Daily Archives: June 12, 2009

Mousavi Claims to win Iranian election with 65% of vote, says close aide – wires

I would be skeptical until tomorrow and results are finalized with some confidence.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Iran, Middle East

Ahmadinejad claims victory after Iran's polling stations are kept open

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, Iran, Middle East

Erica Schwartz: Why Pay for Religious Schools When Charters Are Free?

The first Hebrew charter school opened in August 2007 in Broward County, Fla. The Ben Gamla Charter School “is not a religious school in any form,” explains its principal, Sharon Miller, “but a Hebrew-English public charter school” educating 585 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and a high school scheduled to open in 2010. This coming fall, a second Hebrew charter school, Hebrew Language Academy, will open its doors in Brooklyn, N.Y., offering a completely secularized dual-language curriculum committed to academic excellence and Hebrew-language proficiency.

Before the emergence of these charter schools, families interested in a Hebrew education had essentially two choices — a private Jewish day school, where the Hebrew language and a religious curriculum are an integral part of the day, or “Hebrew school,” an afternoon or Sunday program for children in public school or nonsectarian private school. A Hebrew charter school is neither of these. By law, it cannot teach religion, and yet it is more than an extracurricular program.

Are these schools drawing in new families who would otherwise never have received a Hebrew language and cultural education? Or are they offering an affordable but religiously diluted Jewish education to kids who would otherwise have gone to a Jewish day school? Are they a welcome development or a worrisome one?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Search to Begin for Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries

A special committee as well as the timeline and deadlines for the election of a successor to the Rt. Rev. George Packard as Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries was announced today by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Bishop Packard was elected by the House of Bishops in September 1999 and consecrated as Suffragan Bishop for the Armed Forces in 2000. He announced his intention to retire during the spring House of Bishops’ meeting in March.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Military / Armed Forces, TEC Bishops

ACNS: Major Anglican Ecumenical Report 'The Vision Before Us' is now Published

The Vision Before Us, subtitled ”˜The Kyoto Report of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations 2000-2008’, records the Commission’s work of maintaining an overview of the Anglican Communion’s engagement with Christians of other traditions, and of giving encouragement and advice to the ecumenical activities of the Communion and the Provinces.

Described by the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph, and former Anglican Director of Ecumenical Affairs, as ”˜a chocolate box of delights’, the book contains all the Resolutions of the Commission, along with its statements, papers, advice and other key texts. These include an extended study on Holy Orders in Ecumenical Dialogues and Guidelines on Ecumenical Participation in Ordinations. It details all the Communion’s bilateral and multilateral dialogues, as well as various regional developments, and the ecumenical dimensions of other areas of the Communion’s life.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Ecumenical Relations

Crowded Polls After Hard-Fought Iran Election

Standing in line to vote in a mosque polling station on Friday morning, Fatemah Moghaddasi left no doubt about who she was supporting in Iran’s presidential elections.

“We don’t want our country to be trapped in a no-hijab situation, with no discipline,” she said, clutching her black covering with one hand. “We will only accept Ahmadinejad.”

Ms. Moghaddasi was one of tens of millions of Iranians who crowded to the polls to take part in what is widely seen here as a referendum on the hard-line policies of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Turnout appeared to be extraordinarily high, with long lines forming outside some polling stations well before they opened at 8 a.m.

Read it all

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Iran, Middle East

USA Today: Employed see tough times, too

People who still have jobs are faring worse than at any time since the Great Depression, a USA TODAY analysis of employment data found. Furloughs, pay cuts and reduced hours are taking a toll on workers who so far have escaped job cuts.

The employed worked fewer hours in May ”” an average of just 33.1 hours a week ”” than at any time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began counting in 1964. Part-time work is at a record high. Overtime is at a record low.

The magnitude of job losses ”” 6 million jobs gone, a 9.4% unemployment rate ”” has overshadowed the groundbreaking nature of the nation’s employment troubles, especially the financial decline of those still working.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Coming out of retirement to Help Rebuild Cedar Rapids

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Aging / the Elderly

Government eroding process of democracy, says Bishop Abdulah

The government is eroding the process of democracy, one of the most well respected religious leaders in the country says.

Former head of the local Anglican Church, Bishop Clive Abdulah, made the comment following an address on “Morality and Integrity in Private and Public Affairs” to members of the Inter Religious Organisation (IRO) on Monday at the Maha Sabha’s St Augustine headquarters.

The remark was in response to a question on amendments proposed by the Government to the Integrity in Public Life Act, which many commentators say would make it more difficult for public office holders to be held accountable for their actions.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Caribbean, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Theology

AP: Prison seminary program gives inmates a second chance

The graduates patted each other’s backs, and nervously chatted with their families. Some sat quietly, meditating about their future while others wept.

It could have been a scene from any of the thousands of commencement ceremonies this year. But these graduates were convicted killers, rapists and drug dealers at Mississippi’s only maximum security prison.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Prison/Prison Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Edinburgh News: Brian Smith is expected to be chosen Scottish Primus

BISHOP of Edinburgh Rt Rev Brian Smith is expected to be chosen tomorrow as the new leader of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

He is the longest-serving of the church’s seven bishops and the favourite to be elected as Primus ”“ the equivalent of Archbishop ”“ in succession to Bishop of Glasgow Most Rev Dr Idris Jones, who is retiring after three years in the post.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Scottish Episcopal Church

Court upholds ruling on church property

St. Luke’s of the Mountains Anglican Church lost the court battle over its property this week when the San Diego-based Fourth District Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s ruling in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, stating its right to the land the church sits on and its buildings.

The ruling is the climax to a years-long battle between St. Luke’s and the diocese.

On one side is the 85-year-old St. Luke’s that on Feb. 13, 2006, disassociated itself with Episcopal Church USA and the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and aligned with the African Provence of Uganda in the Diocese of Luwero, with whom St. Luke’s has had a longtime relationship. The St. Luke’s split from the church in Los Angeles represents one of many disaffiliations across the state that made headlines earlier this year. At issue, among others, is the election of V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop elected in 2003 to serve as bishop of New Hampshire.

On the other side is the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, which as a result of St. Luke’s disaffiliation, sued St. Luke’s two months later in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging the church no longer had a right to use the property, based on a 1979 Episcopal Church law which makes all Episcopalian property the property of the diocese.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Meghan Daum: Why aren't women happy? Who knows?

Women, it seems, are bummed out these days.

A study released last month from the National Bureau of Economic Research and the University of Pennsylvania showed that even though men’s and women’s happiness levels have both gone down over the last few decades, women’s “subjective well-being” has declined “both absolutely and relatively to men.” The data came from a cross-section of ethnic and socioeconomic groups in several industrialized countries, and appeared to be big news primarily for one reason: When the same research was conducted in the 1970s, women reported higher levels of happiness than they do today.

Is that because feminism turned out to be a total dud? Or were women in the ’70s hypnotized into serenity by those yellow smiley faces? No one seems quite sure.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Women

New Westminster: No more new parishes may bless same sex couples others those already doing so

By a vote closer than expected, 142 to 123, Diocesan Synod decided to continue to affirm its decision in 2005 to ask the bishop to impose a moratorium on allowing additional parishes to have the rite performed in their churches.

The moratorium on allowing additional parishes to use the rite came as the national General Synod was considering the issue, and the Windsor Report, done by a group appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, had called for a moratorium on all such public rites.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Day 10 ”“ ANiC v Diocese of New Westminster ”“ June 10, 2009

[George Macintosh] said he didn’t think it was necessary for Mr. Justice Kelleher to determine the status of ANiC’s priests and bishops, except that, in his view, Bishop Harvey and Bishop Ferris and the priests are “very far from the worldwide Anglican Communion”. He quoted from the 2007 statement of the Council of General Synod which denied the legitimacy of the actions of the Southern Cone. He said a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the bishop of Brandon in February 2008, said he could not “support or sanction” cross border interventions and he only recognized “one ecclesial body in Canada”.

He said there was no canon of any body that permitted Bishop Venables to consecrate Bishop Harvey outside the Southern Cone and there is no jurisdiction for this to occur. “It is without precedent in the history of the Anglican world. I would submit the ACoC was correct when it called it invalid”, he said. He said Bishop Harvey was not invited to the Lambeth Conference in 2008 when every other bishop from Canada was invited and received communion from the Archbishop of Canterbury. He noted that Archbishop Venables did not receive communion at Lambeth 2008 and said the evidence did not clarify whether the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to give communion to him, or whether it was his decision to refuse it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues