Category : Politics in General

(ThisDay) Anglican Archbishop Okoh Urges President Buhari to Tackle the Insecurity felt by Nigerian Citizens

The Primate of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, has asked the federal government to do everything in its powers to shield the citizenry from all forms of attacks by criminal elements.

The primate noted that the reality on ground indicated that government still needs to do more to instill confidence on the citizens that it working to protect their interests.

Okoh made the call at the weekend in Abuja during the consecration of three new Bishops and presentation of Archbishops at the Anglican Cathedral Church of St. Bartholomew in Kubwa, Abuja.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Church Times) Find a way for the UK and EU to coexist, Archbp Welby and Bishop Bedford-Strohm tell politicians

In a joint statement issued by Lambeth Palace on Friday morning, Archbishop Welby and Dr Bedford-Strohm said: “European relationships are changing, not least as a result of Brexit. We do not know what will happen and what the relationship between the UK and EU will look like after 29 March 2019. However, what we do know is that the relationship between the Church of England and the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland goes back over many centuries — long before the European Union.

“As churches, we urgently appeal to all politicians to find fair and sustainable solutions for the future coexistence of the UK and the EU. United in Christ we are drawn together in hope, faith and love, and those things which divide us are of much lesser importance.”

Last week, during a Q&A at Great Yarmouth Minster, the Archbishop said that there was “no necessary defeatism, no necessary outcome either to staying in Europe or leaving. . . The big problems in our society of inequality, of unfairness, of the abandonment of an understanding of a moral and ethical framework which helps us choose how to treat people — that is the thing that will decide our future. . . Being in Europe or being out is obviously important, but there is as much hope out as in or in as out.’’

Read it all and the full joint statement may be found there.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Other Churches, Politics in General

(NYT) At Brexit Crunch Time, Theresa May Takes a Pummeling

Theresa May rose to her feet before the British House of Commons on Thursday to make the sales pitch of her life, promising that the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union would be “smooth and orderly.”

It was not supposed to be a laugh line.

But the members of Parliament laughed out loud at Mrs. May. They laughed uproariously, and for long enough that she had to pause, eyes flickering over her papers, and wait for them to stop, so she could continue.

Over the past two and a half years as prime minister, Mrs. May, 62, has plenty of experience being derided and conspired against. On Thursday, the day she publicly presented her long-awaited, 585-page deal to withdraw from the bloc, or Brexit, she took such a pummeling that her survival as prime minister was in question….

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Politics in General

Veterans Day Remarks–Try to Guess the Speaker and the Date

In a world tormented by tension and the possibilities of conflict, we meet in a quiet commemoration of an historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible. The resolution of the Congress which first proclaimed Armistice Day, described November 11, 1918, as the end of “the most destructive, sanguinary and far-reaching war in the history of human annals.” That resolution expressed the hope that the First World War would be, in truth, the war to end all wars. It suggested that those men who had died had therefore not given their lives in vain.

It is a tragic fact that these hopes have not been fulfilled, that wars still more destructive and still more sanguinary followed, that man’s capacity to devise new ways of killing his fellow men have far outstripped his capacity to live in peace with his fellow men.Some might say, therefore, that this day has lost its meaning, that the shadow of the new and deadly weapons have robbed this day of its great value, that whatever name we now give this day, whatever flags we fly or prayers we utter, it is too late to honor those who died before, and too soon to promise the living an end to organized death.

But let us not forget that November 11, 1918, signified a beginning, as well as an end. “The purpose of all war,” said Augustine, “is peace.” The First World War produced man’s first great effort in recent times to solve by international cooperation the problems of war. That experiment continues in our present day — still imperfect, still short of its responsibilities, but it does offer a hope that some day nations can live in harmony.

For our part, we shall achieve that peace only with patience and perseverance and courage — the patience and perseverance necessary to work with allies of diverse interests but common goals, the courage necessary over a long period of time to overcome…[a skilled adversary].

Do please take a guess as to who it is and when it was, then click and read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Military / Armed Forces, Office of the President

(Local Paper) The Election of Joe Cunningham to the House–A shakeup with national reverberations

A seismic shakeup in the South Carolina political landscape reverberated nationwide Tuesday night.

While the Lowcountry’s 1st Congressional District race garnered attention for months as a potentially competitive contest, Democrat Joe Cunningham’s victory over Republican Katie Arrington still stunned many political experts.

Dave Wasserman, the top U.S. House editor at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, sized up the result in a district Trump won easily in 2016 as the second biggest Democratic upset of the night nationwide.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, House of Representatives, Politics in General

(BBC) Dutchman, 69, brings lawsuit to lower his age 20 years

A Dutch “positivity trainer” has launched a legal battle to change his age and boost his dating prospects.

Emile Ratelband, 69, wants to shift his birthday from 11 March 1949 to 11 March 1969, comparing the change to identifying as being transgender.

“We live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can’t I decide my own age?” he said.

A local court in the eastern city of Arnhem is expected to rule on the case within four weeks….

Read it all.

Posted in Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, The Netherlands

(WSJ) In Tight Races, White Males Are the Swing Voters to Watch

Polling throughout the year has shown that white, college-educated men are now essentially a swing group, available to either party and tilting, in fact, slightly toward Democratic candidates.

These men account for nearly one in five voters in competitive House districts, polling shows, and so their candidate choices could be enough to provide the margin of victory in some races on Tuesday.

Politically speaking, this group has traveled a long distance in recent decades. In 1994, 62% of white men with bachelor’s degrees wanted Republicans to control Congress, while 29% preferred Democrats — a net tilt to the GOP of 33 percentage points, Journal/NBC News polling found that year. Today, the picture is far different.

That’s a substantial change, especially when compared with white men who don’t have four-year college degrees. That group, often called working-class white men, remain core supporters of the Republican Party and overwhelmingly back President Trump.

But in 1994, when Journal/NBC News polling started tracking the trend, it was the white men with college degrees who leaned most heavily toward the GOP—as they did for years afterward.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Politics in General

(NYT Oped) Ross Douthat–2018 Midterm Elections Deliver an American Stalemate

For once, it all happened more or less as we foresaw — and by “we” I mean risk-averse political commentators who hugged the polling averages and projections tight while resisting both Betomania and the occasional flashbacks to 2016. A good night for Republicans in the Senate. An excellent night for Democrats in the House. The Trumpian Upper Midwest swinging back toward Democrats. Red-state senate voters sticking with the G.O.P. The mobilize-the-base strategy falling just short for Democrats in Florida and Georgia. A rebuke to Trump in the overall returns, but not a presidency-ending repudiation. Two years of chaos and hysteria ending in a return to stalemate.

Between their Senate gains and a few surprising gubernatorial victories Republicans probably have enough consolation prizes to feel O.K. about the outcome. Trump critics on the right will feel a little better than O.K., since now the House can check and investigate our morally challenged president while the Senate keeps confirming conservative judges.

But this election confirms that, contra certain Trump enthusiasts, the #MAGA era in right-wing politics is essentially a defensive era, in which G.O.P. leverages a fortunate Electoral College win and an advantage in the Senate to fill the courts and delay liberal ambitions for a time — but fails, conspicuously, to reap political rewards from the current economic expansion and to build an actual popular majority.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Politics in General

(Anglican Church of Australia) Prayers–A Litany for Election day

From here:

Lord of every time and place,
God of integrity and truth,
we pray for wisdom as we prepare to vote in the [this] election.

Let us give thanks to God, saying, ‘we thank you, Lord’.

For this land and the diversity of its peoples,
we thank you, Lord.
For all who work for peace and justice in this land,
we thank you, Lord.
For leaders who serve the common good,
we thank you, Lord.
For robust democracy and freedom to participate in public life,
we thank you, Lord.
For media scrutiny and open debate,
we thank you, Lord.
Let us pray to the Lord, saying, ‘Hear us, good Lord’.
Bless those who administer the electoral process,
that they may uphold fairness, honesty and truth.
Hear us, good Lord.
Impart your wisdom to all who propose policy,
that their promises may serve those in greatest need.
Hear us, good Lord.
Give integrity to party leaders, candidates and campaign workers,
and keep them from deceit and corruption.
Hear us, good Lord.
Protect all engaged in public life, with their families, friends and colleagues,
that nothing may demean or do them harm.
Hear us, good Lord.
Direct those who influence opinion through the media,
that we may listen, speak and vote with sound minds.
Hear us, good Lord….

God, bless America,
guard our people
guide our leaders
and give us peace;
for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen

(Slightly edited for the American midterms-KSH).

Posted in Anglican Church of Australia, Politics in General, Spirituality/Prayer

(The Australian) Archbishop Glenn Davies–Real freedoms will end the broken chain of exemptions

…when the heads of our Anglica­n schools wrote their open letter, the subject at hand — stated quite clearly — was religious freedom, the right to run a school in accordan­ce with its tenets, beliefs and values. They pointed out that schools never used these exemptions in the area of sexual identity and orientation. They neither wanted them nor requested them. To do so would have gone against the very ethos of an Anglican school, which welcomes all ­students.

However, the publication of the open letter has poured a vat of vitrio­l upon the heads of some of the most respected schools in the country. Reaction to gossip across social media has galvanised signatures on petitions for a cause with which the heads of schools are in fundamental agreement.

The open letter’s reference to retaining the exemptions (for exampl­e, allowing single-sex schools to enrol only students of one sex) was in response to a bill from the Australian Greens, which sought to delete the entire section. Besides, for 35 years this has not been an issue in the public sphere, despite our own criticism of the lack of a positive protection for religious freedom. Yet any fair reading will reveal that the thrust of the letter was to advance the case for protecting religious freedom for Anglican schools in particular, and across the educational sector as a whole, including schools of different faiths and those of no faith.

I commend the heads for their courage in sending this message to the members of federal parliament. I also commend them for their resilience in the face of such stringent opposition and mis­understanding from some alumni of their schools, who have simply missed the point. Given the misleading nature of the “exemptions” regime, I can understand their confusion, but the landscape of Anglican education has not changed. Anglican schools neither discriminate against gay students nor do they want the right to do so.

The heads want the parliament to provide positive protection for religious freedom. When the presen­t vacuum is filled — not by rumour and misinformation but by the release of the Ruddock report — we can finally leave behind our broken mess of exemptions and move toward the positive protecti­on of religious freedom.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church of Australia, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Telegraph) Christian woman cleared of blasphemy barred from leaving Pakistan

A Christian woman spared the death penalty after her blasphemy conviction was overturned faces being barred from leaving Pakistan under a deal struck to appease hardliners.

Pakistan’s government on Friday night said it had reached an agreement with Islamist parties to end three days of protests which have paralysed the country after Asia Bibi was freed.

The deal included a government concession to begin court proceedings to put Mrs Bibi on the country’s no-fly list.

Pakistan’s government told the BBC it would be up to the court to decide, but the sop to extremists is likely to anger rights groups and Western countries who have been pushing for her freedom.

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Posted in Law & Legal Issues, Pakistan, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Sports Minister Tracey Crouch resigns over ‘delay’ to betting crackdown

Sports minister Tracey Crouch has resigned over “delays” to a crackdown on maximum stakes for fixed-odds betting machines.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said in Monday’s Budget that the cut in stakes from £100 to £2 would come into force in October 2019.

Ms Crouch said pushing back the date was “unjustifiable” and it could cost the lives of problem gamblers.

She tweeted: “Politicians come and go but principles stay with us forever.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was disappointed Ms Crouch had resigned but there had been “no delay in bringing forward this important measure”.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Poverty

(NPR) Pakistan’s High Court Acquits Asia Bibi, Christian Woman On Death Row For Blasphemy

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday announced the acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was convicted and sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy in a case that has roiled the country.

In the courtroom, it took less a minute for the chief justice, Saqib Nisar, to upturn a series of legal rulings that had kept Bibi on death row for eight years.

In terse remarks to the hushed, packed courtroom, he said that Bibi’s conviction and sentence had been voided.

In a 56-page verdict issued after the ruling, the three-judge bench appeared to side with Bibi’s advocates. They have maintained that the case against the 51-year-old illiterate farmhand was built around a grievance by her fellow Muslim workers, who appeared angry that she might drink from the same vessel as them. She was ordered by a local landlord to bring water to the women on a day while they were picking berries.

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Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Pakistan, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(FT) Opponents fear ‘wrecking ball’ Bolsonaro poses threat to Brazilian democracy

The seven-time congressman is known as an apologist for the 1964-85 military dictatorship, for endorsing torture and for making disparaging remarks about homosexuals, women and black people.

But the majority of voters do not appear to care about these threats. They want to use him as a wrecking ball to demolish what they see as a hopelessly corrupt and incompetent political establishment, starting with the PT. Many view his less savoury remarks as a refreshing change from the fussy political correctness associated with the left.

“He has become a point of convergence for innumerable and diverse points of dissatisfaction with a political system that is rotten to the core,” says Daniel Aarão Reis, a professor of contemporary history at Universidade Federal Fluminense in Niterói.

Whatever the reasons for his likely victory, observers are divided over whether a Bolsonaro presidency will threaten one of Brazil’s most hard-won achievements — its democracy. In style at least, Mr Bolsonaro echoes many of the traits of the populists who have prospered around the world in recent years, from Turkey and Russia to the Philippines.

Read it all.

Posted in Brazil, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(CT) Debunking the Myth that 81% of Evangelicals Voted for Donald Trump

The fact remains that many evangelical Trump voters were reluctant supporters. They voted according to their political values while choosing someone they thought could actually win. In doing so, they secured several key promises from the Trump campaign. As CNN religion reporter Daniel Burke said, “They backed the right candidate during the election. And now they’re reaping the dividends. … The president has delivered on the campaign promises he made [to evangelicals].”

Yet this close association with a thrice-married adulterer with a history of disturbing comments about women, immigrants, and more leads to the uncomfortable question evangelicals will probably wrestle with for years to come: Was it worth it?

Notably, about 1 in 3 American evangelicals by belief today is a person of color, whose views get overlooked in discussions about how white evangelicals voted. Overall, of those with an opinion, 3 out of 4 evangelicals by belief recognized that the 2016 election revealed political divides within the church that have existed for a long time. Yet even in the midst of so many divisions today, statistics continue to show that evangelicalism is growing numerically across the globe. The movement is succeeding despite our best efforts.

And our research may encourage those who fear the church’s reputation is beyond salvaging: Only 1 in 3 non-evangelicals told us that they see evangelicals as “too closely aligned with President Trump.” And only 1 in 4 told us their perception of evangelicals has worsened since the election.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Evangelicals, Politics in General, President Donald Trump, Religion & Culture