Daily Archives: December 12, 2010

(BBC) Stockholm blasts: Sweden probes 'terrorist attack'

Two explosions in Sweden’s capital Stockholm are being investigated as a “crime of terror”, officials say.

A car blew up in a busy shopping area on Saturday afternoon, followed moments later by a second explosion nearby.

Witnesses said a man found dead after the second blast had been carrying an explosive device. Two people were hurt.

PM Fredrik Reinfeldt said the attacks were unacceptable in Sweden’s “open society”, which he said was a democracy that respected different cultures.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Sweden, Terrorism

(NY Times) In NBC Booth, a Candid Chris Collinsworth

[Chris] Collinsworth has become football’s most prominent critic of illegal tackling by drawing on more than just his intelligence, which is roundly praised, or his experience as an often-defenseless receiver, which is roundly surmised. Rather, with one son breaking wedges for Notre Dame and another in high school ball, and as a longtime Kentucky youth coach, Collinsworth communicates parental impatience regarding the N.F.L.’s self-proclaimed culture change.

“This is a league that we’ve always celebrated the biggest hits and the bone-jarring blows, but you can’t hide from the evidence anymore,” Collinsworth, in a telephone interview, said regarding the short- and long-term effects of football head trauma. “We’re talking about the very essence of the game. I’d be less than honest if I said I didn’t have my doubts as to whether my children should be playing football.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Sports

Video of the Metrodome Roof collapse from inside the stadium

A friend sent me this–my oh my.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

(NY Times) Poland, A Bastion of Religion, Sees a Rise in Secularism

Poland is still an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation, still conservative and still religious, especially when compared with its European neighbors. But supporters and critics of the Roman Catholic Church all acknowledge that the society is changing. They agree that church representatives in Poland have lost authority and credibility, and that much of the population is moving toward a more secular view of life, one with a greater separation between church and state, and a rejection of church mandates on individual morality.

“We are considered the European museum of Catholicism, but let me tell you we are no longer,” said Szymon Holownia, program director for Religia TV, a relatively new station that aims to convince Poles that faith can and should be relevant in modern life with programs like a cooking show led by a nun. “The relationship between faith and state is changing; it is changing dramatically in Poland,” Mr. Holownia said. “It is really huge.”

“Twenty years of freedom and religion is evaporating,” he said. “This is the crisis of Christianity in Poland.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Poland, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Secularism

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God of hope, fill us, we beseech thee, with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope by the power of thy Holy Spirit, and show forth our thankfulness to thee in trustful and courageous lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee. So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name. My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips, when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night; for thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy.

–Psalm 63:3-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

An ITV News Piece on the Wikileaks Vatican Story

The interviewee is Jack Valero, a leading figure in the lobby group Catholic Voices, and press officer for the UK division of Opus Dei.

Posted in Uncategorized

(Chiesa) Sandro Magister: The New Polytheism and its Tempter Idols

“Polytheism”: this word echoed like thunder, last October, in a speech by Benedict XVI at the synod of the bishops of the Middle East, the very birthplace of the one God made man, Jesus, and of the most powerful forms of monotheism in history, Judaism and Islam.

“Credo in unum Deum” is the mighty chord that gives rise to Christian doctrine. But for Joseph Ratzinger, pope theologian, polytheism is anything but dead. It is the perennial challenge that still rises up today against faith in the one God.

“Let us remember all the great powers of the history of today,” the pope continued at the synod. Anonymous capital, terrorist violence, drugs, the tyranny of public opinion are the modern divinities that enslave man. They must fall. They must be made to fall. The downfall of the gods is the imperative of yesterday, today, and always for believers in the one true God.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: A Profile of an Islamic School in Buffalo

KATHY JAMIL (Principal, Universal School, Buffalo, NY): We hope to instill in our children what it takes to be a responsible, caring and giving person who is God-conscious, and we believe we can only do that if we develop a whole child. So we focus on academics, but it’s just one small part of everything else, because we actually feel if we can hit the other realms, we feel like the academics just skyrocket.

[LUCKY] SEVERSON: God-consciousness, they say, is meant to be a constant state of awareness of Allah throughout the day. Tamer Osman directs the Islamic studies program.

TAMER OSMAN (Director of Islamic Studies, Universal School): There are times when students are traveling in the hallway that maybe an adult’s eye may not be on them for just that moment. If they remember that God is watching, they may not do those type of things that we find in other schools, whether it is ridicule other students or bullying. We have a lot less of those types of things at the school here, and I think part of that reason is because we are trying to inculcate the idea of God-consciousness in the children.

Read or watch it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(National Post) When is twins too many?

Like so many other couples these days, the Toronto-area business executive and her husband put off having children for years as they built successful careers. Both parents were in their 40s ”” and their first son just over a year old ”” when this spring the woman became pregnant a second time. Seven weeks in, an ultrasound revealed the Burlington, Ont., resident was carrying twins. “It came as a complete shock,” said the mother, who asked not to be named. “We’re both career people. If we were going to have three children two years apart, someone else was going to be raising our kids. … All of a sudden our lives as we know them and as we like to lead them, are not going to happen.”

She soon discovered another option: Doctors could “reduce” the pregnancy from twins to a singleton through a little-known procedure that eliminates selected fetuses ”” and has become increasingly common in the past two decades amid a boom in the number of multiple pregnancies.
Selective reductions are typically carried out for women pregnant with triplets or greater, where the risk of harm or death climbs sharply with each additional fetus. The Ontario couple is part of what some experts say is a growing demand for reducing twins to one, fuelled more by socio-economic imperatives than medical need, and raising vexing new ethical questions.

Experts question whether parents should choose to terminate a fetus just because of the impact the child would have on their lives, and note that even more medically necessary reductions can trigger lifelong angst and even threaten marriages.

Read it all (Hat tip:DT).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology, Theology

No Jobs? Young Graduates Make Their Own

Still in debt [after his first start-up company failed], Mr. Gerber considered his career options. His mother kept encouraging him to get a “real” job, the kind that comes with an office and a boss. But, using the last $700 in his bank account, he decided to start another company instead.

With the new company, called Sizzle It, Mr. Gerber vowed to find a niche, reduce overhead and generally be more frugal. The company, which specializes in short promotional videos, was profitable the first year, he says.

Mr. Gerber, now 27, isn’t a millionaire, but he’s paid off his loans and doesn’t have to live with his parents (he rents an apartment in Hoboken, N.J.). And he thinks his experience can help other young people who face a daunting unemployment rate.

In October, Mr. Gerber started the Young Entrepreneur Council “to create a shift from a résumé-driven society to one where people create their own jobs,” he says. “The jobs are going to come from the entrepreneurial level.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Young Adults