Charles Bennison has been reinstated as the head of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania following a church court ruling overturning his conviction on charges of covering up a sexual relationship between his brother, also a priest, and a 14-year-old girl in California more than 30 years ago.
Daily Archives: August 5, 2010
I am very pleased with today’s ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8. All of God’s children are equal in God’s eyes, and today Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker affirmed once again that all Californian families share equal protection under the law.
The Episcopal Church has reached resolution on the issue of full civil rights for lesbian and gay persons and, speaking for myself as a bishop and person of faith and as a representative of the Episcopal Church, I am gladdened whenever discrimination is rejected and fundamental rights are acknowledged as equal rights.
Read it all.
Bishop Diocesan J. Jon Bruno has issued the following statement on federal Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s Aug. 4 decision on Proposition 8.
“Justice is advancing thanks to today’s ruling affirming Californians’ constitutional right to marriage in faithful, same-gender relationships.
“Although the appeal process will now challenge U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision on Proposition 8, my continuing prayer will be — as the prophet Amos said — for justice ‘to roll down’ and to prevail.
“To reiterate my statement of November 5, 2008: ‘Proposition 8 is a lamentable expression of fear-based discrimination that attempts to deny the constitutional rights of some Californians on the basis of sexual orientation. It is only a matter of time before its narrow constraints are ultimately nullified by the courts and our citizens’ own increasing knowledge about the diversity of God’s creation.’ “
Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, decried the August 4 decision of a federal judge to overturn California voters’ 2008 initiative that protected marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
“Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of any society. The misuse of law to change the nature of marriage undermines the common good,” Cardinal George said. “It is tragic that a federal judge would overturn the clear and expressed will of the people in their support for the institution of marriage. No court of civil law has the authority to reach into areas of human experience that nature itself has defined.”
Read it all.
“As Charles Cooper, the attorney for ProtectMarriage.com, the proponents of Proposition 8 who defended the law, said in his closing arguments:
The historical record leaves no doubt…that the central purpose of marriage in virtually all societies and at all times has been to channel potentially procreative sexual relationships into enduring stable unions to increase the likelihood that any offspring will be raised by the man and woman who brought them into the world.
“That the judge should find the marriage””civilizations’ longstanding public policy””irrational and discriminatory does a great injustice to the institution itself and ultimately will further encourage the disintegration of mother-father families. Homosexuals certainly have every right to the love, companionship and support of another person””but the Courts do not have a right to distort the meaning of marriage.”
–An actual Kansas City Star headline courtesy of the WSJ’s Best of the Web
College students who download music and movies from peer-to-peer file-sharing programs such as LimeWire and KaZaA will find themselves cut off when they return to campus this fall.
Every college across the country must either have installed software to block illegal file-sharing or have created some other procedure for preventing it. The requirement is part of the 2008 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which took effect July 1.
Some schools have been working to comply with the provisions for several years.
In his ruling, Judge Walker found that California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage irrationally discriminates against gay men and women.
To opponents of same-sex marriage, the ruling was a travesty that usurped the will of millions of California voters. Brian S. Brown, the executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, called it “a horrendous decision” that “launched the first salvo in a major culture war over same-sex marriage and the proper purview of the courts.”
But Andrew Koppelman, a professor at Northwestern Law School, said “if the Supreme Court does not want to uphold same-sex marriage, its job has been made harder by this decision.”
The reason, he said, is that while appeals courts often overturn lower-court judges on their findings of law — such as the proper level of scrutiny to apply to Proposition 8 — findings of fact are traditionally given greater deference.
Google and Verizon, two leading players in Internet service and content, are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.
The charges could be paid by companies, like YouTube, owned by Google, for example, to Verizon, one of the nation’s leading Internet service providers, to ensure that its content received priority as it made its way to consumers. The agreement could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users.
Such an agreement could overthrow a once-sacred tenet of Internet policy known as net neutrality, in which no form of content is favored over another. In its place, consumers could soon see a new, tiered system, which, like cable television, imposes higher costs for premium levels of service.
In a country that endorses Islam as the official religion, bans conversion to other religions, and punishes Christian proselytizing by death, Saudi Arabia’s recent welcome of an American Christian scholar is a landmark.
Leonard Swidler, a professor of Roman Catholic thought and interreligious dialogue at Philadelphia’s Temple University, is the first such scholar invited to exchange views with faculty at Al Imam Muhammed bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh ”“ the citadel of Saudi Arabia’s ultraconservative brand of Islam.
Dr. Swidler’s visit in late June underscores a shift toward greater openness in some official Saudi religious institutions, which previously had been leery of contact with outsiders of different faiths.
“Maybe it’s not exciting for some people, but it’s a very big change in Saudi Arabia,” says Fahad al-Alhomoudi, a faculty member at Al Imam who helped arrange Swidler’s visit.
For the past two years, we’ve been scarred and scared, imprisoned in our fears and an awful economy. We lived beyond our means. We paid the price.
This recession has been a terrible and wrathful one. In the fourth quarter of 2008, GDP fell a staggering 6.8%.
But the way things have been going over the past month suggests we may finally be stepping out of the prison gates and back into the glaring sunlight.
Could it be that America is free at last?
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
O Heavenly Father, in whom we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray thee so to guide and govern us by thy Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our daily life we may never forget thee, but remember that we are ever walking in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.