Daily Archives: June 11, 2014

(C of E) Rap song released highlights the danger of pay-day industry "grooming young people"

A rap song aimed at warning young people about the possible dangers of pay day lenders is released today.

Inspired by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments on responsible lending, songwriter and music producer Charles Bailey approached the Church of England with the idea for the rap.

The song, called “We Need a Union on the Streets” by Charles Bailey, feat. Question Musiq and Delilah also features Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert.com and tells the stories of young people who get into debt because of payday loans with high interest rates. It aims to highlight credit unions as a better way to borrow.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Music, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, The Banking System/Sector

Midday Mental Health Break–Freestyle Tricks In Football Match Prank By Old Man

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Aging / the Elderly, Humor / Trivia, Sports

Pope Francis appeals for an end to child labour

“I sincerely hope,” he continued, “that the international community can offer social protection to minors to defeat this plague.” The Holy Father went on to say, “Let us all renew our commitment, especially families, to ensure the tutelage of every boy’s and girl’s dignity and the chance to grow up healthy.”

“A serene childhood,” he concluded, “allows children to look with confidence to the life and future.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Francis, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(RNS) Southern Baptists oppose gender reassignment

Pushing back against a cultural tide of growing acceptance of transgender people, Southern Baptists adopted a statement affirming the creation of “two distinct and complementary sexes.”

The resolution was passed overwhelmingly Tuesday (June 10) as some 5,000 people attended the annual meeting of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination and elected as president the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of a northwest Arkansas megachurch.

The delegates, known as “messengers,” affirmed “God’s good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Baptists, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Local Paper) Lindsey Graham wins Republican primary without runoff; slams tea party

College of Charleston political scientist Gibbs Knotts said two story lines were at play in the outcome Tuesday.

First, Graham didn’t take the race for granted, campaigning full-bore while armed with his $7 million war chest.

Second, Graham’s six little-known GOP challengers ended up dividing the anti-Graham vote, not allowing for a single or choice opponent to emerge.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Politics in General, Senate

(Wash. Post) Eric Cantor succumbs to tea party challenger Tuesday in a Stunning Upset

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), the chamber’s second-ranking Republican, was badly beaten in a primary contest Tuesday by an obscure professor with tea party backing ”” a historic electoral surprise that left the GOP in chaos and the House without its heir apparent.

Cantor, who has represented the Richmond suburbs since 2001, lost by 11 percentage points to Dave Brat, an economist at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. It was an operatic fall from power, swift and deep and utterly surprising. As late as Tuesday morning, Cantor had felt so confident of victory that he spent the morning at a Starbucks on Capitol Hill, holding a fundraising meeting with lobbyists while his constituents went to the polls.

By Tuesday night, he had suffered a defeat with few parallels in American history. Historians said that no House leader of Cantor’s rank had ever been defeated in a primary.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., House of Representatives, Politics in General

(McClatchy) Some answers about ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Group)

Q. What is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria?

A. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has been designated by the United States as an international terrorist organization. It operates in Iraq and Syria and has as its goal the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, or state, in the area now occupied by Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. It is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and sometimes as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.

Q. What is its relationship to al Qaida?

A. ISIS was once considered an affiliate of al Qaida, but the two groups have broken over ISIS’ role in Syria. Al Qaida has criticized ISIS for being too brutal and has complained that ISIS’ zeal to establish an Islamic state has distracted from the current push to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. Last year, al Qaida chief Ayman al Zawahiri ordered ISIS’ leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, to withdraw his forces from Syria. Baghdadi ignored the order.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Vital Update from Canon Andrew White in Iraq–Iraq now "the Worst Ever"

Iraq is now in its worst crisis since the 2003 war. ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Group) a group that does not even see Al Qaida as extreme enough has moved into Mosul, which is Nineveh. It has totally taken control, destroyed all government departments. Allowed all prisoners out of the prisons. Killed countless numbers of people. There are bodies over the streets. The army and police have fled, so many of the military resources have been captured. Tankers, armed vehicles and even helicopters are now in the hands of ISIS….

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Posted in Uncategorized

Archbishop Justin Welby's message to global summit to end sexual violence

“A few weeks back I was with my wife in the eastern DRC and seeing what ”“ funded by the British government ”“ churches and NGOs are doing to combat sexual violence. And when you see what happens to people, it is breathtakingly terrible; and when you see what targeted, careful work does it is extraordinary in what can be achieved.

“Let me give you an example. On both visits over the last few years I’ve gone to see churches working with women who had been raped. The society of the eastern DRC is being progressively more brutalised by war, by rampaging militias, by extractive industries misbehaving, and that brutalisation is slipping into the general population. The churches are the main bulwark against this brutalisation. They love the women who come to them for help. They show them love and human dignity ”“ that is extraordinary in itself.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(Bloomberg) Missing Girls Expose Kidnap Capital as Nigerians Pay Ransoms

Four armed men ransacked Antony Akatakpo’s home in front of his wife and two children in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt, shot him in the leg and bundled him into the trunk of his Mitsubishi Endeavor.

Akatakpo, the 34-year-old breakfast show presenter at Wazobia FM who’s known as Diplomatic Akas Baba, was driven to a forest hideout and held blindfolded for a week, fed on plain bread and threatened with death unless his family paid a 10 million naira ($61,289) ransom. He said he was dumped on a city highway on March 20 after the gunmen received less than half the sum they demanded.

“I was praying and calling on God to help me, rescue me,” he said by phone from Port Harcourt, the hub of Africa’s biggest oil industry in southeastern Nigeria. “They wanted to collect their own share of the money I was making for my family.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Nigeria, Personal Finance, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence, Women

(BBC) South Sudan government and rebels 'agree to end fighting'

The government and rebels in South Sudan have agreed to end fighting and form a transitional government within 60 days, Ethiopia says.

The regional Igad bloc, mediating the conflict, has threatened sanctions if they fail to abide by the agreement.

It follows a rare meeting between President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Previous deals to end the violence have been broken by both sides, compounding the worsening humanitarian crisis.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ethiopia, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Poverty, Sudan, Theology, Violence

Religion and Ethics Report — Growing religious divide on America’s highest judicial body?

A ruling by the US Supreme Court has highlighted the growing religious divide on America’s highest judicial body.

The five justices who are practising Catholics ruled in favour of sectarian prayers being recited at the beginning of official government meetings. The three Jewish justices, and their non-practising Catholic colleague, ruled against the practice.

Andrew West spoke to Professor Steven Green, director of the Centre for Religion, Law and Democracy at Willamette University in Oregon, about the implications of the case. Prof Green was one of several scholars who filed an amicus ”“ or friend of the court ”“ brief in that case.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Barnabas

Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of thy faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well-being of thy Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel; 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 Lord our God, who didst send thy Holy Spirit to abide with thy Church for ever: Renew the same Spirit within us, that our hearts may be cleansed from evil things, and the fruits of love and goodness may abound in our lives; to the glory of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!

–Psalm 72: 18,19

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

David Brooks on “Room to Grow,” a coherent and compelling policy agenda from Poltcl Consvatives

The nanny state may have drained civil society, but simply removing the nanny state will not restore it. There have to be programs that encourage local paternalism: early education programs with wraparound services to reinforce parenting skills, social entrepreneurship funds to reweave community, paternalistic welfare rules to encourage work.

Second, conservatives should not be naïve about sin. We are moving from a world dominated by big cross-class organizations, like public bureaucracies, corporations and unions, toward a world dominated by clusters of networked power. These clusters ”” Wall Street, Washington, big agriculture, big energy, big universities ”” are dominated by interlocking elites who create self-serving arrangements for themselves. Society is split between those bred into these networks and those who are not. Moreover, the U.S. economy is increasingly competing against autocratic economies, which play by their own self-serving rules.

Sometimes government is going to have to be active to disrupt local oligarchies and global autocracies by fomenting creative destruction ”” by insisting on dynamic immigration policies, by pumping money into research, by creating urban environments that nurture innovation, by spending money to give those outside the clusters new paths to rise.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Books, City Government, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Marriage & Family, Office of the President, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Senate, State Government, Theology

Colleges and Evangelicals Collide on Allowing Religious Groups to have Own Standards for Leaders

For 40 years, evangelicals at Bowdoin College have gathered periodically to study the Bible together, to pray and to worship. They are a tiny minority on the liberal arts college campus, but they have been a part of the school’s community, gathering in the chapel, the dining center, the dorms.

After this summer, the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship will no longer be recognized by the college. Already, the college has disabled the electronic key cards of the group’s longtime volunteer advisers.

In a collision between religious freedom and antidiscrimination policies, the student group, and its advisers, have refused to agree to the college’s demand that any student, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, should be able to run for election as a leader of any group, including the Christian association….“It’s absurd,” said Alec Hill, the president of InterVarsity, a national association of evangelical student groups, including the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship. “The genius of American culture is that we allow voluntary, self-identified organizations to form, and that’s what our student groups are.”

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

A 2 Part Post-Gazette series on the Transgender Community–"An identity to call their own"

You may find part one here and part two there.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Uncategorized

(Wash Times) Transgendered priest to give sermon at Washington National Cathedral

The most visible Episcopal church in the U.S. is hosting its first openly transgender priest this month.

The Rev. Cameron Partridge is set to give the June 22 sermon at the Washington National Cathedral in Northwest.

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology