Daily Archives: December 17, 2012

(Post-Dispatch) Muslim cabbie sues St. Louis, taxicab commission over clothing rules

A Muslim taxicab driver is suing the city of St. Louis, the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission and a private security company, saying he has been harassed and arrested because he insists on wearing religious garb.

Raja Awais Naeem, who works for Harris Cab and manages a shuttle service called A-1 Shuttle, says his religious beliefs require him to wear modest, loose-fitting clothing and a hat called a kufi. But that garb has run afoul of the taxicab commission’s dress code for cabbies, Naeem claims in the suit filed Thursday morning in St. Louis Circuit Court.

Naeem, originally from Pakistan but now a U.S. citizen living in St. Louis County, said he has been told he must adhere to the commission’s rules requiring a white shirt, black pants and no kufi. Baseball caps are allowed, as long as they have no logo other than the taxi certificate holder.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Economist) Ties that divide–A row over plans to let Same-Sex couples marry in church

Pity the prime minister. With most news bleakly austere these days, changing the law to let gay couples marry must have seemed a sure way to spread crowd-pleasing sweetness and light. Countries around the world are giving homosexuals full marriage rights. More than half of British respondents usually tell pollsters they favour gay marriage. Besides, David Cameron truly believes in it, as he told the Conservative Party conference in October 2011.

But government plans to let same-sex couples not only marry but marry in church, detailed on December 11th, have startled the ecclesiastical horses and divided the already fissiparous Conservatives. The Anglican and Catholic churches, along with the Muslim Council of Britain and Lord Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, oppose the move, which contravenes their belief that marriage is between a woman and a man. High-profile Tories including Michael Gove, the education secretary, and Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, are for the change, but over 100 Conservative MPs are believed to oppose it. That will not put the outcome in doubt, as Labour and the Liberal Democrats support the shift, but it guarantees a continuing row.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

Wash. Post portrait of a Newtown R.C. Priest in whose parish 1/2 of the children killed were members

That night, Weiss was called to the police station and was assigned to call at the homes of two victims, along with a state trooper and a grief counselor.

He knocked on one door at midnight ”” that of a husband whose wife had been killed in the shooting ”” and the next door at 1:30 a.m.

Weiss knew both families well. They belonged to his church.

In all those hours of counseling and comforting, no one asked the priest, “Why?” The question came later, starting on Sunday, and Weiss did not have an answer.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Rural/Town Life, Theology

The Anglican Church of Nigeria's statement on death of former Primate Archbishop Adetiloye

With a profound sense of loss, but in total reverence to God, the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion announces the death of our dear former Primate, Archbishop, Metropolitan of our Church, father, grand and great grandfather, the Most Revd. Dr. Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye who passed away peacefully in his sleep at his Millennium house country home, Odo-Owa in Ekiti State in the early hours of Friday 14th December, 2012.

Archbishop Adetiloye died at 83 years after working actively and conscientiously as an enigma. A multi dimensional personality, an icon, a great and true disciple of Jesus Christ was born in Odo-Owa in the Ijero Area, Diocese of Ekiti West in Ekiti State on 25th December, 1929.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry

Phil Ashey–A New Convergence of Confessing Christians?

On Wednesday, November 28, Pope Benedict XVI extended his weekly audience to Archbishop Robert Duncan and Bishop Ray Sutton of the Anglican Church in North America. The picture above was taken at the end of the session when Archbishop Duncan and Bishop Sutton were invited to join the Pope’s own Archbishops and Bishops to bring personal greetings. In 2003, Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, sent greetings to the very first Plano, TX gathering of orthodox Episcopal (now Anglican) bishops, clergy and laity in North America. This momentous conference, hosted by the AAC and Christ Church Plano, helped launch the Anglican Communion Network, the precursor to the Anglican Church in North America.

Is it a coincidence that during ACC-15 in Auckland, NZ, it was reported that the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue (ARCIC) now focuses more on exchanges of scholarly papers and less on high-level, face-to-face discussions? Is it a coincidence that Archbishop David Moxon of New Zealand has been appointed to replace the current director of the Anglican Centre in Rome? Is the Anglican Communion Office doing damage control in light of The Episcopal Church’s violations of Anglican– and indeed biblical and catholic– teaching on human sexuality and Holy Orders? Could the appointment of Archbishop Moxon be damage control for Canterbury’s persistent unwillingness to discipline TEC-even at the expense of Anglican Communion faith and order?

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Posted in Uncategorized

(WSJ) A Pain-Drug Champion Has Second Thoughts

It has been his life’s work. Now, Russell Portenoy appears to be having second thoughts.

Two decades ago, the prominent New York pain-care specialist drove a movement to help people with chronic pain. He campaigned to rehabilitate a group of painkillers derived from the opium poppy that were long shunned by physicians because of their addictiveness….

Opioids are also behind the country’s deadliest drug epidemic. More than 16,500 people die of overdoses annually, more than all illegal drugs combined.

Now, Dr. Portenoy and other pain doctors who promoted the drugs say they erred by overstating the drugs’ benefits and glossing over risks. “Did I teach about pain management, specifically about opioid therapy, in a way that reflects misinformation? Well, against the standards of 2012, I guess I did,” Dr. Portenoy said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “We didn’t know then what we know now.”

Read it all (this was also referenced in yesterday’s sermon by yours truly–KSH.

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

Lawsuit against Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Upper South Car. by wife of former Dean is Settled

The insurance company that represents Trinity Episcopal Cathedral will pay $75,000 to the wife of former Dean Philip C. Linder, to settle a civil lawsuit related to his ouster from the cathedral’s top post in July 2010.

Ellen Linder filed suit in Richland County in October 2011 against the cathedral and Bishop W. Andrew Waldo of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, claiming the church and bishop had inflicted emotional distress and defamed her during the Linders’ painful and public departure from the church.

The cathedral and the bishop had maintained there was no merit to the case.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts, TEC Parishes

Kendall Harmon's Sermon from Sunday–Heeding the Message from John the Baptist (Luke 3:8-17)

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A C.S. Lewis Scewtape Letters' Quote on Sin, Distraction and Spiritual Warfare for Advent


You seem to be doing very little good at present. The use of his “love” to distract his mind from the Enemy is, of course, obvious, but you reveal what poor use you are making of it when you say that the whole question of distraction and the wandering mind has now become one of the chief subjects of his prayers. That means you have largely failed. When this, or any other distraction, crosses his mind you ought to encourage him to thrust it away by sheer will power and to try to continue the normal prayer as if nothing had
happened; once he accepts the distraction as his present problem and lays that before the Enemy and makes it the main theme of his prayers and his endeavours, then, so far from doing good, you have done harm. Anything, even a sin, which has the total effect of moving him close up to the Enemy, makes against us in the long run….

Your affectionate uncle


C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Letter XXVII (emphasis mine), also quoted by yours truly in yesterday’s sermon

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

Nat Wyeth the Inventor Tells a story about his Brother Andrew Wyeth and the need for Preparation

(In the 16th chapter of this book Nathaniel Wyeth (who goes by Nat), engineer and inventor, responds to the interviewer and tells a story about on his brother, artist Andrew Wyeth–KSH)

Andy once did a picture. This is sort of an extension of what we’ve been talking about, but it’s indicative of the kind of training I’m talking about….Andy did a picture of Lafayette’s headquarters which is down here on Route One near Chadds Ford [a town in Pennsylvania]. It’s a beautiful, old building, built before the Revolutionary War, and in his picture was a huge sycamore tree coming up from behind the building with all its beautiful branches. You could see part of the trunk coming up over the roofline.

When I first saw the painting, he wasn’t quite finished with it. He showed me a lot of drawings of the trunk and the gnarled roots going into the ground, and and I said, “gee whiz, where’s that in the picture?” “It’s not in the picture, ” he said. And I looked at him.

“Nat,” he said, “for me to get the feeling that I want in that tree, the part of the tree that’s showing, I’ve got tounderstand and know very thoroughly how that tree is anchored to the ground in back of the house.” It never showed in the picture. But he could draw the part of the tree above the house with a lot more authenticity because he knew exactly the way that thing was anchored in the ground. Isn’t that remarkable?

To me, this was all very indicative of what my father [the illustrator N.C. Wyeth] trained into us in whatever we were doing: to understand what we were doing.

–Kenneth A. Brown, Inventors at Work: Interviews with 16 Notable American Inventors (Redmond, Wash.: Tempus Books, 1988), pp. 374-375, quoted by yours truly in yesterday’s sermon

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Advent, Anthropology, Art, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, History, Pastoral Theology, Science & Technology, Soteriology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Christ our God, who wilt come to judge the world in the manhood which thou hast assumed: We pray thee to sanctify us wholly, that in the day of thy coming we may be raised up to live and reign with thee for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.

–2 Peter 1:3-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Economist) Internet regulation–A digital cold war?

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has always prided itself on being one of the most pragmatic organisations of the United Nations. Engineers, after all, speak a similar language, regardless where they come from. Even during the cold war they managed to overcome their differences and negotiate the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR), a binding global treaty that even today governs telecommunications between countries.

But the internet seems to be an even more divisive than cold-war ideology. The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, where the ITU met to renegotiate the ITR, ended in failure in the early hours of December 14th. After a majority of countries approved the new treaty, Terry Kramer, the head of the American delegation, announced that his country is “not able to sign the document in its current form.” Shortly thereafter, at least a dozen countries””including Britain, Sweden and Japan””signalled that they would not support the new treaty either. (Update (December 14th, 3.20pm): Of the 144 countries which had the right to sign the new treaty in Dubai, only 89 have done so.)

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

(ENS) Presiding Bishop calls for prayer following the Connecticut tragedy

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, Violence

Cardinal Dolan Offers Prayers for Families, Victims of Connecticut School Shooting

The shooting tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut wrenches the hearts of all people. The tragedy of innocent people dying through violence shatters the peace of all.

At this time, we pledge especially our prayerful support to the Diocese of Bridgeport and the community of Newtown as they cope with this almost unbearable sorrow. We pray that the peace that passes understanding be with them as they deal with the injuries they have sustained and with the deaths of their beautiful children.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Education, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Violence

Episcopal minister Christopher Carlisle uses technology to knit together small communities of faith

A new ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts is described as “an eclectic expression of church that is as cutting edge as the moment and as ancient as first-century Palestine.”

The ministry, Clearstory Collective, says it seeks to reach out to college students and other young adults, homeless and otherwise marginalized people of faith who have become disaffected by the institutional church and who seek informal and often spontaneous faith communities. It is doing so through technology.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology