Daily Archives: October 7, 2015

(Stream) Owen Strachan–Heroism in Oregon: Real Men in the Age of Counterfeits

The killers involved in this and many other shootings haunt us. But lately there is some evidence of another pattern: a young man, good-natured and military-trained, who acts instantaneously in the moment of crisis to save the lives of others. This was the case with the Paris train affair a few weeks ago. This was the case again in Oregon. Those of us who bemoan the declension of the American man, historically a force for good in numerous ways, have found our hearts strangely warmed by ordinary heroes as we scan news reports of death and destruction.

I say “strangely warmed” because there is indeed much reason to shake your head at many modern men. As just one example from pop culture, I sometimes watch the television show “House Hunters” on HGTV. Almost invariably on this harmless show about would-be homebuyers, we encounter a man whose demands for the would-be home outpace his wife’s. As the realtor asks the couple what they want, the man spits out an extensive list of his desired accouterments, and they’re usually of the predictable sort. His wife stands uncomfortably beside him as he prattles on. The boy-man speaketh.

This common scene crystallized for me how many men today think about life: they think it’s about them. They believe that they should get what they want, and that everyone else can fend for themselves. The instinct to lead in their marriage by putting their wife’s interests before their own has gone missing. Chivalry, it seems, lies sprawled on the couch in the man cave, snoring loudly while a huge flat screen TV broadcasts endless replays of men playing the games of children.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Men, Psychology, Theology, Violence

(CNBC) Nearly half of Americans have no savings: Survey

Short on savings? You’re not alone.

Twenty-eight percent of Americans have nothing in their savings accounts and another 21 percent don’t even have a savings account, according to a new survey from GOBankingRates.

The rate comparison website surveyed 5,000 people and found just 29 percent of them had $1,000 or more in savings account.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance, Theology

(LA Times) Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says attack on hospital was a mistake

Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told Congress on Tuesday that the deadly U.S. airstrike on a civilian hospital in Kunduz was a mistake, but he declined to endorse calls for an outside investigation.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Campbell said the hospital was “mistakenly struck” and that the decision to carry out the attack was made through the U.S. military chain of command.

Campbell thus offered a further refinement of previous Pentagon claims. On Monday, he told reporters that Afghan forces had called in the airstrike. The Pentagon initially had said the attack by an AC-130 gunship was ordered to protect U.S. forces on the ground.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Theology, War in Afghanistan

(LARB) Jedediah Purdy on the books of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Elena Ferrante

Coates’s Between the World and Me appeals to readers’ desperation to see more clearly, feel more definitely, in a time of terrible racial violence. It resonates, too, with our doubts that justice is near, or possible, or even something much of the country wants. Ferrante’s novels ”” particularly her Neapolitan series, the final volume of which was just published ”” touch a nearer and quieter desperation. As Joanna Biggs wrote in a brilliant review essay, everyone she knows seems to have tumbled from Ferrante’s pages to some intense recollection of their own formative friendships and losses, their own most private and defining confusion and pain.

Yet in these books, both authors, seemingly knowing what readers have come asking of them, refuse to give it. They refuse on grounds that are formal, political, and, in a fashion, ethical. What joins these very different works is their refusal to be our books, to offer an easy connection, a place to rest that feels like clarity.

This is what makes the books documents of the moment. Their resistance to making connection and meaning co-exists with hunger for these. These authors argue, in their language as well as their stories and assertions, that you do not really know others, or yourself. They argue that all experience is violated and corrupted even before it happens. They claim that this condition is intolerable but also inescapable. The work of trying to escape it nonetheless and the desperate, inevitable frustration of that work are the books’ theme and also, simply, what these books are.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Poetry & Literature, Theology

In Nigeria, Crisis rocks Yewa Anglican Diocese over “Prayer City”

The lingering crisis rocking the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Diocese of Yewa, Ilaro, Ogun State has taken a dangerous dimension as the members of the congregation demand the removal of their Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Revd Michael Adebayo Oluwarohunbi from office.

The festering crisis took a turn for the worse last Sunday following a fresh directive from Bishop Oluwarohunbi banning all priests under the Yewa Diocese from officiating and ministering at the church’s officially designated prayer ground, popularly called the “Prayer City.”

According to a copy of the memo dated September 28, 2015 signed by Bishop Oluwarohunbi and obtained by our correspondent in Abeokuta,the cleric barred the members of the congregation under the diocese from attending spiritual programmes organised as groups or individuals in the “prayer city.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

(CSM) Many school shooters, one common factor: a warped view of masculinity

Sorting out the specifics of the shooter’s background and motivation will take investigators some time. Those who have studied mass killings say it’s not uncommon for the perpetrators to harbor anger against society and express hatred toward various groups. Yet harboring such views doesn’t necessarily mean they were the prime motivation for the crime, they say.

Usually it’s “a toxic cocktail of factors,” says Christopher Kilmartin, a professor of psychological science at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va.

But there’s one topic that’s not getting enough discussion, he and some others say: masculinity. “The elephant in the room with … mass shootings is that almost all of them are being done by men,” Professor Kilmartin says. Male shooters often “project their difficulties onto other people…. In this case, it sounds like he was blaming Christians for his problems, but the masculinity piece is what is really missing in the discussions about the equation.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Men, Pastoral Theology, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology, Violence

HEARTWARMING–Widow of fallen Columbia SC area police officer volunteers at Food Shelter

At the Harvest Hope Food Bank, each volunteer has a reason to serve, including Kassy Alia. Tuesday afternoon, Alia was dubbed the “Fun Food Lady” as she sorted cart-loads of cakes, pies, and pizzas.

“Something that’s brought me a lot of peace over the past few days is I know I told my husband everyday how much I loved him, and he did the same for me. I’m confident, and I know that he would be so proud of me,” she said.

Kassy’s late husband, Forest Acres police officer Greg Alia, was shot and killed in the line of duty last week while responding to a suspicious vehicle call at Richland Mall. He was a new father, just 32 years old, and a star at the small department. Alia was laid to rest on Saturday as the rain rolled in.

Read it all and watch the whole video.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Weather

(AP) Round Two–Downstream South Carolina towns brace for flooding

Along South Carolina’s coast, residents were preparing for a second round of flooding as rivers swollen from days of devastating rains make their way toward the Atlantic.

Residents near a dam in Richland County were told to evacuate Wednesday morning, with authorities saying the dam could breach at any time.

Crews worked overnight to try to stabilize the Beaver Dam after a sinkhole formed nearby, pumping water out of of the pond to relieve pressure on the dam.

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Posted in * General Interest, * South Carolina, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

(BBC) Bishop Peter Ball sex abuse victims sue Church of England

Sex abuse victims of former Sussex bishop Peter Ball are suing the Church of England for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Ball, 83, who admitted offences against 18 teenagers and young men in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, is being sentenced at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.
Lawyer David Greenwood who represents four victims said legal action had been lodged against the Chichester diocese
The Church of England has not yet commented.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

Graham Usher–Why I, as a bishop and a scientist, support the Pilgrimage to Paris

As an ecologist – I studied Ecological Science at university – I take an interest in the evidence about climate change. Overwhelmingly it shows that we are seeing major climatic effects from increased carbon in the atmosphere and these effects will increase unless something major is done. Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si wrote, ”˜A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system’. I hope that his important contribution to the current debate will make more people wake up.

Many have already. They see daily the devastating effects of climate change in terms of increased sea levels, major weather events, flooding and drought. A defence strategist told me recently about the impact that climate change is having, and he predicted will increasingly have, in fostering future wars and world tensions. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, picked this up as a theme in his speech during the debate about the environment at the General Synod in July, saying, ”˜Climate change is both a driver of conflict and a victim of conflict’. No wonder the military are taking it seriously.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, France, Globalization, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Christina Rossetti

O Lord, because we often sin and have to ask for pardon, help us to forgive as we would be forgiven; neither mentioning old offences committed against us, nor dwelling upon them in thought; but loving our brother freely as thou freely lovest us; for thy name’s sake.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ”˜I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Threads) Becky Miles–Why aren’t millennials reading the Bible?

The Bible. We tweet it, believe it, preach it, argue about it. But the stats suggest we’re not reading it, or at least, reading it less often. Evangelical Alliance’s survey in 2011 found only 38 per cent of those 16-44 read their Bible every day compared to 69 per cent of those over 65. Perhaps yes, those over 65 will often be retired and may also have more time on their hands, but the results for those aged between 44 and 65 were much higher, suggesting there is a generational decline, which supports other studies both in the UK and across the western world.

It would be easy to assume we don’t hold the Bible in such great authority as previous generations, but the evidence doesn’t suggest this. Most show young millennial Christians still believe the Bible to be the word of God. So why aren’t we reading it?

Problem 1: The rise of technology

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but there are some potential drawbacks.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Books, Church of England (CoE), Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

Tuesday Afternoon Mental Health Break–Avinu Malkeinu ”“ Shira Choir ft. Shulem Lemmer

Our Father, Our King

Our father our king, hear our voice
Our father our king, we have sinned before you
Our father our king, Have compassion upon us
and upon our children
Our father our king
Bring an end to pestilence,
war, and famine around us
Our father our king,
Bring an end to all trouble
and oppression around us

Our father our king,
Our father our king,
Inscribe us in the book of (good) life
Our father our king, renew upon us
Renew upon us a good year

Hear our voice
Hear our voice
Hear our voice

Our father our king,

Our father our king,
Renew upon us a good year

Our father our king,
Hear our voice
Hear our voice
Hear our voice
Hear our voice

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Judaism, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture