Daily Archives: May 28, 2011

In India a god Is Dead, but It’s Business That May Suffer Most

His face adorns the yellow motorized rickshaws zipping down the streets. Billboards bear his simple motto, “Love All, Serve All.” His portrait hangs in almost every shop: a tiny man with a gravity-defying crown of curly hair regarded by millions of worldwide devotees as a god.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who declared himself a “living god” as a teenager and spent decades assembling a spiritual empire, permeates every corner of this small Indian city. He transformed it from a village of mud huts into a faith center with a private airport, a university, two major hospitals, rising condominium towers and a stadium ”” a legacy now forcing a question upon his followers: What happens when a god dies?

India can sometimes seem overrun with gurus, spiritualists and competing godmen (as they are sometimes called). But when Sai Baba died last month at the age of 84, the nation paused in respect and reverence, if blended with skepticism, too….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, India, Religion & Culture

At Graduation at The Hill School

Our speaker was Clark Hoyt of the class of 1960, fomer public editor of the New York Times, who now works at Bloomberg News.

Posted in Uncategorized

(Independent) Mary Dejevsky: Don't bank on the eclipse of the West

Contrary to what some headlines might have suggested, [President Obama’s speech to Parliament]’s central theme was not division and weakness, but strength ”“ the strength of what has traditionally been seen as the Western way, but is really something much broader. As such, it offered an upbeat prelude to the G8 summit which concludes in Deauville today, a prelude as fitting as it was unfashionable.

Unfashionable, because the prevailing transatlantic mood is pessimism. The philosophical consensus has been that the West, as embodied by the US, is in terminal decline and the future belongs to the emerging economies, chief among them China, with India snapping at its heels. Viewed from this perspective, the only realistic task for the “old” countries is to slow their decline and use the last years of their ascendancy to fix international rules to guard their way of life….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Economy, England / UK, Europe, Globalization, India, Politics in General

(Project Syndicate) Jeffrey Sachs: A World of Regions

In almost every part of the world, long-festering problems can be solved through closer cooperation among neighboring countries. The European Union provides the best model for how neighbors that have long fought each other can come together for mutual benefit. Ironically, today’s decline in American global power may lead to more effective regional cooperation.

This may seem an odd time to praise the EU, given the economic crises in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. Europe has not solved the problem of balancing the interests of strong economies in the North and those of weaker economies in the South. Still, the EU’s accomplishments vastly outweigh its current difficulties….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Globalization

(RNS) Second Catholic Priest Sworn In as House Chaplain

The Rev. Patrick Conroy was sworn in Wednesday (May 25) as House chaplain, making him the first Jesuit to hold the position, and the first candidate forced to navigate around the Catholic Church’s abuse scandal.

“It’s clear this loyal servant of the faithful is uniquely suited to serve as chaplain of the people’s House,” Speaker John Boehner said, noting that the chaplain “is the anchor of the House.”

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Posted in Uncategorized

On a Personal Note–The Youngest Daughter Graduates from The Hill School Today

Selimah Marie Harmon was born in Oxford, England, in 1993–how could she be done with secondary school already? Where does the time go?–KSH.

For one picture of her [singing] you can go here and look at photo #1 (she is in the middle, closest to the front).

You may also find the schedule here and, if interested, you may read about the school there.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Harmon Family

All but teachers to lose pay under Charleston County school board 2011-12 budget

The Charleston County School District’s proposed budget for next school year won’t raise taxes or furlough teachers, but it does include cuts that will affect employees.

With the exception of teachers, every district employee will be furloughed next year, and no employee will receive a cost-of-living increase or salary hike for additional years of experience.

The school board approved on Thursday the first reading of its proposed $332.1 million operating budget, which is about $2.6 million more than this year. That budget covers classroom expenses, and the board voted 7-2 for it.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Economy, Education, Politics in General

(Christian Century) Religion News gets boost from Lilly, writers group

In a complex transaction designed to strengthen nonpartisan religion reporting, the newly nonprofit Religion News Service received a grant of almost $3.5 million from the Lilly Endowment and was acquired by the Religion News­writers Association, effective June 1.

As newspaper circulation numbers fell and online journalism struggled for profits, “religion reporting became a lower priority,” said RNA president Steve Maynard. When the for-profit Advance Publications sought a buyer for RNS in the fall of 2009, the Washington-based news service looked for help from the professional journalists’ organization beyond the RNA’s existing role of providing contracted assistance to RNS’s business operations.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Media, Religion & Culture

(WSJ House of Worship) Francis Rocca–The Return of Meatless Friday

Every year during the 40 days of Lent, millions of Catholics honor Jesus’s crucifixion by foregoing meat in their Friday meals. But starting this September, if the bishops of England and Wales have their way, Catholics there will abstain from meat every Friday, year-round. This change marks the revival of a practice that the church abandoned a half-century ago””and it’s the latest of several in recent years.

Catholic tradition calls for acts of penance every Friday, the day of Jesus’s death, but observance of that tradition has changed dramatically since the modernizing reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Bishops in most countries eliminated abstinence from meat or limited it to Lent alone, and each Catholic became free to choose his own form of Friday penance: skipping television, perhaps, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. This effectively meant the disappearance of Friday penance altogether. In my 11 years of Catholic schooling, I don’t recall hearing it mentioned once.

That’s why the announcement by the bishops of England and Wales is so significant….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

A Prayer for the (Provisional) Feast Day of John Calvin

Sovereign and holy God, who didst bring John Calvin from a study of legal systems to understand the godliness of thy divine laws as revealed in Scripture: Fill us with a like zeal to teach and preach thy Word, that the whole world may come to know thy Son Jesus Christ, the true Word and Wisdom; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, ever one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God our Father, whose blessed Son, being falsely accused, answered nothing; being reviled, reviled not again: Give us faith, when men accuse us falsely, to go quietly on our way, committing ourselves to thee, who judgest righteously, after the pattern of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

–Romans 15:13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) Barcelona–A Track Team That Also Plays Soccer

…Here is something most people don’t know about Barcelona: Unlike every other famous soccer team in the world that thrives on possession and ball control, they do something unique during matches. They run as if their bikini briefs are on fire.

According to Stats Inc., which tracks the distance each player travels in a match, Barcelona’s players have covered 627,366 meters of turf during their six Champions League knockout-round matches, or about 390 miles. Its opponents, meanwhile, have run 611,120 meters or 380 miles, about 3% less, which is significant considering they are all chasing the same ball…

On its face, this makes absolutely no sense….[so how could it be true?]

The answer to the riddle is that for all the superlatives lobbed at Barcelona for its artistry with the ball, its central weapon, and perhaps its defining strength, is what happens when the other team does get its cleats on the ball….
The answer to the riddle is that for all the superlatives lobbed at Barcelona for its artistry with the ball, its central weapon, and perhaps its defining strength, is what happens when the other team does get its cleats on the ball….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, Spain, Sports

Sudan's disputed Abyei region descends into chaos amid calls for ongoing advocacy

(ENS) As Sudan’s wanted President Omar al-Bashir said that he would not remove his Khartoum troops from the disputed oil-producing Abyei region, church and world leaders are insisting that advocacy for the war-torn south and for a lasting peace must continue.

“It seems only a little while ago that we were ratcheting up our advocacy with our government and other friends of the international community to ensure a safe and timely referendum,” said Richard Parkins, executive director of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (AFRECS), referring to the historic January plebiscite when southerners voted almost unanimously to secede from the Islamic north….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Violence

(Anglican Journal) New Anglican book about a new era

An Anglican delegation present at the 2010 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh will meet again next week in Toronto to prepare a book about their experience. The nine Anglican delegates participated in what has been called a milestone in the global ecumenical movement.

Bishop Mark MacDonald, national indigenous bishop for the Canadian Anglican church, attended the conference. In an earlier interview with Episcopal News Service, he characterized the gathering of 300 people from 60 countries as one of “building the relationships that will carry the worldwide church to a new level.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Missions