Daily Archives: April 21, 2012

Father John Flynn–Greedy Governments and Gambling

With economic growth still anaemic and tax revenue down, governments are hoping that they can find additional funds by allowing more gambling.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing to change the state Constitution in order to legalize commercial casinos.

In Michigan two separate casino development campaigns are under way to persuade voters, who have to approve new casinos, to allow a total of 15 new casinos across the state….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Gambling, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Poverty, State Government

(Reuters) Crisis proves a curse for Greece's Orthodox Church

Close links between the Greek state and the Orthodox Church are turning from a blessing for the clergy into a curse as the debt-laden government struggles to fund the ancient institution, just as impoverished Greeks need its charitable work most.

Starved of money as the state makes huge spending cuts, the deeply conservative church which grew from one of the earliest centres of Christianity is seeking new sources of funds.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Orthodox Church, Other Churches

The Archbishop of York Reflects On ”˜Christian Citizenship Today’

The Archbishop of York…[this week] gave the keynote address ”˜Christian Citizenship Today’ at the Citizenship, Covenant and Christ Conference at Belfast City Hall.

The Archbishop explained: “Any understanding of Christian citizenship must take into account that we are citizens of Christ’s Kingdom. We belong to Christ and we owe our loyalty to Him. Yet if we are tempted to conclude that this releases us from obligations as human citizens of a modern state, we need to think again.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of York John Sentamu

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Anselm

Almighty God, who didst raise up thy servant Anselm to teach the Church of his day to understand its faith in thine eternal Being, perfect justice, and saving mercy: Provide thy Church in every age with devout and learned scholars and teachers, that we may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us; 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, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant, O Lord, that we may cleave to thee without parting, worship thee without wearying, serve thee without failing; faithfully seek thee, happily find thee, and for ever possess thee, the one only God, blessed, world without end.

–Saint Anselm

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Some boast of chariots, and some of horses; but we boast of the name of the LORD our God.

–Psalm 20:7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SMH) Ross Cameron–Iran versus Israel: more oil on troubled waters

T he discovery this week of a massive light crude oil field in southern Iran adds another layer of complexity to one of the world’s most acute problems. Iran and Israel appear to be heading for war unless something unexpected happens and this week’s discovery will only strengthen the resolve and confidence of Tehran.

For many Australians the name Iran conjures images of bearded and severe Ayatollahs and a wide-eyed President Ahmadinejad occupying the no-man’s land between sanity and fanaticism. We see a persistent stream of refugees who seem to validate the assumption they must be fleeing a toxic regime. Since this country could easily become the biggest, cataclysmic news story of the year, it is worth spending a few minutes trying to understand its pathology….

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Energy, Natural Resources, Foreign Relations, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Politics in General

Gregory Wolfe: Art in a Fallen World

To those who questioned the prettiness of his paintings””their too-good-to-be-true sentimentality””he had a theological answer: “I like to portray a world without the Fall.” A retort to that statement would be that faith itself teaches us that a fallen human is ill-equipped to imagine an Edenic world””and that in any case our task in life is not to look away from the sin-scarred creation and dwell on an ideal world but to look for grace and redemption in the midst of the mess we’ve made.

It’s an argument I’ve made myself, in an essay criticizing Kinkade’s aesthetic. Yet I am still forced to admit that he raised a valid question about the purpose and meaning of art. After all, Western art in many ways starts with the Greeks, who made ideal beauty, with its glimpse of divine perfection, the hallmark of their culture. Doesn’t seeing the world as it ought to be elevate and enlighten us, offering us a small respite from the darkness? That’s precisely what so many have found in Kinkade’s art: a powerfully nostalgic longing for the way it ought to be, a break from the daily grind and the thousand disappointments that drag us down.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Art, Religion & Culture