Daily Archives: July 5, 2014

(Telegraph) Charles Moore–If 'dying with dignity’ is legalised, soon it will be expected

If you are considered a burden by others, you sense it. Like Dr Ashton’s youngish men disheartened not to be the breadwinners, sick old people may well be overwhelmed by a sense of rejection, made worse by physical pain. The supporters of Lord Falconer’s Bill make much of the fact that those handed out the “only six months to live” sentence proposed by the Bill will take the fatal drugs it provides themselves, and by their own choice. But what in the culture will guide that choice? What is the effect on the patient’s free will when a profession whose entire previous raison d’être has been to assist life now stands ready to give you the tools of death?

Once it becomes legal that such a thing could happen, how long before it becomes expected? Most old people in hospital try to conform to what they think the system wants. If it wants them dead, and gives them the power to die, their grim path of duty lies clear. Some will have families who do not care enough whether they live; others will have no families at all. To all of these, Lord Falconer’s “choice” could become as proverbial as Hobson’s.

It does not have to be this way. Think of the revolution in attitudes to the disabled and mentally handicapped that has taken place in the past 40 years.

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, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BBC) Archbp Sentamu Consecrates two new North Yorkshire bishops

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has consecrated the new bishops of Whitby and Selby in a ceremony at at York Minster.

The Ven Paul Ferguson becomes the Bishop of Whitby and the Rev Canon Dr John Thomson takes the role in Selby.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(A S Haley) South Carolina Court Reporters Will Be Busy on Monday

After a flurry of last-minute emergency motions and appeals, the so-called “Episcopal Church in South Carolina” rump group (“ECSC”) has run out of maneuvers to delay the start of the scheduled trial next week before Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein.

Well — they did manage to delay the start by one day. They had argued, in a last-minute motion for a continuance, that they had not had sufficient time to complete thirty-four depositions of persons familiar with each of the individual parishes who joined Bishop Lawrence’s Diocese of South Carolina as co-plaintiffs in the case. And Judge Goodstein denied their motion to continue the trial, but ordered them to complete all 34 depositions this Monday, July 7.

Then ECSC overreached….

Read it all.

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

Monastic life could make surprise comeback in age of Twitter, says a Pope Francis aide

Monasticism could make an unlikely comeback because of pace of life in the age of Twitter, a leading aide to Pope Francis has suggested.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, head of the Vatican’s evangelism department, said the constant presence of modern communications could make the ancient idea of a life of contemplation more attractive to people in the 21st Century than in the past.

The Archbishop was speaking as he arrived in Birmingham to join hundreds of young British Roman Catholics considering a call to a life as monks, nuns or priests at a weekend retreat to explore their vocation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer

(CEN) Interview: American Atheist Todd Stiefel talks with Peter Menkin about religion and God

Q. What is an Atheist? Not everyone knows that an atheist is a believer of a kind and that he or she has views about religion””in this case for our interview, Christianity. Will you speak to this?

A. An Atheist is someone who is often misunderstood. It is a person who does not believe in God or Gods. It does not mean we believe in Satan. We do not believe in him either. We are not claiming that we know that God does not exist. Atheism is not a knowledge claim. Atheism is simply a belief claim. Where other religions do not believe in millions of Gods, we do not believe in millions of Gods plus one.

Our beliefs are based on reason, logic, and evidence. Our values include love, compassion and honesty. In terms of views about Christianity, different Atheists have different views about Christianity. Almost all of us share, there is not a God and Jesus was not a God. We believe that Jesus did not rise from the dead. We would agree, most of us would agree, in his methods of having the Golden Rule and loving your neighbor….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, England / UK, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Ahead of the women bishops vote, what can the C of E learn from peacebuilding in Northern I.?

As the General Synod of the Church of England faces the vote on women bishops, its most important decision in recent decades, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s head of reconciliation has outlined the keystones of his path to peace.

Canon David Porter, who has been working for month behind the scenes in the Church of England to broker new relationships between the factions divided over the consecration of women, told an international audience of church leaders that bad religion too easily triumphs over good, and that reconciliation is elusive.

Canon Porter, a leading peacemaker behind the scenes during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, made six “pertinent and provocative” observations of his experience of being a “religious peacemaker” in a situation of conflict where religion has often been said to be the cause and part of the problem rather than the solution.

Read it all from Christian Today.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ireland, Theology, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy thought can drag downwards; an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

–Romans 8:18-25

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Brazil and Germany move on to the World Cup Semifinals

Congratulations to both teams.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, Europe, Germany, Globalization, Men, South America, Sports

Remembering the Last Reunion Of Civil War Veterans

Commentator John McDonough recalls the last great reunion of Civil War veterans from the North and South. It took place July 3-5, 1938, on the 75th anniversary of Gettysburg ”” at Gettysburg, Pa. At the time, the whole country was almost painfully aware that the last living links to a decisive event were about to slip away…. Between 1861 and 1865, two and a half million men served in the Union Army. Figures are less precise for Confederate forces. About 620,000 were killed on both sides.

Fifty years later, in 1913, more than 50,000 veterans returned to Gettysburg. It would be the largest Civil War reunion ever. Veteran groups talked for several years about a 75th reunion. But by 1938, the roll call of veterans still alive had shrunk to about 10,000. A final reunion became possible when the federal government offered to provide free transportation.

read or listen to it all from NPR.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, History

Georgie Hanlin: A Soldier's Wife Bids us to Honor His Service

So how do I accept what my husband does for a living? Quite easily. He serves his country and does so courageously, next to other respectable men and women. He represents America with the utmost dignity while overseas. The Army is lucky to have him, and so am I. While people sit back and criticize what soldiers do, my husband risks his life over and over again. Let’s be honest: It’s a job that most people don’t want. Many don’t think about it because other people do it.

Other people do it.

Instead of trying to figure out how to accept or justify or understand what my husband does because you don’t believe in war, I’d beg you to know that no one wants war; no one likes war. We’d all love a perfect world, but we do not live in one. Our country is at war; two of them, actually. Soldiers, my husband being one of them, have to deploy. We, as families, have to worry and wait and hope.

I believe that the next time somebody asks me how I accept what my husband does for a living, I will simply tell that person to appreciate my husband’s service and to enjoy his or her freedom while my husband does what his country asks of him.

Read it all from 2009 but still full of meaning today.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer for America–Archbishop John Carroll in 1791

We pray, O almighty and eternal God, who through Jesus Christ has revealed thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of your name.

We pray Thee, who alone are good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, the pope, the vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, all other bishops, prelates and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise among us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct your people into the ways of salvation.

A good historial reminder–read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Spirituality/Prayer

Joyce Lee Malcolm for July 4, 2014–'Wonderfully Spared'

‘You and I have been wonderfully spared,” Thomas Jefferson wrote John Adams in 1812….”

It’s easy now, in a nation awash with complaints about what our Founders did not do, what imperfect humans they seem to 21st century eyes, to overlook how startlingly bold their views and actions were in their own day and are, in fact, even today. Who else in 1776 declared, let alone thought it a self-evident truth, that all men were created equal, entitled to inalienable rights, or to any rights at all? How few declare these views today or, glibly declaring them, really intend to treat their countrymen or others as equal, entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Certainly not America’s 20th century enemies, the Nazis and communists; certainly not today’s Islamic radicals, who consider infidels unworthy to live and the faithful bound by an ancient and brutal code of law. We are fortunate that the Founders of our nation were enlightened, generous, jealous of their rights and those of their countrymen, and prepared to risk everything to create a free republic.

Breaking with Britain was a risky and distressing venture; could the American colonies go it alone and survive in a world of great European powers?

Read it all.

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

Words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson on Independence Day

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

–From “Ring out, Wild Bells,” part of In Memoriam, Tennyson’s elegy to Arthur Henry Hallam, 1850

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Poetry & Literature