Daily Archives: November 5, 2014

(RNS) How religion played in the midterm elections

Simply put, the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. According to yesterday’s exit polls, the religious layout of the electorate looks almost identical to the last midterm election in 2010, and not much different from the 2012 presidential election.

In 2010, Protestants voted Republican 59 percent to 38 percent, this time it was 60-38. (White Protestants went from 69-28 to 71-27.) As for Catholics, it was 54-44 Republican in 2010, 53-45 this year, with white Catholics staying at exactly 59-39. For the Nones, it was 68-30 Democratic in 2010 and 69-29 this year. The only significant difference from 2012 came among Catholics, who that year voted narrowly Democratic, 50-48. At 57-42, Protestants were only marginally less Republican.

The one group that appears to have shifted significantly compared to the last midterm were members of “other religions” ”” Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc. In 2010, three out of four voted Democratic, while this time around it was two out of three. And given that their proportion of the vote increased from 8 percent to 11 percent, that was not a trivial number of votes.

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Posted in Uncategorized

(Telegraph) MPs vote to make sex selection abortion illegal

MPs have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion declaring that sex-selection abortion is illegal.

They voted 181 to 1 for a motion brought forward by a cross-party alliance of MPs in an effort to end uncertainty over whether doctors can be prosecuted for the practice. It will now have a second reading in January.

Confusion over the law was exposed last year by the decision of the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Keir Starmer, not to bring charges against two doctors caught on camera agreeing to arrange abortions of baby girls purely because of their sex, in a Telegraph investigation.

The case was investigated by Scotland Yard and passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service which said that although there was enough evidence, it was not in the “public interest” to bring charges.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology

(Daily Mail) The tattooed vicar called Rob Popejoy who skateboards and rides a motorbike

With his hipster beard, his trendy bow tie and numerous tattoos sprawled all over his body, Rob Popejoy is clearly no ordinary man of the cloth.

Instead, this 30-year-old college chaplain travels on his skateboard, sings along to hip-hop – and even bares his tattoo-laden chest for part-time modelling.

Not only does Mr Popejoy use a motorbike to get to work, he is also covered in body art, including a huge tattoo of Jesus, which stretches across his chest.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(CC) Dying wishes–Advance care planning in La Crosse, Wisconsin

Though it has brought advanced care planning to a remarkable number of people, Respecting Choices has encountered some resistance. Britt Welnetz, the organization’s business development consul­tant, said that she is often asked whether a nonphysician facilitator can effectively discuss medical decisions. She explains that the standardized, patient-centered conversation leads to an overall level of patient satisfaction.

Others ask if the Respecting Choices model can work in a community that’s more diverse than La Crosse. Research indicates that it can. The Respecting Choices program was implemented in a hospital in Mil­wau­kee, and the use of advance directives among racial and ethnic minorities in­creased substantially from 25.8 percent to 38.4 percent. Research suggests that it’s knowledge of advance directives, regardless of race and ethnicity, that leads to their use.

The advance care planning facilitator model has gained acceptance both nationally and internationally. Respect­ing Choices has trained more than 10,000 facilitators, as well as nearly 600 instructors and nearly 30 faculty members who can implement system-wide changes. There are facilitators in 47 states in the United States, and Respecting Choices is the national standard of care in Singapore and Australia; the program is also the model for an $8.5 million European Union study of advance-stage cancer patients and end-of-life care.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

Dan Diamond with some Perpective on Last Night's Election

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, State Government

(The State) Now, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley faces choices

By winning re-election Tuesday, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley became just the fourth S.C. governor elected to a second term in office.

But as the 42-year-old Bamberg native prepares to push workforce training and road-repair plans when the General Assembly reconvenes in January, political observers and allies wonder if Haley will finish her final four-year go-around.

A handful of 2016 GOP White House hopefuls already are courting Haley, whose endorsement could help them in South Carolina’s first in the South presidential primary.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, State Government, Theology

(The State) Lindsey Graham, South Carolina incumbents win

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham easily won a third term to the Senate Tuesday ”“ adding three more vanquished challengers to the half-dozen Republicans he defeated in the June GOP primary.

“I return to the Senate not to seek revenge, but with a burning desire to right the ship of state before it’s too late,” Graham said in a statement from his campaign. “I’m seeking willing partners on both sides of the aisle.

“Tonight, the American people are choosing divided government and rejecting President Obama’s policies, which ”“ he rightly indicated ”“ were on the ballot. The question for the country is ”“ can a conservative Republican Congress work with a liberal Democratic president to move our nation forward? The answer should be yes. I believe it must be yes.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Politics in General, Senate, State Government, Theology

(NPR) Marijuana Votes: Oregon And D.C. Legalize; Florida Says No To Medical

Voters in Washington, D.C., have approved the legal use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Supporters of the D.C. marijuana measure had a 65-29.5 percent lead as of 9:09 p.m. ET, with 20,727 voting in favor.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government, Theology

(Politico) GOP takes control of Senate in midterm rout

Republicans seized control of the U.S. Senate and were on track to expand their grip on the House of Representatives and governorships in the 2014 elections, marking a dramatic midterm rout that cut deep into territory President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party won by commanding margins only two years ago.

With several Democratic-held Senate seats still up for grabs, the GOP has already captured more than the six seats required to take the upper chamber of Congress. Their candidates ousted Democratic incumbents in North Carolina, Arkansas and Colorado and sailed into the open seats of retiring Democrats in West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana. A seventh Republican candidate, Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst, won a brutally competitive open-seat race in Iowa to pad the GOP’s new majority.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate

Not for lack of trying, Democrats couldn’t distance themselves from an unpopular president

Republicans swept to control of the U.S. Senate by capitalizing on voter anger over President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, setting up a clash of priorities that will shape his final two years in office and the race to succeed him.

The economy was voters’ most pressing concern as they cast their ballots in the midterm election, with seven of 10 rating conditions poor, preliminary exit polls showed.

More than five years after the recession ended, ordinary Americans still feel pinched. Wages and incomes haven’t recovered even as corporate profits hit records, stocks have almost tripled and the nation’s output of goods and services grew more than $1 trillion from its pre-recession peak.

Read it all from Bloomberg.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Into thy hands, O Lord, we commend ourselves this day. Let thy presence be with us to its close. Strengthen us to remember that in whatsoever good work we do we are serving thee. Give us a diligent and watchful spirit, that we may seek in all things to know thy will, and knowing it, gladly to perform it, to the honour and glory of thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Gelasian Sacramentary

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, 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

Republicans Retake the Senate Per Many Sources

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

A South Carolina Election of note

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

(NC Register) Anglican Ordinariates Mark Five Years of Benedict XVI’s Unitive Document

When Cardinals Donald Wuerl of the Washington Archdiocese and Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stopped by for a visit to the ordinariate community of St. Luke’s at Immaculate Conception Church in Washington, the cardinals and priests halted in the church on the way out to sing together the hymn Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy.

In a quiet way, it was a remarkable, unplanned scene: Fathers Mark Lewis and Richard Kramer, who had begun their ministries as Episcopal priests, singing a hymn to the Virgin Mary with two cardinals of the Catholic Church, Msgr. James Watkins, pastor of Immaculate Conception, and several priests from Rome, on the eve of the fifth anniversary of then-Pope Benedict XVI’s Anglicanorum Coetibus.

Issued Nov. 4, 2009, Anglicanorum Coetibus is an apostolic constitution that provided for personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church. The document allows former Episcopalians and Anglicans to bring elements of their patrimony, including their distinctive liturgy, into the Catholic Church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Telegraph) Prince of Wales’s plea to Muslims over Christian persecution

Muslim leaders have a duty to warn their own followers about the “indescribable tragedy” of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and around the world, the Prince of Wales has insisted.

He said that faith leaders must ensure their followers respect believers in other faiths “rather than remaining silent”.

His comments came in a special message recorded for the publication of a new report which concludes that Christians are the “most persecuted religious minority” in the world and that Muslim countries dominate the list of places where religious freedom is most under threat.

While emphasising the importance of his own personal Christian faith, he also signalled that he saw his role as to “defend” followers of other faiths including Islam.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence