Daily Archives: May 3, 2011

AP–Pakistan criticizes US raid on bin Laden

Pakistan criticized the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden as an “unauthorized unilateral action” and warned Washington on Tuesday not to launch similar operations in the future.

The comments laid bare the tensions triggered by Monday’s attack, which came at time when U.S.-Pakistani ties were already near rock bottom.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Foreign Relations, Pakistan, Terrorism

TEC Affiliated Diocese of San Joaquin Authorizes Same Sex Blessings

Effective immediately, clergy in the Diocese of San Joaquin may, at their discretion and in accordance with the conscience of each priest, perform blessings of same sex civil marriages, domestic partnerships, and relationships which are lifelong committed relationships characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God. Said relationships shall be called Holy Unions for purposes of blessing these relationships and purposes of recognition of said relationships. For those same sex couples who are legally married, the blessing performed may be termed the Blessing of a Civil Marriage.

It must also be recognized that the Canons of the Church currently limit marriages to opposite sex couples, as does California law. Accordingly, until such time as both the Canons and state law permit the solemnization of the marriage of a same sex couple, and specific authorization of the bishop is given, no priest of this Diocese shall attempt to solemnize a marriage between two persons of the same sex.

Specific policies, as well as liturgies authorized for use within the Diocese, will be published separately. Clergy are encouraged to engage in open discussion of this matter, as well as the policies and liturgies, with members of their congregations, particularly those who are members of Vestries or Bishop’s Committees.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

In Pakistan, Reactions against Christian churches Feared, schools closed and parishes guarded

Schools and Christian institutions closed, churches and Christian areas guarded with utmost security measures, this is the situation that the Christian community recorded in the main city in Pakistan after the news of the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The leader of Al Qaeda was killed yesterday by American special forces in a military operation in Abbottabad, around 60 km from Islamabad.

Local Fides sources report that even civil authorities have provided such security measures at Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Multan and other cities, because they fear violent attacks against Christian targets and reactions by the Taliban groups.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Pakistan, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

The Largest ordination service ever held in the Diocese of Polynesia this past Weekend

[Sunday] Suva’s Holy Trinity Cathedral…[hosted a service in which] fifteen candidates to Holy Orders were ordained ”“ six to the diaconate, and nine to the priesthood.

The new priests included Brenda Reid Sio of Samoa, who became the first Pacific woman ordained to the priesthood in the Pacific.

And the deacons included Feteleni Havea, who is pioneering a congregation of Tongan Anglicans in Christchurch. They meet once a month at St Barnabas Fendalton.

The service also marked the launch of the 34th synod of the Diocese of Polynesia, and later in the afternoon, Archbishop Winston Halapua, the Bishop of Polynesia, delivered his charge, which was entitled: God’s mission-shaped diocese and moana leadership.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Washington Post Editorial) Possible consequences of the bin Laden coup

There are multiple reasons to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden in a U.S. special forces raid Sunday. Al-Qaeda has lost its founder and symbol, if not its operational commander. The prime author of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has finally been brought to justice. Moreover, the world has seen a formidable show of prowess by U.S. intelligence and military forces. The bin Laden compound was located not by a stroke of luck or a drone overflight, but by years of painstaking intelligence gathering ”” some of which, unfortunately, may have come in the unlawful interrogation of prisoners at CIA “black sites.” The final raid by helicopter-borne Navy SEALs appears to have been masterfully executed, with no U.S. casualties, a feat that may banish some memories of the failed 1980 hostage rescue mission in Iran.

President Obama, who closely oversaw preparations for the attack, was rightly credited by all sides in Washington for seeing it through; the operation provided a rare moment of common celebration and relief in a divided America.

But the practical importance of the strike may not match its political and moral resonance….

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Pakistan, Terrorism

Niall Ferguson–The Federal Reserve may deny it, but Americans know that prices are rising

… if we’ve avoided rerunning the 1930s only to end up with a repeat of the 1970s, the public will judge… [Ben Bernanke] to have failed.

To this, the Fed has a stock response. It points to the all-urban consumer price index (CPI-U) and notes that it was up only 2.7 percent in March relative to the same month a year earlier. Strip out the costs of food and energy, and “core CPI”””the Fed’s preferred measure””is just 1.2 percent. When Google unveils its new index of online prices, it’s likely to tell a similar story.

To ordinary Americans, however, it’s not the online price of an iPad that matters; it’s prices of food on the shelf and gasoline at the pump. These, after all, are the costs they encounter most frequently. And with average gas prices hitting $3.88 a gallon last week, filling up is now twice as painful as when President Obama took office.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Federal Reserve, Personal Finance, The U.S. Government

BBC–Sellafield nuclear site terror arrests made

Five men are being held under the Terrorism Act after being arrested close to the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, according to police.

The men, who are all from London and aged in their 20s, were arrested on Monday shortly after 1630 BST.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Terrorism

CSM–Little Arab outrage over Osama bin Laden's death

Since 9/11, Al Qaeda and the United States have been at war not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in what one expert calls a “battle of competing narratives” across the Middle East. On one side, the US has promoted a vision of change through democratic principles, while Al Qaeda has sought to topple hated regimes through violence and terror.

Now, Osama bin Laden’s death may be a decisive blow to the Al Qaeda ideology, which was already marginalized and falling further out of favor in the wake of the Arab Spring, regional experts say.

On Monday in Yemen, for example, organizers of rallies aimed at bringing down the autocratic regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh cautioned fellow protesters against holding aloft images of Mr. bin Laden. “We are not working with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. We have one cause and it is the fall of the regime,” one protester in Sanaa told Reuters.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Terrorism

For some in Lowcountry South Carolina, Bin Laden's death is very personal

A daughter was in grade school when her dad died in one of the planes.

A Navy captain was on his way to the Pentagon.

A fire inspector was on his way to the World Trade Center….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Parish Ministry, Terrorism

(CNS) Bin Laden death calls for reflection, not rejoicing, says Vatican

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, released a brief written statement reacting to the news.

“Osama bin Laden, as we all know, bore the most serious responsibility for spreading divisions and hatred among populations, causing the deaths of innumerable people, and manipulating religions to this end,” Father Lombardi said.

“In the face of a man’s death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred,” the spokesman said.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Terrorism

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Philip and Saint James

Almighty God, who didst give to thine apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, whose blessed Son did as on this day rise again for us, victorious over sin and the grave: Grant that we, being risen with him, may set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth; that when he who is our life shall appear, we may also appear with him in glory; through the same our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

–1 John 2:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

BBC Analysis–What is Pakistan's Role in all of this?

The fact that Osama Bin Laden has apparently been living for years under the nose of the Pakistan military also revives the question that has increasingly dogged the US-led coalition in Afghanistan: Why are we still fighting in Afghanistan when it is Pakistan from where the Taliban insurgency is being directed?

Both the Pakistanis and the US have said Pakistan was not given advance notice of the raid.

The official Pakistan response was low-key, saying only that Osama Bin Laden’s death “constitutes a major setback to terrorist organizations around the world”.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Pakistan, Terrorism

Official White House photograph of the Team Watching the Navy Seal Operation


Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Office of the President, Pakistan, Politics in General, President Barack Obama

Computer programmer unknowingly live-tweets Osama raid

Read the tweets here–fascinating.

A Pakistani computer programmer, startled by helicopters, took to Twitter to complain about the noise Sunday — but inadvertently gave a play-by-play of the high-stakes capture of the world’s most-wanted man.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Asia, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Pakistan, Science & Technology

(RNS) Jews, Evangelicals Search for Ways to Discuss Israel

American Jews and evangelicals need a formal mechanism to discuss their differences and similarities on support for Israel, leaders from both sides said Thursday (April 28) at the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum 2011.

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, spoke alongside Gary Bauer, president of American Values and a board member of Christians United for Israel, about Jewish groups’ concerns over evangelical support for Israel.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Other Churches, Other Faiths