Category : Media

(Wash. Post) Michael Gerson, Post columnist and Bush speechwriter on 9/11, dies at 58

Michael Gerson, a speechwriter for President George W. Bush who helped craft messages of grief and resolve after 9/11, then explored conservative politics and faith as a Washington Post columnist writing on issues as diverse as President Donald Trump’s disruptive grip on the GOP and his own struggles with depression, died Nov. 17 at a hospital in Washington. He was 58.

The cause of death was complications of cancer, said Peter Wehner, a longtime friend and former colleague.

After years of working as a writer for conservative and evangelical leaders, including Prison Fellowship Ministries founder and Watergate felon Charles Colson, Mr. Gerson joined the Bush campaign in 1999. Mr. Gerson, an evangelical Christian, wrote with an eye toward religious and moral imagery, and that approach melded well with Bush’s personality as a leader open about his own Christian faith.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Media, Politics in General

(Current) Marvin Olasky–A Wrinkle in Journalism History

As I began editing World thirty years ago I was proposing policies regarding poverty-fighting and related issues that became known as “compassionate conservatism.” The magazine reflected that viewpoint. Today, “national conservatism” or “Christian nationalism” has little room for compassion. As World resisted paranoid lines regarding vaccines, masks, and church closings—all part of a big government plot—our resistance became part of a larger conspiracy theory: World had gone woke.

American journalism history has valuable lessons on how to deal with conspiracy mongers. In 1955 wealthy William F. Buckley, Jr. started a magazine, National Review, that invigorated a conservative movement in disarray. Within a few years Buckley as editor had to fight off the John Birch Society, which asserted—among other oddities—that President Dwight Eisenhower was a Communist. Buckley said Birch founder and head Robert Welch inferred “subjective intention from objective consequences”: Because bad things had happened, U.S. policy makers must have intended them to happen.

John Birchers scrutinized book-buying decisions by local librarians and demanded that some books be removed. When National Review opposed the Birch campaign to impeach Earl Warren, the Supreme Court’s chief justice, many subscribers complained. When one donor said he had supported National Review financially and wanted it to support his concerns, Buckley said the magazine was “not for sale.”

Buckley owned the magazine and maintained his emphasis on independence even when the business side, led by publisher Bill Rusher, worried about reader and revenue loss. Rusher said a “substantial fraction” of readers “bled away” during 1962 and 1963. A direct mail campaign flopped as many on the mailing lists sided with the Birchers.

Buckley stuck with his principles and wrote to Barry Goldwater, “It is essential that we effect a clean break” with the Birch Society.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Media, Religion & Culture

(CT) Christianity Today Names Russell Moore Editor in Chief

We aspire at Christianity Today to advance the stories and ideas of the kingdom of God. The basic question that animates our work is What does it look like to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ in our time? We hope to be for a new generation what we were for Moore himself when he came across Christianity Today at the age of 15: a capacious and compelling vision of Christian life that opens a path through a fallen world and into the kingdom of God.

That’s why appointing Moore to this position is so important. As president and CEO, I have held the editor in chief position in stewardship for a brief time, but it needs someone to inhabit it fully, and Moore exhibits that way of following Jesus that is deeply rooted, beautifully orthodox, thoughtful and compassionate, and committed to serving the kingdom even at great cost to ourselves.

Significantly, we are also bringing longtime communications and publishing veteran Joy Allmond onto our team to serve as editorial chief of staff. One of the primary charges for Moore will be to continue advancing the Public Theology Project. Allmond will work alongside him to see that project flourish. With an extensive background at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Decision magazine, and Lifeway, Allmond will bring considerable editorial, executive, and interpersonal gifts to the smooth functioning of our publishing enterprise as well as forthcoming events and programs.

Ours is an era of great peril and great promise for the church. We are determined at Christianity Today to do everything we can to serve the church in a turbulent and divisive time, and to love the world God made. We were honored to bring Russell Moore onto the team a little over a year ago. Now we look forward to what he, Allmond, and our extraordinary editorial team can accomplish in the years ahead.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Evangelicals, Media, Religion & Culture

(NYT) Vin Scully, Voice of the Dodgers for 67 Years, Dies at 94

Vin Scully, who was celebrated for his mastery of the graceful phrase and his gift for storytelling during the 67 summers he served as the announcer for Dodgers baseball games, first in Brooklyn and then in Los Angeles, died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94.

His death was announced by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

For all the Dodgers’ marquee players since World War II, Mr. Scully was the enduring face of the franchise. He was a national sports treasure as well, broadcasting for CBS and NBC. He called baseball’s Game of the Week, All-Star Games, the playoffs and more than two dozen World Series. In 2009, the American Sportscasters Association voted him No. 1 on its list of the “Top 50 Sportscasters of All Time.”

He began broadcasting at Ebbets Field in 1950, when he was a slender, red-haired 22-year-old graduate of Fordham University and a protégé of Red Barber. When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, fans at the cavernous Coliseum brought along hand-held transistor radios, recently popularized in America, so Mr. Scully could guide them through the pioneering days of major league baseball on the West Coast.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Media, Sports

(Gallup) Media Confidence Ratings at Record Lows

Americans’ confidence in two facets of the news media — newspapers and television news — has fallen to all-time low points. Just 16% of U.S. adults now say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers and 11% in television news. Both readings are down five percentage points since last year.

Gallup has tracked Americans’ confidence in newspapers since 1973 and television news since 1993 as part of its annual polling about major U.S. institutions. The latest readings are from a June 1-20 poll that saw declines in confidence ratings for 11 of the 16 institutions measured and no improvements for any.

Television news and newspapers rank nearly at the bottom of that list of institutions, with only Congress garnering less confidence from the public than TV news. While these two news institutions have never earned high confidence ratings, they have fallen in the rankings in recent years.

A majority of Americans have expressed confidence in newspapers only once — in 1979, when 51% did. But there is a wide margin between that and the second-highest readings of 39% in 1973 and 1990. The trend average for newspapers is 30%, well above the latest reading of 16%, which is the first time the measure has fallen below 20%. The percentage of Americans who say they have “very little” or volunteer that they have no confidence is currently the highest on record, at 46%.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Media

(Economist 1843 Magazine) Elena Kostyuchenko–I lost my job for telling the truth about Ukraine

I meant to stay for two days, but on the third day we couldn’t get out because there was active combat on the road we’d been planning to take. The next day, we tried getting out on a different road. We went through two checkpoints but at the third one they told us that if they let us through, troops at the next checkpoint would gun us down. They said there were orders to shoot at all oncoming cars. We turned around and tried going through a neighbouring village instead, but locals told us that there were landmines up ahead. We tried yet another route. At a certain point, we were forced to go around a checkpoint because soldiers refused to let us through. We thought they might shoot at us from behind, but they didn’t.

From Kherson, I headed to Mariupol. As I was travelling, I suddenly started getting texts from colleagues from other publications with messages like, “We feel for you, but hang in there. Everything’s going to be ok, don’t be scared.” That’s how I found out Novaya Gazeta was stopping publication, at least until the war was over.

I was deeply shaken. That might sound strange, considering everything that had happened over the years. Six journalists had been killed, four of them during my tenure. Our deputy editor had been abducted and severed sheep heads left in front of our offices. There were constant attacks on our journalists, and we prevented many more by getting people out of the country or hiding them. The government was always trying to shut us down or have us declared foreign agents. We had survived it all. I thought that even though they’d shut down everyone else, we would prevail.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Russia, Ukraine

(GR) Cooper Kupp’s spiritual vision: Well, it’s hard not to pay attention to the Super Bowl MVP

It’s hard not to pay attention to what the winner of the Most Valuable Player award has to say after the Super Bowl.

Thus, a few mainstream media features after the Los Angeles Rams’ victory focused on a bit of very personal testimony by superstar wide receiver Cooper Kupp. In a way, what he said resembled the kind of stereotypical Godtalk that filters into the news when believers are asked to express their first reactions after a major event — glorious or tragic — in their lives.

Long ago (pre-Internet), I interviewed the late, great Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry about all of this. People tend to think that believers pray to win football Games and either God hears them or not, he said. The reality is more complex than that and, most of the time, players and coaches are trying to make sense of these events — wins and loses — in the context of how God is working in their lives.

In the case of Kupp, this win in The Big Game linked into what he claimed was a vision after a Super Bowl loss. Here is the top of a story from The Athletic: “How the Rams’ Cooper Kupp’s quiet vision became reality in front of the whole world.”

Read it all.

Posted in Marriage & Family, Media, Religion & Culture, Sports

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

We recently learned we missed the news (announced this past summer) that the Rev. Arthur Jenkins, Rector of Saint James, Charleston, intends to retire on June 5, 2022. In a note to the congregation he wrote, in part, “God willing, I have been called and allowed, challenged and blessed to serve as the Rector of Saint James Anglican Church for the past 24 years. It has been an amazing journey. It has been as the journey of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis. Day by day we have traveled to a place God has shown us. We have shared life and ministry in the Name of Jesus Christ. Now, God willing, on June 5th, Pentecost Sunday this year I will retire as rector of Saint James Anglican Church. It will be the 31st anniversary of my ordination and my joining you as your assistant in 1991. You are the people with whom I began this great journey of ordained ministry. You are the people that together we will move on to our next season of life and ministry as, God willing, you will welcome your next rector.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Media, Parish Ministry

(Premier) The Bishop of Ripon speaks up against government plans to abolish BBC licence fee

A bishop from the Church of England has spoken out about government plans to abolish the BBC licence fee.

Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, the Bishop of Ripon has praised the Corporation’s role in developing greater understanding of religion.

Dr Hartley is a Chair of the Sandford St Martin Trust that promotes ‘excellence in broadcasting about religion ethics and spirituality.’

She has expressed deep concern about Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries statement about possibly abolishing the licence fee after 2027.

Dr Hartley, issued a statement on the Sandford St Martin Trust website, she said: “It is with concern that we at the Trust have read reports that the BBC is to be hit by a funding freeze and that the culture secretary Nadine Dorries is anticipating the abolition of the licence fee after 2027.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Movies & Television, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Laura Lorson with a Hilarious and much needed Thread on a NY Times Headline this week

Make sure to read all the replies.

Posted in Language, Media, Movies & Television

(NPR) Sending the right message about the omicron variant

This time, a lot of local public health departments around the country are working hard to get the message right, says Adriane Casalotti of the National Association of County and City Health Officials. “We have seen local health departments being out there, trying to explain to folks what we do know, but also what we don’t know — and what the timeframe is, and what the process is for learning more.”

One official who’s getting out there is Dr. Matifadza Hlatshwayo Davis, a specialist in infectious diseases and the director of health for the city of St. Louis.

“The message is: There’s no need to panic,” she says. “We still need to learn, we still need to wait for science to do its thing. But in the meantime, we have tools available to keep ourselves and our community safe. We have safe and effective vaccines — so go out and get one — we know that masking works, we know that social distancing works, and we know that hand-washing works.”

In addition to the “don’t panic, do this instead” message, Vish Viswanath, professor of health communication at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health says Hlatshwayo Davis is also signaling to the community that she’s engaged and plans to keep them updated as scientists learn more about the new variant. He says her approach is “exactly what we need.”

“That sense of competence and action — ‘we are watching it, we are on top of it, we’ll work with you’ — it won’t eliminate, but it will abate many concerns,” he says.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Media, Science & Technology

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

December 8 Hearing; Prayer Vigil Organized

The importance, for the Diocese and its Parishes, of the December 8 South Carolina Supreme Court hearing cannot be overstated. For that reason, the clergy and people of the Diocese are strongly encouraged to keep the coming hearing in your prayers as the date approaches. Pray first for the shielding of Mr. Runyan and his legal team as they prepare for this hearing. Pray also that they be granted divine wisdom in preparing their arguments. Pray finally for the Justices (Donald W. Beatty, John W. Kittredge, John Cannon Few, George C. “Buck” James) that they be granted divine clarity in their preparations, in the hearing and, in their final ruling. Read more about the hearing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Media, Parish Ministry

A NYT article on Marvin Olasky and World Magzine

When Marvin Olasky gets angry emails from readers — more often than not about an exposé of wrongdoing at an evangelical church, or about a story that reflects poorly on Donald Trump — he has a stock reply.

“We think this is useful to the Church,” he tells disgruntled readers, “because we are also sinners.”

As the longtime editor of World, a Christian news organization that has a website, a biweekly magazine and a set of podcasts, Mr. Olasky has delivered a mix of hard news and watchdog articles about the evangelical realm under a journalistic philosophy he calls “biblical objectivity.”

It involves taking strong stands where the Bible is clear, which has led World to oppose abortion rights and support refugees, he says, and to follow reportable facts where the Bible doesn’t provide clear guidance.

Read it all.

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

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

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

This past Saturday, October 16, 2021, during the special Electing Convention held at Christ Church in Mt. Pleasant, the Very Rev. Chip Edgar was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina. Pending approval by the ACNA’s College of Bishops, who will meet in January 2022, Edgar will be in line to succeed Bishop Mark Lawrence who has served as the Diocesan Bishop since January of 2008….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Media, Parish Ministry

(BBC) Songs of Praise: Queen congratulates BBC show on 60th anniversary

The Queen has congratulated “all those involved” in BBC One’s Songs of Praise as the show celebrates 60 years on air.

Nearly 3,000 episodes of the world’s longest-running religious TV programme have aired since its first transmission, from Cardiff, in 1961.

In a message to be broadcast on Sunday’s show in Westminster Abbey, the Queen applauded the series for showing Christianity as “a living faith”.

Hosted by Aled Jones, the show will feature ex-presenters and star guests.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Media, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

The C of E announces there have been one million downloads for its Daily Prayer podcast

The Daily Prayer podcast, which is also integrated into the free Daily Prayer app, brings listeners together twice a day for short traditional services of Morning and Evening, usually led by the Revd Catherine Williams from Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire.

The podcast, available both via the Daily Prayer app as well as all major podcasting platforms, has had just under a quarter of a million unique listeners since launching.

The atmospheric services follow the pattern set out in the Church of England’s Common Worship services, with readings recorded by people around the country and music from St Martin’s Voices, one of the choirs of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

The podcast, which was launched in March 2021, has now registered more than 1,000,000 downloads, with around 8,000 people listening a day.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

The Wedding Dress; And Why I Tithe….
By Susan Clarkson Keller, St. Philip’s Church, Charleston

I began tithing sometime after college, when I began my first job. Despite being a young believer, I understood that tithing was a way to show God how much I trusted Him to provide for me.

Then a speaker came to St. Philip’s in the mid-1980s, whose message greatly impacted my thinking about giving. I was challenged not only to tithe, but to see everything I had as God’s and to realize what a blessing it would be to give more and more to the work of the Kingdom, in and out of the church. I decided then to start tithing my gross income… which was a big step for me. Since that time, I have experienced the faithfulness of God in providing for me in some truly remarkable ways….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Media, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Tune in to AXS TV July 7 at 6:30 p.m. to see the season premiere of “If These Walls Could Rock,” a new series featuring musical performances in historically significant venues along with conversations surrounding the history and meaning of the venue in which the artists perform. In the opening show, July 7, Performer Ty Taylor reflects on his experience performing at the Old Brick Church in conversation with the Rev. Hamilton Smith (Rector of St. Thomas, Mt. Pleasant) and the musical duo Finnegan Bell (Shane Williams and Warren Bazemore) which leads worship at St. Thomas. The connection was made through the STAC House shows, the critically acclaimed songwriter series hosted by St. Thomas which Finnegan Bell created and curates.

Watch a video conversation with the lead singer of Vintage Trouble, Ty Taylor.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Media, Parish Ministry

(First Things) Fr. Vincent Druding–Remembering Richard John Neuhaus

Upon his death, I joined Sr. John Mary, SV and a couple of the Sisters of Life at his bedside to pray and sing the Office of the Dead from the Liturgy of the Hours. Thousands of times, Fr. Richard would have repeated Simeon the Prophet’s words to God on the completion of his mission, “Lord now you let your servant go in peace…your word has been fulfilled.”

Fr. Richard’s last published words read: “The entirety of our prayer is ‘Your will be done’—not as a note of resignation but of desire beyond expression. To that end, I commend myself to your intercession, and that of all the saints and angels who accompany us each step through time toward home.”

Fr. Richard, we have interceded for you, and continue to do so, but now it is we who ask you to intercede for us at the throne of glory. As you knew so well, the darkness of our time and culture—and even the darkness that has crept into our own Church—is great. But we believe with you that the Light has entered the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. We proclaim with you the power and authority of Christ in all times and places, and in all circumstances. We ask your assistance, Fr. Richard, to persevere in trials, to carry the cross, and to witness joyfully to the power of the Resurrection, so that we may preach with our lives, teach as you taught, and imitate your example of giving glory to God by throwing your life away for Jesus Christ and joining that high adventure of living life on high in Christ. Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, thank you, we love you, pray for us.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Church History, Lutheran, Media, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Clergy Renewal of Vows, Tuesday May 18, 2021

The Cathedral of St. Luke & St. Paul

Note: This will be our last Clergy Renewal of Vows service with Bishop Lawrence.

We are eager to offer this opportunity to re-gather, and commit ourselves to the calling of ordained ministry together. The day will have some nuances, as the City of Charleston still has some directives we will incorporate into our day….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Media, Parish Ministry

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

The Rev. Louise Weld, who serves as an Associate Rector at Saint James Church, Charleston, graced the cover of the Post and Courier this past Monday (March 29) holding a lamb and leading the children in a Palm Sunday procession.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Media, Parish Ministry

William Nye, Secretary General, Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England , pens a Response to an article in this week’s Spectator

In response to a cover story in the Spectator:Holy Relic – The Church of England as we know it is disappearing’ published 4 February 2021, William Nye, Secretary General, Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England has responded with the following Letter to the Editor (for publication). The letter reads as follows:

Sir,

As a longstanding and loyal reader of the Spectator, I was disappointed in your cover story about the Church of England.

I was amazed to read the ludicrous claim that the parish system is being dissolved like the monasteries, repeated without even a cursory check on whether this could possibly be true. We read of a supposed central take-over of independent dioceses and an imaginary national plan to roll out cuts and sell assets to fund more managers. The old canard that the Archbishops decided to suspend public worship last year at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, rather than the Government, did not even get a rudimentary qualification.

No one from the Spectator called the Church of England to ask whether any of these things were true.

This matters because truth matters. It matters because this kind of misinformation is damaging and demoralising to clergy and laity in every corner of England who have been worshipping God and serving their neighbours in extraordinary new ways, despite the restrictions we have all faced during this pandemic.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Media, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

Matt Taibbi on the Mainstream Media–The Echo Chamber Era

By any standard, the press had a terrible four years, from the mangling of dozens of Russiagate tales to scandals like the New York Times “Caliphate” disaster and the underappreciated Covington High School story fiasco. Still, many in the business can’t see how bad it’s been, because they’ve walled themselves off so completely from potential critics.

Coupled with the enhanced aggressiveness of Silicon Valley in removing dissenting accounts across the spectrum — Facebook is taking down six Socialist Workers Party accounts in Britain as I write this, a day after zapping a series of Antifa accounts — reporters at places like the Post, the Times, and CNN every day have less and less to worry about in terms of audience blowback, and they know it. Just in the first few days of the Biden administration, we’ve seen editorial decisions that would never have been attempted once upon a time.

The Post just tried to remove seven paragraphs of their own archived article about Vice President Kamala Harris, which contained a cringeworthy scene of Harris and her sister joking about prisoners begging for water, only to restore it after an outcry. CNN meanwhile ran a story that incoming Biden officials had to “build everything from scratch” with regard to Covid-19 policy because the Trump administration had no plan for vaccine distribution at all — not a bad or even a terrible plan, but literally a “nonexistent” plan, despite the fact that 36 million vaccines had already been delivered.

In this rare case, rival media organizations cried foul, with reporters from both Politico and the Washington Post blasting the report as untrue and a “gambit to lower expectations” by the incoming administration. In an atmosphere where editors really feared discontent from outside demographics or rival party politicians, a story like that, with an over-the-top-to-impossible premise, would never even be tried.

Read it all.

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Media

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

In lieu of this year’s cancelled Clergy Conference—Bishop Lawrence held two smaller gatherings October 19-21, the first held for Rectors and the second hosting Vicars, Associates & Deacons. The theme of the retreats was “Seeing Covid-19 as a Season of Exile.” The brief gatherings included teachings from Jeremiah—his life and writings and from insights gleaned from Eugene Peterson’s book, Run With the Horses: The Quest for Life at its Best, small group discussions, fellowship, and personal time for reflection on the call of God.

Some of the questions they considered included:

1. How has Covid-19 been for you, your family, or your congregation?
2. How is your congregation adapting to this exilic environment?
3. Where are you in need of such a renewal and new commitment now?
4. What has God appointed you to do or be—to what work has he given you now?
5. When Jeremiah bought the field at Anathoth he was buying into God’s promise. During this time of Covid-19 and social unrest how is God calling you to buy into what you believe?

“It was time well spent!” said the Rev. Karl Burns, Rector of Church of Our Saviour, Johns Island, “The Bishop’s teaching from Jeremiah was relevant and it was just good to be with my fellow rectors in a relaxed environment. Just to be able to sit and share in the atmosphere of where we are was very good.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Media, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Pedro Gabriel–Those Pope Francis quotes: Video editing and media controversy

I find it interesting how the Pope spoke here about the media taking his words out of context. I also find it interesting that the Pope specifically said that none of this means approving homosexual acts. This completely alters the implication of the quote that was presented to us. Of course, if you read the entire interview, you will see the Pope railing against abortion and saying, explicitly, “I am a conservative.”

What is even more interesting is that the quotes that appear in the clip from the documentary are scrambled. Additionally, there is absolutely no mention of homosexual unions in the interview—or at least in the official transcript. When I have time, I will watch the full interview, but there is no reference to it in the Vatican News transcript.

If we watch the clip from the documentary, we can see that during the part where the Pope speaks about civil unions, the background is the same as that of the 2019 interview. It appears that the part where Francis talks about approving civil unions must have been edited out of the final product. (Although, again, this is a provisional conclusion on my part, it may change after I watch the full interview).

How did Evgeny Afineevsky, the director of the documentary, get his hands on footage that was apparently edited out of the interview? CNA reports that “the documentarian … was given unprecedented access to Pope Francis until filming completed in June.” Perhaps this explains how he obtained this previously unaired snippet.

Still, the way the video preview rearranges the order in which his words actually appear in the interview should give us pause. Maybe after we see the interview in its full context, we will have a different impression of his words altogether, especially since the Holy Father uses the Spanish term “convivencia civil,” which can be either “civil union” or “civil coexistence.” If he means the latter, he may simply be referring to laws that protect the human rights of homosexuals. Note that he mentions that “this way, they can be legally covered.”

This is just my theory, but I think it’s quite possible that the snippet about civil unions came from a different part of the interview than the discussion of the family. Maybe Francis was discussing his political role in Argentina during an attempt to legalize civil marriage there. This is plausible, because in the interview they do discuss his time as an archbishop in Argentina.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(Tablet Magazine) American liberalism is in danger from a new ideology–Stop Being Shocked

No one has yet decided on the name for the force that has come to unseat liberalism. Some say it’s “Social Justice.” The author Rod Dreher has called it “therapeutic totalitarianism.” The writer Wesley Yang refers to it as “the successor ideology”—as in, the successor to liberalism.

At some point, it will have a formal name, one that properly describes its mixture of postmodernism, postcolonialism, identity politics, neo-Marxism, critical race theory, intersectionality, and the therapeutic mentality. Until then, it is up to each of us to see it plainly. We need to look past the hashtags and slogans and the jargon to assess it honestly—and then to explain it to others.

The new creed’s premise goes something like this: We are in a war in which the forces of justice and progress are arrayed against the forces of backwardness and oppression. And in a war, the normal rules of the game—due process; political compromise; the presumption of innocence; free speech; even reason itself—must be suspended. Indeed, those rules themselves were corrupt to begin with—designed, as they were, by dead white males in order to uphold their own power.

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” as the writer Audre Lorde put it. And the master’s house must be dismantled—because the house is rotted at its foundation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Education, Media, Movies & Television, Philosophy, Politics in General, Secularism

(FT) Digital ad market set to eclipse traditional media for first time

Digital advertising on platforms such as Google, Facebook and Alibaba is set this year to overtake spending on traditional media for the first time, a historic shift in market share that has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Excluding online ads sold by old media outlets such as news publishers or broadcasters, digital marketing is predicted to account for more than half the $530bn global advertising industry in 2020, according to GroupM, the media buying agency owned by WPP.

Separate forecasts released last week by Magna, part of IPG Mediabrands, also expect 2020 to be the year traditional media is upstaged.

The digital revolution in marketing under way since the millennium, when the internet accounted for under 2 per cent of spending, has transformed the ad market at a pace and scale that far outstrips the advent of television in the 20th century.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Media

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

St. Andrew’s Mt. Pleasant and St. Michael’s, Charleston, are partnering together in offering a Christian Fellows program called “Holy City Fellows.” It is a a nine-month (September-May) Christian leadership program for women and men in their 20’s and early 30’s who want to bring their faith to bear in every dimension of their lives – relationships, family, church, work, and culture. This program is designed to develop emerging Christian leaders.

Now through the summer, they are taking applications for their next class of Fellows that begins in late August. They look for young adults from various local churches who love the Lord, are active in their church, exhibit maturity and humility, are teachable, are willing to apply themselves, have a desire to grow in leadership abilities, and can fulfill the program commitments. More info can be found on their website HolyCityFellows.com or hear several Fellows share their experience in this Zoom video chat.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Media, Parish Ministry

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

In lieu of traditional camp sessions, Camp Saint Christopher is offering a Day Camp this summer. The sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday starting on June 22. Campers who have completed 2nd-8th grade have the option to register for the entire week or half a week (Monday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Friday). Each week will have a different theme with varying activities. Most weeks will include sailing, kayking, crabbing, camp games, a visit to St. Christopher’s Herpetarium, mud pit, chapel, and much, much more! Campers are welcome to register for multiple sessions….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Evangelism and Church Growth, Media, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

(CT’s The Exchange) On Christians Spreading Corona Conspiracies: Gullibility is not a Spiritual Gift

Sadly, Christians seem to be disproportionately fooled by conspiracy theories. I’ve also said before that when Christians spread lies, they need to repent of those lies. Sharing fake news makes us look foolish and harms our witness.

We saw this in the last election when some of the troll factories focused on conservative, evangelical Christians. Here we go again.

What now?

First, we need to speak up— particularly to those fooled yet again— and lovingly say, “You need to go to trusted sources.” Social media news feeds are not a trusted source. That’s why we created coronavirusandthechurch.com, to provide credible information for pastors. But, there are plenty of credible news sources— generally from outlets that do not have a track record of conspiracy peddling.

Second, God has not called us to be easily fooled. Gullibility is not a Christian virtue. Believing and sharing conspiracies does not honor the Lord. It may make you feel better, like you are in the know, but it can end up harming others and it can hurt your witness.

Read it all.

Posted in --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Media, Politics in General, Theology