Daily Archives: July 5, 2015

(AI) Walter Russell Mead–After The “No” Vote, Soft Grexit Landing Now EU’s Best Option

There are, as many European and American writers have been commenting lately, sound geopolitical reasons to prevent the worst from happening in Greece. Migration issues, NATO issues, energy issues, terrorism, Russia: an angry, inflamed, suffering and radicalized Greece on a kind of Venezuelan path to national destruction could make life much more difficult for Europeans and Americans both. These considerations should be enough to command some attention and resources from policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic sufficient to avert worst case scenarios for the Greek people.

For Grexit to be a step forward rather than a step back, Western and Greek leaders need to become more creative and forward-looking. Washington needs to stop bleating platitudes about the evils of austerity and to start thinking hard about bolstering an alliance that remains critical to its global position; Brussels and Berlin need to move beyond anger at Greek tactics to a sober calculation of Europe’s interests; the Greeks need to reflect on the cost of being represented at a grave hour of national crisis by inexperienced politicians who none of their counterparts in Europe trust or respect.

But Brussels and Berlin (and Paris, Rome and Madrid) need to realize something else. Greece’s problems under the euro have been worse than anyone else’s, but Greece is not totally unique. There are deep design flaws in the euro and the common currency has not worked nearly as well as any of its proponents hoped. The discussion over the future of Greece needs to be delinked from the discussion over the future of the euro””but that doesn’t mean that the future of the euro doesn’t need to be discussed.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Greece, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

The Archbishop of Canterbury's homily at baptism of HRH Princess Charlotte

Amongst Princess Charlotte’s own ancestors, now buried in the Holy Land, is a saint, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, whose life was one of transparent beauty and death one of beautiful courage and service. In her life she forgave the man who killed her husband. At her cruel murder she continued to care for those suffering with her. It is of such beauty that Jesus speaks when he talks of being great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Such beauty of character begins with baptism, and is established in the habits of following and loving Jesus Christ, habits to be learned from parents and God parents, and the whole community of the church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Baptism, Children, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(FT) Peterson Feital–The reverend on a showbiz mission

Known as the “red carpet curate” for his appearance at glitzy film and theatrical premieres, he wants to make the church relevant to creatives struggling with life and their spirituality.

We meet in a public relations office in Soho, the heart of London’s theatreland. (The PR executives are donating their time for free.) His dog collar is accessorised with a bright blue jacket, bowler hat and a multicoloured scarf. The flamboyance reflects his vivacious and garrulous personality. “I am groovy. I am theatrical. I am loud,” he says, redundantly. “I love people. Not everyone gets me.” Yet, he says, he is also a “contemplative soul”.

It is the larger ambition that is so arresting. For Rev Feital is on a mission to create a social enterprise ”” called the Haven ”” in central London. This is part of the Diocese of London’s strategy, Capital Vision 2020, which aspires to reach new people and engage with the creative arts to find fresh ways to convey the church’s message. The steering committee is being put in place, which Rev Feital says will include a City investor as well as representatives from the music, film and fashion industries.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Brazil, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, South America, Theatre/Drama/Plays, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

A Georgetown Times profile on the Rev. Norvel Goff

He has been under the watchful eyes of millions of American people across the nation as he took to the pulpit days after the shooting to deliver a Sunday service, as he led services at the murdered parishioners’ funerals, and as he spoke alongside President Barack Obama at the funeral of Pinckney, who was also a state senator.

And although the shooting has quickly grown into a statewide and national debate of the use of the Confederate flag and race relations in general, Goff maintains his church is his first priority.

“Our focus has been the nine families who lost loved ones,” he said. “Those issues may arise and warrant it, especially about the flag, in the arena of ideas and politics, community activists and faith, but in due time. There is a time and place for everything. For us, this is a time to heal. When it comes to the flag, Gov. (Nikki) Haley is to be commended for her position, but there are other things we need to work on. ”¦ What’s the common good and the greater good for the community? That’s where I am and where my concern is.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Joel Miller–1 thing missing from our national conversation about marriage

Over the last several decades we’ve come to a different take on marriage, as part of a much larger cultural shift I discussed before. Marriage is now primarily a relationship for the betterment and self-fulfillment of two individuals. Two are stronger than one, after all. Together two individuals can better gratify each other’s desires and fulfill each others needs””right up until the moment they no longer seem able or willing, of course.

None of that is false, so far as it goes. But when you take this understanding of marriage and place it within the context of a self-indulgent culture like ours, you create marriages between two people looking to get the most out of the relationship for themselves. University of Virginia sociologist Sarah Corse and Harvard sociologist Jennifer Silva, for instance, describe the rise of “therapeutic” marriage, which centers on the “happiness, equality, mutuality, and self-actualization of individuals.”

When the individuals involved think they can get more for themselves outside the marriage, they cheat or just “consciously uncouple,” to use Gwyneth Paltrow’s morally beatific euphemism for divorce. “[W]e don’t divorce””or have affairs””because we are unhappy but because we could be happier,” explains therapist Esther Perel.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Lowcountry South Carolina Religious Leaders reflect on the Real Meaning of Forgiveness

The Rev. Isaac Holt Jr.

Senior Pastor, Royal Missionary Baptist Church

North Charleston

Forgiveness is done as soon as humanly possible by those who know the toxic consequences of not forgiving.

In forgiveness, the benefit is greater for the forgiver than for the forgiven. Forgiveness begins emotional healing. It releases you from the poisonous thoughts of personal revenge and the prison of hatred.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(PS) Mark Roe–Europe and Greece on the Brink

…the risks have not been eliminated. The margin for error for the major banks and other financial institutions is narrow. Because they are still not strongly capitalized, modest losses from direct defaults and indirect losses from companies with business in Greece can threaten bank equity, causing bankers to cut back on lending. A few miscalculations in a major institution could have substantial repercussions. Making matters worse, central bankers have only a limited capacity to buoy the economy, as interest rates are still near zero.

The second channel through which risk and loss can spread from Greece is other heavily indebted countries, like Spain and Italy. So far, the financial markets have not panicked over the ability of these countries to repay their bonds. But a shift in the political situation ”“ especially in Spain, where the left-wing Podemos party is doing well in the polls ”“ could change that in an instant.

Finally, a Greek default and exit from the eurozone could unleash unpredictable political forces with a knock-on effect on the European economy. After all, it was the first wave of austerity in Greece that led to the election of Syriza, a left-wing party that few had expected would ever govern.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Greece, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from William Temple

Almighty and everlasting God, who resisteth the proud and givest grace to the humble: Grant, we beseech thee, that we may not exalt ourselves and provoke thy indignation, but bow down to receive the gifts of thy mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have being. Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no help.

–Psalm 146:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) 4 July celebrations in US – in pictures

Take a look at all 14.

Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Photos/Photography

(AP) 'Candy Bomber' drops sweets from Utah's air for July 4

A pilot who delivered candy to children in Berlin at the end of World War II parachuted sweets down to Orem to celebrate Independence Day.

Gail Halvorsen, 94, also known as the “Candy Bomber,” dropped 1,000 chocolate bars attached to tiny parachutes at Scera Park on Friday. He flew over the area three times before releasing the cargo into the hands of the children below.

Deb Jackson, co-chair of the event, estimated more than 50,000 people stood in 100-degree temperatures to watch the 4 p.m. drop.

Halvorsen flew in a fixed-wing bomber from World War II with two escort planes attending, the Daily Herald of Provo reported.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, History, Military / Armed Forces

Joyce Lee Malcolm for July 4, 2015–'Wonderfully Spared'

‘You and I have been wonderfully spared,” Thomas Jefferson wrote John Adams in 1812….”

It’s easy now, in a nation awash with complaints about what our Founders did not do, what imperfect humans they seem to 21st century eyes, to overlook how startlingly bold their views and actions were in their own day and are, in fact, even today. Who else in 1776 declared, let alone thought it a self-evident truth, that all men were created equal, entitled to inalienable rights, or to any rights at all? How few declare these views today or, glibly declaring them, really intend to treat their countrymen or others as equal, entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Certainly not America’s 20th century enemies, the Nazis and communists; certainly not today’s Islamic radicals, who consider infidels unworthy to live and the faithful bound by an ancient and brutal code of law. We are fortunate that the Founders of our nation were enlightened, generous, jealous of their rights and those of their countrymen, and prepared to risk everything to create a free republic.

Breaking with Britain was a risky and distressing venture; could the American colonies go it alone and survive in a world of great European powers?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, History, Politics in General