Daily Archives: April 23, 2012

Michael Medved–Our forefathers got it right — no religious test for public office

Before Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign, exit polls from his landslide victory in the Louisiana primary showed that a stunning 73% of Republican voters insisted that it “matters that a candidate shares my religious beliefs” ”” expressing the conviction that it’s appropriate to judge a prospective president based on his theological orientation. Only 12% took the position that it matters “not at all” if a candidate’s religious outlook differed from their own.

There’s an obvious irony to this situation: Many of those same social conservatives who claim to revere the plain text of the Constitution seem determined to ignore its prohibition on religious tests for federal office.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

In Dallas, the Richardson High assistant principal tells a 20-year secret to help fight bullying

Last weekend, the ballyhooed documentary Bully opened in Dallas. A few weeks earlier, a less elaborate film on the same topic premiered in every third-period classroom at Richardson High School.

The school video tells a secret kept for 20 years ”” about a desperately unhappy teen and one night with a pistol. It’s a secret that has inspired some students to reach outside themselves in ways they might have never considered.

While experts say any one event is just a drop in the bucket in the effort to mold a school’s culture, there’s some evidence that this kind of video may be a larger drop.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Psychology, Suicide, Teens / Youth, Violence

(Gafcon PR) Primates meet as conference opens

We pray for those responsible for the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury that they will look for a godly leader of God’s people. We believe that in the future development of the Anglican Communion the chair of the Primates Meeting should be elected by the Primates themselves. We believe that the future of our Communion relies on adherence to Scriptural authority, faithful and Christ-centred preaching of this word, the blessing of God’s Holy Spirit, godly leadership and the spiritual commitment of God’s people. These spiritual realities and the reality of worldwide Anglicanism should be reflected in the structures of the Anglican Communion.

From the beginning the thrust of our FCA movement has been forward-looking. We have therefore confirmed the decision to call GAFCON II for May next year in a venue shortly to be announced.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, FCA Meeting in London April 2012, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

Archbishop Peter Jensen interviewed on BBC Radio Four's Sunday about the FCA Meeting

Herewith the BBC blurb:

The traditionalist Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans will be meeting from Monday to decide its future. Archbishop Jensen from Sydney talks to Sunday about what they hope to achieve.

Listen to it all (starts at 10:20 in)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, FCA Meeting in London April 2012, Global South Churches & Primates

A BBC Article on the FCA Conference in London

Leaders of a worldwide dissident Anglican movement are meeting in London to discuss how to sustain traditional Christian beliefs.

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) grew out of concern over developments in some national Churches.

Many Anglicans, particularly in Africa, object to the ordination of [partnered] gay bishops in the US.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, FCA Meeting in London April 2012, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

(WSJ) Real Madrid's Win Over Barcelona–Mourinho Slays the Monster

Barring some kind of cataclysmic collapse””aliens landing at the training ground and kidnapping half the squad might do the trick””Real Madrid will win its 32nd Spanish title this year. Saturday’s 2-1 win at archrival Barcelona left Jose Mourinho’s crew with a seven-point lead and four games to play, which means arithmetic is the only factor delaying Real’s coronation.

Real Madrid could well have lost at Camp Nou and still won La Liga. But actually defeating its eternal rival is something of a game-changer. Mourinho may not admit it, but he didn’t just get a monkey off his back, he banished a whole pack of screaming orangutans.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Men, Spain, Sports

Billy Graham Remembers Chuck Colson

[Charles] Colson wrote that he had many rich memories with Mr. Graham, but none as meaningful as the day both men toured Memphis Federal Prison.

After speaking to 1,000 inmates outside the prison walls, Billy visited the maximum security segregation unit to see men who weren’t permitted to hear him preach.

Colson was amazed to see Mr. Graham””“clearly the greatest evangelist of the 20th century””as he sat on the floor talking through the grate in a cell door to lead an inmate to Christ.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

The Full Letter from Anglican Bishops and Deans: ”˜Church should rejoice over same-sex marriage'

(The story about this letter was first posted on the blog yesterday).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(NPR) The Amazing Literary Hoax Behind The Education of Little Tree

In the early 1990s, The Education of Little Tree became a publishing phenomenon. It told the story of an orphan growing up and learning the wisdom of his Native American ancestors, Cherokee Texan author Forrest Carter’s purported autobiography.

The book was originally published in 1976 to little fanfare and modest sales, but in the late 1980s, the University of New Mexico Press reissued it in paperback ”” and it exploded. By 1991, it reached the top of The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list. It was sold around the world, praised by Oprah Winfrey and made into a Hollywood film.

The Education of Little Tree would go on to sell more than 1 million copies. But the book and its author were not what they seemed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, History, Psychology, Race/Race Relations

(PA) Archbishop of York celebrates St George’s Day

He may hail from Uganda but the Archbishop of York is one of England’s most passionate spokespeople for St George’s Day, being marked today.

It’s one of his “favourite” days in the year, Dr John Sentamu wrote in his column for The Sun yesterday.

“A day when we can celebrate everything that is great about England,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church History

(The Revealer) Daniel Schultz–What does Rowan Williams’s resignation mean for American Anglicans?

If you believe, as most Americans do, that the upper reaches of the church don’t have much to do with the ground floor, the next Archbishop of Canterbury will have mostly trivial interest to you. Perhaps it will be John Sentamu, and the ECUSA is in for the deep-freeze. Perhaps it will be a conciliator or a caretaker. Perhaps it will be someone with an even more lush and vigorous patch of Muppet fur insulating his brows from the slings and arrows of church leadership. Who’s to say? But Easter will come, just as it did this year. There will be babies to baptize, teens to confirm, crappy church coffee to be drunk (maybe good sherry if you’re in the right congregation), and ministry to be done, regardless of who fills Williams’ seat.

But if you believe, as many Americans do, that it is of the utmost importance to speak with one voice on women in ministry, or the place of gays and lesbians in the church””if you believe that without a common creed and ethics and way of reading scripture, there’s no point in calling it a “church”””well then, you’re in for a very interesting six months or so. It’s unlikely that you’ll get a champion of orthodoxy like Benedict, and probably not such a fierce champion of unity-at-all-costs as Williams. You may have to face the same uncomfortable ideas that the rest of us are confronted with: that there is no single voice for Christianity, that Christ’s prayer “that they may all be one” is and always has been a fond wish and ardent desire but never a fact on the ground, that Christianity as a world movement has not produced a standard culture but has shaped and been shaped by many different cultures in many different ways, to the detriment of its coherence. But at this point, who the hell knows? You may find somebody who can bring it all back together, or (more likely), you may find another weak leader committed to togetherness in principle but unable to do much about it in practice. Either way, good luck, and definitely let us know if you find somebody with bigger eyebrows than Rowan Williams. We’ll want to be warned about that right away.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, --Rowan Williams, America/U.S.A., Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology, United Church of Christ

Robert Samuelson–Spain's newfound economic turmoil has far-reaching ramifications

If Spain’s crisis deepens Europe’s recession, it could tip the entire world economy into a stubborn slump. The ramifications would be enormous, including: reduced odds of Barack Obama’s reelection, assuming a weaker U.S. recovery; less political cohesion and more social unrest in Europe (even now, the European Union’s unemployment rate is 10.2 percent); and growing pressures in many countries for economic nationalism and protectionism.

Spain is suffering a hangover from what economist Desmond Lachman of the American Enterprise Institute calls “the mother of all housing booms.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * 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, Globalization, Greece, Housing/Real Estate Market, Italy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Spain, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Independent) All Eyes on François Hollande as first-round victory leaves Sarkozy on brink

President Sarkozy, whose personal unpopularity dominated the campaign, is the first head of state to come second in a first-round poll since France switched to presidential politics 50 years ago. Even a barn-storming performance by Mr Sarkozy in TV debates with Mr Hollande in the next two weeks seems unlikely to save his presidency in the two-candidate, second round on 6 May.

In a speech to ecstatic supporters in his fiefdom in Tulle, south-west France, Mr Hollande said: “I am now in a position of strength to be the next President of the Republic…This vote is a disavowal of the policies, and the personal behaviour, of the outgoing candidate, whose campaign in recent weeks has finally served the interests of the National Front.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, France, Germany, History, Politics in General

A Prayer for the (Provisional) Feast Day of Saint George

Almighty God, who didst commission thy holy martyr George to bear before the rulers of this world the banner of the cross: Strengthen us in our battles against the great serpent of sin and evil, that we too may attain the crown of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Blessed Lord, who didst promise thy disciples that through thy Easter victory their sorrow should be turned to joy, and their joy no man should take from them: Grant us, we pray thee, so to know thee in the power of thy resurrection, that we may be partakers of that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory; for thy holy name’s sake.

–Frank Colquhoun (1909-1997)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.

–1 Peter 5:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

([London] Times) Former Archbishop condemns anti-Sentamu ”˜whispers’

Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has condemned criticism of one of the favourites to succeed Dr Rowan Williams.

His comments came after a former aide to Dr John Sentamu ”” who is Archbishop of York and a candidate to succeed Dr Williams as leader of the Church of England ”” claimed that the Archbishop had been targeted by an “anonymous whispering” campaign. The Rev Arun Arora said: “At its best, the besmirching of John Sentamu has revealed that strand of snobbery which views outsiders as lacking class, diplomacy or civility ”” in other words ”˜not one of us’. At worst, it has elicited the naked racism which still bubbles under the surface in our society, and which is exposed when a black man is in line to break the chains of history.”

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE)

(Reuters) Sudan, South Sudan swap accusations of attacks, church raided

Sudan and newly-independent South Sudan accused each other of launching fresh attacks on their territories on Sunday as neither side showed any sign of bowing to global pressure to return to the negotiating table.

South Sudan said Sudanese troops attacked settlements about 10km (6 miles) on its side of the border and carried out air raids in a range of areas including its oil-producing Unity state.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Violence

(Telegraph) Archbishop of York to be considered for Canterbury

Dr John Sentamu has repeatedly refused to confirm whether or not he would be throwing his hat into the ring to lead the Church of England when Dr Williams steps down later this year.

But last night it emerged that he had stepped down from the body responsible for the appointment ”“ meaning that he can formally be considered.

It follows mounting speculation that the 62-year old archbishop would not stand as a candidate due to his age and recent bouts of poor health.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE)

London FCA Meeting underway

The first leadership conference since GAFCON in 2008 is underway in London.

200 clergy and lay leaders, men and women from more than 25 countries, are gathered in London this week.

The meeting was the initiative of GAFCON primates through the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), which was established after the Jerusalem meeting in 2008.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

(AP) 1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed

The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Young Adults

French elections: Socialist challenger Hollande takes Round 1, promises growth

In interviews at Paris polling stations, French citizens expressed little real joy in the vote but felt that France’s future is so uncertain that they needed to do their civic duty.

“Whoever is elected, things are going to be hard,” says a middle-aged Frenchman, Angelo Benkaddour, outside a voting station in Paris’ 10th district. “What’s happening in Greece and Spain [economic woes], it is coming here.”

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Europe, France

With Pact, U.S. Agrees to Help Afghans for Years to Come

After months of negotiations, the United States and Afghanistan completed drafts of a strategic partnership agreement on Sunday that pledges American support for Afghanistan for 10 years after the withdrawal of combat troops at the end of 2014.

The agreement, whose text was not released, builds on hard-won new understandings the two countries reached in recent weeks on the thorny issues of detainees and special operations raids to broadly redefine the relationship between Afghanistan and the United States.

“The document finalized today provides a strong foundation for the security of Afghanistan, the region and the world, and is a document for the development of the region,” said Rangin Dadfar Spanta, the Afghan national security adviser, in a statement released by President Hamid Karzai’s office.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan

The Safe Places Ministry at Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church

Safe places are designed so the people of God can share their struggles with others in the journey of life. We believe that there are real sin struggles in the lives of our people. The purpose is to create an environment where the beginning of accountability, sharing, and confession can occur.

As it says in the gospel of John, “The word of God [read Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The philosophy of our church recognizes that if Christ comes in the flesh we must be in the flesh with each other. Meaning that Christ initiated with us, identified with us, and invaded us with the gospel of truth. The Safe Places ministry creates a venue where the congregation of [this parish of] MRPC can take off our veneer and initiate with each other the truths of our lives.

Read it all and note especially the areas which it encompasses.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Gambling, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Pornography, Sexuality, Theology