Daily Archives: February 4, 2012

The Latest Numbers from Intrade on the Rep. Primary and Nomination Process and the Fall Election

Romney to win Nevada 99.9, Romney to be the Republican Nominee 87.9, Obama to win the general election 56.7. Check it out.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Politics in General

(RNS) Mainline Protestants Up for Grabs Heading into November

They may not be as large as Catholics or as active as evangelicals, but white mainline Protestants have a big thing going for them this election cycle: they are divided, and possibly persuadable.

That’s according to a new poll released Thursday (Feb. 2) that found white mainline Protestants are more evenly split between President Obama and his Republican challengers than other religious groups.

“They’re the most important ignored religious group in the country,” said Dan Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, which conducted the poll in partnership with Religion News Service.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Disciples of Christ, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lutheran, Methodist, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture

(World) Two weeks after a violent terrorist attack, residents of Kano remain cautious

Residents here on Friday will mark the second week under curfew and caution since Boko Haram terrorists stormed the city’s center, setting off multiple bombings and gun assaults that residents say killed at least 200 people.

The attacks have been followed by sporadic episodes of explosions, gunfire, and kidnappings attributed to Boko Haram, the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group that has since last year launched an increasing number of attacks in northern Nigeria. These continued threats have forced police to extend a curfew put in place after attacks on Jan. 20 and to lengthen it by one hour. Offices, stores, and restaurants now must close and all residents must be off the streets from 6 p.m. until 7 a.m.””in a city of about 9 million that is Nigeria’s second largest….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

(NY Times Beliefs Column) A Counselor’s Convictions Put Her Profession on Trial

In 2009, Julea Ward, a teacher and an evangelical Christian, was studying for a master’s degree in counseling at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. As part of her training, she was required to treat clients, and she expressed her reluctance to work with any who were in same-sex relationships. A professor, heeding Ms. Ward’s wishes, referred a gay client to another counselor.

That seemingly simple request became a problem for Ms. Ward when the university expelled her for having made it. Ms. Ward sued, and her case raises the question of whether a counselor’s religious convictions can disqualify her from the profession.

A federal court dismissed Ms. Ward’s claim of religious discrimination. But on Jan. 27, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ordered the lower court to rehear the case, finding that Eastern Michigan “cannot point to any written policy that barred Ward from requesting this referral.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Young Adults

Risking frostbite, Canadian Anglicans bless waters

In most parts of Canada, January isn’t the greatest time to hang out by open water. It’s cold, it’s windy, and if you stand still too long, your face will freeze.

Yet it’s worth the discomfort if you’re there for divine purposes. Such was the case for some Indigenous Anglicans who this year picked up the Eastern Orthodox tradition of the Great Blessing of Water. The outdoor event happens on or close to Jan. 19, the feast of Christ’s baptism known as “Theophany.”

Read it all.

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

(Daily Telegraph) Animal pictures of the week

Check out all 30 and tell us which one you like best.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

Episcopal Bishop of Olympia Predicts Same Sex Marriage Approval at upcoming General Convention

The Episcopal bishop in Western Washington, in sharp disagreement with Catholic prelates, believes that same-sex marriage is “a conservative proposal” that should be adopted “not only in our society but in our church.”

“It seems to me we have held our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in a Catch-22,” the Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Olympia, argues in a blog post published without fanfare to the diocesan website….

Read it all and take the time to read the bishop’s blog post as well.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

Saturday Morning Mental Health Break–Robin Williams and the Two-headed Monster show "Conflict"

Enjoy it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Movies & Television, Psychology

(WSJ) Pamela Druckerman–Why French Parents Are Superior [to those of other countries]

The French, I found, seem to have a whole different framework for raising kids. When I asked French parents how they disciplined their children, it took them a few beats just to understand what I meant. “Ah, you mean how do we educate them?” they asked. “Discipline,” I soon realized, is a narrow, seldom-used notion that deals with punishment. Whereas “educating” (which has nothing to do with school) is something they imagined themselves to be doing all the time.

One of the keys to this education is the simple act of learning how to wait. It is why the French babies I meet mostly sleep through the night from two or three months old. Their parents don’t pick them up the second they start crying, allowing the babies to learn how to fall back asleep. It is also why French toddlers will sit happily at a restaurant. Rather than snacking all day like American children, they mostly have to wait until mealtime to eat. (French kids consistently have three meals a day and one snack around 4 p.m.)

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Europe, France, Marriage & Family

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Anskar

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst send thy servant Anskar as an apostle to the people of Scandinavia, and dist enable him to lay a firm foundation for their conversion, though he did not see the results of his labors: Keep thy Church from discouragement in the day of small things, knowing that when thou hast begun a good work thou wilt bring it to a faithful conclusion; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Denmark, Europe, Spirituality/Prayer, Sweden

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, whose way is perfect: Help us, we pray thee, always to trust in thy goodness; that walking with thee in faith, and following thee in all simplicity, we may possess quiet and contented minds, and cast all our care on thee, because thou carest for us; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. His voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

–Hebrews 12:12-29

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon–The Case for Perspective on Employment/The Labor Market–Watch U-6 Carefully

The U6 unemployment rate tabulates not only people without work who are seeking full-time employment but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.”

Now, study this graph of U-6 at the top and look carefully at the other numbers. What do you see? Seasonally adjusted U-6 unemployment is now [for January 2012] at 15.1%. In January 2011 it was 16.1% and in January 2010 it was 16.7%.

Good news–we are moving the right direction. But bad news–to get back even to 2007 levels [in the 8% range] there is a LONG, LONG way to go!

Those of you who are data hounds (like yours truly) will appreciate the table here–KSH.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

U.S. Jobless Rate Falls to 8.3 Percent, a 3-Year Low

The front wheels have lifted off the runway. Now, Americans are waiting to see if the economy can truly get aloft.

With the government reporting that the unemployment rate and the number of jobless fell in January to their lowest levels since early 2009, the recovery seems to finally be reaching American workers.

The Labor Department’s latest snapshot of the job market, released on Friday, makes clear that employers have been hiring more in recent months, with 243,000 net new jobs in January. The unemployment rate now stands at 8.3 percent, down from 8.5 percent a month earlier and 9.1 percent as recently as last August.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market