Daily Archives: July 14, 2012
When a pharmacy sells the heartburn drug Zantac, each pill costs about 35 cents. But doctors dispensing it to patients in their offices have charged nearly 10 times that price, or $3.25 a pill.
The same goes for a popular muscle relaxant known as Soma, insurers say. From a pharmacy, the per-pill price is 60 cents. Sold by a doctor, it can cost more than five times that, or $3.33.
At a time of soaring health care bills, experts say that doctors, middlemen and drug distributors are adding hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the costs borne by taxpayers, insurance companies and employers through the practice of physician dispensing.
[The debate over same-sex marriage is]…difficult, because it occurs between reasonable people of good will with different visions of the common good, in a culture already long confused about marriage and sexuality. Important, because the family is society’s foundation.
John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher know this, which is why their arguments on marriage are so measured, reasonable, and persuasive ”” despite their own profound disagreement. Corvino, a philosophy professor at Wayne State University, favors recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages. Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage, favors retaining civil marriage as the union of man and woman. Both are friends of mine, and both mention (critically and appreciatively) my writings on marriage with Sherif Girgis and Robert P. George.
The authors seek to “achieve disagreement”: to understand precisely where and why they differ, a rare feat “in the face of a sometimes ugly division.” And in 100 pages each of positive arguments, and 20 pages each of replies, they do just that. The total effect is to give readers a sense of the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments, without the usual spike in blood pressure.
This compilation by The Rev. Richard Losch of Livingston, Ala., gives the Sunday readings keyed to Bible verses. If you have a Bible verse and want to know when (or if) it will be used as part of the regular Sunday readings, you can look it up in the table below….
Oklahoma Episcopal Bishop Edward J. Konieczny will take no action on the Episcopal Church’s approval this week of same-sex ceremonies until he meets with state priests and leaders.
The Episcopal Church, which has been a leader in the movement for full inclusion of gays and lesbians, on Tuesday approved an official liturgical rite to bless same-sex unions. The rite includes the exchange of vows and rings but is not being called a marriage ceremony.
“Once I return to Oklahoma, my intention is to gather the diocese, and we will discern together how we will respond to this resolution,” Konieczny said.
Linked in the Christianity Today article below. Jaweed Kaleem, national religion reporter for the Huffington Post uploaded this liturgy on 10th July 2012 which appears to conform the SCLM liturgy appearing in The Episcopal Church General Convention Blue Book as it was enacted and amended by Resolution A049 on 10th July 2012 by General Convention but please be aware this is not an officially released version so should be treated with caution until the official version is released.
The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant
Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Sex Relationships
Note: the resource “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” linked in this article [more on this to follow]
The Episcopal Church approved church-wide blessings of same-sex unions, stopping short of approving rites for same-sex marriage but approving liturgy for official rites for same-sex couples. Bishops can begin using “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” on December 2, when same-sex couples can exchange vows and rings. Each bishop will decide whether to allow the rite within each local diocese, and a conscience clause bars penalties for bishops who oppose the rite.
Tuesday’s debate lasted for about 90 minutes. Proponents offered stories of gay friends who would benefit from the rites, while opponents suggested the denomination was contradicting its own doctrine.
Some predicted that General Convention would not be able to legally authorize the trial rite because it would require a supermajority vote in the House of Bishops. Denominational leaders changed the wording in the resolution from “trial rite” to “provisional” rite, where a simple majority vote was needed.
The first mistake the author makes in this story is in not defining his terms. What is a General Convention? What are its powers? This question currently is the subject of litigation before the Texas Supreme Court and lower courts in California and Illinois. Grounding the article by stating the powers exercised by this gathering are in dispute amongst Episcopalians would have been a better start.
However, the problem with the Episcopal Church is not cocktail swilling bishops or a power-mad gargoyles peering down at the church from a penthouse in Manhattan. Problems with alcohol and homosexuality, money and power are derivative issues that arise from the divide over the interpretation of Scripture and an understanding of the person of Jesus Christ. The fight may take the form over secondary issues such as morality of homosexual behavior or the role of women in the leadership of the church, but it is based upon a division over who Jesus Christ is and how Christians read, interpret and live out the teachings of the Bible.
While I am sympathetic to much that has been said, the article was a wasted opportunity to explain what really is going on. Reading “What Ails the Episcopalians” will not leave you any the wiser ”” and that is a shame. Just think what could have been done with this story, and was not.
At The Episcopal Church General Convention in Indianapolis on Monday, the full delegation approved new anti-discrimination language for transgendered clergy candidates and church members. This action comes after years of schism in the denomination over its teachings on same-sex relationships.
By adding “gender identity and expression” to its nondiscrimination canons, the denomination made clear that people who undergo sex-change operations or otherwise behave in a fashion contrary to their biological sex are welcome to the ordination process and shall not “be denied rights, status, or access to an equal place in the life, worship, and governance of this church.”
Some Episcopal dioceses already ordain transgendered people or elect them to positions of parish leadership.
“The very experiences of the dissecting room and the pathological laboratory were breeding a conviction that the stifling of all deep-set repugnances was the first essential for progress.”
–C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength, Chapter Nine (Hat tip: SP)
O Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts to thyself, that our work may not be to us a burden but a delight; and give us such a mighty love to thee, who thyself didst work as a craftsman in wood, as may sweeten all our obedience. O let us not serve thee in a spirit of bondage, as slaves, but with cheerfulness and willingness, cooperating with thee in thy work of creation; for the glory of thy holy name.
But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” Again I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.” Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
Nunc Dimittis in G – Stanford – Luke 2:25-34
[for improved quality of sound go to cogwheel marked ‘change quality’ at lower right of video]