Daily Archives: January 21, 2014

(RNS) This year’s March for Life reaches a new group: Evangelicals

Evangelicals are the most likely religious group to say that abortion should be illegal in all cases. So why would organizers of the March for Life, the annual demonstration on the Washington Mall, hire someone to reach out to that group?

The 41st march, scheduled for Wednesday (Jan. 22), has traditionally had a strong Catholic presence, with priests and nuns marching on or around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Its founder, Nellie Gray, who died in 2012, was Roman Catholic, as well as is her successor, Jeanne Monahan.

“The march has a very Catholic feel to it with lots of rosaries, Virgin Marys and crucifixes,” said Jon Shields, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College. “It hasn’t been particularly savvy about reaching broader audiences.”]

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(FT) Brian Groom–Automatons and computers should soon be able to diagnose fraud or illness

If the new wave of supersmart robots and computers is as clever as people say, will they be any more able than humans are to answer the question of whether these automatons will destroy everyone’s jobs?

This issue has been subject to fierce debate in the US, where the economy has never generated so few jobs in an upturn since records began. It has been less debated in Britain, probably because the country has so far experienced a low-productivity recovery in which employers have preferred hiring low-wage workers to investing in technology.

That could be temporary, however: there are signs that productivity may be starting to pick up. The robots issue has global implications.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Science & Technology, Theology

(Bloomberg) Peter Gumbel–Francois Hollande’s Tryst and the End of Marriage

There is nothing new about French presidents having lovers, nor about the media storm that ensues when their liaisons are exposed. What has changed in France, however, are basic notions about family values and what constitutes the norm in personal relationships….

Hollande is living proof of this shift in attitudes: He took office as the first president not to be married to his partner, who moved into the Elysee with him. He has four children from a previous partner, Segolene Royal, to whom he wasn’t married, either. His current partner, Valerie Trierweiler, has three children from her second marriage. Hollande’s predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, has two sons from his first wife, another son from the second, whom he divorced shortly after taking office in 2007. He also has a young daughter with his current wife, Carla Bruni, whom he married in 2008.

Unlike in the U.S., such nontraditional arrangements enjoy wide acceptance in France. In a poll taken before the latest revelations about Hollande, 91 percent of French voters said they simply don’t care about the family lives or sexual preferences of their politicians.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, France, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

David Lapp–Restoring the Lost Tradition of Thrift

The Institute for American Values’ new report The Way to Wealth, coinciding with the celebration of National Thrift Week, aims to combat the wealth-education gap. (Full disclosure: my wife, Amber, was the lead writer on the report, and it draws a few stories from our research with young adults in Ohio.) The report proposes four rules a person can follow to attain what Benjamin Franklin described as a “modest fortune”: work hard and honestly, spend less than you earn, give back as much as you can, and have a plan. It addresses common objections, like “I need more than a dead-end job,” and notes that working hard and showing up on time, even at the least glamorous jobs, help one to win trust and build a reputation. It says that giving back with your money and time is an important part of the way to wealth, because “it’s a way to be a part of a ”˜we’ rather than ”˜me,’” and because even the hardest workers sometimes suffer setbacks in life. We hear a lot today about the many forces working against poor and working-class young adults, but the report proposes steps anyone can take to begin pursuing financial stability.

Of course, restoring the financial stability of the “lottery class” will take more than those four rules””for instance, employers must take seriously their responsibility to their employees. And America’s thrift leaders usually had something to say about that, too. For instance, S.W. Straus, the early twentieth-century Chicago realty financier who helped to start the first National Thrift Week in 1916, established a profit-sharing program for his employees. Philadelphia’s John Wannamaker did the same, and also created for his employees a benefits association, savings programs, and a free library.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

Djokovic knocked out of Australian Open by Wawrinka

9-7 in the fifth set.

Many congratulations to Stanislas Wawrinka.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Men, Sports

(Gallup) Many Baby Boomers Reluctant to Retire

True to their “live to work” reputation, some baby boomers are digging in their heels at the workplace as they approach the traditional retirement age of 65. While the average age at which U.S. retirees say they retired has risen steadily from 57 to 61 in the past two decades, boomers — the youngest of whom will turn 50 this year — will likely extend it even further. Nearly half (49%) of boomers still working say they don’t expect to retire until they are 66 or older, including one in 10 who predict they will never retire.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Medicare, Middle Age, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Psychology, Social Security, Stock Market, The U.S. Government, Theology

Doug Born–Hot Dogs for the Homeless–Skeptic’s Challenge Leads to Ministry in Charleston, S.C.

I was a senior at the College of Charleston (CofC) when a few friends and I started the “Hot Dog Ministry” as it became known. It began with a few like-minded Christians with the vision of simply loving people and showing them Jesus Christ through our actions.

The idea first came to me when I ran into a non-Christian friend on the campus of CofC. We met over a cup of coffee and began discussing his issues with Christianity. The main thing that he shared with me was that he could not understand or ever agree with a religion that preached such strong messages,but spent so much time doing nothing to help the people in need living around them. He said that he didn’t understand why Christians dedicated an hour or more every week to sitting in
cushioned chairs with their latte’s and Sunday best only to accomplish the task of leaving and feeling better about themselves. He proposed the idea that Christians who really believed what they preached should be out in the streets on Sunday morning, sharing Christ with the lost and helping those who needed it most.

This conversation penetrated my heart and God began to call me to the streets, away from comfort. God told me during my time of prayer to simply step out and He would reveal His vision in Charleston….

Read it all (page `0).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Poverty, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Aljazeera) Egypt's Anglicans hopeful despite tough times

Last summer, as unrest raged in Cairo, Egypt’s small Anglican community started looking for a way out. One family made for Canada, another went to Australia, and several emigrated to the United States.

As exoduses go, Anglican emigration has been small compared to the torrent of fleeing Coptic Orthodox migrants, but with approximately 3000-4000 congregants, the Anglican Church’s problems over the past few years have mirrored those of the wider Christian population.

When modern Egypt’s worst bout of sectarian violence erupted in August, few Anglicans were left untouched by the fallout. Two of the Anglican community’s 15 churches were attacked, while only the timely arrival of the army spared a third, and those inside it, from an irate mob intent on setting it alight.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Coptic Church, Egypt, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology, Violence

A Kendall Harmon Sermon on Sanctity of Life Sunday

Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it
there (using the button which says “download” underneath the link which says “listen”).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos bring NFL’s top defense, offense to the big game

Even before celebrating fans honked their car horns late into the night on downtown streets here, Seattle Seahawks’ players and coaches began to turn their thoughts to the highly intriguing Super Bowl matchup that’s now at hand.

The league’s top-ranked defense this season will face its leading offense when the Seahawks square off with quarterback Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2 in the sport’s first New York-area Super Bowl. The stage couldn’t be any bigger, and the pairing of teams couldn’t be much more attractive.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Big Mere Anglicanism 2014 Conference This week; we ask for your prayers

You can find the speakers brief bios here and the conference schedule there 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 and his assisting staff, who has the huge responsibility of coordinating it all–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Apologetics, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Agnes

Almighty and everlasting God, who dost choose those whom the world deemeth powerless to put the powerful to shame: Grant us so to cherish the memory of thy youthful martyr Agnes, that we may share her pure and steadfast faith in thee; 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

O thou who sendest forth the light, createst the morning, and makest the sun to rise on the good and the evil: Enlighten the blindness of our minds with the knowledge of the truth; lift up the light of thy countenance upon us, that in thy light we may see light, and, at the last, in the light of grace the light of glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626)

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

From the Morning Bible 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

(WSJ) U.S. Expects U.N. to 'Rescind' Invitation to Iran

Senior U.S. officials said Monday they expect the United Nations to rescind its invitation to Iran to attend an international conference on Syria this week, and said prospects for the talks in Switzerland now are uncertain.

The officials said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had discussed the issue of Iran’s invitation with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over the weekend and was insistent that Tehran must publicly endorse terms set out for the Geneva conference more than 18 months ago.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Middle East, Politics in General, Science & Technology

([London] Times) Peter Franklin–If we don’t care, we will legalise euthanasia

We can…make a direct comparison to the experience of other countries. For instance, Belgium legalised the practice in 2002. In 2003, the official figures show that 235 Belgians were euthanised, but since then the numbers have grown every year and now stand at around 1,400. Next door in the Netherlands, the number of cases has doubled over the past decade ”” and now accounts for about 1 in 30 deaths. Crucially, these don’t just include people with terminal illnesses. Definitions of unbearable suffering now extend to mental and emotional distress. Psychiatric patients are among those helped to die by Dutch physicians.
The lesson from the Low Countries is that if we legalise euthanasia then step by step it becomes normalised. Definitions will be stretched, restrictions will be reinterpreted and safeguards will be lowered.
Unfortunately there really are greedy people who”˜ll hint to vulnerable relatives that they’re becoming a burden but the greater danger is this: What was once unthinkable will become just one of many medical options ”” and probably the cheapest.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Alcohol/Drinking, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture