Daily Archives: July 23, 2011

Luxor's Bishop Zakaria–The Long Road of Change for Egypt (Part 1)

…the youth revolution has excellently succeeded in Cairo’s Liberation Square. It overthrew the military regime that ruled Egypt since the July 23, 1952, revolution, liberated all Egyptians, destroyed the wall of fear and eliminated it from all Egyptians’ hearts. It encouraged them to abandon their negative attitudes and seek the participation in the political action.

But, the success of this youth revolution, thanks to their sacrifices and martyrs, offered the golden opportunity for some political forces and religious communities that were forbidden and persecuted under the former regime’s rule, to break their silence and work hard in taking this opportunity in order to achieve their goals, and their political and religious agenda.

In terms of the Christian Egyptian presence, I noticed lately the end of silence and negativity that characterized most Christian Egyptians, especially after the July 23, 1952, revolution. The Christian Egyptian presence in the Liberation Square was really honorable, active and constructive, especially among the Christian youth. Until now, the Christian Egyptians’ participation in the current events is still alive and effective, and their presence in the national conferences and popular committees reflects their concern for the nation’s affairs, and their readiness to cooperate to develop it.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Egypt, History, Middle East, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Notable and Quotable (II)

“For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique: and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious.”

–C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Philosophy

(NY Times Beliefs Column) A Diplomatic Mission Bearing Islamic Hip-Hop

At Native Deen shows, audience members are more likely to be from Middle Eastern or South Asian backgrounds than to be American blacks. One reason, according to Suad Abdul Khabeer, a Purdue University anthropologist who studies Islamic hip-hop, is that Native Deen’s “harmonies and melodies sound like the kind of nasheed” ”” Muslim praise music ”” “you get from the Middle East.”

As a result, Dr. Abdul Khabeer said, Muslim immigrants who may look down on African-American culture find Native Deen’s work palatable, while American blacks may find it insufficiently aggressive, sonically speaking. “Hip-hop lite doesn’t speak to them in the same way,” Dr. Abdul Khabeer said. “Black audiences are like, ”˜That’s kind of lite.’ ”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Foreign Relations, Islam, Music, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(LA Times) 'Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife' author to have Web chat Monday

We asked…[Brenda Wilhelmson] why she decided to go public with her alcoholism.

“I don’t know that I thought it was the best thing for me,” she said. “I thought it would be good for the millions of people who are struggling like I did, and are looking for something to connect and identify with, and speaks to where they are. … I didn’t want to put myself out there at first. I sat on my journals for a year and a half before I started working on them.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Blogging & the Internet

(NY Times) Small-Town Doctors Made in a Small Kansas Town

This state, so sparsely populated in parts that five counties have no doctors at all, has struggled for years to encourage young doctors to relocate to rural communities, where health problems are often exacerbated by a lack of even the most basic care.

On Friday, a new medical school campus opened here to provide a novel solution to the persistent problem: an inaugural class of eight aspiring doctors who will receive all their training in exactly the kind of small community where officials hope they will remain to practice medicine.

The new school, operated by the University of Kansas, is billed as the smallest in the nation to offer a full four-year medical education. More important, supporters say, the students will remain personally and professionally rooted in the agricultural center of the state ”” a three-hour drive from the university’s state-of-the-art medical and research facilities in Kansas City.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

(LA Times) Islamist student group said to terrorize Pakistan campuses

After philosophy students and faculty members rallied to denounce heavy-handed efforts to separate male and female students, Islamists on campus struck back: In the dead of night, witnesses say, the radicals showed up at a men’s dormitory armed with wooden sticks and bicycle chains.

They burst into dorm rooms, attacking philosophy students. One was pistol-whipped and hit on the head with a brick. Gunfire rang out, although no one was injured. Police were called, but nearly a month after the attack, no arrests have been made.

Few on Punjab University’s leafy campus, including top administrators, dare to challenge the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba, or the IJT, the student wing of one of Pakistan’s most powerful hard-line Islamist parties.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Education, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Religion & Culture, Violence, Young Adults

Peter Mullen–A trendy agenda is more of a threat to the Church than dwindling parishes

Frankly, much of the Church has been mad for decades. There has been a general infantilisation at work. It is not so long since the archbishops of Canterbury and York put their names to a Lent booklet distributed to all the parishes. They wrote the foreword to three guides: one for The Family; one for Adults and Youth and the other for Kids.

These glossy booklets feature Mr Men-style cartoons which we must suppose represent the general public. Achingly politically correct, with all races represented ”“ but no fat people or smokers ”“ and dumbing down beyond the farthest reaches of infantilisation, the booklets urge us to: “Do fun things together. Create a space in your home… a corner of a room… an understairs cupboard… make a prayer den using furniture and blankets… gather some objects that are fun to touch, feel and smell: a piece of velvet, feathers, a tray of sand, lavender bags or pine cones.”

And what are we supposed to do in the prayer den? “Take in some pebbles, shells or feathers…” presumably to demonstrate impeccable ecumenical relations with primitive animists and tree-huggers. And prayers are indeed supplied: “Dear God, make wrong things right… ” But this is not praying to God, only the sentimental wish-fulfilment of appealing to Father Christmas or the Tooth Fairy. We are even educated as to the correct manual acts to perform while making this desolate prayer: “Shake your finger from side to side for ‘wrong’ and then do thumbs up for ‘right’.” You feel there should be a caution not to do this near a window in case the neighbours see you and phone for the men in white coats.

Read it all (from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

(Irish Times) Vatican relationship with Ireland reaches a new low

In language never before used by an Irish government leader, Enda Kenny yesterday accused the Vatican of downplaying or “managing” the rape and torture of children in order to uphold its own power and reputation.

Speaking in the Dáil in a debate on the Cloyne report, he said it excavated the “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism” dominating the culture of the Vatican to this day.

The Taoiseach’s speech was reported around the world with many media organisations praising Mr Kenny for his criticism of the Catholic Church.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Church History, Church/State Matters, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

John Richardson's 1st Address to the Anglican Evangelical Junior Clergy Conference

I begin here, however, in order to point out that, with good leadership, it is possible even for the Church of England to get its priorities right. But the sad truth is that we have generally had bad leadership. And that is why we are here ”” to consider the future leadership of the Church.

Had things gone differently, of course, then evangelical Anglicans might have found themselves playing a lead rôle in the life of the Church. As it was, they found themselves as a minority within an organization whose outward style was predominantly Anglo-Catholic and whose underlying theology was increasingly liberal.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Theology

Local paper front Page–South Carolina Unemployment rate soars to 10.5 percent in June

South Carolina’s jobless rate spiked in June to 10.5 percent, rising half a percentage point from May, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce reported Friday.

A jump in the number of people looking for work combined with a decrease in job openings resulted in the seasonally adjusted increase to put the state the fifth highest in the nation in joblessness, the agency said.

The Charleston metro area’s unemployment rate vaulted from 8.7 percent in May to 9.8 percent in June.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, State Government

Notable and Quotable (I)

This medicine is very hard for Americans to swallow, but the truth is, we can’t have it both ways. We want an arms-length relationship with the government in good times. In bad times, the cries go out to “do something,” even if it’s pay us to do nothing. We want a free-market economy during expansions, a nanny state in periods of recession. Privatized profits during the boom, socialized losses during the bust.

–Caroline Baum, in a Bloomberg News piece this week

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, Stock Market, Taxes, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc), Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God of love, who hast given us a new commandment through thine only begotten Son, that we should love one another even as thou didst love us, the unworthy and the wandering, and gavest him for our life and salvation: We pray thee to give to us thy servants, in all time of our life on earth, a mind forgetful of past ill-will, a pure conscience, and a heart to love our brethren; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

–From the Coptic Liturgy of Saint Cyril

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him. And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them.

–Mark 6:1-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Jerry Walls on Donald Ray Pollock's Latest Novel

The Devil All the Time is decidedly darker than Pollock’s first book, and yet it is simultaneously much more hopeful. What may be surprising for readers of Knockemstiff is the positive role Christianity plays in the novel. While this book has several characters who wildly distort the Christian faith or, worse, exploit the faith of others in a despicable fashion, it also has, more subtly, some representatives of the genuine article. One of these is the preacher at Coal Creek, where Arvin and his grandmother attend church, a goodhearted man whose story involves a chewing tobacco pouch that has attained something like sacramental significance. But his nephew, who comes to replace him when he must retire for health reasons, is as corrupt as his uncle is goodhearted.

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

Second Lawsuit filed in the matter of a former monk received as a Nevada Episcopal Priest

Parry, 69, became a priest in the Episcopal Church in 2004 and until last month was the music director and assisting priest at All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas. He told The Kansas City Star on Thursday that “my attorney has asked me not to say anything.”

Last month, Parry admitted to The Star that he had inappropriate sexual relations with several members of the Abbey Boy Choir from 1982 to 1987, when he directed the group.

The lawsuit, filed in Nodaway County Circuit Court under the name John Doe 48, seeks unspecified damages. It was announced Thursday at a news conference of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Read it all and if you want the lawsuit document is and if you want you can see the key legal document there (20 pages).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology