Daily Archives: April 21, 2013

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Religious Responses to Boston Bombing

CHAPLAIN MARY LOU VON EUEW (Tufts Medical Center): She said “the hardest thing about this is that some human beings can treat other human beings like this. I just don’t understand it.”

[KIM] LAWTON: Indeed, Von Euew says, after a tragedy like the bombing, clergy often hear age old questions about the nature of good and evil, suffering and the existence of a loving God.

VON EUEW: You know most of the time people deep down inside aren’t asking for an answer. They’re asking for you to fight and wrestle with the questions with them. We truly believe that God is with us when it happens, so we’re not suffering alone, that we have someone with us who loves us beyond all measure.

Watch or read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theodicy, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(The State) South Carolina jobless rate hits more than 4-year low

South Carolina’s job market is on the brink of widespread recovery, reaching the lowest unemployment rate last month in four and a half years, economists said Friday.

The state’s jobless rate dipped to 8.4 percent in March from 8.6 percent in February, with every county in the state showing improvement, according to a report from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. The national rate fell to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

Local paper–Two views on the same-sex marriage debate

Editor’s Note: The gay marriage debate has reached an apex nationally as the U.S. Supreme Court considers two cases that could expand the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples and extend a large set of rights, benefits and privileges to such couples. The court’s decisions are expected this summer. In the meantime, The Post and Courier has invited two local clergy to share their views on the matter.

Read them both.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Lutheran, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Reuters) Edward Hadas–Make business ethics less boring

[Archbishop Vincent] Nichols is hardly alone ”“ and not wrong ”“ in worrying that some businesses have ethical problems. The concern explains why business ethics has become a standard part of the curriculum in MBA programmes, and the existence of numerous initiatives to promote corporate social responsibility and other virtues. The main problem with these worthy efforts is blandness: it’s not clear what business ethics classes are supposed to teach or what, for example, should be the aim of the Westminster archdiocese’s programme “A Blueprint for Better Business”.

One possibility is that ethical instruction should induce qualms. Moral training might have restrained the captains of finance from excessive bets and pay demands before and after the 2009 crisis, but I doubt it.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Theology

(BP) Southwestern Seminary looks to end tenure

President Paige Patterson made the recommendation to the board to end tenure at Southwestern, one of six seminaries affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Following Patterson’s recommendation, Charles E. (Eddie) Miller, a trustee from Nevada and director of missions for the Sierra Baptist Association in Reno, made a motion stating, “Believing that the majority of trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary agree in principle with the cessation of tenure for this institution, I move that the Bylaws and Policies Committee bring revisions to cease future extension of tenure to the fall 2013 trustee meeting.”

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, Other Churches, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(Washington Post) Robert Samuelson–The long odds on tax reform

At this time of year, when most Americans have just filed their returns, exasperation with the income tax system reaches a peak. Hardly anyone denies it’s a complex mess. In 2010, calculating their taxes cost Americans $168 billion, estimates the Taxpayer Advocate Service of the Internal Revenue Service. That’s about 15 percent of taxes collected ”” a heavy overhead. Almost 60 percent of taxpayers pay accountants or other tax preparers. Public esteem for the tax system is low; in a 2011 Pew poll, 55 percent judged it unfair. Disaffection was fairly even politically: 47 percent among Republicans, 58 percent among Democrats and 56 percent among independents.

So “tax reform” ought to be a cinch, right? Well, no.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Blaze guts historic Sydney Anglican church

An historic Anglican church in Sydney’s inner west has been gutted by fire.

Authorities say Dulwich Hill’s Holy Trinity Church has been severely damaged by the blaze that broke out in the early hours of Sunday.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

(IPT News) Bombing Suspects Lauded Jihad

While police in and around Boston hunt for celebrate the capture of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, information gathered from various social media outlets indicate that he and his brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, harbored radical Islamic beliefs.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning; who abidest steadfast as the stars of heaven: Give us grace to rest upon thy eternal changelessness, and in thy faithfulness find peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee. So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name. My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips, when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night; for thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy.

–Psalm 63:3-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Weekly Radio Addresses on Boston Today (II)–South Carolina Senator Tim Scott

This week, on Patriot’s Day, a day that celebrates the beginning of our country’s journey toward freedom, a horrific tragedy occurred.

The Boston Marathon bombing has left us all with a heavy heart and we pray for the victims and their families.

However, while the perpetrators of this act of terror hoped that they could shake the confidence of a city, they have instead only strengthened the resolve of our nation….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Politics in General, Senate, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Weekly Radio Addresses on Boston Today (I)–President Obama

On Monday, an act of terror wounded dozens and killed three innocent people at the Boston Marathon.

But in the days since, the world has witnessed one sure and steadfast truth: Americans refuse to be terrorized.

Ultimately, that’s what we’ll remember from this week. That’s what will remain. Stories of heroism and kindness; resolve and resilience; generosity and love….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(NY Times) Finding Refuge From the Egyptian Unrest at a Queens, New York, Church

Just how many Copts have fled to the United States no one can say with certainty, since immigration statistics do not include religious affiliation. But the number of Egyptians seeking asylum has jumped since the revolution; in 2011, 1,028 Egyptians were given asylum ”” 4.1 percent of all of those granted asylum ”” up from 531 in 2010, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics. With that increase, Egypt ranked fourth on the list of countries whose citizens were given asylum in the United States….

For Copts in Egypt, church is more than just a place to go on Sunday mornings; it is the center of their social life outside the family. For Copts newly outside Egypt, the church is a familiar oasis in a strange country.

“It is our church everywhere,” said Gameel Girgis, a 36-year-old pharmacist who came to the United States in October to seek asylum with his wife and two children after his father-in-law, a priest in the central Egyptian city of Asyut, was stabbed to death. When he searched for a place to live, “my first consideration was distance from the church,” Mr. Girgis said, adding, “I want to raise my kids in the church.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, Egypt, Marriage & Family, Middle East, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(The State) Parents should gain “media wisdom,” Christian movie critic says

Hollywood movie critic and author Theodore “Ted” Baehr came to Columbia this week with the hope of persuading Christian parents and children they have a moral obligation to take on the popular culture moguls who traffic in sex and violence in movies, video games and online entertainment.

Baehr has spent a lifetime teaching, writing and lecturing on the importance of spreading Christian values on the widescreen. He has challenged the movie industry through his biblically based movie reviews to recognize that there is money to be made in family-oriented movies.

“I’ve often said we need more Christians in Hollywood and less Hollywood in Christians,” Baehr, the son of a television actor, said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture