s where people are having their conversations about things that matter,” the Rev. Darrin Patrick, senior pastor and founder of the Journey, said about the talks in the bar. “We go where people are because we feel like Jesus went to the people.”

The Journey, a megachurch of mostly younger evangelicals, is representative of a new generation that refuses to put politics at the center of its faith and rejects identification with the religious right.

They say they are tired of the culture wars. They say they do not want the test of their faith to be the fight against gay rights. They say they want to broaden the traditional evangelical anti-abortion agenda to include care for the poor, the environment, immigrants and people with H.I.V., according to experts on younger evangelicals and the young people themselves.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches

Sarah Hey Comments on the Communion Partners Announcement

I’m glad that the bishops will get together in a group. I’m not certain — as I was uncertain months ago when this was announced — what possible good would occur for a parish to “enter” the Communion Partners grouping, other than very moderate parishes who wish to convince their traditional laity that they are “doing something” but do not wish to actually “do something strategic.” As has been pointed out before — there’s a reason why conservative parishes in hostile revisionist dioceses haven’t requested an “Episcopal Visitor” and a fellowship group for bishops will not make that change.

I further have commented that I think that these good bishops are misreading entirely parishes and clergy who are in distress in TEC. These parishes aren’t concerned about having “a visible link to the Anglican Communion” — after all, all parishes and clergy in TEC have a “visible link to the Anglican Communion” by virtue of their bishops going to Lambeth and by virtue of TEC being the Anglican Communion franchise in the U.S. The parishes and clergy who are in severe distress in TEC are parishes who no longer wish to be connected with an undisciplined and corrupt TEC. And being linked up to a fellowship group for conservative bishops will not help that, although I am confident that the conversation will be richer and deeper. I expect, too, that conservative laypeople in parishes in hostile dioceses in TEC will point all of this out with clarity and vigor to clergy who hope that entrance into the Communion Partners group will assuage their concerns. And that moderate parishes who enter the Communion Partners group will be just fine either way.

I’m going to continue to maintain that those who are within TEC will need to — within their own diocese and region — figure out how to sufficiently differentiate themselves from the ruling zeitgeist of TEC. They can do it — as individuals, groups of individuals, parishes, groups of parishes, and even dioceses — but it’s hard work.

Read it all.

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

Living Church: Communion Partnership Expands

Archbishop Valentino L. Mokiwa of Tanzania has agreed to serve as one of three “Communion Partner Primates,” said a group of 13 diocesan bishops who have been working on a modified version of the Episcopal Visitors concept first announced by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at the House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans.

“Many within our dioceses and in congregations in other dioceses seek to be assured of their connection to the Anglican Communion,” said Bishop D. Bruce MacPherson of Western Louisiana, a partnership spokesperson. “Traditionally this has been understood in terms of bishop-to-bishop relationships. Communion Partners fleshes out this connection in a significant and symbolic way.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, Windsor Report / Process

Anglican Communion Institute: Communion Partners Formed

Communion Partners is intended to

Ӣ provide for those concerned a visible link to the Anglican Communion
Many within our dioceses and in congregations in other dioceses seek to be assured of their connection to the Anglican Communion. Traditionally, this has been understood in terms of bishop-to-bishop relationships. Communion Partners fleshes out this connection in a significant and symbolic way.
Ӣ provide fellowship, support and a forum for mutual concerns between bishops.
The Communion Partner bishops share many concerns about the Anglican Communion and its future and look to work together with Primates and Bishops from the wider Communion. In addition, we believe we all have need of mutual encouragement, prayer, and reassurance. The Communion Partners will be a forum for these kinds of relationships.
Ӣ provide a partnership to work toward the Anglican Covenant and according to Windsor Principles
The Communion Partner bishops will work together according to the principles outlined in the Windsor Report and seek a comprehensive Anglican Covenant at the Lambeth Conference and beyond.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Parishes, Windsor Report / Process

Baghdad Jews Have Become a Fearful Few

“I have no future here to stay.”

Written in broken English but with perfect clarity, the message is a stark and plaintive assessment from one of the last Jews of Babylon.

The community of Jews in Baghdad is now all but vanished in a land where their heritage recedes back to Abraham of Ur, to Jonah’s prophesying to Nineveh, and to Nebuchadnezzar’s sending Jews into exile here more than 2,500 years ago.

Just over half a century ago, Iraq’s Jews numbered more than 130,000. But now, in the city that was once the community’s heart, they cannot muster even a minyan, the 10 Jewish men required to perform some of the most important rituals of their faith. They are scared even to publicize their exact number, which was recently estimated at seven by the Jewish Agency for Israel, and at eight by one Christian cleric. That is not enough to read the Torah in public, if there were anywhere in public they would dare to read it, and too few to recite a proper Kaddish for the dead.

Read it all from the front page of this morning’s New York Times.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Iraq War, Judaism, Other Faiths

U.S. Campaign to Promote Abstinence Begins

Proponents of sex education programs that focus on encouraging abstinence are launching a nationwide campaign aimed at enlisting 1 million parents to support the controversial approach.

The National Abstinence Education Association, a Washington-based advocacy group, said that it sent e-mails last week to about 30,000 supporters, practitioners and parents to try to recruit participants and plans to e-mail 100,000 this week as part of the first phase of the $1 million campaign.

The e-mail is promoting the Parents for Truth campaign, which the group hopes will eventually involve 1 million parents nationwide to lobby local schools to adopt sex education programs focusing on abstinence and to work to elect local, state and national officials who support the approach.

“There are powerful special interest groups who can far outspend what parents can in terms of promoting their agenda. But we recognize that parents more than make up for that by their determination and motivation to protect their own children,” said Valerie Huber, the group’s executive director.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Theology, Young Adults

National Cathedral In Fiscal Squeeze

Facing financial difficulties, the 100-year-old institution recently laid off 33 people, including clergy — its first layoff in decades — as it struggles to balance its budget. It is suspending programs, asking some remaining staffers to double up on duties and closing its popular greenhouse, a move that has stirred community anger.

“We’re in a phase of significant tightening,” said the Very Rev. Samuel Lloyd III, who took the helm of the Episcopal cathedral as dean in 2005. He said the severity of the budget shortfall caught leaders by surprise. “We didn’t expect that we would have to do what we have done.”

Soon-to-be former employees say they are devastated. “It came out of nowhere,” said greenhouse employee Patricia Downey, her voice wobbly with emotion. “It’s been hard.”

Read it all and watch the accompanying video.

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

The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester installs Their New Bishop

With music, South Indian dance, swooping streamers and the laying of hands, the eight-county Episcopal Diocese of Rochester consecrated the Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh as their new bishop today at the Eastman Theatre.

Read it all.

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