Daily Archives: April 11, 2013

(Reuters) Jack Lew says U.S. still opposed to financial transaction tax

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, England / UK, Europe, Stock Market, Taxes, The U.S. Government

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard–Financial Transaction Tax is crazy for Europe, and economic war against UK

France’s experiment with the Tobin Tax has proved a spectacular flop. Its finance ministry admits that the scattershot levy on financial transactions has raised just a third of the money expected since August.

Total takings will be a paltry €800m in 2013, but that overlooks the much greater damage inflicted on French finance, industry and the government’s own tax base. “France is shooting itself in the foot,” said Paul-Henri de La Porte du Theil, head of French finance industry AFG.

Jean-Yves Hocher from Crédit Agricole said it would cost his company €17bn. One French banker told Les Echos that the tax was “a weapon of mass destruction that is going to ruin our financial sector”.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Europe, France, Stock Market, Taxes

Charles Pope–A Prominent TEC Leader Denies the Need for the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus

It was sad to read the public comments of the Episcopal Bishop of Washington denying the importance, or need for the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, going so far as to imply this teaching was “outlandish. ” More on that in a moment, but first some background.

Some time ago I brought a former Episcopalian into the Catholic Church who, after the Rite of Reception gave a great sigh of relief and said, “I know the Catholic Church is not without problems, but at least I know the Bishops actually hold the Christian faith. It is such a relief to be in the harbor of truth.”

I remember at the time wondering with him if that wasn’t a bit of an exaggeration of how bad things were in the Episcopalian denomination (this was about 1990). But he showed me a scrapbook of article after article of dozens of Episcopal “Bishops” denying quite publicly the divinity of Christ, the Virgin birth, the miracles of Jesus, that there was any inherent conflict between Christianity and Unitarianism, etc., not to mention a plethora aberrant moral stances.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eschatology, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, TEC Bishops, Theology

Fremont, California, Presbyterian's schism divides congregation – but they still share sacred spaces

More than 200 Presbyterian congregations nationwide – including nine in Sacramento – have been torn asunder over the Presbyterian Church USA’s new rules and the ordination of its first [noncelibate] gay minister, who is a former Sacramento pastor. The rift has resulted in lawsuits, sold churches, broken friendships and scattered congregations.

In a historic vote in October 2011, 427 Fremont Presbyterian congregants voted to leave the national denomination while 164 voted to stay. At the time, the 128-year-old congregation had about 1,200 members.

The vote prompted a church investigation into the schism to determine which faction was entitled to the church property valued at $9 million.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology

Battling Leukemia, the St. John the Divine Episcopal rector in Ruskin, Florida, decides to retire

[Tracy] Wilder, who arrived at St. John’s Ruskin campus in 2001, experienced an abrupt and unexpected role reversal in September. The man who spent his life caring for others learned he had leukemia. Enduring months of intensive chemotherapy, he became reliant on nurses and doctors, on the love of his wife and the kindness of parishioners.

Though hopeful his cancer may go into remission, Wilder, 67, announced in March he is retiring from St. John.

“It’s no fun,” he said. “There is a terrible sense of loss. It’s painful. But I can look back on the last 12 years and feel good about a lot of things.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

From the Do Not Take Yourself too Seriously Department– Reasons My Son Is Crying

Absolutely, positively not to be missed–read it all and enjoy all the wonderful pictures (Hat tip: AH).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Children, Humor / Trivia, Marriage & Family

A Prayer for the Feast Day of George Augustus Selwyn

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant George Augustus Selwyn, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the peoples of New Zealand and Melanesia, and to lay a firm foundation for the growth of thy Church in many nations. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land evangelists and heralds of thy kingdom, that thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who by the glorious resurrection of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ hast destroyed death, and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, being raised together with him, may know the comfort and strength of his presence, and rejoice in hope of thy everlasting glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be dominion and praise for ever and ever.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

–Psalm 18:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Reuters) See-through brains promise to clear up mental mysteries

If Dr Karl Deisseroth were an architect, he might be replacing stone or brick walls with floor-to-ceiling glass to build transparent houses. But since he is a neuroscientist at Stanford University, he has done the biological equivalent: invented a technique to make brains transparent, a breakthrough that should give researchers a truer picture of the pathways underlying both normal mental function and neurological illnesses from autism to Alzheimer’s. In fact, the first human brain the scientists clarified came from someone with autism.

Deisseroth and his colleagues reported in the online edition of the journal Nature on Wednesday that they had developed a way to replace the opaque tissue in brains (harvested from lab mice or donated by people for research) with “hydrogel,” a substance similar to that used for contact lenses.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

(NPR) El Paso Schools Cheating Scandal Probes Officials' Accountability

No one knows if Atlanta’s school superintendent or any of the people accused of falsifying test results will go to jail, but they wouldn’t be the first if they do.

Lorenzo Garcia, the former superintendent of schools in El Paso, Texas, has been sitting in a federal prison since last year. He’s the nation’s first superintendent convicted of fraud and reporting bogus test scores for financial gain.

Now, the school district is in turmoil and everybody is blaming everybody else for the scandal.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Theology

The TEC Bishop Of Washington on Easter: "We don’t know what happened to Jesus after his death"

Someone once asked me if I thought the resurrection was necessary. He meant it in the most sincere way, as a person of both faith and doubt who wondered if we needed to be bound by so unreasonable a proposition that Jesus’ tomb was, in fact, empty on that first Easter morning.

I hesitated in answering, because there seemed to be layers of argument behind the question. My answer was yes, resurrection is the foundation of Christian faith, but probably not in the way he meant it.

To say that resurrection is essential doesn’t mean that if someone were to discover a tomb with Jesus’ remains in it that the entire enterprise would come crashing down. The truth is that we don’t know what happened to Jesus after his death, anymore than we can know what will happen to us. What we do know from the stories handed down is how Jesus’ followers experienced his resurrection. What we know is how we experience resurrection ourselves.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eschatology, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(The State) South Carolina Episcopal dispute may play out in two courts

An official with the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina said Monday he believes the dispute over who has the right to claim the centuries-old diocese name and properties in the Lowcountry should be decided in state court, not federal.

“We believe the issues belong in state court,” the Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary, said. “We certainly have plenty of state precedent in our favor….”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Baroness Thatcher ”˜gave us a backbone’ ”“ Lord Carey leads religious leaders' tributes

Lord Carey, who was appointed as leader of the Church of England during Lady Thatcher’s time in Downing Street, said that while there would be disagreement about politics, her time in office “transformed” the UK.
The current Archbishop of canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said faith has “inspired and sustained” Britain’s only female Prime Minister.
Meanwhile the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, who first knew Margaret Thatcher when she was his local MP in north London, said she was a “giant” who was one of the few people to leave a “personal imprint” on the country.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(USA Today) Kirsten Powers–Middle East Christians need our protection

“Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world.” So asserted German Chancellor Angela Merkel late last year, causing a stir. Merkel echoed a concern expressed by then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who warned in a 2011 speech that Christians face a “particularly wicked program of cleansing in the Middle East, religious cleansing.”

Now, this is not about clerks who say “Happy Holidays” or bans of nativity scenes in public schools. Merkel spoke of real persecution of hundreds of millions of Christians around the world. Indeed, a 2011 Pew Forum study found that Christians are harassed in 130 countries, more than any of the world’s other religions.

The just-released book Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians provides the gory details behind these statistics….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

Men and Women in Marriage – new document from Faith and Order Commission

The Church of England’s view of the long-established meaning of marriage has been outlined in a new report – “Men and Women in Marriage” – published this week by the Church’s Faith and Order Commission.

The publication includes a foreword from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York which commends the document for study. The report sets out the continued importance and rationale for the Church’s understanding of marriage as reflected in the 1,000 marriage services conducted by the Church of England every week.

The document also seeks to provide “a more positive background on how Christians have understood and valued marriage” arguing that marriage “continues to provide the best context for the raising of children”.

Read it all and take the time to look at the full report.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Marriage & Family