Daily Archives: April 1, 2010

Michael Yon in Afghanistan: Red Horse in the Desert of Death

Simply amazing pictures–read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, War in Afghanistan

An ENS Article on Saint Andrew's Departure from TEC

Check it out.

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

USA Today: USA fumes over politics

Seven months before the midterm elections, Americans seem disaffected about nearly everything political.

A majority disapprove of both political parties, their leaders and most members of Congress, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.

Attitudes are reminiscent of those in 1994 and 2006, when control of Congress switched from one party to the other.

The favorable rating for the Democratic Party has fallen to its lowest level since Gallup began asking the question in 1992 ””its standing has dropped 14 percentage points since President Obama’s election ”” but the Republican Party fares no better. Three of four Americans say they are dissatisfied with the country’s direction.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Politics in General, Psychology

Ross Douthat: A Time for Contrition for the Pope

In reality, the scandal implicates left and right alike. The permissive sexual culture that prevailed everywhere, seminaries included, during the silly season of the ’70s deserves a share of the blame, as does that era’s overemphasis on therapy. (Again and again, bishops relied on psychiatrists rather than common sense in deciding how to handle abusive clerics.) But it was the church’s conservative instincts ”” the insistence on institutional loyalty, obedience and the absolute authority of clerics ”” that allowed the abuse to spread unpunished.

What’s more, it was a conservative hierarchy’s bunker mentality that prevented the Vatican from reckoning with the scandal. In a characteristic moment in 2002, a prominent cardinal told a Spanish audience that “I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign … to discredit the church….”

the crisis of authority endures. There has been some accountability for the abusers, but not nearly enough for the bishops who enabled them. And now the shadow of past sins threatens to engulf this papacy.

Popes do not resign. But a pope can clean house. And a pope can show contrition, on his own behalf and on behalf of an entire generation of bishops, for what was done and left undone in one of Catholicism’s darkest eras.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Google Officially Changes its Name to Topeka

Google employees once known as “Googlers” should now be referred to as either “Topekers” or “Topekans,” depending on the result of a board meeting that’s ongoing at this hour. Whatever the outcome, the conclusion is clear: we aren’t in Google anymore.

ROFL–read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Humor / Trivia

KSH: Yesterday's Erroneous Front Page Local paper story on Saint Andrew's Departure

Please, please do not link to this story or email it without sending Lydia Evans’ letter already posted earlier also.

Here is the article. Take special note of the following. This section:

[The Rev. Steve] Wood said his parish has “tried to handle (the disagreement) as gracefully as possible and as non-reactively as possible.” He said he did not think the bishop was interested in pursuing legal action against the parish, adding that the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence’s decision to remain part of the Episcopal Church “enabled” St. Andrew’s to leave it

originally was missing the word NOT between did and think. That is, in the originally published version Steve Wood was depicted as saying he DID think Mark Lawrence would pursue legal action, whereas Steve said in fact the OPPOSITE. It is because of errors of this magnitude, as well as the complete misprepresentation of the US Supreme Court situation, that I was unable to post this artiucle and the second smaller related article yesterday. It would simply have caused too much confusion. Please do not add to the confusion yourselves–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Media, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Obama Administration Offshore Oil Drilling decision Decision fuels fears, hopes in South Carolina

In South Carolina, the announcement fueled a debate that’s been growing for years, with advocates saying tapping the sea floor could help move the state into a new revenue stream, while opponents say the $18 billion tourism industry could be devastated if even a single environmental catastrophe occurs.

“Opening the South Atlantic Coast to oil and gas drilling will do nothing to address climate change, provide only about six months worth of oil, and put at risk multibillion dollar tourism and fisheries industries,” said Derb Carter, director of the Carolinas office of the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Off South Carolina, most experts say natural gas — not oil — would be the most likely harvest, though accounts differ on whether it would be financially viable. The closest any platforms would be to shore is around 60 miles, some projections indicate.

[State Senator Paul] Campbell said that based on today’s technology, the “likelihood of having an accident is almost zero.”

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Politics in General, State Government

From the Did You Know Department

Bishop Alphonza Gadsden was one of two Reformed Episcopal Church Bishops, and three Reformed Episcopal Church leaders, who attended and processed in the Eucharist at the recent diocese of South Carolina Convention.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Common Cause Partnership, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Lydia Evans: Setting the South Carolina Episcopal record straight

This letter, from the letters section of today’s local paper here, is so important that it is reproduced below in full:

As a member of the standing committee conversant with the facts regarding recent events with the Diocese of South Carolina, I write to clarify several misleading statements contained in two March 30 articles.

First of all, the lead article misquoted the rector of St. Andrew’s Church in Mount Pleasant. Regarding future litigation, the Rev. Steve Wood had, in fact, stated his belief that the Bishop of South Carolina was not interested in pursuing legal action against the parish. The Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence has exercised considerable forbearance in diocesan matters, consonant with his role as the ecclesiatical authority in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

Also on Tuesday, in a separate article regarding the resolution of the All Saints-Pawleys Island litigation, Adam Parker suggested that last week’s settlement with the AMIA congregation was predicated on a recent action by the Supreme Court of the United States. Clearly, the author failed to account for the protracted nature of the SCOTUS appeals process, as the petition for writ of certoriari had been filed less than six weeks earlier.

In point of fact, last week’s settlement originated with the vestry’s decision to withdraw the petition. I view the conciliatory agreement between parties as a reflection of St. Paul’s counsel that the church in Corinth ought to seek reconciliation rather than litigation.

Finally, an earlier article in The Post and Courier (March 27) included comments which I believe misrepresented the tenor of the 219th Diocesan Convention.

I take issue specifically with Barbara Mann’s characterization of the convention as ‘antagonistic’ and ‘angry.’ Perhaps her misconstrual is due to the fact that she was not actually present on the floor of the convention.

Likewise, Grace Church parishioner Steve Skardon was quoted as suggesting the situation is merely a ‘shadowbox war.’

While Skardon is quick to offer his opinion in print, he chose not to bring his concerns to the floor of Friday’s convention.

As a lay leader, elected by the diocese and present at Friday’s gathering, I can witness to the spirit of concord and conciliation evident in our desire to stand together under the authority of God and in solidarity with our bishop.

For a number of years, some members of the Episcopal forum have adopted a posture of confrontation and discord.

During this Holy Week, I invite them to take a second look at their brothers and sisters in Christ ”” the Episcopal Church in South Carolina welcomes you.

Lydia Evans

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

State Debt Woes Grow Too Big to Camouflage

California, New York and other states are showing many of the same signs of debt overload that recently took Greece to the brink ”” budgets that will not balance, accounting that masks debt, the use of derivatives to plug holes, and armies of retired public workers who are counting on benefits that are proving harder and harder to pay.

And states are responding in sometimes desperate ways, raising concerns that they, too, could face a debt crisis.

New Hampshire was recently ordered by its State Supreme Court to put back $110 million that it took from a medical malpractice insurance pool to balance its budget. Colorado tried, so far unsuccessfully, to grab a $500 million surplus from Pinnacol Assurance, a state workers’ compensation insurer that was privatized in 2002. It wanted the money for its university system and seems likely to get a lesser amount, perhaps $200 million.

Connecticut has tried to issue its own accounting rules. Hawaii has inaugurated a four-day school week. California accelerated its corporate income tax this year, making companies pay 70 percent of their 2010 taxes by June 15. And many states have balanced their budgets with federal health care dollars that Congress has not yet appropriated.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Providing family for 80-plus foster children

This is just wonderful–watch it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care

RNS–Film Probes Americans' Images of God

On the big screen of the movies, God has been played by everyone from George Burns (“Oh, God!”) to Alanis Morissette (“Dogma”) to Morgan Freeman (“Bruce Almighty”).

On the small screen of people’s imaginations, God frequently looks like an old man in the clouds, like something out of “The Simpsons.” Or Kenny Rogers. Or more ambiguous terms like creator, energy, love or nature.

That’s how some Americans described their image of God in a small independent documentary titled “God in the Box.”

“I really wanted to be able to look behind people’s eyes and see what God looks like to them and what God means to them,” said filmmaker Nathan Lang. “They’re not leaving novels about their feelings, they’re leaving just snapshots.”

Read it all.

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

(London) Times: Mormons–what goes on at their UK training camp?

As he describes the Church’s belief that the family unit endures eternally, Lyle [Shamo] begins to weep with emotion. He and his wife already have eight children and sixteen grandchildren but are now responsible for all the young missionaries in their area. “I’m the mom,” Tracy says proudly. They hadthe missionaries shovelling snow-filled driveways last week. “We don’t want them to become Bible bashers or stand in people’s way in the street,” Lyle says. “We tell them to always be respectful.”

Mormonism places Jesus Christ in the centre of its beliefs. But the Church’s independent brand of Christianity is not always recognisable to other denominations. “For a Christian, the gospels stand and Jesus is the final and ultimate revelation. We don’t add other books as they have,” says the Rev John Goddard, Bishop of Burnley, “But I would want to emphasise the quality of some of their people.”

Steven Hughes, the interfaith development officer for Churches Together in Lancashire, says that Mormons “are the one group who rarely cross my radar”. He lives just eight miles from the Temple Complex, but rarely sees the missionaries out and about.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Mormons, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD: that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the LORD looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die…

–Psalm 102:18-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for Maundy Thursday

O Lord Christ, who in the days of thy flesh didst hallow bread and wine to be a perpetual memorial of thy passion, and a never-failing means of fellowship with thee: Make us so to thirst after thy righteousness that through these holy mysteries we may be filled with all the fullness of thy divine life, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; for thy glory’s sake.

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