Daily Archives: November 6, 2008

ICSC: OCTOBER CHAIN STORE SALES WERE THE WORST SEEN IN 35 YEARS

What a nasty headline that is. ICSC is the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Notable and Quotable

Voters in U.S. 2008 presidential election: c. 131 million
Total voters in all U.S. pres. elections, 1788-1908: c. 137 million

From the Progressive Policy Institute

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Charleston's front porch

Charleston has a special place in the heart of president-elect Barack Obama, as anyone who heard his victory speech Tuesday night could tell.

“Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and on the front porches of Charleston,” he told the crowd of 1 million gathered at Chicago’s Grant Park and millions more watching at home.

Obama spent a warm spring day on one of Charleston’s most handsome porches during a campaign stop in April 2007.

Read it all. It really is a wonderful city in numerous ways. Those of you who have yet to visit, you need to put it on your “some day in the future” list–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Travel, US Presidential Election 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury on the US election

‘It’s been an amazing demonstration of the vitality of the democratic process. A record turnout. And the sense therefore that the issues in the election, the issues about the outgoing American administration, have actually stirred the moral imagination of the United States in ways that people didn’t expect. Given the sort of turnout that we have in British elections it would be quite nice to have an election one of these days that stirred our imagination to that extent.’

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Archbishop of Canterbury, US Presidential Election 2008

African-American Baptists Reflect on Obama’s Historic Victory

In light of Barack Obama’s victory in Tuesday’s presidential election, many people are considering what his election might mean for race relations in America. Reflections from several African-American Baptist ministers suggest that although they see Obama’s election as an important moment, it must be just one step on a longer road toward racial reconciliation.

“The election of Barack is the beginning of a movement toward the unification of a nation and the pulling down of religious, political and social divides that have poisoned the very fabric of our nation,” said William Buchanan, pastor of Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn.

“Emotion coursed through my being at the announcement that Barack Obama had become the new president-elect of the United States,” Buchanan told EthicsDaily.com. “The moment was surreal for me, a 61-year-old African-American, who, as a young man in Georgia, witnessed the displacement of my family because of my father’s civic involvement in voter registration for the ”˜Negro.’”

Read it all.

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

FCC approves 'white space' technology that worries megachurches

The Federal Communications Commission has decided to grant Google, Motorola, Dell and Microsoft permission to develop “white space” devices that megachurch pastors worry will interfere with their wireless mics.

The “white space” devices would use the same radio frequency that wireless microphones use, which means that pastors who use wireless microphones could have their sermons interrupted. Companies like Google and Microsoft want to use the frequencies to send broadband Internet to remote areas of the country.

In a statement issued Tuesday (Nov. 4), the FCC promised to “act promptly to remove from the market any equipment found to be causing harmful interference and will require the responsible parties to take appropriate actions to remedy any interference that may occur.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

NY Times Politics Blog: Roman Catholics Turned to the Democrat

As a result, the Democratic Party, including Senator Barack Obama, focused heavily on outreach to religious voters, including white evangelicals who voted overwhelmingly for President Bush, and talked more openly than ever before about faith.

So did all the God-talk pay off?

The verdict appears to be mixed, but Mr. Obama does appear to have scored some significant victories, especially among Roman Catholics, according to nationwide surveys of voters leaving the polls on Tuesday and telephone interviews of some people who had voted early.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, US Presidential Election 2008

Assisted suicide debate will shift to B.C. after Washington State's vote

Washington state’s dramatic Election Day vote to decriminalize assisted suicide – which on Wednesday was drawing media attention around the world – means the debate can no longer be avoided in Canada, especially B.C.

One of the few things that both opponents and advocates of euthanasia for the terminally ill agree on is that it is time to expose this emotion-charged issue to the full light of day.

With the so-called “Death with Dignity” bill receiving the support of three out of five voters, Washington joins Oregon as the only American states to legalize assisted suicide in certain conditions. The Pacific Northwest states enter the company of the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry

Washington State Voters approve assisted suicide initiative

Voters approved Initiative 1000 on Tuesday, making Washington the second state to give terminally ill people the option of medically assisted suicide.

The ballot measure, patterned after Oregon’s “Death with Dignity” law, allows a terminally ill person to be prescribed lethal medication, which would be self-administered.

With about 43 percent of the expected vote counted Tuesday in unofficial returns, I-1000 was being approved by a margin of about 58 percent to about 42 percent.

Supporters, led publicly by Democratic former Gov. Booth Gardner, said the initiative would provide a compassionate way for terminally ill people to die.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Politics in General

The Statement from the Primates and Standing Committee of CAPA

We reflected and agonized about the pain that had characterized our efforts to uphold the Anglican Communion in good stead; the events of Lambeth 1998, the Primates meeting of Dromantine 2005 and Dar-es-Salaam 2007. We thanked God for sustaining us with courage to stand up for the historic and apostolic Christian faith as revealed in the Scriptures. We were particularly thankful for the organs that have mobilized us and kept us focused and engaged around the issues that have plagued the Anglican Communion. CAPA and the Global South were appreciated and Archbishop John Chew who was at the meeting was recognized with deep warmth of Christian love. He warmed up the meeting with the presentation of copies of the Catechism, a product of the Global South. The commitment of the Global South to resource the Communion was underlined by Archbishop Chew and applauded by the meeting. His call for sustained engagement by the Global South with the process of the Anglican Covenant was supported. We further shared our experiences of both GAFCON and Lambeth; and the statements emanating from the two meetings were shared. Those at Lambeth shared how the absence of some of the CAPA Members was acutely felt. They commended the Indaba framework, it provided space for intense and deep conversations guided by Scriptural readings, and they were particularly encouraged by confessions of discomfort by some Bishops from USA and Canada with the persistent undermining of the authority of Scripture by some of their colleagues. Participants from the CAPA family also appreciated the opportunity for fellowship and witness at the Lambeth; the Archbishop of Sudan was particularly commended for his statement. The Lambeth Conference Walk of Witness, which symbolized the Church’s commitment to improving the quality of life of God’s people through the MDGs’ framework and the multicultural worship that permeated the meeting were noted as some of the highlights at Lambeth. The Lambeth Conference, it was highlighted, did not make any resolutions but offered the Anglican Covenant as one the means forward. The GAFCON, it was reported, was a great time of fellowship and spiritual blessings. The Jerusalem venue and the excursions were appreciated by participants as they deepened the reflections, ”˜It was like walking through the Bible Events physically’…

Read it all.

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

Pope Congratulates Obama on 'Historic' Election

Barack Obama may not have been the Catholic hierarchy’s favored candidate in the U.S. presidential race because of his support for abortion rights, but the Vatican on Wednesday (Nov. 5) hailed his election as a “choice that unites.”

“America…is truly the country where everything can happen,” said a front-page editorial in the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. “America is truly the country of the new frontier … able to overcome fractures and divisions that until only recently could seem incurable.”

The article, written by Giuseppe Fiorentino, appeared next to a full-color photo of the Obama family.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, US Presidential Election 2008

John Green of Pew looks at the effect of religion on the election

John Green is is senior fellow for religion and American Politics for the Pew Center and one of the absolute top analysts of how religion affects American politics. Less than 9 hours after his first look at the exit poll data late late Tuesday night, he was back on the phone talking to reporters. Iron man!

His take: Comparing the 2004 election to 2008, the biggest shifts were in turnout of blacks, Hispanics and other minorities, and the margins of support for Obama versus Kerry. Ditto about younger voters. So while the exit polls do show shifts within various religious divisions, those changes may be tied directly to those changes in cultural/age/race voting. For instance, younger voters tend to lean to the Democrats, even within otherwise Republican groups. So a modest shift in the white evangelical vote — 3-5% more voted for Obama compared with Kerry 2004 — might be tied more to a higher youth turnout rather than formerly GOP voters going for Obama.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

Time Magazine–Obama's Religious Appeal: Bringing (Some) Evangelicals In

Nationally, Obama captured 53% of the Catholic vote, a 13-point swing from 2004 and the largest advantage among the group for a Democrat since Bill Clinton. Obama also cut in half the Republican advantage among Protestants. And he made significant gains among regular worship attenders. Voters who attend religious services most frequently are still most likely to cast ballots for Republicans. But Obama won 44% of their votes, a 19-point shift in the category that, after the last presidential contest, inspired pundits to diagnose the existence of a “God gap.” Voters who worship at least once a month preferred Obama 53% to McCain’s 46%.

As in 2006, the least-religious Americans continue to reject the GOP in large numbers. Voters who say they visit houses of worship just a few times a year or not at all made up 44% of the electorate in this election. They gave Obama 59% and 68% of their votes, respectively; both totals represent double-digit increases from four years ago.

And yet despite the inroads Obama made with religious constituencies, there is one voting bloc that remains largely unmoved by Obamamania: white Evangelicals. One-quarter of them voted for Obama on Tuesday ”” despite a warning from conservative columnist Janet Porter that they could be risking their eternal souls by doing so ”” an improvement on John Kerry’s dismal showing in 2004. But against a candidate like McCain, who is famously disliked by many Evangelicals, in a campaign in which Democrats engaged in a record level of outreach to Evangelicals, and at a time when the Evangelical community is expanding its consciousness to focus on traditionally Democratic issues like the environment and poverty, this would have been the year for a real shift of support to take place.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

An ENS Story on the California marriage Vote Outcome Story

The day after the vote, Bishop Jim Mathes of San Diego said, “Whatever the final tally is, this reflects a pretty clear difference of opinion on this question and my sense is that difference of opinion is reflected in the Episcopal Church as well. This gives us reason to continue the very intentional conversation about matters of human sexuality, as long as we hold our opinions gently in this matter remember that we need each other to discern God’s heart in this part of our lives together.”

In a statement released November 5, Bishop Marc Andrus of the San Francisco-based Diocese of California said: “The recognition of the civil rights of lesbian, gay, transgendered and bisexual people is part of the broad shift in consciousness towards which we are moving. Same-sex marriage in California is an important vehicle in the on-going work of making sure all American citizens enjoy the same rights in civil society. This shift in consciousness, including same-sex marriage, is a move towards the good.”

Andrus added that he and “those of us committed to civil rights for all will simply continue to hope, and continue to work” for equality for all. “Perseverance, knowing that God continues to travel with those who are disenfranchised, is a path we know. I trust, however, that the great Californians with whom I live will continue their tradition of forging ahead towards what lies before our whole great country.”

The Rev. Susan Russell, President of Integrity USA, a support group for gay Episcopalians and friends, refused to comment specifically about Proposition 8 until the all provisional and absentee ballots had been counted. However, she said, “the church needs to think about how we respond to the reality of those whose lives and souls are entrusted to our care and ”¦ which side of history it wants to come down on in this matter.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Sexuality, TEC Bishops

Mayor Michael Bloomberg: NYC Income Tax Could Rise 15 Percent

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is going to cut the city work force by 3,000, but that’s just the beginning of the pain New Yorkers will feel as part of the fiscal crisis. A slew of new taxes are also on the agenda.

There will be 1,000 fewer cops, but the city will hire 200 more traffic agents to give out $60 million a year in new block-the-box tickets.

“The gravity of the budget situation requires us to propose both deep spending cuts and revenue increases,” Bloomberg said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General