Daily Archives: March 1, 2015

(Telegraph) Perfect harmony: how singing in a choir can make us more ”˜moral’

Children who sing in a choir, play in an orchestra or take to the stage are more likely to make good moral choices than their fellow classmates, a study has concluded.

But contrary to belief that sport promotes ideas of fair play and team spirit, the research concluded that playing games does nothing to strengthen people’s moral fibre.

Meanwhile those who go to church or other religious observances regularly emerged more likely to fare better in the face of moral dilemmas than their peers who do not.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Theatre/Drama/Plays, Theology

South Carolina compromise on how to fund spending to improve Roads begins to take shape

Republican Gov. Nikki Haley has been meeting with some GOP House members ”” as recently as Tuesday at the Governor’s Mansion ”” in an effort to merge two competing road repair proposals.

Haley’s plan to fix S.C. roads and a proposal by state representatives had appeared to be on course for a head-on crash. But the two bills soon may become one vehicle, aimed at repairing and maintaining the state’s roads.

In meetings with House GOP caucus members, Haley has indicated a willingness to compromise on gas tax hikes, the size of a cut in the state’s income tax and how to restructure the state Transportation Department.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, State Government, Taxes, Theology, Travel

(RNS) A look Back to 2011–Star Trek’s Spock describes his Jewish roots

The V-shaped hand sign that made actor Leonard Nimoy famous as Mr. Spock may have seemed from a planet far away. But the “Star Trek” star who died Friday said he created it from childhood memories of his Jewish family.

“I reached back to my early years as a child when I was sitting in a synagogue in Boston with my family at the High Holidays,” he said in 2011 during a visit to B’nai Israel Congregation here. Nimoy was 83 and died in his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles.

Before the sold-out audience in suburban Washington three years ago, the actor re-enacted the blessing Jewish leaders recited at that Orthodox service. Prayer shawl over his head, he stuck out his hands in the shape of the sign he adapted for the TV show that ran for just three seasons in the 1960s but became an instant pop culture phenomenon.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Judaism, Movies & Television, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

Do Not Take Yourself too Seriously Dept–Jimmy Fallon's Segment on things going wrong with email

We thought this was great fun–check it out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Movies & Television, Science & Technology

Two Australian Anglican Archbishops reject proposed television changes

The Primate of Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne, and Archbishop Jeffrey Driver of Adelaide are concerned about the effect the changes will have on children and families.

The proposed changes would bring forward by 90 minutes to 7.30pm mature-aged material including violence, sexual content and advertising for alcohol, gambling and M-rated movies. PG-rated material would also be allowed across all channels all day.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Reuters) Bangladesh pays tribute to American blogger Avijit Roy killed in machete attack

Bangladeshis on Sunday paid tribute to an American critic of religious extremism killed in Dhaka, in the latest of a series of attacks on writers who support free thinking values in the Muslim-majority nation.

Avijit Roy, a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants on Thursday after a book fair, sparking widespread condemnation from home and abroad.

His wife and fellow blogger Rafida Ahmed suffered head injuries and lost a finger and remains in hospital in a serious condition. The attack comes amid a crackdown on hardline Islamist groups, which have increased activities in recent years in the South Asian nation of 160 million people. No arrest has been made.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Bangladesh, Blogging & the Internet, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Violence

(AP) U.S. blogger Avijit Roy hacked to death in Bangladesh

A prominent U.S. blogger, known for his writing against religious fundamentalism, has been hacked to death by unidentified attackers in Bangladesh’s capital, police said Friday.

The attack on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, took place late Thursday when he and his wife Rafida Ahmed, who was seriously injured in the attack, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University.

It was not known who was behind the attack, but Roy’s family and friends say he was a prominent voice against religious fanatics and received threats in the past. No groups have claimed the responsibility.

The local police chief, Sirajul Islam, told The Associated Press that the assailants used cleavers to attack Roy and his wife, who is also a blogger.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Bangladesh, Blogging & the Internet, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Jeremy Taylor

Eternal God, who has made all things for man, and man for thy glory: Sanctify our bodies and souls, our thoughts and our intentions, our words and actions. Let our body be a servant of our mind, and both body and spirit servants of Jesus Christ; that doing all things for thy glory here, we may be partakers of thy glory hereafter; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak. Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.”

–Jeremiah 1:4-8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Saturday Night Food for Thought–Teddy Roosevelt's The Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

If you want to read the whole 1910 speech you may find it here.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, Theology

(R. Catholic Church in England and Wales) The Scientific Case Against Three Parent Embryos

Read it all and follow all the links.

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, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

George Carey's (Little Noticed?) Article in favor of the-3 parent DNA Emergency embryo intervention

I fear I will be in trouble once again with some people in the church as I find myself, in conscience, having to go against the line that the churches are taking on so-called three-parent families.

I am, to be clear, firmly in favour despite the opposition shown by some of my colleagues and a powerful lobby of critics from abroad.

A Bill passed by the House of Commons earlier this month will allow for a procedure in which a small proportion of a third person’s DNA is used to create an embroyo in order to prevent potentially fatal genetic disorders. Scientists have found techniques to replace faulty mitochondrial DNA – mitrochondria are microscopic energy creating structures in the human cell – with donated DNA, and Britain is set to be the first country to endorse the practice.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

Dennis Sansom–Dante’s Inferno: Knowing Ourselves and Knowing God

Listen to it all and see what you think.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Adult Education, Books, Eschatology, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Theology

(Ed West) For modern-day Assyrians their present is under attack from Isis, as is their past

The historian Tom Holland tweeted…[yesterday] morning: ”˜What ”ª#ISIS are doing to the people & culture of ”ª#Assyria is worthy of the Nazis. None of us can say we didn’t know….’

There are a few thousand Assyrians in Britain, many of whom were given right of entry because their grandfathers fought alongside the British in two world wars. They are immensely proud of their heritage, and fond of the British Museum where so much of it remains safe; can one imagine how they feel watching footage of these savages destroying what their ancestors built and which they hoped to pass on to their descendants?

There are currently Assyrian troops fighting alongside the Kurds on the front line with Isis, but they are short of weapons. They say they have got little military support from the West, just as they have received little political support in the past; before the latest crisis broke out Assyrians in Iraq campaigned for a safe haven in the Nineveh Plains where they and other minorities, namely the Yazidi, could protect themselves inside the country. Without support from the Americans, the Baghdad government would not agree, and in light of recent events it seems like a reasonable request now.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Iran, Islam, Middle East, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Turkey, Violence