Monthly Archives: October 2008

Wilfred McClay: The Obama Dilemma and Evangelicalism

But many evangelicals, left and right, have been haunted by the belief that their movement failed at a critical moment in American history. As Donald Dayton put it in his 1976 study, “Evangelical Christianity rather consistently opposed currents of the 1960s that demanded social justice and civil rights.” The claim may be exaggerated. The great evangelist Billy Graham was remarkably progressive on matters of race, and major Southern denominations, such as the Baptists and Presbyterians, explicitly supported desegregation. But the weight of the charge is felt, even if the failure was generally more one of passivity than strident opposition. It is a sign of evangelicalism’s active conscience that it remains uneasy.

Hence the Promise Keepers movement of the ’90s, overwhelmingly an evangelical-right phenomenon, was not only a men’s movement but also a movement for racial reconciliation — a facet entirely missed by hysterical secular critics who were obsessed with its gender dimensions to the exclusion of all else. Hence even within theologically conservative denominations such as the Presbyterian Church in America one finds strenuous efforts to build biracial congregations and support inner-city ministries and missions. Hence the effort by evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren, in the presidential forum held at his Saddleback Church on Aug. 16, to promote greater civility in the presidential campaign.

Unfortunately for Sen. Obama, the Saddleback forum turned out to be one of his least effective outings, and his stumbling and evasive remarks about abortion — the question of life’s beginning, he said, was “above my pay grade” — brought to a sharp point the dilemma faced in this election by all white evangelicals, left, right and center. It would have been one thing to overlook the record of a moderately pro-choice candidate for the sake of racial progress. But the starkness of Sen. Obama’s position forces upon evangelicals a profoundly unenviable choice.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Race/Race Relations, US Presidential Election 2008

A Statement from the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in Canada

We spent several hours in conversation on the implications of the appeal from the Primate.

As a result of these conversations a large majority of the House can affirm the following:

A continued commitment to the greatest extent possible to the three moratoria — on the blessing of same-sex unions, on the ordination to the episcopate of people in same-sex relationships and on cross-border interventions — until General Synod 2010. Members of this House, while recognizing the difficulty that this commitment represents for dioceses that in conscience have made decisions on these matters, commit themselves to continue walking together and to hold each other in prayer.

The House also affirms:

A commitment to establishing diocesan commissions to discuss the matter of same-sex blessings in preparation for conversations at General Synod 2010.

Continued commitment to exercise the greatest level of pastoral generosity in keeping with provisions approved by this House in Spring, 2007 and continued commitment to the Shared Episcopal Ministry document approved in Fall, 2004.

We ask for your continuing prayers as we steadfastly seek to discern the mind and heart of Christ for the wholesome care of all members of his Body, the Church. We share a deep hope that though we may never come to consensus over this matter of the blessing of same-sex unions, we will live with differences in a manner that is marked by grace and generosity of spirit, one toward another.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Nevada, Michigan, Florida lead 'underwater' list

Here’s a shocker: almost half of Nevada homeowners with a mortgage owe more to the bank than their homes are worth.

Here’s another: If you add in the homeowners like them in California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Michigan, together they account for nearly 60 percent of all homeowners who are “underwater” on their mortgages.

Nationwide, almost one out of every five homeowners with a mortgage owes more to their lender than their properties are worth. But if you subtract those states, the rate drops to about one in 10, according to a report released Friday by First American CoreLogic.

Read it all.

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

U.K. Culture Secretary Andy Burnham: 'Churches should be turned into gyms'

Mr Burnham said while it was important to preserve the architectural beauty of some of the churches, many of which have listed status, they may serve the community better by becoming secular.

His comments follow his suggestion earlier this month that libraries could benefit from being modernised with coffee bars and abolishing the silence rule.

Mr Burnham said if the UK could not preserve its churches: “We need to find new purposes with the support of the local community and we need to increase secular interest in our church heritage.”

Read it all.

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

Bishop Keith Ackerman will remain as President of Forward in Faith North America

Read it all.

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

Resolutions Passed at the recent Maine Diocesan Convention

Here is one:

RESOLVED, that the Diocese of Maine calls for the repeal of B033, passed at the 75th General Convention and be it further

RESOLVED that the Diocese of Maine calls upon the 76th General Convention to refrain from restricting the field of potential candidates for future episcopates on the basis of gender or sexual orientation and to reject interference from outside the Convention that would attempt to affect its parliamentary process or negate the polity of The Episcopal Church, and be it further

RESOLVED that the Diocese of Maine maintain its commitment to participation in the Anglican Communion and to the listening process described in the Windsor Report. And be it further Resolved to direct its deputation to the 76th General Convention to submit a resolution to this effect. (“RESOLVED that the 76th General Convention will refrain from restricting the field of potential candidates for future episcopates on the basis of gender or sexual orientation and will reject interference from outside the Convention that would attempt to affect its parliamentary process or negate the polity of The Episcopal Church.”)


Our Lord is not one to show partiality (Acts 10:34-35) and calls us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19);

Our baptismal covenant calls us to respect the dignity of every human being;

Undue discrimination limits the ability of the faithful to elect qualified persons to leadership, including the position of bishop;

Title III, Canon 1, Section 2 of the Canons of The Episcopal Church clearly states that No person shall be denied access to the discernment process for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities or age;

Resolution B033, if interpreted to mean that a person living in a same-sex partnership should be excluded from consecration, stands in conflict with Title III, Canon 1, Section 2 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church;

As a result of the Windsor Report, bishops and deputies at the 75th General Convention were under a great deal of pressure to enact measures relating to the consecration of gay or lesbian bishops living in same-sex relationships. On June 20, 2006 the House of Deputies rejected Resolution A161, which would have prohibited the consecration of such individuals. However, using parliamentary procedure, the former Presiding Bishop and the Presiding Bishop-Elect brought forth Resolution BO33, which instructed “Standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on the communion.” While we believe this was done with the best intentions in an effort to prevent disharmony in the Communion, it was widely understood that “candidate”¦ manner of life” was a coded euphemism for gay and lesbian persons, and this interpretation was later validated by the House of Bishops. However, as was promptly pointed out following its passage, BO33 is in violation of the ecclesiastical laws of the Episcopal Church. In particular, Title III, Canon 1, Section 2 of the Canons of the General Convention prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation. While BO33 has had the intended chilling effect on the consecration of otherwise qualified gay and lesbian priests to the episcopate, with many such candidates declining nomination for fear of withheld consent, it has done little to mollify the increasingly strident voices throughout the Anglican Communion. As such, it has proven both unjust and ineffective in its aims.

Being that it is in violation of canon law, inconsistent with the scriptural message of God’s immeasurable and unconstrainable love for humanity, and an impediment to the work of the Spirit in the Church, we call for the revocation of BO33.

Read them all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Ugandan Anglican Bishop says war has ended despite flare ups

(ACNS) Anglican Bishop Nelson Onono-Onweng of Northern Uganda has told a delegation of the World Council of Churches (WCC) to the region that a rebel war with the government is finally over despite some recent reports of flare ups.

“We are now in a different environment. We are now in a situation of rebuilding lives. We are in the process of reconstructing this place,” Onono-Onweng told the WCC group that is part of a program to visit situations of conflict in different parts of the world.

Still, other church leaders the delegation met said they are concerned the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony is delaying the signing of a final peace agreement.

Read it all.

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

Church Times: Bishops’ approval of Covenant hangs in the balance

The group says that Anglicans are well versed in the idea of voluntarily pledging themselves to others ”” a concept that underlies the notion of a generous covenant ”” even if they have had little use for the word “covenant” in the past.

Replying to other concerns of the bishops, the group says that the document could be a unifying force ”” even, one day, a central text for the Communion. The Covenant could “change, amend and grow”: it is not designed to “constrain the languages, the cultures and the forms in which this Gospel is expressed”.

None of the “basic formal bonds” that frame the Communion’s common life, such as the baptismal covenant or eucharistic fellowship, or even the Lambeth Quadrilateral, contain the necessary element of “mutual responsibility” that the Covenant has, the group says.

Nevertheless, the Covenant would not override the autonomy of the provinces in ordering their life according to the demands of local mission. The group admits that there needs to be “more work” on the way the various instruments of unity relate to each other.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant

Mortgage Plan May Aid Many and Irk Others

As the Treasury Department prepares a $40 billion program to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure, it confronts a difficult challenge: not making the plan too tempting to people like Todd Lawrence.

An airline pilot who lives outside Norwich, Conn., Mr. Lawrence has a traditional 30-year mortgage that he has no trouble paying every month. But, thanks to the plunging real estate market, he owes more on his house than it is worth, like millions of other people.

If the banks, which frequently lent irresponsibly, and many homeowners, who often borrowed irresponsibly, are getting government assistance, Mr. Lawrence says he believes sober souls like himself are also due a break.

“Why am I being punished for having bought a house I could afford?” he asked. “I am beginning to think I would have rocks in my head if I keep paying my mortgage.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

3-month Libor fixings: The good news continues on the unfreezing of the credit markets

Euro: 4.77% vs. prior 4.79%; Dollar: 3.03% vs. prior 3.19%; Sterling: 5.84% vs. prior 5.88%

It sure is nice to see these rates continue to move in the right direction.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy

Susan Jacoby: Religion remains fundamental to US politics

To most of my European friends, an inexplicable aspect of American culture is the quixotic persistence and social influence of religious fundamentalism. They cannot understand how Americans could seriously consider for the second highest office in the land a candidate who has worshipped all her adult life at churches where congregants believe the literal truth of every word in the Bible and practise “speaking in tongues”. Thanks to YouTube, we even know that Sarah Palin has been blessed to protect her against witchcraft.

According to opinion polls, about one third of Americans subscribe to a literal interpretation of the Bible – from the chatty serpent in the Garden of Eden to the bloody prophecies in Revelation. They constitute a large and disciplined minority – a primarily Protestant army of Christian soldiers, with a pre-Enlightenment mindset and disdain for secular values.

Read it all.

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

Gerard Baker: America isn't about to become liberal heaven

As America’s government prepares to take a sudden and historic leftward turn, this might seem an odd moment to ponder what a conservative country it is.

On Wednesday morning, unless the political equivalent of a giant meteorite hits Earth before then, Democratic supporters in America, in happy union with almost the whole of the civilised world, will be singing hosannas to the new President-elect. They will expect the Obama proto-administration and the expanded Democratic caucus in Congress to press hard to implement quickly their agenda of wealth redistribution; a tougher and broader scope of government regulation; and an enthusiastic embrace of foreign policy multilateralism.

But the new rulers and their allies overseas would be well advised to tone down the rhetoric, play down expectations and rein in their wilder tendencies. The easiest mistake for the world to make would be to start believing the Left’s own propaganda: that a vote for Barack Obama and for a Democrat in Congress on Tuesday is a vote to transform the country into a kind of social democratic paradise.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., England / UK, Politics in General, US Presidential Election 2008

MSP with Parkinson’s tries to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland

An attempt to legalise assisted suicide was made at the Scottish Parliament last night.

Margo MacDonald, the veteran MSP who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, started the process to bring a Private Member’s Bill before the Parliament next year.

The move will fuel the debate prompted by the suicide in Switzerland of the paralysed rugby player Daniel James, 23, and the attempt by Debbie Purdy, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, to have the Crown Prosecution Service clarify its position on assisted suicide.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics

English bishop takes up case of Pakistani family due to be deported

The Anglican Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Rev George Cassidy, is appealing to the Home Secretary to reconsider the case of a Pakistani family who are due to be sent back to the country they fled from two years ago, at the end of this week.

Mr Julian Singh, his wife Aima and 11-year-old son Jonathan were taken to Yarleswood Detention Centre for deportation to Pakistan last week, after their plea for asylum was rejected. They are due to be sent back to Pakistan on Thursday morning (October 30) when they will be put on a plane from Heathrow Airport.

Read it all.

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

Reuters: Vatican urges psych tests on future priests

Candidates for the Catholic priesthood should undergo psychological tests to screen out heterosexuals unable to control their sexual urges and those with strong homosexual tendencies, the Vatican said Thursday.

A new document was the second in three years to deal with the effects of a sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Church six years ago.

It said the early detection of “sometimes pathological” psychological defects of men before they become priests would help avoid tragic experiences.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Psychology, Roman Catholic, Seminary / Theological Education, Sexuality, Theology

New York Times Letters in response to David Brooks: The High Cost of Misperception

(Please note: The original article to which these letters respond was posted on the blog here).

Here is one:

Re “The Behavioral Revolution” (column, Oct. 28):

David Brooks gets it right: all perception (visual, psychological, intellectual) is a matter of interpretation, not fact.

We humans are often blind to anything that challenges our preconceived notions: we are predisposed to see what we already believe to be true based on a “remembered past.” As such, we are not wired to predict the future with any degree of accuracy.

The collective faith placed in Alan Greenspan over the long period that he was chairman of the Federal Reserve is a glaring example of how wishful thinking translates into perceived reality.

Mr. Greenspan should be “shocked,” but not by the failure of his predictions. He should be shocked by the strength of his conviction that so many others would see the world as he does.

Ian Hughes, New York

Read them all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Psychology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Wess Stafford Places the American Economic Struggles in a Global Context

While the United States is reeling from the stock market’s plunge and the credit crisis, there are severe worldwide consequences to America’s economic woes that have been almost entirely ignored. Most people have not given any thought to the millions of victims of our economic situation: the children in the poorest areas of the world now supported by U.S. donors. While financial struggles may reduce the number of donors to organizations such as mine who are working to release children from poverty, the still-greater impact is being felt as the result of rising food and fuel prices. People ”” and children in particular ”” are going hungry around the world as the global food crisis continues to silently plunge millions of people deeper into the depths of poverty.

At its onset, the global food crisis was about food distribution and dwindling supply. It was about import and export policies, natural disasters that ruined crops, land use and new economies which encourage industry but undercut resources needed to grow food. It was even about the new prominence of biofuels. Now it’s about rising inflation in food production and transportation, which have triggered substantial increases in the cost of food at the market.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), people in 50 developing countries around the globe remain at risk through 2009 because of deteriorating foreign exchange reserves, rising inflation and slowing world economic growth. People in these nations are losing their ability to purchase food ”” meaning parents are deciding not what their children should eat but whether their children will eat.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Globalization, Poverty, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Today's Quiz: The Middle Class Squeeze–% of Families with the Money for 3 Months of Bills

Ok, no looking or researching or googling. According to a recent study, what percentage of American middle class families do NOT have the money set aside now to handle three months of their bills:

–What percentage of all American middle class families?

–What percentage of American Latino Middle class families?

–What percentage of African American Middle class families?

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

Small Business owners struggling

Watch it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Pope Benedict XVI Suggests a Redefinition of Liberty Is Needed

The Pope affirmed this today in his French-language address to the new Canadian ambassador to the Holy See, Anne Leahy. He was speaking especially of excesses regarding life and family issues.

“A redefinition of the meaning of liberty” is needed, the Holy Father said, noting that it is more and more conceived as an “untouchable right of the individual” while the “importance of its divine origins and communitarian dimension” are ignored.

“According to this interpretation, an individual alone can decide and choose the physiognomy, characteristics and finality of life, death and marriage,” he added. But, “true liberty is founded and developed ultimately in God. It is a gift that is possible to welcome as a seed and to make it mature responsibly so as to truly enrich the person and society.”

Liberty has as a reference point “a universal natural moral law, which precedes and unites all rights and duties,” the Pontiff affirmed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

BBC: Woman loses assisted suicide case

A woman with multiple sclerosis has lost her High Court case to clarify the law on assisted suicide.

Debbie Purdy, 45, from Bradford, is considering going to a Swiss clinic to end her life, but fears her husband may be charged on his return to the UK.

She had wanted a guarantee that her husband, Omar Puente, would not be prosecuted.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

The Connecticut Catholic Conference Statement in response to the Conn. Supreme Court decision

The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut and the Connecticut Catholic Conference are extremely disappointed in this close 4-3 decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court which imposes the recognition of same-sex marriage upon the people of Connecticut. This decision is in direct conflict with the position of our state legislature and courts of other states and is a terribly regrettable exercise in judicial activism.

Four people have not just extended a supposed civil right to a particular class of individuals, but have chosen to redefine the institution of marriage. The Connecticut Supreme Court has taken upon itself to make a determination that other courts throughout our nation have felt should be made through the political process.

Courts in other states, with the exception of Massachusetts and California, have ruled that marriage is a special institution in our society, not a civil right, and chose not to redefine it. Those courts felt that altering this historical and special institution was a legislative matter, and should be left to elected officials and the people they represent.

It appears our State Supreme Court has forgotten that courts should interpret laws and legislatures should make laws. In its decision today, the Connecticut Supreme Court stated again their philosophy that “as we engage over time in the interpretation of our State Constitution, we must consider the changing needs and expectations of the citizens of our State.” Determining the “contemporary” views of the public is the responsibility of the legislature, not the judiciary.

In his dissent, Justice Peter Zarella makes the important and obvious point that “the majority fails, during the entire course of ”¦. (this) ”¦ opinion, even to identify, much less to discuss, the actual purpose of the marriage laws, even though this is the first, critical step in any equal protection analysis.” The majority utterly failed to consider the relationship between the laws of marriage and family. As Justice Zarella maintains, “The ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry.”

The Supreme Court of Connecticut has chosen to ignore the wisdom of our elected officials, the will of the people, and historical social and religious traditions spanning thousands of years by imposing a social experiment upon the people of our state.

In 2005, the Connecticut General Assembly, while enacting civil union legislation to expand certain rights to same-sex couples, recognized the social importance and uniqueness of traditional marriage through their action of specifically defining marriage in statute as a relationship between one man and one woman. Our elected officials recognized that the people of Connecticut did not want the institution of marriage redefined in our state. This position is also reflected in federal law, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

This decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court also raises a very real concern about the infringement on religious liberty and freedom of speech with the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage. The real battle in this court case was not about rights, since civil unions provide a vast number of legal rights to same-sex couples, but about conferring and enforcing social acceptance of a particular lifestyle; a lifestyle many people of faith and advocates of the natural law refuse to accept.

This ruling creates an inevitable conflict between people of faith, the natural law and the authority of the State.

Therefore, we will be calling on the Catholic people of our state to vote “Yes” for a Constitutional Convention and the right of referendum on Election Day.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Sexuality

It's a boom time for lawyers

The loose-leaf binders on Beverly Hills attorney Paul Kiesel’s blond wood shelves contain hundreds of stories alleging deception, loss and heartache.

Kiesel is representing struggling homeowners who contend they were misled about the terms of their mortgages. He is far from the only lawyer finding himself busy these days as a result of the hard economic times.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

AP: Gene Robinson led retreat for gay Catholic priests

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson said he led a confidential retreat a few years ago for gay Roman Catholic priests.

Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church and world Anglican Communion, said the Catholic priest group that organized the meeting had invited him to attend.

About 75 Catholic clergy from around the U.S. participated without notifying their bishops or provincial leaders, Robinson said.

Read it all.

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

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Globe and Mail: Same-sex blessings split Canadian Anglicans

The Anglican bishops of Ottawa and Montreal have taken decisive steps toward allowing the blessing of same-sex unions in their dioceses, a move certain to further undermine the fragile cohesion of the world’s third-largest Christian denomination.

The two bishops have made known their intention to proceed, despite a moratorium on the blessings agreed to at last summer’s Lambeth Conference in England, the decennial gathering of bishops of the nearly 80-million-member Anglican Communion.

The Canadian church already is further along the road to authorizing same-sex blessings than any other branch of the communion, a decentralized body of 38 national and regional autonomous churches, or provinces.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Credit crunch is 'God's punishment' for nations 'consumed with materialism', says Bishop

The Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Rev Wallace Benn, has written in a church newsletter that materialism has a “stranglehold over our lives” and that some good may therefore emerge from the crisis.

In the November 2008 newsletter the bishop said: “I believe that God ultimately has allowed this crisis for good.

“Our nation, like all the western nations, has become consumed with materialism. It has a stranglehold on our lives.

“We have found our security in ‘securities’ and have failed to grasp that nothing is permanent other than God.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Bishop Robert Duncan: An Emerging North American Province

The twin trajectories of The Episcopal Church and of the Anglican Church of Canada away from any Communion-requested restraint on matters of moral order and legal prosecution have made permanent a widespread separation of parishes from their historic geographical dioceses in the United States and Canada. Now these alienated parishes representing the moral (and theological) mainstream of global Anglicanism are being joined (or are about to be joined) by the majorities of four former Episcopal Church dioceses: San Joaquin in California, Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, Quincy in Illinois and Fort Worth in Texas. The reality of a significantly disintegrated North American Anglicanism now stretches from coast to coast and from the Arctic to the Rio Grande.

Given the ruthlessness with which those who have stood against the progressive agenda of TEC and the ACC have been treated ”“ lately symbolized by the deposition of the Bishop of Pittsburgh ”“ the possibility of achieving the Windsor Continuation Group’s goal of “holding” for eventual reunion is remote indeed.. Moreover, there is scarcely a parish or diocese that has endured the travail of separation (whether forced or chosen) that would not describe the North American Anglican scene as characterized by “two irreconcilable religions.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

'Personhood' Amendment On Colorado Ballot

Colorado is one of several states facing a controversial ballot measure this fall that could have far-reaching impacts on abortion law. Amendment 48 would define “personhood” as beginning at the moment of conception, giving fertilized human eggs the same constitutional rights as a person.

The first of its kind in the U.S., the amendment is the brainchild of 21-year-old Kristi Burton, who says she wants to establish a concrete definition of when life begins to protect unborn children. On a Sunday in October, Burton drove three hours from her home near Colorado Springs to speak at Life Church, an evangelical congregation in Fort Collins.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Politics in General

From the Morning Scripture readings

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes, he does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, round about him a mighty tempest.

–Psalm 50: 2,3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

AP: Churches are looking at hard times

However, many churches rely on income from investments for their financial health and are already slashing their 2009 budgets.

Kurt Barnes, treasurer of the 2.2 million-member Episcopal Church, said the value of the denomination’s endowment funds, which cover 5 percent of the annual budget, have declined by 30 percent this year. Some staff at Episcopal headquarters in New York offered to take a pay freeze, but church administrators declined, saying it wouldn’t be fair to the employees.

The United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, which oversees humanitarian aid and evangelizing for the 11 million-member denomination, has cut next year’s budget by $2 million, reducing it to $58 million, because of a decline in investment income.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches