Daily Archives: June 28, 2014

A Pathetically One Sided Article in the Local Paper on the Latest TEC Legal Maneuver

You can read the article here but only if you read it alongside the A.S. Haley .

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Theology

Two Archbishops Visiting Diocese of South Carolina

Archbishop Peter Jensen and Archbishop Benjamin and Gloria Kwashi are visiting the Diocese June 29-30

Read it all

Posted in * South Carolina

Brave New World Department: Christin Malloy argues that "gender assignment" of newborns must go

When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It’s a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring’s genitals.

We tell our children, “You can be anything you want to be.” We say, “A girl can be a doctor, a boy can be a nurse,” but why in the first place must this person be a boy and that person be a girl? Your infant is an infant. Your baby knows nothing of dresses and ties, of makeup and aftershave, of the contemporary social implications of pink and blue. As a newborn, your child’s potential is limitless. The world is full of possibilities that every person deserves to be able to explore freely, receiving equal respect and human dignity while maximizing happiness through individual expression.

With infant gender assignment, in a single moment your baby’s life is instantly and brutally reduced from such infinite potentials down to one concrete set of expectations and stereotypes, and any behavioral deviation from that will be severely punished””both intentionally through bigotry, and unintentionally through ignorance. That doctor (and the power structure behind him) plays a pivotal role in imposing those limits on helpless infants, without their consent, and without your informed consent as a parent. This issue deserves serious consideration by every parent, because no matter what gender identity your child ultimately adopts, infant gender assignment has effects that will last through their whole life.

Read it all from Slate.

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Sexuality, Theology

(Pew R.) The Sunni-Shia divide: Where they live, what they believe and how they view each other

The few available survey measures of religious identity in Iraq suggest that about half the country is Shia. Surveys by ABC News found between 47% and 51% of the country identifying as Shia between 2007 and 2009, and a Pew Research survey conducted in Iraq in late 2011 found that 51% of Iraqi Muslims said they were Shia (compared with 42% saying they were Sunni).

Neighboring Iran is home to the world’s largest Shia population: Between 90% and 95% of Iranian Muslims (66-70 million people) were Shias in 2009, according to our estimate from that year.

Their shared demographic makeup may help explain Iran’s support for Iraq’s Shia-dominated government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

(FT) Christopher Caldwell–Delusions and dangers ”‰in”‰ demands for the right to die

French law now contains guidelines for palliative care, discontinuing life support and other matters. Yet the debate surrounding Mr Lambert’s case differs little from the debate over Humbert.

In urging patience, the European Court acted responsibly. Few of the desperately ill are truly incommunicado or lack any kind of “living will” or directive. And drawing up rules for securing the “dignity” of patients is a dangerous business in the best of cases. Death by natural causes, as we have always understood it, involves many things we consider undignified.

Assertions that the patient “wouldn’t have wanted to suffer” can offer too much leeway to doctors and relatives. The danger is that we will turn the “end of life” into an excuse for making exceptions to our medical and moral common sense.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, France, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Look Back to 2007–Archbishop Gomez’s Homily from the Nairobi Consecrations

In IASCER’s response to the Lutheran document The Episcopal Ministry within the Apostolicity of the Church particular note was taken of the patristic tradition concerning episcopal ministry:

“Historians commonly agree that there are three principal images or models of the office of a bishop in the pre-Nicene church, which are best exemplified in Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus, and Cyprian. For Ignatius, the bishop is primarily the one who presides at the eucharist. This is central for Ignatius because of his understanding of the nature of the church. For Ignatius, then, the bishop is … the one who presides at … the eucharistic liturgy.

Irenaeus, on the other hand, while echoing the eucharistic teaching of Ignatius, places primary emphasis on the bishop’s role as teacher of the faith. The context here is the conflict with Gnosticism. For Irenaeus, the bishop is above all the one who preserves the continuity of the apostolic teaching in unbroken succession from the apostles. It is through the bishop’s faithful proclamation of the Gospel in each local church that the unity of the church and the continuity of the church in the apostolic tradition is preserved.

For Cyprian, the bishop serves as the bond of unity between the local church and the universal church. Here the collegial aspect of the bishop’s role comes to the fore. The Bishop is one member of a worldwide ”˜college’ of bishops who are together responsible for maintaining the unity of the churches. Cyprian’s primary emphasis, therefore, is upon the bishop as the bond of unity between the local church and the church universal.

In each of theses models, therefore, the bishop is the sign of unity between the local and the universal church, either through the maintenance of eucharistic communion, continuity in apostolic teaching, or common oversight of the churches.

My brothers, you are entering the Episcopal ministry within the Anglican Communion at a time when the Communion is being severely challenged in each of the three related areas of the patristic tradition concerning Episcopal ministry. I refer to:

* The maintenance of eucharistic communion
* Continuity and apostolic teaching.
* Oversight of the churches.

The present impaired state of the Communion is due mainly to actions taken by the Episcopal Church of the United States of America in respect of human sexuality with special reference to the consecration of a bishop living in an opened homosexual relationship….

Read it carefully and read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church History, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Missions, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture, West Indies

(Post and Courier) VA review finds 'chronic' failures; Sen. Tim Scott calls for S.C. Specifics

As lawmakers continue the call for answers into the troubled Veterans Affairs health care system, including South Carolina’s Sen. Tim Scott, the White House released findings Friday describing “significant and chronic system failures,” substantially verifying problems raised by whistleblowers and internal and congressional investigators.

A summary of the review, ordered by President Barack Obama and conducted by deputy White House chief of staff Rob Nabors, says the Veterans Health Administration must be restructured and that a “corrosive culture” has hurt morale and affected the timeliness of health care. The review also found that a 14-day standard for scheduling veterans’ medical appointments is unrealistic and has been susceptible to manipulation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, The U.S. Government, Theology

(WSJ The Numbers Blog) One-in-10 Deaths of Working Age People Is Caused by Alcohol

One in ten deaths among working-age adults in the U.S. is caused by drinking too much, according to the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Binge drinking (more than four drinks at a time for men or more than three for women) is responsible for the majority of alcohol-related deaths. Some 71% of deaths related to excessive drinking involved men, and 5% involved those under the age of 21.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Parish Ministry, Young Adults

Irenaeus for his Feast Day–"The heretics follow neither Scripture nor tradition"

1. When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but vivâ voce: wherefore also Paul declared, “But we speak wisdom among those that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world.”And this wisdom each one of them alleges to be the fiction of his own inventing, forsooth; so that, according to their idea, the truth properly resides at one time in Valentinus, at another in Marcion, at another in Cerinthus, then afterwards in Basilides, or has even been indifferently in any other opponent,who could speak nothing pertaining to salvation. For every one of these men, being altogether of a perverse disposition, depraving the system of truth, is not ashamed to preach himself.

2. But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but even than the apostles, because they have discovered the unadulterated truth. For [they maintain] that the apostles intermingled the things of the law with the words of the Saviour; and that not the apostles alone, but even the Lord Himself, spoke as at one time from the Demiurge, at another from the intermediate place, and yet again from the Pleroma, but that they themselves, indubitably, unsulliedly, and purely, have knowledge of the hidden mystery: this is, indeed, to blaspheme their Creator after a most impudent manner! It comes to this, therefore, that these men do now consent neither to Scripture nor to tradition.

3. Such are the adversaries with whom we have to deal, my very dear friend, endeavouring like slippery serpents to escape at all points. Wherefore they must be opposed at all points, if perchance, by cutting off their retreat, we may succeed in turning them back to the truth. For, though it is not an easy thing for a soul under the influence of error to repent, yet, on the other hand, it is not altogether impossible to escape from error when the truth is brought alongside it.

Against Heresies: Book III, Chapter 2.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Church History, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Irenaeus

Almighty God, who didst uphold thy servant Irenaeus with strength to maintain the truth against every blast of vain doctrine: Keep us, we beseech thee, steadfast in thy true religion, that in constancy and peace we may walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life; 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, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

We beseech thee, O Lord, to perfect within us the work of grace which thou hast begun; grant us always to think, speak and do what is pleasing to thee; and keep us from falling back into the sins we have repented of; that we may live as in thy presence, and finish our lives in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–William Bright

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields, and plant vineyards, and get a fruitful yield. By his blessing they multiply greatly; and he does not let their cattle decrease. 39 When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, trouble, and sorrow, he pours contempt upon princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but he raises up the needy out of affliction, and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad; and all wickedness stops its mouth. Whoever is wise, let him give heed to these things; let men consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

–Psalm 107:33-43

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(First Things) What we can learn from Meriam Ibrahim

“I am a Christian, and I Will Remain a Christian”
The international community has celebrated Meriam’s release and rightly so, but there are also important lessons to be learned from her case. First, it should not be missed that Meriam’s lawyers were primarily Muslims, and that more and more Muslims today are speaking out against the traditional doctrine of apostasy. Second, the problem of apostasy will not go away with Meriam’s liberation. Christians of a Muslim background””whether in Sudan or in other Islamic countries””will continue to have their lives threatened either by the state or by vigilantes. Three, the Church has a responsibility to speak out with greater audacity on their behalf (including those who are not as famous as Meriam Ibrahim), no matter what Islamic law says about them. The Church has a responsibility to protect all of her children.

We all can learn from the example of Meriam Ibrahim. After her conviction in May, Meriam was given three days to embrace Islam and save her life. This would have been an easy choice to make, but Meriam refused, declaring: “I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian.” Those who wonder whether heroic””and saintly””courage still exists can look to her.

Gabriel Said Reynolds is a professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame

Read it all h/t Peter Carrell

Posted in * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, Africa, Sudan

Andrew Symes: ACNA Report Day 3 ”“ Truth and Catechesis

The importance of regular, intentional, systematic teaching of the truth in our churches was underlined by Dr Jim Packer who was given a standing ovation after being introduced by Robert Duncan. It was the first time I had heard the revered theologian whose books helped form the Christian understanding of so many over the years. He famously had his licence to preach in the Church of Canada removed by Bishop Michael Ingham, one of the seismic shocks which brought about the formation of ACNA. Now in his late eighties, Packer was as sprightly as ever as he responded graciously to the standing ovation and delivered his message.

“I’m here to advocate all age catechesis as necessary for healthy church life”, began Packer…

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Politicians' Prescriptions for Marijuana Defy Doctors and Data

“I just don’t think the evidence is there for these long lists,” said Dr. Molly Cooke, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who helped research a position paper on cannabis for the American College of Physicians. “It’s been so hard to study marijuana. Policy makers are responding to thin data.”

Even some advocates of medical marijuana acknowledge that the state laws legalizing it did not result from careful reviews of the medical literature.

“I wish it were that rational,” said Mitch Earleywine, chairman of the executive board of directors for Norml, a national marijuana advocacy group. Dr. Earleywine said state lawmakers more often ask themselves, “What disease does the person in a wheelchair in my office have?”

Read it all from the front page of today’s NY Times paper copy.

Also, make sure you did not miss this post earlier this week on the same topic featuring Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, City Government, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Senate, State Government, Taxes, Theology