Monthly Archives: September 2013

(Economist Leader) Al-Qaeda returns: The new face of terror

A few months ago Barack Obama declared that al-Qaeda was “on the path to defeat”. Its surviving members, he said, were more concerned for their own safety than with plotting attacks on the West. Terrorist attacks of the future, he claimed, would resemble those of the 1990s””local rather than transnational and focused on “soft targets”. His overall message was that it was time to start winding down George Bush’s war against global terrorism.

Mr Obama might argue that the assault on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi by al-Qaeda’s Somali affiliate, the Shabab, was just the kind of thing he was talking about: lethal, shocking, but a long way from the United States. Yet the inconvenient truth is that, in the past 18 months, despite the relentless pummelling it has received and the defeats it has suffered, al-Qaeda and its jihadist allies have staged an extraordinary comeback. The terrorist network now holds sway over more territory and is recruiting more fighters than at any time in its 25-year history (see article). Mr Obama must reconsider.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Terrorism, Theology

Nadia Bolz-Weber–Tattoos on the arms, curse words on the lips and a story of grace

“Any time you can take an insult and make it your own, it’s a win,” explains Bolz-Weber, who speaks in Winnipeg Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5.

And she’s not the only one who believes in transforming words, and even lives. On her recent book tour promoting her new bestselling memoir, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint, the recovering alcoholic and former stand-up comic has attracted crowds of up to 900 people wanting to hear her story, and maybe share some of theirs.

“I think people are eager to have a whole life faith, to have the sacred story connected with their reality,” explain Bolz-Weber of the huge response to her book, which exposes her struggle with drugs and alcohol, her move to faith, and her efforts to stay there.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, Lutheran, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Pakistan’s Christians

BISHOP JOSEPH COUTTS (Catholic Archbishop of Karachi): Because of our colonial past Christianity has been, is being identified with colonialism.

Joseph Coutts, Catholic Bishop of Karachi

[FRED] DE SAM LAZARO: With the West.

COUTTS: With the West in general. We are sort of linked with being products of the West.

DE SAM LAZARO: That has made Christians targets for all kinds of grievances against the West””whether a drone strike in the region or an anti-Islamic pronouncement in Florida.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

The Sunyani Anglican Diocese ordains five Ministers

he Anglican Diocese of Sunyani at the weekend ordain five deacons of the church into the Priesthood.

They are Reverend John Agyemang Prempeh, Rev Frank Kusi, Rev Collins Opoku, Rev Thomas Adjei Baffoe and Rev Richard Obeng.

Brothers Nathaniel Barimah and Gabriel Afrifa Kodom were also inducted to the diocesan Diaconate at a ceremony the St. Anselm Cathedral in Sunyani.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Central Africa, Ghana, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

NY Times Wedding Column includes Episcopal Church section

A couple of days later, when her phone rang, up popped the words “Church of the Incarnation” on her caller ID.

She couldn’t imagine what it was about but took the call: it was Mr. Ousley nervously introducing himself on the other end.

“Are you at church?” she asked.

When he told Ms. Fern that he was the rector, she said, she was aghast. He then asked if she went to church. “I told him I don’t really go to an organized church,” said Ms. Fern, who was raised as an Episcopalian and considers herself religious, but not a churchgoer. Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Local paper Faith and Values section) Charleston S U center aims to produce more Christian leaders

In a day when greed and self-service seem to dominate marketplace values, more leaders like [Scott} Woods should be coming down the university pike thanks to the new Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership at Charleston Southern University, where Woods is a former trustee and chairman.

The center’s goal: Create marketplace leaders who serve something more than the almighty dollar.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Education, Religion & Culture

Notable and Quotable–Pat Hoy on the Culture of West Point

From here:

West Point breeds restraint deep into a man’s soul. A senior cadet can stand behind a plebe and put his face up close to that man’s neck and tell him to stand straighter, or to recite “Schofield’s Definition of Discipline,” or to lead his squad mates in a rousing cheer-or he can give that plebe a series of tasks rapid fire, tasks that would lead most anyone else to frustration; and the plebe will stand there cool as Napoleon’s seventy-fifth maxim demands that he be, and he will take up the tasks one at a time until he gets them right-or he will suffer the wrath of the upperclassman. Take that same plebe to the bayonet course down by the river and tell him to execute the vertical butt stroke series with his bayonetted rifle, and he will rip the sawdust-filled dummy to shreds. A casual observer, on the sidelines of these military spectacles, might think he’s watching homicidal maniacs at work. But he would be wrong. The cadet is no less human than he, and probably much less prone to random acts of violence. The cadet just happens to be trained in the art of war. He understands the merits of restraint as well as the application of force.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Psychology, Young Adults

[Reuters] Gunmen kill students as they sleep in Nigerian college

DAMATURU, Nigeria, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Suspected Islamist militants stormed a college in northeastern Nigeria and shot dead around 40 male students, some of them while they slept early on Sunday, witnesses said.

The gunmen, thought to be members of rebel sect Boko Haram, attacked one hostel, took some students outside before killing them and shot others trying to flee, people at the scene told Reuters.

Read it all

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, Nigeria

[Reuters] Market bombing kill 33 in Pakistan's Peshawar

Twin blasts in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar killed 33 people and wounded 70 on Sunday, a week after bombings at a church there killed scores, police and hospital authorities said.

Read it all

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, Pakistan

Dr Peter Jensen reports on GAFCON II Preparations

GAFCON Report from GAFCON GFCA on Vimeo.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Global South Churches & Primates

U.S. Shutdown Nears as House Votes to Delay Health Law

The federal government on Sunday morning barreled toward its first shutdown in 17 years after the Republican-run House, choosing a hard line, voted to attach a one-year delay of President Obama’s health care law and a repeal of a tax to pay for it to legislation to keep the government running.

The votes, just past midnight, followed an often-angry debate, with members shouting one another down on the House floor. Democrats insisted that Republicans refused to accept their losses in 2012, were putting contempt for the president over the good of the country and would bear responsibility for a shutdown. Republicans said they had the public on their side and were acting to protect Americans from a harmful and unpopular law that had already proved a failure.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Medicaid, Medicare, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Senate, Social Security, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Enrich our lives, O Lord, with the fruit of the Spirit; that being filled with love and joy and peace, we may live together in patience and kindness, in goodness, faithfulness and gentleness, ever exercising the grace of self-control; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.

–Psalm 66: 8-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

One List of the (currently known) Westgate Mall victims, including their nationalities

Read it all; appropriate especially for any leading prayers tomorrow.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Kenya, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Daily Nation) Hard questions emerge over handling of Westgate Mall terror attack

Did the masterminds of the Westgate terror escape within an hour of launching the attack? Could the terrorists who remained behind to continue the senseless killing and repulse security forces also slip away unnoticed?

And what is the fate of the hostages thought to have been held in the siege? What about the destruction of the mall, did the military bomb it? And who looted the shops?

These are some of the hard questions that Kenyans are seeking answers to as sources reveal new accounts that have not been formally released by the government, further intensifying the mystery that surrounds the four-day siege.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Kenya, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Somalia, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence