Daily Archives: June 4, 2008

Dennis Sadowski: Keeping kids safe from Internet predators

The exploitation of children is big business these days. Just ask Michelle Collins.

As the executive director of Exploited Children Services at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va., Collins makes it her business to keep up on the latest tactics of adults who exploit kids, especially through sexually abusive images.

With more than 1,500 active Web sites displaying exploitive pictures of children, the center finds it difficult to keep up with exploiters, who don’t stay in one place on the Internet too long

This is an uncomfortable topic for many of us but it has to be faced and this article has some good resources–read the whole thing.

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

Drew Smith: Jesus Gave Strong Warnings Against 'Affluenza

We are in the middle of a very serious epidemic in this country. No, the Centers for Disease Control have not issued any warnings, and doctors and healthcare professionals have not reported any outbreak of disease or plague. But the epidemic we face is real, powerful and very dangerous. It is an Affluenza epidemic.

Affluenza is the desire to possess more and more stuff, and it is spreading throughout our culture at epidemic pace. Unfortunately, though Christians follow a man of poverty, we too have fallen victim to Affluenza.

Jesus had a great deal to say about wealth and possessions and our proper response to them. Indeed, Jesus constantly provoked his hearers with radical ideas about wealth and possessions; ideas so radical that we still attempt to explain them away or ignore them altogether. At the heart of his message was a strong warning against Affluenza, or to use a more offensive term, greed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

In Uganda the Family of Martyrs Killer Apologises

The family of Mukajjanga Kibuuka Musigula, the chief executioner of the Uganda Martyrs, has apologised to the Church of Uganda, 122 years after he killed the Christians.

Namirembe Bishop the Rev. Samuel Balagadde Ssekkadde told pilgrims at the Namugongo Protestant Martyrs’ shrine yesterday that Mukajjanga’s grandchildren delivered their written apology to the provincial offices.

“We forgave them and welcomed them to the body of Christ and recruited them into the ministry of the Church of Uganda,” Ssekadde said as the crowd cheered.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda

An Anglican Parish in Delaware Profiled

The Anglican Parish of Saint James truly is a house filled with the word of the Lord.

From the Bibles to the floors, the word of God is everywhere in “the little church by the railroad tracks” that began in the Most Rev. John W. Gains’ living room July 25, 1993.

Hidden verses on the floors — written by Gains before carpet was laid in the sanctuary — are just one of the unique characteristics of the Anglican Church. Actually, Gains said nearly all items in the chapel have interesting histories.

“The organ is from Veterans Stadium (in Philadelphia),” Gains said, grinning. “When they were bringing it in, I said ‘don’t play ‘charge’ as I am going up the aisle.'”

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry

The Anglican Church of Nigeria Condemns Acts of Economic Sabotage

The Synod noted the deplorable state of the power sector and urged the government to ensure steady supply of electricity to the people.

“A situation where citizens use resources meant for house upkeep to service generators and pay for high cost of diesel is unacceptable,” it said.

The diocese noted with concern, the “complex issues” involved in the Niger Delta region and called on the government to implement its master plan fully for the region’s development.

The church recalled that it had commended President Umaru Yar’Adua for striving to address the Niger Delta crisis through the convocation of a stakeholders meeting.

It appealed to Niger Delta youths to embrace peace “which will only come through dialogue, not violence or kidnap of oil company workers”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Economy

Church of England accused of censoring debate on Islam

The Church of England has been accused of censorship for shelving a controversial debate about Islam.

A meeting of the Church’s “parliament” was due to discuss whether clergy should be doing more to convert British Muslims to Christianity.

The sensitive issue was highlighted last week by a senior bishop who accused Church leaders of failing to reach out to other faiths, and warned that radical Islam is filling a gap in society caused by the decline of traditional Christian values.

But now the Church has put off the debate on recruiting Muslims until next February at the earliest and will discuss the promotion of churches as tourist attractions instead.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Stockton Record: Rift deepens for dioceses in San Joaquin County

The legal tangle between the dioceses of San Joaquin – one Episcopal, one Anglican – has brought an allegation of wrongdoing against the financial investment firm Merrill Lynch.

In its quest to regain control over millions of dollars’ worth of real estate and investments, the fractured Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has amended a lawsuit it filed in April against its former bishop, John-David Schofield, to include as defendants Merrill Lynch and the nonprofit Anglican Diocese Holding Corp., which is newly formed by Schofield.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

BBC–Bioenergy: Fuelling the food crisis?

The biofuel debate is electrifying the UN food price crisis summit in Rome, pitting nations against each other and risking transforming bioenergy – once hailed as the ultimate green fuel – into the villain of the piece, the root cause behind global food price spikes.

Biofuel uses the energy contained in organic matter – crops like sugarcane and corn – to produce ethanol, an alternative to fossil-based fuels like petrol.

But campaigners claim the heavily subsidised biofuel industry is fundamentally immoral, diverting land which should be producing food to fill human stomachs to produce fuel for car engines.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Climate Change, Weather, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Energy, Natural Resources

NY Times: Next on Agenda Is Clinton’s Role

Senator Barack Obama heads into the general election with obvious advantages: He is a Democratic candidate running in a sour atmosphere for Republicans, in a contest where voters are hungry for change and coming out of a campaign in which he filled arena after arena with supporters.

Yet while he would like to shift his attention fully to the onslaught already coming from Senator John McCain and the Republicans, Mr. Obama still has problems in his own party that may overshadow everything else until he addresses them: How to repair relations with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her supporters and whether to offer her a spot on the ticket.

Mrs. Clinton used her final hours of the long primary season to make clear that she would be open to being Mr. Obama’s running mate. If there was ever any hope in Democratic circles that she would let Mr. Obama off the hook with an evasion or a flat declaration of no interest, Mrs. Clinton dashed it on Tuesday.

Like her husband, Mrs. Clinton has a way of becoming the center of attention even when the spotlight is supposed to be trained elsewhere, a reality that Mr. Obama will no doubt continue to confront no matter how he proceeds. It was hardly a surprise that Mr. Obama lavished praise on Mrs. Clinton and her accomplishments in his remarks Tuesday night.

Until he deals with the Clinton question, it could be hard for Mr. Obama to move on to what he would like to achieve next….

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Obama's Strategy Was Based On Winning Delegates, Not Battlegrounds

Almost from the beginning, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s superior name recognition and her sway with state party organizations convinced Barack Obama’s brain trust that a junior senator from Illinois was not going to be able to challenge the Clinton political machine head-on.

The insurgent strategy they devised instead was to virtually cede the most important battlegrounds of the Democratic nomination fight to Clinton, using precision targeting to minimize her delegate hauls, while going all out to crush her in states where Democratic candidates rarely ventured and causes that were often ignored.

The result may have lacked the glamour of a sweep, but tonight, with the delegates he picked up in Montana and South Dakota and a flood of superdelegate endorsements, Obama sealed one of the biggest upsets in U.S. political history and became the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter to wrest his party’s nomination from the candidate of the party establishment. The surprise was how well his strategy held up — and how little resistance it met.

“We kept waiting for the Clinton people to send people into the caucus states,” marveled Jon Carson, one of Obama’s top ground-game strategists.

“It’s the big mystery of the campaign,” said campaign manager David Plouffe, “because every delegate counts.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Cardinal George Temporarily Removes Pfleger From St. Sabina

CBS 2 News has learned that Francis Cardinal George is temporarily removing Father Michael Pfleger from his position as pastor of St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church on Chicago’s South Side.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the move comes after several days of deliberation and consultation by the Cardinal, who first learned about Pfleger’s racially charged comments about senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton from the pulpit of Trinity Unity Church of Christ last Thursday night.

The Cardinal immediately contacted Pfleger who agreed not to refer to the presidential candidates by name, but as CBS 2 reported at the time, there remained the possibility of some further disciplinary action against Pfleger.

The Cardinal reportedly spoke to Pfleger again Tuesday morning.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, US Presidential Election 2008

Expect new drugs to treat aging, researchers say

Not yet, aging researchers say, but medical breakthroughs to significantly extend life and ease the ailments of getting older are closer than many people think.

“The general public has no idea what’s coming,” said David Sinclair, a Harvard Medical School professor who has made headlines with research into the health benefits of a substance found in red wine called resveratrol.

Speaking on a panel of aging experts, Sinclair had the boldest predictions. He said scientists can greatly increase longevity and improve health in lab animals like mice, and that drugs to benefit people are on the way.

“It’s not an if, but a when,” said Sinclair, who co-founded Sirtris Pharmaceuticals to pursue such drugs. The company, which is testing medicine in people with Type 2 diabetes, was recently bought for $720 million by GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s second-largest drug maker

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

(London) Times: Barack Obama and America's moment

It is worth rehearsing Mr Obama’s emergence into the media spotlight two years ago, not so much for what it says about his undoubted political talents as for what it reveals about the US political system. Early in President Bush’s second term it was already clear, even to many of his supporters, that he had gambled boldly with his country’s prestige and self-belief, and lost. No whistle was required to start the race to find someone to rebuild those crucial components of democratic strength. By 2005 both main parties were canvassing dozens of potential candidates, noting experience and name recognition, but seeking more. In 2006, the national media started paying attention to the eloquent son of an African goatherd with a fervent following among Democrats in Illinois. His campaign to derail Hillary Clinton and become the first black president has since electrified the world.

Details of the delegate count no longer matter. This moment’s significance is its resounding proof of the triusm about America as a land of opportunity: Mr Obama’s opportunity to graduate from Harvard and take Washington by storm; the opportunity that the world’s most responsive democratic system gives its voters to be inspired by an unknown; the opportunity that outsiders now have to reassess the superpower that too many of them love to hate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Time Magazine: Obama Seals Democratic Nomination

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois sealed the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, a historic step toward his once-improbable goal of becoming the nation’s first black president. Hillary Rodham Clinton maneuvered for the vice presidential spot on his fall ticket without conceding her own defeat.

Obama’s victory set up a five-month campaign with Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a race between a 46-year-old opponent of the Iraq War and a 71-year-old former Vietnam prisoner of war and staunch supporter of the current U.S. military mission.

Both men promptly exchanged criticism over the war in Iraq and sought to claim the mantle of change in a country plainly tired of the status quo.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

The Full Text of John McCain's Speech in Louisiana Today

The sweeping reforms of government we need won’t occur unless we change the political habits of Washington that have locked us in an endless cycle of bickering and stalemate. Washington is consumed by a hyper-partisanship that treats every serious issue as an opportunity to trade insults; impugn each other’s motives; and fight about the next election. This is the game Washington plays. Both parties play it, as do the special interests that support each side. The American people know it’s not on the level. For all the problems we face, what frustrates them most about Washington is they don’t think we’re capable of serving the public interest before our personal ambitions; that we fight for ourselves and not for them. They are sick of the politics of selfishness, stalemate and delay, and they have every right to be. We have to change not only government policies that have failed them, but the political culture that produced them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008