Daily Archives: March 29, 2012

Dalai Lama wins Templeton Prize in science and religion

For decades, Tenzin Gyatso, 76, the 14th Dalai Lama – a lineage believed by followers to be the reincarnation of an ancient Buddhist leader who epitomized compassion ”“ has vigorously focused on the connections between the investigative traditions of science and Buddhism as a way to better understand and advance what both disciplines might offer the world.

Specifically, he encourages serious scientific investigative reviews of the power of compassion and its broad potential to address the world’s fundamental problems – a theme at the core of his teachings and a cornerstone of his immense popularity.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(USA Today) China is in the midst of a wild, wacky building boom

An urbanization drive perhaps unparalleled in human history has turned China into a continent-sized construction site. Some of the new buildings have won international acclaim, such as Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” stadium built for the 2008 Olympics. But far too many are eyesores, complain architects and online critics.

When the architecture website www.archcy.com asked readers to vote for China’s top 10 ugliest buildings, Li Hu, a Beijing-based partner at U.S. Steven Holl Architects, said, “Choosing 10 is very hard, choosing a million is perfectly possible.

“Development is too quick. Architects don’t have time to reflect,” says Li, who blames the ugly edifices in part on interference by government officials, a lack of imagination by architects and corruption.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Economy, History, Housing/Real Estate Market

([London] Times) Violence erupts as Spain goes on general strike

With the highest unemployment rate in the European Union at 23 per cent and 50 per cent of young people out of work, Spain this week veered back to recession for the second time in two years.

The strike comes amid mounting international concern that Spain might become the next casualty of the eurozone debt crisis after Greece, Ireland and Portugal, which were all forced to accept financial rescue packages.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Europe, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Spain

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

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

Archbishop of Canterbury's Address to the Welsh Assembly–For the common good

In my remarks today I’ll be suggesting four particular areas in which, I believe, community is most evident; four particular kinds of priority for those who want to turn society into community. And all of them depend on one foundational assumption; that community occurs when people take responsibility for one another.

When we’re occasionally told ‘We’re all in this together’ (with varying degree of plausibility), that appeals to the sense that a solidarity experience, a community experience, means that what happens to me and what happens to you are not separate issues. My fate and my wellbeing is bound up with yours, and if it is bound up with yours then I have some responsibility for understanding and managing and nurturing that reality.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Politics in General, Wales

Stuart Green–When Stealing Isn’t Stealing

In 1962, the prestigious American Law Institute issued the Model Penal Code, resulting in the confused state of theft law we’re still dealing with today.

In a radical departure from prior law, the code defined “property” to refer to “anything of value.” Henceforth, it would no longer matter whether the property misappropriated was tangible or intangible, real or personal, a good or a service. All of these things were now to be treated uniformly.

Before long, the code would inform the criminal law that virtually every law student in the country was learning. And when these new lawyers went to work on Capitol Hill, at the Justice Department and elsewhere, they had that approach to theft in mind.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology

Thursday Morning Mental Health Break–Bath Time for Baby Sloths–Too Cute!

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

(LA Times Editorial) A social media trend we don't 'like'

Be careful about the personal information and opinions you broadcast online, we are wisely and repeatedly told. Anyone from a prospective employer to an insurance company might be interested in details that you’ll regret divulging someday.

But employers cross a bright, hard line when they demand, as some do, that job applicants divulge their passwords to Facebook and other social media sites, or have them log on so the interviewer can scrutinize their likes and dislikes, their relationships, their photos, their friends’ personal information.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues

(NY Episcopal Bishop) Mark Sisk–Religious Liberty in a Pluralistic Society

From the religious perspective there can be little doubt that the bargain our founders struck with history paid off. Religion has flourished in America as it has in few other places in the western world.

However, there can also be little doubt that the number of Americans for whom religion is an important element in their lives is decreasing; ours is an increasingly secular society.

Many of us are saddened by this slow drift. I, for one, believe that it does not portend well for our nation. We as a people need the insights and sensitivities that religion, at its best, can provide. However, I fear that the religious community has squandered a good portion of our credibility by becoming allied with one or another particular political position.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Peter Mullen–Now is the right moment to contemplate the future of the Church of England

I have been a priest for 40 years and I am now witnessing something I have not seen before. There is no longer in English society that easy juxtaposition of the old and the new. Rather, there is a strident emphasis on doctrinal purity met by an equally intransigent and aggressive secularism.

The ongoing “debate” between Christians and secularists resembles an attritional slanging match, with not much give and take on either side. It is to Rowan’s credit that he conducted his recent public conversation with Richard Dawkins with such courtesy and lack of rancour. But there is an aggressive secularism abroad, and there are powerful voices in public life who wish to see Christianity expelled from the res publica.
The question, therefore, is what can the poor fellow who accepts the throne of Canterbury do about this? Almost certainly, the answer is very little. I am afraid that we are at one of those, thankfully rare, crisis moments in our history. The benign combination of ancient and modern will no longer suffice. The next leader of the Church of England must come down from that most uncomfortable fence and declare whether the institution is to be ruled according to the diversified mods or the old and traditionalist rockers.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Historic day for Anglican Church in New South Wales

Mark Saturday, March 31, 2012, as a “purple letter” day in all the colourful, and at times stormy, 224-year presence of the Anglican Church in Australia.

For this is the day when the Church’s NSW province finally sees a woman consecrated as a bishop, and thus wear the distinctive purple of episcopal office.

But, all too true to Anglican form in NSW, when a newly-consecrated Assistant Bishop Genieve Blackwell walks from Goulburn’s St. Saviour’s Cathedral accompanied by upwards of 20 other bishops ”“ all men ”“ her elevation will not be without controversy.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Keble

Grant, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know thy presence and obey thy will; that, following the example of thy servant John Keble, we may accomplish with integrity and courage that which thou givest us to do, and endure that which thou givest us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

We offer to thee, O Lord our God, the work which thou hast appointed for us. Help us to do it heartily and faithfully, as in thy sight and for thy glory, that so we may be drawn nearer to thee and confirmed in thy service, which alone is true freedom; in the name of our Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

–William Bright

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother’s breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

–Psalm 131

Posted in Uncategorized

(Wash. Post Wonkbook Blog) Sarah Kliff–The 3 ways the Court could rule against Obamacare's mandate

If the mandate falls, the rest of the law stands.

The mandate takes down the Affordable Care Act’s insurance reforms.

If the individual mandate falls, so does the entire Affordable Care Act

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues

Pope Calls for ”˜Authentic Freedom’ in Cuba

Beneath looming images of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and the Virgin Mary, Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday stood in Revolution Square here, the heart of the Castro government, and issued a ringing call for “authentic freedom” in what is consistently ranked as one of the most repressive nations on earth.

“The truth is a desire of the human person, the search for which always supposes the exercise of authentic freedom,” Benedict said in his homily at an outdoor Mass here, a line greeted by smiles from some in the crowd. “Many, however, prefer shortcuts, trying to avoid this task.”

The Mass was the culmination of a three-day visit to Cuba meant to shore up support for the Roman Catholic Church here. With President Raúl Castro sitting in the front row ”” and a day after a top Cuban official said that Cuba would not pursue political change any time soon ”” Benedict also decried “those who wrongly interpret this search for the truth, leading them to irrationality and fanaticism; they close themselves up in ”˜their truth,’ and try to impose it on others.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Caribbean, Cuba, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Katharine Jefferts Schori is interviewed by the Huffington Post

On same-sex marriage and other gay rights issues, Jefferts Schori said she has been “stunned at how quickly public opinion has changed in the U.S.” though she cautioned that she doesn’t expect controversy over gay clergy in the Episcopal Church to fade. As more states legalize same-sex marriage, she said, conflicts in the church could become more frequent.

“We muddle through [controversial issues] in a very public way,” she said of the church that has just under two million members in the United States.

“I would guess that at [General] Convention, we would adopt a trial rite for blessing same-sex unions,” she said, referring to the annual meeting of the church’s governing body, which meets every three years. It will next meet in July in Indianapolis. Jefferts Schori said that no priest is required to bless any marriage, but that formal same-sex blessings could become optional.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology