Daily Archives: August 16, 2012

Russell Saltzman–Why Does God Create?

Turning to the internet my search finds nothing about why God creates. The hits always connect to us. Google the question and the suggested links invariably return “Why did God create us?” I don’t care about us. I’m trying to wiggle myself inside God’s mind and Google isn’t helping. Admittedly, Google is hardly an authoritative source for answers to impossible questions, but the scant returns suggest my question is the sort of question nobody much bothers with. Hmm, if Google can’t answer in the first fifty hits, does the question even exist?

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Posted in Apologetics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Timothy Jones has assumed his position as dean of Trinity Cathedral, Columbia, S.C.

You may read his letter to the parish here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Amazing–Felix Hernandez throws a perfect game, overpowers the Tampa Bay Rays

King Felix now has a crowning achievement.

Felix Hernandez pitched the Seattle Mariners’ first perfect game and the 23rd in baseball history, overpowering the Tampa Bay Rays in a brilliant 1-0 victory on Wednesday.

The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner long has talked of his desire to achieve pitching perfection. He finally accomplished it against the Rays, striking out the side twice and finishing with 12 strikeouts. It was the third perfect game in baseball this season — a first — joining gems by Chicago’s Philip Humber against the Mariners in April and San Francisco’s Matt Cain against Houston in June. More than half of all perfectos — 12 — have come in the past 25 seasons.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Men, Sports

Muslim hotel owner discriminated against Jewish group, jury finds

The Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica and its owner discriminated against members of a Jewish organization at a charitable event two years ago, a Santa Monica Superior Court jury determined Wednesday.

The case was brought by young leaders of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, who had gathered on the afternoon of July 11, 2010, at the Art Deco hotel. Soon after their party got underway around the pool, hotel staff and security guards began telling group members to remove their literature and banners, to get out of the pool and hot tub, and to stop handing out T-shirts, according to legal documents and testimony.

The employees said they were following the orders of Tehmina Adaya, the hotel owner ”” a Muslim woman of Pakistani descent.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Anglican Communion Institute–Title IV Under Review

As ENS notes, the defenders of Title IV claimed their February 2011 response to our original critique “conclusively establishes the constitutionality” of Title IV. General Convention must have reached a different conclusion. In any event, we invite all concerned about Title IV to read our replies to their defense of Title IV before accepting the characterization that its constitutionality has been established: “Title IV Unmasked: Reply to Our Critics” (February 2011) and “Title IV and the Constitution” (March 2011). The latter in particular is a comprehensive review of the constitutional provisions for clergy discipline from 1789 to the present. Our own conviction after undertaking this work: “The conclusion that the 2009 Title IV revision is unconstitutional cannot reasonably be denied.” Our critics never answered these papers.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Pastoral Theology, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Another ENS Article on the Title IV Canons

“Procedurally it’s a disaster. In terms of what it’s done to clergy rights it’s more than a disaster,” Diocese of Newark Alternate Deputy Michael Rehill told ENS. “It needed basic total revision. It was adopted hastily without anybody apparently having any thought about how it was actually going to work in some respects.”

In other ways, Rehill, insists, the drafters knew exactly what they were doing. He says their intent was to take away “all the rights of clergy” and give “incredible power to bishops to get rid of priests.”

Rehill, a former Diocese of Newark chancellor, is the chief operating officer of Canon Lawyer, which defends Episcopal clergy in disciplinary matters.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

In New Orleans, Activist and Episcopal deacon Lydia Hopkins dies

Lydia Elliott Hopkins, an Episcopal deacon and longtime activist who plunged into volunteer work after Hurricane Katrina pummeled New Orleans, died Aug. 8 of a heart attack while on vacation with her family at Grayton Beach, Fla. She was 63.

Shortly after the storm struck in August 2005, Deacon Hopkins organized volunteers at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Uptown New Orleans, where she was a member, and set up a program to provide free meals to people uprooted by the storm.

In 2008, she started working at All Souls Episcopal Church in the Lower 9th Ward, which had been especially hard-hit. Deacon Hopkins, a skilled cook and baker, organized food and housing programs and taught classes in creative writing and Bible studies, said Jessica White-Sustaita, one of her daughters.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

(WSJ) California's Boom Masks the State's Uneven Recovery

California added jobs faster than the rest of the nation over the past year. Tech firms are showering riches on Silicon Valley, and home prices are soaring in places like Palo Alto. The Golden State is rebounding, but for a broad swath of residents, it is a lot less golden and is likely to stay that way.

Even in Silicon Valley, many aren’t joining the revival. Tech companies are thriving, but only after shifting much work elsewhere. Internet-software experts are in demand; middle-aged semiconductor executives aren’t.

Among the thriving are people like Pete Curley, who, in six years in Silicon Valley, has twice sold social-networking applications for healthy sums. The recently married 27-year-old is considering buying a home in the region’s pricey market. By contrast, Pat Fasang, who says that he is older than 50, was laid off from a six-figure marketing post at a semiconductor firm last year and says that the Internet firms hiring today have no interest in him. In more than 20 years in Silicon Valley, he has never been out of work this long. “I’m beginning to feel hungry,” he says.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Science & Technology, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Anglican Journal) In Canada, one Anglican Church's sign draws protest

Its latest marquee posting plays on tales of the Arabian Nights, reading “1001 Shades of Grace.” But until recently, the sign outside Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ont. made an even racier play on the title of a contemporary bestselling erotic novel.

The Anglican church’s previous sign read “50 Shades of Grace,” echoing Fifty Shades of Grey–the title of the first book in U.K. author E.L. James’s sexually explicit trilogy.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Media, Parish Ministry

in Australia, Fears about adding the word ''religion'' to the list of vilification offences

Anglican Bishop Stuart Robinson fears changes to the ACT Discrimination Act could lead to religious disputes ending up in court and increase tension between faiths.

The head of the Canberra and Goulburn Archdiocese has also criticised the ACT government for not consulting religious leaders about the proposed changes, which will make religious vilification in the territory illegal….

Bishop Robinson said he supported improving basic human rights, especially the freedom to choose and practise a religion. But he said open societies also gave citizens the right to disagree on religious beliefs and practices.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

'Leaving in sorrow,' former Roman Catholics start new church in Hickory, N.C.

The first reading comes from the Book of Kings, with an angel nudging an exhausted and distraught Elijah, telling him to get up and leave.

The Rev. Tom Sanford and his congregation have done just that.

Sanford left the Catholic priesthood more than a quarter century ago. But now he’s back behind the altar. He’s pastor of a new spiritual community, born out of his frustration with what he believes is the philosophical backsliding of the Catholic Church.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(ENS) Transitions for Episcopal Church, DFMS staff

The Episcopal Church and the church-wide Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS) staff are undergoing transitions to re-orient not only the work of the church-wide staff but also where that work will be conducted.

The transitions are primarily, but not completely, a result of actions approved at General Convention 2012 in July. Many are budget-based and most are intended to be responsive to the priorities established at General Convention.

“The decisions on the re-orientation and transitions were made by senior management, particularly in affected departments, working as a team,” noted Chief Operating Officer Bishop Stacy Sauls. “The overriding concern has been to make decisions that serve the church as a whole as it engages God’s mission at the most local levels.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC)

US Roman Catholic Bishops' Annual Labor Day Statement

Officially over 12 million workers are looking for work but cannot find a job and millions more have actually given up seeking employment. Millions more are underemployed; they are willing and able to work full time, but there are not enough jobs available. Over ten million families are “working poor”–they work hard, but their jobs do not pay enough to meet their basic needs. The sad fact is that over 46 million people live in poverty and, most disturbingly, over 16 million children grow up poor in our nation. The link between joblessness and poverty is undeniable, as Pope Benedict points out:

In many cases, poverty results from a violation of the dignity of human work, either because work opportunities are limited (through unemployment or underemployment), or “because a low value is put on work and the rights that flow from it, especially the right to a just wage and to the personal security of the worker and his or her family” (Caritas in Veritate, no. 63).

Public officials rightfully debate the need to reduce unsustainable federal deficits and debt. In the current political campaigns, we hear much about the economy, but almost nothing about the moral imperative to overcome pervasive poverty ina nation still blessed with substantial economic resources and power.

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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, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

We beseech thee, O Lord, to give us more love to thee, more joy in our worship, more peace at all times, more longsuffering, more kindness of heart and manner. Grant us the grace of meekness and the power of self-control. May we know something of what it is to be filled with the Holy Ghost; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually! Remember the wonderful works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, O offspring of Abraham his servant, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

–Psalm 105:1-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) John Goodman: Why the Doctor Can't See You

Are you having trouble finding a doctor who will see you? If not, give it another year and a half. A doctor shortage is on its way.

Most provisions of the Obama health law kick in on Jan. 1, 2014. Within the decade after that, an additional 30 million people are expected to acquire health plans””and if the economic studies are correct, they will try to double their use of the health-care system.

Meanwhile, the administration never seems to tire of reminding seniors that they are entitled to a free annual checkup. Its new campaign is focused on women. Thanks to health reform, they are being told, they will have access to free breast and pelvic exams and even free contraceptives. Once ObamaCare fully takes effect, all of us will be entitled to a long list of preventive services””with no deductible or copayment.

Here is the problem: The health-care system can’t possibly deliver on the huge increase in demand for primary-care services.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Psychology

(Washington Post) Dan Balz–A most poisonous campaign

No one expected Campaign 2012 to be positive or uplifting. The country’s problems are too severe and the battle lines between Republicans and Democrats have been hardened by almost four years of conflict between the White House and Congress.

But what is most striking about the campaign at this point is not just the negativity or the sheer volume of attack ads raining down on voters in the swing states. It is the sense that all restraints are gone, the guardrails have disappeared and there is no incentive for anyone to hold back. The other guy does it, so we’re going to do it too.

Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) as his vice presidential running mate seemed like an opportunity for the both sides to pause and reset after one of the ugliest weeks of the year. Instead, this week has produced the harshest rhetoric and the angriest accusations of the campaign.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Office of the President, Politics in General, Theology

Melky Cabrera suspended 50 games for testosterone

Melky Cabrera, whose breakout season with the San Francisco Giants was highlighted by his MVP performance in the All-Star Game, has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone, Major League Baseball announced.

Cabrera, a 27-year-old outfielder, has produced a major league-leading 159 hits this season, along with 11 home runs and 69 RBI. Acquired by the Giants in the off-season from the Kansas City Royals, Cabrera was on his way to a career year prior to being eligible for free agency this winter….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Men, Sports, Theology