Daily Archives: December 11, 2011

(Local Paper) Faith & Fairness: Religious leaders call for humane approach on Immigration

The problem of racial profiling and other concerns over the state’s immigration policy have prompted religious leaders to call for a humane solution to what seems to be an intractable national problem.

Since 1991, LARCUM, an ecumenical group of South Carolina bishops representing the Lutheran Synod, two Episcopal dioceses, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston and the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, has been meeting to discuss matters theological, ecumenical, ecclesiastical and practical.

Lately, the conversation has shifted to the issue of illegal immigration. These leaders are promoting dialogue and reconciliation and citing the Bible repeatedly.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government

(Barry Ritholtz) The Real Bailout Totalmay be $29.616 Trillion Dollars

There is a fascinating new study coming out of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. Its titled “$29,000,000,000,000: A Detailed Look at the Fed’s Bail-out by Funding Facility and Recipient” by James Felkerson. The study looks at the lending, guarantees, facilities and spending of the Federal Reserve.

The researchers took all of the individual transactions across all facilities created to deal with the crisis, to figure out how much the Fed committed as a response to the crisis. This includes direct lending, asset purchases and all other assistance. (It does not include indirect costs such as rising price of goods due to inflation, weak dollar, etc.)

The net total? As of November 10, 2011, it was $29,616.4 billion dollars ”” (or 29 and a half trillion, if you prefer that nomenclature). Three facilities””CBLS, PDCF, and TAF”” are responsible for the lion’s share ”” 71.1% of all Federal Reserve assistance ($22,826.8 billion).

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Federal Reserve, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

(Atlantic) How to Keep Parenthood From Making Your Marriage Miserable

Contrary to the celebratory pieces on voluntary single motherhood by journalists like Roiphe, we found that married parents generally do experience more happiness and less depression than parents who are unmarried. For instance, among women, 50 percent of married mothers report that they are “very happy” with life, compared to 39 percent of cohabiting mothers and 25 percent of single mothers, even after controlling for differences in education, income, and race/ethnicity. The transition to parenthood is hard, but being married helps soften the blow.

We also found that the impact of parenthood is not negative on outcomes such as marital stability or whether one perceives one’s life to have meaning. In fact, married parents — especially women — are significantly more likely to report that their “life has an important purpose,” compared to their childless peers. For instance, 57 percent of married mothers reported high levels of a sense of purpose, compared to 40 percent of childless wives.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family

(WSJ) Patton Dodd–Tim Tebow: God's Quarterback

The intertwining of religion and sports is nothing new in American culture. Both basketball and volleyball were invented by men involved with chapters of the Young Men’s Christian Association in Massachusetts. Or consider the pioneering college coach Amos Alonzo Stagg (1862-1965), who created the batting cage in baseball, five-man teams for basketball and several of the standard aspects of football, from the man in motion, lateral pass and Statue of Liberty play to helmets, tackling dummies and names on uniforms.

The historian Clifford Putney has written that Stagg and his contemporaries combined faith with sports and competition because they believed that God wanted people to live healthy, vigorous lives. They believed that sports could help to make people good and thereby bring them closer to what God intended for them.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sports

(RNS) Yonat Shimron–Why Do We Spend Money on Happiness We Can’t Afford?

James A. Roberts was watching an ABC News Nightline episode on basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal recently when he heard about the size of the retired player’s Florida home: 70,000 square feet.
Even for a man who spends his time studying consumer behavior as a marketing professor at Baylor University, Roberts was stunned.

His latest book, “Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don’t Have in Search of Happiness We Can’t Buy,” tells the story of the American Dream gone awry by profligate materialism. The size of O’Neal’s home offered further proof.

To Roberts’ mind, what began as “Keeping up with the Joneses” has morphed into “Keeping up with the Gateses” (or, perhaps, the O’Neals).

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Books, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Theology

Elizabeth Harmon and two of our dogs, Sayde (Puggle) and Shakan (Black Lab)

Posted in * By Kendall, * General Interest, Animals, Harmon Family

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, before whose judgment-seat we must all appear and give account of the things done in the body: Grant, we beseech thee, that when the books are opened in that day, the faces of thy servants may not be ashamed; through thy merits, O blessed Saviour, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

–Scottish Prayer Book

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

A Psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is. So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary, beholding thy power and glory. Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee. So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name.

–Psalm 63:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Woodbury, New Jersey, Episcopal Church seats fourth child bishop

On Dec. 6, Christ Episcopal Church in Woodbury seated its fourth child bishop in observance of The Feast of Saint Nicholas. Selecting a child bishop is a tradition of many English cathedral choir schools and collegiate chapels.

This year, Kaitlyn Johnson, a fifth grader, was selected as child bishop.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Advent, Children, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

Economist on the EU Summit–Europe's great divorce

We Jjouranlists are probably too bleary-eyed after a sleepless night to understand the full significance of what has just happened in Brussels. What is clear is that after a long, hard and rancorous negotiation, at about 5am this… [past Friday] the European Union split in a fundamental way.

In an effort to stabilise the euro zone, France, Germany and 21 other countries have decided to draft their own treaty to impose more central control over national budgets. Britain and three others have decided to stay out. In the coming weeks, Britain may find itself even more isolated. Sweden, the Czech Republic and Hungary want time to consult their parliaments and political parties before deciding on whether to join the new union-within-the-union.

So two decades to the day after the Maastricht Treaty was concluded, launching the process towards the single European currency, the EU’s tectonic plates have slipped momentously along same the fault line that has always divided it””the English Channel.

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

Benjamin Myers–Politics of the empty church: Rowan Williams and Shari'a law

Contemporary western societies have witnessed the emergence of a new tribalism, fuelled by the logic of capitalism with its proliferation of niche identities and by the politics of multiculturalism with its advocacy of mere “difference,” while lacking the language to articulate any vision of a common good.

Such multicultural pluralism is a mirror image of the postmodern ethics of difference, where each person is assumed to be absolutely “other.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams argues that, once this doctrine of otherness has taken hold of political imagination, we are left with the depressing prospect of “a world in which there aren’t and couldn’t be any real discussion of the goals and destiny of human beings as such.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Other Faiths, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Theology

Anyone know this man?

He looks very suspicious to me (g)–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, Harmon Family

LA Times–Christian musicals with miraculous staying power

Before “Godspell” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” first hit off-Broadway and Broadway, respectively, 40 years ago ”” the first like an ember that caught fire, the other like an explosion ”” who but the most prescient or devout would have laid odds on any musical that ended with a crucifixion?

But both shows have been entertaining audiences ever since. And there’s no sign of either of them wearing thin. A revival of “Godspell” opened on Broadway this fall; and a revival of “Superstar,” born at Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival and now playing at the La Jolla Playhouse, is slated for Broadway next spring. One can’t help wonder what it is about these works that enabled them to beat the odds when they were new and that has enticed a new generation now to try to reproduce their success.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Theatre/Drama/Plays