Daily Archives: April 17, 2009

Charlie Rose: A conversation with Tony Dungy

Well worth the time to watch.

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

Greenhouse gases a threat to public health, Obama administration will declare

The Obama administration will declare greenhouse gases a threat to public health today, sources said, marking a major step — both practically and symbolically — toward federal limits on the carbon dioxide emissions scientists blame for global warming.

The move by the Environmental Protection Agency is prompted by a two-year-old Supreme Court decision. It paves the way for the White House to regulate emissions from vehicles and effectively force the U.S. auto fleet to be cleaner and more efficient – a plan the administration is expected to put in place soon.

It also opens the door to broad emissions limits in all other parts of the economy, including power plants and construction sites, which critics say could further chill an already recessionary economy. Administration officials insist they’d prefer to let Congress set those limits, and that they will help spur millions of clean-energy jobs in the years to come.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama

David Brooks on Israel: A Loud and Promised Land

This culture of disputatiousness does yield some essential fruits. First, it gives the country a special vividness. There is no bar on earth quite so vibrant as a bar filled with Israelis.

Second, it explains the genuine national unity. Israel is the most diverse small country imaginable. Nonetheless, I may be interviewing a left-wing artist in Tel Aviv or a right-wing settler in Hebron, and I can be highly confident that they will have a few things in common: an intense sense of national mission, a hunger for emotionally significant moments, an inability to read social signals when I try to suggest that I really don’t want them to harangue me about moving here and adopting their lifestyle.

Most important, this argumentative culture nurtures a sense of responsibility. The other countries in this region are more gracious, but often there is a communal unwillingness to accept responsibility for national problems. The Israelis, on the other hand, blame themselves for everything and work hard to get the most out of each person. From that wail of criticism things really do change. I come here nearly annually, and while the peace process is always the same, there is always something unrecognizable about the national scene ”” whether it is the structure of the political parties, the absorption of immigrants or the new engines of economic growth.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Israel, Middle East

Northern Michigan Bishop-elect’s ”˜continually evolving’ faith studied

In a story published Friday, the Democrat-Gazette interviews the Buddhist abbot who helped Thew Forrester take his Buddhist vows. The story also contains interviews with bishops supporting and opposing Thew Forrester and an interview with the bishop-elect.

Among other things, Thew Forrester said he believes in evil, but not a literal Satan. He also rejects the idea that Jesus came to earth to die for the sins of the world:

“God did not send Jesus here to be killed or be crucified by the Romans, which is a brutal murder. But Jesus has become incarnate to reveal to us who God is. He’s a God of love and forgiveness and mercy. ”¦ Jesus’ death itself was not the will of God. God did not desire Jesus to be killed,” Thew Forrester said.

Read it all.

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

At One South Carolina School a Teacher avoids knifing

A Moultrie Middle School student took his father’s pocketknife to school Wednesday because he wanted to “attack and kill” a classmate who was picking on him, authorities said.

Mount Pleasant police said the 13-year-old boy instead held the knife over his head and lunged at a teacher who escaped injury as she escorted the other students out of the classroom.

The boy, a special needs student who has been attending anger management classes, was taken to the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice.

Yuck. Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Violence

Leander Harding: George Carey at the ACI/Communion Partners Conference

Quoting his own son, the journalist Andrew Carey, Lord Carey identified the problem in the Anglican Communion as a “deficit of authority.” He thought the objections to an increased role for the Primates and the Lambeth Conference based on the lack of representation of clergy and laity in those councils an expression of a desire for a kind of church order other than that which Anglicans have received. Lord Carey said that he had no hesitation about empowering the Primates to have an increased role.

In closing he urged holding fast and holding on and commended the work of groups such as the Communion Partners. Lord Carey had two questions to leave with the audience. To the Instruments of Communion he posed the question of discipline. Can there really be no consequences other than of the mildest sort for those churches which act unilaterally as The Episcopal Church did in 2003 against the advice of all the Instruments of Communion? To the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church Lord Carey posed the question, Can the orthodox have a future? Citing the example of Mark Lawrence’s consents the former Archbishop wondered aloud if it would not become impossible to elect conservatives to the episcopacy. Finally George Carey urged those in the audience not to give up hope but to work diligently for the raising up of a new generation of leadership.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

British evangelicals complain new immigration laws hurt churches

Britain’s new immigration system is throwing Christian workers and organisations into confusion because the UK Border Agency has not taken into account the complexity of religious activities, the Evangelical Alliance has said.

The Alliance has drawn up a set of guidelines to help Christians navigate the system, following a number of cases where individuals and groups who travelled to the UK to speak or volunteer were refused entry.

American Christian singer Don Francisco was refused entry into the UK last month, when he arrived to give a free concert in Dorset. He said immigration officials did not believe he would perform for free.

Read it all.

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

In Chicago one Episcopal Church steps in to help area's jobless

Fortunately, some very kind folks at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Sycamore are more than willing to help.

The recent unemployment figures in DeKalb County are being reported at around 9.5 percent, an increase from about 6 percent last year, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

So the governing board of St. Peter’s simply saw a need within the community and decided to fill it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Poverty, TEC Parishes

An RNS article on the Northern Michigan Episcopal Controversy

A majority of bishops and elected standing committees in the denomination’s 110 dioceses must approve, or give “consent,” to Thew Forrester’s election or it is tossed out.

But the controversy has done more than jeopardize Thew Forrester’s promotion and stoke already-high tensions in the 2.2 million-member Episcopal Church. It also heralds a new era in church politics that mirrors mainstream culture, when online research and partisan tactics can combine to make or break a career, observers say.

“Thirty years ago, if a person was elected as bishop, it would be almost impossible for the church, broadly speaking, to see his sermons,” said Bishop Edward Little of Northern Indiana. “I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but that’s the way it is.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan, Theology

Taliban Exploit Class Rifts to Gain Ground in Pakistan

The Taliban have advanced deeper into Pakistan by engineering a class revolt that exploits profound fissures between a small group of wealthy landlords and their landless tenants, according to government officials and analysts here.

The strategy cleared a path to power for the Taliban in the Swat Valley, where the government allowed Islamic law to be imposed this week, and it carries broad dangers for the rest of Pakistan, particularly the militants’ main goal, the populous heartland of Punjab Province.

In Swat, accounts from those who have fled now make clear that the Taliban seized control by pushing out about four dozen landlords who held the most power.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, Pakistan

A Los Angeles Times Editorial: Untangling our taxes

The president failed to point out, though, that the tax cuts he promoted are part of the problem Volcker was asked to solve. Taxpayers face a thicket of potential deductions, credits and exclusions because Congress and the White House use the tax code instead of direct subsidies to promote certain types of behavior. For example, to boost sales of cars and homes, this year Congress added a temporary deduction for automobile sales taxes and expanded the credit for first-time home buyers. Over the years, lawmakers piled on layer after layer of benefits for social aims, along with a dizzying array of incentives for businesses and investors. Meanwhile, they played a cat-and-mouse game with tax accountants, tweaking the code to deter the gimmicks that shifted income into less-taxed categories.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Taxes

Church Times: GAFCON Primates hear of ”˜two religions’ in the United States

Bishop Duncan echoed the insistence of the Primates that theirs was not a breakaway movement. “I’m a cradle Anglican. My grandfather was a boy chorister. . . My theological views haven’t changed. The problem is that folks who have become the leadership of the Episcopal Church in the United States have pulled the rug out from under me. The person who is our Presiding Bishop, she didn’t begin as an Anglican. I did. She represents something very different. I don’t think I’m a breakaway.

“I don’t believe I have divided the Church. I believe the innovators are the ones who are dividing the Church. I love them, and I want to behave in a godly way towards them, and I will do everything I can to convince them about the truth that’s been delivered; but my focus now has to be on those who don’t know Jesus.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Presiding Bishop, TEC Conflicts

From the Morning Scripture readings

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,

if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed,

be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well.

This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner.

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

–Acts 4:8-12

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Anglican TV Interviews Bishop Bob Duncan in London

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, TEC Conflicts

From the Do Not Take Yourself Too Seriously Department: Eggs,Johnny Carson and Dom DeLuise

Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia

Through Rwandan friends, a Chapel Hill church seeks lessons in forgiveness

This month, as Rwanda marks the 15th anniversary of its genocide, an Anglican church in the Triangle is trying to glean lessons from the aftermath of the mass killings.

All Saints Church has good formal reasons to undertake the study. From a denominational standpoint, it is part of the Anglican Mission in America, which is overseen by the Anglican Church of Rwanda.

The congregation, formed in 2005, also has a sister parish relationship with a church in the southern Rwandan city of Butare.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Pastoral Theology, Rwanda, Theology, Violence

Alison Krauss-A Living Prayer

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

AP–NYC archbishop's challenge: Not losing Hispanics

When Archbishop Timothy Dolan became the leader of the New York Archdiocese this week, he read a part of his first sermon in Spanish. It made demographic sense ”” many of the city’s Roman Catholics are Latino.

But the church, which will increasingly rely on Hispanics for its continued vitality, is facing a challenge: A small but growing number of Latinos are turning to Protestant denominations, particularly Pentecostal and Evangelical, finding the worship styles and Hispanic pulpit leadership can be a better fit for their spiritual needs.

Read it all.

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

Strunk And White's Venerable Writing Guide Is 50

In 1957, White, who wrote the children’s classics Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, rediscovered a brief guide to style by Strunk, his professor at Cornell University. White wrote an essay about it in the July 1957 issue of The New Yorker, introducing what would eventually become a bible for countless writers:

“The Elements of Style” was Will Strunk’s parvum opus, his attempt to cut the vast tangle of English rhetoric down to size and write its rules and principles on the head of a pin. Will himself hung the title “little” on the book: he referred to it sardonically and with secret pride as “the little book,” always giving the word “little” a special twist, as though he were putting a spin on a ball.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Poetry & Literature