Daily Archives: September 9, 2014

Notable and Quotable–Thank God for AA Milne

“What day is it?”, asked Winnie the Pooh “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet “My favorite day,” said Pooh”

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Books, Children, Notable & Quotable

(AP) French imams to use pulpit against Islamic State

French Muslim leaders called Tuesday for the nation’s imams to use their pulpits against the Islamic State group and offer a message of support for Christians in the Middle East.

Christians and other minorities there are fleeing the militant organization by the thousands as they face a choice between converting or death.

On Tuesday, moderate Muslim leaders called on French mosques nationwide to offer prayers on Friday for endangered Christians.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, France, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

US RC Diocese asks Supreme Court to reverse decision compelling priest to break confessional seal

The diocese of Baton Rouge has asked the US Supreme Court to reverse a Louisiana Supreme Court decision that a priest may be compelled to testify as to what he heard in the confessional in 2008 concerning an abuse case.

The legal step is the latest in a case involving Father Jeffrey Bayhi, pastor of St John the Baptist Church in Zachary, Louisiana, and the sanctity of the seal of confession.

The petition to the US Supreme Court comes after a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling in May outlining arguments that priests are subject to mandatory reporting laws regarding abuse of minors if the person who made the confession waives confidentiality. The state Supreme Court opened the door for a hearing in which the priest would testify about what he heard in the confessional.

Under canon law, the seal of confession is sacred under the penalty of excommunication.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Archbishop of Canterbury visits Anglicans in Brazil and Chile

The Archbishop of Canterbury today concluded a four-day visit to Anglicans in Brazil and Chile, part of his series of visits to Anglican primates worldwide.

Archbishop Justin Welby and his wife, Caroline, spent two days visiting the primate of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, Bishop Francisco de Assis da Silva, before flying to Chile to visit the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Bishop Tito Zavala.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

(Wired) Ex-Googler Shares His Big-Data Secrets With the Masses

Google’s search engine makes it wonderfully easy to locate stuff on the web, whether it’s in a news article, a corporate website, or a video on YouTube. But that only begins to describe Google’s ability to find information. Inside the company, engineers use several uniquely powerful tools for searching and analyzing its own massive trove of data.

One of those is Dremel, a tool that helps Google’s employees analyze data stored across thousands of machines, at unusually fast speeds. What’s more, Dremel lets the Google team to manipulate all of this data using a language very similar to SQL, short for Structured Query Language, the standard way of grabbing information from databases.

Like most of its custom-built tools, Dremel is only available inside Google. But now, the rest of the world can hack data a little more like Google does, thanks to Quest, a Dremel-like query engine created by Theo Vassilakis, one of the lead developers of Dremel at Google, and Toli Lerios, a former engineer at Facebook. The tool is one of a growing number of that seek to mimic the way web giants like Google and Facebook rapidly analyze enormous amounts of online information stored across hundreds or even thousands of machines. This includes everything from a project called Drill, from a company called MapR, to a sweeping open source platform called Spark.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology

(BBC) Ebola crisis: Liberia 'faces huge surge' says WHO

Ebola is spreading exponentially in Liberia, with thousands of new cases expected in the next three weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

Conventional methods to control the outbreak were “not having an adequate impact”, the UN’s health agency added.

At least 2,100 people infected with Ebola have died so far in the West African states of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria this year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Liberia, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Theology

(CSM) NYC Nonprofit Bottomless Closet opens wide to disadvantaged job seekers

Whether their situation has been caused by domestic violence, a criminal conviction, a layoff, poverty, or any other number of challenges, clients of Bottomless Closet face significant barriers to gaining employment and self-sufficiency.

“Many times, the women we are working with come from very disadvantaged backgrounds,” says Kendall Farrell. “That can really take a toll on your self-esteem and your confidence, in terms of going out and getting a job ”“ and advancing in a career.”

That’s where her organization comes into play.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Urban/City Life and Issues

(AP) Immigrant sanctuary gains popularity in Arizona

On her 27th day of living in a tiny room at a Tucson church known for pioneering the popular immigrant sanctuary movement in the 1980s, Rosa Robles Loreto swept a courtyard, prayed with a group of parishioners and greeted her uniformed son fresh off his baseball practice.

Robles Loreto is a 41-year-old immigrant who lacks legal status and is facing deportation after getting pulled over for a traffic infraction four years ago. She has vowed to remain in Southside Presbyterian Church until federal immigration authorities grant her leniency.

Robles Loreto is the third immigrant to take sanctuary in a church this year in Arizona, reviving a popular movement from the 1980s that sought to help Central American migrants fleeing civil wars stay in the U.S. by letting them live inside churches, where immigration officials generally do not arrest people.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Christology, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Constance and her Companions

We give thee thanks and praise, O God of compassion, for the heroic witness of Constance and her companions, who, in a time of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick and the dying, and loved not their own lives, even unto death. Inspire in us a like love and commitment to those in need, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly thine, utterly dedicated unto thee; and then use us, we pray thee, as thou wilt, but always to thy glory and the welfare of thy people; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

–William Temple (1881-1944)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Your divine throne endures for ever and ever.
Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;
you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness above your fellows;
your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.

–Psalm 45:6-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Marin Cilic wins the US Open to claim his first-ever Grand Slam title

Congratulations to him, he played well (again).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Croatia, Europe, Japan, Men, Sports

Anglican Mainstream: A response to Changing Attitude’s letter to the College of Bishops

The Christian Church as a whole, a body of which the Church of England is one branch, has held a consistent position with regard to sexual ethics over the past two millennia, with a remarkable degree of unanimity. That is, marriage is defined as an exclusive, permanent union between one man and one woman, and that sexual activity outside this union cannot be considered holy. The Church has always sought to uphold this principle while at the same time applying appropriate pastoral practice at the local level, both where the principle has been breached “through weakness and through deliberate fault”, and where men and women despite temptation aim to conform their lives to the historic understanding of Christ’s teaching in this area. But the principle of Christian marriage, deriving from the clear teaching of Scripture, Church tradition, and fellowship with the worldwide body of Christ, cannot be overturned or redefined without a serious fracture in the church today, and a severance from what ties us to authentic Christian faith.

In view of this, Anglican Mainstream, representing the views of many faithful members of the Church of England, lay and ordained, views with dismay the recent statement by Changing Attitude, urging the House of Bishops to rescind the February Statement on marriage, and to allow couples in same sex relationships, especially clergy, to marry, and be blessed in church.

The Changing Attitude statement is unhelpful and should be politely rejected, for the following reasons:

a) the Shared Conversations of Sexuality, Scripture and Mission are about to begin, and the process will last more than two years. After the conversations are over, motions and resolutions can be put before Synod by those on different sides of the argument, and debated. The Bishops have no authority to make the kind of changes demanded by Changing Attitude before this time. In the meantime, Bishops have responsibility to promote and defend the teaching of the Church, and should not be bullied by lobby groups to do otherwise.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Changing Attitude England writes to the College of Bishops

Changing Attitude England urges a change of policy and practice on the House of Bishops in response to the high levels of anxiety and insecurity being felt LGBTI clergy, licensed lay ministers, and ordinands and the anger and frustration being felt by gay and straight Anglicans.

We urge the House of Bishops to review the Pastoral Guidance document:

There are strong theological arguments for accepting and celebrating same-sex partnerships, including marriage.
Clergy and congregations should be free to conduct services of thanksgiving and blessing for married same-sex couples.
The threat of sanctions against clergy who marry should be removed to enable LGBTI clergy and lay ministers to participate in the mutual conversations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Canon Kenneth Kearon Elected as New Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe

Canon Kearon is Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, a position he has held since 2005. Born in 1953, Canon Kearon is a native of Dublin. Educated at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), he served his curacy in All Saints Raheny and St John’s Coolock, before becoming Dean of Residence at TCD in 1984, a position he held until 1990. He was Rector of the Parish of Tullow (Dublin) from 1991 to 1999 after which he became Director of the Irish School of Ecumenics (1999”“2005). Dr Kearon is a Canon of Christ Church Cathedral Dublin and an Honorary Provincial Canon of Canterbury Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral London and St George’s Cathedral Jerusalem.

The Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin, said, ”˜Canon Kearon has expressed his delight at returning to work in Ireland and his intention to serve the people of Limerick and Killaloe and the communities of which they are a part. I have known Canon Kearon for many years and have always appreciated his personal friendship. I wish Kenneth and Jennifer all that is best within the love of God in their time in Limerick and Killaloe.’

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland

(NYT) Two Cities With Blazing Internet Speed Search for a Killer App

It has been a little more than three years since the Kansas Cities ”” both Kansas and Missouri ”” won a national competition to be the first places to get Google Fiber, a fiber-optic network that includes cable television and Internet running at one gigabit a second. That is about 100 times as fast as the average connection in the United States (on which it would take about two-and-a-half minutes to download 612 kitten photos).

But be careful what you wish for. After a few million in waived permit fees and granting Google free access to public land, the area is finding out that Google Fiber is so fast, it’s hard to know what to do with it.

There aren’t really any applications that fully take advantage of Fiber’s speed, at least not for ordinary people. And since only a few cities have such fast Internet access, tech companies aren’t clamoring to build things for Fiber. So it has fallen to locals ”” academics, residents, programmers and small-business owners ”” to make the best of it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology, Urban/City Life and Issues