Daily Archives: March 7, 2015

(Telegraph) Discrimination against Christians ”˜ignored’ across Europe ”“ MPs

Discrimination against Christians is being “ignored” by governments and courts, MPs from across Europe have warned in the wake of a string of cases involving the rights of British workers to wear crosses or discuss their beliefs.

The parliamentary arm of the Council of Europe has issued a formal declaration urging states to recognise the principle of “reasonable accommodation” for the beliefs of traditionalist Christians on issues such as homosexuality for the first time.

The first test of the new call will come as early as this week with the opening of an employment tribunal case involving a London nursery worker who claims she was dismissed for telling a lesbian colleague her beliefs on same-sex marriage.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(LA Times) Memories of Selma and 'Bloody Sunday': 'They came with nightsticks'

They became iconic images of the civil rights movement: A middle-aged black woman tear-gassed and beaten and slumped unconscious on the side of the road. A white Alabama state trooper, billy club in hand, stands above her. In another photo, a young man cradles her body in his arms.

Amelia Boynton Robinson, the woman in those photos, had helped galvanize hundreds of activists to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965 ”” part of a march from Selma to Montgomery to demand their civil rights. Helmeted law enforcement officers pummeled the peaceful demonstrators on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”

“They came with horses,” Boynton Robinson recalled. “They came with nightsticks.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

(FP) Shiite militias with US blood on their hands are leading the charge to drive ISIS out of Tikrit

“We’re moving on Salahaddin,” said Badr Organization spokesman and military commander Karim al-Nouri. “And there are three names that strike fear in the heart of daesh: Hajj Qassem Suleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and Hadi al-Amiri.”

These three figures might not be household names in Indiana, but in Iraq they are the biggest stars within the constellation of Shiite militias that are now trying to drive the Islamic State out of Tikrit, the capital of Salahaddin province. Suleimani, who is the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, regularly travels around the Middle East to lend support to Tehran’s allies; Muhandis, who is the leader of the Kataib Hezbollah militia, was convicted for the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait; and Amiri is the commander of the Badr Organization, one of Iraq’s largest and most prominent Shiite militias. Together, they form the backbone of Iranian influence in Iraq, which is at its highest point in almost four centuries.

Iraq’s Shiite militias have seen their influence skyrocket since last summer, as they have played a central role in beating back the Islamic State’s advance in Baghdad and the surrounding area. Tikrit, however, presents them with new challenges: It is the largest predominantly Sunni city that they have sought to reclaim, and U.S. officials have warned of a sectarian bloodbath if the militias launch an offensive there.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Theology, Violence

Local Lowcountry SC Economy gets Big boost from new Mercedes-Benz Plant

Mercedes-Benz Vans will build a new assembly plant for its Sprinter vans in this Lowcountry town, investing a half-billion dollars and creating 1,300 jobs, the company said Friday.

The company said the plant will allow vans to be more economically produced for the growing U.S. market. It will manufacture vans under the Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner nameplates.

Last year the company, a division of Daimler AG, sold almost 26,000 Sprinters in the United States, second only to sales in Germany.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

Anglican Church of Canada Liturgy Task Force on track for 2016

With substantial progress made in the revision of contemporary language liturgical texts used by the Anglican Church of Canada, the Liturgy Task Force expects to have a wealth of new material ready for General Synod 2016.

Among the resources it hopes to present are a series of inclusive-language psalms, a full set of morning and evening prayer liturgies, and alternative collects for all three years of the Revised Common Lectionary.

The task force also plans to present an electronic version or platform for the Eucharistic Ordo (the structure of the Eucharist) and some alternate baptismal liturgy””the focus of members who assembled at Church House in Toronto from March 2-4.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(NPR) Part-Time Workers Struggle W/ Full-Time Juggling Act

…there are more than 6.5 million people working part time who would like to have more hours.

Randa Jama pushes airline passengers on wheelchairs to their gates at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. This had been a full-time job when she took it last fall, but then a couple of months later, that changed.

“They told me that you’re working only Saturday and Sunday from now,” she says.

That cut her hours to 12 a week. Sometimes, her supervisors ask her at the last minute to stay late or do an extra shift. Since she cut back on babysitters, she can’t accommodate.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Psychology, Theology

Edmonton's McDougall United Church as an example of Struggling Downtown Mainline Parishes

The city is working on a last-ditch plan to rescue deteriorating McDougall United Church from being torn down.

The 105-year-old building at 10025 101st St., was Edmonton’s first concert hall. It boasts fine acoustics that still make it a prime music venue.

But the small congregation hasn’t had enough money for the long-term maintenance needed to keep the facility in healthy condition.

A recent engineering report determined the church needs $18.4 million to $25.4 million in repairs during the next seven years.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Perpetua and Her Companions

O God the King of saints, who didst strengthen thy servants Perpetua and Felicitas and their companions to make a good confession, staunchly resisting, for the cause of Christ, the claims of human affection, and encouraging one another in their time of trial: Grant that we who cherish their blessed memory may share their pure and steadfast faith, and win with them the palm of victory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from William Temple

O Jesus, Master and Lord, pour into our hearts thine own heroic love; that being filled with love we may know the love which passeth knowledge, and live in the unknown power of love to win men to trust in love, to the glory of God who is love.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

At the set time which I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars….

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.

–Psalm 75: 2-3; 6-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CT) Hannah More: Powerhouse in a Petticoat

Imagine yourself seated at a fashionable London dinner party in 1789.

The women are wearing hoops several feet wide, their hair dressed nearly as high and adorned with fruit or feathers. In between hips and hair, bosoms overspill. The men sport powdered hair, ruffled shirts, embroidered waistcoats, wool stockings, and buckled shoes. Politeness and manners reign around a table laden with delicate, savory dishes.

As guests wait for the after-dinner wine to arrive, a handsome but demure woman pulls a pamphlet from the folds of her dress. “Have you ever seen the inside of a slave ship?” she asks the natty gentleman seated next to her. She proceeds to spread open a print depicting the cargo hold of the Brookes slave ship. With meticulous detail, the print shows African slaves laid like sardines on the ship’s decks, each in a space so narrow, they can’t lay their arms at their sides. The print will become the most haunting image of the transatlantic slave trade””as well as a key rhetorical device used to stop it.

The woman sharing it is Hannah More.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Women