Daily Archives: August 29, 2008

Naomi Schafer Riley–Defend the Orphan: An Age-Old Christian Lesson Gets a New Lease on Life

If John McCain is looking for a way to shore up his support among evangelical voters, he might start talking about adoption. In 1993, the McCains adopted a daughter from Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh, and the senator has co-sponsored legislation to aid adoption, including measures that would provide tax credits for expenses and would remove barriers to interracial and interethnic adoption. But his efforts are rarely mentioned on the campaign trail at a time when adoption is a hot topic in the evangelical community.

Earlier this month, Rick Warren, the best-selling author and pastor of the Saddleback megachurch in Lake Forest, Calif., asked both presidential candidates if they would consider some kind of emergency plan to help the 148 million orphans around the world, something along the lines of President Bush’s AIDS efforts. Both said yes, but a number of Christians and their organizations are not waiting for the next administration to act.

Russell Moore, the dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., is the author of a forthcoming book called “Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches.” A few years ago, Mr. Moore and his wife adopted two boys from Russia, and he notes that his church has posted a large map showing which countries member families have adopted children from. “In any given church,” he notes, “you rarely see only one family who has adopted. . . . It becomes part of the culture of the congregation.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

NBC: Popular Alaska governor to be first female Republican VP nominee

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has chosen Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, NBC News has learned.

She would be the first woman ever to serve on a Republican presidential ticket. The pro-life Palin would also be the first Alaskan ever to appear on a national ticket.

Palin, 44, was elected Alaska’s first woman governor in 2006. The state’s voters had grown weary of career politician Gov. Frank Murkowski, whom she defeated in the GOP primary.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

NBC, FOX and CNN all reporting it is Palin for VP

Posted in Uncategorized

”˜For richer for poorer’ most wanted by brides and grooms to be – Church of England

The challenge to listen to couples and respond proactively is revealed in an exclusive article in this week’s Church Times (dated 29th August), written by the Church of England’s marriage advisor, Sue Burridge.

“The Church is in a unique position. In its marriage preparation, it offers something couples cannot get in a hotel or stately home, and tries to demonstrate its care about not just the big day, but all the days afterwards,” underlines Sue in her article, which also discloses that 44 per cent of the general population agree the Church should support marriages before the wedding day (as well as after the day too). This is just one finding from new detailed research involving 411 engaged couples and 176 clergy in the Dioceses of Bradford and Oxford, as well as ordinands from two Cambridge theological colleges, and 1,800 brides-to-be at the National Wedding Shows.

The findings indicate that marriage preparation has had to change to meet the modern needs of couples who have perhaps spent several years together before the big day.

“When the researchers asked newly-weds about their church’s preparatory sessions,” Sue Burridge continues in the article, “they discovered a clear mismatch between what couples wanted and what was on offer. Many had already lived through the life lessons that the Church was eager to teach them, especially if, like most, they had lived together before marriage.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Marriage & Family

GAFCON Communiqué on the establishment of Primates Council and Fellowship

We maintain that three new facts of the Anglican Communion must be faced. We are past the time when they can be reversed.

First, some Anglicans have sanctified sinful practices and will continue to do so whatever others may think. Second, churches and even dioceses affected by this disobedience have rightly withdrawn fellowship while wishing to remain authentic Anglicans. So-called ”˜border-crossing’ is another way of describing the provision of recognition and care for those who have been faithful to the teachings of Holy Scripture. Third, there is widespread impaired and broken sacramental communion amongst Anglicans with far-reaching global implications. The hope that we may somehow return to the state of affairs before 2003 is an illusion.

Any sound strategy must accommodate itself to these facts.

GAFCON remains a gospel movement. It is far from saying that its membership are the only true Anglicans or the only gospel people in the Anglican Communion. We thank God that this is not the case. But the movement recognises the acute spiritual dangers of a compromised theology and aims to be a resource and inspiration for those who wish to defend and promote the biblical gospel.

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans will function as a means of sharing in this great task. We invite individuals, churches, dioceses, provinces and parachurch organisations who assent to the Jerusalem Declaration to signify their desire to become members of the Fellowship via the GAFCON web-site or written communication with the Secretariat. The Fellowship will develop networks, commissions and publications intended to defend and promote the biblical gospel in ways which support one another.

At the same time, the Council and its Advisory Board will seek to deal with the problems of those who have confessed the biblical faith in the face of hostility and found the need on grounds of conscience and in matters of great significance to break the normal bonds of fellowship in the name of the gospel. For the sake of the Anglican Communion this is an effort to bring order out of the chaos of the present time and to make sure as far as possible that some of the most faithful Anglican Christians are not lost to the Communion. It is expected that priority will be given to the possible formation of a province in North America for the Common Cause Partnership.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

McCain VP Pick Alaska Gov Sarah Palin, GOP Strategist Says -CNBC

Posted in Uncategorized

NBC News confirms Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty will not be John McCain's pick for Vice President

A headline crossing….I am impressed it has remained under raps for so long–KSH.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

NPR: How The Only Coup D'Etat In U.S. History Unfolded

Think of a coup d’etat and images of a far-flung banana republic likely come to mind. So it might come as a surprise that it happened here in the United States ”” just once, in 1898.

A mob of white supremacists armed with rifles and pistols marched on City Hall in Wilmington, N.C., on Nov. 10 and overthrew the elected local government, forcing both black and white officials to resign and running many out of town. The coup was the culmination of a race riot in which whites torched the offices of a black newspaper and killed a number of black residents. No one is sure how many African-Americans died that day, but some estimates say as many as 90 were killed.

“Some of the elderly African-Americans told my stepfather that the Cape Fear River was running red with blood,” Bertha Todd, a teacher, recalls in producer Alan Lipke’s documentary series, “Between Civil War and Civil Rights.”

Especially chilling was the fact that the insurgency had been carefully planned ”” a conspiracy by powerful white Democrats.

Read or better yet listen to it all. I happened to catch this via NPR’s story of the day podcast and thought it particularly important today given what happened last night. It is good to be reminded of how far we have come (even though there is much work still to do)–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Race/Race Relations

Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton's Statement on the Death Penalty

We applaud and praise Governor O’Malley’s moral courage to place a moratorium on state-sponsored executions in Maryland. We hope and pray that this commission will conclude that the death penalty should be abolished in this great state.

For decades, The Episcopal Church has voiced strong public opposition to capital punishment. Our essential question today is whether, without exception, the death penalty should be imposed on someone convicted of murdering another human being. Our unequivocal answer is “no.” The Christian faith is rooted in both testaments of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. In the Bible, we find that every human being is given life by God, and only God the righteous Judge has the right to deny life. Of course, we understand that the state must seek justice and prosecute wrongdoing, but we cannot condone a decision by the state to pronounce a sentence of death for wrongdoing—no matter how violent and brutal the crime of the perpetrator may have been. Because of our belief in a just and moral God, there is simply no moral justification for the state to execute a child of God in the name of justice.

The Episcopal Church has carefully studied the application of the death penalty in many states. Invariably, in each case, we have concluded that the death penalty is immoral, unjust and ineffective. It is immoral, first of all, because as Christians we are commanded to adhere to the ethics of Jesus who continually forbade violence as a means to solve problems that are caused by evil. Second, the death penalty is unjust because of the hugely disproportionate number of poor and black defendants who receive the death sentence. It is a sad truth that in our society, it is the wealthy are able to “buy” their way out of being executed by the state. As one prominent Episcopalian lawyer in Maryland told me recently, “true justice comes with a price tag—justice paid is justice won.” And third, the death penalty is ineffective in that it has never been shown to have deterred anyone from committing a violent crime, nor has it lowered the murder rate in any state that regularly executes its most violent criminals.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Same Sex Partnered clergy still hot topic – South African Archbishop

Division over homosexuality and women bishops does exist “across the spectrum” within the Anglican Church, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has said – but that is an indication of a church that is facing its challenges.

The archbishop, who returned from the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England, this month, said final decisions had not yet been made on contentious issues such as women clergy and the ordination of gay bishops, but they had been thoroughly discussed.

He acknowledged that there were divisions on these matters within all their dioceses across the world. However, it could not be seen as a split between liberals and conservatives as this was an “artificial divide”.

“The reality across the spectrum, not just in South Africa, is that some parts of the communion are wrestling with issues such as ordaining women bishops, which we have done for 12 years already.

“I don’t see this as a problem, but an indication of a church that is alive, and prepared to face the contextual realities and their challenges,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

In Sri Lanka Anglican bishop calls attention to civilians caught in crossfire between army and Tamil

In a statement Anglican Bishop Duleep de Chickera said that people in Vanni, an area in the Tamil Tiger-controlled north, are concerned about the situation of constant tension and are afraid that dangers might increase should there be an escalation in violence between the army and rebels fighting for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In the same statement he expressed his “solidarity and closeness” to a civilian population under severe distress by a “war that seems to have no end.”

“Unarmed and trapped in this war zone, large numbers of civilians, including children, are caught in an intense cross-fire,” he said. “Thousands are already displaced and can flee only to places of temporary safety,” he added.

The “situation faced by these civilians is even more desperate since they cannot act independently. They are under conflicting pressure from both sides for support [. . .] and fear reprisals if they do not. Their dilemma adds to their suffering. Their voice is silenced with the sound of guns, manipulation and propaganda.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Asia

LA Times: Texas delegate waited a lifetime for Obama's moment

Who can say for certain where the tears came from? There were the days picking cotton as a girl, her legs scratched and bleeding from the plants’ sharp spurs. There were the restaurants that wouldn’t take her order, the credit union that wouldn’t accept her application and, later, the swimming hole where her kids weren’t allowed to swim with the white children.

The barriers of segregation came down so gradually that Bertha Means never experienced an epiphany — one defining moment to celebrate freedom’s progress. But the African American great-grandmother and civil rights pioneer finally had that moment Thursday night a long way from her Texas home.

The 88-year-old delegate to the Democratic National Convention said she felt in her bones what Michelle Obama called “the current of history [meeting] this new tide of hope.” She found herself crying, uncharacteristically, first when she listened to the candidate’s wife’s speech Monday night. When Hillary Rodham Clinton moved to make Barack Obama the unanimous choice of the convention during the delegate roll call, tears again streamed down her face.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Race/Race Relations, US Presidential Election 2008

World's Largest Gold Refiner Runs Out of Krugerrands

Rand Refinery Ltd., the world’s largest gold refinery, ran out of South African Krugerrands after an “unusually large” order from a buyer in Switzerland.

The order was for 5,000 ounces and it will take until Sept. 3 for inventories to be replenished, said Johan Botha, a spokesman for Rand Refinery in Germiston, east of Johannesburg. He declined to identify the buyer…..

“A lot of people are worried about the dollar, they’re worried about inflation and now we have geopolitical risk with what’s happening in Russia,” said Mark O’Byrne, managing director of brokerage Gold and Silver Investments Ltd. in Dublin. O’Byrne said his company’s sales are up fourfold this year, heading for a record since its founding in 2003.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Saint John's Shaughnessy's Response to the Diocese of New Westminster invoking Canon 15

The Diocese of New Westminster (DNW) initiated action against St. Matthew’s Abbotsford and St. Matthias”‘St. Luke Vancouver on August 26th and is seeking to take over governance of the parishes. We are deeply disappointed by this action as it fails to recognize:

* repeated attempts by the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) parishes to seek dialogue before litigation;
* repeated statements from the Primate of Canada that any such action will damage the public witness of the church;
* repeated calls from the Anglican Communion to refrain from such hostile action.

Read it all.

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

Solange De Santis: A sense of perspective

Much of today’s building is relatively “modern,” about 600 years old, but its history began in 597 A.D. when St. Augustine at the behest of Pope Gregory the Great arrived with 40 monks, built a church and nurtured Christianity on the soil of Britain.

Canterbury became a significant stop on the pilgrim route to Rome, and in 1170 an event occurred that transformed it into a shrine. Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket was murdered by four knights acting, they thought, on the desires of King Henry II. Four years later, Henry himself, wearing sackcloth, was at the altar being beaten by monks as penance for the deed.

When the current archbishop (the 104th) led retreat and worship, he wasn’t far from the spot where one of his predecessors embodied a clash between spiritual and temporal power.

The conflicts roiling today’s Anglican Communion were present at the conference, but the most valuable contribution Canterbury and the cathedral brought was a sense of perspective. The disagreements are just as real and just as serious as they were 500 or 1000 years ago, but the church as the body of Christ survives and the physical places of Canterbury transmit an awareness that we who are alive today continue to tell the great story of humanity’s encounter with the divine. For Anglicans, for Episcopalians, it’s not a bad heritage to share.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Lambeth 2008