Daily Archives: October 22, 2010

BBC–Dawn of the bizarre pre-nup?

A court has ruled that pre-nuptial agreements apply in England and Wales. Will this bring with it some of the odd marital contracts drawn up abroad?

It may sound the antithesis of carefree romance, but the pre-nuptial agreement looks as though it will become a familiar part of the institution of marriage on these shores.

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that such contracts can have decisive or compelling weight after German paper company heiress Katrin Radmacher’s ex-husband failed in his bid to be awarded a greater chunk of her £100m fortune.

Now, the law in England and Wales falls into line with the United States and much of Europe in recognising agreements drawn up by couples prior to tying the knot.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theology

CEN: South Carolina the latest target in the gunsights of the national Episcopal Church

The Diocese of South Carolina synod has revised its bylaws in a bid to protect itself from legal predations from the national Episcopal Church. Meeting on Oct 15, at St Paul’s Church in Summerville, South Carolina adopted six resolutions that ended the diocese’s automatic accession to the national church’s canons.

At the close of its March meeting, Bishop Mark Lawrence postponed the 219th annual meeting of the diocesan convention, after US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori engaged an attorney to represent the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. The diocese requested an explanation for what it saw as an unlawful usurpation of authority by the presiding bishop, and postponed the adjournment of its synod pending a response.

The presiding bishop declined to respond, but as it waited the diocesan leadership began a review of the national church canons enacted at the 2009 General Convention covering clergy discipline.

“What we found was shocking,” Canon Kendall Harmon told Anglican TV, as it “violates due process” and natural justice.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, House of Deputies President, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons

Church Times–Churchwardens In Kent Parish to ask Dr Williams to discuss Ordinariate

The diocese of Canterbury said in a statement that it had received a letter from the churchwardens of St Peter’s “about a possible move to the Ordinariate”, and that “conversations are due to start soon”.

The statement said that, whatever the outcome of discussions with St Peter’s, “the Church of England will retain its parochial ministry in the parish of St Peter’s, Folkestone; and St Peter’s Church of England Prim ary School will remain a Church of England school.”

The Revd Martin Short, chaplain to the Bishop of Dover, said: “The fairest thing you could say is it’s far too early for any conversations about the future use of buildings until after conversations about people moving to the Ordinariate have been success fully concluded.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

CEN–Questions over ACC letter on the Southern Cone raised

In his Oct 14 press release, Canon Kearon said “I have not received a response” to this request for “clarification” from the Southern Cone.

Canon Kearon’s claim, however, is at odds with Bishop Venables’ memory, as he reports having had two telephone conversations with Canon Kearon and one with Dr. Williams about this issue.

Bishop Venables further stated that he told Dr. Williams and Canon Kearon in the three conversations that he could not give a definitive answer to Canon Kearon’s letter until after the meeting of the Southern Cone standing committee.

A spokesman for the ACC confirmed that Canon Kearon had indeed “followed up with two phone calls” his June letter to Bishop Venables. However, the secretary general had “received no clarification as to the current state of his interventions by mid July as requested,” ACC spokesman Jan Butter said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Ecclesiology, Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

Eduardo Porter: Is That a Dagger I See?

We’ve been waiting a long time for technology to deliver us an alternative reality, like the future in H.G. Wells’s “Time Machine,” Nemo’s Matrix, or the universe of code navigated by the “Neuromancer” hacker, Case. The future has arrived, finally ”” by the prosaic hand of our cellphones. Chances are it will soon be sponsored by laundry detergent or a fast-food chain.

Just the other day, my iPhone showed me an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art that most people around me didn’t know was there. Looking at the galleries through the phone’s camera, I saw a chunk of the Berlin Wall floating before me. There were faces suspended in midair in the museum’s immense atrium. Over the sculpture garden hovered a path through the desert along which illegal immigrants often die.

Other than being the venue, MoMA had nothing to do with the show….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Media, Psychology, Science & Technology

Business Week Cover Story–Shredding the American Dream

Aside from ignoring banks’ bad debts, Washington hasn’t done much to fix the crisis. Both houses of Congress easily passed a bill this year that would have undermined centuries of law by requiring every state to recognize MERS-type electronic records from other states. Only a pocket veto by President Barack Obama kept it from becoming law.

One option, opposed by the Obama Administration and most Republicans in Congress but favored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others, is a national moratorium on foreclosures. It would last until regulators assure themselves that lenders have straightened out their foreclosure procedures. Opponents say it would delay the recovery of the housing market by preventing qualified buyers from getting their hands on foreclosed homes. Supporters of the idea, such as Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, say there are plenty of already foreclosed homes available for sale and thus no urgent need to add to the supply.

Goodman, the Amherst Securities analyst, says banks need to reduce the principal that people owe on their homes so they have an incentive not to walk away. “Ignoring the fact that the borrower can and will default when it is his/her most economical solution is an expensive case of denial,” Goodman writes. If the home whose mortgage was reduced happens to regain value, 50 percent of the appreciation would be taxed, she says. Meanwhile, to discourage people from sitting tight in homes while foreclosure proceedings drag on, she would have the government tax the benefit of living in the home rent-free.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Personal Finance, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

”˜Culture of Poverty’ Makes a Comeback

For more than 40 years, social scientists investigating the causes of poverty have tended to treat cultural explanations like Lord Voldemort: That Which Must Not Be Named.

The reticence was a legacy of the ugly battles that erupted after Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then an assistant labor secretary in the Johnson administration, introduced the idea of a “culture of poverty” to the public in a startling 1965 report. Although Moynihan didn’t coin the phrase (that distinction belongs to the anthropologist Oscar Lewis), his description of the urban black family as caught in an inescapable “tangle of pathology” of unmarried mothers and welfare dependency was seen as attributing self-perpetuating moral deficiencies to black people, as if blaming them for their own misfortune.

Moynihan’s analysis never lost its appeal to conservative thinkers, whose arguments ultimately succeeded when President Bill Clinton signed a bill in 1996 “ending welfare as we know it.” But in the overwhelmingly liberal ranks of academic sociology and anthropology the word “culture” became a live grenade, and the idea that attitudes and behavior patterns kept people poor was shunned.

Now, after decades of silence, these scholars are speaking openly about you-know-what, conceding that culture and persistent poverty are enmeshed.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Economy, Education, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Poverty, Religion & Culture

From the Do Not Take Yourself Too Seriously Department: Sermon Preparation

Check it out-heh.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

As Dollar’s Value Falls, Currency Conflicts Rise

Is this a currency war or what?

Fast-growing nations like Thailand are trying to devalue their exchange rates to bolster their export-driven economies.

In Washington, where “strong dollar” has been the mantra for years, policy makers are taking steps that could make the already weak dollar weaker still.

European policy makers worry that a resurgent euro will threaten growth in their own backyard. And the entire world, it seems, is jawboning China to level the playing field and let its undervalued currency, the renminbi, appreciate. It is a step that Beijing, by all accounts, does not want to take.

With so many economies struggling, it suddenly seems as if it is every nation for itself in the currency markets….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Currency Markets, Economy, England / UK, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Federal Reserve, Globalization, Politics in General, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

(BBC) Pakistan media gripped by man marrying twice in one day

A Pakistani man’s solution to the age-old dilemma of whether to embark on an arranged or a love marriage has captivated the country’s media.

Television channels have provided live coverage of Azhar Haidri’s decision to marry both women over a 24-hour period.

At first he refused to marry the woman selected by his family since childhood because he loved someone else.

Pakistani law allows polygamy because it interprets Islam to allow a man to have up to four wives.

Islam is the main religion in the country.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Islam, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Religion & Culture

Wisdom from the Missionary Statesman Max Warren (1904-1977)

Part of the glory given by Christ to his disciples, to his Church, is the glory of the divine unity, the divine fellowship—“that they may be one, even as we are one.” To be united with him in the fellowship of his sufferings is to be united with all the others in the same holy fellowship. The glory of the Cross is in part the glory of a perfect unity with the will of God.

Here we touch upon a mystery which can only be resolved if we recognize that the Glory which Christ our Lord gave to his disciples in the Upper Room and gives to us his disciples of a later day is glory only partly revealed, only partly understood, only partly appropriated, in the present. It will be fully revealed, fully understood, fully appropriated only in the future when the victory of the Cross over sin and death and the powers of evil is finally accomplished.

–Max Warren, “Eschatology and Worship,” Theology Today 6:4 (1950), pp.481-482

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Eschatology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord God, who dost call thy servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown: Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing whither we go, but only that thy hand is leading us, and thy love supporting us; to the glory of thy name.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.

–Luke 10:38-39

Posted in Uncategorized

Stanley Hauerwas–How real is America's faith?

Americans do not have to believe in God, because they believe that it is a good thing simply to believe: all they need is a general belief in belief. That is why we have never been able to produce interesting atheists in the US. The god most Americans say they believe in is not interesting enough to deny, because it is only the god that has given them a country that ensures that they have the right to choose to believe in the god of their choosing, Accordingly, the only kind of atheism that counts in the US is that which calls into question the proposition that everyone has a right to life, liberty, and happiness.

America is the exemplification of what I call the project of modernity. That project is the attempt to produce a people that believes it should have no story except the story it chose when it had no story. That is what Americans mean by freedom.

The problem with that story is its central paradox: you did not choose the story that you should have no story except the story you chose when you had no story….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

A Time of Darkness Illuminated Onstage

Even many South Carolinians barely remember the night when two unarmed black college students and a high school senior were killed, and 28 others injured, after state troopers opened fire at a civil-rights demonstration on Feb. 8, 1968. It was the first incident of its kind on an American campus, but the news was swamped by the Tet Offensive a week earlier and the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. two months later.

There was no heavy news coverage like the Jackson State killings in Mississippi received in 1970, no unforgettable photograph like the image that burned the Kent State shootings into the American consciousness that same year.

Among those unaware of the incident, in spite of growing up two miles from where it happened at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, was Calhoun Cornwell, a budding student playwright there. But he was gripped by classroom lectures on the ’68 shootings that had become known as the Orangeburg Massacre, and in 2009, at the urging of classmates, he wrote a play about the event.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, History, Race/Race Relations, Theatre/Drama/Plays

As Injuries Rise, Scant Oversight of Helmet Safety

Moments after her son finished practicing with his fifth-grade tackle football team, Beth Sparks examined his scuffed and battered helmet for what she admitted was the first time. She looked at the polycarbonate shell and felt the foam inside before noticing a small emblem on the back that read, “MEETS NOCSAE STANDARD.”

“I would think that means it meets the national guidelines ”” you know, for head injuries, concussions, that sort of thing,” she said. “That’s what it would mean to me.”

That assumption, made by countless parents, coaches, administrators and even doctors involved with the 4.4 million children who play tackle football, is just one of many false beliefs in the largely unmonitored world of football helmets.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Men, Sports, Teens / Youth, Young Adults