Daily Archives: September 5, 2015

Kentucky Law Court Clerk (2): Al Mohler–Welcome to Rowan County, Kentucky

…the hardest questions for the Christian conscience come after she had lost her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. At this point, she has few options. Judge Bunning had his own options, and he opted to send Kim Davis to jail. That, at the very least, is an act of judicial overreach that is more of a political statement than a judicial act.

What are government officials now to do? This story centers on a County Clerk in Kentucky, but the questions will eventually extend to any office holder, anyone wearing the uniform of the United States military, and virtually any government employee. The same pressures will come on anyone teaching on a secular college campus and anyone working for a Fortune 500 corporation.

But the hardest question in this case has to do with the fact that Kim Davis holds a constitutional office that now requires her, according to the federal courts, to do what she believes she cannot do in good conscience. Anyone who sees this case in simplistic terms simply doesn’t understand the issues. Christians of good conscience may answer these questions in different ways. In a fallen world, some questions seem to grow only more vexing.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Media, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

Kentucky Law Court Clerk (1): Get Religion on the Democrat in Kentucky who is open to compromise

And what else has Davis done? This returns us to my earlier question. She has also said she can accept compromises that give same-sex couples their marriage licenses, including in her county, through the hands of other people or with licenses that do not require her signature.

Here is a another detail that I wish I was seeing in print: Under current Kentucky law, does the county clerk’s signature or name have to be on every marriage license, even if it is physically handed to citizens by someone else? This would explain why Davis is refusing to allow her staff to distribute the licenses in their current form. She has said she has no problem with someone else signing them or issuing marriage licenses that do not contain a signature, if the law can be tweaked to allow that.

Are these important facts in this story, the facts concerning her willingness to compromise and allow same-sex marriages to commence?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Media, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(NYT Op-ed) Mark Lawrence Schrad –Does Down Syndrome Justify Abortion?

Hammering home the momentous difficulties that would await us as parents was clearly a tactical move by the doctor to push us toward an abortion.

That abortion is not the exception, but rather the expectation in cases of Down syndrome, is not limited to medical professionals. Though precise numbers are unavailable, at least two-thirds and as many as 90 percent of fetuses found to have Down syndrome in utero are aborted. Public opinion polls show that Americans are significantly less critical of abortion in the case of mental or physical impairment. Even the Dalai Lama says it is understandable.

So it raised eyebrows when we ”” a couple of pro-choice liberals ”” informed our doctors that we had chosen not to terminate the pregnancy. There was pushback: Did we not understand the decision?

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

Rancher Suffers Brain Injury, Becomes Accidental Genius–I never knew such a thing was possible

Erceg’s condition is so incredibly rare that it took numerous scientific studies and brain scans to diagnose her with what is called “savant syndrome.”

Savant Syndrome is described as vastly enhanced cognitive ability in an area such as art and math. Acquired savant syndrome is when a person isn’t born with the condition, which is the case with Erceg. She also suffers from “synesthesia,” a mixing of senses, where the person can see a sound, or hear a color as a series of numbers and letters.

“Leigh is the only woman in the world who has acquired savant syndrome and synesthesia following brain injury that I know of,” said Dr. Berit Brogaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Miami who has been studying her.

Read it all from ABC’s Nightline (or even better watch the video) {emphasis mine].

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology, Women

“There is only one way of practising theology: on one's knees," according to the Pope

Finally, Francis explained his notion of how theology ought to be practiced. The theologian, he said, is the child of his people. “He cannot and does not wish to ignore them. He knows his people, their language, their roots, their histories, their tradition.” That knowledge leads the theologian “to recognize that the Christian people among whom he was born have a theological sense that he cannot ignore.” (The sense of the faithful is an abiding theme of Francis’s ministry.) What’s more, the theologian is a “believer,” a “prophet”””because the theologian “keeps alive an awareness of the past and the invitation that comes from the future.”

“There is only one way of practising theology: on one’s knees,” according to Francis. That is not merely an act of prayer that precedes the intellectual work of theology. The relationship between thinking and prayer “a dynamic reality.” Doing theology “on one’s knees,” the pope concluded, “means encouraging thought when praying and prayer when thinking.”

Read it all from dotCommonweal.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

***Must not Miss***-From Polish orphan to Alabama's kicker: Adam Griffith's incredible story

Watch it all–a super powerful story about love and adoption; KSH

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Poland, Sports, Theology

Kidnappers Abduct Anglican Bishop Of Gwagwalada, the Right Rev. Moses Tabuwaye, demand Ransom

Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of Nigeria, has advised Christians to be vigilant as kidnappers demanded N40 million ransom for the release of Right Rev. Moses Tabuwaye, who was kidnapped on Friday.

Okoh gave the advice in Abuja on Saturday at the 2015 Annual Pre-pilgrimage Retreat and Workshop for staff of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) and stakeholders.

The cleric said that Bishop Tabuwaye of Gwagwalada Diocese was on his way to Awka, Anambra State, for a church programme on Sept 4, when the kidnappers took him away to an unknown destination.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

(Archbp Cran Blog) Gillan Scott–Dignity in Dying: clergy shd promote assisted suicide this Sunday

And please, whatever you do, don’t try to argue against assisted dying on religious grounds. Dignity in Dying has been scathing of religious opposition, treating it as irrational and irrelevant in a predominantly secular society. “Look!” they say, “We have Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, fighting our corner, as well as Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, and his chaplain, Canon Rosie Harper, and..”

And who? Well, that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t seem to matter that last year more than 20 senior faith leaders, including Justin Welby, all signed a letter opposing the previous version of the Bill. Trying to find a Christian who will publicly support their objectives is like finding a turkey who looks forward to Christmas. “No, no, you’re all wrong and our tiny band of Christian friends are absolutely right,” Dignity in Dying insists. “Can’t you see how wise Lord Carey is when he describes the proposed law as ”˜a profoundly Christian and moral thing’?” He wrote a piece for the Mail on Sunday last month, in which he said: “I often find myself asking: ”˜What would Jesus do?’ I think I know what he wouldn’t do. He wouldn’t say: ”˜There, there. Pain is good for you. Take it like a man or a woman.’”

Let’s take a deep breath and think about this for a moment. If assisted dying is Christian and moral, we must believe that Jesus would encourage it. Can you really imagine a woman coming to him with a malignant cancerous growth, and Jesus looking at her with compassion but offering some poisonous berries? Or, if none was available, handing her a knife, telling her that there is nothing left in her life worth living for and that it would be better if she slit her wrists?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer of Thomas Merton to Begin the Day

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

–Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

–Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(AI) James V. Schall–The Moral Dimension of Work

“The moral foundation of political economy,” to use Lord Acton’s phrase, rests on the connection of liberty with right, of right with duty, of duty with leisure and delight, and of all with transcendence.

Our most unsettling economic problems are actually not economic but moral””moral ones that cannot be simply passed on from generation to generation. They need to be chosen and internalized by each person in each generation at the risk of deflecting material goods from their proper purposes.

Work likewise is not exclusively for its own sake. Rather work, while being an expression of human dignity and concrete accomplishment, aims at a product, aims at the material wellbeing in which something more than work can happen. The basis of culture, as Josef Pieper wrote in a famous thesis, is not only work but also leisure that lies beyond work. We work in order to have leisure, not the other way around.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Salvation (Soteriology), Theology: Scripture