Daily Archives: August 22, 2012

Beaufort, South Carolina, considers education campaign before banning texting while driving

The ban is proposed by Councilman George O’Kelley Jr. and would prohibit cellphone use by drivers younger than 18 and texting by all drivers. Drivers who break the law would be cited and face fees starting at $50 and increasing to $150 for repeated violations, according to the ordinance.

“If we save a life, I don’t care if they are convicted or not in court,” O’Kelley said. “If we stop it, we can save an innocent person’s life. And if word gets around that if you do this in the city you get in trouble — that’s a deterrent in itself.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Travel

Americans toss out as much as 40% of their food, study says

Americans are throwing out nearly every other bite of food, wasting up to 40% of the country’s supply each year ”“ a mass of uneaten provisions worth $165 billion, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

An average family of four squanders $2,275 in food each year, or 20 pounds per person per month, according to the nonprofit and nonpartisan environmental advocacy group.

Food waste is the largest single portion of solid waste cramming American landfills. Since the 1970s, the amount of uneaten fare that is dumped has jumped 50%. The average American trashes 10 times as much food as a consumer in Southeast Asia, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Marriage & Family, Psychology

Anglican Unscripted with Kevin Kallsen and George Conger

Not a week goes by (even in August) when the Unscripted team can’t dig up some interesting news. Kevin and George discuss the…(recent developments) with AMiA and the turmoil at Pawley’s Island. They also reveal some Crown Commission secrets, Anglican Job Postings and Affinity Dioceses. Peter Ould talks about an Englishman trying to sell more books and Allan gives some interesting history about leaving and staying in TEC at the same time.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC)

(WSJ) Europe Pressures Intensify

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces one of the toughest choices of her career in the coming weeks: whether to risk the unraveling of the euro zone, or her government.

After a summer lull, Greece is again Ms. Merkel’s biggest headache.

The Greek government, struggling with depression-like conditions that have pushed the economy to the brink, is likely to need many billions of euros of additional aid to avoid bankruptcy.

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Posted in * 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, Foreign Relations, Germany, Greece, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(USA Today) 19 million Americans still go without broadband

Access to fast Internet is spreading in the U.S., but about 19 million Americans can’t get it, according to a new government report out Tuesday….

The lack of access continues to hamper rural Americans in particular. About 14.5 million rural Americans ”” or 23.7% of 61 million people living in rural areas ”” had no fast Internet service offered for their homes. In contrast, only 1.8% Americans living in non-rural areas ”” 4.5 million out of 254.9 million ”” had no broadband access. The FCC categorizes an Internet service as “broadband” if it transmits at a speed of at least 4 megabits per second.

The report’s ranking of states again underscored the correlation between broadband access and economic productivity. Economically struggling states fared worse than more thriving areas of the country. West Virginia had the least amount of access, with 45.9% of the state without broadband access. Montana (26.7%), South Dakota (21.1%) and Alaska (19.6%) followed.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Politics in General, Science & Technology, State Government, The U.S. Government

([London] Times) Amir Taheri–Religious schism could wreck the Arab Spring

The West often sees Islam as a monolith but in reality it is a patchwork of sects, schools and ways, not to mention some fully fledged religions wearing Islamic masks to avoid persecution. And as always in Islam, religious differences are a cover for political rivalries.

Involved in the schism are three camps. One consists of traditional Sunni Muslims who have just won a share of power in several countries, notably Egypt. The second camp is that of Salafis, Sunni Muslims who dream of reconquering “lost Islamic lands” such as Spain and parts of Russia and to revive the caliphate. In the third camp are Shia militants who hope to overthrow Sunni regimes and extend their influence in southern Asia, Africa and Latin America….

Iran, the leading Shia power, and Saudi Arabia, its Sunni rival, have been fighting sectarian proxy wars for years, notably in Pakistan, Iraq and Lebanon. Last year more than 5,000 people died in sectarian clashes in Pakistan. Under its neo-Ottoman leadership Turkey has abandoned the ringside to join the fray, notably in Libya and Syria. Now Egypt is also testing the waters….

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Egypt, Foreign Relations, History, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Violence

Sounding like they discovered something odd on Mars, the NY Times does a story on Chaste Christians

One challenge, [Conor] Dwyer and others said, is that abstinent singles can struggle to find close friends who empathize with their situation.

“When my friends found out I was planning on waiting until I was married, I got laughed at quite a bit,” said Miki Reaume, a Christian and former Rockette at Radio City Music Hall who lived in New York for nine years before marrying in 2010.

When she dated non-Christians, Reaume said, the topic would usually arise on the third date.

“And then the relationship ended,” she said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Media, Mormons, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

Raymond Ibrahim–Egypt's Jihad Organizations Call for Christians to Die, Copts beginning to be kille

Hours after leaflets from Egypt’s jihadi organizations were distributed promising to “reward” any Muslim who kills any Christian Copt in Egypt, specifically naming several regions including Asyut, a report recently appeared concerning the random killing of a Christian store-owner.

According to reporter Menna Magdi, writing in a report published August 14 and titled “The serial killing of Copts has begun in Asyut,” unidentified men stormed a shoe-store, murdering the Christian owner, Refaat Eskander early in the morning.

Read it all and read this as well.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Death / Burial / Funerals, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

Christianity Today Discussion–Should Pastors Be Guaranteed Job Security?

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted in May to stop guaranteeing continuous appointments to ordained clergy. Supporters say the move will allow churches to more easily remove ineffective clergy; opponents argue the practice protects clergy members.

“A lengthy renewable contract makes some sense, and I can envision a scenario where it might endow a pastor with necessary authority, time, and freedom. But accountability always needs to be in place. Few things are more dangerous in a pulpit than a lack of it.”
–Jason Hood, scholar in residence, Christ United Methodist Church

“A church covenant specifying responsibilities of a pastor to a congregation and vice versa””including a biblical process to address grievances””would be appropriate and helpful. I would not support some legal arrangement that spelled out guaranteed terms of office.”
–Russell Moore, dean, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Cardinal Keith O'Brien will not have same-sex marriage talks with the Scottish government

Scotland’s Roman Catholic leader – Cardinal Keith O’Brien – has suspended direct communication with the Scottish government on gay marriage.

The move is in protest at the Scottish government’s support for the introduction of same-sex marriages.

The cardinal has turned down an invitation to discuss the issue, leaving any talks to officials.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Scotland, Sexuality

Phyllis Diller answers Rapid Fire Questions on Money and Business on CNBC

Watch it all–too cute. “I love monkeys”–lol.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Movies & Television

The Diocese of South Carolina's newest Parish–The Well By the Sea–Purchases Property

The Well By the Sea in Myrtle Beach, the Diocese’s newest congregation, signed a contract and purchased the former Genesis Christian Missionary Alliance Church located at 211 Forestbrook Road in Myrtle Beach on Thursday, August 16, 2012.

The Well, which began holding services in 2009 and was recognized by Bishop Lawrence as a mission church during the 2012 Diocesan Convention, had previously met in two storefronts in the Market Common section of Myrtle Beach and an elementary school. Currently, The Well meets in a strip-mall in Myrtle Beach….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry

In California, a Fabled Spiritual Retreat Debates Its Future

“In my life, Big Sur and Esalen have been a through line for me,” said Mr. [Michael] Barry, who was sitting at the back of the yurt with his wife, Sharon. He added that a “Mayan shaman talking about 2012 and the return of Kukulkan” was a “good example” of how Esalen had remained on American culture’s cutting edge.

But Peter Meyers, an Esalen regular for the past 25 years who was leading a workshop on public speaking, said the center was not moving fast enough to keep ahead of the times.

“For a long time it was the only game in town,” he said in the main lodge, where a lunch of products from Esalen’s organic gardens was being served. “You wanted to take yoga and study Eastern mysticism. Now, next to every nail place on every street in L.A. there’s a yoga studio, and there’s an ashram right next to it.”

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Thomas Aquinas (1225”“1274)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiber’i-as. And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

–John 6:1-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Media, TEC Bishops

To Survive, a Roman Catholic School Retools for a Wealthier Market

Catholic schools have been bleeding enrollment and money for years, and many have been forced to close. But some, like St. Stephen of Hungary, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, have found a way to thrive ”” attracting a more affluent clientele by offering services and classes more commonly found in expensive private schools.

Selling points include small class sizes and extracurricular activities beginning in the youngest grades. And by often charging far less, these schools have been able to stabilize themselves and even grow.

“Our competition or our standard isn’t another good Catholic school,” said the Rev. Angelo Gambatese, the pastor at St. Stephen of Hungary church, which shares a building with the school. “It’s the best independent schools in Manhattan, and we intend to achieve the same level of performance that they do, academically, developmentally.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Education, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Urban/City Life and Issues