Daily Archives: September 1, 2012

(Guardian) Jean Hannah Edelstein–Why shouldn't three people get married?

A good old-fashioned monogamous marriage works beautifully for some. But even the most successful marriages are special and unique and incredibly weird. For much as we have a sweet collective imagining of what a happy union entails, the reality is that they all deviate from the fantasy norm, pretty much from the time that the certificate is signed, the chicken is noshed and the bouquet is chucked. The government can dictate that two people should be in a marriage, but it can’t legislate what will make them feel happy or stable or emotionally complete together. And if we accept that, as we do every time we allow anyone the freedom to make a decision about who they’ll marry, and furthermore allow them the freedom to call each other by execrable pet names in public, then does it not begin to seem strange, just a bit, that we do allow the government to dictate how many people are allowed to pledge to be together forever? Perhaps even as strange as it is for government to dictate who can do it based on their gender?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

Anglican TV Interviews Robert Duncan about the AMIA Crisis

Watch it all (about 39 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

A.S. Haley–Texas Supreme Court Sets Oct. 16 Date for Fort Worth Appeal

In an order published…[yesterday], the Supreme Court of Texas has, following its announcements of decisions in a number of pending cases, granted Bishop Iker’s request for expedited oral argument and set the case for hearing on the same day as the San Angelo case (the appeal by Church of the Good Shepherd from the decision in favor of the Diocese of Northwest Texas) — October 16, 2012, at 9 a.m.

Each side will have twenty minutes for oral argument.

Read it all and follow the many links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Identity, Church History, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Nigeria At 52: Bishop Urges Nigerians To Heed God’s Warning

(The Rt. Rev.) Duke Akamisoko, the Bishop of Kubwa Anglican Diocese, Abuja, has pleaded with Nigerians to heed the warnings of God’s true prophets as the nation prepares to mark its 52nd independence anniversary.

Akamisoko gave the advice in a statement issued on Thursday and signed by Venerable Foluso Taiwo, the Director of Communication, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion.

“We have an option to listen to God’s true prophets, take their warnings seriously and obey them or to continue to sin with impunity and earn the terrible wrath of God almighty,’’ the statement said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria

Same Sex Marriage Bill brings church views into focus in New Zealand

The Anglican Church also has a moratorium against the ordination of people living in openly gay relationships. Now it is tackling the issue head-on, establishing a commission to summarise the biblical and theological work done by the church on the ordination of gay priests and same-sex civil unions during the past 30 years.

The commission’s report on options and implications of change will be discussed at the 2014 Anglican general synod.

The Rev Dr James Harding, assistant priest at All Saints Anglican Church, North Dunedin, and a senior lecturer in Old Testament studies at the University of Otago, said the debate going on in Parliament was unlikely to influence the views of anyone in the church.

While most church leaders agreed that the Bible was the authority on marriage, they disagreed on how to interpret scripture, he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Professional Medium Repents for Life of tricks

So why write this book? Mr. [Mark ] Edward is staking his claim to belong to a very special subcategory of magicians and mediums: those who both perform their crafts and debunk them. From Harry Houdini to James (the Amazing) Randi and the duo of Penn and Teller, there is a long tradition of magicians who believe that it is their duty to inculcate skepticism in the audience. Because they know the tricks of deception, their thinking goes, they have a unique ability, and a special duty, to teach people how not to get duped.

These ethical magicians are often atheists, with a philosophical bent, and they especially enjoy debunking claims of supernatural or paranormal powers. Penn and Teller sometimes conclude a magic trick by showing how it was done. On their Showtime show, which ran from 2003 to 2010, they attacked such flimflammery as communication with the dead. In 1973, Mr. Randi famously helped “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” embarrass the “mentalist” Uri Geller, who when faced with props that were not his own could not move them with his mind, as he said he could.

In an interview this week, Mr. Edward said that after years of sympathizing with the skeptics but making money from people’s gullibility, he felt he had to choose sides.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

Australian Archbishop's apology for forced adoptions welcomed

A post-adoption support group has welcomed a move by the Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane to apologise for forced adoptions.

Dr Phillip Aspinall yesterday apologised to families affected by the policies used at St Mary’s Home at Toowong and The Church of England Women’s Refuge at Spring Hill.

Between 1951 and 1975 it is estimated up to 150,000 unmarried women across Australia were forced to give up their babies.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Children, History, Religion & Culture

(Psychology Today) Dave Niose–Marco Rubio's recent Address Shows Why 'In God We Trust' Must Go

In the national spotlight Thursday night introducing Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee for president, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) showed all of America why the country’s national motto ”“ In God We Trust ”“ must be abandoned. Exhibiting stunning insensitivity to the millions of Americans who do not profess a belief in any deities, Rubio declared: “Our national motto is In God we Trust, reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.”

Thus, Rubio was brazenly shouting out what many proponents of the religious motto have pubicly denied: the religious wording of the motto validates the idea that only believers are first-class citizens. Nonbelievers, while tolerated by the true believers (sometimes begrudgingly), clearly hold a second-class status.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, History, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Secularism

(CNA) Pope Benedict welcomes his former students to his annual gathering

The annual gathering of Pope Benedict’s former students has begun at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo and is examining the ecumenical dialogue the Catholic Church has with Lutherans and Anglicans.

“The fact that the Holy Father has chosen this theme for the meeting this year is a sign that the ecumenical question is of primary importance for him,” said participant Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna in an Aug. 30 interview with Vatican Radio.

“I think this is already a first essential concept, within the context of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, it is a strong sign that the Holy Father insists on the importance of these meetings between separated Christians.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Lutheran, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

New Documentary Highlights Racial Reconciliation Journey in Sanford, Florida

A new documentary, “Sanford: the Untold Story,” highlighting the racial reconciliation journey being experienced in Sanford, Fla., following the tragic death of Trayvon Martin in February, is being released on iTunes, YouTube, and aired nationwide around Labor Day weekend.

In this 30-minute film, CHARISMA founder and program host Steve Strang reveals how local pastors ”“ including black, Hispanic and Caucasian–have taken the lead to confront the racial divide that spans generations in their city by regularly meeting, sharing and prayingtogether.

“I was genuinely moved to see how these pastors have passionately stood together and are now reaching out to help hurting people,” Strang said. “Their story will inspire audiences across the country to initiate a similar approach in their communities–because racism isn’t limited to Sanford, Fla.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

(Guardian) How Google and Apple's digital mapping is mapping us

It is a testament to the rate of change in the world of mapping, though, that Liquid Galaxy is now essentially old hat. Google has much, much bigger plans. In June it revealed that it had already started using planes ”“ “military-grade spy planes”, the New York senator Charles Schumer claimed ”“ to provide more detailed 3D imagery of the world’s big cities. It also unveiled the Street View Trekker, a bulky backpack with several 15-megapixel cameras protruding on a stalk, so that operatives can capture “offroad” imagery from hiking trails, narrow alleyways or the forest floor. Almost every month, new kinds of data are incorporated into Google Maps: in June, it was 2,000 miles of British canal towpaths, complete with bridges and locks; it was bike lanes. And for the first time, Google’s dominance of digital mapping faces a credible threat: Apple has announced that it will no longer include Google Maps on iPhones or iPads, replacing it with an alternative that, an Apple source told the tech blog All Things D, “will blow your head off”.

“I honestly think we’re seeing a more profound change, for mapmaking, than the switch from manuscript to print in the Renaissance,” says the University of London cartographic historian Jerry Brotton. “That was huge. But this is bigger.” The transition to print gave far more people access to maps. The transition to ubiquitous digital mapping accelerates and extends that development ”“ but it is also transforming the roles that maps play in our lives….

Google and Apple insist, plausibly enough, that they’re not interested in anyone’s individual data: the commercial value lies in the patterns they can detect in the aggregate. But you’d be forgiven for not being entirely reassured….
“There’s kind of a fine line that you run,” said Ed Parsons, Google’s chief geospatial technologist, in a session at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, “between this being really useful, and it being creepy.”

Read it all.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

We give thee humble and hearty thanks, O most merciful Father, for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men, for the blessings of this life and for the promise of everlasting happiness. And as we are bound, we specially thank thee for the mercies which we have received; for health and strength, for outward prosperity and well-being, for the many enjoyments of our daily life, and the hope of the future; for the opportunities of learning, for the knowledge of thy will, for the means of serving thee in thy holy church, for the love thou hast revealed to us in thy Son, our Savior; for every blessing of soul and body, we thank thee, O God. Add this, O Lord, to thy other mercies, that we may praise thee not with our lips only, but with our lives, always looking to thee as the author and giver of all good things; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

–B.F. Westcott (1825–1901)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The LORD answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion! May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfil all your plans! May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfil all your petitions! Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand. Some boast of chariots, and some of horses; but we boast of the name of the LORD our God. They will collapse and fall; but we shall rise and stand upright. Give victory to the king, O LORD; answer us when we call.

–Psalm 20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Kenyan Bishop Voices concerns over rising insecurity

The Anglican Church has asked President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to ensure national security does not deteriorate.

Maseno West Bishop Reverend Joseph Wasonga and the Synod said Kenyans must embrace peace as the country inches closer to the March 4 General Election.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Kenya, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

Archbishop’s Chichester Visitation ”“ interim report published

In responding to the interim report, Archbishop Rowan Williams has made the following statement:

“I am very grateful to those who have been conducting the Visitation in the Diocese of Chichester and to all who have co-operated with this process ”“ not least those survivors of abuse who have shared their experience. The abiding hurt and damage done to them is something that none of us in the Church can ignore, and I am deeply sorry that they should have been let down by those they ought to have been able to trust.

I hope they will believe that we take their experience seriously: we owe them not only our words of apology but our best efforts to make sure that in the future our churches will be safe places for children and vulnerable people of all ages. The interim report confirms that there have been many and longstanding failures in implementing a robust and credible safeguarding policy in the Diocese of Chichester. The guidelines laid down by the national Church and the agreed standards of best practice have not been consistently followed and the flaws in safeguarding practice have put children and others at risk.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology