Daily Archives: January 1, 2011

Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly: Look Ahead 2011

[KEVIN] ECKSTROM (Editor, Religious New Service): Right, and there are a lot of moral issues that a lot of religious groups care about. And so I think what you’re going to have is maybe a different set than what we’ve seen in the last couple years. Whereas under the Democratic Congress we were talking about moral issues like the environment and the minimum wage increase and things like that, you’re probably not going to see as much of that with a Republican House. Instead, you’ll have issues that maybe more conservatives tend to latch on to. But it’s not that these social issues are going to disappear, it’s just that there are going to be a different set of them.

[E.J.] DIONNE: That’s a good point, because you are going to talking more and more about budget deficits and cuts in government programs, and I think it’s going to be fascinating to see how religious groups that sometimes seem to be aligned with conservatives on some of the cultural questions are actually going to be saying no….

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Lehrer News Hour) Monastery Works to Preserve Ancient Christian Texts

REV. COLUMBA STEWART, director, Hill Museum, St. John’s Abbey: Who would have thought that in a monastery in Central Minnesota is the world’s largest collection of photographs and manuscripts?

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: For 50 years, this underground library at St. John’s Abbey has collected and catalogued historic Christian manuscripts. Father Columba Stewart says it’s part of a monastic tradition that dates back to the 6th century.

FATHER COLUMBA STEWART: I’m a Benedictine monk. There’s an impulse in Benedictines to exercise this role of cultural guardianship. And that’s an impulse that continues even in the modern age….

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Church History, History, Religion & Culture

(CEN) Tribal violence fears in Kenya in wake of ICC indictments

Church leaders in Kenya have called for calm in the wake of an International Criminal Court prosecutor’s call for the indictment on charges of “crimes against humanity” of six Kenyan political leaders.

On Dec 15, Luis Moreno Ocampo asked the court in The Hague to charge former higher education minister William Ruto, Minister for Industrialization Henry Kosgey and radio broadcaster Joshua Sang with planning a campaign of murder and ethnic cleansing in the Rift Valley against supporters of President Mwai Kibaki.

In a separate indictment Moreno Ocampo charged Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta””son of Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta””Cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura and former police commissioner Maj. Gen. Mohammed Hussein Ali with murder, deportation, persecution, rape and crimes against humanity committed against supporters of Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Kenya, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Ghanaians urged to trust and depend on God

The Anglican Bishop of Kumasi, Right Reverend Dr Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, has asked Ghanaians to put their trust in God and depend on Him for their needs.

“God knows the beginning and the end of life and we can face tomorrow if we live in Christ Jesus,” he said. He was delivering a New Year message at a watch night service held at the Saint Cyprian’s Anglican Cathedral in Kumasi on Friday….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Province of West Africa, Anglican Provinces

(WSJ) German effort to ban some radical Islamic groups draws scrutiny

Germany’s stepped-up efforts to ban some Islamic groups for promoting radical views have sparked a national debate over whether the government is violating the free-speech protections of the constitution it says it is aiming to protect.

The German government’s latest move to crack down on groups that promote extremist Muslim teaching came earlier this month as police raided homes, offices and religious schools in Bremen, Braunschweig and Mönchengladbach. The security forces were seeking evidence that could lead to the banning of two organizations that officials say are calling for imposing Islamic law in place of German law.

Interior ministry officials allege the groups, Invitation to Paradise and the Islamic Culture Center Bremen, seek to undermine Germany’s parliamentary democracy by supporting the establishment of an Islamic theocracy within the country.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(Lehrer News Hour) Gerson and Dionne on the Year in Politics in 2010

JEFFREY BROWN: So it is the end of the year, so we’re allowed…to think big, not just the week.

What defines — what defines this year in politics?

MICHAEL GERSON: I don’t know. I — I think it was a year of impatience….


E.J. DIONNE, The Washington Post: You know, I think the great political scientist, Bono, explained the last three elections — they still haven’t found what they’re looking for….

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Psychology, Senate, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(NY Times) Career Shift Often Means Drop in Living Standards

Even the lucky ones are not so lucky, it seems.

A new study of American workers displaced by the recession sheds light on the sacrifices a large number have made to find work. Many, it turns out, had to switch careers and significantly reduce their living standards.

“In many cases, these people are not very happy,” said Cliff Zukin, professor of public policy and political science at Rutgers University and one of the authors of the study. “They’re the winners who got new jobs, but they’re not really what they want, and not where they want to be.”

The study, conducted by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, was based on a survey of Americans around the country who were unemployed as of August 2009 and re-interviewed about their job status twice over the next 15 months.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

BBC Politics UK Programme on the King James Bible

Herewith the BBC (World Service) blurb:

2011 marks the 400th anniversary of a book once declared, by American President Teddy Roosevelt as “a Magna Carta for the poor and oppressed: the most democratic book in the world.” It is a book that helped found the idea of Britain, and some argue that it encapsulates Britain’s national identity and values, yet it is read across the world. The King James Bible, translated by a committee of scholars into the accidental poetry which has resonated throughout the English speaking world for centuries is celebrated in this special edition of Politics UK presented by Dennis Sewell.

Listen to it all (28 minutes). Those interviewed include Professor Gordon Campbell, Frank Dobson MP, Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, Professor Peter Hennessy and Tristram Hunt MP.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast of the Holy Name (II)

Eternal Father, who didst give to thine incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we beseech thee, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, even our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast of the Holy Name (I)

O almighty God, who hast given unto thy Son Jesus Christ the name which is above every name, and hast taught us that there is none other whereby we may be saved: Mercifully grant that as thy faithful people have comfort and peace in his name, so they may ever labour to publish it unto all nations; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Scottish Prayer Book

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

–Psalm 103:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Prayer for the New Year

O God of new beginnings and wonderful surprises, thank you for the gift of a new year. May it be a time of grace for me, a time to grow in faith and love, a time to renew my commitment to following Your Son, Jesus. May it be a year of blessing for me, a time to cherish my family and friends, a time to renew my efforts at work, a time to embrace my faith more fully. Walk with me, please, in every day and every hour of this new year, that the light of Christ might shine through me, in spite of my weaknesses and failings. Above all, may I remember this year that I am a pilgrim on the sacred path to You. Amen.

–Courtesy of Saint Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, New York

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

Brother Roger of Taizé: A future of peace

This letter, written by Brother Roger of Taizé and translated into 55 different languages (including 24 from Asia), was made public during the young adult European meeting in Lisbon. It will be used for reflection throughout the year 2005 during the weekly meetings in Taizé as well as those held elsewhere, in Europe or on other continents.

Somehow very appropriate for New Year’s Day–read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, France, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Theology

Blessed and Happy New Year of 2011 to All Blog Readers!

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

Straight No Chaser – 12 Days of Christmas

Wonderful stuff!

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Music

What you pay for Medicare won't cover your costs

Consider an average-wage, two-earner couple together earning $89,000 a year. Upon retiring in 2011, they would have paid $114,000 in Medicare payroll taxes during their careers.

But they can expect to receive medical services – from prescriptions to hospital care – worth $355,000, or about three times what they put in.

The estimates by economists Eugene Steuerle and Stephanie Rennane of the Urban Institute think tank illustrate the huge disconnect between widely-held perceptions and the numbers behind Medicare’s shaky financing. Although Americans are worried about Medicare’s long-term solvency, few realize the size of the gap.

“The fact that you put money into the system doesn’t mean it’s there waiting for you to collect,” said Steuerle.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Budget, Economy, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Kidnappings Highlight Al-Qaida's Rise In The Sahara

Recent U.S. cables leaked by the WikiLeaks website show al-Qaida gaining a foothold in the Sahel, a lawless region in the Sahara desert, straddling the African nations of Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Algeria. How to counter and curb growing Islamist militancy and banditry in this vast, poorly policed zone is a priority for governments in West Africa, Washington and beyond.

Motorbikes buzz up and down the streets of the ancient, sandy town of Agadez, the regional capital of northern Niger and the gateway to the desert. The town is largely empty of tourists who used to flock in their thousands to the historic town, en route to and from the desert.

Mayor Yahaya Namassa Kane partly blames a three-year Tuareg rebellion for their absence. But he’s also irked by Western travel advisories issued after seven foreigners were abducted in mid-September in northern Niger.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Terrorism

(CEN) 2010:”ˆA year that brought further dismay to the Anglican Communion

For the Anglican Communion, 2010 was not a year on which it could look back with undiluted pleasure. While not quite the Annus Horribilis that was 2003, the communion remained divided and distracted, nursing a colossal hangover watered by decades of doctrinal abandon. While individual provinces, dioceses and church movements flourished in different parts of the globe””as an international body the Anglican Communion ended 2010 crapulous, dispirited and decrepit.

The pace of decline has quickened: 2008 saw the collapse of the Lambeth Conference as a pan-Anglican body, losing its credibility through the absence of a majority of the African bishops and its rationale for being; 2009 witnessed the breakdown of the Anglican Consultative Council at its meeting in Kingston; and 2010 foreshadowed the end of the primates meeting as a credible body of leadership for the wider church and a mounting distrust of the London-based bureaucracy.

On Nov 7, 2006 the Primate of Uganda, Archbishop Henry Orombi told his general synod: “There is a proverb that says, ”˜When America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold’.”

Beware “the sickness that is coming from America,” he warned.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Windsor Report / Process