Daily Archives: March 28, 2010

Sunday Times–It’s over: MPs say the special relationship with US is dead

BRITAIN’S special relationship with the US ”” forged by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in the second world war ”” no longer exists, says a committee of influential MPs.

Instead, America’s relationship with Britain is no more special than with its other main allies, according to a report by the Commons foreign affairs committee published today.

The report also warns that the perception of the UK after the Iraq war as America’s “subservient poodle” has been highly damaging to Britain’s reputation and interests around the world. The MPs conclude that British prime ministers have to learn to be less deferential to US presidents and be “willing to say no” to America.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., England / UK, Foreign Relations

Britain is persecuting Christians, say Anglican bishops

Christians in Britain are being persecuted and “treated with disrespect”, senior bishops have said.

Six prominent bishops and Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, describe the “discrimination” against churchgoers as “unacceptable in a civilised society”.

In a thinly-veiled attack on Labour, they claim that traditional beliefs on issues such as marriage are no longer being upheld and call on the major parties to address the issue in the run-up to the general election.

In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, the bishops express their deep disquiet at the double standards of public sector employers, claiming that Christians are punished while followers of other faiths are treated far more sensitively.

Read it all.

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

Letter to Sunday Telegraph: The religious rights of Christians are treated with disrespect

This is yet another case in which the religious rights of the Christian community are being treated with disrespect. We are deeply concerned at the apparent discrimination shown against Christians and we call on the Government to remedy this serious development.

In a number of cases, Christian beliefs on marriage, conscience and worship are simply not being upheld. There have been numerous dismissals of practising Christians from employment for reasons that are unacceptable in a civilised country. We believe that the major parties need to address this issue in the coming general election.

The cross is ubiquitous in Christian devotion from the earliest times and clearly the most easily recognisable Christian symbol. For many Christians, wearing a cross is an important expression of their Christian faith and they would feel bereft if, for some unjustifiable reason, they were not allowed to wear it. To be asked by an employer to remove or “hide” the cross, is asking the Christian to hide their faith.

Read it all and note the signatories.

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

The Vestry and Parish of Saint Andrew's, Mount Pleasant Votes Overwhelmingly to depart TEC

From here:

This morning at 7.15 am the Vestry of St. Andrew’s Church ~ Mt. Pleasant met and unanimously passed the following resolution:

RESOLVED that the resolution unanimously adopted by the Vestry on March 28, 2010 for this church corporation, parish, and congregation to withdraw from and sever all ties with The Episcopal Church in the United States and to transfer its canonical residence to the Anglican Church in North America or another province of the worldwide Anglican Communion be ratified by the members of this church corporation.

The Parish then met in a Special Meeting at 12.15 pm for the purpose of ratifying and concurring with this decision of the Vestry to withdraw from The Episcopal Church.

Read the whole blog entry from rector Steve Wood.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

Some States Find Burdens in Health Law

Because of the new health care law, Arizona lawmakers must now find a way to maintain insurance coverage for 350,000 children and adults that they slashed just last week to help close a $2.6 billion budget deficit.

Louisiana officials say a reduction in federal money to hospitals that treat the uninsured under the bill could be a death knell for their state-run charity hospital system.

In California, policymakers estimate they will have to come up with an additional $500 million a year to make necessary increases in payments to Medicaid providers.

Across the country, state officials are wading through the minutiae of the health care overhaul to understand just how their governments will be affected. Even with much still to be digested, it is clear the law may be as much of a burden to some state budgets as it is a boon to uninsured consumers.

States with the largest uninsured populations, like Texas and California, might be considered by its backers the biggest winners to emerge from the law, because so many additional residents will have access to health insurance. But because those states are being required to significantly expand their Medicaid programs, they are precisely the ones that will face the biggest financial strains, in many cases magnified by existing budget shortfalls.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Politics in General, State Government, The 2010 Obama Administration Health Care Bill

Christian Post: South Carolina Diocese Engages in 'Battle' with Episcopal Church

Though the Diocese of South Carolina remains affiliated with The Episcopal Church, the two are waging a battle over Scripture and polity.

South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence was not hesitant this week to express his continuing frustrations with the national church body’s “false gospel” and ongoing pursuit of litigations.

“The distractions that come from the decisions others have made within The Episcopal Church have created restlessness in my spirit,” he said at the diocese’s 219th annual convention which concluded Friday.

“Like those in the Church at Corinth with whom St. Paul was confronted, many within the leadership of The Episcopal Church have grown willful,” he lamented. “They will have their way though it is contrary to the received teaching of God’s Holy Word, the trustworthy traditions of the Christian Faith, and the expressed will of the Anglican Communion.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

AP:Ex-coach Tony Dungy shares message with prisoners

Columbia, South Carolina–Tony Dungy stood before more than 1,700 prisoners Tuesday, sharing a smile and message of hope that has become his life’s work.

The former NFL championship coach said he recently visited an inmate in Florida that he had ministered to nearly 10 years ago. The prisoner thanked Dungy for changing his mental and spiritual outlook.

“That,” Dungy said, “was a bigger thrill for me than winning the Super Bowl.”

Somehow wonderfully appropriate on Holy Week. Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sports

A Prayer for Palm Sunday

As on this day we keep the special memory of our Redeemer’s entry into the city, so grant, O Lord, that now and ever he may triumph in our hearts. Let the King of grace and glory enter in, and let us lay ourselves and all we are in full and joyful homage before him; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!

–Psalm 24:7-10

Posted in Uncategorized

Avvenire: New York Times Contradicts Itself on the Wisconsin sexual abuse story

This is the conclusion of an analysis by Riccardo Cascioli that appeared in today’s edition of Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian episcopal conference.

According to The New York Times, “top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not laicize a priest who had molested some 200 deaf boys, despite the fact that several American bishops repeatedly warned that the lack of decisive action in the matter could embarrass the Church.”

“In reality, in fact, the whole documentation published by The New York Times on its site, contradicts this tendentious reading of facts regarding Father Lawrence Murphy, between 1950 and 1974, chaplain in a school for the deaf of the Diocese of Milwaukee,” Cascioli clarified.

He added: “In fact, the documents state that the only ones to be concerned with the evil done by Father Murphy were top officials of the American diocese and of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while the civil authorities filed the case.

“In particular the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, entrusted with the issue only between 1996 and 1997, gave procedural indications in dealing with Father Murphy despite the distance of time of events which constituted an impediment to the norm of Canon Law.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

New Chelmsford Bishop is Essex born and bred

The Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Reading, will take up the post officially in the autumn.

But on Monday he came to the county town to introduce himself.

He said: “I knew about six or seven weeks ago, but it was surrounded by secrecy.

“I was born and brought up in Essex and although I have not lived here since I was 18, I think of it as home.”

“I am looking forward to returning to this large and richly diverse diocese and excited by the challenges that lie ahead.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

A WSJ Editorial: The Writedowns on the New Healthcare Bill Begin to Roll In

It’s been a banner week for Democrats: ObamaCare passed Congress in its final form on Thursday night, and the returns are already rolling in. Yesterday AT&T announced that it will be forced to make a $1 billion writedown due solely to the health bill, in what has become a wave of such corporate losses.

This wholesale destruction of wealth and capital came with more than ample warning. Turning over every couch cushion to make their new entitlement look affordable under Beltway accounting rules, Democrats decided to raise taxes on companies that do the public service of offering prescription drug benefits to their retirees instead of dumping them into Medicare. We and others warned this would lead to AT&T-like results, but like so many other ObamaCare objections Democrats waved them off as self-serving or “political.”

Perhaps that explains why the Administration is now so touchy. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog to write that while ObamaCare is great for business, “In the last few days, though, we have seen a couple of companies imply that reform will raise costs for them.” In a Thursday interview on CNBC, Mr. Locke said “for them to come out, I think is premature and irresponsible….”

On top of AT&T’s $1 billion, the writedown wave so far includes Deere & Co., $150 million; Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million. Verizon has also warned its employees about its new higher health-care costs, and there will be many more in the coming days and weeks….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The U.S. Government