Daily Archives: August 3, 2014

Christianity Today's new Publication "Behemoth"

Read it all and see what you make of it.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Evangelicals, Media, Other Churches

(Kaiser Health) Florida’s largest health insurer raises rates an avg. of 17%

Florida Blue, the state’s largest health insurer, is increasing premiums by an average of 17.6 percent for its Affordable Care Act exchange plans next year, company officials say.

The nonprofit Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliate blames higher health costs that are a result of attracting older adults this year who previously lacked coverage and are using more services than expected.

Florida insurance regulators plan to release rate information for all companies next week. The exchange plans cover individuals who are not covered by employer-based policies.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Theology

(NPR) Two Doctors Weigh Whether To Accept Obamacare Plans

Dr. Bob Russo is sure of it. He’s a radiologist and he’s also the president-elect of the Connecticut State Medical Society. He says that the low rates and administrative burdens that come along with the ACA could make it a financial loser.

“You get what you pay for,” he says. “If you can’t convince [doctors] that they’re not losing money doing their job, it’s a problem. And they haven’t been able to convince people of that.”

He, like Counihan, worries about creating a tiered health care system. Think about Medicaid, he says. Before a recent rise in rates, it paid doctors even less than Medicare, so many stopped accepting Medicaid patients.

“There’s no question that Medicaid, under its old rates, wasn’t working,” he says. “So, have we just invented a new Medicaid that kind of slid the scale up a little more to make access a little more?”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Personal Finance, The U.S. Government, Theology

(BBC Magazine) Living in the shadow of Ebola

As West African nations try to stop the deadly Ebola virus from spreading, people living in the affected countries are nervous. In Sierra Leone, communities are keeping a close eye on the exact locations where the disease has emerged.

The posters are crudely drawn and graphic. There’s one pasted to the wall of the squat, concrete community centre in Kroo Bay, a slum in the centre of the capital Freetown, the kind of place where you can imagine disease spreading fast.

The houses are built of breeze block and have battered, rusting roofs. The spaces between them are piled with garbage, small children with no shoes tote yellow plastic jerry cans of water through the narrow lanes.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Sierra Leone

(Chr Post) Trial Concludes Over South Carolina Diocese's Dispute With Episcopal Church

The Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese, told The Christian Post that he felt the 14-day trial went well

“Our legal counsel did an outstanding job of presenting our case (that our Diocese and parishes have a legal right to disassociate from TEC) and on the flip side, of discrediting all the arguments made by TEC,” said Lewis.

“These points were made crystal clear not only in the testimony presented by our witnesses, but with equal force in their cross examination of those witnesses called by TEC…”

Holly Behre, director of Communications for TECSC, provided CP with a statement regarding the trial and its possible outcome.

“No matter how Judge Goodstein eventually decides, there will not be any winners in this as long as our church is divided. The Episcopal Church in South Carolina continues to pray for reconciliation,” said Behre.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Theology

(WSJ) How America’s Top Industries Have Changed from 1990-2013

The U.S.’s most dominant industries look a lot different than they did less than 25 years ago. From 1990 to 2013, the top industries by employment have changed from mostly manufacturing to mostly health-care and social-assistance jobs in the majority of states, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data analysis of its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. The states where retail jobs were most prevalent were located mostly in the West in 1990 and now reside predominantly in the Southeast.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

(Quartz) Students at Oxford will learn to spy from the NSA’s best friends

Students in the UK can now get graduate degrees in cyber-spying approved by the masters of the craft at the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters, the British counterpart of the US National Security Agency. Students at the University of Oxford and five other universities can get masters in cyber-security signed off by the best eavesdroppers in the country, the BBC reported.

While the NSA gets most of the headlines, Edward Snowden has accused the Government Communications Headquarters of being far worse than their American cousins. “Their respect for the privacy right, their respect for individual citizens, their ability to communicate and associate without monitoring and interference is not strongly encoded in law or policy,” Snowden told The Guardian. “They enjoy authorities that they really shouldn’t be entitled to.” Among the tactics that GCHQ is accused of is using sex to entrap people via “honey traps” and smearing hackers online.

Yet the government has defended the agency to the hilt.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Science & Technology, Theology, Young Adults

(Church Times) Church Leaders warn of end of Christianity in Iraq

The apparent inability of the Iraqi military to dislodge Islamists who have imposed an increasingly proscriptive Caliphate on a large part of the country is raising fears that Christianity could disappear in the area altogether.

The Chaplain of St George’s, Baghdad, Canon Andrew White, told the BBC that “things are desperate; our people are disappearing. . . Are we seeing the end of Christianity? We are committed, come what may. We will keep going to the end, but it looks as though the end could be very near.” Canon White said that Iraqi Christians were “in grave danger. There are literally Christians living in the desert and on the street. They have nowhere to go.”

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, echoed these views, saying that it was “an outrage that a community established in the early centuries of the Christian era should face expulsion from their own land, simply for their faith”. The Australian government, the international community, and the UN, he said, “must not stand by while such persecution continues unabated”.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant, O heavenly Father, that by the guidance of the Holy Spirit we may be enabled to discern thy holy will; and that by the grace of the same Spirit we may also be enabled to do it, gladly and with our whole hearts; for the glory of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Reading

Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

–Psalm 93:4-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) World Income Inequality Even Worse Than Within U.S Says a Study by the St. Louis Fed

The income gap between rich and poor nations is more severe than the more highly publicized disparities between the top and bottom of the U.S. income ladder, according to a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

“While not to diminish the ample income inequality in the U.S., a focus on absolute inequality would suggest income disparity among the world’s population is a far greater concern,” write Lowell Ricketts and Christopher Waller, economic researchers at the St. Louis Fed.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Asia, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Globalization, History, Personal Finance, Politics in General, South America, Theology

(Observer) C of E Bishops urge David Cameron to grant asylum to Iraqi Christians

The Church of England has demanded that the British government offers sanctuary to thousands of Christians fleeing jihadists in northern Iraq, warning that ignoring their plight would constitute a “betrayal of Britain’s moral and historical obligations”.

A number of bishops have revealed their frustration over David Cameron’s intransigence on the issue, arguing the UK has a responsibility to grant immediate asylum to Iraqi Christian communities recently forced to flee the northern city of Mosul after militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) threatened them with execution, a religious tax or forced conversion.

On Monday, France responded to the so-called religious cleansing by publicly granting asylum to Christians driven from Mosul. The Anglican Church argues the UK has an even greater responsibility to intervene, citing its central role in the 2003 allied invasion, which experts say triggered the destabilisation and sectarian violence that shaped the context for Isis to seize control of much of northern Iraq.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology

(Ch of England) From light to darkness: WW1 commemorations to occur this Monday, August 4

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Europe, Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture, Theology