Daily Archives: July 22, 2010

CEN: Peer urges PM to promote women bishops

[Lord Faulkner of Worcester]… asked: “Does the Government’s commitment to gender equality extend to great national institutions such as the Church of England?”

And he asked whether David Cameron intended to “have a word” with the bishops and archbishops currently in the Lords “in order that we may have some female bishops in this House before the end of this decade”?

Read it all (requires subscription).

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

The Bishop of Richborough Writes about the recent General Synod

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York made a brave attempt to amend the legislation and while I did not think it would have been able to achieve what some hoped it would achieve it was defeated in the House of Clergy. It is not often, if ever, that two Archbishops have proposed an amendment to such a contentious piece of legislation concerning the future unity of the Church of England; to have done so and not succeeded says a great deal about the problems of our synodical structures. The Draft Measure will now go to the dioceses for further scrutiny though it is highly unlikely that it will not gain the necessary support. It will return to the Synod in 2012 when it will need to gain the necessary two thirds majorities in all three Houses of Laity, Clergy and Bishops.

If the Measure is passed -if it isn’t the issue will not go away-the landscape in the Church of England for traditional Catholics and Evangelicals will be bleak. There will be no resolutions to be passed, no Episcopal Visitors to petition for, the Act of Synod will be abolished and the episcopal ministry of the Bishops of Beverley, Ebbsfleet and Richborough will not exist. The process of reception so ably explained by Dame Mary Tanner in New Directions a few months ago has been forgotten. All the promises which were made to us in the early 1990’s about having a permanent honoured place in our Church have been ignored. No doubt many of the supporters of women’s ordination will say there has been compromise on both sides. They will point out they preferred a simple piece of legislation without a statutory Code of Practice. However, from our point of view, this legislation offers us little hope. It addresses none of the issues which are of concern to us and about which we have argued for so long. The only provision will be that a parish can request a male incumbent or the sacramental and pastoral care of a male bishop when needed. It is simply not sufficient for those for whom it is supposed to apply. Far from providing for those who have serious theological objections to the ordination of women the legislation allows parishes to discriminate against women.

I cannot overemphasise how serious this situation is for us….

Read it all.

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

AP: South Africa's Tutu to retire from public life

Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu announced Thursday he is retiring from public life later this year when he turns 79, saying “the time has now come to slow down” and spend more time with his family.

The former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town said after his birthday on Oct. 7 he will limit his time in the office to one day per week until February 2011.

“Instead of growing old gracefully, at home with my family reading and writing and praying and thinking too much of my time has been spent at airports and in hotels,” Tutu said in a statement Thursday. “The time has now come to slow down, to sip Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons, to watch cricket, to travel to visit my children and grandchildren, rather than to conferences and conventions and university campuses.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces

Caroline Baum: Obama Omits Jobs Killed or Thwarted from Tally

“By this estimate, the Recovery Act has met the president’s goal of saving or creating 3.5 million jobs — two quarters earlier than anticipated,” Romer said with a straight face. (More than 2.5 million non-farm jobs have been lost since ARRA was enacted in February 2009, all of them in the private sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

How does the CEA arrive at these numbers? It uses two methods, Romer said. The first is a standard macroeconomic forecasting model that estimates the multiplier effect of fiscal policy. (The government’s spending is someone else’s income.) The second method is statistical, using previous relationships between GDP and employment to project future behavior.

These numbers might just as well have been pulled out of a hat. Recall that it was the same model and method the administration used in January 2009 to predict an unemployment rate of 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 with the enactment of the fiscal stimulus and 8.8 percent without. The unemployment rate now stands at 9.5 percent.

Read it all.

Update: Michael Boskin chimes in on the same theme, calling them Obama’s Economic Fish Stories.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009, The U.S. Government

Local Paper front page: Sales tax proposal could slam South Carolina residents

South Carolina consumers would pay more for food, water, electricity and prescriptions in exchange for a lower overall sales tax rate under a tax revision proposal given preliminary approval Wednesday.

And the proposed sales tax increases don’t stop at necessities. The state’s Tax Realignment Commission recommends that the state for the first time charge sales taxes on digital purchases from online stores, such as iTunes and Amazon.com, and pay more to buy a car as part of a massive makeover of the way the state collects taxes.

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

IBD: The Tax Tsunami On The Horizon

The lowest bracket for the personal income tax, for instance, moves up 50% ”” to 15% from 10%. The next lowest bracket ”” 25% ”” will rise to 28%, and the old 28% bracket will be 31%. At the higher end, the 33% bracket is pushed to 36% and the 35% bracket becomes 39.6%.

But the damage doesn’t stop there.

The marriage penalty also makes a comeback, and the capital gains tax will jump 33% ”” to 20% from 15%. The tax on dividends will go all the way from 15% to 39.6% ”” a 164% increase….
The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike. “This provision of ObamaCare,” according to ATR, “increases the additional tax on nonmedical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10% to 20%, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10%.”

Brand Name Drug Tax. Makers and importers of brand-name drugs will be liable for a tax of $2.5 billion in 2011. The tax goes to $3 billion a year from 2012 to 2016, then $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018. Beginning in 2019 it falls to $2.8 billion and stays there. And who pays the new drug tax? Patients, in the form of higher prices.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, The U.S. Government

The 2010 Episcopal Church Pension Fund Annual Report

You may find it here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Pensions, Personal Finance, Stock Market

Colin Tatz in the SMH: Suicide can be an exercise of one's sovereignty

Why do we react so badly to young suicide? The young suicide is particularly unacceptable: he or she appears to engage in the reverse of Pritchard’s ultimate rejection ”” it is not we who are rejecting the individual suicide so much as the young suicide cohorts who are rejecting us ”” our love, family, faith, imagination, creativity, culture, civilisation. We are, in many senses, as much affronted as confronted by each such event. But this is essentially because we view the individual as belonging to us, to our society. For some religions, life and death belong only to God.

We need to reflect that even the most rejected, lonely, desperate, hopeless and helpless individual still has one little domain of sovereignty: his or her physical being. Continuation or cessation of that physicality is the only decision they can make ”” and who are we to deny them that exercise?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Psychology, Suicide

An article in the SMH: Shacking up for the future

The Australian Institute of Family Studies recently held its biennial conference, celebrating 30 years of “advancing understanding of Australian families”. The conference recognised key statistics that illustrate some of the dramatic changes in the landscape of families, including declining marriage rates and the increase in cohabitation and ex-nuptial births.

One only has to glance at the 500-plus comments expressing outrage at Bettina Ardnt’s “backward opinions” (which suggested that Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s de facto relationship might not be setting the best example for young female onlookers) or, more recently, the response to the article by Chris Meney to conclude that we seem to have reached consensus: cohabitation is another stage on the pathway to a family.

When it comes to children’s wellbeing, AIFS director Professor Alan Hayes recognises that the function of the family unit is what matters, rather than the form. What is crucial is that children have an example of a loving relationship that doesn’t disappear before their eyes; that they’re brought up in an environment of love.

Please take special note of that line: “the function…is what matters, rather than the form.” A better statement of modern gnosticism you will rarely see. Read it all–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Children, Marriage & Family

ENI: Global Lutheran leader challenges churches on women's ordination

The 70-million strong Lutheran World Federation has struggled to live up to its own vision of inclusiveness regarding the role of women, the general secretary of the church grouping, the Rev. Ishmael Noko, has told LWF members.

“Equitable participation in God’s mission is the hallmark of an inclusive communion. Member churches are therefore urged to take appropriate steps towards the ordination of women, and, where it is not the case, to put in place policies of equality,” Noko said in his address to the LWF’s highest governing body on 21 July in Stuttgart, Germany.

Noko, who is set to retire from his position in November after 16 years, was delivering his report to the Lutheran grouping’s 11th assembly, taking place from 20 to 27 July.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Lutheran, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Women

Senate Gives Final Approval to Jobless Benefits

The Senate gave final approval Wednesday evening to legislation providing added unemployment benefits through November to millions of Americans who have been out of work for six months or more, ending a politically charged fight.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Senate

Amazing Photos: The 33-foot southern right whale soared out of the water and hit the boat!

Check it out.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

ENS– 'Sacred Cocktails' offers a way into church via popular nightspot

For the past year, bartenders and bishops, the committed and the curious alike have sampled “Sacred Cocktails,” a ministry started by the Rev. Tommy Dillon, rector of St. Aidan’s Church in San Francisco in the Episcopal Diocese of California.

Dillon said he partnered with the popular Lookout Bar in San Francisco’s Castro District a year ago to provide a way into church for those outside it who might be interested “by gathering once a week for sacred discussions ”¦ in a location that people might feel comfortable coming to.”

Sacred Cocktails, which celebrated its first anniversary in June and recently received a $1,000 grant from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific Celtic Cross Society, is the first Episcopal presence in the Castro District in decades, Dillon said July 20 in a telephone interview from his office.

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

Loudon Times: Virginia Anglican Churches ask for rehearing in property case

Nine Anglican congregations in Loudoun and Fairfax counties asked the Virginia Supreme Court July 10 to reconsider part of a ruling from a month before that remanded a church property case back to a lower court.

The dispute centers around whether the nine congregations may keep the properties upon which their churches were built after breaking away from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia to join the Anglican District of Virginia in 2006. The Loudoun church involved is Church of Our Saviour at Oatlands.

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

In N. C. Holy Trinity Anglican Church Joyfully Welcomes Their New Rector, John W. Yates III

A letter to the parish about it is here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry