Daily Archives: November 2, 2010

(NY Times) Church Attack Seen as Strike at Iraq’s Core

Blood still smeared the walls of Our Lady of Salvation Church on Monday. Scraps of flesh remained between the pews. It was the worst massacre of Iraqi Christians since the war began here in 2003.

But for survivors, the tragedy went deeper than the toll of the human wreckage: A fusillade of grenades, bullets and suicide vests had unraveled yet another thread of the country’s once eclectic fabric.

“We’ve lost part of our soul now,” said Rudy Khalid, a 16-year-old Christian who lived across the street. He shook his head. “Our destiny, no one knows what to say of it.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Iraq, Iraq War, Middle East, Religion & Culture

(TNR) Ed Kilgore: Your Comprehensive 2010 Election Guide

The first big hint of what’s to come will be at around 5:45 p.m., when media outlets begin reporting partial exit-poll data about the makeup of the electorate. These news organizations actually receive all the exit-poll data that is available around the country at 5:00 p.m., but they don’t use it to call races until polls close in the relevant states. Yet they are willing to report the non-candidate data from the exits earlier in the evening–and, if you read it right, that information can tell you a lot about who’s going to win. Here’s what to look for:

”¢Partisan/ideological composition of the electorate: In terms of self-identification by voters, if Republicans outnumber independents, it will be a very good sign for the GOP. If voters are divided into Republicans and Democrats plus “leaners,” any plurality by Republicans will be significant. Similarly, if conservatives outnumber moderates, and/or if conservatives exceed 45 percent of the electorate, look for big GOP gains.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, State Government

In Ireland, Diocese of Connor Rector Breaks Preaching Record

The Rev Canon Ken McReynolds, rector of Lambeg Parish, Connor Diocese, preached a record-breaking five hour 50 minute sermon on Saturday October 30.

This successful attempt to reclaim the record Mr McReynolds held five years ago has also raised more than £3,000 for the Church Army Evangelist Training Fund.

Eight of Mr McReynolds’ faithful flock remained in church for the duration of the sermon, and others dropped in for sections of it. “At no time were there less than 40 people listening which was a relief as I was dreading ending up preaching to just one person,” said Mr McReynolds.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

Midterm Election Open Thread–Your Experience when you Voted today

Tell us where you voted and what the experience and atmosphere was like–the more detail and color the more those who weren’t there can participate.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Politics in General

NPR–California Pushes To Uphold Ban On Violent Video Games

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a California case testing whether states may ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.

There is a certain irony in the dispute. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made tens of millions of dollars portraying the Terminator, the Predator and Conan the Barbarian, is asking the Supreme Court to uphold a ban on selling minors similar violent portrayals in video games.

And California is not alone. Such bans have been enacted in eight states. But so far, they’ve all been struck down by the federal courts.

The Supreme Court does not usually review disputes where there is no conflict in the lower courts, so the fact that the justices have agreed to hear this case suggests at least some of them may be ready to reconsider the way the First Amendment applies to depictions of violence, at least when sold to children.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence

BBC–Parcel bomb plotters 'used dry run', say US officials

A US official has told the BBC that suspect packages from Yemen were intercepted in September, in what may have been a dry run for last week’s foiled parcel bomb plot.

The shipments from Yemen to Chicago are reported to have contained literature and other materials, but no explosives.

The idea was to test how long it would take for the packages to reach their destination, US officials suspect.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Terrorism, Yemen

Church of England General Synod to debate the Big Society and the Anglican Communion Covenant

Her Majesty The Queen will inaugurate the Ninth General Synod of the Church of England in Church House, Westminster on Tuesday 23 November. The Inauguration ceremony will follow the Eucharist in Westminster Abbey, at which the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will preside and Dame Mary Tanner (a President of the World Council of Churches) will preach.

This Synod will reflect some significant changes amongst its membership: 35% of the elected members of the General Synod are starting their first ever five-year term; the proportion of elected clergy who are female has increased from 21% to 28%; and women now make up 46% of the elected laity membership (up from 40%).

The November group of sessions will continue with regular business for the afternoon of Tuesday, 22 November, until late afternoon on Wednesday, 23 November. There will be a Presidential Address from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Other key features are indicated below….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Washington Post on Zachary Adam Chesser: Out of suburbia, the online extremist

While much about what prompted Chesser’s transformation remains a mystery, he illustrates a growing phenomenon in the United States: young converts who embrace the most extreme interpretation of Islam.

Of the nearly 200 U.S. citizens arrested in the past nine years for terrorism-related activity, 20 to 25 percent have been converts, said Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. More than a quarter have been arrested in the past 20 months. The center provided The Washington Post with saved copies of Chesser’s postings, most no longer available on the Web.

“Many of these converts are basically white kids from the suburbs” in search of a community, said Segal, whose group has produced numerous papers on those arrested, including Chesser. They are overwhelmingly male, frequently in their 20s and eager to “become something more than they are, or be part of something greater,” he said.

Their militancy is not a product of the alienation that has sometimes prompted Muslim-born young people in the United States and elsewhere to embrace extremism, particularly in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Violence

Comcast: 'Massive' Amount Of Political Calls Lead To Phone Outages

From the unintentionally funny headline department?

Posted in Uncategorized

RealClearPolitics Senate Map

Check it out and bookmark the site for today also.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Politics in General, Senate

RealClearPolitics House Map

Check it out and bookmark the site for today also.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, House of Representatives, Politics in General

Prayers for a Midterm Election Day

Lord of every time and place, God beyond our dreaming,
we pray for wisdom as we prepare to vote in the Midterm election.
Give us leaders committed to the priorities of your kingdom,
so that peace, compassion, truth and justice may prevail among us,
and make us a blessing to all peoples, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God, bless America,
guard our people
guide our leaders
and give us peace;
in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

–Adapted from the Anglican Church of Australia

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Politics in General, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for All Souls Day

O God, the Maker and Redeemer of all believers: Grant to the faithful departed the unsearchable benefits of the passion of thy Son; that on the day of his appearing they may be manifested as thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to thee, when my heart is faint. Lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I; for thou art my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in thy tent for ever! Oh to be safe under the shelter of thy wings!

–Psalm 61:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Scott Rasmussen–A Vote Against Dems, Not for the GOP

In the first week of January 2010, Rasmussen Reports showed Republicans with a nine-point lead on the generic congressional ballot. Scott Brown delivered a stunning upset in the Massachusetts special U.S. Senate election a couple of weeks later.

In the last week of October 2010, Rasmussen Reports again showed Republicans with a nine-point lead on the generic ballot. And tomorrow Republicans will send more Republicans to Congress than at any time in the past 80 years.

This isn’t a wave, it’s a tidal shift””and we’ve seen it coming for a long time. Remarkably, there have been plenty of warning signs over the past two years, but Democratic leaders ignored them. At least the captain of the Titanic tried to miss the iceberg. Congressional Democrats aimed right for it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, State Government

Dan Martins on the Consent to his Election as Episcopal Bishop of Springfield

So the path I ended up following was one of loyal and oblique opposition. Ironically, the documents posted by the current San Joaquin Standing Committee, if one takes the time to examine them closely, quite clearly illustrate this. When the Committee on Constitution and Canons proposed an amendment to Article II of the diocesan constitution that said, in effect, “We’re going to be Anglican, and affiliate with a province to be named later,” I cooperated with two clergy colleagues in crafting a substitute that would have been compatible with remaining within the Episcopal Church. (True, it omitted any mention of TEC, but it is worth noting that the “unqualified accession” language had already been removed some years earlier, so that concern was not at issue in 2006.) This was supplemented by a resolution that we drafted that appointed a committee to study various options for ensuring continued affiliation with the Anglican Communion, one of which would have been continued affiliation with the Episcopal Church. I did everything within my power, given the political realities in the diocese, to retard and subvert progress toward separation from the Episcopal Church. I even proposed an amendment to the constitutional change on the floor of convention that would have restored mention of the Episcopal Church to Article II, but my amendment was roundly defeated. So I failed in my efforts, but it was not for lack of trying.

Of course, from late 2006””actually, about the time of the diocesan convention that year””and on into the following year, I was involved with the search process at St Anne’s in Warsaw, Indiana, where I now serve as rector. I accepted that call in May 2007. In my experience, God’s timing usually turns out to be pretty good (!), and in this case it got me out of a situation where my opposition would have needed to turn from oblique to direct, not only with my bishop, but with my own parish, where the vestry was overwhelmingly committed to Bishop Schofield’s leadership. As the saying goes, it would not have been pretty.

Let me conclude by reiterating my intention to make my vows when I am consecrated a bishop without crossing my fingers, either physically or mentally. I will neither attempt to lead, nor cooperate with anyone else’s effort, in taking the Diocese of Springfield out of the Episcopal Church. In fact, I will oppose any such effort. I have tasted the fruit of that sort of activity, and it’s not sweet. I am committed to the Episcopal Church, and believe my specific vocation is to exercise my ministry within the Episcopal Church. My voice has been and will continue to be a minority voice on many important questions. I accept what comes with that territory. It is my call.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology

A Look at Intrade on Tomorrow's Elections

The website is here.

Of interest at present, the Republicans retaking the House is priced at about 93.5, and the Democrats keeping control of the Senate has slipped to 43.5

Posted in * Economics, Politics, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, State Government

CNN Poll: Those who say things going poorly higher than 1994 or 2006

Read it all.

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

Diocese of Fort Worth Response to All Saints’ suit asks for sanctions

From here:

Citing “malicious prosecution and abuse of process” in bringing a suit which has “no factual or legal foundation,” a response filed Friday, Oct. 29, asks for sanctions on the lawyers who crafted litigation against Bishop Jack Iker on behalf of All Saints’ Episcopal Church on Crestline Road in Fort Worth.

Bishop Iker’s response denies the charges of harm to the Crestline Road congregation and notes that federal law provides “a remedy against counsel who unreasonably and vexatiously multiply the proceedings in a case.” The Oct. 15 complaint, filed in federal court, was intended to harass the Bishop and multiply the cost of litigation, the response explains. In addition, the federal suit multiplies the proceedings on an issue already under consideration in a Texas state court. The plaintiff and counsel are well aware of that suit, which covers the question of who owns certain church properties, including intellectual assets such as trademarks. That suit already represents the Crestline congregation’s interests.

Bishop Iker’s response asks the federal court to deny relief to the plaintiff church and to direct the plaintiff’s counsel to repay the Bishop’s legal costs.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth