Category : Children

(Guardian) Four in 10 young people fear having children due to climate crisis

Four in 10 young people around the world are hesitant to have children as a result of the climate crisis, and fear that governments are doing too little to prevent climate catastrophe, a poll in 10 countries has found.

Nearly six in 10 young people, aged 16 to 25, were very or extremely worried about climate change, according to the biggest scientific study yet on climate anxiety and young people, published on Tuesday. A similar number said governments were not protecting them, the planet, or future generations, and felt betrayed by the older generation and governments.

Three-quarters agreed with the statement “the future is frightening”, and more than half felt they would have fewer opportunities than their parents. Nearly half reported feeling distressed or anxious about the climate in a way that was affecting their daily lives and functioning.

The poll of about 10,000 young people covered Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Portugal, the UK and the US. It was paid for by the campaigning organisation Avaaz.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Climate Change, Weather, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Marriage & Family, Teens / Youth, Young Adults

Must not Miss 9/11 Video: Welles Crowther, The Man Behind the Red Bandana

The Man Behind the Red Bandana from Drew Gallagher on Vimeo.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Marriage & Family, Sports, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Local Paper) COVID19 rate in South Carolina remains highest in US; DHEC reports more than 20,000 new cases

Even as COVID-19 cases start to level off in some Southern states, the virus is showing no signs of slowing down in South Carolina, where more than 20,000 confirmed and probable cases were recorded by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control over the Labor Day weekend.

Compared with the rest of the country, COVID-19 rates are very high in South Carolina. The New York Times calculated Sept. 7 that, once again, the rate of new cases in the Palmetto State is higher than anywhere else in the U.S….

Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, said on PBS Newshour on Sept. 6 that a South Carolina resident who is fully vaccinated now runs the same risk of catching COVID-19 as does a New York state resident who is unvaccinated.

“And that is simply because there is so much more virus circulating right now in South Carolina,” Gounder said, “that even with the protection of the vaccine, you could still get infected.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Children, Education, Health & Medicine, State Government

(America) ‘When does it end?’ Parents on the most stressful back-to-school season of the pandemic

In my sister’s case, as in many others, the school board delayed its decision about mask wearing until the very last minute. It also reversed course: After saying two weeks ago masks would be encouraged but optional, the board held a 4.5 hour public meeting this week, which ended with the announcement that they would require them.

And then, said my sister, “People flipped out.” Those opposed to masks are now promising boycotts, walkouts and protests in front of the school. Threats being made online suggest even worse. My sister looks on, feeling helpless as she thinks about her three children, two of whom have had to endure this seemingly endless combat for most of high school. “It’s just, when does it end?” she said to me.

The question is particularly acute for parents of younger children. They have spent most of the last 18 months trying to negotiate the changing needs of their children’s education and well-being while also managing their own jobs and health. And while teenagers and adults have been able to enjoy much greater freedom since getting vaccinated, there is no vaccine yet for children under 12.

I spoke to 10 parents from across the country to hear how they are doing in the midst of it all. While their situations varied greatly—sometimes to the point that it seemed like they lived in different countries—what I found were people wanting to be hopeful, trying to keep perspective and yet also in many cases anxious, frustrated and exhausted by their schools, states, fellow parents and our current reality….

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Education, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family

(NPR: Storycorps) A Family Remembers The 1st U.S. Soldier Killed In The War In Afghanistan

The last conversation Keith Chapman had with his younger brother Nathan Chapman was on Christmas Day 2001. Nathan had called up his family from Afghanistan.

Although the 31-year-old, a sergeant first class with the U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Group, couldn’t disclose his location, his family put it together based on what time Nathan said it was where he was calling from.

“I don’t remember that we said very much,” Keith said during a StoryCorps interview in Frederick, Md., last week with their mother, Lynn Chapman.

That wasn’t so unusual. The brothers, just 2 1/2 years apart in age, had always had a complicated dynamic that was born from their two very different personalities.

A couple weeks after that phone call, Keith heard on his car radio that an American soldier had been killed in Afghanistan. He thought, “Well, yes, Nathan is there, but he’s one of who knows how many? So, I put it out of my mind.”

That is, until he got home that evening.

“My wife greets me at the door and says, ‘I have bad news,’ ” he said.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, War in Afghanistan

Author and Beloved Anglican Pastor Thomas McKenzie and one of His 2 Children Have Been Killed in a Car Accident

On Monday, [the] Rev. Thomas McKenzie and his 22-year-old child Charlie were killed in a car crash. The two were en route to New Mexico where Charlie, who had recently changed their legal name, was set to start their senior year at college.

“It is with deep sadness that I write to inform you that this morning, Thomas and his 22-year-old daughter Ella died in an accident on Interstate 40 west of Nashville,” wrote Church of the Redeemer’s associate pastor Rev. Kenny Benge in an email.

“They were driving to Santa Fe, New Mexico where Ella was to continue her studies at St. John’s College. Thomas was just beginning his well-deserved sabbatical.”

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

(C of E) ‘It’s at the very heart of what it means to be a Christian’ – the parishes who are providing holiday clubs during the summer

Sussex will see hundreds of children turning to church-run holiday clubs which operate from parishes across the Diocese of Chichester throughout the holidays.

St Peter’s Church in Selsey’s holiday club is aimed at children who would normally receive free school meals and is in collaboration with Selsey Lions Club and Youth Dream, a charity which provides youth services in the community.

Andrew Wilkes, the Rector of St Peter’s Church Selsey said: “It is so important for the parish church to be involved in this.

“We hope by providing meals and fun activities, in a safe and secure environment, will mean one less thing for parents and carers to worry about.

“After all, lending a helping hand to our neighbours is at the very heart of what it means to be a Christian.”

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

(RNS) With more than a million children orphaned by COVID19, faith-based groups look to mobilize support

More than a million children around the world may have been orphaned by COVID-19, losing one or both parents to the disease or related causes.

Another estimated 500,000 lost a grandparent or another relative who cared for them.

The numbers are from a new study by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others that highlight another grim reality in the sweeping devastation caused by the ongoing pandemic.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Care

(Neolife) A Portrait of a professional baby maker

When it comes to stories about prolific gamete donors, it’s typically sperm donors and sperm banks who get the attention for producing donor siblings families in the dozens—and sometimes in the hundreds. In recent years, stories have surfaced about donor siblings connecting through private Facebook groups, and often finding their donors through DNA tests. Who can forget the 2013 Vince Vaughn comedy, Delivery Man, about a childless man having a midlife crisis who discovers that he had fathered over 500 kids conceived with sperm he donated in his youth. These are the extreme consequences of the age of “collaborative reproduction,” a term coined by the late John Robertson, a law professor and bioethicist at the University of Texas at Austin, to describe the expanded array of civil rights for LGBTQ+ families, lifestyle choices, and medically assisted methods of reproduction available to 21st century families. A large and growing component of collaborative reproduction is the increasingly open roles that surrogates and gamete donors often play in these modern families.

It’s less common, however, to hear stories of such prolific egg donors like Tyra. At a time when so many Millennials like her have become less interested in marriage and children and are also delaying having children for their careers, she is a new kind of female fertility archetype: nurturing and distant at the same time. She fulfills her sense of altruism and her desire to procreate, but in a directly transactional way, selling access to her body and body parts for her own financial gain and freedom. “I’d say it’s 50 percent business, 50 percent having a purpose,” she says. “I never fall into a career. I always thought I’d be a professional athlete between volleyball and golf. And I got my pilot’s license at a young age, but I never fell into my niche. I feel like maybe procreating for others is it.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Science & Technology

Tim Farron interviewed by the English Churchmen

Farron also believes that honesty and integrity in public office holders are key factors that have been largely missing in much of public life both in government and the church. He said, “we’ve almost got to the point where there’s little accountability”. He went on, “All lead by example—either good or bad”.

He thinks JKA Smith’s book, ‘Awaiting the King’ offers a pretty good explanation of the current situation. Farron said in one portion, “King refers to ‘western liberal democracies bearing the crater marks of the gospel’ and agreeing explained; “even though we may not largely be a Christian country today, our values, norms and institutions are nevertheless based on a Christian world view: justice, grace, personal responsibility, care for the needy, the knowledge that if people are sinners then you don’t want power concentrated in the hands of too few of them! The ‘crater marks’ point is more that as we move away from Christianity, then those marks will become fainter and fainter until such point that integrity may matter less and less”.

When asked about what he sees as the next big moral issues facing the nation he was quick and to the point: 1.) “the effort to decriminalise all abortion up to the point of birth”; and, 2.) “assisted dying”. He does not believe that the former will find the support necessary to be approved by parliament and that assisted dying will be a big battle.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(NBCU) Kidnapped 6-year-old girl rescued with help from neighbors, police

“Neighbors immediately called 911 after a 6-year-old girl was kidnapped while outside with her bike in Louisville, Kentucky. Police officers quickly located the car to rescue the little girl.”

Watch it all.

Posted in Children, Marriage & Family, Police/Fire, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NYT Op-ed) Ross Douthat–The Excesses of Antiracist Education

What’s really inflaming today’s fights, though, is that the structural-racist diagnosis isn’t being offered on its own. Instead it’s yoked to two sweeping theories about how to fight the problem it describes.

First, there is a novel theory of moral education, according to which the best way to deal with systemic inequality is to confront its white beneficiaries with their privileges and encourage them to wrestle with their sins.

Second, there is a Manichaean vision of public policy, in which all policymaking is either racist or antiracist, all racial disparities are the result of racism — and the measurement of any outcome short of perfect “equity” may be a form of structural racism itself.

The first idea is associated with Robin DiAngelo, the second with Ibram X. Kendi, and they converge in places like the work of Tema Okun, whose presentations train educators to see “white-supremacy culture” at work in traditional measures of academic attainment.

The impulses these ideas encourage take different forms in different institutions, but they usually circle around to similar goals…..

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Philosophy, Race/Race Relations

Tuesday Midday encouragement–Kansas teachers’ students participate in their wedding

“Kansas teachers Mason McDowell and Alexandra Stamps, both first-year teachers, invited their third and fifth grade students to be junior bridesmaids and groomsmen at their wedding.”

Watch it all.

Posted in Children, Education, Marriage & Family

(FE Week) Nigel Genders–The Church of England wants to serve a new generation in education as we have always done

An article in FE Week last week by the National Secular Society rather bizarrely tried to argue that this was part of some secret plan.

On the contrary, we are unapologetic about seeking to engage with and serve a new generation, as this is what we have always done.

Suggestions that spiritual guidance and support offered by chaplaincies is either unwanted or a niche provision also miss the mark.

A recent ComRes poll showed that almost half of adults (44 per cent) say they pray. And one in four people pray regularly (at least once a month) ̶ a number that has increased six percentage points since a pre-pandemic survey.

Positive responses are even higher in the 18-to-34 age group, with 30 per cent saying they pray regularly, and 34 per cent having watched a broadcast religious service during the pandemic.

By this measure, the idea that faith has no place in modern society is decidedly pre-pandemic in its worldview, especially among younger age groups.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(CC) Philip Jenkins–Will the looming fertility bust destroy religion?

So will a fertility bust destroy religion? No, or not exactly, for two reasons. The first is that the fall of religious institutions does not necessarily destroy faith as such, or eliminate spiritual hunger. Witness the upsurge of pilgrimage across supposedly secular Europe. The question that then arises is how long private and individual faith can endure without institutions, and we simply do not have the historical records to answer that question.

Also, presently at least, the fertility decline is patchy. There are large areas of the globe it has not yet affected—above all, Africa. For a generation at least, that continent’s two great faiths, Islam and Christianity, will be flourishing in that setting, if not elsewhere. After 2050, the crystal ball becomes distinctly cloudy, but it is highly likely that even Africa will eventually move to the low-faith and low-fertility model.

The Times study demands that we think beyond simple secularization and through the linkage between the size and structure of families—and about what churches actually do. Only when we take children out of the picture do we realize just how much of what churches have always done has focused on the young. Besides Sunday school, this means bringing them through the rites of passage, from baptism, confirmation, and first communion to summer camp and vacation Bible school. Such activities are what binds people to religious communities. If you want to see churches where the young are largely absent, then look to Europe, and worry. In the words of the prophet Joni Mitchell, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone….

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Globalization, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) Pupils face total ban on mobile phone use

Schools will become mobile phone-free zones, Gavin Williamson announced yesterday as he set out plans for a nationwide classroom ban.

Under a new regime backed by the education secretary, heads would be told to stop pupils using their phones at any point during the school day.

Williamson said that the ban would end the “damaging effect” that overuse of mobile phones could have on children’s mental health and wellbeing.

The move pits him against teachers’ leaders who have criticised it as a “distraction” from the pressing problems of helping pupils to catch up on learning lost during the pandemic.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Children, Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Science & Technology

(Local paper front page) Jamal Sutherland’s family shares story of his unshakable faith and their quest for justice

She’s zeroed in on the moments deputies grappled with him after deploying the pepper spray and Tasers.

Every viewing seems to lead to more questions, like when Jamar, her youngest son, spotted bandages on Jamal’s legs as deputies moved in on his cell.

She wonders how he received those injuries. She knows her search for accountability isn’t over.

Amid the questions and the grief, amid the loss of the son who clung closest to her side, Amy Sutherland takes comfort in one fact — her son’s final moments were spent calling out to his Lord.

“Hallelujah,” he could be heard in deputies’ body camera video. “Hallelujah.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

(CNN) The world’s most premature baby has celebrated his first birthday after beating 0% odds of surviving

A baby born weighing less than a pound has beaten the odds and celebrated his first birthday, becoming the most premature baby to survive, according to Guinness World Records.

When Richard Scott William Hutchinson was born five months prematurely — recognized by Guinness as the world’s most premature baby — his doctors prepared his parents for the worst.

Richard was born at Children’s Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after his mother, Beth Hutchinson, suffered medical complications that caused her to go into labor.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology

A Prayer for Fathers Day from the Rev. Chuck Currie

From there:

We give our thanks, Creator God, for the fathers in our lives.

Fatherhood does not come with a manual, and reality teaches us that some fathers excel while others fail.
We ask for Your blessings for them all and forgiveness where it is needed.

This Father’s Day we remember the many sacrifices fathers make for their children and families, and the ways–both big and small–they lift children to achieve dreams thought beyond reach.

So too, we remember all those who have helped fill the void when fathers pass early or are absent; grandfathers and uncles, brothers and cousins, teachers, pastors and coaches and the women of our families.

For those who are fathers, we ask for wisdom and humility in the face of the task of parenting. Give them the strength to do well by their children and by You.
In Your Holy name, O God, we pray.

Amen.

Posted in Children, Marriage & Family, Spirituality/Prayer

(NYT) She Fell Nearly 2 Miles, and Walked Away

From a window seat in a back row, the teenager watched a bolt of lightning strike the plane’s right wing. She remembers the aircraft nose-diving and her mother saying, evenly, “Now it’s all over.” She remembers people weeping and screaming. And she remembers the thundering silence that followed. The aircraft had broken apart, separating her from everyone else onboard. “The next thing I knew, I was no longer inside the cabin,” Dr. Diller said. “I was outside, in the open air. I hadn’t left the plane; the plane had left me.”

As she plunged, the three-seat bench into which she was belted spun like the winged seed of a maple tree toward the jungle canopy. “From above, the treetops resembled heads of broccoli,” Dr. Diller recalled. She then blacked out, only to regain consciousness — alone, under the bench, in a torn minidress — on Christmas morning. She had fallen some 10,000 feet, nearly two miles. Her row of seats is thought to have landed in dense foliage, cushioning the impact. Juliane was the sole survivor of the crash.

Miraculously, her injuries were relatively minor: a broken collarbone, a sprained knee and gashes on her right shoulder and left calf, one eye swollen shut and her field of vision in the other narrowed to a slit. Most unbearable among the discomforts was the disappearance of her eyeglasses — she was nearsighted — and one of her open-back sandals. “I lay there, almost like an embryo for the rest of the day and a whole night, until the next morning,” she wrote in her memoir, “When I Fell From the Sky,” published in Germany in 2011. “I am completely soaked, covered with mud and dirt, for it must have been pouring rain for a day and a night.”

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Marriage & Family, Peru, Psychology, Travel

(CT) Supreme Court Sides with Catholic Foster Care Agency

The United States Supreme Court ruled decisively in favor of a Catholic foster care agency on Thursday, with all nine justices agreeing that the city of Philadelphia violated the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty when it ended a contract with Catholic Social Services (CSS) over service to…[prospective adoptees with same-sex parents].

“It is plain that the City’s actions have burdened CSS’s religious exercise by putting it to the choice of curtailing its mission or approving relationships inconsistent with its beliefs,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Philadelphia claimed the city could not contract foster care services with a Catholic agency that only served married heterosexual couples because of an antidiscrimination law ensuring that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, has equal access to public accommodations. The court found, however, that foster parenting is not a “public accommodation,” since certification is not available to the public and “bears little resemblance to staying in a hotel, eating at a restaurant, or riding a bus.”

According to the court, there was also no evidence presented in the record that the Catholic agency’s policies ever prevented a same-sex couple from fostering a child, or that it would have that effect.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Religious Freedom / Persecution, Roman Catholic, Supreme Court, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NYT) Why American Women Everywhere Are Delaying Motherhood

Luz Portillo, the oldest daughter of Mexican immigrants, has many plans. She is studying to be a skin care expert. She has also applied to nursing school. She works full time, too — as a nurse’s aide and doing eyelash extensions, a business she would like to grow.

But one thing she has no plans for anytime soon is a baby.

Ms. Portillo’s mother had her when she was 16. Her father has worked as a landscaper for as long as she can remember. She wants a career and more control over her life.

“I can’t get pregnant, I can’t get pregnant,” she said she tells herself. “I have to have a career and a job. If I don’t, it’s like everything my parents did goes in vain.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Marriage & Family, Theology, Women

(BBC) How one family single-handedly kept a town’s church bells ringing by reuniting during the pandemic

The Bints, who live in Chagford in Devon, formed a support bubble when their children returned home at the start of the crisis.

Jon Bint said it meant they were in a “unique” position to ring the bells in line with Covid-19 guidance.

He described the family’s experience as a “one-off moment in time”.

Many parishes across the UK fell silent during lockdown as churches were forced to close, and social distancing made it difficult for more than one household to ring the bells.

The family affair began when Mr Bint first met his wife bell-ringing more than 30 years ago.

Over the years they passed on their skills to their two sons Joe and Gabe, and more recently, their daughters Holly and Morwenna.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(WSJ) Adam O’Neal–Kazakhstan’s efforts at rehabilitation and reintegration put Europe to shame

“Kazakhstan made a very bold move by being the first country to repatriate large numbers of its nationals,” Chris Harnisch, a Trump State Department official who worked on the issue, said in an interview. “They were not dipping their toe in the water. They went all in.” The Kazakh government repatriated 607 citizens through a program called Operation Zhusan. Most were women (157) and children (413). Thirty-seven adult male fighters faced prosecution upon arrival. Another 32 women and 89 children returned themselves.

The Kazakh government sends women and children to rehabilitation centers, where they undergo a long process to help them reintegrate into society. Some return completely jaded, while others remain committed to ISIS: One woman tried to smuggle the group’s propaganda into Kazakhstan in a child’s toy.

“We are trying to bring them back to normal,” then-Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev told me earlier this year. “We would like to see them as ordinary people.” This created controversy domestically, but the government held firm.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Kazakhstan, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Women

(Wycliffe College) Stephen Andrews on the recent discovery of the unmarked graves of 215 children at a former Indian Residential School

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the discovery in British Columbia is the realization that these children were not dignified by the preservation of their names. They were more than casualties of a malign social experiment, they were at one time members of families, each one a beloved child, and child of God. And they had names. As painful as it may be now to hear them, hear them we must. We must spare no effort in helping to discover these precious relics in the wreckage we have created. And when we pray, “those whom we have forgotten, do thou, O Lord, remember,” let us do so shamefully and in the hope that God has recorded for them a new name, shared only by the departed and God alone (Revelation 2.17).

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education

(NBC) Annual Memorial Day Run Supports Fallen Service Members

‘The children of fallen service members run in a 5k race every year to honor their parents, who gave their lives in service to this country. Military members are paired up as training mentors with the runners in the annual Memorial Day race just outside of Seattle, Washington.’

Watch it all.

Posted in Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, Sports

JRR Tolkien on why the Gospel is like unto but Better than a Fairy Tale

Probably every writer making a secondary world, a fantasy, every sub-creator, wishes in some measure to be a real maker, or hopes that he is drawing on reality: hopes that the peculiar quality of this secondary world (if not all the details) are derived from Reality, or are flowing into it. If he indeed achieves a quality that can fairly be described by the dictionary definition: “inner consistency of reality,” it is difficult to conceive how this can be, if the work does not in some way partake of reality. The peculiar quality of the ”joy” in successful Fantasy can thus be explained as a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth. It is not only a “consolation” for the sorrow of this world, but a satisfaction, and an answer to that question, “Is it true?” The answer to this question that I gave at first was (quite rightly): “If you have built your little world well, yes: it is true in that world.” That is enough for the artist (or the artist part of the artist). But in the “eucatastrophe” we see in a brief vision that the answer may be greater — it may be a far-off gleam or echo of evangelium in the real world. The use of this word gives a hint of my epilogue. It is a serious and dangerous matter. It is presumptuous of me to touch upon such a theme; but if by grace what I say has in any respect any validity, it is, of course, only one facet of a truth incalculably rich: finite only because the capacity of Man for whom this was done is finite.

I would venture to say that approaching the Christian Story from this direction, it has long been my feeling (a joyous feeling) that God redeemed the corrupt making-creatures, men, in a way fitting to this aspect, as to others, of their strange nature. The Gospels contain a fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories. They contain many marvels—peculiarly artistic, beautiful, and moving: “mythical” in their perfect, self-contained significance; and among the marvels is the greatest and most complete conceivable eucatastrophe. But this story has entered History and the primary world; the desire and aspiration of sub-creation has been raised to the fulfillment of Creation. The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy. It has pre-eminently the “inner consistency of reality.” There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many sceptical men have accepted as true on its own merits. For the Art of it has the supremely convincing tone of Primary Art, that is, of Creation. To reject it leads either to sadness or to wrath. Every fairy tale we tell has at it’s root a core element of the ultimate story but the thing which makes the gospel so compelling is that it like a fairy tale sounds too good to be true but unlike a fairy tale is true.

“It is not difficult to imagine the peculiar excitement and joy that one would feel, if any specially beautiful fairy-story were found to be “primarily” true, its narrative to be history, without thereby necessarily losing the mythical or allegorical significance that it had possessed. It is not difficult, for one is not called upon to try and conceive anything of a quality unknown. The joy would have exactly the same quality, if not the same degree, as the joy which the “turn” in a fairy-story gives: such joy has the very taste of primary truth. (Otherwise its name would not be joy.) It looks forward (or backward: the direction in this regard is unimportant) to the Great Eucatastrophe. The Christian joy, the Gloria, is of the same kind; but it is preeminently (infinitely, if our capacity were not finite) high and joyous. But this story is supreme; and it is true. Art has been verified. God is the Lord, of angels, and of men—and of elves. Legend and History have met and fused.”

— J.R.R. Tolkien on Fairy Stories, cited by yours truly on this past Sunday’s Pentecost sermon.

Posted in Children, Church History, Poetry & Literature, Theology

(NYT front page) China Targets Muslim Women in Push to Suppress Births in Xinjiang

When China’s government ordered women in her mostly Muslim community in the region of Xinjiang to be fitted with contraceptive devices, Qelbinur Sedik pleaded for an exemption. She was nearly 50 years old, she told officials. She had obeyed the government’s birth limits and had only one child.

It was no use. The workers threatened to take her to the police if she continued resisting, she said. She gave in and went to a government clinic where a doctor, using metal forceps, inserted an intrauterine device to prevent pregnancy. She wept through the procedure.

“I felt like I was no longer a normal woman,” Ms. Sedik said, choking up as she described the 2017 ordeal. “Like I was missing something.”

Across much of China, the authorities are encouraging women to have more children, as they try to stave off a demographic crisis from a declining birthrate. But in the Xinjiang region, China is forcing them to have fewer, tightening its grip on Muslim ethnic minorities and trying to orchestrate a demographic shift that will diminish their population growth.

Read it all

Posted in Children, China, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Women

(Anglican Church of Wales) Wales Pupils given pocket gospel to mark translators’ anniversary

Every child in a Church in Wales School in north-east and mid Wales is to receive a gift from the Bishop of St Asaph to celebrate the work of the Welsh Bible Translators, more than 400 years ago.

It is part of plans by the Diocese of St Asaph to mark the 400th anniversary of Edmund Prys’ 1621 translation of the Psalms into Welsh suitable for congregational singing. Prys and seven out of the eight Bible Translators were born in the Diocese of St Asaph and are commemorated by a memorial outside St Asaph Cathedral.

In partnership with the Pocket Testament League UK, a charity which promotes the distribution of St John’s Gospel, the Bishop of St Asaph has commissioned a bespoke edition of the Gospel in Welsh and English to be given to all 6,000 church school pupils. The book includes an introduction from the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron and information explaining the importance of the Bible translators.

Bishop Gregory said, “Christians believe that the Bible contains God’s message to humanity, summed up in the person of Jesus Christ. The translation of the Bible into Welsh is a remarkable story of how people can achieve something great through their joint commitment and their desire to make the story of Jesus known more widely. The story of the translation is very much part of our story too, as it is rooted here in the diocese of St Asaph.

Read it all.

Posted in Books, Children, Church History, Church of Wales

(BBC) Down’s syndrome: Abortion case heads to High Court

Campaigners are set to have a review of abortion law relating to Down’s syndrome heard at the High Court.

Heidi Carter, of Coventry, and Máire Lea-Wilson from Brentford, west London, are challenging the government over a clause in the current law which allows abortion for up to birth for a foetus with Down’s syndrome.

Mrs Carter, 25, who has the condition, said the current law is “not fair”.

The case is due to be heard on 6 and 7 July.

Currently, there is a 24-week time limit for abortion, unless “there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped” .

Mrs Carter, who campaigns under her given name of Crowter, previously wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying all non-fatal disabilities should be subject to the same standard 24-week limit.

Read it all.

Posted in Apologetics, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Science & Technology