Monthly Archives: August 2009

Mary Zeiss Stange on American Nuns: Not your parents' Sisters

How do you know a Roman Catholic nun when you see one? It used to be easy. They wore long black habits and veils with confining headgear, traveled in pairs, were teachers or nurses, and lived quietly in convents. There was a timelessness about them: the essentials of their way of living had remained unaltered for centuries.

Then came the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), with its mandate to bring the church ”” nuns and all ”” into the 20th century. Shortly thereafter, the Dominican Sisters at my school, St. Mary’s in Rutherford, N.J., took the plunge and modernized their garb. But otherwise, they still conformed to the traditional model, living in community and teaching primary and secondary school.

Their change of habits was but a baby step toward much broader subsequent changes for Catholic nuns. And the church’s current response to these changes suggests how resolutely clueless the hierarchy remains when it comes to what these religious women are up to, and how the changes in the realities of their dedicated lives mirror changes for women in American society at large.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Women

Anglican TV Interviews Martyn Minns

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA

Tony Blair: Cherie inspired me to become a Catholic

Converting from the Anglican Church to Catholicism two years ago was like “coming home”, he said.

“Frankly, this all began with my wife. I began to go to Mass and we went together. We could have gone to the Anglican or Catholic church – guess who won?

“Ever since I began preparations to become a Catholic, I felt I was coming home; and this is now where my heart is, where I know I belong,” Mr Blair told the Communion and Liberation meeting in the Adriatic resort of Rimini.

The former prime minister, who now runs the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, switched to Catholicism soon after leaving office two years ago. His wife and children were already Catholic.

Read it all.

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

Iraq’s Ambivalence About the American Military

Iraqi military officials often refer to their American counterparts as “the friends,” a circumlocution full of Eastern subtlety that is often lost on the friends themselves. Add some more quotation marks, and it comes closer to the sense intended, “the ”˜friends.’ ” Not sarcastic, exactly, but rather colored with mixed emotions, as in the sentence, “The ”˜friends’ came by yesterday to complain again about payroll skimming.”

Americans find this hard to understand about the Iraq war, that their trillion-dollar enterprise in Iraq has made Iraqis and particularly the Iraqi military not only deeply dependent on America, but also deeply conflicted, even resentful about that dependency. After all, we saved them from defeat at the hands of a ruthless insurgency that a few years ago indeed could have destroyed them, and we spent 4,000 lives doing it, left probably 10 times that many young Americans crippled for life, and they’re not grateful?

That is not, at bottom, how the Iraqis see it. They are grateful, many of them, but gratitude is a drink with a bitter aftertaste. They also chafe at the thousands of daily humiliations they endure from a mostly well-meaning but often clueless American military. An Iraqi politician who wishes to remain nameless (“I have to deal with the friends,” he explains) tells of traveling with the Iraqi Army’s chief of staff, a general in uniform, epaulets bristling with eagles, stars and swords. They were at the Baghdad airport, about to get on one of the few Iraqi military planes, when an American sergeant stopped him and refused to allow him to board. Despite the general’s remonstrations of rank and privilege, the sergeant made sure the plane took off without him.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Iraq War, Military / Armed Forces

Adam Rutherford's interview with Nicky Gumbel

NG: I think what tends to happen is the course is representative of the area. So, for instance, most people who live in Islington are probably what you’ve just described as de-churched. But in China, most of the people who come on the course might be atheist. At a conference we did in Singapore, most of them described themselves as ‘free-thinkers’ beforehand. In different parts of the world there are different backgrounds. When we looked at the analysis of our own course here I think it was pretty representative of what the population at large is. I think 75% of the population of this country are probably still de-churched. It’s the younger end, the 25%, the merging generation, who have no church background at all.

AR: So the ‘un-churched’?

NG: Yes, if you turn that category de-churched in to the un-churched, I would say the make-up of Alpha here is probably like that: 75% are un-churched.

AR: What do you think the aspect of un-churched people is, if we can use that term? What is missing, or what are the questions that they don’t have answers to, which Alpha attempts to address?

NG: It’s very interesting because the un-churched are the new people coming in. The younger end tend to be the un-churched, the ones who’ve got no baggage at all. And in a sense they come at it with a great advantage, in some ways.

AR: What sort of baggage are you talking about?

NG: Well, experience of thinking of Christianity as boring, for example, because they’ve got no experience at all of Christianity. If you’ve had an experience where you’ve been at school or you’ve been involved in services and you’ve thought, ‘That’s so dull,’ yes, you’ve got some information but also it’s something that may have put you off, whereas if you haven’t got that experience at all you come to it with completely fresh eyes. So there’s a mixture of people, and there are advantages and disadvantages in both of those.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Michael Nazir-Ali:Church of England must do more to counter twin threats of secularism and Islam

But …[Bishop Nazir-Ali] also said that the Church of England, which is used to working with society, should speak up more often to defend the country’s customs and institutions, most of which are based on Christian teaching.

“I think it will need to be more visible and take more of a stand on moral and spiritual issues,” the bishop said.

“What’s our basis for thinking that people are equal? It’s the Judeo-Christian tradition that has provided us with these resources and we will continue to need it.”

He said that the Church should defend the traditional two-parent family and Christian festivals, which are opposed not by followers of other faiths but by atheists who want to remove religion from the public square.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism

A New Assignment: Pick Books You Like

For years Lorrie McNeill loved teaching “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Harper Lee classic that many Americans regard as a literary rite of passage.

But last fall, for the first time in 15 years, Ms. McNeill, 42, did not assign “Mockingbird” ”” or any novel. Instead she turned over all the decisions about which books to read to the students in her seventh- and eighth-grade English classes at Jonesboro Middle School in this south Atlanta suburb.

Among their choices: James Patterson”˜s adrenaline-fueled “Maximum Ride” books, plenty of young-adult chick-lit novels and even the “Captain Underpants” series of comic-book-style novels.

But then there were students like Jennae Arnold, a soft-spoken eighth grader who picked challenging titles like “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines and “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, of which she wrote, partly in text-message speak: “I would have N3V3R thought of or about something like that on my own.”

The approach Ms. McNeill uses, in which students choose their own books, discuss them individually with their teacher and one another, and keep detailed journals about their reading, is part of a movement to revolutionize the way literature is taught in America’s schools.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Education

WSJ: Raft of Deals for Failed Banks Puts U.S. on Hook for Billions

The biggest spur to deal-making among banks isn’t private-equity cash or foreign investors. It is the federal government.

To encourage banks to pick through the wreckage of their collapsed competitors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has agreed to assume most of the risk on $80 billion in loans and other assets. The agency expects it will eventually have to cover $14 billion in future losses on deals cut so far. The initiative amounts to a subsidy for dozens of hand-picked banks.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The Banking System/Sector, The U.S. Government

Poll: Six in 10 U.S. Catholics ambivalent about Latin Mass

According to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, one in four U.S. Catholics favors having the Latin Mass as a liturgical option, 12% oppose it, and 63% have “no opinion.”

Only three in 10 U.S. Catholics who do not oppose bringing back the Latin Mass ”” equivalent to about 5.7 Catholics ”” say they would attend the service if it was convenient, according to CARA. Apathy was most prevalent among Catholics born after 1982 ”” 78% said they have no opinion Benedict bringing back the Latin Mass.

Read it all.

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

Ex-con Ron Burris reaches out to inmates at Lieber 'rock'

Eddie Morris, the assistant chaplain at Lieber, clearly recalls the bitter young man [Ron] Burris used to be. During their first session, Burris railed against perceived injustices by police, the prison system and society. But when Burris lifted up his shirt to show off his bullet wounds, Morris burst out in laughter, perplexing the young convict.

“I’m looking at this guy and the first five holes would be enough to take a man out,” Morris recalled. “I said, ‘You need to be thanking God you are even here to talk about it.’ ”

As they prayed together, hugged and wept, Burris began to rediscover his faith, Morris said. He kept coming to the weekly prayer meetings, and change took root.

“I’ve seen him go from an angry young man to a humble servant,” Morris said. “It is awesome. He’s become a better husband, a father to his children and a friend to these men. He lets them know, ‘If it can happen to me, it can happen to you.’ ”

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Prison/Prison Ministry

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long.

–Psalm 25:4,5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

As Internet turns 40, barriers threaten its growth

Goofy videos weren’t on the minds of Len Kleinrock and his team at UCLA when they began tests 40 years ago on what would become the Internet. Neither was social networking, for that matter, nor were most of the other easy-to-use applications that have drawn more than a billion people online.

Instead the researchers sought to create an open network for freely exchanging information, an openness that ultimately spurred the innovation that would later spawn the likes of YouTube, Facebook and the World Wide Web.

There’s still plenty of room for innovation today, yet the openness fostering it may be eroding. While the Internet is more widely available and faster than ever, artificial barriers threaten to constrict its growth.

Call it a mid-life crisis.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

Episcopal Deacon Hasn't Taken 'the Easy Way'

As a deacon, she has served at two churches in Lakeland, All Saints and St. Stephen’s, where she taught classes, assisted in worship services and helped the pastors visit the sick and elderly.

“A deacon’s calling is to take the needs and concerns of the world into the church and the care and concerns of the church into the world,” she said.

She was so conscientious in her duties that in 1999, the bishop of the Diocese of Central Florida, the Rt. Rev. John Howe, nominated her for the Stephen Award, given annually by the Episcopal National Organization of Deacons.

Verret won the award, which she calls “one of the greatest honors I ever received.”

Howe calls her “a very special person.”

“She’s just an outstanding deacon. Joan truly lives with one foot in the world and one in the church. She’s a woman of deep prayer, and she has a heart of service,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Japan Opposition Claims Victory in Historic Political Shift

Japan’s voters Sunday soundly rejected the ruling party that has set the nation’s course for more than half a century, choosing instead an untested rival to grapple with a weakening economy and an aging society.

The historic change in government could usher in a new era for Japanese politics that replaces the staid consensus that guided Japan in its postwar boom years with a more fractious, competitive environment. But it also raises major questions about whether the newcomers can solve Japan’s deep structural problems and reassure a people increasingly uncertain about their future.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, Japan

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: CIA Interrogation Tactics

BOB ABERNETHY….Did CIA interrogators go beyond the guidance they had? If so, should they be punished, and should Bush administration officials who authorized the techniques also be punished? We explore the moral issues with Shaun Casey, professor of ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. Shaun, welcome. Let me take you back to the atmosphere right after 9/11. There was tremendous pressure on the administration to prevent another attack, to do whatever was necessary, to find out whatever they could about whether there was going to be another attack. Didn’t that justify the interrogation techniques that were put into place?

SHAUN CASEY (Professor Ethics, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC): I would argue that it’s precisely at those moments of crisis that we need to rely on our moral and legal tradition and resist giving up things like respect for the dignity of the human person, and I think that moral tradition argues that no matter who the person is, as a result of that dignity, they shouldn’t be subjected to the kinds of torture we suspect went on.

ABERNETHY: And even if you’re pretty sure you might be able to save several thousand more innocent lives, that would not trump the dignity of the individual prisoner?

PROFESSOR CASEY: What’s interesting even at the time, and now we know for sure, such information did not exist. We did not extract through torture any information that directly led to preventing another similar sort of tragic event. So in essence no, I think we should resist, because we don’t possess that kind of advance knowledge.

ABERNETHY: Apparently the CIA tried hard to keep what was done within the guidelines that existed but that in some cases people did exceed those guidelines. Should they be punished?


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Military / Armed Forces, Terrorism, Theology

The Economist Leader: Big is back

IN 1996, in one of his most celebrated phrases, Bill Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over”. He might have added that the era of big companies was over, too. The organisation that defined capitalism for much of the 20th century was then in retreat, attacked by corporate raiders, harassed by shareholders and outfoxed by entrepreneurs.

Great names such as Pan Am had disappeared. Others had survived only by dint of huge bloodletting: IBM sacked 122,000 people, a quarter of its workforce, between 1990 and 1995. Everyone agreed that the future lay with entrepreneurial start-ups such as Yahoo!””which in late 1998 had the same market capitalisation with 637 employees as Boeing with 230,000. The share of GDP produced by big industrial companies fell by half between 1974 and 1998, from 36% to 17%.

Today the balance of advantage may be shifting again. To a degree, the financial crisis is responsible. It has devastated the venture-capital market, the lifeblood of many young firms. Governments have been rescuing companies they consider too big to fail, such as Citigroup and General Motors. Recession is squeezing out smaller and less well-connected firms. But there are other reasons too, which are giving big companies a self-confidence they have not displayed for decades.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy

Gary Nicolosi Suggests Re-thinking how we do church

In developed countries, including the U.S., England and the rest of Europe, membership and average attendance also are down. Fewer than one million attend church regularly in England, where the mother church is officially 28-million strong. “They just go to have the baby christened and never come back,” says Mr. Nicolosi.

In the U.S., the ranks of the Episcopal Church have thinned by 55 percent, dropping from a peak of 3.5 million in 1964 to 2.2 million in 2007.

Still, declining church attendance is not universal. Attendance at the Pentecostal, Baptist and Christian Missionary Alliance churches is growing. “Evangelicals don’t just study the Bible, they study the culture and then connect the two,” says Mr. Nicolosi.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

Canadian Anglican Primate heads to Jerusalem

The primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, was scheduled to make his first visit to the Middle East and to the Episcopal diocese of Jerusalem Aug. 22-29. The diocese extends over Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

“The context for the trip…is a resolution from General Synod in 2007 that the primate make a solidarity visit to the diocese of Jerusalem,” said Archbishop Hiltz. At press time, the primate was scheduled to meet with the bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Suheil Dawani, and to tour the diocese’s various projects and churches, including the Cathedral Church of St. George the Martyr. The diocese has 27 parishes that minister to various communities; it also runs hospitals, clinics, schools, institutions for the deaf, disabled and elderly, and inter-faith relations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Inter-Faith Relations, Israel, Middle East, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Gene Robinson attacks 'two-track' Anglican vision as 'abhorrent to Jesus'

THE first openly gay bishop in the Anglican communion yesterday criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury’s suggestion of a possible “two-track” church. Gene Robinson, the Episcopalian bishop of New Hampshire, said: “I can’t imagine anything that would be more abhorrent to Jesus than a two-tier church.

“Either we are children of God and brothers and sisters in Christ, or we aren’t. There are not preferred children and second-class children. There are just children of God.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Theology, Windsor Report / Process

New rift may shift Lutherans

“Take time with your decision,” [Bishop Mark] Hanson said after the vote in Minneapolis. “Step back and understand the magnitude of the decision if you choose to leave, because we will be diminished by your absence.”

Bishop Warren Freiheit, who leads the ELCA’s Central/Southern Illinois synod, echoed Hanson’s call for patience. “It’s my continued counsel to wait and see what filters out of this,” Freiheit said.

Some Missouri Synod leaders say that even if their denomination benefits from some who leave the ELCA, the ordination decision hurt the reputation of American Lutheranism.

“Even if people from the ELCA came over in droves, this vote was in no sense good news for the (Missouri Synod),” said Will Schumacher, dean of theological research and publications for Concordia Seminary. “This drives a wedge between American Lutherans and the worldwide church that was not there before.”

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Amy Jo Garner: Why aren't more Oklahoma City Episcopalians connected to the church online?

The Episcopal Church provided a bulletin insert for August 23 that discussed the ECUSA’s use of Facebook and Twitter to stay connected with Episcopalians across the country (and, conceivably, around the globe). My home church doesn’t use bulletin inserts; consequently, if I did not regularly read Episcopal Life Online, I would not have known about it.

I’m a member of the Facebook group for St. Paul’s in Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, I’m only one of 94 members. For a church with nearly a thousand baptized members, that number seems pretty insignificant. I did a search of Facebook and only found one other Episcopal Church in the Oklahoma City Metro with a group ”“ St. John’s in Norman, and they only have 41 members in their group.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry

Do the Current Episcopal Church Statistics reflect the Trauma in the four Realigning Dioceses?

No, as you can see plainly from this chart.

I post this today because earlier I read the following:

St. Francis is one of 28 parishes of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

According to the Episcopal Church Annual of 2007 (which reflects parochial reports from 2005) there were 67 parishes in the diocese of Pittsburgh that year. So the quite significant drop in active baptized membership in the domestic dioceses of TEC from 1997-2007 of -9.7% does not yet reflect the realignments in Pittsburgh, Quincy, Fort Worth and San Joaquin.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, TEC Data

AP IMPACT: Secret process benefits pet projects from feneral Stimulus Money

A sleepy Montana checkpoint along the Canadian border that sees about three travelers a day will get $15 million under President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan. A government priority list ranked the project as marginal, but two powerful Democratic senators persuaded the administration to make it happen.

Despite Obama’s promises that the stimulus plan would be transparent and free of politics, the government is handing out $720 million for border upgrades under a process that is both secretive and susceptible to political influence. This allowed low-priority projects such as the checkpoint in Whitetail, Mont., to skip ahead of more pressing concerns, according to documents revealed to The Associated Press.

A House oversight committee has added the checkpoint projects to its investigation into how the stimulus money is being spent. The top Republican on that committee, California’s Rep. Darrell Issa, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday, questioning why some projects leapfrogged others.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009

Methodists Say No to partnered Lutheran Gay Clergy

Lutheran ministers who are in same-sex relationships will not be allowed to serve as clergy in United Methodist congregations despite the new full communion agreement between the two denominations.

Bishop Gregory Palmer, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, made clear on Wednesday that UMC’s ban on noncelibate gay clergy still stands.

“Our Book of Discipline on that subject did not become null and void when they took that vote,” said Palmer, according to the United Methodist News Service. “It still applies to United Methodist clergy.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Lutheran, Methodist, Other Churches, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

Young Methodist clergy evangelize in cyberspace

Young United Methodist clergy see the elephant in the sanctuary ”“ the fact more ministers are headed for retirement than the pulpits ”“ and they are grabbing the mops.

The concerned under-35 crowd is doing what comes naturally. It is using social media ”“ Facebook, Twitter and blogs ”“ to form an online community to search for ways to draw more young people into ministry and into the pews.

A core group of 10 young clergy met with the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry in February. As a result, hundreds of young clergy are now talking and creating relationships in cyberspace through their own Web site,

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Evangelism and Church Growth, Methodist, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Young Adults

War of words between Vatican and Berlusconi clan heats up

A war of words between the Roman Catholic Church and Silvio Berlusconi’s clan heated up Saturday as reports said the row had led to the Vatican cancelling a meeting between its number two official and the Italian prime minister.

The reports said the Vatican had called off the talks scheduled for late Friday after the newspaper headed by Berlusconi’s brother Paolo attacked the boss of the Italian Catholic bishops’ daily, Avvenire, a persistent critic of the prime minister’s sexual peccadillos.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Italy, Other Churches, Politics in General, Roman Catholic

Sanford gets no support in the South Carolina State House

Gov. Mark Sanford always has been a loner, but on Saturday he didn’t have a friend in the House.

Not a single member of the House Republican Caucus spoke up for the embattled GOP governor in this oceanfront city at an organizational meeting that wrapped up with a 45-minute discussion about why Sanford should resign or be impeached.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell, a Charleston Republican, resisted calls from members to circulate a caucus letter to urge Sanford to step down or begin immediate impeachment action. Harrell said he wants the caucus to wait until a State Ethics Commission investigation is complete to ensure that impeachment proceedings would be based on fact.

The investigation began Aug. 10 and is expected to take between four and six weeks to complete.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Politics in General, State Government

Notable and Quotable

When I was still chief executive at Optus, I was invited to address a Herald function. I imagine the Herald thought I would talk about telecommunications or some such. But the week before, Pauline Hanson gave her so-called maiden speech. I thought it disgraceful; its key message was that Aborigines were not an underprivileged group and the influx of Asians into this country would seriously damage our society.

I read a definition of racism and bigotry and extracts from her speech and invited the audience to compare the two. In the Federal Parliament the next day, she said I should be dismissed from my job and never allowed to work in business again.
Shortly thereafter I was invited to coffee with the then deputy lord mayor of Sydney, a gentleman of Chinese extraction. When I got there I was offered no coffee and taken into the Great Hall. A young woman said, “Mr Cousins, we are the choir from the Quandong Province in China and we will sing for you, because you have defended us.” They proceeded to sing.

I told the deputy lord mayor it was wonderful but completely out of proportion. I merely made one speech. He replied, “That’s all you did. But it was one speech more than anyone else.”

When you step off the ledge of doubt, there are rewards. And when you leap, someone, somewhere will sing for you.

Geoffrey Cousins in the Sydney Morning Herald

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Concerns for our Planet

Watch it all (just under 2 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Archbishop of Canterbury, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization

CSM: What Katrina has wrought, four years later

The storm that crashed into New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast four years ago wreaked a shocking $80 billion in damage and resulted in 1,836 confirmed fatalities. But since then, its overall legacy has broadened and, one hopes, has not been all bad.

Count these among the lessons it taught and the changes it spawned:

ӢVolunteers matter a lot in a time of crisis.

”¢FEMA’s mission has shifted from a top-down to a bottom-up approach.

ӢNew appreciation has emerged of the need to retain and restore wetlands to help absorb storm surges.

ӢStorm-tracking capabilities have advanced in ways that improve public safety.

ӢHurricanes have moved to the center of the climate-change debate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, History, Hurricane Katrina, The U.S. Government