Daily Archives: June 21, 2012

Twitter confirms 'on-going' site issues, millions resort to verbal communication

Is that an unintentionally funny headline or what?

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet

From the Did You Know Department

According to the Pew Center on the States, 2.7 million U.S. children have a parent behind bars. Most face multiple challenges, ranging from extreme poverty to lack of a stable adult presence in their lives. Yet the country produces nowhere near 2.7 million volunteer mentors.

“A shortage of mentors is always the most difficult problem,” said Ann Adalist-Estrin, director of the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.

Boys with incarcerated parents are especially hard to match. According to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, they constitute the vast majority on waiting lists, and only 30 percent of mentors for children of prisoners are men.

–G. Jeffrey MacDonald in the June 13, 2012, Christian Century, page 12

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture

Paul Linton–The Newest Front in the Battle over Marriage

In interpreting the state equal protection guarantee, Illinois courts follow federal precedents interpreting the Equal Protection Clause. But there is no Supreme Court decision subjecting classifications based on sexual orientation to the standards that apply to classifications based on race (strict scrutiny) or gender (intermediate scrutiny). In Romer v. Evans (1996), the Supreme Court struck down Colorado’s Amendment 2, which barred special legislation protecting gays and lesbians, under the rational basis standard of review. But the narrow and focused prohibition of same-sex marriage cannot be equated with the breadth and scope of Amendment 2. And every federal court of appeals to have considered the issue has concluded that classifications based on one’s sexual orientation are subject only to the “rational basis” standard of review.

The reservation of marriage to opposite-sex couples easily passes that standard. Extending marriage to same-sex couples would not promote either of the two primary purposes for which society recognizes the institution of marriage””providing a stable environment for children procreated by heterosexual sexual activity and providing the benefits of dual-gender parenting for the children so procreated.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Sexuality, Theology

(Daily Mail) Top doctor's chilling claim: The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year

NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds, a senior consultant claimed yesterday.

Professor Patrick Pullicino said doctors had turned the use of a controversial ”˜death pathway’ into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly.

He claimed there was often a lack of clear evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway, a method of looking after terminally ill patients that is used in hospitals across the country.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics

Obituary for Aaron Kimel

(For the background on this, please see this earlier blog post)–KSH.

From here:

Aaron Edward Kimel, 32, died in the early hours of June 15, 2012, in Roanoke. Aaron lived most of his childhood in Highland, Md. He attended the Academic Magnet High School in Charleston, S.C., where he was the football team’s all-time leading rusher. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 2001, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Physics, and continued to study Philosophy for two years at the University of Washington. He later graduated from the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University in 2010, after which he moved to Roanoke. He was a lifelong scholar with a passion for Civil War history, comic books, and all the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, of which his knowledge was encyclopedic. From infancy, he celebrated a lifetime of love and loyalty for the Washington Redskins.
Aaron is survived by his parents, Alvin F. Kimel Jr. and Christine McKenna Kimel; his siblings, Alvin Kimel III, Bredon Kimel, and Taryn Kimel; his grandparents, Ninon Kimel and Georgene McKenna; his aunts, Ninon Koch, Kathleen Kelly, and Patricia McKenna; his uncles Richard and Joseph McKenna; close family member cousin Ninon Alexandra Kimel; and his three closest friends, Brian and Jill Barrett and Laura Hirshfield. Aaron was preceded in death by his grandparents, Alvin F. Kimel Sr. and Edward C. McKenna; his uncles, Edward and Lawrence McKenna; and his beloved cat, Jean-Luc.
The funeral will be held at St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican Catholic Church in Roanoke at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 22, 2012.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Aaron’s name to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at http://www.afsp.org/.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Young Adults

C. S. Lewis on Doctrinal Limits

I am to talk about apologetics. Apologetics means of course defense. The first question is –What do you propose to defend? Christianity, of course: and Christianity as understood by the church in Wales. And here at the outset I must deal with an unpleasant business. It seems to the layman that in the Church of England we often hear from our priests doctrine which is not Anglican Christianity. It may depart from Anglican Christianity in either of two ways: (1) It may be so “broad” or “liberal” or “modern” that it in fact excludes any real supernaturalism and thus ceases to be Christian at all. (2) It may, on the other hand, be Roman. It is not, of course, for me to define to you what Anglican Christianity is–I am your pupil, not your teacher. But I insist that wherever you draw the lines, bounding lines must exist, beyond which your doctrine will cease to be Anglican or to be Christian: and I suggest also that the lines come a great deal sooner than many modern priest think. I think it is your duty to fix the lines clearly in your own minds: and if you wish to go beyond them you must change your profession.

This is your duty not specifically as Christians or as priests but as honest men. There is a danger here of the clergy developing a special professional conscience which obscures the very plain moral issue. Men who have passed beyond these boundary lines in either direction are apt to protest that they have come by their unorthodox opinions honestly. In defense of these opinions they are prepared to suffer obloquy and to forfeit professional advancement. They thus come to feel like martyrs. But this simply misses the point which so gravely scandalizes the layman. We never doubted that the unorthodox opinions were honestly held: what we complain of is your continuing you ministry after you have come to hold them. We always knew that a man who makes his living as a paid agent of the Conservative party may honestly change his views and honestly become a Communist. What we deny is that he can honestly continue to be a Conservative agent and to receive money from one party while he supports the policy of another.

Even when we have thus ruled out teaching which is in direct contradiction to our profession, we must define our task still further. We are to defend Christianity itself–the faith preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, embodied in the Creeds, expounded by the Fathers.

–C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), pp.89-90 (emphasis mine)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Apologetics, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

(Living Church) Ephraim Radner–12 Theses on Bishops’ Ministry

The Episcopal Church is struggling to redefine its order and mission in the face of rapidly declining membership amid a radically changing civil society. The role of bishops has always been central to our church ”” hence our church’s name ”” but this role is now itself a part of the struggle for the Episcopal Church’s faithful mission. What are bishops for? To what are they accountable? How should they engage in the oversight (episcope) of the Church and what role should they have in her councils and decision-making? General Convention is only one place, if a key one, where these questions arise. Without addressing particular issues before Convention that involve our bishops ”” their constitutional responsibilities, doctrinal authority, discipline, and role in the Communion ”” let me suggest, in the form of several theses, some foundational elements that ought to inform our church’s understanding of her bishops.

1. The full description of the episcopal office is given in the Holy Scriptures’ description of Jesus Christ. This is because this full description of Jesus Christ is the figure that the episcopal office represents (1 Pet. 2:25).

2. The office of the bishop is properly understood only within the contours of the whole Scriptures, for it is all the Scriptures that coherently describe Christ Jesus….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Presiding Bishop’s sermon at the Diocese of South Dakota Niobrara Convocation

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Presiding Bishop, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

The Federal Reserve Takes Modest Action on Rates as their Economic Forecast Dims

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday a modest increase in its efforts to reduce borrowing costs for businesses and consumers by extending its existing “Operation Twist” asset-purchase program through the end of the year.

The decision reflects growing concern that the economy once again is stumbling into the summer months after the false promise of a relatively strong winter. The Fed now expects the unemployment rate to fall no lower than 8 percent this year, and inflation to rise no higher than 1.7 percent, both signs of an ailing economy.

Fed officials also have indicated a desire to insure against a pair of looming risks, that events in Europe will freeze global financial markets and that the political stalemate in Washington over fiscal policy will undermine the domestic recovery.

Read it all.

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

NPR's Story on New Southern Baptist President Fred Luter

In 1986, he was invited to take over Franklin Avenue Baptist Church [in New Orleans]. Under him, its congregation grew from a couple of dozen people to 7,000 ”” the largest Southern Baptist church in Louisiana. Then Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, destroying the sanctuary.

“It would have been easy for Fred Luter to have said, ‘I think God’s calling me elsewhere,’ ” says Russell Moore, dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. “And he could have gone to a very comfortable pastorate anywhere in the country.

“And yet, he stayed,” Moore says. “And he stood with the people of New Orleans and said, ‘We’ll be back, we’ll rebuild’ ”” and became a spiritual anchor.”

Read (or better listen to) it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, Other Churches, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

The Comeback of Christ Episcopal Church in Albertville, Alabama

[This past]… Sunday, the consecration of the new Christ Episcopal Church celebrated the two-year journey that began with the Albertville tornado of April 25, 2010. Their church was hit hard by a tree and was torn down shortly after. Since that time, a new church has been in the making.

Members of Christ Church have been worshiping in the new church since Easter Sunday earlier this year. Church members spoke with WHNT News 19 about the consecration and how thankful they are to be in their new church home.

Watch it all (video).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, Episcopal Church (TEC), Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., TEC Parishes

Thursday Morning Mental Health Break–What a Wonderful World

Watch it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Animals, Energy, Natural Resources

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and eternal God, who didst send thy Holy Spirit from above to renew thine image in our souls: Inspire the heart of every husband and father and of every wife and mother in the land to love and serve thee. Awaken us all to a full sense of our responsibilities, and take possession of ourselves and of our homes; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Mothers’ Union

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

–Psalm 34:17-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Egyptian Presidential election result Delayed

The result of Egypt’s presidential election has been delayed, state television has said.

It had been scheduled to be announced on Thursday, but the Supreme Elections Commission (SPEC) says it needs more time to look into complaints presented by the candidates.

The two candidates, Mohammed Mursi and Ahmed Shafiq, both say they won.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East, Politics in General

Bishop Stock–"African clergy being denied entry to the UK because of their sacrificial stipends"

The Rt Revd Nigel Stock, speaking in the House of Lords yesterday, said that despite having endorsements from senior English bishops, Africa Christians responding to invitations to enter the country are failing to get the required visa.

He said, “It seems that a new economic test is being applied to them. Able, well qualified Africans are being invited to conferences in this country and endorsed even by bishops and the Archbishop of Canterbury, but are being turned down because their personal income is low. As most African clergy live on sacrificial stipends that are intermittently paid, we are wondering whether we can ever invite anyone again from Tanzania.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

In One Anglican Parish, a Religious blessing for tools and gadgets

A variety of tools and gadgets will be presented at St Paul’s Anglican Church on Sunday morning to celebrate the business end of the financial year.

St Paul’s assistant priest reverend Mark Vincent said everything from shovels, trolleys, mobile phones and tablets are welcome at the ceremony.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology