Daily Archives: June 5, 2015

(WSJ) Allysia Finley–The Political Assault on California’s Saint

Father [Junipero] Serra spent most of his missionary life in Mexico. However, his greatest legacy was founding California’s first nine missions””there are 21””and the 600-mile connecting trail El Camino Real that runs from San Diego to Sonoma. Dozens of roads and schools, including NFL quarterback Tom Brady’s alma mater, are named in his honor. Generations of California fourth-graders have had to construct miniature cardboard models of the missions.

While being Christianized, natives learned how to cultivate crops, raise livestock, weave clothes, make soap and perform other tasks necessary to sustain themselves. Father Serra was as integral to California’s founding as John Winthrop was to the settlement of Plymouth Bay. Gov. Jerry Brown has hailed the priest as “a very courageous man and one of the innovators and pioneers of California.”

Yet revisionist historians take a dim view of the missions. A fourth-grade state history textbook (which my class used in 1997) noted that “for the people who had lived in California for hundreds of years before the Spanish arrived, the growth of the missions was tragic . . . Thousands of Indians died, and by the end of the 1800s much of the Indian way of life had died also.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Missions, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Soteriology, Theology

Anglican Unscripted 183: Feminine divinities

With thanks to Kevin Kallsen at Anglican TV

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Richard Moy: Dear Deans

The Reverend Richard Moy is vicar of Christ Church, Turnham Green in West London
The last few weeks have led me to midweek services in various Cathedrals ”“ Winchester, Durham, Canterbury, St Paul’s and for an RC flavour Westminster.

It leaves me asking a basic question. Do we have any interest in the conversion of England ”“ or even the survival of faith within the CoE?

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Fr Dale Matson: Jesus Was A Male

This is not even the end point in feminist theology. Others like Rita Nakashima Brock state

“The feminist Christian commitment is not to a savior who redeems us by bringing God to us. Our commitment is to love ourselves and others into wholeness. Our commitment is to a divine presence with us here and now, a presence that works through the mystery of our deepest selves and our relationships, constantly healing us and nudging us toward a wholeness of existence we only fitfully know. That healed wholeness is not Christ; it is ourselves.” [my bolding] Rita Nakashima Brock, “The Feminist Redemption of Christ,” in Christian Feminism: Visions of a New Humanity (ed. Judith Weidman; New York: Harper & Row, 1984), 69.

And so we come full circle. Feminists have determined that Jesus cannot save them so they have to save Him. The attempt to make Jesus a symbol or a metaphor detracts from His humanity. In detracting from His humanity they are also diminishing our humanity; male and female. The feminist spirit is not new. It began with Eve doubting what God had instructed and trying to become more than she was created to be; wanting to be equal to God. There is an element of symbolism here. Feminism is giving birth to a new Christ and with this new Christ, a new gospel is needed also. In order to make their new narrative work, they must change the Christology of the church. This is the spirit of this age and it has infected the true church however, Jesus has not changed. “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

“Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) Jesus came to reveal the Father. It is a major work of the church to reveal the Son. To obfuscate the person and work of Jesus Christ is to confuse His revelation of the Father, confound soteriology and grieve the Holy Spirit.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Fr Dwight Longenecker: Twelve Reasons Why You Can’t Call God “Mother”

10. Referring to God as “Mother” is part of an overall plan to eradicate any sign of patriarchy from Christianity – Depend on it. Calling God both “Mother” and “Father” is only the first step. God as “Father” must be removed completely. There is an agenda therefore, to alter the very foundation principles and theology of Christianity so that they worship another god altogether, and you only have to read the new age feminist theologians to understand that the goddess they want to worship is nothing like “Our Father in Heaven” instead it is “Earth Mother”. In other words, calling God “Mother” is not an alternative form of Christianity. It is not Christianity at all.

11. To Call God “Mother” is to worship a pagan Goddess – Why are women priests so afraid to be called “priestesses”? I asked one once. She said, “It sounds too pagan.” Indeed. Likewise, why are they so timid about calling the new god they worship a “Goddess”? Because it sounds too pagan. Don’t be deceived though. It won’t be long before they will embrace these terms. A new generation will not be so shy and will say, “Yes, you’re right. I am a priestess and I worship the goddess. So what?” And having accepted the goddess worshipping priestesses who will be able to say “Boo!”?

12. Calling God Mother opens the door to New Age Witchcraft – Why are people so dense about this? One only has to read the new age feminist theologians themselves to discover that the religion they are sympathetic to is none other than the worship of the Nature Goddess”“the God of this world”“aka Satan. Of course “enlightened” people will sneer at such an accusation, but feminist theologians themselves call for the complete abolition of the Father God and the embrace of the Mother Goddess. These feminist theologians have been very influential in the Anglican church. I was there. They were all over the place in the women’s ordination movement. That’s where it is headed, and the reason anyone who can’t see it is because they won’t see it.

Read it all and Part 2 is here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

(WSJ) Ebola’s Long Shadow: West Africa Struggles to Rebuild Its Ravaged Health-Care System

J.J. Dossen Memorial Hospital, on the southeastern tip of this nation recently declared free of Ebola, has three doctors and spotty electricity. Sixteen of its 46 nurses left during the Ebola crisis. When two motorcycle accident victims needed X-rays, the hospital dispatched them in its only ambulance on a bumpy eight-hour ride to the nearest facility with a machine.

The deadly disease may have receded, but it is still exacting a heavy toll. Run-down, poorly staffed and equipped health facilities allowed Ebola to explode. Since it was identified in early 2014, the epidemic has claimed the lives of 507 health-care workers in three West African countries, all of which already were short of medical professionals. The health-care system was so overwhelmed with Ebola victims that many other patients couldn’t receive care for malaria, heart disease or pregnancy complications. That bill is coming due.

“There are more people who are going to die from Ebola, but not have Ebola,” says Paul Farmer, a Harvard professor and co-founder of the Boston-based charity Partners in Health.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Theology

(NYT) Using Violence and Persuasion, ISIS Makes Political Gains

Days after seizing the Syrian desert city of Palmyra, Islamic State militants blew up the notorious Tadmur Prison there, long used by the Syrian government to detain and torture political prisoners.

The demolition was part of the extremist group’s strategy to position itself as the champion of Sunni Muslims who feel besieged by the Shiite-backed governments in Syria and Iraq.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has managed to advance in the face of American-led airstrikes by employing a mix of persuasion and violence. That has allowed it to present itself as the sole guardian of Sunni interests in a vast territory cutting across Iraq and Syria.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Lebanon, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Terrorism, Violence

(Time) Ian Bremmer–These Are the 5 Facts That Explain the FIFA Scandal

The U.S. cracking down on international football’s governing body looks like a recipe for geopolitical disaster. Fortunately, the only thing the world hates more than American unilateralism is corrupt officials compromising the integrity of the world’s most popular sport. These five facts explain the FIFA scandal and the geopolitical implications of this growing story.

1. Sepp Blatter

Nine FIFA officials were indicted last week by the U.S. Department of Justice for taking $150 million in bribes while awarding FIFA broadcast rights. This kicked off a Swiss investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 Russia World Cup and the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Since the story broke last week, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has managed to win reelection and then resign his post.

For years the worst-kept secret in sports was FIFA’s extensive ”˜patronage’ system. Blatter is accused of using FIFA development money, earmarked for promoting soccer in impoverished nations, to secure votes and general support for his initiatives. FIFA generated nearly $6 billion over the last four years””that’s a lot of money to work with.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Sports, Theology

(Church Times) UK Anglicans are in serious decline, say researchers

The decline in the proportion of British people who identify as Anglican has accelerated in the past decade, new analysis from NatCen statisticians suggests.

The proportion who say they are Anglican in the British Social Attitudes survey has fallen from 40 per cent in 1983 to 17 per cent in 2014. In the past decade, the proportion has fallen by two-fifths: from 28 per cent in 2004.

The researchers say that the survey results suggest that the number of Anglicans has fallen by as many as 4.5 million over the past ten years, from about 13 million to 8.5 million.

The biggest group remains those who say they have no religion: 49 per cent, up from 43 per cent in 2004 and 31 per cent in 1983.

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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, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Court backs France in case in which paralyzed man to be taken off life support

The European Court of Human Rights has upheld the decision of a court in France to allow a paralysed man to be taken off life support.

Vincent Lambert, 39, has been in a coma for seven years after a motorcycle accident left him tetraplegic.

His family have been split over whether he should be kept alive.

The case was taken to the European court last year after France’s highest court had ruled in favour of ending his life support.

Read it all.

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

A S Haley–The Episcopal Church is Making a Mishmash of Marriage (Part II)

As one can see, Resolution 2015-A054 offers up a veritable smorgasbord of marriage services for all and sundry. If you are an atheist, the Episcopal Church (USA) is ready to meet you and marry you with its “Civil Marriage Rite”; if it is illegal to marry in your State, the Episcopal Church (USA) will still meet you and bless your union with its “Marriage-Lite Rite”; and if you want the full trappings for your same-sex ceremony, well, ECUSA offers it in modern (“Wedding Rite”) and traditional (“Mystical Union”) versions, according to your taste.

But the consequence is necessarily the dilution of Christian marriage into a virtually meaningless smear. The message that ECUSA is conveying with its cafeteria-style offerings is that it does not really stand behind any one of them; they all must be equally valid, liturgically speaking, and so “you pays yer money and you takes yer choice.” Whether you are really married is between God and you; it is not for the Church to say.

Resolutions A036 and A054, as noted, work in tandem to accomplish this goal. The one would be meaningless without the other — indeed, until A054 goes into formal effect and its marriage rites are authorized by diocesan bishops in their respective jurisdictions, the canonical violations described in the first Part of this post will continue unabated and unpunished.

In the next Part of this post, we will take a longer view of the Church’s abandonment of traditional marriage, and the consequences of that abandonment for two Western institutions of paramount importance: the family, and the “one, true, catholic and apostolic church” itself.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, TEC Polity & Canons

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Boniface

Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servant Boniface to be a witness and martyr in the lands of Germany and Friesland, and by his labor and suffering didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Liturgy of the Catholic Apostolic Church

O Almighty God, who by thy holy apostle hast called upon us to present our bodies to thee a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is our reasonable service: Graciously hear us, we beseech thee, O Lord, and grant that we may so dedicate ourselves wholly to thy service that henceforth we may live only to thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ”˜God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ”˜God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

–Luke 18:9-14

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(FP) How ISIS is turning the Iraqi security forces’ Humvees into their worst nightmare

When the United States gave more than 3,000 armored Humvees to Iraqi security forces over the past 12 years, U.S. officials could not have imagined that the humble utility vehicles would become a decisive weapon in the hands of Washington’s enemies from the Islamic State.

But that is exactly what has happened. Humvees were some of the 30 vehicles converted into mobile suicide bombs that the Islamic State used to blast through Iraqi security forces’ defenses during its three-day conquest of Ramadi in mid-May. The militants also used an armored bulldozer and at least one U.S.-made M113 armored personnel carrier. There’s a simple reason the militants are using Humvees and other armored vehicles as rolling bombs: Their protective armored plating prevents defenders from killing the trucks’ drivers before the militants can detonate their loads, while the vehicles’ capacity to carry enormous amounts of weight means the Islamic State can sometimes pack in a ton of explosives. Some of the bombs used in Ramadi contained the explosive force of the deadly Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that devastated a federal office building and killed 168 people.

The attack on Ramadi was the latest assault in which the Islamic State used armored Humvees as shock weapons to breach security force perimeters, scare beleaguered Iraqi troops into fleeing their positions, and become the centerpieces of flashy videos the group released through social media to its supporters around the globe.

Read it all.

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

(Commentary) Meghan Daum reviews 'Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed": 16 who decided no kids

“There are just as many ways of being a nonparent as there are of being a parent,” Daum writes in the introduction. “You can be cool about it or you can be a jerk about it.” Unfortunately, almost all the contributors to Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed””with the notable exception of the English novelist Geoff Dyer, whose genuinely funny and self-aware essay correctly labels regret in life as “the jackpot you are guaranteed to win”””come off as jerks.

The contributors are professional writers, and many of them assume this means they are entitled to be moody, crankily eccentric, or even borderline insane. Being a “creative person,” we are told””please insert your own skeptical cough or two here””apparently excuses a multitude of sins, including regular breakdowns and grown-up tantrums. Being a “creative person” also apparently allows for Costco-sized carts filled with delusions of grandeur and hefty doses of drama. (The proverbial carts of parents, meanwhile, are filled with to-do lists, bulk diapers, and even bulkier cases of wine.)

“Writing had saved my life,” Sigrid Nunez writes in her chapter, “and if I could not write, I would die.” Children, apparently, often make a hash of the world of great art: Young humans, the novelist Lionel Shriver notes, “would have messed up my apartment. In the main, they are ungrateful. They would have siphoned too much time away from the writing of my precious books.” Attention, everyone: It is officially time to get off Lionel Shriver’s lawn. But first, should someone inform her that her cultural influence is likely dwarfed by people like, oh, I don’t know, the fertile founder of Chick-fil-A?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

(WSJ) U.S. Suspects Hackers in China Breached About 4 Million People’s Records, Officials Say

he Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing an apparently far-reaching penetration of data held by the Office of Personnel Management, in which the records of approximately 4 million individuals were compromised, according to people familiar with the matter.

U.S. officials suspect hackers based in China are behind the attack, though they continue to investigate, these people said. One official described it as one of the largest thefts of government data ever seen.

Investigators said the hack was a separate attack from one detected last year.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government, Theology

(RNS) Most Americans look so kindly on churches, they might even go sometime

Many Americans today don’t think they have a place for church in their lives.

“But they believe the church has a place for them, when or if they are interested,” said Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research, which issued a new survey Wednesday (June 3) on perceptions of religious denominations.

The findings show that as many as 45 percent of Americans will look at the church brand on the sign out front ”” Catholic or Baptist or Methodist or whatever ”” and drive past, thinking it is “not for me.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(C of E) “A new edition every day” ”“ new Crockford website launched

The Church of England has launched a new version of the clerical directory Crockford, delivering a daily update to the 157 year-old directory of Anglican clergy in the UK and Ireland.

The new subscription site has been designed to allow daily updates to details about people and places listed in Crockford, as well as featuring a completely new layout, with clearer language to explain clergy roles as well as more free content.

The latest edition of the website also provides a guide to the structure of dioceses and churches, enabling people to ‘thumb through’ their local church context.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology