Daily Archives: October 3, 2011

The Most Amazing Thing About TV Is How Much We Still Watch

A Nielsen report estimates the average American over age 2 spent nearly 159 hours/month in Q1 watching TV, compared with less than 26 hours/month using the web on a computer, and less than 5 hours/month watching online video.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

A Pastoral Letter from Ottawa Bishop John Chapman to his Clergy

2. The same-gendered couple, civilly married, must be in an existing pastoral relationship with the clergy and parish.

3. At least one of the couple must be baptised.

4. Consistent with the moratorium and reflecting gracious restraint, no formal liturgy will be outlined or sanctioned by the Episcopal Office. However, the following guidelines must be observed:
a. The act of worship, prayer and blessing will be entered in the Vestry Book only.
b. The service of Blessing may not occur at the same occasion or day as a civil marriage so as to allow each event to be distinct and clearly understood.
c. Introductory remarks must be made that reflect the theological difference between the act of blessing and the sacrament of marriage.
d. The blessing of the commitment may include a statement of commitment and symbolic expressions of that commitment but these may not resemble those typically used in a marriage liturgy.
e. Celebration of the Eucharist is encouraged but optional.
f. In order to distinguish the act of blessing from marriage, it is not appropriate to ask for an exchange of consents. As well, blessings typically used in a marriage liturgy will not be used nor will a declaration of union be made. The act of blessing consecrates before God the partnership that already exists between the couple; mutual love and lifelong commitment one to the other in Christ.

Read it all (another from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material) and please take the time to note what is said about the communion of the unbaptized, not only in the letter but also in the appendix by the Canon Theologian of Ottawa.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Instruments of Unity, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

A.S. Haley–What if the TEC Foundations Were not Designed for the Current Structure?

ECUSA’s General Convention in those days had as its primary function the hearing of reports on the status of the Church in each Diocese. Occasionally it was called on to admit another new diocese into union with the Church, or appoint a bishop to supervise a missionary diocese, and now and then it adopted amendments to the Canons. But its role on the national scene was largely ephemeral, and entirely forgettable.

What changed ECUSA structurally from its original model was the slow but steady growth in the size of its House of Bishops, as more and more territory came under ECUSA’s jurisdiction, and also the advent of powerful new social forces. The first factor forced a change in the office and functions of the Presiding Bishop; following that change, the second factor transformed the character of the Church itself, under the active leadership of the new breed of Presiding Bishops.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Analysis, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons

Independence: Archbishop Urges Nigerians To Take Advantage Of Diversity

As Nigeria celebrate her 51st Independence from colonial masters, the Archbishop of Bendel Province, Anglican Communion, Most Rev’d Friday Imaekhai has implored Nigerians to tap more on the positive side of the nation’s diversity rather than the negative aspect that tend to tear the nation.

The religious leader who gave the admonition in his independence celebration message, also called on the government to tackle poverty in order to bring to an end, social vices such as kidnapping, assassination, terrorism and the likes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria

Peter Mango on a recent book of Malcolm Muggeridge’s uncollected writings

In the disparate collection Time and Eternity, Nicholas Flynn provides an excellent introduction, going over Muggeridge’s youth, psychological profile and career. Muggeridge was raised by Fabian socialist parents, his early journalistic career being tied up with these ideals. It was in part for this reason the realities of actual collectivist, centralized administration would hit Muggeridge so hard while living in a Marxist country. It would be unfair to call this collection of writings “uneven,” as if it had pretensions to be Muggeridge’s “Collected Works” or something. Rather, it’s a representative selection of brief articles, letters and reflections acting as a collective window into the mind of a profoundly spiritual, sensitive and ultimately brief articles, letters and reflections acting as a collective window into the mind of a profoundly spiritual, sensitive and ultimately brave man. There are so many practically poetic-sounding gems and pithy observations scattered about, it’s difficult to know where to start quoting.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, England / UK, Media, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Bishop James Jones of Liverpool returns to work after heart bypass

The Anglican Bishop of Liverpool the Right Reverend James Jones is returning to work four months after a heart-bypass operation.

He will also resume his duties as Chair of the Hillsborough Panel and the Forestry Review.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Health & Medicine

(RNS) Supreme Court to Weigh Churches’ Hiring Rights

The Supreme Court on Wednesday (Oct. 5.) will hear one of most important religion cases in decades, centered on the degree to which religious institutions should be exempt from anti-discrimination laws.

The case started at a Lutheran elementary school in Michigan where a teacher claimed she was fired in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The question before the justices concerns the “ministerial exception,” a 40-year-old legal doctrine that protects churches and other religious institutions from government interference in their employment decisions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

The Dangers of Church Centralization: Some Remarks on the Proposed Changes in the TEC Constitution

The tendency in all such bodies as our General Convention, is to centralize power; and unless there are well defined checks and barriers to it, we can not avoid its dangers. A centralized ecclesiastical power is an unqualified evil, and as surely results in corruption as if that were the goal of its ambition. A very superficial glance at the history of the American Church will show, that we have been drifting with accelerated velocity towards this danger, with almost the drowsy indifference of the lotus eaters.

“Let us alone. What pleasure can we have
To war with evil? Is there any peace
In ever climbing up the climbing wave?”

When the first steps were taken to form a Church Union, each State had its own Church; which was, to all intents and purposes, a National Church, and was so regarded. Each State might have any number of dioceses within it. In the General Convention””no matter how many dioceses there might be within it,””each State was entitled to but one body of delegates. The Church Constitution, like that of the Government, did not seek to interfere with the political theory, that each State is sovereign in all local matters. Even the trial of bishops remained within the States until 1841, when, by reason of the change which had been made in 1838, allowing dioceses to be represented in the General Convention, a necessity arose for such a provision.

Read it all and look carefully at the date.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons

Anwar al-Aulaqi’s death reopens wounds for Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church

Tariq Nelson, an active member of the mosque, expressed weariness Friday at trying to explain Aulaqi’s apparent shift from moderate interfaith activist to violent jihadist.

“When you feel like you’ve been continuously embarrassed,” Nelson said, “it’s painful and humiliating.”

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A.

Greece's Urgency Challenges European Union Efforts

The 17 European Union nations that share the euro don’t have that much time, of course, to convince investors that they have a plan to hold the currency together and prevent a run on the Continent’s banks. Some analysts say they have less than five weeks, until the Group of 20 summit meeting in November; others say a bit longer.

But rapid action comes hard to a union that works in increments, with political agreement required at every step.

In the short term, Greece remains the central problem. Two bailouts have not been enough. Greek public debt continues to mount, and so does the pressure on the government to find more revenue and make more cuts. Europe’s strategy, to the extent it can be discerned, is to put off restructuring Greece’s debt as long as possible and build up enough backing for a bailout fund so that banks with large exposure to the sovereign debt of Greece and other troubled euro-zone countries, like Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain, can survive an all-but-inevitable Greek default.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Greece, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who, calling Abraham to go forth to a country which thou wouldest show him, didst promise that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed: Fulfill thy promise in us, we pray thee, giving us such faith in thee as thou shalt count unto us for righteousness; that in us and through us thy purpose may be fulfilled; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Church of South India

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or show forth all his praise?

–Psalm 106:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard–Protectionism beckons as leaders push world into Depression

Money flows are even more out of kilter. Cross-border liabilities have jumped from $15 trillion to $100 trillion in fifteen years, or 150pc of global GDP. This creates a very big risk.

“Gross financial flows can stop suddenly, or even reverse. They can overwhelm weak or weakly regulated financial systems,” said Mr [Stephen] Cecchetti.

Well, yes, this is now happening. Did anybody think about this when they unleashed globalisation with its elemental deformity, free trade without free currencies?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Germany, Globalization, Greece, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Mormons launch media campaign this Monday

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will launch a new media campaign Monday in 12 major cities.

The “I’m a Mormon” campaign ”” mostly TV spots and billboards ”” will encourage people to learn about Latter-day Saints by visiting the mormon.org website, which features video profiles of thousands of Mormons from around the world.

“These are real people,” said Cindy Packard, the LDS Church spokeswoman for the metropolitan Phoenix area. “There are no scripts, no fake stories, no wardrobe, just real people talking about their lives.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Media, Mormons, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(WSJ) Greece To Miss Deficit Goal, Cabinet Okays Job Cuts

Greece’s government acknowledged Sunday that it will miss its deficit targets this year, but moved ahead with a controversial plan to slash thousands of public sector jobs to meet the demands of its international creditors.

“I want to repeat that we will be unswerving in our goal: to fulfill all that we have promised to ensure the credibility of our country,” Prime Minister George Papandreou told an extraordinary cabinet meeting called to approve the country’s 2012 draft budget as well as the job-cutting plan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Economy, Europe, Foreign Relations, Greece, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General

(Guardian) Nobel prizes: Asian scientists set to topple America's run of wins

American scientists will again sweep the majority of Nobel prizes at this week’s award announcements in Sweden, analysts have predicted. But they have also warned this dominance may soon come to end.

David Pendlebury, a citation analyst who has correctly predicted 10 Nobel winners since 2002, believes that the countries of the east, particularly China, will soon start to rule the awards for science’s greatest prize.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Science & Technology

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Using Drones Outside Combat Zones

The mission, Obama added, showed that Al-Qaeda and its allies will find “no safe haven anywhere in the world.” But some ethicists are raising questions about whether the killing violated international law. University of Notre Dame international law professor Mary Ellen O’Connell released a statement calling the strike an illegal mission. “Derogation from the fundamental right to life is permissible only in battle zones or to save a human life immediately. The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki did not occur in these circumstances,” she said. In an interview with managing editor Kim Lawton earlier this year, O’Connell discussed her ethical concerns about the increased use of drones for targeted killings outside official combat zones. Lawton also talked with retired Lt. General David Deptula, who oversaw the US Air Force’s drone program from 2006 until 2010.

Read and watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Science & Technology, Terrorism, Theology

In Debt Talks, Divide on What Tax Breaks Are Worth Keeping

Plenty of lawmakers are against tax breaks and so-called loopholes. Unless, of course, they personally helped create them.

The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, for instance, says he is open to ending tax breaks for special interests. But when it comes to a tax break he secured in 2008 for the owners of thoroughbred racehorses, he argues that the measure is essential for the protection of jobs in his home state of Kentucky.

Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, says he too wants to eliminate such breaks, except when it comes to beer. He is one of the main supporters of a proposal that would cut taxes for small beer makers like the Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government