Daily Archives: April 26, 2014

7/10 Australians believe a child needs to grow up in a home w both a mother and father to be happy

Seven out of 10 Australians believe a child needs to grow up in a home with both a mother and father to be happy, despite growing acceptance of single parents.

The latest World Family Map, produced by the US Child Trends research organisation, found Australians were more progressive than Asian and Middle Eastern families but not as liberal as Europeans.

While two-parent families are still the norm around the world, a quarter of children in the US, Britain and New Zealand grow up with a single parent compared with 18 per cent in Australia.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Children, Marriage & Family, Sociology

Tom Wright–Only Love Believes: The Resurrection of Jesus and the Constraints of History

The Christian claim from the beginning was that the question of Jesus’s resurrection was a question, not of the internal mental and spiritual states of his followers a few days after his crucifixion, but about something that had happened in the real, public world.

This “something” left, not just an empty tomb, but a broken loaf at Emmaus and footprints in the sand by the lake among its physical mementoes. It also left his followers with a lot of explaining to do, but with a transformed worldview which is only explicable on the assumption that something really did happen, even though it stretched their existing worldviews to breaking point.

What I want to do here is to examine this early Christian claim, to ask what can be said about it historically, and to enquire, more particularly, what sort of “believing” we are talking about when we ask whether we – whether “we” be scientists or historians or mathematicians or theologians – can “believe” that which “the resurrection” actually refers to.

Read it all from ABC Australia.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Eschatology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Harmon's 27th Wedding Anniversary Weekend

I deny any knowledge whatsoever of the people in this photograph.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Harmon Family, Marriage & Family, Photos/Photography

(Times of Israel) David Benkof–Orthodox, celibate, gay and that’s OK

With increasing awareness of homosexuality within the Orthodox Jewish world, a common, barely challenged refrain has been that abstaining from sex is not a real option for frum (traditionally observant) gay men. Often, advocates for changing Orthodox attitudes and policies on homosexuality have discussed celibacy with language and arguments that are poorly reasoned and insulting ”“ even homophobic.

Yet traditionalists rarely respond convincingly, whether they would rather not discuss sexuality at all, are afraid of sounding bigoted, or simply have never heard cogent answers to such claims. This essay attempts to fill that gap….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

Dolphins(!!) spotted yesterday afternoon at Camp St. Christopher conference center

For those interested you may read a lot more about Camp Saint Christopher there.

Posted in * By Kendall, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Animals, Photos/Photography

(Time) Nick Gillespie–God Is Dead. Except at the Box Office.

These days, God is dead everywhere except at movie theaters. But rest easy, America, that doesn’t mean we’re spiraling into an amoral abyss or a lawless society. Indeed, by most indicators of anti-social behavior, things have never been better.

Even as polls and church-attendance records show the U.S. is becoming a more secular, less pious country, current films such as Heaven is for Real (based on a best-selling account of a four-year-old boy’s supposed trip to the afterlife) and Noah (based on the Old Testament’s account of the Great Flood) have done boffo business.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Movies & Television, Religion & Culture

(Telegraph) Ukraine crisis: G7 to 'intensify sanctions' on Russia

The G7 group of nations agreed on Saturday to impose sanctions on Russia over its meddling in Ukraine, adding to international pressure on Moscow.

The move effectively adds the voices of Canada and Japan to Friday’s announcement by America, Germany, France, Italy and the UK that further sanctions were imminent.

The G7 group, which represents seven of the world’s major economies, said it hoped the measures would have a “significant impact” in persuading the Kremlin to stop stirring separatist violence in eastern Ukraine.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Russia, Theology, Ukraine

(Channel 4) Boko Haram: using terror to bring sharia to northern Nigeria

The jihadist group’s escalating campaign of terror has claimed 4,000 civilian lives in just four years, and Boko Haram is now linked to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls. But who are they?

Their name means “western education is forbidden”, and while the group has targeted many schools – and schoolchildren – it has also attacked churches, mosques, police stations, government buildings, bus stations and even a UN compound, as well as carrying out assassinations and kidnappings.

The sect claims to be fighting for a strict sharia state in northern Nigeria and is believed to receive guns and money from Salafist al-Qaeda-linked insurgent groups in the Islamic Maghreb and beyond. Boko Haram is estimated to have killed 4,000 people during its four-year-insurgency. The Nigerian military is estimated to have killed almost as many in its efforts to hunt down and kill the insurgents….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(HP) Dogs Playing Fetch By Themselves Reminds Us We All Need Some 'Me' Time

You know those lonely nights and weekends when you’re left to your own devices and forced to entertain yourself? Maybe you ponder the meaning of life, maybe you tackle a creative project or maybe you — wait, let’s face it: You probably turn on Netflix. Well your dog faces the same lonely existential crisis and his solution is, naturally, solo fetch.

Hey, it’s better than destroying your shoes.

We put together a compilation above of pooches tossing the old ball/stick around by themselves, and uh, to themselves.

This is just wonderful–Enjoy it all–KSH.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

(NYT) Vow of Freedom of Religion Goes Unkept in Egypt

The architects of the military takeover in Egypt promised a new era of tolerance and pluralism when they deposed President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood last summer.

Nine months later, though, Egypt’s freethinkers and religious minorities are still waiting for the new leadership to deliver on that promise. Having suppressed Mr. Morsi’s Islamist supporters, the new military-backed government has fallen back into patterns of sectarianism that have prevailed here for decades.

Prosecutors continue to jail Coptic Christians, Shiite Muslims and atheists on charges of contempt of religion. A panel of Muslim scholars has cited authority granted under the new military-backed Constitution to block screenings of the Hollywood blockbuster “Noah” because it violates an Islamic prohibition against depictions of the prophets.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, the living God, who hast given unto us a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead: Grant that we, being risen with him, may seek the things which are above, and be made partakers of the life eternal; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I will extol thee, my God and King, and bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day I will bless thee, and praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall laud thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of thy majesty, and on thy wondrous works, I will meditate.

–Psalm 145:1-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Landmark Brooklyn Episcopal church lays off key longtime staff

This week, the layoffs and pending departures of two key staff members have shocked the Brooklyn Heights community and again have raised the issues of how costly the maintenance of that building envelope remains.

The Rev. John E. Denaro, rector of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, announced the layoffs of longtime organist and music director Gregory Eaton, and of one of the church’s two sextons (church building custodians). The Rev. Sarah Kooperkamp, who serves as associate rector, is leaving for different reasons, including the birth of her first child.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Missions, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(BBC) Ukraine crisis: Pentagon says Russian jets violated airspace

The US says Russian military aircraft have entered Ukrainian airspace several times in the past 24 hours, amid rising tension in the east of the country.

A Pentagon spokesman told the BBC late on Friday that the incidents had happened mainly near the border with Russia, but gave no further details.

Earlier pro-Russian separatists seized a bus carrying international military observers, Ukrainian officials said.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Friday Afternoon Mental Helath Break–Putin & Obama Go On the "Dr. Phil" Show

Watch it all from Jimmy Fallon.

Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia

(New Statesmen) George Eaton–Clegg calls for the disestablishment of the C of E and he's right

Religious believers who oppose such a move should look to the US, where faith has flourished alongside the country’s secular constitution. Indeed, in an interview with the New Statesman in 2008, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, (who went on to famously guest-edit the magazine) suggested that the church might benefit from such a move: “I can see that it’s by no means the end of the world if the establishment disappears. The strength of it is that the last vestiges of state sanction disappeared, so when you took a vote at the Welsh synod, it didn’t have to be nodded through by parliament afterwards. There is a certain integrity to that.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(London) Times Coalition split on the role of the church

The Archbishop of Canterbury joined the prime minister in a staunch defence of Christian Britain yesterday, as Nick Clegg called for an end to the link between church and state.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said he had found it “quite baffling” to see the vociferous response to David Cameron’s “moving” Easter declaration that Britain should be proud of its status as a Christian country. “Judging by the reaction, anyone would think that the people concerned had at the same time suggested the return of the Inquisition (complete with comfy chairs for Monty Python fans), compulsory church going and tithes,” he wrote on his website.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology