Daily Archives: October 18, 2011

Rodney Smith–America's Founders wouldn't have targeted Mormons

[In the 18th century James]…Madison led the effort to enshrine the right of religious conscience in the First Amendment. To Madison, this was the most sacred of all rights. For him, the First Amendment included the most significant principle claimed by the founding generation.

Surely, Fischer and Jeffress believe deeply in their brand of Christianity. They also, no doubt, believe that they should be free to urge their followers to eschew a candidate who does not follow their brand of Christianity. They have, however, failed to grasp the crowning principle of our Constitution ”” the freedom of conscience. They also seem to have forgotten how tenuous religious liberty is.

Before religious leaders in the 21st century declare a religious test for political purposes, they should remember Madison’s caution that their own brand of Christianity could, under such a principle, one day be disfavored in diabolical ways that will lead to persecution.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Mormons, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Rodney Clapp (Christian Century): Would Jesus love football?

The only good thing about the end of summer is that it’s the beginning of the college foot­ball season. Once more college football is delivering thrills and surprises, with the rankings changing dramatically on a weekly basis, teams appearing out of nowhere to vie for the no. 1 ranking, and under­dogs ceremoniously (college football is nothing if not ceremonious) knocking off highly favored teams. I love just about everything about the game, from the on-field heroics to the off-field pageantry.

But I make the qualification: just about everything about the game. I don’t love everything. There’s plenty to be cynical about when ostensibly amateur players get recruited as if they were professionals. Even a straight arrow like Ohio State coach Jim Tressel turns out to have run a fairly smarmy program. Yet it’s not primarily the financially shady elements that make me ambivalent about my favorite sport. It’s the sometimes dangerous levels of violence….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Sports, Theology

Getting set to occupy Charleston, South Carolina

Occupy Charleston is a local version of the Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread across the country. No one at this point is predicting how many people might turn out for the 99 hours of camping, music, cooking, free speech, educational events and smaller-size marches to area banks.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Psychology, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Benedict XVI's Message on World Food Day

The theme chosen for the Day: “Food Prices: From Crisis to Stability,” invites us to reflect on the importance of the different factors that can give people and communities essential resources, beginning with agricultural work, which must not be considered as a secondary activity, but as the objective of every strategy of growth and integral development. This is still more important if we keep in mind that the availability of foods is increasingly conditioned by the volatility of prices and sudden climatic changes. We observe at the same time a continuous abandonment of rural areas with a global decline in agricultural production and, hence, in food reserves. Moreover, spreading everywhere, unfortunately, is the idea that food is just one more merchandise and, hence, also subject to speculative movements.

It cannot be ignored that — despite the progress achieved up to now and the hopes based on an economy that increasingly respects the dignity of every person — the future of the human family is in need of a new impulse to overcome present fragilities and uncertainties. Although we live in a global dimension, there are evident signs of the profound division between those who lack daily sustenance and those who have many resources, using them often for ends other than food and even destroying them. Confirmed thus is that globalization makes us feel closer but not brothers (cf. Caritas in Veritate, 19). Because of this, those Christian values inscribed in the heart of every person and which have always inspired his action must be rediscovered: the feeling of compassion and humanity toward others and the duty of solidarity and commitment to justice, must again be the basis of every activity, including those carried out by the international community.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Globalization, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Poverty, Roman Catholic

(LA Times) Chinese Jews feel more at home in Israel

As a child growing up in Kaifeng in central China, Jin Jin was constantly reminded of her unusual heritage.

“We weren’t supposed to eat pork, our graves were different from other people, and we had a mezuza on our door,” said the 25-year-old, referring to the prayer scroll affixed to doorways of Jewish homes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Israel, Middle East, Religion & Culture

(Mark McCall)–South Carolina: Upholding The Church’s Discipline By Upholding The Constitution

One of the allegations now being made against Bishop Lawrence is that the decision by the Diocese of South Carolina to continue to adhere to the prior Title IV canons rather than adopt the controversial new revisions constitutes abandonment by being an open renunciation of the discipline of TEC. Last March Alan Runyan and I published an article that undertook a careful examination of the history of TEC’s Constitution as it relates to clergy discipline. We started at the beginning in 1789, but gave particular attention to those constitutional revisions in 1901 that the drafters of the new Title IV claim “profoundly changed” the constitutional allocation of authority in the church. That article provides conclusive proof that the Constitution as now in effect allocates authority for discipline of priests and deacons exclusively to the dioceses except for appeals.

This issue has been much debated in the history of TEC, and our article contains a detailed examination of that history. But throughout those years of debates, the result was always the same: disciplinary authority remained with the dioceses. Our article provides compelling proof that the revisions to Title IV are unconstitutional. It cannot be a renunciation of the discipline of the church to uphold that discipline as specified in the Constitution by resisting unconstitutional encroachment on the diocese’s exclusive authority….

Read it all (and make sure to go and read the full original article to which it links) [emphasis his].

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Analysis, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons

Requiescat in pace–Irene Deenihan (July 17,1922–Oct. 16, 2011)

On Sun., Oct. 16, 2011, age 89, of Wilmerding. Irene was born in Mt. Lebanon on July 17,1922. Beloved wife of 63 years of Edward J. Deenihan, Sr.; dear mother of John (Mary Lynn) of Chatsworth, CA, Edward J. (Kathleen) of Pleasanton, CA, Patrick (Janice) of Reno, NV, Rosemary (Orval) Choate of Nevada City, CA, Elizabeth (Kendall) Harmon of Summerville, SC, Margaret (Mark) Caruso of Winter Springs, FL, and Timothy (Jennifer) of Bridgeport, CT; sister of Leo Shaffer of Lithopolis, OH; also 14 grandchildren; daughter of the late Florenz and Mary Lageman Shaffer Lackner; also preceded in death by two sisters and one brother. Friends received at the JAMES F. FILIA FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICE, 354 Marguerite Ave., Wilmerding on Mon. 6-8 p.m. and Tues. 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Mass of Christian burial at St. Jude the Apostle Church on Wed. at 11 a.m. Irene was a member of St. Jude the Apostle Rosary Society for 50 years, Tuesday morning bible study group for 18 years, and delivered Meals on Wheels for over 25 years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial to Meals on Wheels at Linway Church, Rt. 30., East McKeesport, PA 15135 or St. Vincent DePaul Society of Pittsburgh.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Harmon Family, Parish Ministry

Church of Ireland Bishop who Backed Dean's Same Sex Partnerships Remains Mum

In an email to the bishop ”” who is Dean Gordon’s boss and on the liberal wing of the church ”” the News Letter asked for an interview in an attempt to get his side of the story, which has featured a string of outspoken denunciations by Anglican clergy of both the bishop and the dean.

As the bishop of Cashel and Ossory, the Rt Rev Burrows is senior to Portadown-born Dean Gordon, who now ministers in Carlow. According to Dean Gordon, the bishop appointed him last year in the full knowledge of his 20-year relationship with talented musician Mark Duley and was aware of their intention to enter a civil partnership once the Republic’s law changed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

In Kansas City Catholic Churches, Tiptoeing Around the Latest Scandal

The Rev. Justin Hoye was struggling to figure out what, if anything, to say on Sunday to his parishioners at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church about the new turmoil facing the local Roman Catholic diocese.

Days before, news had broken that Bishop Robert Finn and the diocese had been indicted on criminal charges for failing to report a priest found to have pornographic photos of children, including children of his congregants. The priest is accused of having taken more such photographs in the months before church leaders turned them over to law enforcement.

Father Hoye, after reaching out to priests in neighboring parishes ”” all of whom expressed the same uncertainty ”” decided not to address the matter directly from the pulpit but to offer a homily on man and God that emphasized forgiveness.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

U.S. Debated Cyberwarfare in Attack Plan on Libya

Just before the American-led strikes against Libya in March, the Obama administration intensely debated whether to open the mission with a new kind of warfare: a cyberoffensive to disrupt and even disable the Qaddafi government’s air-defense system, which threatened allied warplanes.

While the exact techniques under consideration remain classified, the goal would have been to break through the firewalls of the Libyan government’s computer networks to sever military communications links and prevent the early-warning radars from gathering information and relaying it to missile batteries aiming at NATO warplanes.

But administration officials and even some military officers balked, fearing that it might set a precedent for other nations, in particular Russia or China, to carry out such offensives of their own, and questioning whether the attack could be mounted on such short notice.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Foreign Relations, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Libya, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Science & Technology, Senate, The U.S. Government

(AP) Somali militants threaten suicide attacks in Kenya

A spokesman for the Somali militant group al-Shabab is threatening Kenya with suicide attacks like those that killed 76 people in Uganda last year.

Al-Shabab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage told a news conference in Mogadishu on Monday that Kenya must pull its troops out of Somalia. Lines of Kenyan troops poured into Somalia over the weekend. Kenyan officials say the country has the right to defend itself from Somalia’s most powerful militant group.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Kenya, Religion & Culture, Somalia, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Luke

Almighty God, who didst inspire thy servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son: Graciously continue in thy Church the like love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of thy Name; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Stir up, O Lord, the wills of thy people and kindle our understanding; that we may discern the way to a just and ordered society, where all may work and all may find a just reward, and thy people may serve thee and one another in peace and goodwill, in the spirit of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Harold Anson

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

–Matthew 11:25-30

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Requiescat in pace: the Rt. Rev. A. Donald Davies

With sadness we acknowledge the death of the Rt. Rev. A. Donald Davies, first Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. Bishop Davies died in the early hours of Sunday, Oct. 16, at the age of 91. A Requiem will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Granbury, Texas.

Bishop Davies was preceded in death by his wife of almost 70 years, the former Mabel Roberts, and a son, Allan David Davies. He is survived by four children: Dona Davies; Timothy Davies and his wife, Anita; Mark Davies; and Mary Townsend and her husband, Richard; as well as 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

EPGM disbands after 21 years of service to the Episcopal mission community

Episcopal Partnership for Global Mission (EPGM) has announced that it will officially disband as a mission networking organization serving the Episcopal Church, according to an Oct. 15 news release.

The decision to disband was made at EPGM’s annual meeting, held at the Everyone Everywhere 2011 conference in Estes Park, Colorado, and approved by consensus of the attending membership organizations, the release said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Missions, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

A.S. Haley on the Further Revelations in the South Carolina Episcopal Investigation

Thus [we hear from today’s Living Church article that] Bishop Henderson previously worked with Mr. J. B. Burch when Bishop Henderson served on the former “Title IV Review Committee” (of which Bishop Waggoner was the chair). And in that capacity, Bishop Henderson tells us, “he did preliminary work on the Bishop Lawrence information . . .”.

What are we to make of this? It indicates that the so-called allegations of “abandonment” against Bishop Lawrence were on the docket of the former Title IV Review Committee until that body ceased to operate as of July 1, 2011. But if that is the case, they must have been presented with the allegations in June 2011 or earlier — possibly (as I indicated in an earlier post) as long ago as last September.

One wonders why it took so long for Bishop Lawrence to be informed of the allegations made against him, if that chronology is true….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons

(Post-Gazette) Report says Pennsylvania failing the poor in courts

A draft of a report to be released next month calls for the creation of a statewide office in Pennsylvania to oversee the representation of poor people in the criminal justice system, concluding that the current system “labors under an obsolete, purely localized system, a structure that impedes efforts to represent clients effectively.”

Although the draft, 151-page report is highly critical of the current state of indigent defense in the commonwealth — Pennsylvania is the only state that provides no funding to defend the poor — it suggests that the statewide office incorporate the current county-by-county structure of the public defenders’ offices.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Poverty, State Government

A Look Back to 1940–the Episcopal Election in the Diocese of Chicago

In many an Episcopal diocese a constant undercover struggle for control goes on between High-Church and Low-Church factions. When a special convention of the diocese of Chicago met last September to elect a successor to the late Bishop George Craig Stewart, this struggle came into the open. Chicago traditionally has a High-Church bishop, though its richest parishes (St. Chrysostom’s, St. James’s, St. Paul’s in Chicago; Holy Spirit, Lake Forest; Christ, Winnetka) are Low-Church. High-Church candidate was a handsome monk, the Right Rev. Spence Burton, Suffragan Bishop of Haiti. Low-Church candidate was a handsome rector, Dr. Dudley Scott Stark of St. Chrysostom’s. In 17 ballots, neither could muster a majority. Nor could a middle-reader, Dr. Harold L. Bowen of St. Mark’s, Evanston.

After the convention adjourned, Dr. Bowen came out for a compromise candidate: the Rev. Wallace Edmonds Conkling, rector of St. Luke’s, Germantown, Pa., who was described as a “liberal Catholic”””the liberal to satisfy Low-churchmen, the Catholic to appease High-churchmen. Last week the convention met again, chose Father Conkling on the second ballot. For the first time in the history of the diocese, the bishop-elect did not accept at once, said he would first have to go to Chicago and survey the situation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Episcopal priest Patrick Augustine Profiled in the Lacrosse (Wsiconsin) Tribune

The Rev. Patrick Augustine grew up a member of Pakistan’s often oppressed Christian minority, but he had to come to the United States to learn humility. As he’s done at every stop on his career, Augustine, rector of La Crosse’s Christ Episcopal Church on Main Street, has devoted himself to working for peace and reconciliation between people of different faiths.

Though a member of a tiny minority – Christians account for less than 2 percent of the Pakistani population – Augustine was accustomed to privilege.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Pakistan, Parish Ministry

(USA Today) Qasim Rashid–Christian persecution is a Muslim problem

Mecca, we have a problem.

It is not America, nor Europe, and no, it is certainly not Israel.

The problem is Christian persecution. Some 14 centuries after the prophet Mohammed wrote, “Christians are my citizens, and by God, I hold out against anything that displeases them,” Christian persecution has become the norm in too many Muslim-majority nations.

A few days ago, 25 Christians were killed in Egypt after state television falsely accused them of creating violence ”” while they peacefully protested violence against their churches. Rather than fight for the rights of Christians, the Muslim mob attacked them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence