Daily Archives: February 15, 2008

Church Times: Dr Sentamu warns of humanitarian crisis in Kenya

THE Archbishop of York has appealed for funds for humanitarian relief in Kenya.

Dr Sentamu, addressing the General Synod on Wednesday after his visit to Kenya last week, said that there had been progress in talks between the two main parties, at odds since the disputed December election. But after more than 1000 people had been killed, and 300,000 forced from their homes by the fighting, humanitarian relief was a top priority.

As part of the response, Dr Sentamu told Synod that he and the Archbishop of Canterbury were setting up a special fund, together with the Church Mission Society.

“In the many camps, I saw people with broken limbs and other physical injuries, and many who had been terribly traumatised. One woman had lost her mind, because she saw her husband hacked to death in front of her children.”

he Church was seen by President Kibaki and the Opposition leader, Raila Odinga, as vital in humanitarian relief, peace-building, and reconciliation, he said.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Kenya

Jordana Horn–Strange Migration: An Unlikely Haven for Refugees

In one group photograph in the exhibit, young people on a ship that is taking them away from their families but also away from Hitler smile with delight. An equally telling photograph shows some settlers on the day after their arrival in Sosúa: Young men and women stand looking around with dumbfounded expressions on their faces; the women are wearing high heels and carrying handbags — hardly farm-appropriate gear. Their new predicament is aptly summed up in a quotation from refugee Walter Allison that appears between the pictures: “I could repair shoes, but I didn’t know how tomatoes grow.” Another refugee, Edith Gersten, humorously recounts a priceless Alice-in-Wonderland moment: “We stared at the cow. What happened next? Does one get hold of the tail and pump until somehow the milk comes out?”

But over time, the refugees adjusted to their new lives, building barracks and then homes. They celebrated Jewish and Dominican holidays with their neighbors, planted crops, made cheeses and (non-kosher) sausages, and learned Spanish. The Jews were delighted to find the Dominican community welcoming and completely free of anti-Semitism. The exhibit provides a glimpse, through video interviews, pictures and artifacts, into the refugees’ daily lives, from their attempts to re-create European café society to their struggles with tropical diseases. When the war ended, the majority of Sosúan settlers left for the U.S. or Israel, but others — many of the men having married Dominican women — stayed. The show concludes with a photograph of the current Sosúan Jewish community celebrating Hanukkah in 2007, using the same candelabra pictured in the barracks synagogue of the 1940s.

The exhibit holds important lessons in its comparatively small space. New York State Sen. Eric Schneiderman, along with the American Jewish Congress, originally approached the museum in 2004 with the idea to do an exhibit on Sosúa. Mr. Schneiderman represents a large Dominican population in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, and he thought that this presentation would exemplify a positive experience shared by the Dominican and Jewish communities. Reflecting the inclusive nature of Sosúa itself, the exhibit is completely bilingual — for the first time in the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s history. Standing in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, the museum raises implicit questions about the history of our own immigration policy simply by telling the story of one small nation that, for whatever reasons, stood up at a time when no one else did and opened its doors, saving lives that otherwise surely would have been lost.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Judaism, Other Faiths

Susan Jacoby: Bemoaning an America that values stupidity

A popular video on YouTube shows Kellie Pickler, the platinum blonde from “American Idol,” appearing on the Fox game show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” during celebrity week. Selected from a third-grade geography curriculum, the $25,000 question asked: “Budapest is the capital of what European country?”

Pickler threw up both hands and looked at the large blackboard perplexed. “I thought Europe was a country,” she said. Playing it safe, she chose to copy the answer offered by one of the genuine fifth graders: Hungary. “Hungry?” she said, eyes widening in disbelief. “That’s a country? I’ve heard of Turkey. But Hungry? I’ve never heard of it.”

Such, uh, lack of global awareness is the kind of thing that drives Susan Jacoby, author of “The Age of American Unreason,” up a wall. Jacoby is one of a number of writers with new books that bemoan the state of American culture.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A.

Globe and Mail: Vancouver Anglican church seeks oversight from bishop in South America

Moments before they decided to align with an orthodox Anglican bishop in South America, members of Vancouver’s St. John’s Shaughnessy Church, one of the largest Anglican congregations in Canada, attended a Bible study session.

In the latest development in a controversy that has arisen within several different religions, the conservative Anglican congregation in Vancouver voted on Wednesday evening to request episcopal oversight by Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. If accepted, the Vancouver parish would, in effect, be cut off from the Anglican Church in Canada.

The rector, Rev. David Short, talked a lot about church unity that day, Lesley Bentley, a spokeswoman for St. John’s Shaughnessy, said yesterday in an interview.

Mr. Short spoke about the importance of church unity with Scripture and of a common understanding of Scripture, particularly around core values, Ms. Bentley recalled. “It was about the supremacy of the Bible and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]

Did you Know?

The meltdown in the US subprime real-estate market has led to a global loss of 7.7 trillion dollars in stock-market value since October, a report by Bank of America showed Thursday.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Stock Market

Christopher L. Webber: Unity and Diversity in the Lambeth Conference

here is part one, follow the links to parts two to four.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Harold Lewis Responds to the Letter sent by a Minority of Diocese of Pittsburgh Clergy

In short, the letter’s signers have rejected Bishop Duncan’s rather unAnglican insistence upon uniformity and embraced instead a commitment to unity. Therefore, had I written the Post-Gazette article, it would have been entitled “Letter signals rapprochement between conservative and progressive Episcopalians.” Why? Because those who have taken this bold step should not to be understood as merely having been
cut off from fellow conservatives, but as having allied (dare we say “aligned”?) with those who may not share all their theological views, but who do share their commitment to remain within The Episcopal Church. And for this we give thanks.

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

National Post: In Canada Anglican Church loses largest congregation

The largest Anglican congregation in the country has voted overwhelmingly to leave the Canadian Church and put itself under the authority of a parallel conservative Anglican movement — a move that may help accelerate a schism and open the way for a nasty legal battle over Church property.

St. John’s, which has more than 2,000 members in the affluent Vancouver neighbourhood of Shaughnessy, has been at odds with the Diocese of New Westminster, which lets its churches perform same-sex blessings, since 2002.

The congregation has withheld financial support from the diocese for the past six years as a protest, but now has taken the radical step of breaking off all together.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

Time Magazine: Finding Their Faith

Backstage at the Target Center in Minneapolis before a rally earlier this month, Barack Obama engaged in one of his pregame rituals: the presidential candidate joined a circle of young campaign supporters and staff, clasped hands with those on either side of him and prayed.

Hillary Clinton, his rival for the Democratic nomination, has talked on the campaign trail about the “prayer warriors” who support her, and her campaign has made sure that primary voters know that Clinton used to host church picnics at the governor’s mansion in Arkansas.

If the Democratic ticket in November is able to capture a greater share of religious voters than in previous elections, it will be because both Obama and Clinton have rejected their party’s traditional fight- or-flight reaction to religion. For decades, the men and women who ran the Democratic Party and its campaigns bought into the conservative spin that the faithful were pro-life, right-wing and most certainly not Democratic voters. Armed with this mind-set, political professionals gave themselves permission to ignore religion and the religious. And in 2004, John Kerry paid the price for that decision.

That year, the Bush-Cheney operation did more with religious outreach than any other campaign in history, deploying a massive parish- and congregation-level mobilization effort. In Florida alone, the gop employed a state chairwoman for Evangelical outreach who appointed a dozen regional coordinators around the state and designated outreach chairs in each of Florida’s 67 counties. Every county chair, in turn, recruited between 30 and 50 volunteers to contact and register their Evangelical neighbors.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

US to Try to Shoot Down Spy Satellite

Taking a page from Hollywood science fiction, the Pentagon said Thursday it will try to shoot down a dying, bus-sized U.S. spy satellite loaded with toxic fuel on a collision course with the Earth.

The military hopes to smash the satellite as soon as next week – just before it enters Earth’s atmosphere – with a single missile fired from a Navy cruiser in the northern Pacific Ocean.

The dramatic maneuver may well trigger international concerns, and U.S. officials have begun notifying other countries of the plan – stressing that it does not signal the start of a new American anti-satellite weapons program.

Military and administration officials said the satellite is carrying fuel called hydrazine that could injure or even kill people who are near it when it hits the ground. That reason alone, they said, convinced President Bush to order the shoot-down.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Military / Armed Forces

Rasmussen: Obama opens Double Digit Lead over Hillary among Democrats

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Barack Obama opening a double-digit lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. Today’s results show Obama earning support from 49% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters while Clinton attracts 37% (see recent daily numbers). Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the Obama surge is that he now leads 46% to 41% among women. Clinton retains a lead among the narrower subset of white women, but her lead in that vital demographic is down to just three percentage points.

Take a look

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Notable and Quotable

When the sea of societal ills is so shallow that “phone calls I don’t like” is scraped from the bottom and added to the legislative agenda, when the public tolerance for disagreeable things has dropped so low that “I have to hold my breath” is a complaint worthy of the commiseration of 100,000 radio listeners, we have a problem.

Traits essential to the building of nations and preservation of democracies — reason, resolve, creativity, self-reliance, common sense — are no longer holding their own against the tide of the emotive, reactionary, self-obsessed and risk averse. The foundations built by those pioneering forefathers, upon which our unparalleled wealth and security were built, are cracking under the weight of regulation, litigation and personal entitlement. The nannies are staging a coup. They’ve moved out of the nursery to seize control of the family business.

–Catherine McMillan, A modest proposal for curing a whiny nation

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Canada

CANA Clarifies Status of Suffragan Bishop

On February 12, it was announced that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church had accepted four bishop’s renunciation of ordained ministry and included in the list of bishops was the Rt. Rev’d David Bena, Suffragan Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA).

CANA Bishop Martyn Minns responded by saying, “This announcement is misleading because Bishop Bena has most definitely not renounced his ordained ministry nor has he been ”˜deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred on him in Ordinations’ as stated in the news release. Bishop Bena is a faithful bishop in good standing within the Anglican Communion and continues to fully exercise his ordained ministry.”

“The background to this action is that on February 1, 2007, Bishop Bena was transferred from the Diocese of Albany to the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to serve in CANA. On March 6, he wrote to the Presiding Bishop to advise her of this action and to resign from the Episcopal Church House of Bishops. In his letter he stated that, ”˜In transferring from one Province of the Anglican Communion to another, I do declare that I am neither renouncing my Orders as a bishop, nor am I abandoning the Communion of the Church.’

“In a letter dated March 13, 2007, the Presiding Bishop wrote back thanking him for his letter ”˜informing me that you have been enrolled in the Anglican Province of Nigeria. I have informed the Secretary of the House of Bishops and the Recorder of Ordinations that by this action you are no longer a member of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church nor are you enrolled as person in any order of the Episcopal Church.’ She also wrote that it was her prayer, ”˜that God may bless us both in a ministry of reconciliation.’

“One year later to now describe his action as a ”˜renunciation of ordained ministry’ is confusing at best and at odds with the Presiding Bishop’s earlier response. Bishop Bena’s resignation from the Episcopal Church came after a season of discernment during which he came to the conclusion that the Episcopal Church no longer embraced the Gospel that he had been called to proclaim nor taught the ”˜faith once and for all delivered to the saints.’ His desire was to continue his ordained ministry but within another branch of the Anglican Communion and this he continues to do so with great effectiveness within CANA.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop

Clinton wins New Mexico caucuses

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Up to 18 People Wounded in a Shooting at Northern Illinois University

Posted in Uncategorized

Church of England Against Terror Moves

The Church of England has called on the government to drop proposals to extend the period for which terrorism suspects can be held without charge.
Ministers have published plans to increase the maximum detention period from the current 28 days to 42.

The Church’s ruling body, the General Synod, said the move would disturb the “careful balance” between individual liberty and national security.

A motion was supported by 235 out of 244 synod members meeting in London.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Michael Bloomberg Ridicules Washington On Economy

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has unleashed another flurry of jabs on Washington, ridiculing the federal government’s rebate checks as being “like giving a drink to an alcoholic” on Thursday, and said the presidential candidates are looking for easy solutions to complex economic problems.

The billionaire and potential independent presidential candidate also said the nation “has a balance sheet that’s starting to look more and more like a third-world country.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, US Presidential Election 2008

Gomez””Scandalous if gay Bishop attends meeting with his partner

It would be “scandalous” if gay Anglican Bishop Canon V. Gene Robinson appeared at the upcoming Anglican Lambeth Conference in July with his partner, Archbishop Drexel Gomez told The Guardian Monday.

The upcoming conference, held once every 10 years, is expected to see the coming together of a number of Anglican Bishops at the University of Kent in Canterbury. But because of the on-going schism within the Communion as a result of the ordination of Robinson almost six years ago, Gomez said some provinces recently indicated they would not attend the upcoming conclave.

“There are at least four provinces in Africa that have either said they will not attend or are still considering if they will attend, but there are three who said they will definitely not be attending,” Archbishop Gomez said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, West Indies

Bernanke's Fate May Hang on Economy

Alan Greenspan became Federal Reserve Chairman under Ronald Reagan. Then he got the top job again under a different Republican, a Democrat and another Republican, appealing across party lines.

Just a year after taking office, the next president will have to make a critical decision about a previous appointee: Whether to keep or replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Mr. Bernanke, a former top economic adviser to President George W. Bush, is widely respected as an academic economist who has worked hard to maintain a nonpartisan approach. But the sagging economy raises questions about whether he will get the nod for a second four-year term.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Belichick has been taping since 2000, Goodell tells Specter

Bill Belichick has been illegally taping opponents’ defensive signals since he became the New England Patriots’ coach in 2000, according to Sen. Arlen Specter, who said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told him that during a meeting Wednesday.

“There was confirmation that there has been taping since 2000, when Coach Belichick took over,” Specter said.

Specter said Goodell gave him that information during the 1-hour, 40-minute meeting, which was requested by Specter so the commissioner could explain his reasons for destroying the Spygate tapes and notes.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Mitt Romney to endorse John McCain

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008