Daily Archives: May 27, 2014

(Baltimore Sun) Veterans' cross in Maryland at the center of national battle

Fred Edwords remembers the first time he saw the giant cross rising over this small town in Prince George’s County.

The Peace Cross, as it’s known locally, commemorates the county’s World War I dead. A plaque at the base of the 40-foot structure lists 39 names, and includes a quote from President Woodrow Wilson. There’s no figure of Jesus, or religious imagery or text of any kind.

But to Edwords, who lives in nearby Greenbelt, it looked unmistakably like the Christian crosses of his Protestant youth, standing on a government-owned median strip at the intersection of Maryland Route 450 and Alternate U.S. 1.

“I thought, ‘Well, that’s odd. What’s that doing there?'” he recalled. “That certainly gives the impression of government endorsement of religion. ”¦ I just wondered how that kind of thing had continued.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Archbishop of Canterbury arrives in Pakistan to support embattled Christians

The Archbishop of Canterbury has arrived in Pakistan to show his backing for the country’s persecuted Christian minority and to ask Muslim leaders for help in building better relations.

The Most Rev Justin Welby is due to meet politicians as well as bishops from the Church of Pakistan before travelling to Bangladesh and India.

The trip, conducted amid tight security, is part of a promise to meet leaders of the Anglican community as early as possible after taking up office and comes as Christians in some parts of the developing world suffer attacks at the hands of Islamist groups.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Asia, Pakistan, Religion & Culture

Nigeria official: Girls located but can't be rescued

The Nigerian government knows where nearly 300 abducted schoolgirls are being held by Islamic extremists but is incapable of using force to rescue them, the country’s defense chief said Monday.

Air Marshal Alex Barde made the comment in remarks to demonstrators supporting the military in Abuja on Monday, the state-run Nigerian News Agency reported.

He said the government cannot disclose the whereabouts of the girls, who were taken from a remote area of northeastern Nigeria by the extremist group Boko Haram.

“We want our girls back. I can tell you that our military can and will do it, but where they are held, can we go there with force?” Barde said, the agency reported.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

(Economist) Modi has a good chance of resuscitating the country’s underperforming economy

India, a giant economic mediocrity, is cursed by having too many economists. Its outgoing prime minister, Manmohan Singh, has a doctorate from Oxford, ran the central bank in the 1980s and led the liberalisation programme that India put in place in 1991 after a currency crisis. Yet as prime minister Mr Singh had little grip or public support, serving at the pleasure of Sonia Gandhi, the populist leader of the Congress party. By the end of his ten-year term he admitted he had failed. In August, as the rupee tumbled, he addressed a gathering of India’s policymaking elite at his house in Delhi. The economy faced “very difficult circumstances”, he whispered.

Mr Singh’s successor could not be more different. Narendra Modi’s economic views have been formed while running the business-friendly state of Gujarat for the past 12 years. Asked some time ago about his economic influences, he described his homespun framework, jotting diagrams on a pad as he spoke. He has studied Singapore and China, but thinks that “India is a democracy and has different requirements”. Striking a balance between farming, small firms and global companies is required, with limited but muscular administration and populist appeal: “Men, machines and money must work together.”

Having run Gujarat well, Mr Modi now faces the far harder task of running India. He has big advantages””administrative competence, control over his party and a majority in Parliament””that should ease decision-making. Unlike Mr Singh, he has also campaigned and won on a platform of aspiration and economic reform. India needs “less government and more governance”, he declared on the campaign trail.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Asia, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Housing/Real Estate Market, India, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Taxes, Theology

(C of E) The public face of God: Chaplaincy in Anglican secondary schools and academies

The varied and vital role of chaplains in Church of England state secondary schools and academies is outlined in “The Public Face of God”, showing that chaplaincy is no longer the preserve of the independent sector.

The research showed that of the 72 schools which responded 58 have chaplains or a chaplaincy team with the majority ordained but with a growing number of lay chaplains. Almost all are directly funded from the school’s own budget. The Church of England has 220 secondary schools and 80 sponsored academies.

The Revd Garry Neave, the Church of England’s National Further Education and Post-16 Adviser and co-author of the report said: “This research clearly shows that schools greatly value the contribution which chaplains can make to pastoral care of students and staff – and to the whole school community – to encouraging the spiritual development of students and to serving people of all faiths and beliefs.”

Read it all and note the link to the full study.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Monday Morning Humor Over Miscommunication-Nicolas Mahut congratulated for losing at the French Open

Moderator: “Questions in English, please.”

Reporter: “Congratulations.”

Mahut: “Congratulations? I lost.”

Reporter: “You lost? OK. So what happened out there?”

Mahut: “Are you serious? Did you watch the match?”

Reporter: “No, I didn’t. I was told that you won. I’m sorry.”

Mahut (in French): “Questions in French, please.”

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Retired Navy Rear Admiral Robert Besal and Kendall Harmon at the 2014 Memorial Day Service

I wanted the picture for my father, a Navy Veteran, and he insisted I got in the shot–KSH. You may read more about the remarkable Robert Besal there.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Parish Ministry, Photos/Photography

(Church Times) Green light for Leicester Cathedral burial for Richard III

Leicester Cathedral has effectively been given the green light to press on with its £1-million plans for the reburial of the bones of Richard III in a specially created tomb in its chancel.

On Friday, three High Court judges rejected a legal challenge by distant relatives of the King who had wanted his remains interred in York Minster, the centre of his medieval power-base.

The Plantagenet Alliance had claimed that the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, had failed to consult properly when he granted permission to archaeologists to search for Richard’s grave under a Leicester city-centre park, and then for his reburial in Leicester Cathedral

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Politics in General

(New Yorker) Joan Acocella: Slaying Monsters–Tolkien’s “Beowulf”

‘Tolkien may have put away his translation of “Beowulf,” but about a decade later he published a paper that many people regard as not just the finest essay on the poem but one of the finest essays on English literature. This is “ ”˜Beowulf’: The Monsters and the Critics.” Tolkien preferred the monsters to the critics. In his view, the meaning of the poem had been ignored in favor of archeological and philological study. How much of “Beowulf” was fact, and how much fancy? What was its relationship to recent archeological finds?

Tolkien saw all this as an evasion of the poem’s true subject: death, defeat, which come not only to Beowulf but to his kingdom, and every kingdom. Many critics, Tolkien says, consider “Beowulf” to be something of a mess, artistically””for example, in its mixing of pagan with Christian ideas. But the narrator of “Beowulf” repeatedly says that, like the minstrels who entertain the knights, he is telling a tale from the old days. “I have heard,” he says. “I have learned.” Tolkien claims that the events of the poem, insofar as they are real, occurred in about 500 A.D. But the poet was a man of the new days, when the British Isles were being converted to Christianity. It didn’t happen overnight. And so, while he tells how God girded the earth with the seas, and hung the sun in the sky, he again and again reverts to pagan values. None of the people in the poem care anything about modesty, simplicity (they adore treasure, they count it up), or humility (they boast of their valorous deeds). And death is regarded as final. No one, including Beowulf, is said to be going on to a better place….

As an adult, Tolkien could read many languages””and he made up more, including Elvish””but the number is not the point. Even in secondary school, Carpenter says, “Tolkien had started to look for the bones, the elements that were common to them all.” Or, in the words of C. S. Lewis, his closest friend, for a time, in adulthood, he had been inside language. Perhaps he couldn’t come back out. By this I don’t mean that he couldn’t talk to his wife or his postman, but that Old English, or at least that of “Beowulf,” was where he was happiest.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Books, England / UK, Eschatology, History, Poetry & Literature, Theology

(ABC Aus.) Michael Jensen–All You Need is Love? Saving Ethics from Utilitarianism

The divine love is a costly love. It could not stand idly by while human creatures destroyed themselves. It had to get involved. As the French philosopher Alain Badiou says of love: “Love without risk is an impossibility, like war without death.” This makes sense of the passage that brides love so much: Paul’s hymn to love in 1 Corithians 13. It is not an ode to an abstract principle. It is a description of love as the divine being expresses it within the broken world of our experience – and thus it has to be patient, and kind, and keep no record of wrongs, since this is a world in which there wrongs, and irritations, and cruelties. It demands not disinterested objectivity, but deep involvement in the world. It cannot help but draw you in.

The pattern of the divine love then teaches us that the way to the good is neither through pure self-expression, nor through a complete and rational disinterest. Love demands costly action for the sake of the other, but its demands cannot be calculated by some formula. Love may involve not pleasure but suffering – not a suffering imposed on others in conformity to some principle, but a suffering for the sake of others. To act out of love can never be to act out of complete selflessness, because the acts that love forms result in joy for those who do them. But this joy does not corrupt the act and make it less good in some way.

Could we then ask, not what brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number, nor what universal law does my action fulfil, nor what freedom to express my inner self does it allow, but rather what is an expression of the ethics of love? Could that form the basis for an extraordinary social, moral and political vision?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Psychology, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Augustine of Canterbury

O Lord our God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst call thine apostles and send them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless thy holy name for thy servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating thy Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom thou dost call and send may do thy will, and bide thy time, and see thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

(Moved from Yesterdays for Memorial Day)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Look, we beseech thee, O Lord, upon the people of this land who are called after thy holy name, that they may ever walk worthy of their Christian profession. Grant unto us all that, laying aside our divisions, we may be united in heart and mind to bear the burdens which are laid upon us, and be enabled by patient continuance in well-doing to glorify thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Irish BCP

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time.

–1 Timothy 2:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's) Rob Rogers for Memorial Day 2014

A painful but important cartoon.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Suicide

O CAPTAIN! my Captain!

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up””for you the flag is flung””for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths””for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

–Walt Whitman (1819”“1892)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature