Daily Archives: September 6, 2013

(WSJ) Robert George–Would Bombing Syria Be a 'Just War'?

Of all her academic heresies, however, none was more upsetting to [Jean Bethke] Elshtain’s colleagues than her support for aggressive military action against terrorist organizations and, a decade ago, her defense of the war in Iraq. Having written about the politics and morality of war since the beginning of her career in the 1970s, Elshtain insisted that America’s conflict with al Qaeda was not a matter of international law enforcement, as some insisted. It was a war.

Terrorists, and states that support them, are not merely engaged in criminal activities; they are our enemies””in the same way that Nazi Germany and imperial Japan were our enemies in World War II. As she wrote in her 2003 book, “Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World”: “With our great power comes an even greater responsibility. One of our ongoing responsibilities is to respond to the cries of the aggrieved. Victims of genocide, for example, have a reasonable expectation that powerful nations devoted to human rights will attempt to stay the hand of the murderers.”

That did not mean that force is always justified or that no rules apply. Elshtain was a believer in, and a leading interpreter of, the tradition known as “just war theory.” This tradition does not propose pacifism””the view that the use of force is inherently unjustifiable. On the contrary, just-war theory says that in the face of unjust aggression, nations sometimes have a duty to use military force. They are also obligated to fight with all legitimate means to win””to defeat the enemy and halt its aggression.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria, Terrorism, The U.S. Government, Theology, Violence

A Glimpse of Life in NYC these days–Interrupting a Prayer Under a Streetlight

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Urban/City Life and Issues

(ET) Derwin Gray–Talking Evangelism with the Evangelism Linebacker

Before I ever met you personally, I saw these witnessing videos that went viral. Are you the evangelism linebacker? How did that happen?

That’s me. When they were developing the idea, someone had heard me speak at the University of Montana State and said I would be perfect for the role. In 2004, they flew me to Bozeman, Montana and told me the idea for the character. We started to film and I just made up every line as we went.

It started as a bundle with other videos for Campus Crusade, but the Evangelism Linebacker ended up on YouTube. It had a million views way before a lot of other videos did, since this was still the infancy of YouTube. If that had happened today, it would be crazy viral. It ended up with this cult following. In one way it was a positive, but in another way people assume that all I can do is give a motivational talk. So when I started to talk ecclesiology and soteriology, people didn’t know what to do.

Read it all and consider following the many links also.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sports

The Archbishop of York's Acts 4:35 Campaign–Little Acts Go A Long Way

Jenny Herrera, Director of Acts 435, said:

“It is important that people realise that their contribution, no matter how small, can make a real practical difference in the lives of others. The #LittleActs campaign is a great way for people to engage and encourage others to help transform the lives of others.

“Every week during the campaign, I will be blogging on the Acts website about the progress that little acts can make in the fight against poverty. It is wonderful that Acts 435 has already helped hundreds of people across the country, and we want to inspire others to do the same….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology

(Catholic Herald) Cardinal Theodore McCarrick–let’s not repeat the mistakes of Iraq

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired Archbishop of Washington, has said he opposes US military intervention in Syria, saying that he is “not in favour of going to war to make peace”.

“We made the mistake in Iraq. I hope we don’t make the mistake again in Syria,” he told Catholic News Service on Thursday after visiting some of the nearly half-million refugees who had fled to Jordan, Syria’s southern neighbour.

When asked what was worse, either allow Syria to use chemical weapons and do nothing or go in with limited military strikes, he quickly responded: “Neither is the proper answer.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Iraq War, Middle East, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Senate, Syria, Theology, Violence

(Church Times) Burial sites show when the pagans died out

For the first time, archaeologists have been able to date the final phase of the Christianisation of Anglo-Saxon England.

Although the rulers of most ofthe Anglo-Saxon kingdoms officially converted from paganism to Christianity at various times between AD597 and 655, some evidence now suggests that up to 20 per cent of the population still continued to maintain pagan-originating traditions, especially in terms of burial rites.

But new archaeological research, from a project funded by English Heritage, shows that the practice of the pagan burial tradition, namely the use of grave goods, came to an abrupt end in the 670s.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Wicca / paganism

(WSJ) Long-Term Jobless Left Out of the Recovery

For those left behind by the long, slow economic recovery, time is running out.

More than four years after the recession officially ended, 11.5 million Americans are unemployed, many of them for years. Millions more have abandoned their job searches, hiding from the economic storm in school or turning to government programs for support. A growing body of economic research suggests that the longer they remain on the sidelines, the less likely they will be to work again; for many, it may already be too late.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology, Science & Technology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

(Globe and Mail) Yoni Goldstein–Why it’s been a good year for religion

The sharpest modern twist in world religion this past (Jewish calendar) year, however, occurred in Christianity. The election of Pope Francis has sent shockwaves through that world ”“ so many of his public actions and comments, and certainly his very apparent humility, suggest the Church is on the path to becoming more open and, crucially, willing to atone for, and fix, its past sins. You can’t ask for a better advocate for that monumental endeavour than the man at the very top, and Francis has given every indication he is up to the task. In particular, his recent “who am I to judge?” line about gay people was absolutely brilliant ”“ the lesson not to pass judgment transcends all religious boundaries, and that’s why it made such perfect sense. One hopes he’s just getting started on the job of modernizing and cleaning up the Church.

Alas, the ongoing killing of Muslims by Muslims in Syria, the death toll now above 110,000 (at least 1,400 by a gas attack) with 1.5 million refugees and seven million displaced, suggests Islam still has a long way to go before it achieves modernity. And the situation in Egypt, where the military is back in power, having ousted a democratically elected (though not exactly democratic) government, is also discouraging, to say the least. Even in Turkey, among the most modern Muslim lands, there are fears the country is moving away from democracy under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And yet there is a definite bright side: At the heart of the Arab Spring, especially in Egypt, is a deep yearning for freedom from oppression, political and religious.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture

(Gallup) Syrians Do Not See Quick End to Conflict

As the war in Syria continues unabated, the majority of Syrians surveyed in June and July see bleak prospects for the conflict ending soon. Fifty-one percent of Syrians see the conflict consuming their lives for at least one or two more years, while 30% see it ending in less than a year.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria

Egypt’s Interior Minister Survives Assassination Attempt on Thursday

A powerful bomb blasted through a convoy of cars carrying the interior minister along a residential street on Thursday, raising fears of a widely predicted turn toward terrorist violence by opponents of the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

The minister escaped and so did his would-be assassins. But the explosion killed at least one police officer, injured 10 others and wounded at least 11 civilians, according to an official statement from the Interior Ministry. Speaking independently, Gen. Osama al-Soghayar, security chief for Cairo, put the number of civilians injured far higher, at more than 60. Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, History, Middle East, Politics in General, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord God, who by thy holy apostle hast taught us always to rejoice in thee, and to be anxious for nothing: Grant, we beseech thee, that, making our requests known to thee, we may be partakers of the peace that passeth all understanding, which thou hast promised us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, “Thou art my God.” My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors! Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!

–Psalm 31:15-16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Politico) President Obama could lose big on Syria in House

If the House voted today on a resolution to attack Syria, President Barack Obama would lose ”” and lose big.

That’s the private assessment of House Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides who are closely involved in the process.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Foreign Relations, House of Representatives, Middle East, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Syria, Violence

(AP) Andy Murray ousted by Stanislas Wawrinka at the US Open

After one set, Andy Murray slammed his racket into the court and mangled it once he reached his chair on the sideline. After the second, he gestured over to coach Ivan Lendl and let out a frustrated scream.

Stanislas Wawrinka had the US Open defending champion in knots all day, and when the surprisingly short, less-than-competitive match was finished Thursday, Murray was a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 upset loser in the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Men, Sports

(ACNS) English female priest elected as NZ bishop

An English priest, the Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, has been elected as the new Bishop of Waikato Diocese in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia.

Dr Hartley, 40, has been living and working in the country since 2011 as the Dean of Tikanga Pakeha students at St John’s College in Auckland. She will be the 7th Bishop of Waikato and the first woman to hold the office.

In a statement released today Bishop-elect Hartley said she was looking forward to travelling around the diocese and learning more about its people and places.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry