— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 9, 2017
Daily Archives: September 9, 2017
Two ladybirds crawl across the white cloth on the altar table of an ancient Dorset church as a tiny handful of parishioners takes communion. Outside, it is a perfect English summer Sunday, the air drowsy with the scent of growing flowers, grass and trees. Inside St Mary’s, Tarrant Gunville, all is quiet and slightly musty. The few tablets on the walls speak of young men lost in the first world war and long-dead parishioners who loved and gave to the church — there has been one on the site since the 12th century. Apart from the visiting weekenders, of whom I am one, there are seven in the congregation, none of them exactly in the flush of youth. The vicar celebrating communion according to the Book of Common Prayer is 87; he apologises beforehand that “I have tried to draw stumps several times” and yet he keeps being asked to conduct services and cannot refuse. He preaches a drily witty sermon that happens to be about the “shipwreck” of the Church of England, which he admits he has recycled from earlier years. He forgets to lead the congregation in the Lord’s Prayer.
Everything about this scene tells a felt truth about the C of E — its abiding presence deep in the shires, the breathtaking beauty of its churches, the sonorous cadences of its almost forgotten liturgy, its valetudinarian faithful. We have had this impression for decades. Philip Larkin’s much loved poem “Church Going” (the pun is surely intended) was written more than 60 years ago. He talks of “A shape less recognisable each week/ A purpose more obscure”, and wonders how long it will be before the Church of England is reduced to a few cathedrals “chronically on show”, while wind and rain whip through the ruins of country churches.
Irreversible decline has been the Church’s lot for several generations in an age when Sundays are for football matches and car-boot sales. A National Census survey suggests that 8.5 million British people now identify as Anglican, down from 13 million a decade ago. The Church makes few demands of the people it ministers to, seeming grateful just to be acknowledged. Its premises are swept out and decorated for the weddings of unbelievers and the funerals of those whose families can find no other way to make sense of finality.
From 2015 but still relevant–Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University: This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!
This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love. In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.
I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims. Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”
I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience. An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad. It is supposed to make you feel guilty. The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization.
Don’t expect the United States to step in and resolve what is increasingly being described as an ethnic cleansing campaign against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims.
Not wanting to undermine the Asian country’s democratic leader, the U.S. is cautiously criticizing what looks like a forced exodus of more than a quarter-million Rohingya in the last two weeks as Myanmar’s military responds with hammer force to insurgent attacks.
But neither Trump administration officials nor lawmakers are readying sanctions or levying real pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi’s government. A bill making its way through Congress seeks to enhance U.S.-Myanmar military cooperation.
“Further normalization of the military-to-military relationship with Burma is the last thing we should be doing right now,” said Walter Lohman, Asia program director at the right-leaning Heritage Foundation. “What a terrible signal to be sending.”
Princeton University President Eisgruber asks Senate committee to avoid ‘religious test’ in judicial appointments
Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:
I write, as a university president and a constitutional scholar with expertise on religious freedom and judicial appointments, to express concern about questions addressed to Professor Amy Barrett during her confirmation hearings and to urge that the Committee on the Judiciary refrain from interrogating nominees about the religious or spiritual foundations of their jurisprudential views.
Article VI of the United States Constitution provides explicitly that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” This bold endorsement of religious freedom was among the original Constitution’s most pathbreaking provisions. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Torcaso v. Watkins (1961), holding that the First and Fourteenth Amendments render this principle applicable to state offices and that it protects non-believers along with believers of all kinds, is among the greatest landmarks in America’s jurisprudence of religious freedom. Article VI’s prohibition of religious tests is a critical guarantee of equality and liberty, and it is part of what should make all of us proud to be Americans.
By prohibiting religious tests, the Constitution makes it impermissible to deny any person a national, state, or local office on the basis of their religious convictions or lack thereof. Because religious belief is constitutionally irrelevant to the qualifications for a federal judgeship, the Senate should not interrogate any nominee about those beliefs. I believe, more specifically, that the questions directed to Professor Barrett about her faith were not consistent with the principle set forth in the Constitution’s “no religious test” clause….
(NR) Did Senators Durbin and Feinstein try to Impose a Religious Test for Office when questioning nominee Amy Barrett?
A judicial confirmation hearing this week stoked fears among conservatives that it is becoming acceptable on the American left to voice intensely anti-Christian sentiments.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for Amy Coney Barrett — a law professor at the University of Notre Dame and President Trump’s nominee to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals — during which two senators, Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), suggested that Barrett’s Catholic faith might disqualify her from serving as a judge.
“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”
Durbin, meanwhile, criticized Barrett’s prior use of the term “orthodox Catholic,” saying it unfairly maligns Catholics who do not hold certain positions about abortion or the death penalty. “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” he asked her outright.
We give thee thanks and praise, O God of compassion, for the heroic witness of Constance and her companions, who, in a time of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick and the dying, and loved not their own lives, even unto death. Inspire in us a like love and commitment to those in need, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.
— Rev. Dr. John Toles (@FrToles) September 9, 2015
O Lord, heavenly Father, in whom is the fullness of light and wisdom: Enlighten our minds by thy Holy Spirit, and give us grace to receive thy Word with reverence and humility, without which no man can understand thy truth; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
–John Calvin (1509-1564)
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
–Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)