Daily Archives: June 23, 2008
After the 9/11 attacks, Americans put out a call for moderate Islam. Many Muslims answered that call, but few Americans heard them. Early this month, I traveled to Asia to see what Islam looks like on the ground there, and to listen to what Muslims themselves have to say about their religion, terrorism and the United States. What I found surprised me.
I went to Asia because Islam is by no means a Middle Eastern phenomenon. In fact, Asia is home to most of the world’s Muslims. I focused on Indonesia because there are more Muslims in Indonesia than in any other country ”” roughly three times as many as in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
But what makes Indonesia strategically important to the United States is not simply its huge Muslim population (roughly 200 million) but the fact that Indonesian Muslims are by no means anti-Western.
There are fundamentalists in Indonesia, to be sure, but they account for roughly one in every 10 citizens there. The overwhelming majority of Indonesia’s Muslims are moderates, and about one in five are progressives.
Refuting claims that GAFCON is about schism, Iker told ENS that the conference is “all about a renewal of confidence in Anglicanism.”
Ackerman told ENS that some of the bishops at GAFCON will also be attending the Lambeth Conference. “If this is a rival to Lambeth, nobody told us,” he said.
During his address, [Bishop Suheil] Dawani underscored his commitment to the Lambeth Conference, emphasizing that the once-a-decade gathering of bishops, set for July 16-August 3 in Canterbury, England, “is so important to our ongoing life together and for the mission of the church.”
Read it all and note the link to Bishop Dawani’s whole address.
Sen. John McCain hopes to solve the country’s energy crisis with cold hard cash.
The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting thinks the government should offer a $300 million prize to the person who can develop an automobile battery that leapfrogs existing technology.
Again, from the BBC blurb:
Is the Anglican Communion facing its biggest ever challenge? Traditionalists are angry, and their meeting in Jerusalem is seen as a challenge to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lambeth conference next month. Henry Orombi, the Archbishop of Uganda, said homosexuality was only one of the dilemmas facing the church.
From the BBC blurb:
Traditionalist Anglicans are meeting for a conference in Jerusalem and exhibiting some frustration with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Our religious affairs correspondent, Robert Pigott reports.
In order to listen to this segment you need to go here and click on the “latest programme in full” link at the top, and then go 1 hour and thirteen minutes in (my computer showed 20:13:30ish when the segment started, and the segment lasts about 4 minutes).
Thousands of partygoers, pagans and self-styled druids cheered and banged drums Saturday to greet the dawn at Stonehenge on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice.
Blowhorns signaled the rise of the sun over the ancient stone circle at 4:58 a.m. (0348 GMT) — although in typical English fashion, the sunrise was barely visible through the clouds.
Still, the mist and drizzle did not dampen the spirits of revelers who gathered under umbrellas, ponchos and plastic bags to greet the dawn.
Is this finally the end for the Anglican Communion worldwide? We hear from the Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, one of the leaders of a breakaway conference for conservative Anglicans starting in Jerusalem this weekend. We also hear from Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt, who thinks this conference comes at the wrong place and the wrong time.
Listen to it all (about 14 minutes).
O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as thou art, O LORD, with thy faithfulness round about thee?
Americans donated a record $306 billion to charity in 2007, their generosity encouraged by a strong stock market in the first half of the year, according to a report on philanthropy released on Monday. “A strong start to the economy in 2007 helped lift giving despite worries at year’s end from gasoline prices or the housing and mortgage crises,” said George Ruotolo of charity consultant Giving USA.
This year’s uncertain economy may not bode well for charitable giving in 2008.
Some 300 bishops – a third of the Anglican bishops in the world – arrived in Jerusalem this week to attend the Global Anglican Future Conference, organized by the traditionalist wing of the church, which is opposed to ordaining homosexual bishops. GAFCON is being staged as a rival to next month’s Lambeth Conference in London, the Anglican Communion’s main event held every 10 years.
GAFCON has drawn some 1,000 participants: bishops, clergymen, and activists from Anglican congregations in 28 countries, led by Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria.
The rift in the Anglican Communion occured in 2003, when its American wing, the Episcopal Church, ordained the openly gay Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.
In an interview with Catholic News Service shortly after he took the helm of “Meet the Press” in 1991, Russert said he enjoyed the somewhat unusual position in Washington public life of being a Catholic who wore his faith proudly.
In “official Washington and television news there aren’t all that many practicing Catholics,” he said, and when he first came to Washington people kidded him about it. They grew to accept and respect him for it, Russert said.
Some suggest that at work you have to “forget you’re Catholic or forget you’re Irish,” he said. But “it’s impossible. It’s your inner self.”
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, considered Russert a friend. In an interview with WRC-TV, the local NBC affiliate, he recalled the many times he would ask Russert for assistance with one project or another — often some kind of fundraising. The cardinal said the newsman inevitably responded, “If I can fit it in, I will do it.”
“He always had time for people,” said Cardinal McCarrick. “I think that was what made him a great reporter. He always had time for people.”
Iraq will award contracts to 41 foreign oil firms in a bid to boost production that could give multinationals a potentially lucrative foothold in huge but underdeveloped oil fields, an official said on Sunday.
“We chose 35 companies of international standard, according to their finances, environment and experience, and we granted them permission to extract oil,” oil ministry spokesman Asim Jihad told AFP.
Six other state-owned oil firms from Algeria, Angola, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam will also be awarded extraction deals, Jihad said.
The agreements, to be signed on June 30, are expected to be short-term arrangements although the ministry has yet to provide a timeframe.
The deal paves the way for global energy giants to return to Iraq 36 years after late dictator Saddam Hussein chased them out, and is seen as a first step to access the earth’s third largest proven crude reserves.