Daily Archives: January 17, 2011

(UMNS) Methodist Church celebrations, service honor King

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ”˜What are you doing for others?’”

To commemorate what would have been King’s 82nd birthday, United Methodist congregations across the connection are “taking a day on, not a day off” to reach out to their neighbors in activities ranging from washing the feet of underprivileged children and giving them new pairs of shoes to writing words of encouragement to U.S. military personnel.

The Western North Carolina Annual (regional) Conference, for example, encourages United Methodists to participate in local celebrations, especially hands-on outreach activities that reflect the spirit of the civil rights leader.

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Posted in Uncategorized

(RNS) Clergy Answer King’s 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail

A coalition of Christian churches answered the Rev. Martin Luther King’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” conceding that Americans have often have chosen to be comfortable rather than “prophetic” on racism.

Leaders of Christian Churches Together in the USA, meeting in Birmingham, Ala., said they were “chastened by the unfinished nature” of overcoming racism after visiting Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, where a bomb killed four young black girls in 1963.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, History, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

(The Tennessean) Vanderbilt alters application after abortion clause protest

At issue was the fact that applicants to the nursing program’s women’s health track were asked to sign a letter acknowledging that they would be caring for women who are terminating their pregnancies.

The Alliance Defense Fund argued that the letter suggested residents would be required to participate in abortion procedures in violation of a federal law that says recipients of federal funds cannot require someone to perform or assist in abortions if it violates his or her religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Vanderbilt denied the claim….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BBC) Apple boss Steve Jobs takes 'medical leave'

Apple boss Steve Jobs has announced that he is to take “medical leave” from the company.

In an e-mail to employees he said he was taking the break to focus on his health.

He said he would continue as chief executive of Apple and be involved in any major decisions. Day-to-day running of the company will pass to Tim Cook.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

(NPR) Depression On The Rise In College Students

Researchers say severe mental illness is more common among college students than it was a decade ago, with most young people seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. A study presented at the American Psychological Association found that the number of students on psychiatric medicines increased more than 10 percentage points over the last 10 years.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Young Adults

A Washington Post Editorial–Martin Luther King and a new reconstruction

The history of black Americans since Emancipation is being revisited by a generation of historians who have found in it a touching and tragic story of aspirations and efforts for education, justice and equality, most of them crushed by overwhelming force and political power. But the most important figure in this reconsideration was not a historian; it was a preacher, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King, celebrated on this day two days after his birthday, came to prominence in the mid-20th century as the foremost figure in what became a new Reconstruction. Part of it was a national drama that included working people boycotting the buses in Montgomery, Ala., because a dignified and determined woman named Rosa Parks had been arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. Then there were the efforts, in different places and by different people, to take a seat at a lunch counter, ride an interstate bus, stay in a motel, register to vote. By the time of Dr. King’s death, little more than a dozen years after the bus boycott, the federal government had legislated open accommodations and protection for the voting rights of all Americans. Racial prejudice, openly expressed, was gradually becoming unacceptable in this country.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Race/Race Relations

A Man on the Street: A Slide Show of Martin Luther King Jr.

In America’s poorest ghettos, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s portrait is one of the most popular subjects of public art. These images, which I have been documenting since 1977, regularly appear on the walls of the liquor stores, auto-repair shops, fast-food restaurants, mom-and-pop stores and public housing projects of Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and many other cities across the country. The majority are the work of amateur artists. Though Dr. King is usually front and center, he is often accompanied by other inspirational figures: Nelson Mandela, John Paul II, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Pancho Villa. He is often accompanied by his famous phrase, “I have a dream” ”“ a reminder that in many of the communities where these murals exist, the gulf between hope and reality remains far too wide. — Camilo José Vergara

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Art, History, Race/Race Relations

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Letter from a Birmingham Jail

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”–then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Prison/Prison Ministry, Race/Race Relations

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: I Have a Dream

I find it always worthwhile–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: Grant that your Church, following the example of your servant Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Antony

O God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst enable thy servant Antony to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil: Give us grace, with pure hearts and minds, to follow thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Thou, who givest to thy children liberally and upbraidest not: Preserve us from all envy at the good of our neighbour, and from every form of jealousy. Teach us to rejoice in what others have and we have not, to delight in what they achieve and we cannot accomplish, to be glad in all that they enjoy and we do not experience; and so fill us daily more completely with love; through him in whom thou hast promised to supply all our need, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Russell Reno: Affirming Authority

“We need authority to be ourselves.” So writes Victor Lee Austin in Up With Authority: Why We Need Authority to Flourish as Human Beings. Yes, that’s quite right, but there’s a further truth as well. We need authority so that we can become more than ourselves.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Diocese of New Westminster Press Release on the new legal Appeal

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues