Daily Archives: August 12, 2012

(AP) Sikh temple in Wisconsin holds 1st Sunday service since attack

Hundreds of people gathered at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee spoke of redemption, unity and strength during the first Sunday service there since a gunman killed six people before fatally shooting himself.

The service capped a weekend of events meant to honor the victims and restore the temple as a place of worship. While there were still tears and red eyes, many participants said healing was under way.

Visitors removed their shoes outside and filed past portraits of the victims, shuffling down a flower-lined aisle into the main prayer room. They dropped dollar bills in front of a shrine where their holy book sits and bowed for two to three seconds. Then they sat on the floor -women on the left, men on the right – their heads covered with scarves, and listened as a priest recited religious hymns in the Hindi dialect of Punjabi.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

(Journal-Sentinel) Red flags missed in mass shootings

The gunmen in many of the mass shootings in recent years – including last Sunday’s Sikh temple massacre in Oak Creek – shared a trait that offers a critical clue to abating future attacks.

Each showed clear signs of psychotic behavior and, had they been treated, the disasters might have been avoided, experts told the Journal Sentinel.

Wade Michael Page, who killed six Sikh worshippers before being shot by police and killing himself, was a heavy drinker who was so unstable after his girlfriend broke up with him years earlier that his friends feared he had committed suicide. A psychiatric nurse who lived downstairs from him in Cudahy said if one mental health professional had taken the time to examine him, “a gazillion red flags would have gone off.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Violence

Texting erodes kids’ grammar skills, study says

Have teens? Then you’re likely used to seeing them lighted by a cellphone screen glow.

But a study says the hours kids spend tapping notes is killing their grammar skills with every LOL. With “the culture of mobile communication, quick back and forth, inevitably, there are compromises on traditional, cultural writing,” said S. Shyam Sundar of Pennsylvania State University’s Media Effects Research Lab, which did the study.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology, Teens / Youth

In Ohio, one Church becomes the New Home of a basilica

The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, is now home to a basilica.

St. John the Baptist Church in Canton, Ohio, has been granted the title of Minor Basilica by the Holy See. The Vatican decree, received June 19 by Youngstown Bishop George V. Murry, states in part “such honorific title is intended to strengthen the relation of this important church with the Chair of Peter and to make it an ideal center of special liturgical and pastoral ministry in the Diocese,” according to information the diocese released Monday.

The designation means that the Basilica of St. John the Baptist holds the greatest dignity of all the churches in the diocese. Churches are elevated to basilica status because of their historical and architectural value, coupled with their contributions to the community. The process requires a church to supply documents, including: a petition of the bishop; reports related to the origin, history and religious activity of the church; and photographs of the exterior and interior of the church building.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Urban/City Life and Issues

In British Columbia, Former (TAC) Anglicans Welcomed into the Roman Catholic Church

This evening we are celebrating an especially joyful, even historic, occasion: the reception into full communion with the Catholic Church of 11 members of the Traditional Anglican Communion in Canada.

Their journey to full communion with the Successor of Peter, our Holy Father Benedict XVI, has been a long and sometimes trying one, yet one brimming with hope. I would especially like to express my gratitude to Father Bruce McAllister, who has guided them with such wisdom and concern in their journey.

We give thanks to the Lord for their patience, their perseverance, and above all for their faith.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Good Reads: What it means to be the "other" in America

The shooting at a Sikh Temple in the Wisconsin town of Oak Creek last Sunday revealed an ugly side to America’s pluralistic society. In a country of immigrants, there are still people who hate or fear those they see as “outsiders,” and when those people have access to semi-automatic weapons, they can put their fear and hatred into action.

The shooter, a former US Army soldier named Wade Michael Page, was a white supremacist, and before he was gunned down by a police officer, Page managed to kill six of the temple’s worshipers and to wound another police officer.

The incident is being treated as a domestic terror incident, with Page’s embrace of the “racial holy war” rhetoric of the far right making this more than just another case of American mass murder. But the shock of the event also hit many Americans at another level. Here, the terrorist was white, and a former US soldier. His victims were Asian. The terrorist’s ideology, white supremacy, was every bit as hateful and destructive as the religious holy war (jihad) of the men who hijacked the planes on Sept. 11….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Violence

In Kaduna, Bishop Josiah Fearon Laments 30 Percent Drop in Church Attendance

The Kaduna Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) said on Friday that worshippers’ attendance in its churches has dropped by 30 per cent.

The Diocesan Bishop, Most Rev. Josiah Fearon, after the First Session of the 19th Synod in Kaduna, attributed the poor attendance of faithful to the current national security challenge.

Fearon said the drop in church attendance had also contributed to a 60 per cent drop in financial support to the church through the offering of tithes and the Church fund raising for the development of projects.

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

Winston Churchill Quotes from 1940 Worthy of Remembrance

13 May 1940 ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.’ We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
4 june 1940 We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.

18 june 1940 Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us now. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’

20 August 1940 The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day; but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Foreign Relations, History, Politics in General

NBC's Tom Brokaw Last Night Explored Britain's World War II Resolve in 'Their Finest Hour'

The stunning panoramic views of London featured throughout NBC’s coverage of the summer Olympic Games make it hard to imagine the devastation that occurred 72 years ago during the Blitz. While it might harsh your Olympic-induced mellow, NBC’s Tom Brokaw takes an intense look back at how the city survived the barbarism of Adolf Hitler’s Germany in the two years before the U.S. entered World War II with Their Finest Hour (Saturday, 8/7c).

The documentary precedes the final night of competition coverage that includes track and field, and gold medal finals in men’s platform diving and women’s volleyball. But it’s a worthwhile break in the action. “What England went through in 1940 and ’41 will endure forever as a lesson in courage, national resolve and the power of enlightened leadership,” Brokaw told TV Guide Magazine. “Against great odds, the UK kept Hitler from using this island nation as a launching pad for expanding his evil empire. We owe this country and that time a great debt.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Foreign Relations, History, Movies & Television, Politics in General

Card Swipes in Church Make Giving Easier

For anyone who spends time pondering the cost of keeping the lights on and the staff paid at their houses of worship, the Mormon tithing slip has a sort of utilitarian beauty.

Worshipers pick one up at their local chapel, fill it out and hand over their money to a lay leader (having annotated the amounts paid by check, currency or coins, per the instructions on the slip). No annual bill, no passing of the plate. Keep the canary-colored carbon copy for your records.

The fact that the slip looks a bit like something your dry cleaner might give you when you drop off your clothes is part of its appeal. After all, worship is a regular part of many people’s lives. We need to pay for it somehow.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Stewardship

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Christ, by whose single death upon the cross the members of thy body also die to servitude and sin: Grant us so to crucify the old man, that the new may daily rise with thee in the immortal power of thy free Spirit, who liveth and reigneth with the Father and thee, one God, world without end.

–E. Milner-White

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.

–Psalm 66: 8-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(FT Weekend Magazine) Valley of God–Christianity in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley, the epicentre of the global technology industry, is ruled by rationality and science. Data drives decisions, computer code solves problems. And yet there is a strong current of faith that permeates everything ”“ an extreme idealism that motivates entrepreneurs, a staunch belief among engineers that technology can cure the world’s ills and contribute to the progress of humanity.

Sometimes that belief is drawn directly from a Christian teaching. But rarely are such values expressed in the boardroom or on the demo stage. Getting the job done is paramount in Silicon Valley, so religious believers often keep quiet about their faith in public forums, for fear of alienating co-workers or customers, says Jan English-Lueck, a professor of anthropology at San José State University. “Dogmatic faith would get in the way of good work relationships,” she says, “and that is the true sin in Silicon Valley.”

But within Christian circles, a shared faith can also turn into a powerful business alliance. Christians find each other at informal prayer groups at Google and Facebook, and at fellowship gatherings for entrepreneurs, forming social bonds that segue back to the office.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(BBC) Filmmaker travels US via strangers on Craigslist.org

For 30 days, Mr [Joe] Garner turned to Craigslist to see if he could find ways to get the food, transportation and shelter he needed on a trip around the US.

Would strangers he contacted online be happy to help?

Read it all and enjoy the video.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Movies & Television, Science & Technology, Travel

Leroy Seat–The Mormon War in Missouri in the 19th century and the perspective it may give us today

The main reason I find the Mormon War of 1838 of considerable interest, though, is because Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican candidate for President, is a Mormon. Given the persecution of the Mormons in their early years and the fact that they were completely driven out of Missouri in 1839, it is remarkable that a practicing Mormon could possibly be elected President of the United States this year.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, History, Mormons, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(NY Times) The Nun Who Broke Into the Nuclear Sanctum

She has been arrested 40 or 50 times for acts of civil disobedience and once served six months in prison. In the Nevada desert, she and other peace activists knelt down to block a truck rumbling across the government’s nuclear test site, prompting the authorities to take her into custody.

She gained so much attention that the Energy Department, which maintains the nation’s nuclear arsenal, helped pay for an oral history in which she described her upbringing and the development of her antinuclear views.

Now, Sister Megan Rice, 82, a Roman Catholic nun of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, and two male accomplices have carried out what nuclear experts call the biggest security breach in the history of the nation’s atomic complex, making their way to the inner sanctum of the site where the United States keeps crucial nuclear bomb parts and fuel.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology, Theology