Daily Archives: January 20, 2008

Arizona senator's push pays off

U.S. Sen. McCain confidently strode onto the stage in Charleston Saturday night as the crowd chanted, “Mac is back!”

South Carolina may have dashed his presidential hopes in 2000, but this time, the Arizona maverick successfully edged out a jumbled field of competitors in the first-in-the South primary.

“It took us a while, but what’s eight years among friends?” McCain told the cheering crowd at The Citadel. “It just gave us the opportunity to spend more time in this beautiful state, to talk with you and listen to you, and to come to admire all the more the deep patriotism of South Carolinians, who have sacrificed so much to defend our country from its enemies.”

Exit polling showed that veterans, independents and older voters powered McCain past former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Read it all.

Update: The county by county voting totals are fascinating and may be found here.

Another update: Exit poll data shows that more than one third of voters were 60 or older.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Military / Armed Forces, US Presidential Election 2008

Somerset congregation splits

St. Francis released a statement Friday stating: “As in most religious communities, there are current issues in the Episcopal Church that are being faced, discussed, and acted [Mark] upon on an international, national, state, diocesan and local level. Time and space constraints limit a full explanation/discussion of the actual issues in this forum. Suffice it to say there have been two primary groups at St. Francis who now desire to follow separate paths along a fork in the road.”

Zimmerman said the two groups both needed some space to grow.

“We felt we needed some space and they needed some space so they can discuss and plan their future and we could plan and discuss our future,” he said.

Zimmerman said the issues that are dividing the Episcopal community lie in biblical authority.

“There are those who still use traditional language and images, but the meanings have strongly shifted,” he said. “I think the biggest difference is some see God as a God who accepts us and transforms us. The (national) church is exclusively a church of acceptance.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

McCain wins key South Carolina primary

Sen. John McCain won a hard-fought South Carolina primary Saturday night, avenging a bitter personal defeat in a bastion of conservatism and gaining ground in an unpredictable race for the Republican presidential nomination. Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama split the spoils in Nevada caucuses marred by late charges of dirty politics.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” McCain told The Associated Press in an interview. The man whose campaign was left for dead six months ago quickly predicted that victory in the first southern primary would help him next week when Florida votes, and again on Feb. 5 when more than two dozen states hold primaries and caucuses.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, US Presidential Election 2008

McCain Celebrates Southern Win

Republican John McCain called his victory in South Carolina’s presidential primary on Saturday evidence that his campaign “can carry right through” Florida into the giant round of caucuses and primaries on Feb. 5. “I know it’s not easy,” he told The Associated Press, “and we’ve got a long way to go.”

South Carolina was where McCain’s presidential prospects died eight years ago, and he savored the victory this time.

“It just took us awhile, that’s all,” he said in the interview. “Eight years is not a long time.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, US Presidential Election 2008

McCain, Huckabee Battle for First in S.C. Primary

Will the polls closed in South Carolina, Sen. John McCain and former Gov. Mike Huckabee are locked in tight battle for first place in the state’s GOP primary, with former Gov. Mitt Romney and former Sen. Fred Thompson battling it out for third.

With the GOP nomination still up for grabs, a win in South Carolina will boost the bid of McCain or Huckabee with little more than two weeks left before the Florida primary on Jan. 29 — where former Mayor Rudy Giuliani looks strong — and the multistate Super Tuesday votes Feb. 5.

A large turnout by conservatives and evangelicals has buoyed the chances of Huckabee, according to preliminary exit poll results, while support from veterans, who account for a quarter of the electorate in S.C., as well as independents and moderates have boosted McCain’s chances.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, US Presidential Election 2008

Early South Carolina Exit Poll Numbers

An interesting breakdown.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, US Presidential Election 2008

Voting Machine problems in South Carolina, and more Problems Besides


Update: More here.

Another update: An AP article is there.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, US Presidential Election 2008

New York Magazine Interviews David Mamet on his latest play

You’re almost starting to sound cynical again.

The good news is it’s a spectacular country. We’ve been around for 230 years in spite of human nature, because that’s what the Constitution is all about. It’s saying, of course everyone’s gonna try and take control. Of course they’re gonna subvert every law that’s supposed to keep them in line. Of course the president is gonna want to be imperial, of course Congress is gonna want to become obstructionist, of course the judges are gonna be activist. Duh. They figured this out in 1787 and drew up a few sheets of paper that have kept the country in line. It’s a great place to live.

Read the whole interview (Hat tip: Green Mountain Politics 1).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Politics in General, Theatre/Drama/Plays

The Latest South Carolina Poll Numbers

Check it out. On Intrade, John McCain was in the 30’s earlier, but is now up to 53. The weather here–cold and very rainy–is unfortunately going to impact voter turnout. It is snowing in some parts of the upstate also.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, US Presidential Election 2008

Hillary Clinton Wins Nevada Democratic Caucuses

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Vatican official condemns cloning of human embryos by U.S. company

Such cloning represents “the worst type of exploitation of the human being,” Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told Vatican Radio Jan. 18.

“As for the possible justification that this would be used to provide therapy, up to now there’s been no success at this, and even if there were, it would not be permissible to use the human being as a medicine,” Bishop Sgreccia said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology, Theology

Peter Mullen: Beware the dark side of the new moral consensus

Far worse than the threat from international terrorism is the aggressive process of secularisation that has gripped our country, and most of Europe, and which is becoming ever more frenzied. For example, I guess not many people are aware that it is against the law for state schools to teach the Christian faith as true. Teachers are allowed only to teach about religions. This is atheism by decree, for the only perspective from which one can teach about all religions is the secular perspective. So our children are not brought to a sense of holiness and awe, but are merely taught the meanings of religious terms as sociological descriptions. This deprivation of the spiritual is a form of child abuse.

And then there are the Sexual Orientation Regulations which make it illegal to discriminate on moral grounds between forms of sexual coupling. One might put this epigrammatically: what was once a mortal sin is now only a lifestyle choice. I supported the Homosexual Reform Act back in the 1960s on the grounds that it is not right to criminalise people on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

But the many people who believed that homosexuality should be decriminalised never intended that this should create the proselytising Gay Liberation Movement. The Act decreed that homosexual acts should be “between consenting adults in private” Between means involving two; adult meant 21; and private means behind locked doors. But now the love which once dare not speak its name, shrieks at us in high camp from decorated floats along the high street.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Neil Dhingra: Is Intermarriage a Strategy for Church Unity?

But what about interchurch marriages? And how do they contribute to ecumenism?

Interchurch marriages create “domestic churches” where, according to some of our frail theological concepts, none should exist. That is, they create churches comprised of divided Christians. As such, according to King (and other writers), they serve as a “sign” or “instrument” of Christian unity ”“ a “foretaste of the eventual reunion of all Christians.”

Practically speaking, an interchurch couple has to shape a shared spiritual life from two traditions, “from the icons of the Orthodox to the simplicity of the Shakers, from Gothic cathedrals to Quaker meetinghouses, from austere, treatise-like homilies to charismatic, dynamic preaching, from gospel choirs to Gregorian chant, from ritualized congregational responses to spontaneous glossolalia, and from altar calls to orderly processions.” This very obviously means that they will have to learn, appreciate, and grow from the concrete experience of once foreign Christian traditions. (I can testify to this personally.) As Cardinal Mercier, who presided over the Malines Conversations between Anglicans and Catholics, once said, “In order to unite with one another, we must love one another; in order to love one another we must know one another; in order to know one another we must go and meet one another.” The search for institutional Christian unity, then, can obviously draw from the practical experiences of interchurch couples, who already have had to love, know, and truly encounter one another.

An interchurch couple’s attempts to truly live a unitive life together mean that they will have to surrender unnecessary biases and prejudices about another Christian tradition. King quotes the Salvatorian priest Jude D. Weisenbeck, “Married couples are better able than most to see their spouse’s tradition in the most favorable light. ”¦ Stereotypes and prejudices melt and flow away when other persons open their hearts to us and we to them in love. ”¦ This capacity to break down barriers can and will reach into future generations.” It can also reach priests and pastors. (In my experience, we should not underestimate the existence of these barriers on a popular level.)

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Marriage & Family

Peter Steinfels: Praying for Christian Unity, When Diversity Has Been the Answer

Has the movement for unity among Christians gone into a coma?

The annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began Friday, a century after the first such celebration. In many countries, Christians deeply devoted to unity among their separate groups will gather in one anothers’ churches to pray and reflect on passages from Scripture. Since 1968, prayers and readings for the week have been jointly planned by the Vatican and the World Council of Churches.

But for most Christians, the week, centennial or not, carries no more resonance than, say, National Secretaries Week (now officially Administrative Professionals Week).

Has the ecumenical movement lost steam? Or has it, perhaps, fallen victim to its own success? One way or the other, does it make any difference?

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations

From the NY Times: Dow 6,000 or Dow 14,000?

Moves by Congress and the Federal Reserve over the next few weeks could very well determine whether the economy slides into a full-blown recession and the markets continue to be pummeled by bad news, said Mr. Davis of Vanguard.

“There are a lot of wild cards out there right now, including rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and what a tax stimulus package could look like,” Mr. Davis said. “I do not think it is too late to prevent a recession, but we are at a critical juncture.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Stock Market