Daily Archives: June 22, 2008

The BBC's Robert Piggott reports from the GAFCON Conference

Listen to it all (it starts a little past 45 seconds in). Mr. Piggott is the Religious Affairs correspondent of the BBC and he is interviewed on the BBC’s very fine “Sunday” programme.. Note carefully the quote from Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney at the conclusion of the segment.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Analysis, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East

From the Faith and Values Section of the Local Paper: In S.C. the Challenge of Law

To no one’s surprise, the legal challenges have begun.

South Carolina legislators have broached the contentious issue of separation of church and state with two provocative laws that some say are sure to cost taxpayers money in legal fees and could take resources away from other pressing matters.

A law passed in early June by the General Assembly provides for the production and distribution of a new vanity license plate that features a cross superimposed on an image of a stained-glass window and the phrase “I Believe.”

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Some links for GAFCON coverage (*sticky*)

See below for links to bloggers and reporters who are in Jersusalem covering GAFCON. We’ll keep this “sticky” until the GAFCON final statement appears. Look for new entries below this post.

We thought it might be helpful to round up a list of those who are providing first-hand coverage and blogging of GAFCON this week.

Anglican TV’s Kevin Kallsen is there and is providing live-streaming coverage of some of the sessions, as well as written diaries. All the AnglicanTV coverage is here. (This elf is currently watching such live stream coverage as I type this. You rock, Kevin. Thanks for your service!) (Note: Stand Firm should usually be broadcasting Kevin’s live feed.)

Stand Firm’s Matt Kennedy+ is there and will be sharing his impressions and insights, and showing off his amazing live blogging skills. Just keep an eye on Stand Firm for Matt’s posts throughout the day.. Matt’s wife Anne+ is also at GAFCON. You can follow her accounts at her blog, an undercurrent of hostility, here.

The London Times’ Ruth Gledhill is in Jerusalem and you can find her reports here.

Anglicans United’s Cherie Wetzel and her husband, the Rev. Todd Wetzel are there. You can follow Cherie’s reports here.

Scotland’s the Rev. David McCarthy is at GAFCON and blogging at his Gadget Vicar site.

The official GAFCON site is here.

If you know of others who are blogging and reporting from GAFCON, please post links in the comments. Thanks.


Thanks to a tipster, we note that Fr. Russell Martin of St. Timothy & St. Titus parish (under the Southern Cone) in San Diego, is blogging. His entries are posted at San Diego Anglicans.

[b]George Conger[/b] is in Jerusalem. His blog is here.

[b]Sydney Anglicans[/b] has a dedicated GAFCON page here.

[b]Christianity Today reporter Tim Morgan[/b] is in Jerusalem. The CT blog is here.

[b]Five Delegates from Melbourne Australia[/b] are blogging here.

Some folks from [b]Reform Ireland[/b] are blogging. Their blog is here.

[b]Thinking Anglicans[/b] are in touch with those covering GAFCON for the Lesbian & Gay Christian movement and have posted e-mail from them as part of a GAFCON coverage roundup.

A Sydney attendee, Tony Payne, is blogging here.

Do keep us posted if you come across more links for first-hand reports from GAFCON. Thanks!

[b]Update 2[/b]:

[b]Father Lee Nelson[/b] (dio Fort Worth) has a GAFCON photoblog that is very nice, here.

A blogger from the Anglican Coalition in Canada, Pastor Barclay, has many excellent photos, here.

The Sydney Anglicans GAFCON page has news, pictures, videos, and also blog entries. We’ve noted three blog entries so far. Abp. Peter Jensen, Bishop Robert Forsyth, and Dr. Karin Sowada.

There is an excellent collection of daily photo albums from GAFCON set up at Picassa, here.

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, - Anglican: Latest News, - Anglican: Primary Source, Featured (Sticky), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Resources: blogs / websites

AP: Is the World Falling Apart?

The headline above is the headline given in our local paper here, the ABC headline is: Everything Seemingly Is Spinning out of Control–KSH.

Is everything spinning out of control?

Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.

Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country’s sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.

The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year’s presidential election. Each contender offers a sense of order ”” and hope.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Climate Change, Weather, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization

Saudi Arabia Boosts Oil Supply, May Pump More Later

Italy’s Minister of Industry Claudio Scajola and Brazil’s Energy Minister Edison Lobao were among consumer-nation officials attending the Jeddah summit that said more supply was needed to ease prices. “We expect Saudi Arabia to open the taps,” Austrian Economy Minister Martin Bartenstein said in an interview two days ago. “One third of inflation in the euro zone comes from energy and inflation is now of importance.”

Speaking in Jeddah today, the Austrian minister said: “We would like to see more oil on the market. That is the only action I can think of that can discourage the speculators.”

Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank AG, and other analysts maintain that consumers will need to curtail demand before prices head lower. The biggest drop in prices in 11 weeks came on June 18, after the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, China, raised gasoline, diesel and power prices to rein in energy use.

Saudi Arabia will increase production capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day of oil by the end of next year and could add a further 2.5 million barrels a day if needed, from some new giant fields, Naimi said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources

Zimbabwe: Opposition Pulls Out of Election

In broadcasts monitored in South Africa, [Morgan] Tsvangirai described the election campaign as a “violent, illegimate sham of an election process.”

He appealed for the African Union and the United Nations to act to prevent “genocide” in the country.

Tsvangirai made the announcement in Harare Sunday after extensive debate within his Movement for Democratic Change. It came against the backdrop of rising violence and intimidation in the buildup to the election, scheduled to be held on June 27. Dozens of activists have been killed, hundreds injured and thousands forced from their homes.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, Zimbabwe

Archbishop Rowan Wiiliams on the forthcoming Lambeth Conference

What’s actually going to happen at the Lambeth Conference? Well, I have no crystal ball to tell me exactly what the outcomes will be. But what I most hope and pray is that we emerge from the quite intensive programme with the two main goals taken forward ”“ having gained more confidence about our Communion and having helped to give bishops more resources for their primary work of serving the Church in mission.

But what we can say a bit about is the way in which the business is going to be done. The programme, devised by a very gifted and dedicated international team, responds to the widely felt concerns that we ought to get away from too ‘parliamentary’ and formal a style. It’s going to be important that no-one goes home feeling they haven’t ever been listened to. So it’s important to devise structures that guarantee everyone has a chance to be heard. It’s also crucial to build the sort of trust that allows deep and passionate differences to be stated and explored together, with time allowed for getting past the slogans and the surface emotions.

So the new thing about Lambeth this time is that the whole body of the bishops will be divided into middle-sized groups, called ‘indaba’ groups, from a Zulu word describing community discussion and decision-making. In these groups of forty or so, expert facilitators will be enabling the kind of discussion in which everyone has a chance to speak; and people will be given the responsibility of reporting on behalf of each group, so that over the two weeks of work there will be a lot of attention given to how what comes out of the groups can be woven together in a final statement. This work by the ‘reporters’ will be offered for public discussion at a number of points in the Conference so that anyone who wishes can give some feedback as the Conference works towards its final reflections.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth 2008

Notable and Quotable

“People are shocked to hear that I think of the Godfather series with sadness. I see those films almost as a personal failure. They changed my life detrimentally, even though the world treated them as big commercial successes. Their success led me to make big commercial films ”“ when what I really wanted was to do original and creative films like those that Woody Allen was able to focus on.”

–Francis Ford Coppola

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

A Statement from the Standing Committee of Pennsylvania Concerning the Title IV Review Committee

The Review Committee voted not to issue a presentment, and the Standing Committee has responded to this action.

Read it carefully and read it all.

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

Telegraph: Some Leading C of E bishops not to attend Lambeth Conference over gay clergy

In a move that marks a significant split in the established Church, at least three bishops, including the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, will decline an invitation from Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to attend the Lambeth Conference.

Up to six more bishops are understood to be considering similar action because of Dr Williams’s decision to allow controversial figures to be at the gathering of worldwide Anglican bishops, which meets only once in 10 years.

The boycott will intensify the row over gay clergy, which was reignited when The Sunday Telegraph disclosed last week that two gay priests had exchanged vows in a version of the marriage service.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Lambeth 2008

NPR: Connected Kids Talk to Many at Once

Beyond e-mail, there are ever more ways to connect and communicate: text messages, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, IM and, for the old fashioned, phone calls. Help! How many connections can one person manage? How do people decide what is the best way to keep in touch?

Listen to it all.

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

Buying Power of Food Stamps Declines

Making ends meet on food stamps has never been easy for Cassandra Johnson, but since food prices began their steep climb earlier this year, she has had to develop new survival strategies.

She hunts for items that are on the shelf beyond their expiration dates because their prices are often reduced, a practice she once avoided.

Ms. Johnson, 44, who works in customer service for a medical firm, knows that buying food this way is not healthy, but she sees no other choice if she wants to feed herself and her 1-year-old niece Ammni Harris and 2-year-old nephew Tramier Harris, who live with her.

“I live paycheck to paycheck,” said Ms. Johnson, as she walked out of a market near her home in Hackensack, N.J., pushing both Ammni and the week’s groceries in a shopping cart. “And we’re not coping.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy

'Ball of fire' if Iran attacked: IAEA chief

The UN atomic watchdog chief warned on Saturday that an attack on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme would turn the region into a fireball, as Tehran rejected an Israeli strike as “impossible.”
Mohamed ElBaradei also warned that he would not be able to continue in his role as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general should the Islamic republic be attacked.

His stark comments came as Iran stressed yet again that it will not negotiate with world powers over its nuclear programme if it is required to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment.

“A military strike (against Iran) would in my opinion be worse than anything else … It would transform the Middle East region into a ball of fire,” ElBaradei said in an interview with Al-Arabiya television.

Read it all1.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Iran, Israel, Middle East

Eugene Volokh on "Theophobia"

Here’s my quick thought on the subject: I tend to agree that fear of religious belief as such (as opposed to of specific religious beliefs) is probably unjustified, for the factual reasons Hills mentions.

But I take it that many irreligious people who are bewildered by others’ religious beliefs aren’t afraid of the beliefs so much as they find them factually unfounded ”” much like they would find beliefs in astrology, ghosts, werewolves, or for that matter the Greco-Roman pantheon to be factually unfounded. For that matter, I take it that even many Christian academics would disapprove, on empiricist rather than theological grounds, of those who say they believe in Zeus, Xenu, the Zodiac, or vampires. Why should we be surprised that irreligious academics would take the same view, but as to factual claims of the existence of God as well as to the other factual claims? (Note that there were some very interesting responses to these arguments in the comments to this post of ours from late 2005.)

This is especially so as to beliefs “in the existence and beneficence of an omniscient and omnipotent God.” So perhaps what Prof. Hills is seeing is more disapproval of those who are seen as unduly willing to believe in what the disapproving person sees as fairy tales, rather than disapproval of those who are seen as morally or practically threatening.

Read it all and check out the accompanying comments.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture