Daily Archives: September 11, 2008

Daisy Khan: Sarah Palin Must Shift from Parochial Religion to Universal Politics

In many respects, Sarah Palin represents the best of our great country. As mother of five and executive leader, star athlete and beauty pageant champion, secular politician and religious devotee, Palin has successfully molded herself into a complex and multifaceted embodiment of the United States of America, a small-town PTA activist turned populist national reformer living the American dream. Arguably, she mirrors Barack Obama in this sense, a similarly profound – and ostensibly paradoxical – picture of America, its people, promise and hope. While Palin and Obama may share little in common politically, they both personify a momentous shift in this country against an intransigent status quo, as well as the historic de-relegation of women and African-Americans to the fringes of national politics.

In spite of Palin’s undeniable appeal to many Americans, it is the convergence of these latter qualities – secular politician and religious devotee – that has left many of us scratching our heads in recent days. To what extent will her own unique religious experiences and convictions – or more to the point, her experiences and convictions within the context of a parochial Evangelical Christian milieu – drive her political policies, which could then determine our country’s actions in diverse contexts like the Iraq War or Alaska pipeline? Will Palin’s political choices reflect her personal religious beliefs, beliefs the vast majority of Americans do not share? Will she subject her executive decision-making and the country’s – and globe’s – well-being to these particular faith-based opinions? And most importantly, as a national leader, will she demonstrate the ability to set aside these beliefs in order to represent all Americans – including those who do not share her own faith background – and forge broad coalitions?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

Nation marks 7th anniversary of terror attacks

The nation paused Thursday to mark the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a heartfelt ceremony at the World Trade Center site, the dedication of a memorial at the Pentagon and a planned visit to ground zero by the presidential candidates.

Relatives of victims killed at the World Trade Center gathered in lower Manhattan for readings from dignitaries and a recitation of the names of the dead. Later Thursday, Barack Obama and John McCain were due at ground zero to pay silent respects.

“Today marks the seventh anniversary of the day our world was broken,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the start of the ceremony, calling Sept. 11, 2001, a “day that began like any other and ended as none ever has.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Terrorism

The Bishop of Buckingham's Blog– Post-Christendom: rafts or trawlers?

Steve Hollinghurst works for Church Army in Sheffield, researching the cultures of people who don’t go to Church in the UK. He came to our local Deanery Synod last night with simple facts and figures about post-Christendom England.

It’s an immensely fluid and complex picture out there. Fewer people buy into institutional church and the whole “Christian England” thing. Denominations are a thing of the past ”” a phase we went through, that means nothing to most people now. We are also globalizing massively.

Read the whole thing.

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

Lambeth cease-fire ”˜collapses’ in New Westminster

The Lambeth ceasefire has collapsed in Canada after the Diocese of New Westminster moved to reassert “control” over two conservative congregations who had broken with Bishop Michael Ingham to join the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC).

On Aug 26 the Dean and Chancellor of New Westminster, acting on behalf of the vacationing Bishop Ingham, invoked the Canadian Church’s Canon 15 and sought to dismiss the wardens and parochial trustees of two parishes: St Matthew’s Abbotsford and St Matthias & St Luke in Vancouver, replacing them with nominees loyal to the diocese.

The diocese had taken these steps “to remove clergy who have left the Anglican Church of Canada rather than accepting the decisions of its local and national governing bodies,” a press statement said.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Lambeth 2008, Windsor Report / Process

The Archbishop of Canterbury meets with Chief Rabbis of Israel

The third meeting of the Chief Rabbis of Israel and the Archbishop of Canterbury was held on 9th September 2008/9th Elul 5768, fulfilling the provisions of the Joint Declaration signed by them on 5th September 2006/12th Elul 5766.

The Most Revd Dr Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger of Israel met in Lambeth Palace. The Chief Rabbis were supported by Mr Oded Wiener, Director General of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, whilst the Archbishop was supported by the Rt Revd Michael Jackson, Bishop of Clogher and Co-Chair of the Anglican Jewish Commission, and the Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem.
“We feel keenly the absence of Rabbi David Rosen who was not able to be present because of a family bereavement and express our condolences and prayers for him, his wife and their family. We also wish to acknowledge, with gratitude, the work of Canon Guy Wilkinson who has supported our meetings and those of our Anglican Jewish Commission since their inception.

“We are encouraged by the further steps we have taken, under God, to build up the trust and mutual understanding that have characterised our encounter. We have heard from members of our Anglican Jewish Commission of the special relationship that has developed in their meetings and received with gratitude the report of their work on the holiness of person, place and time. The Commission’s meeting in Canterbury this year during the Lambeth Conference gave it a special character. We were delighted to hear of the warm appreciation shown by the bishops of the Anglican Communion and their spouses for the address on the theme of “Covenant” by Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth ”“ an historic address as the first by a Chief Rabbi to the decennial Lambeth Conference.

Read the whole statement.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Other Faiths

George Carey: It isn't racist to want a cap on immigration

The Church’s response to immigration in recent years has drawn heavily upon the call to welcome and treat the stranger as if you have Christ in your midst. This is absolutely right, yet we also have to question whether the unprecedented levels of immigration that we are now seeing can truly contribute to the “common good” – another theme the churches have emphasised in their teaching on social justice.

The facts are simple. Immigration has tripled in the past ten years. The Government predicts that, over the next 25 years, immigration will add seven million to the population of England – seven times the present population of Birmingham.

For years it has been impossible to question the wisdom of large-scale immigration without being branded a “racist”. This lack of respect for others’ views has suffocated healthy debate while providing grist for extremists. Many people ask: “Who is listening to our concerns?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

New style guide helps journalists get to grips with Bible

A new reference tool to help journalists and broadcasters get up to speed on biblical issues has been released by Bible Society.

The Bible Style Guide is an 80-page book packed with facts, figures, explanations and overviews to help media professionals report Bible stories with confidence.

It answers basic journalistic questions such as the number of books in the Bible and how Christians deal with violent texts in the Bible.

It also has a 20-page glossary of biblical terms and ideas going from Abraham to Zionism, taking in creation, Judgement Day and Satan on the way. As well as tackling controversial issues, the style guide also includes terms that are often misunderstood.

With the Bible increasingly cropping up in headlines, from the Anglican Church’s homosexuality rows to Kate McCann’s Bible being investigated by police, and with its contents discussed, dissected and debated on a weekly basis, the style guide will be a vital tool for those in the media industry, said Bible Society.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Canadian bishops to ponder implications of 'next steps' after Lambeth

The three primates ”“ Archbishop Hiltz, Archbishop de Andrade, and Bishop Jefferts Schori ”“ have repeatedly asked Archbishop Venables to stop meddling in the internal affairs of their provinces. Archbishop Venables has, on his own accord, been providing episcopal oversight to churches that are in serious theological dispute with their respective provinces over the issue of sexuality. Archbishop Williams has said he will do his best to facilitate the request.

In an interview, Archbishop Hiltz said the Canadian bishops will have “a very focused conversation” around how they understand the call for moratoria. He said there are conflicting interpretations on what the moratorium means, with some thinking it means not having any new blessings, and some interpreting it as retroactive, which would require a synod like New Westminster to rescind its 2002 motion that allowed same-sex blessings in their diocese. He added that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent letter to bishops about the moratoria was also “significant.” Archbishop Williams had acknowledged that, while the call for moratoria received support from “a strong majority” at the conference, he was nonetheless aware of the “conscientious difficulties this posed for some.”

Archbishop Hiltz said that the diocesan bishop of New Westminster, Michael Ingham, “rightly pointed out that it’s not for him to rescind the motion; the synod has to debate the issue.” The primate said that he’d be “very surprised if they rescind that motion.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Lambeth 2008

Kendall Harmon: Number 343

On Monday this week, the last of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11th was buried. Because no remains of Michael Ragusa, age 29, of Engine Company 279, were found and identified, his family placed in his coffin a very small vial of his blood, donated years ago to a bone-marrow clinic. At the funeral service Michael’s mother Dee read an excerpt from her son’s diary on the occasion of the death of a colleague. “It is always sad and tragic when a fellow firefighter dies,” Michael Ragusa wrote, “especially when he is young and had everything to live for.” Indeed. And what a sobering reminder of how many died and the awful circumstances in which they perished that it took until this week to bury the last one.

So here is to the clergy, the ministers, rabbis, imams and others, who have done all these burials and sought to help all these grieving families. And here is to the families who lost loved ones and had to cope with burials in which sometimes they didn’t even have remains of the one who died. And here, too, is to the remarkable ministry of the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, who played every single service for all 343 firefighters who lost their lives. The Society chose not to end any service at which they played with an up-tempo march until the last firefighter was buried.

On Monday, in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, the Society therefore played “Garry Owen” and “Atholl Highlander,” for the first time since 9/11 as the last firefighter killed on that day was laid in the earth. On the two year anniversary here is to New York, wounded and more sober, but ever hopeful and still marching.

First published on this blog September 11, 2003

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Terrorism

Ground zero worker honors brother lost in 9/11

Watch it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Terrorism

May We Never Forget–Seven Years Ago Today

This is a long download but an important file to take the time to listen to and watch. There are a few pieces I would have wished to do differently in terms of the choices for specific content, but the actual footage and the music is valuable.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Terrorism

Report from the Ft. Worth Bishop and Standing Committee concerning the Southern Cone

A resolution adopted by the 25th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth requested “that the Bishop and Standing Committee prepare a report for this diocese on the constitutional and canonical implications and means” of becoming a member diocese of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. Two preliminary reports* have been made ”“ one on January 9, 2008, and another on February 12, 2008 ”“ and both should be reviewed at this time, for they are an integral part of the recommendation we are making to the 26th Annual Diocesan Convention.

After months of prayerful discernment and extensive consultation with others, both within our own diocese and beyond, we have come to the following conclusion. We recommend that this Diocese affiliate with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone as a member diocese, on a temporary, pastoral basis, until such time as an orthodox Province of the Anglican Communion can be established in North America.

We have been in conversation about this matter with the Committee on Constitution and Canons, and they will be presenting to Convention the necessary changes to our constitution and canons to enact this realignment.

We pray for God’s grace to uphold and guide us in the days ahead and for the Holy Spirit to continue to inspire us “with the spirit of truth, unity and concord” as we seek to serve and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

Presented by
The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

Thomas Pink: The toils of ecumenism – a new doctrine or an old policy?

The tendency within the leadership of post-conciliar English Catholicism has been to treat the commitment to ecumenism with Canterbury, not as some provisional and debatable ecclesial policy, but as if it were some direct mandate of the divine will. To express doubt or scepticism about this commitment is be regarded in some quarters as displaying a quasi-Lefebvrist disregard for the teaching of the magisterium – to prove oneself no better than a Hans Kung, but of the right.

And in the meantime almost every element that has historically separated English Catholics from the bulk of Anglicans, in school catechesis and doctrinal instruction, in liturgy and in spiritual devotions, has been systematically weakened and undermined from within. A grand process of de-Catholicization has been attempted – to make it come to be true, as it clearly was not true before, that there really is a substantial unity of belief and practice between Catholic and Anglican. In very many parishes the sacrament of penance has been downplayed, the status and dignity of the priesthood diminished, liturgy in its style and outward form substantially Protestantized, the reality of Purgatory ignored, the cult of Mary and the saints reduced and sidelined, the plain teaching of the natural law unasserted.

Seminarians training for the priesthood were carefully educated into the ”˜new ways of the Council’, as interpreted in England. Any interest in Catholic tradition deemed ”˜excessive’ – and it would not take much to count as ”˜excessive’ – and the seminarian would be dismissed as unsuitable. Meanwhile their ecclesiastical superiors lamented the supposed cost to vocations of Rome’s insistence on celibacy and some, even from among the bishops, called openly for married priests (’like our Anglican brothers and sisters’). The obsession with building ecumenical bridges with Anglicanism and adopting Anglican ecclesial models – what we might call Roman Anglicanism – has gone right to the top of English Catholicism, and was by no means ended by the Church of England’s ordination of women. It has not been unknown for a Catholic bishop to tolerate his local Anglican ”˜brother’ being prayed for as a bishop along with the Pope and his own self in the Eucharistic Prayer. (It is not hard to guess at the implications of all this for the real beliefs of some senior English Catholics on questions to do with Anglican and with female orders.) When Dominus Iesus was issued, dislike of the declaration was evident at high levels within the bishops’ conference.

What has been the ecumenical outcome? Still no closer to actual reunion – but instead the greatest meltdown in Catholic membership and practice in England since the Reformation….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

David Yount: Does faith in ourselves compete with our faith in God?

Early in 19th century America, disputing the religious dogmatism of the Puritans, Ralph Waldo Emerson preached that “it is by yourself without ambassador that God speaks to you… It is God in you that responds to God without.”

With notable exceptions, this is now the faith of most Americans. It is a private religious faith — vague, incommunicable, sentimental, unanchored by Scripture, creed, or doctrine, and buttressed only by the latest personal revelation. To be sure, God is not dead, as naysayers claimed in the 1960s. Nevertheless, he has been marginalized and domesticated by individual believers.

How did this come to pass?

Read it all.

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

Seven years in, No Child Left Behind gets poor marks

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education