Daily Archives: January 22, 2013

Albert Mohler–Forty Years After Roe, Human Dignity Hangs in the Balance

Those who thought that the decision of the Supreme Court would settle the issue had reason for that hope. On other controversial questions, the court’s rulings had produced initial furor and outrage, but the nation rather quickly accommodated itself to those decisions. Take integration in public schools.

Not so with abortion.

Why? Professor Lawrence H. Tribe of the Harvard Law School, an ardent defender of abortion rights, recognized that the abortion question presents nothing less than a “clash of absolutes.”

Tribe attempted to propose a means of avoiding “pitting these absolutes against one another.” All such efforts have failed, precisely because the competing claims are indeed absolutes.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Religion & Culture, Theology

Cranmer: The Act of Settlement and Constitutional Terrorism

Today, an amendment to the Act of Settlement is being rushed through the House of Commons by means usually reserved for emergency terrorism legislation. The imminent royal baby appears to represent a threat to the Coalition’s equality agenda every bit as serious as that posed by al-Qaeda to the safety and security of the free world. There will be minimal debate and negligible scrutiny; a Commons guillotine and wave at a committee.

What Cameron and Clegg fail to realise (if, indeed they understand anything of the Constitution at all), is that those who campaign to end the ban on a Roman Catholic monarchy by focusing on the Act of Settlement are on a wild goose chase. That Act was passed by the old English parliament, which ceased to exist in 1707. The Act was also arguably incompetent, since the English parliament could not unilaterally decide on the British Regal Union of 1603-1707. The Scottish parliament recognised this fact, and deliberately countered the Act of Settlement with a Scottish settlement Act – the Act of Security of 1704.

The Act of Settlement 1701 was superseded by the Treaty of Union 1707, which, in Article 2, also prohibits Roman Catholics ‘and persons marrying Papists’ from ascending the Throne of the United Kingdom. The Treaty of Union 1707 is the founding charter of the United Kingdom. Tamper with this, and the Union itself is imperilled.

It has been observed that Scottish unionist politicians do not want this truth out. They fear making Scots aware that the United Kingdom is the creature of a treaty between two equal parliaments: a living, legal document, capable of amendment and adjustment to contemporary needs.

These are the unspoken ”˜constitutional ripples’ so feared by Donald Dewar. This is why successive prime ministers of the United Kingdom and unionist Scottish secretaries of state had no intention of ending the ban on the Monarch either being a Roman Catholic or married to one, and why they were quite happy to let historically-ignorant and politically-ill-informed people continue harping on about the Act of Settlement 1701.

Until Cameron and Clegg came to power..

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See also: BBC: Royal succession: MPs debating changes, Adrian Hilton: The Coalition rides roughshod over the Constitution, Telegraph: An unseemly rush to alter the succession, and Spectator: The Succession to the Crown Bill is a constitutional can of worms

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

CofE: Meeting of House of Laity – Leicester Cathedral Attempt to depose Dr Giddings on Friday Fails

THIRD UPDATE: This post updated with items on T19 after debate concluded in bold below

SECOND UPDATE: Audio of the Debate is now available to listen to here, can be downloaded here and the twitter feed is #HofLaity

UPDATE: Motion of No Confidence Fails: For – 47; Against – 80; Abstentions – 13.

From the CofE Media Office daily briefing for Friday, January 18th, 2013. This post will be updated during the day.

Meeting of the House of Laity on Friday January 18th

The documents relating to today’s meeting of the House of Laity at 1.30pm [9:30 am EST] are available here:

To listen online live go to:
Papers issued for the Meeting
Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney’s Motion of no confidence in the Chair of the House of Laity [HL(13)01A]
Unedited transcript of Dr Giddings’s speech [HL(13)01B]

Background posts from T19:
(York Press) Leicester Cathedral Dean moved to York gives Interview, December 21, 2012 at 8:29 am
Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney attempts to Depose Dr Giddings over women bishops December 21, 2012 at 8:40 am
Peter Ould Rebuts Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney’s Deposition Attempt, December 21, 2012 at 9:11 am
Bishop Pete Broadbent Comments on Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney’s Confidence Motion, December 21, 2012 at 11:37 am
The Rev John Richardson: How Much to Go After Philip Giddings?, January 15, 2013 at 6:09 am
AAC: Canon Chris Sugden on the CofE Laity Meeting on Friday, January 16, 2013 at 9:01 am
+Justin Welby’s Response to Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney’s Attack on Dr Giddings, January 19, 2013 at 8:28 am
(Ang. C. Inst.) Andrew Goddard””Bishops and Civil Partnerships II: Still More Questions Than Answers, January 19, 2013 at 11:31 am
(Church Times) House of Laity bid to oust Philip Giddings fails, January 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm
(CEN) House of Laity Chair survives vote of no confidence, January 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm
CofE Lay Synod Member Sarah Finch Reports from the floor of the House of Laity debate, January 21, 2013 at 8:09 am
Cranmer on Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney’s Daughter’s Report for Channel 4 News, January 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Austin, Texas, church will offer Episcopal same-sex blessing

St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin will bless a same-sex couple next month, possibly becoming the first Episcopal church in Texas to perform the groundbreaking liturgical rite….

Texas does not recognize same-sex unions, and the Episcopal Church stressed that the new rite does not “create or solemnize” any marriage, civil union or legal relationship.
Episcopal churches must request permission from the bishop and then complete a study program to offer same-sex blessings, according to Carol Barnwell, a spokeswoman for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
Barnwell said the bishop authorized St. David’s and St. Stephen’s to first offer the rite to see what the church could learn about improving the process through their experiences. She said she expected only about a handful of Episcopal churches, out of 153 in the diocese, will request permission to perform the ceremony.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sexuality, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

M. Zuhdi Jasser–America Must Protect Religious Freedom Abroad

In the U.S., I learned that whether I am in the minority or the majority, the only way to realize religious freedom is to live in a society where its governmental laws are based in reason and government stays out of the business of determining which religious legalisms are righteous. There are sadly hundreds to thousands more cases like these of courageous religious minorities and also dissident Sunni and Shiite Muslims from within the majority in countries like Egypt and Iran who are at the tip of the spear. They are often alone cutting through the battle raging inside the soul of Islam and Muslim communities across the world.

As leaders of the free world, our nation can choose to abandon these canaries in the Islamist coal mine or we can lift up their plights as beacons of freedom that can ultimately defeat Islamism. It is time to call out the governmental oppressors of innocents like Nadia Mohammed Ali in Egypt or Saeed Abedini in Iran for what they are–ruthless fascist theocrats (Islamists) who use religion as a tool to destroy the spirit of their citizenry.

If the United States stands for anything we need to vigorously and consistently stand for the protection of religious freedom abroad that is not only enshrined in our own founding documents, but in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which we are supposed to protect.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Other Faiths, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Notable and Quotable

Mormons consider it ironic that they believe in such core Christian beliefs as the Virgin Birth, the Atonement, and the Resurrection and yet are not considered Christian by some of their fellow believers, whereas many mainline Christians who no longer hold such beliefs are considered so.

–Bob Rees in an RNS opinion piece last year responding to the NY Times Op-ed from David Mason entitled “I’m a Mormon, Not a Christian”

Posted in Christology, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

Russell Moore–Happy 100th Birthday Carl F.H. Henry

Just after World War II, Henry, then a young rising star in the Christian firmament, issued a jarring manifesto calling for a theologically-informed and socially-engaged evangelicalism. [Carl] Henry warned that American Christianity, on the Right and on the Left, was headed for irrelevance, toward being the equivalent of a wilderness cult. His agenda wasn’t simply an updating of style and presentation (although he had written a book on church publicity). The issues at root were about misguided views on the kingdom of God.

He was right. And he still is.

Henry was concerned about two fronts: detached fundamentalism and social gospel liberalism. The liberals, Henry insisted, had replaced the gospel with a political program. Instead of seeing the primary mission of the church in terms of God’s reconciling work in Christ to forgive sins, the liberals were busy grinding out policy papers on nuclear policy. Liberals saw the kingdom as a program for public righteousness, often enacted legislatively.

At the other extreme, though, Henry warned, conservatives over-reacted to the social gospel. They spoke of the kingdom of God, but acted as though it were wholly future.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Tony Campolo on Steve Chalke's recent Announcement on Committed, Faithful, Same-Sex Relationships

Those of us who will have to deal with what Steve Chalke has said need not necessarily agree with his theology or biblical hermeneutic to affirm the truth that he boldly declares, which is that the Church cannot afford to go on alienating the youth of the nation by the way it treats gay people.

For my own part, I remain conservative on the issue, but I agree with Steve that the attitudes of many churches are homophobic and cruel. Whether or not we change our positions on accepting same-sex relationships or even gay marriage, we Evangelicals have to face the reality that the time has come for many of us to change our attitudes towards gay people, and show something of the love and grace of God in the name of His Son Jesus.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Big Mere Anglicanism 2013 Conference This week; we ask for your prayers

You can find the speakers and agenda here and there. You all know enough about a conference like this to know that there is much more to it than simply the presentations. Please pray for the speakers travel and ministry here (a number are serving in Sunday worship after the conference locally), the time to develop new friendships and renew old ones, for the Bishop and his wife Allison in their hosting capacity, and especially for the the Rev. Jeffrey Miller of Beaufort, who has the huge responsibility of coordinating it all–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Christology, Globalization, Theology

Tuesday Morning Mental Health Break–Cat Meets Snow

Watch it all–such fun.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

Kendall Harmon's Sermon from Sunday–Learning about Faith from the Miracle at Cana (John 2:1-11)

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Scripture

After breaking his neck in a fall, a former Episcopal Bishop of Albany faces a spiritual fight

For more than 50 years, Bishop David Ball has visited the sick and dying in local hospitals, offering them healing prayers, a gentle touch and often a funny story to cheer them up.

Now, after a fall in July that broke the 86-year-old Episcopal prelate’s neck but not his spirit, he finds himself in the unaccustomed position of being on the receiving end of so much proffered grace.

“I’m grateful and amazed by the kindness and skill of the care I’m receiving here,” Ball said Friday afternoon at Albany Medical Center Hospital during a pause in a physical therapy session

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Health & Medicine, TEC Bishops

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Vincent

Almighty God, whose deacon Vincent, upheld by thee, was not terrified by threats nor overcome by torments: Strengthen us, we beseech thee, to endure all adversity with invincible and steadfast faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, the giver of strength and joy: Change, we beseech thee, our bondage into liberty, and the poverty of our nature into the riches of thy grace; that by the transformation of our lives thy glory may be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

–Psalm 26:8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture