Daily Archives: August 22, 2010

Anne Brady offers thoughts on the Bishop Bennison matter

Maggie Thompson, the ex-wife of John Bennison, was instrumental in sharing information that resulted in the presentment. She underwent grueling hours of testimony at the original trial, and was present along with other persons mentioned in the trial briefs at the hearing held in May by the Court of Review.

The Court of Review, while acknowledging that Charles Bennison was guilty of Conduct Unbecoming a Member of the Clergy, overturned the conviction because the statute of limitations had expired.

The victims of the Brothers Bennison were victimized once. Now they’ve been victimized yet again by the judgment of the Court of Review. Fortunately, John Bennison is no longer a priest. Unfortunately, Charles Bennison is free to once again resume the reigns of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pennsylvania, TEC Parishes

CEN–Scottish inclusive language liturgies are ugly and teach bad doctrine, critics charge

The Scottish Episcopal Church’s College of Bishops has approved inclusive language prayers, authorising optional changes that remove “Lord”, “He”, “his”, “him”, and “us men” from its 1982 Eucharistic Liturgy.

On Aug 2, the SEC published a list of seven permitted changes. Spokesman Lorna Finley said the changes were offered by the College of Bishops as an “interim measure” as the General Synod Liturgy Committee prepares new Eucharist rites.

The permitted changes include altering “God is love and we are his children” in the Confession and Absolution to “God is love and we are God’s children.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Scottish Episcopal Church

Time Magazine Cover Story: Does America Have a Muslim Problem?

(Make sure to view the actual cover there).

You don’t have to be prejudiced against Islam to believe, as many Americans do, that the area around Ground Zero is a sacred place. But sadly, in an election season, such sentiments have been stoked into a political issue. As the debate has grown more heated, Park51, as the proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero is called, has become a litmus test for everything from private-property rights to religious tolerance. But it is plain that many of Park51’s opponents are motivated by deep-seated Islamophobia.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Islam, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Monty Knight: Proposed Islamic Center is challenge for Christians

Our Constitution may or may not be more concerned with justice than sensitivity. Interestingly, there is a portion of Scripture that addresses this. In both chapters 6 and 10 of Paul’s letter, First Corinthians, he instructs his fellow Christians with this admonition: “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful.” In that context, if Paul is urging Christians in a pluralistic society to be sensitive to others whose views and values may be different from theirs, he is also urging those same Christians to not be overly sensitive when their sensibilities are offended. Indeed, it is a Christian ethic that admonishes both offender and offended alike.

My life has been enriched by relationships with people different from myself, religiously or otherwise — enough, in fact, for me to conclude that the surest way to rob any of us of our humanity is to pay too much attention to how we have been labeled. The First Amendment reflects the highest and noblest vision of our great nation. And for many of us, at least, that means we are most Christian when we understand, accept and respect those who aren’t.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Islam, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Adam Parker (Local Paper Faith and Values Section): Mosque debate stirs passion

Three arguments seem to characterize the dispute over plans to build an Islamic community center on Park Place in lower Manhattan, two blocks north of the World Trade Center site: the constitutional defense, the emotional appeal and the national security claim.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

NPR–Post-Mortgage Meltdown, Where Do We Go Now?

Fannie and Freddie function by buying, bundling and then stamping a government guarantee on mortgages. Then they sell them to investors. It keeps the banks happy because it keeps capital flowing, and it keeps consumers happy because it makes low, fixed-rate mortgages possible.

At least that how things were supposed to unfold. But the two mortgage finance giants “made astonishing mistakes,” Raj Date, executive director of a financial policy think-tank called the Cambridge Winter Center, told NPR’s Audie Cornish.

“As normal people everywhere in the country realized that housing prices seemed to be growing straight into the stratosphere, instead of becoming more conservative about lending against those ridiculously high values, Fannie and Freddie just continued to make the same kind of loans and indeed made more aggressive loans during that period of 2005, 2006, 2007,” Date said. “And it has all come back to haunt them.”

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

Local Paper front Page: The face of the newly poor

Every day, an average of 112 people — most of them the newly poor — sign up for free government health care in South Carolina.

Since the recession officially hit in December 2007, some 3,300 people a month, on average, have signed up for Medicaid in a state that outpaces the nation for poverty, obesity and diseases such as diabetes. Yet, South Carolina’s political leaders have been among the most vocal in the country in opposition of the new health care law….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Economy, Health & Medicine, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Poverty, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord God, who never failest both to hear and to answer the prayer that is sincere: Let not our hearts be upon the world when our hands are lifted up to pray, nor our prayers end upon our lips, but go forth with power to work thy will in the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them.

–Mark 6:5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

ACNS: The Anglican church of Burundi celebrates 75 years

The Anglican Church of Burundi kicked off its 75th anniversary celebrations during the Aug. 14-15 weekend with a service of thanksgiving and prayer at St. Luke’s Cathedral in Gitega and a service of Holy Communion at St. Peter’s Church in Buhiga.

Bishop Nathan Kamusiime Gasatura of the Diocese of Butare in the Anglican Church of Rwanda reminded the congregation in Buhiga that “there was cause for celebration because of the dedication, commitment, and witness based on the Word of God of the first Christians. They set an example for future generations to follow,” according to a press release from the Anglican Church of Burundi.

During his sermon in Gitega, Bishop Geoffrey Rwubusisi of the Diocese of Cyangugu, Rwanda, asked the congregation to stand in silent prayer and thanksgiving for the early pioneers “who sacrificed much to bring the Gospel of God’s saving and reconciling love to Burundi. Such love and unity should characterize the church of the future,” the release said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Missions, Religion & Culture

WSJ: Google vs. Facebook on Places

Google Inc. has warily watched the rise of social-networking site Facebook Inc. Now the Internet companies are bringing their rivalry to a new area: the race for local business-ad dollars.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced an initiative called Facebook Places, which allows its users to share their physical locations online. It paves the way for the start-up to become a player in the growing Web business of supplying local information and advertising.

The rollout of Facebook Places follows the launch of Google Places in April. Google Places, building on prior Google business listings, offers up Web pages dedicated to individual businesses, showing where they are located, street-level images, and customer reviews of services or products, be it Joe’s Pizza or the dry cleaner. Businesses can also advertise through their Google Place pages.

With these services, both Google and Facebook are attempting to organize and provide information about any location, including schools, parks, and tens of millions of local businesses.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Science & Technology, Theology

AP–Iran starts nuclear reactor, says intent peaceful

Trucks rumbled into Iran’s first reactor Saturday to begin loading tons of uranium fuel in a long-delayed startup touted by officials as both a symbol of the country’s peaceful intentions to produce nuclear energy as well as a triumph over Western pressure to rein in its nuclear ambitions.

The Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant will be internationally supervised, including a pledge by Russia to safeguard it against materials being diverted for any possible use in creating nuclear weapons. Iran’s agreement to allow the oversight was a rare compromise by the Islamic state over its atomic program.

Western powers have cautiously accepted the deal as a way to keep spent nuclear fuel from crossing over to any military use. They say it illustrates their primary struggle: to block Iran’s drive to create material that could be used for nuclear weapons and not its pursuit of peaceful nuclear power.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Middle East

WSJ Weekend Interview: America's Insurgent Pollster Scott Rasmussen

Mr. Rasmussen has a partial answer for …[White House Chief of Staff Rahm] Emanuel’s question, and it lies in a significant division among the American public that he has tracked for the past few years””a division between what he calls the Mainstream Public and the Political Class.

To figure out where people are, he asks three questions: Whose judgment do you trust more: that of the American people or America’s political leaders? Has the federal government become its own special interest group? Do government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors? Those who identify with the government on two or more questions are defined as the political class.

Before the financial crisis of late 2008, about a tenth of Americans fell into the political class, while some 53% were classified as in the mainstream public. The rest fell somewhere in the middle. Now the percentage of people identifying with the political class has clearly declined into single digits, while those in the mainstream public have grown slightly. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents all agree with the mainstream view on Mr. Rasmussen’s three questions. “The major division in this country is no longer between parties but between political elites and the people,” Mr. Rasmussen says.

His recent polls show huge gaps between the two groups. While 67% of the political class believes the U.S. is moving in the right direction, a full 84% of mainstream voters believe the nation is moving in the wrong one.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Education, House of Representatives, Media, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Psychology, Senate, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Georgia's Word & Table Anglican Church now St. Andrew’s Anglican Church

St. Andrew was an apostle who brought many people to Christ in the New Testament, and according to Pastor Austin Goggans, that’s why the former Word & Table Anglican Fellowship has officially changed its name to St. Andrew’s Anglican Church.

“The biggest reason we changed the name is because we really look up to St. Andrew. We like the story and the examples St. Andrew showed in the Bible,” stated Goggans.

The new St. Andrew’s Anglican Church has also been accepted into the Anglican Diocese of the South.

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