Daily Archives: August 13, 2008

Health Benefits Inspire Rush to Marry, or Divorce

It was only last February that Brandy Brady met Ricky Huggins at a Mardi Gras ball here. By April, they had decided to marry.

Ms. Brady says she loves Mr. Huggins, but she worries they are moving too fast. She questions how well they really know each other, and wants to better understand his mood swings.

But Ms. Brady, 38, also finds much to admire in Mr. Huggins, who is three years older. He strikes her as trustworthy and caring. He has a stable job as a plumber and a two-bedroom house. And perhaps above all, said Ms. Brady, who received a kidney transplant last year, “He’s got great insurance.”

More than romance, the couple readily acknowledge, it is Mr. Huggins’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield HMO policy that is driving their rush to the altar.

In a country where insurance is out of reach for many, it is not uncommon for couples to marry, or even to divorce, at least partly so one spouse can obtain or maintain health coverage.

There is no way to know how often it happens, but lawyers and patient advocacy groups say they see cases regularly.

In a poll conducted this spring by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy research group, 7 percent of adults said someone in their household had married in the past year to gain access to insurance. The foundation cautions that the number should not be taken literally, but rather as an intriguing indicator that some Americans “are making major life decisions on the basis of health care concerns.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family

Alcohol a problem for stressed returning soldiers

National Guard and Reserve combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are more likely to develop drinking problems than active-duty U.S. soldiers, a new military study suggests.

The authors speculate that inadequate preparation for the stress of combat and reduced access to support services at home may be to blame.

The study, appearing in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, is the first to compare Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ alcohol problems before and after deployment.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Alcoholism, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Iraq War, Military / Armed Forces

George Pitcher: Where were you when they crucified Georgia?

Some 82 per cent of the population are members of the Georgian Orthodox Church, with the next largest tranche of faith being the 10 per cent who count themselves Muslim.

Such a devout populace might have expected a unified condemnation of an attack on such a solid and venerable household of faith.

Pope Benedict XVI managed, from his holiday in the Italian Alps, to call for an “immediate” end to hostilities in South Ossetia and urged negotiations between Russia and Georgia over the contested province.

But it sounded like a rebuke to two squabbling children, not a plea for an end to a bloodbath, and carefully made no reference to the wider incursion into Georgia.

Elsewhere, there has been a resounding chorus of silence in the cloisters. Nothing from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the latter vociferous in his condemnation of Robert Mugabe’s aggressions in Zimbabwe.

Nothing from the Anglican Communion, so keen of late to re-engage on the international stage with its march through London in solidarity with the world’s poor.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, Religion & Culture, Russia

Rod Dreher– Ex-Anglicans: The Wrong Kind of Catholics?

Read it all and note that Get Religion has chimed in on this story also.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Roman Catholic, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

A Video Report on Lambeth 2008 from the Bishop of Atlanta

Watch it all (approximately 9 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Bishops

Kendall Harmon: Lambeth Questions (IV)

Earlier we noted a blog entry from the Bishop of Lichfield about Lambeth 2008 in which he said:

We are told that in the lawsuits in America between parishes and their dioceses it is the dioceses who are the defendants and the conservative parishes who are the accusers.


This led one of our blog readers to write the bishop to correct this misinformation. As A. S. Haley has shown comprehensively, the facts are entirely the opposite of this assertion cited by the Bishop of Lichfield.

We now know from conversations with bishops at Lambeth that this was not something isolated to the Bishop of Lichfield, but that other bishops at Lambeth were given this misinformation as well. This raises disturbing questions, namely, who were the TEC bishops giving out this misinformation? And perhaps more important: can we look for reappraising blogs and leaders who claim to care about justice to denounce the injustice of spreading untruths like this at a once a decade bishops meeting? Who were the bishops providing this misinformation and why were they doing so? Can we look for them to come clean and apologize?

And perhaps most importantly, can we look for a denunciation from the national leadership of this unchristian practice at a Christian meeting? TEC often prides itself on its “prophetic” witness, but a close reading of the prophets shows that almost nothing concerns them more than dishonesty and lack of truth–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops

Amy Laura Hall argues that in God's design, family is a pretty messy thing

Amy Laura Hall’s Conceiving Parenthood (4 stars) might well be seen as science fiction in reverse.

Her journey into the cultural history of reproductive biotechnology reads like an eerie voyage into the future. Yet rather than pushing readers to the outer limits of human progress, Hall urges us to find joy in the inner limits of creatureliness.

Hall’s wide-ranging work looks at Protestant families and the germ-free home; childhood progress and the production of infant food; the eugenics movement and associating heritage with salvation; and finally, the relationship between the orderly domestic family and atomic progress. She examines these themes as they appear in such popular magazines as Parents, Ladies’ Home Journal, National Geographic, and the Methodist journal Together, and thus reminds readers that today’s biotechnological developments grow out of distorted ideals of childhood, family, gender, race, and normalcy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, Marriage & Family

Notable and Quotable

“Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even when everyone is for it.”

–William Penn (1644-1718), also quoted by yours truly in this past Sunday’s sermon

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable

Albert Mohler talks to George Conger about Lambeth 2008

Mohler: Where do you see this leaving the Episcopal Church, U.S.?

Conger: I see it in the law courts over the next 10 years, frankly, as Evangelical parishes or Anglo-Catholic parishes who are the traditionally-minded members of the Episcopal Church either pull out and join new denominations, or take shelter and refuge under the leadership of bishops from overseas churches.

This is going to spark litigations over property, and who gets to call themselves an Episcopalian, who’s an Anglican. It’s a mess, and there is no short-term solution that I see to fix this problem save for one side giving up and going away.

Mohler: Now you are affiliated with and a priest of the Diocese of Central Florida, that’s known as more of the conservative of the regions of the Episcopal Church. I would compare that to San Francisco, or Washington, or Los Angeles. In what sense are you really part of one church at this point?

Conger: We’re not part of one church in the sense that I could not function”¦ A priest from, say, San Francisco who was a gay man or had been divorced and remarried, for example, could not come to where I am near Orlando and function as an Episcopal Priest. I could not get a job or license because of my theological views in many parts of the Episcopal Church. There is no interchangeability of clergy. It’s become Balkanized along doctrinal and theological views.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Windsor Report / Process

Jane Gross: How to Make a Better Sandwich

Among women caring for their parents, none face the rock-and-a-hard-place choices of those in the so-called sandwich generation. Now, a new analysis estimates that there are 20 million Americans ”” the vast majority of them mothers ”” who are juggling responsibilities for their own children and their aging parents at the same time.

The analysis, commissioned by two companies, Christian Companion Senior Care and Presto Services Inc., both selling services to this group, found that 53 percent of those in the sandwich generation feel forced to choose ”” at least once a week ”” between being there for their children or being there for their ailing parents. One in five say they make that painful choice every single day.

So what’s a double-duty caregiver to do? We asked that question of Jeannie Keenan, a registered nurse and vice president at My Health Care Manager in Indianapolis. The company is one of a growing number of for-profit companies that provide case managers to families caught in this thicket. It does not employ home care aides or other care providers but, rather, hooks clients up to available services through a national network of affiliates.

Ms. Keenan said that the biggest mistake adult children make in this situation is trying to segregate their dual responsibilities.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family

Stories of encouragement from the Missionary Diocese of Tasmania

Very interesting material–click on any number in the list (on the right) and you can read about it.

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

The Bishop of Barking offers some Reflections on Lambeth 2008

What emerged through the listening and reflective process could not have been predicted at the outset of the Conference. In spite of the absence of approximately 200 Gafcon Bishops the centre of gravity of the conference settled in a ”˜traditionalist’ position with regard to interpretation of Scripture and a desire to find a covenantal expression of Anglicanism. This was also the quiet and consistent lead given by the Archbishop.

What this means is:

1. The communion retains Lambeth 1:10 in its entirety with a call to do more effective listening to the different positions with regard to human sexuality.
2. We shall press ahead with improving the St Andrew’s Draft of the Anglican Covenant.
3. ”˜There is widespread support’ for the three moratoria of the Windsor Process.
4. ”˜There is a clear majority support for a pastoral forum along the lines advocated by the Windsor continuation group and a desire to see it in place speedily’

Read it all.

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

Reflecting on a "blogging" Lambeth

Bishop [Sue] Moxley liked blogging so much she’s considering keeping one up full-time. “It was a good experience,” she said. “It meant that I had that time to reflect on what went on in that day.” During the busy conference schedule this meant blogging late at night, after others had gone to bed and before morning prayer at 6:30 a.m.

But what to blog about? Most bishops were writing to keep in touch with their dioceses and the details of the jam-packed conference were enough to keep them busy, including stories from the Eucharists, encounters with Archbishop Williams, and the best place to get a latte in Canterbury.

Some topics were more sensitive to blog about, however: not only the current tensions over homosexuality within the Anglican Communion, but personal details that bishops shared in discussion, including stories of persecution in their home countries.

“There was an agreement in my Bible study and indaba [mid-sized discussion] group that people would not share stories that people said could not be shared,” said Bishop Moxley. She also said she trod carefully around more volatile topics: “My strategy was to have [my blog audience] get a sense of what the day was like and the kind of topics we were dealing with, rather than give my own viewpoint on what should and should not have been said.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Lambeth 2008