Daily Archives: July 29, 2011

(WSJ Houses of Worship) William McGowan: Life and Faith in Hell's Kitchen

Guests have included the homeless, pregnant and undocumented Tanzanian who showed up sobbing on the lawn of the sisters’ retreat center in Stamford, Conn., and later likened the care at Sacred Heart to “angels planting a root and watering it every day.” Then there was the Trinidadian nanny, six months pregnant with twins, whose boyfriend was trying to induce a miscarriage by kicking her down the stairs. There was the Polish immigrant who studied for the MCAT exam while living at the convent, as well as the former network journalist whose boyfriend split when she got a Down Syndrome diagnosis, and whose friends could not believe she’d throw herself so far “off-track” to have the child.

Another alumna had just finished a graduate program in England, gotten pregnant, been dumped by her law-student boyfriend and returned to the U.S. “in a horrible state of depression.” For an educated woman with professional ambitions, she said “an abortion seems like the most practical thing in the world. But once you do get pregnant, it’s not so easy.”

She had a daughter, got a magazine job and a subsidized apartment.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Bloomberg) Recession in U.S. Was Even Worse Than Estimated, Revisions Show

The worst U.S. recession since the 1930s was even deeper than previously estimated, reflecting bigger slumps in consumer spending and housing, according to revised figures.

The world’s largest economy shrank 4.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the second quarter of 2009, compared with the 3.7 percent drop previously on the books, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Household spending fell 1.2 percent in 2009, twice as much as previously projected and the biggest decline since 1942.

“We do tend to get bigger revisions at turning points in the economy,” Steven Landefeld, director of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, said in a press conference this week. On the more positive side, “in the past, we’ve tended to undershoot the recovery” as well, he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

(CEN) Hate the key to Oslo bombing

The Oslo bomber, Anders Behring Breivik, was a self-appointed Knight Templar tasked with freeing Europe from the scourge of ”˜cultural Marxism’ and Islam, according to his 1,518-page manifesto posted on Stormfront.org, a white supremacist internet forum.

Initially tagged as a “Christian fundamentalist” by Norwegian police, Breivik’s apologia shows only a passing concern with religious belief, but professes a fanatical faith in European culture.

On 22 July, the 32-year-old Norwegian detonated a car bomb in central Oslo, killing at least eight people. He then proceeded by ferry boat to Utoya Island where he shot and killed 68 people attending a youth camp organized by the Labour Party.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Norway, Terrorism, Violence

Judge orders San Francisco circumcision ban off ballot

Judge Loretta M. Giorgi ordered San Francisco’s director of elections to strike the measure from the city’s ballot because she said that it is “expressly preempted” by the California Business and Professions Code.

Under that statute, only the state is allowed to regulate medical procedures, and “the evidence presented is overwhelmingly persuasive that circumcision is a widely practiced medical procedure,” the ruling said.

After a brief hearing, Giorgi also found that the proposed ban would violate citizens’ right to the free exercise of religion, said Deputy City Atty. Mollie Lee, because it targets Muslims and Jews, whose faiths call for circumcising males.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., City Government, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government

John Stott memorial Website

Check it out; as of this posting there are 598 entries in the remembrance book and they make for moving reading.

The T19 Open Thread is here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

An Irish Times Article on RC priests–The fearful Fathers

There is clearly a deep anger among ordinary priests. This is reflected in the 550-plus membership of the fledgling Association of Catholic Priests. But where were those angry, articulate voices when the damage was being done, when Rome was directing this republic’s affairs and their brothers in Christ were violating the young and vulnerable? They were where they always were, says Hoban, “trying to do 1,001 things and trying to do them the best they can.”

So does that explain their silence? There are two “difficulties”, Hoban says. The first is the mistaken belief that a diocese is run by the bishop and the priests together. “The fact is we are totally excluded from any say . . . Priests are effectively disenfranchised.”

The other difficulty is loyalty. Priests live isolated lives. “The dynamic of our ministry is that friends are very few and far between, but there is extraordinarily strong loyalty among the clergy,” Hoban says. As well as that, “we were not people who would challenge the status quo. Those who would were weeded out in the seminary.” Then there is the perennial problem of being “at the bishop’s mercy” in relation to transfers and advancement. And thus the silence. Does it all sound a bit self-serving? “Yes, it’s fair to say that it was self-serving. That lack of moral courage.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Ireland, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Remy: Raise The Debt Ceiling Rap

Bloomberg TV played this from time to time recently, and it helped a bit. Check it out–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Music, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Robert Samuelson–Why are we in this debt fix? It’s the elderly, stupid.

If leadership is the capacity to take people where they need to go ”” whether or not they realize it or want it ”” then we’ve had almost no leadership in these weeks of frustrating and maddening debate over the budget and debt ceiling. There’s been an unspoken consensus among President Obama, congressional Democrats and Republicans not to discuss the central issue underlying the standoff. We’ve heard lots about “compromise” or its absence. We’ve had dueling budgets with differing mixes of spending cuts and tax increases. But we’ve heard almost nothing of the main problem that makes the budget so intractable.

It’s the elderly, stupid.

By now, it’s obvious that we need to rewrite the social contract that, over the past half-century, has transformed the federal government’s main task into transferring income from workers to retirees. In 1960, national defense was the government’s main job; it constituted 52 percent of federal outlays. In 2011 ”” even with two wars ”” it is 20 percent and falling. Meanwhile, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other retiree programs constitute roughly half of non-interest federal spending.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Budget, Economy, Health & Medicine, History, House of Representatives, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(CSM) Libya rebel leader Younes killed, Benghazi wobbles

That Abdel Fateh Younes, the longtime enforcer for Muammar Qaddafi whose stunning defection to the Libyan rebellion in February was an early indication of the depth of the challenge to Qaddafi’s regime, is dead, you can take to the bank. General Younes had been head of the embryonic rebel army from practically the moment he’d switched sides.

As far as the rest of the story ”“ who killed him, when, precisely where, and why ”“ all remains murk and conjecture, created by cross-cutting rivalries within the rebellion and the often misleading and contradictory way that Libya’s Transitional National Council (TNC) communicates with the press and the Libyan public.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Libya

([London] Times) Middle classes are going soft on drugs

Middle-class, high-earning professionals are more tolerant of casual cannabis and cocaine use than the rest of the population, according to the first official study of British attitudes toward illegal drugs.

Adults in their 30s, those who live in cities, and those who are educated to degree level also have a more relaxed approach to the “occasional” use of drugs than other groups, such as low-earners with no qualifications.

The latest findings from the British Crime Survey (BCS), a study of 26,000 households, also show that the recently banned drug mephedrone, or “meow meow”, is as popular as cocaine among young people.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Drugs/Drug Addiction, England / UK

(Washington Post) The incredible, shrinking debt deal in one graph

Take a look.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

O God, by whose grace thy servant Ignatius, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Almighty God, who hast taught us that thy Word is a lantern unto our feet and a light unto our path: Grant that we, with all who devoutly read the holy Scriptures, may realize our fellowship one with another in thee, and may learn thereby to know thee more fully, to love thee more truly, and to follow more faithfully in the steps of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God blessed for evermore.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now when they had passed through Amphip’olis and Apollo’nia, they came to Thessaloni’ca, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and for three weeks he argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas; as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.

–Acts 17:1-4

Posted in Uncategorized

John Stott and Global Anglicanism ”“ Vinay Samuel

What is the legacy of Keele? It is not the place of evangelicals in the church of England governance structures. Keele’s legacy was the global self-identity of orthodox Anglicans as evangelical. Evangelical Anglicanism developed in a dramatic way ”“ globally . I was General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion in the eighties. I saw this development before my eyes. While EFAC groups grew in England and North America and Australia, in Africa there seemed no need for them: for the Church of Kenya was evangelical; the Church of Uganda and Rwanda, fresh from the inspiration of the East African Revival was charismatic and evangelical. The Church of Tanzania had both evangelical and orthodox Anglo-Catholic roots.

Where there was biblical evangelical and orthodox faithfulness, the churches grew. Where these elements were not present, the church died, as in Japan. The result today is that two-thirds of the non-western Anglican Churches are biblically faithful Anglicans of the evangelical variety. This is the fruit of the identity and space forged for evangelical Anglicans in the Communion by the Keele Congress. Keele and its products validated the possibility of there being evangelical Anglicans in a liturgical Church that was seen as Catholic or liberal.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry