Daily Archives: November 13, 2011

Gallup–Employer-Based Health Insurance Continues to Trend Down

The percentage of American adults who get their health insurance from an employer continues to decline, falling to 44.5% in the third quarter of this year. This percentage has been steadily declining since Gallup and Healthways started tracking Americans’ health insurance sources in 2008.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

(CNS) Many Americans OK with religion in politics as long as it's their own

The old adage that people should refrain from talking about religion and politics in public has long been thrown out the window.

But questions about the direction that this conversation is going remain unanswered. Voters are trying to figure out how much religion they want in a candidate and are also concerned about the potential impact this religion could have if the candidate is elected.

Two-thirds of Americans think it is important for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs and one in five would prefer if these beliefs were similar to their own, according to a survey released Nov. 8.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Zenit) Unemployment Can Lead to Identity Crisis, Says Pope

Since work brings man to experience his role as a participant in God’s creative plan, a lack of work — or precarious employment situations — can lead to identity crises, says Benedict XVI.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Tim Keller: John Stott was the First to Speak God's Word to Me

Christians should be convicted by Stott’s Kingdom vision and zeal for God’s Kingdom.

“Everything I have read, known, and by all accounts, John Stott’s motives were about as pure as a human being’s motives can be,” asserted Keller. “He was not an ambitious man for his own glory. He did not want power. It was obvious he did not want status. He did not want wealth, he gave it away….”

“Here is my point. Most of the rest of us would be very happy being told you are the best. You are the best preacher, you’re the best of this or that. But he didn’t care about that. He wanted to change the world for Christ,” Keller explained. “I looked at his motives, I looked at his labors, how he spent himself, and how he gave himself. Why wasn’t he ever satisfied? It really was not worldly ambition. He really wanted to really change the world for Christ. We should be convicted by that.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture

Archbishop John Sentamu: We must tackle the ogres of income inequality and youth unemployment

[The plenty with which we are surrounded] today is tinged with bewilderment. Drug abuse and violence are rife. Mental illness seems to have become more common, not simply better recognised, over the last generation or so. Rates of self-harm among teenage girls are also high and seem to be increasing. Personal debt has hit a record high.

So what has gone wrong? What has caused the loss of paradise? David Cameron said two years ago: “Research by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, in The Spirit Level, has shown that among the richest countries, it’s the more unequal ones that do worse according to almost every quality of life indicator.”

The Prime Minister was right to draw attention to this book. Its essential message, backed up by sound social science research, is that inequality damages community life and the relationships that hold us together. It shows that many social problems are more common in societies with larger income differences. Sadly, Britain is among the more unequal of the rich countries.

Read it all and it may also be found there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Archbishop Rowan Williams' Sermon at the Act of Remembrance at Royal Naval Cemetery

…for our servicemen and women who go and take these massive mortal risks in distant places for people we might regard as strangers, that is one of the most effective tools there could be of building friendship. We show we are willing to take risks, even for those we don’t know, so that they may become friends, so that there may be harmony. And that requires an enormous and unusual level of commitment. Commitment to a vision of a world that might be, and is not yet. A world where it’s possible for every stranger to become a friend. It requires a deep vision of what human beings may become, and are not yet.

For the Christian, that vision is rooted in what we heard in the rest of the Gospel reading. We believe in a God who took the most extraordinary risk ”“ to make us his friends. A God who in life and death served those who wanted to be his enemies, so that he might build community with them. A God who came to us, strangers to his love and his peace, and who offered his life so that there might be peace; lasting peace, universal community.

That inspiration, that vision, the humanity that might be and the world that might be, that continues to be part of what the Christian faith offers to the world. Because what the Christian faith offers to the whole human world is a rationale and a motive for this strange business of taking risks for people we don’t know, in contexts we barely understand, simply because we believe it’s possible that strangers can become neighbours, and that neighbours can live in harmony.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture

Archbishops Question case for elected House of Lords

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York question the rationale for a wholly or mainly elected House of Lords in their submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Government’s Draft Bill and White Paper (the submission can be read on the CofE website).

Whilst welcoming the Draft Bill’s proposals to provide continued places for bishops of the established Church in a partly appointed House, the Archbishops ask that the appointments process also have regard to increasing the presence of leaders of other denominations and faiths.

The Draft Bill and White Paper proposes a House of Lords of 300 members, with either 80% or 100% elected by proportional representation. If the reformed House were to retain an appointed element, there would be places for Church of England bishops, though reduced to 12 from their current 26. Bishops would not be allowed to remain in a 100% elected House under the Government’s plans.

The Archbishops argue in their submission that the test of reform is whether it enables Parliament as a whole to serve the people better.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Vince Cable expresses sympathy for St Paul's protesters

Business Secretary Vince Cable has said he sympathises with the feelings of protesters outside St Paul’s Cathedral.

He told BBC’s Politics Show that the anti-capitalist demo reflected feelings about those who had prospered in the economic crisis, as many more suffered.

Mr Cable added that legislation could be introduced to curb executive pay.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, the Lord and leader of the hosts of the blessed: Instruct us in the spiritual warfare; arm us against all foes visible and invisible; subdue unto us our own rebellious affections; and give us daily victory in the following of him who vanquished sin and death, and now goeth forth with us conquering and to conquer, even thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations. “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

–Luke 16:9-13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: When parents separate children are left with the pain

No one should have to stay in an oppressive, violent or mutually corrosive relationship to death. Maureen Waller, in her book The English Marriage, describes the suffering, trapped wives of all classes who could not legally leave greedy or vicious spouses until the laws were changed.

But now divorce has become an exit of convenience for our individualistic and self-indulgent society and that can’t be right.

Couples lie to themselves about the pain they are inflicting on their kids and most can only think of parental ‘rights’, like getting half the house and the joint savings.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Psychology

The Onion–New Facebook Feature Allows User To Cancel Account

ROFL–read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Humor / Trivia

Simply Stunning–Vultures Chose Me

Vultures Chose Me from Green Renaissance on Vimeo.

Watch it all, yet another reminder as to why Vimeo is one of the best sites on the web–KSH.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

Europe’s Woes Pose New Peril to Recovery in the U.S.

For the second time in two years, European debt troubles threaten to slow the momentum of the fragile recovery in the United States.

Although American financial institutions have taken steps to protect themselves from Europe’s long-simmering problems, the likely slowdown in Europe could damage consumer and business confidence in America and strengthen the dollar, making United States exports less competitive.

“Financial contagion can lead to the very rapid global spread of recession,” said Chris Varvares, senior managing director for Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting company. “If trouble intensifies and spills over to equities and other U.S. risk assets, we could see a soft patch.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, France, Germany, Italy, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Popular political scientist opens his faithful heart at food pantry

John C. Green’s intellect has earned him a reputation as one of the nation’s experts on the political landscape.

His heart has moved him to be a faithful volunteer in the food pantry at an inner-city ministry that is dedicated to feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, nurturing children and strengthening families.

“I’ve always been interested in helping the hungry,” said Green, director of the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. “My religious values teach me that we are to provide for those without the basics in life, and food is one of those essentials.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Poverty, Religion & Culture

The Full Methodist Bishop's Letter on Same Sex Unions

One of the deep disagreements and divisions within the church is over the practice of homosexuality, recently heightened by a group of clergy who have declared that they will perform holy unions in opposition to the Book of Discipline. This has caused different experiences of deep pain throughout the church. As the bishops of the church, we commit ourselves to be in prayer for the whole church and for the brokenness our communities experience. Furthermore, we “implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in
ministry for and with all persons” (par. 161F). We will continue to offer grace upon grace to all in the name of Christ.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology