Daily Archives: July 5, 2009

Roderick Strange: The virgin birth tells us about our preconceptions

Even though they acknowledged His wisdom and were in awe of the wonders He worked, they failed to recognise anything more.

Their preconceptions were too deeply ingrained. They thought they knew Him because they knew His trade and because they knew His family, but the man they thought they knew, they scarcely knew at all. Familiarity had not only bred contempt; it had made them blind.

We can learn from their mistake. Who am I taking for granted and misjudging? Which of my preconceptions have hardened into prejudice? Where is the goodness I am too lazy to notice?

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

The State: South Carolina must focus on crucial challenges, not Mark Sanford

The most important things we have to deal with are the same things we had to deal with before Mr. Sanford traipsed off to Argentina. And we must not allow Mr. Sanford’s troubles to distract us from those tasks.

It is entirely unclear at this point whether the governor will be able to play any sort of positive role in strengthening our economy. But that’s nothing new. Legislators have complained all year (some much longer) that he has done nothing to create or keep jobs in our state, and that the incessant efforts by his allies to badmouth our schools, combined with his own extremist approach to federal stimulus funding, have actually driven off economic development. And whatever hope there had been that the governor and the Legislature might work together on this or any other front in the coming year evaporated with Mr. Sanford’s petulant stance on the stimulus funds.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Politics in General, State Government

Episcopal Life Readers respond to opinion articles on proposed Anglican covenant

Here is an excerpt from one:

I would suggest that the writer step back for a moment, and realize that his facile and generalized volleys do little to promote advancement in mission and ministry, which is precisely what the proposed covenant attempts to do. His lack of connection with the story of Anglicanism through the years (yes, as haphazard and untidy as it has been), and his inability to see that mutual submission to one another just might bear a more godly discernment about mission and ministry than that which is myopically grounded in the so-called “freedom” of the Episcopal Church, does no service to anyone in the church.

There are some of us who are sincerely trying to see how we can move forward in what is “our” church too – the Episcopal Church. We are distressed by the blatant politicization which falls at the feet of such idols as “rights” and “social action and advocacy.” We are dismayed that those who do not fall in step with the “progressive” and “revisionist” agenda are marginalized more and more as time goes on. We sit in utter wonder that those who have left the Episcopal Church are demonized, and yet we who have stayed are discounted, disparaged, and counted as ignorant among the all-knowing elite.

The proposed Anglican covenant seeks a way to get beyond this toxic culture of mistrust and misuse of power. If honored, it will call for deeper reflection and humility from all sides. It is not about “enforcing unity”; it is about seeking the mind of God in all its evangelical and catholic fullness.

Read them all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC)

Damian Thompson: 'Repent!' Rochester Cries as Synod starts

No: Bishop Michael has his eyes on the General Synod, which is meeting in York next weekend. And, with fiendish cunning (his enemies would say) he has pulled the ultimate weapon out of his arsenal: the clear verdict of the Bible that homosexual acts are wrong, presented in the context of 2,000 unbroken years of Christian teaching.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

William Pesek: Don't bet on a China-led recovery

The omnipotent reputation many assign to leaders in Beijing is being challenged. Take this week’s internet fiasco. China postponed the deadline for personal-computer makers to include state-backed anti-pornography software on new PCs after US officials and business groups urged it to scrap the rule.

China is normally a model of implementation. The speed with which it builds state-of-the-art airports, high-speed rail lines and Olympic stadiums is impressive by any scale. Its censorship efforts were exactly the opposite: sloppy and ill-considered.

Economic-stimulus efforts appear to be benefiting from greater competence. That may be a boon for 1.3 billion Chinese trying to get a share of the nation’s growth. The benefits for those outside China are much more limited.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Economy, Globalization, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Matthew Parris: In the fog, remember: victory is impossible in Afghanistan

But put your eye to the other end of the telescope, step 40 paces back from the kinetic situation, and ask what it’s for. It’s to support the building of a secure, freestanding state in Afghanistan. This is not happening. The elections this summer cannot but return President Karzai, an arch survivor focused only on survival, in whom the world has already lost confidence and can have little reason for future hope. Mr Karzai’s paralysing chess game of alliances, stand-offs, jobs and favours does not represent a regrettable failure to do anything with the power he has won. It is the way he won it and the only way he can keep it.

Meanwhile, brute force can almost always hold its ground, and an American surge should bring a little more security. But for what? The ground may be cleared by guns, but there is no viable politics here waiting to occupy it. And until what? Until the Americans try to leave.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, War in Afghanistan

What a Wimbeldon Final

They are still playing in the fifth set–amazing. I turned on the BBC on the way home and caught live coverage and almost drove off the road.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Former NFL quarterback McNair killed in Tennessee

Former NFL quarterback Steve McNair and a woman were found shot to death Saturday inside a residence in Nashville, police said.

Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron confirmed that authorities were called to a condominium and found McNair and a woman shot to death inside. Aaron said police don’t yet know the circumstances of the shootings.

“I don’t have any answers for you now as to what’s happened, who’s responsible,” Aaron said.

Every day is precious and you never know what will transpire. Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Sports

YouTube Videos of the Gettysburg 75th Reunion

Terry Teachout went and found them–wow.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Military / Armed Forces

Remembering the Last Reunion Of Civil War Veterans

Commentator John McDonough recalls the last great reunion of Civil War veterans from the North and South. It took place July 3-5, 1938, on the 75th anniversary of Gettysburg ”” at Gettysburg, Pa. At the time, the whole country was almost painfully aware that the last living links to a decisive event were about to slip away.

Listen to it all from NPR.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Military / Armed Forces

Good Night

Many ways to say good night.

Fireworks at a pier on the Fourth of July
spell it with red wheels and yellow spokes.
They fizz in the air, touch the water and quit.
Rockets make a trajectory of gold-and-blue
and then go out.

Railroad trains at night spell with a smokestack mushrooming a white pillar.

Steamboats turn a curve in the Mississippi crying a baritone that crosses lowland cottonfields to razorback hill.

It is easy to spell good night.
Many ways to spell good night.

–Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

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

The Veterans avenue of flags in Reinbeck Iowa

A nice photo.

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