Monthly Archives: April 2008
“We have 19 1/2 square feet [of retail space] for every man, woman and child in this country,”
April 30, 2008
For the House of Bishops
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
Inasmuch as the past several weeks have involved some significant situations, I thought it would be helpful to review and comment on process. First, regarding deposition for “abandonment of the communion of The Episcopal Church,” it is important to remember that such an act is not by definition punitive, but does give formal recognition to a reality already taking place. Once the Title IV Review Committee has certified that a bishop has abandoned the communion of this Church under Title IV, Canon 9, the bishop in question is given sixty days to respond.
During this sixty day period, Title IV has a provision for temporary inhibition of the bishop by the Presiding Bishop with the consent of the three senior active bishops of the Church. These bishops who must consent to the temporary inhibition do not, however, have a veto over consideration of the merits of the deposition by the House of Bishops, any more than those who must consent to temporary inhibitions in other circumstances have a veto over consideration of the charges by a trial court. This understanding of the canon is held not only by my Chancellor, but also by members of the Title IV Review
Committee including an attorney who is an original member of the Committee, the chancellors of several dioceses who have been consulted, and the former Chair of both the Standing Commission on the Constitution and Canons and the Legislative Committee on the Canons at the General Convention.
The back story of how a Torah got from the fetid barracks of Auschwitz to the ark of the Central Synagogue at Lexington Avenue and 55th Street is one the pastor of the Lutheran church down the street sums up as simply “miraculous.”
It is the story of a sexton in the synagogue in the Polish city of Oswiecim who buried most of the sacred scroll before the Germans stormed in and later renamed the city Auschwitz. It is the story of Jewish prisoners who sneaked the rest of it ”” four carefully chosen panels ”” into the concentration camp.
It is the story of a Polish Catholic priest to whom they entrusted the four panels before their deaths. It is the story of a Maryland rabbi who went looking for it with a metal detector. And it is the story of how a hunch by the rabbi’s 13-year-old son helped lead him to it.
This Torah, more than most, “is such an extraordinary symbol of rebirth,” said Peter J. Rubinstein, the rabbi of Central Synagogue. “As one who has gone to the camps and assimilates into my being the horror of the Holocaust, this gives meaning to Jewish survival.”
It is great to see that we finally have some national unity on energy policy. Unfortunately, the unifying idea is so ridiculous, so unworthy of the people aspiring to lead our nation, it takes your breath away. Hillary Clinton has decided to line up with John McCain in pushing to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for this summer’s travel season. This is not an energy policy. This is money laundering: we borrow money from China and ship it to Saudi Arabia and take a little cut for ourselves as it goes through our gas tanks. What a way to build our country.
When the summer is over, we will have increased our debt to China, increased our transfer of wealth to Saudi Arabia and increased our contribution to global warming for our kids to inherit.
No, no, no, we’ll just get the money by taxing Big Oil, says Mrs. Clinton. Even if you could do that, what a terrible way to spend precious tax dollars ”” burning it up on the way to the beach rather than on innovation?
The McCain-Clinton gas holiday proposal is a perfect example of what energy expert Peter Schwartz of Global Business Network describes as the true American energy policy today: “Maximize demand, minimize supply and buy the rest from the people who hate us the most.”
Good for Barack Obama for resisting this shameful pandering.
Federal, state and local governments are hiring new workers at the fastest pace in six years, helping offset job losses in the private sector.
Governments added 76,800 jobs in the first three months of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
That’s the biggest jump in first-quarter hiring since a boom in 2002 that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. By contrast, private companies collectively shed 286,000 workers in the first three months of 2008. That job loss has led many economists to declare the country is in a recession.
Job numbers for April, out Friday, will show if the trend is continuing. Some economists say a government hiring binge could soften a recession in the short term.
Clergy and laity from the Diocese of Fort Worth comprised a little less than half of those attending the reception. Their questions dominated, with some pleading with the Presiding Bishop for “help to get us out of the wilderness we now find ourselves in.” Fort Worth is one of several dioceses that are likely to consider leaving The Episcopal Church when their conventions are held this fall.
Bishop Jefferts Schori assured her questioners that a plan similar to the one employed in San Joaquin has already been prepared. When the Fort Worth delegation declared that they have been forgotten in this battle, the Presiding Bishop replied, “Have you been watching San Joaquin? They were not forgotten and now show dynamic signs of new life. You will not be forgotten, either.”
Fareed Zakaria is an optimist: He believes in the ability of the United States to adapt.
But in his new book, The Post-American World, the author and journalist raises a tantalizing argument that the war in Iraq will mark the decline of American power, and that the rise of China, India, Brazil and other countries pose a special challenge to the United States in this century.
Zakaria, a columnist and the editor of Newsweek International, talks to Robert Siegel about a possible precedent for the U.S. in Iraq ”” Britain’s war just over a century ago in South Africa, the Boer War. He also discusses how the U.S. ought to think of its role in the world going forward as being the “chairman of the board.”
The killings of three U.S. soldiers in separate attacks in Baghdad pushed the American death toll for April up to 47, making it the deadliest month since September.
One soldier died when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. The other died of wounds sustained when he was attacked by small-arms fire, the military said Wednesday. Both incidents occurred Tuesday in northwestern Baghdad.
A third soldier died in a roadside bombing Tuesday night in the east of the capital, the military said.
Capitol Hill insiders say the battle for congressional superdelegates is over, and one Senate supporter of Barack Obama is hinting strongly that he has prevailed over Hillary Rodham Clinton.
While more than 80 Democrats in the House and Senate have yet to state their preferences in the race for the Democratic nomination, sources said Tuesday that most of them have already made up their minds and have told the campaigns where they stand.
“The majority of superdelegates I’ve talked to are committed, but it is a matter of timing,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). “They’re just preferring to make their decision public after the primaries are over. … They would like someone else to act for them before they talk about it in the cold light of day.”
Standing in a sunlit church, the People’s Gospel Choir of Montreal begin their song with slow formality. Then the tempo picks up, the piano rumbles, and the choristers dance and clap. One woman breaks loose in a kind of frenzy, boogying to and fro with her arms swaying.
All this in an online video to promote the 2008 Anglican-Lutheran worship conference, where the theme is (as you may have guessed) “Order and Chaos.”
From June 25 to 28, 2008, Montreal, Que. will host the third biennial, national Anglican-Lutheran worship conference. Keynote speakers will be Gordon Lathrop, liturgical scholar from Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and Karen Ward, pastor of Seattle’s Church of the Apostles.
“These conferences are wonderful learning experiences. They bring together really good people who talk both intelligently and critically about liturgy,” said Dean Peter Wall, the conference’s Anglican co-chair. “I think we have a lot to learn from each other, both Anglicans and Lutherans.”
Paying for gasoline easily tops the list of economic woes facing families in the United States, according to a survey on how changes in the economy have affected people’s lives.
About 44 percent of survey participants said paying for gasoline was a “serious problem” for them. Across all income levels, the cost of gas was the most frequently cited economic concern. The price of gas nationally averaged $3.60 a gallon on Monday, according to the Energy Department.
More than a quarter of households earning more than $75,000 a year described paying for gasoline as a serious problem. For those with incomes of less than $30,000, about 63 percent felt that way.
In a distant second and third place among participants’ economic concerns were: getting a good-paying job or raise, 29 percent; and paying for health care and health insurance, 28 percent.
One thing climate experts often say is that people need to change their behavior to slow climate change. And they also acknowledge that they still have a lot of convincing to do before that will happen.
One man, Martin Palmer, argues that religion is a better messenger than science and politics ”” that it can do things the others cannot.
Palmer is the founder of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, a small group working out of Bath, England. Its credo is that religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism are the perfect groups to become climate activists.