Daily Archives: April 19, 2013

Friday Afternoon Mental Health Break–Harrison Ford Won't Answer Star Wars Questions

Watch it all. LOLOL.

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

(WSJ) The Sanctity of Life, Even in a Test Tube

In the beginning, there was widespread concern that [Robert] Edwards’s in vitro technique would result in more children born with birth defects. When Louise Brown, the first “test tube” baby, was born healthy in 1978, these concerns evaporated, though questions of the long-term health of IVF children continue to be raised. As the original cohort ages, we should get clear answers one way or another.

The eminent bioethicist Leon Kass of the University of Chicago raised other concerns. IVF would, he feared, “lead to cloning, genetic manipulation of embryos, surrogate pregnancies, and the exploitation of nascent human life as a research tool.” For those like me who share Dr. Kass’s view of these practices as incompatible with respect for the dignity of human beings, these fears have proven to be well-grounded….

…the real question of “who is in charge” cannot be resolved by proving that something is technically possible. Rather it is whether it is right to or wrong””consistent with or contrary to the dignity of the human being””to do what it may well be technically possible to do. Edwards’s technical achievement has brought joy to millions of parents. And each life created, no matter how it was created, is inestimably precious and intrinsically good.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology, Theology

(Church Times) Committee member writes alternative marriage paper

The article by the Revd Dr Charlotte Methuen, a lecturer in church history at the University of Glasgow, entitled “Marriage: one man and one woman?”, was published on the Open Democracy website last Friday.

After a survey of the biblical and historical understanding of marriage, including observations about polygamy, the submission of women, and inequality, Dr Methuen writes: “I recognise that the Faith and Order Commission’s document offers one theological justification for the Church of England’s current position on marriage, but I cannot see marriage simply and uncritically as part of the ‘goods’ of creation. . .

“One of the flaws of our current conception of marriage may be precisely the emphasis on ‘one man and one woman’, which seems consistently to imply expectations about the role of women and men which tend to be biologically determinist, and which reach beyond the question of who is biologically capable of bearing children.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(Telegraph) Archbishop Welby backs law change to allow straight civil partnerships

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has signalled that he will back moves to change the law to allow straight couples to have civil partnerships.

He offered his support for a parliamentary amendment to the gay marriage bill during a landmark meeting with the veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell at Lambeth Palace.

It is thought to be the first time the head of a major world church has invited a prominent gay rights leader to a meeting. The Archbishop, who is from the evangelical wing of the Church which supports a traditional interpretation of the Bible on issues such as homosexuality, said he wanted to open a “dialogue” with gay and lesbian groups.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(Reuters) Anglican head holds talks on same-sex marriage with activist Peter Tatchell

Speaking at a makeshift news conference in the rain across the road from Lambeth Palace’s imposing red brick gatehouse with its big oak doors, Tatchell said their meeting was a breakthrough.

“Rowan Williams never invited me to Lambeth Palace but Justin Welby did,” Thatchell said. “He strikes me as someone who genuinely wants to listen and to have a dialogue.”

Welby faces the challenge of uniting the Anglican church, which during his predecessor’s decade in office risked tearing itself apart over same-sex marriages and the ordination of [partnered] gay priests.

Read it all and a press release from Mr. Tatchell is there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

As Paul Lamb takes up Tony Nicklinson's challenge, should our legal system grant the right to die?

Read it all from the Independent. There are two pieces, one for and one against.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(Boston Globe) One Boston Marathon bombing suspect killed, another at large

The search for one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects — the man seen wearing a white baseball cap — this morning led to the sudden shutdown of the MBTA’s entire network of commuter rail, bus, and subway services.

State authorities also asked people who live in Watertown, Waltham, Newton, Belmont, Cambridge, and Allston-Brighton to stay home and for businesses in those cities and towns to stay closed.

“We are asking you to stay indoors, to stay in your homes for the time being,’’ Kurt Schwartz, who leads the state’s homeland security department, said at a 6 a.m. press conference today. “We are asking business in those areas to cooperate and not open today until we can provide further guidance.’’

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Politics in General, The U.S. Government, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Alphege

O loving God, whose martyr bishop Alphege of Canterbury suffered violent death because he refused to permit a ransom to be extorted from his people: Grant, we pray thee, that all pastors of thy flock may pattern themselves on the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep; through him who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, the glory of thy saints, who being above all, and through all, and in all, dost yet accept the prayer of the contrite: Grant that we, being hallowed in mind, fervent in spirit, and chaste in body, may offer to thee this day the pure sacrifice of hearts uplifted in thy praise, and lives devoted to thy service; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture 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!

–Psalm 105:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Boston Globe) FBI releases images of two Boston Marathon Bombing suspects

The FBI today released photos and video of two suspects in the deadly Boston Marathon terror bombings case, appealing to the public to help law enforcement officials find them.

“Somebody out there knows these individuals,” said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office. He said the two men are considered “armed and dangerous.”

DesLauriers described the two men as Suspect No. 1 and Suspect No. 2. Suspect No. 1 was wearing a dark hat. Suspect No. 2 was wearing a white hat.

DesLauriers said Suspect No. 2 was observed planting a bomb, leaving it in place shortly before it went off.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Science & Technology, Terrorism, The U.S. Government, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

'Mistrust and suspicion is not holy,' says Archbishop Welby

Archbishop Justin said damage caused by the financial crisis in 2008, which has severely undermined trust in society, may take “a generation” to repair.

This negativity has crept into the church, he said, citing last year’s synod debate on women bishops as an example. We have a culture where it is assumed that “if one person is in favour of something they must be bitterly against everything else,” he said.

“If we start with mistrust, our capacity to cope with events becomes crippled, inadequate, impossible.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Western Mass. Episcopal bishop joins other clergy in opposing Worcester slots parlor

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, which includes Worcester and surrounding communities, said today that he is against the proposal to locate at $200 million slots parlor on the former Wyman-Gordon Co. parcel in Green Island.

“For those who have little, the illusory chance that they can gain much, even in a game stacked against them, is tempting and ultimately destructive,” said Bishop Douglas J. Fisher. “Our churches stand with the economically poor of our society, and that always means taking a stand against gambling establishments in our cities.”

Bishop Fisher is the latest prominent church leader to take a stand against the proposal.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Poverty, TEC Bishops, Theology