Daily Archives: March 16, 2009

Supporting TitusOneNine and Stand Firm

Greg Griffith has posted an update today on the financial needs of StandFirm in the wake of the recent move to a new server.

While much of Greg’s article refers to the history and vision of Stand Firm, the appeal is relevant to TitusOneNine readers as well.

As most of our regular readers know, TitusOneNine shares server hosting with Stand Firm:
— TitusOneNine’s side of the server alone comprises over 12,000 blog entries and over 106,000 comments.
— Greg Griffith serves as the webmaster for both T19 and Stand Firm.

Greg’s commitment to technical excellence and dedication to keeping both StandFirm and TitusOneNine up and running no matter how crazy the Anglican news or how intense the blog traffic on any given day explains why we moved TitusOneNine to Stand Firm’s servers back in May 2007. If you appreciate TitusOneNine and the reliability of the current blog platform, please consider supporting Stand Firm’s appeal.

Full Details Here.

Posted in * Admin

Andrew Carey: Words not what they used to be in the post-Windsor Anglican Communion

In the American House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans when The Episcopal Church faced its deadline to deal with terms like moratoria, ”˜words’ were fiercely debated. How far could the House of Bishops go to deliver words which might placate the Anglican Communion without giving anything away? This was a studied course of dishonesty.

Now we have the most egregious example of all in the declaration by the Canadian diocese of Ottawa that it will allow a parish to perform same-sex blessings in order to ”˜discern’ the way forward. Needless to say, it’s an odd kind of ”˜discernment’ to do something you are not agreed upon in order to reach agreement. It seems like a recipe for division and conflict.

Furthermore, the diocese claims that it is not violating the moratorium on samesex blessings. “There is nothing in the moratorium that says we cannot continue to discern,” said Archdeacon Ross Moulton of Ottawa. It seems unnecessary to point out that the very meaning of the word ”˜moratorium’ rules out this kind of discernment. But Archdeacon Moulton has a different dictionary it seems.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sept07 HoB Meeting, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Windsor Report / Process

The T19 Document Archive

In an effort to maintain copies of important Anglican documents that have become virtually impossible to find on the internet (due to websites becoming obsolete or being moved to new servers), we are creating the T19 document archive.

True Union in the Body

Posted in Uncategorized

Big bonus plans at AIG, despite White House outrage

American International Group, the insurer that has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve, plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year.

Word of the bonuses last week stirred such deep consternation inside the administration of President Barack Obama that Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told the firm they were unacceptable and demanded they be renegotiated, a senior administration official said. But the bonuses will go forward because lawyers said the firm was contractually obligated to pay them.

Lawrence H. Summers, director of the National Economic Council, on Sunday called the A.I.G. bonuses “outrageous.” Having said that, he quickly added on the ABC “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” program: “The government cannot just abrogate contracts. Every legal step possible to limit those bonuses is being taken by Secretary Geithner and by the Federal Reserve system.”

Another top White House economic adviser, Austan D. Goolsbee, described a seemingly visceral reaction by Mr. Geithner to word of the bonuses. “He was really upset by the news. He stepped in and berated them, got them to reduce the bonuses.” Mr. Goolsbee, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” added: “I don’t know why they would follow a policy that’s really not sensible, that’s obviously going to ignite the ire of millions of people.”

Read it all.

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

Thomas Friedman: The next really cool thing

If you hang around the renewable-energy business for long, you’ll hear a lot of tall tales. You’ll hear about someone who’s invented a process to convert coal into vegetable oil in his garage and someone else who has a duck in his basement that paddles a wheel, blows up a balloon, turns a turbine and creates enough electricity to power his doghouse.

Hang around long enough and you’ll even hear that in another 10 or 20 years hydrogen-powered cars or fusion energy will be a commercial reality. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard one of those stories, I could buy my own space shuttle. No wonder cynics often say that viable fusion energy or hydrogen-powered cars are “20 years away and always will be.”

But what if this time is different? What if a laser-powered fusion energy power plant that would have all the reliability of coal, without the carbon dioxide, all the cleanliness of wind and solar, without having to worry about the sun not shining or the wind not blowing, and all the scale of nuclear, without all the waste, was indeed just 10 years away or less? That would be a holy cow game-changer. Are we there?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

Defense Industry Daily–PMA Group: A Look Inside the Earmark Game

…Congressional Quarterly covers the story of former Murtha aide Paul Magliocchetti, whose PMA Group lobbying firm s now reportedly at the center of an FBI probe following the search of its suburban Virginia office in late 2008. The firm is slated to disband at the end of March 2009.

While charging nearly $107 million in lobbying fees, and growing from a start-up to the 11th largest lobbying firm in the USA at one point, the firm reportedly dispensed more than $1.5 million in political contributions via Magliochetti, 9 of his close relatives, and a Political Action Committee he controlled. Those contributions were made to key House Appropriations committee members John Murtha [D-PA], James Moran [D-NJ], Peter J. Visclosky [D-IN], and to John Sununu [then R-NH]. Contributions were also made to Mike Doyle [D-PA], Tim Holden [D-PA], Michael Capuano [D-MA], Sen. Bill Nelson [D-FL], and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In 2007 alone, PMA clients received some $100 billion in government contracts, an amount that is about 20% of all federal contracts that year. PMA clients also got nearly $300 million in earmarks in a the House Defense Appropriations panel’s spending bill for FY 2008.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Politics in General, Senate, The U.S. Government

Father Raniero Cantalamessa's First Lenten Sermon

In recent days, given the three Oscars and the fame of the actor, there has been much talk of a film entitled “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a story by writer Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. It is the story of a man who is born old, with the monstrous features of an 80-year-old and, growing, he is reinvigorated to the point of dying as a real baby. The story is of course paradoxical, but there could be an all-together more real application if transferred to the spiritual plane. We are born “old men” and we must become “new men.” The whole of life, not just adolescence, is a “an evolutionary age!”

According to the Gospel, one is not born a child but becomes a child! St. Maximus of Turin, a Father of the Church, describes Easter as a passage “from sins to holiness, from vices to virtues, from old age to youth: a youth understood not of age but of simplicity. We were in fact fallen by the old age of sins, but by the Resurrection of Christ we were renewed in the innocence of children.”[15]

Lent is the ideal time to apply oneself to this reinvigoration. A preface of this time states: “You have established for your children a time of spiritual renewal, so that they may convert to you with their whole heart, and free from the ferment of sin live the vicissitudes of this world, always oriented toward eternal goods.” A prayer, stemming from the Gelasian Sacramentary of the 7th century is still in use in the Easter Vigil; it proclaims solemnly: “Let the whole world see and recognize that all that is destroyed is reconstructed, all that is old is renewed, and everything returns to its integrity, through Christ who is the principle of all things.”

The Holy Spirit is the soul of this renewal and rejuvenation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Roman Catholic

Randall J. Stephens reviews two Books on Race and Faith

Like all skilled historians, Irons and Noll expertly track change over time. C. Vann Woodward did the same in his classic The Strange Career of Jim Crow (1955), a work that showed how a new, crippling racism developed in the post-Civil War years. Race was not an eternal, changeless force, asserted Wood ward. History is contingent. Its course is not set. Good history can raise consciousness and inspire activism. Martin Luther King Jr. called Wood ward’s book the “historical Bible of the civil rights movement.” Like Woodward, Irons and Noll reveal the changing dynamics of race, politics and religion. They show how groups and individuals adapt to new currents and reevaluate and sometimes reify tradition.

Irons and Noll prompt readers to think historically about the hope of racial reconciliation and the tragedy of church-sanctioned race hatred. It’s almost impossible to read these two books and not ponder what might have been or what could be in store for America’s future.

Read it all.

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

Tulsa chaplain’s cancer journey builds his faith, ministry

To look at him, one would never guess the Rev. Patrick Douthitt has inoperable melanoma, an aggressive malignant form of cancer, growing in his abdomen.

Energetic and robust, he smiles and laughs easily as he continues to work as a chaplain at St. Francis Hospice, bringing comfort to people in the final weeks and days of their lives.

Douthitt retired last April after 20 years as rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Tulsa and 15 years at churches in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Since then, he has worked full time as a hospice chaplain, doing what he loves the most: being with people in difficult times.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Bishop of Manchester silenced by computer virus

The Bishop of Manchester has been forced to take a vow of email silence after his computer was crippled by a virus.

The Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch has been unable to send or receive messages for nearly 10 days, it has emerged.

And a `significant’ number of the 6,000 emails he thought he had sent during the past 10 months probably never found their mark, a Church of England spokesman admitted.

Computer experts are now frantically trying to restore his computer, which was hit by the virus on March 3.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Science & Technology

Allie Wills: Finding tolerance in the Christian faith

I have always been Christian and religious. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God. I grew up in a conservative Presbyterian church that had a “love the sinner, hate the sin” attitude toward homosexuality, so when I came out to myself as queer at 16, I was devastated. At first, I considered celibacy, which was my church’s only answer to homosexuality. I would have done it if I had been sure it was what God wanted, but something nagged at my brain. How could it be a sin? Who was I hurting? Why would God have made me queer if I was supposed to spend my whole life fighting it? I considered fighting it for a while and then started looking for other options.

I found out that a lot of denominations, my own included, have groups of churches that accept lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people without asking us to change. I visited all different kinds of churches: Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ and Presbyterian. I began to believe that homosexuality was not a sin ”” that God loves and accepts people regardless of their sexuality. Jesus, after all, said nothing about homosexuality and spent his time with all sorts of people on the fringes of society.

Still, I had considered getting ordained for a long time, and if that was what God was asking of me, I wanted a church in which I could get ordained without having to be celibate. This narrowed my search down to the Episcopal, Unitarian Universalist and Metropolitan Community Churches. I tried a local Episcopal Church and fell in love almost instantly. Sexuality was talked about openly, I was allowed to be a Sunday school teacher and the priest herself was in a committed, same-sex relationship. I was confirmed into the Episcopal Church in June of 2009 and it felt like coming home.

Read it all.

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

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

Ex-R.I. priest who follows two faiths faces ouster

In a departure from traditional Islamic teaching, [Ann Holmes] Redding holds that Jesus was crucified and was resurrected. She argues that the Koran doesn’t explicitly deny that Jesus was crucified but only that the Jews did not crucify him.

However, Imam Abdul Hameed of the Islamic Center of Rhode Island disputes her reading. The Koran, he says, makes clear that Jesus was not crucified or killed, but was “lifted up” to God.

“I think she is a little confused. There is no possibility for one to be both a Muslim and a Christian,” Hameed said. “If she doesn’t believe that [Jesus] is the son of God, she is not Christian. And she can’t be a Muslim if she believes Jesus died on a cross.”

Redding says she prefers to stay away from some of the constructs theologians have built to help decide “who is in and who is out, who is going to heaven and who is not.”

“The Trinity is a wonderful way of thinking about God. ”¦ But will I reduce God to a formula? No.

Read it all.

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

A Statement from Anglican Delegates to the 53rd Session of the UNCSW

(ACNS) This year’s United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was focused on the priority theme: the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS. The Anglican Delegates at CSW 53 worked hard to ensure that they took part in all aspects of the two week programme. They were delegates representing the Anglican Communion and supported by Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE) and by a worship framework which in itself was challenging and sustaining.

The delegates in reporting to their provinces recognize the progress which has occurred in many countries. The number of women in decision making roles has increased and girls’ access to education has improved. The delegation learned about innovative services for those living with HIV/AIDS; those involving faith communities, including Anglican churches, were of particular interest.

While we focused on areas of success, there were multiple examples of gender inequality that led the Anglican delegation at CSW to voice considerable concerns. Of special concern was the slow implementation of the MDGs, their relation to gender equality and the resulting increased suffering of women and girls. This is further exacerbated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Latest News, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Women

Anatole Kaletsky: Bank stability is the key to recovery from recession

This time France and Germany are right ”” and America is wrong. To the extent that there was a real transatlantic difference of opinion at the G20 finance ministers’ meeting this weekend, the Germans and French had economic logic on their side in resisting American demands for extra fiscal stimulus and trying to focus the discussion on strengthening the big global banks.

For while there may be a case in the future for additional tax cuts and public spending programmes to boost economic demand, the immediate priority must be to restore the stability of the world financial system and to persuade or force banks to start lending again to non-financial businesses and consumers.

Until the banks return to something like business as usual ”” which does not mean the insanity of the 2004-06 boom years but the normal availability of credit on sensible terms to sound borrowers ”” additional fiscal stimulus will not do much good. If, on the other hand, the banks were stabilised and the moderate reduction of credit that is still required were allowed to proceed in an orderly manner, as was broadly happening until the collapse of Lehman, then the world economy would probably emerge from recession in the next six months or so, without any need for further macroeconomic measures.

Read it all.

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

An Introduction to Faryl Smith

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Music, Teens / Youth

England's new lead singer (and she's only 13)

The singing of songs at rugby grounds is not something normally associated with demure young mezzo-sopranos, but the one who will give voice to the national anthem at the England v France match at Twickenham today is different. Very different.

Faryl Smith is just 13, but already a double record-breaker, and seemingly set to be an even bigger sensation than Charlotte Church when she burst on to the scene aged 11.

Smith’s £2.3m recording contract was the biggest ever awarded to someone of her age, and since the resulting album was released a week ago, it has become the fastest-selling solo classical debut in chart history.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Music, Teens / Youth

Divorce: Standing room only

Once a month Lindsay Blanks holds a free seminar in a hotel conference room and it never fails to fill up with desperate people looking for help.

The 46-year-old lawyer knows if he runs a notice advertising free advice on divorce, people with questions will come.

“It’s the one topic we get the most questions about,” Blanks said bluntly. “We do these every month.”

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family

The Hanahan, South Carolina, Brig: The next Guantanamo?

In the spring of 2002, the Navy’s brig became the only military installation on U.S. soil to house enemy combatants. The first to arrive was Yaser Hamdi, a young Saudi who soon asked for a soccer ball.

A reasonable request, one brig staffer said.

“Personally, since the recreation area the detainee has access to is secured, he is under two man guard force supervision and cuffed during recreation call, I feel comfortable with accommodating the request, unless directed otherwise,” he said in an e-mail to another brig official.

But Department of Defense leaders thought otherwise, citing policies for detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Read it all from the front page of today’s local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Law & Legal Issues, Military / Armed Forces, Terrorism

No Clear Accord on Stimulus by Top 20 Nations

Two weeks before President Obama and the leaders of 19 other industrial nations meet to confront a global economic contraction, top finance officials meeting here Saturday committed to take “whatever action is necessary” to revive consumer demand and regulate global markets. Even so, they still seemed to have divergent views on what actions are required now.

At the end of a lengthy meeting at a luxury resort outside London, the so-called Group of 20 nations, who together represent about 85 percent of the world economy, failed to offer specifics about the size or timing of coordinated economic stimulus, and some major players, including Germany and France, remain deeply reluctant to add to their national debt.

They did agree on Saturday to commit more money to help developing countries and the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, where the downturn has spilled into street protests. They also pledged to step up efforts to revive bank lending and regulate hedge funds.

But the vagueness of the commitment meant that it will be up to President Obama ”” and the leaders of China, Russia and European nations, among others ”” to convince the markets that they have a coordinated strategy as they prepare to meet in London on April 2.

Read it all.

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

Ralph Blumenthal on Bernard Madoff, Dante and Hell

In Dante’s frightful underworld, sinners face a descending funnel of worsening torments keyed to their sins. The lustful are blown about in a whirlwind; the violent boil in a river of blood. But betrayers, alone at the bottom, are savaged by the one called emperor of the realm of grief, in person.

“You’re buried in ice, because you’ve buried yourself in ice,” Mr. Pinsky, the nation’s poet laureate from 1997 to 2000 and a Dante scholar, said in an interview on Thursday.

Poetic justice, indeed.

It is fitting, Mr. Pinsky says. Betrayal destroys the trust that binds humanity, and with it, the betrayer himself. Dante was consumed by the sadness and mystery of sin ”” and what it did to the sinner:

How is it that we choose to sin and wither?
Like waves above Charybdis, each crashing apart
Against the one it rushes to meet …

“It’s not a poem about ”˜you did this, you get this,’ ” Mr. Pinsky says. “It’s about the mystery of how you hurt yourself. It’s like the Talmud says: the evils others do to me are as nothing compared to the evils I do to myself.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Bernard Madoff Scandal, Economy, Eschatology, Poetry & Literature, Stock Market, Theology