Daily Archives: March 18, 2008

Jennie Dusheck: Spitzer's not-so-biological urge

Psychologist David Barash’s Op-Ed article “Want a man, or a worm?” uses a veneer of outdated science to rationalize personal opinions. Using Eliot Spitzer’s sad sexual peccadilloes as a news peg, Barash makes the threadbare argument that men just can’t help themselves, titillating his readers with the tattered news that male animals copulate with more than one mate — an example of “extra pair copulations,” or EPCs, as biologists call them.

As it happens, I just finished reading a book on EPCs and other sexual behavior in animals — Marlene Zuk’s excellent “Sexual Selections, What We Can and Can’t Learn about Sex from Animals.” Zuk, a professor of biology at UC Riverside, takes a more logical and analytic approach than Barash, whose inspiration on male infidelity seems to have burst unedited from his reptilian brain.

Read it all and read the piece to which she is responding also.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology, Sexuality, Theology

In Texas Lawmakers seek legal answer about school Bible class

Fiercely debated legislation last year to put a Bible course in public schools has landed in the hands of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for an opinion on what it means.

And that’s hardly a surprise, since state lawmakers couldn’t agree on what the wording meant last May when they passed HB 1287, the so-called “Bible bill.”

Just about everyone agrees a Bible course cannot be used to endorse, promote or disparage any faith and that the purpose of the class is to help students understand the Bible as literature.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Religion & Culture

One Columbia University Economist is Optimistic the Federal Reserve will Succeed

Listen to it all from NPR.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Stock Market

Christoper Hitchens: How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? I didn't!

This is all overshadowed by the unarguable hash that was made of the intervention itself. But I would nonetheless maintain that this incompetence doesn’t condemn the enterprise wholesale. A much-wanted war criminal was put on public trial. The Kurdish and Shiite majority was rescued from the ever-present threat of a renewed genocide. A huge, hideous military and party apparatus, directed at internal repression and external aggression was (perhaps overhastily) dismantled. The largest wetlands in the region, habitat of the historic Marsh Arabs, have been largely recuperated. Huge fresh oilfields have been found, including in formerly oil free Sunni provinces, and some important initial investment in them made. Elections have been held, and the outline of a federal system has been proposed as the only alternative to a) a sectarian despotism and b) a sectarian partition and fragmentation. Not unimportantly, a battlefield defeat has been inflicted on al-Qaida and its surrogates, who (not without some Baathist collaboration) had hoped to constitute the successor regime in a failed state and an imploded society. Further afield, a perfectly defensible case can be made that the Syrian Baathists would not have evacuated Lebanon, nor would the Qaddafi gang have turned over Libya’s (much higher than anticipated) stock of WMD if not for the ripple effect of the removal of the region’s keystone dictatorship.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

USA Today: Money, fidelity go hand in hand

Sex may be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “infidelity,” but there are other types of “unfaithful or disloyal acts,” other ways spouses cheat on each other.

In the wake of the revelations regarding former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s trysts with high-dollar call girls, couples ”” especially women ”” were giving their own relationships the once-over. In online chats and call-in radio programs, the discussions followed a common theme: “What would I do if that happened to me? Surely I would have had a clue it was coming. And anyway, how could he spend serious money on an affair or a prostitute ”” or on anything else, for that matter ”” without my knowing?”

How indeed. Many couples commit monetary deceit in their marriages. Someone lies about finances or doesn’t share the details. It can be innocuous, such as fudging on the cost of purchases or hiding a spending spree. Or it could be more significant, such as having a secret credit card or bank account, serious enough to be considered what some relationship experts call “financial infidelity.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Marriage & Family

Bishop Robert Duncan’s Attorney Writes to Chancellor David Booth Beers

Read it carefully and read it all.

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

HOB Secretary: 'No One Challenged' PB's Ruling

Bishop Price told The Living Church he was not consulted on the number of votes needed for a deposition and he does not recall the resolutions approving the depositions of bishops Schofield and Cox being “singled out” as requiring a higher threshold of consent prior to enactment.

Title 4, canon 9, section 2 states that the vote requires “a majority of the whole number of bishops entitled to vote,” a higher threshold than that necessary to conduct business. There were 116 bishops registered at the meeting at 6 a.m. on March 12. The total number of bishops eligible to vote is 294, according to online sources.

“None of the votes taken were unanimous, each having both negative votes and abstentions,” Bishop Price said. “However, the affirmative votes were so overwhelming that the Presiding Bishop declared them as having passed and no one challenged her ruling.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons

Bishop David Bena: 'Shadow' of litigation overcasts both houses

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia recently completed its Annual Council amid raging controversy over the biblical teachings of the church and vicious litigation. A lot of people are getting hurt in this strife. So I read with interest the press releases and statements in the newspapers and blogs regarding what took place at the DOV Council.

Given what was said and what has been written about a group of churches known as the Anglican District of Virginia, I must spend a moment correcting the record. I must defend the members of ADV, as any shepherd would defend his flock against attack.

Overwhelming majorities of the ADV congregations exercised their American rights of freedom of religion, freedom of affiliation, and freedom of choice when they voted 14 months ago to separate from The Episcopal Church. Their referendum was based on the unfortunate reality that The Episcopal Church is on a prodigal course away from its Christian and Anglican roots.

Contrary to what the DOV has been saying publicly, many of the individuals who chose not to vote with the majority are still active members of ADV churches.

Read it all.

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

Teenage Suicides Bewilder an Island, and the Experts

If the three deaths were connected, no one on the island could say exactly how. The first, a 15-year-old, killed himself at his home near the high school in February 2007. The second, a 17-year-old ”˜A’ student and an athlete, committed suicide last October.

The third, a 16-year-old found dead at home in January, may have been an accidental death, not a suicide. None had been good friends.

Yet they were all islanders, talented and well-liked students in a high school of 400 that had not had a suicide for more than 40 years.

The small year-round community on Nantucket Island, deeply shaken, turned to outside experts for help.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Teens / Youth

From the Email Bag


Thank you so much for your blog. It really is the best source of information on TEC available. I also greatly appreciate your various “off topic” posts that remind one and all that we live in a real world, most of which has never heard of TEC, nor would care if they did.

I left ECUSA about 12 years ago when I was working for an educational institution and did not have a cure. I could easily see where the church was headed and determined that my first ministry was to my family who should be protected from so much that goes on in the church. Years later, through a chain of events that only God the Holy Spirit could have orchestrated, I am the rector of a fledgling church plant. Although events in the Episcopal do not directly affect me any more, they do have an indirect effect. So I believe I have to keep posted on what is transpiring, and your blog is one of my best aids in this effort.

Please be encouraged that your blog is an encouragement to many.

Regarding the flaming… [comments by some] to your blog, my suggestion is that you require all who post to use their real names. That would change things considerably, although likely not completely solve the problem.

Peace in Christ this most holy of weeks,

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

The Leprechan Brothers Sing Danny Boy for Saint Patrick's Day Mirth


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

An Awesome bird Display in Scotland

Watch it all.

Posted in * General Interest

Bishop Mouneer Anis' Reflections on the Joint Standing Committee

By the time I finished the meetings of the JSC, I realised that I lost many of the hopes which I had before the meeting. Several friends discouraged me to attend the JSC meeting but I insisted to go as I don’t believe in withdrawal. Jesus is our best example in this regard. He spoke the truth boldly everywhere He went. Some accepted the truth, some refused and some wanted to murder Him, but He never stopped speaking the truth and meeting His friends as well as His enemies.

My hopes diminished for the following reasons:

Ӣ I cannot see any desire to follow things through as decided before.
The Windsor Report (TWR) recommendations, which was accepted by everyone since it was produced in 2004 is a very good example. These recommendations were affirmed during the Primates meeting in 2005, everyone waited for TEC and Canada to respond. TEC’s responses were unclear and the Primates at Dar es Salam requested a clear response by the 30th of September. The response was clearly inadequate as Archbishop Rowan mentioned in his Advent letter. What action did we take or recommend in the JSC meeting? The answer is nothing. Moreover, the very people who cause the current crisis are invited to Lambeth Conference and this contradicts with TWR as will as Dar es Salam recommendations. This widens the gap and distrust between the two sides within the Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Middle East

Security Gains Reverse Iraq’s Spiral Though Serious Problems Remain

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Iraq War

Melanie Reid: Shanon Matthews shows us that Behind the headlinesthere is a hidden world of suffering

For life among the white working class of Dewsbury looks like a foreign country. And because we don’t live there, and are never likely to, we have no concept of the reality in which hundreds of thousands of British children, just like Shannon, grow up.

Since 1997 the middle classes have heard Gordon Brown chunter on about his goals for ending child poverty in Britain, but they have done so with a profound lack of engagement. Poverty? In modern Britain? Yeah, yeah, we all know what that’s really about, don’t we? Feckless parents who waste all their money on widescreen TVs and booze and don’t have enough left for the children. We know the type. But the truth is, we don’t have a clue what modern social deprivation means.

Poverty has a new face now, and it’s called Shannon Matthews. What her sad little story has destroyed, possibly for ever, is the convenient middle-class myth of coherent, material poverty. Instead, it has revealed that what devastates the lives of modern children is something altogether much worse ”“ inner poverty; poverty of the soul.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, England / UK

Irish Roman Catholic Bishops Ask to Leave Sundays for Worship

Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland have urged communities to halt sports activities on Sunday morning, especially those involving children, to avoid competition with worship services.

In their bid to keep Sunday morning worship time sacrosanct, the Irish Bishops Conference said scheduling such events before noon violated a long-standing consensus “whereby sporting and leisure activities for young people on Sundays did not begin until early afternoon.”

But spokesman Danny Lynch of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Ireland’s largest sporting organization, said it had no choice but to continue all-day scheduling on Sundays.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Congregation in fear after faith-hate attack on canon

The wife of a clergyman beaten up in a faith-hate attack outside his church described the community’s shock and distress yesterday after taking the Palm Sunday service on her husband’s behalf.

Canon Michael Ainsworth is expected to be released from hospital early this week after being attacked 12 days ago in East London.

The attack has led to fears of an increasing number of religiously aggravated attacks on Christian clergy and concerns that the problem is overlooked by police and prosecutors.

Speaking after giving the service at St George’s-in-the-East Church in Shadwell, the Rev Janina Ainsworth, 57, who is also a priest in the Church of England, said that the couple had taken much strength from the support offered from around the country. “There is a lot of shock and distress around the congregation and the area,” she said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry