Daily Archives: March 5, 2016

(The Local) Swedish group wants 'legal abortions' for men

Men who don’t want to become fathers should be permitted to have a “legal abortion” up to the 18th week of a woman’s pregnancy, say the young liberals.

The cut-off date coincides with the last week in which a woman can terminate a pregnancy in Sweden.

“This means a man would renounce the duties and rights of parenthood,” LUF Väst chairman Marcus Nilsen told The Local.

By signing up for a “legal abortion” then, a man would not have to pay maintenance for his child, but neither would he have any right to meet the child.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Men, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Sweden, Theology, Women

(Patheos) A Discussion on the Disappearing Church (with Mark Sayers)

This is all happening at a time, where across the Western world we are seeing the rise of a harder left and a harder right. This comes as a shock for since the fall of the Berlin Wall, with Bill Clinton and Tony Blair moving politics into the center, it seemed that such ideology had had its day. Yet ideology is back. What I find fascinating though is behind this move to further edges of the right and left is a common thread. Both espouse a kind of anti-institutional impulse which seeks to remove the restraints on the individual will. Both seek to either return to an idealized past or a utopian future through the hand of a kind of a benevolent, paternal entity be it government, tech companies, or the global financial market. Both end up ignoring, or bypassing the mediating institutions such as family, neighborhood, community organizations or church. Thus, creating the contemporary, atomized, and commitment phobic self, dizzy with choice. There is a significant and growing missional opportunity here for the church to inhabit and rehabilitate this ignored space….

Moore: What are a few goals you would like your readers to walk away with from having read Disappearing Church?

Sayers: There is no going back. We will most likely live the entirety of our lives in an increasingly diverse, contested, globalized, and divided world. As William Davidow and Moises Naim have shown, this world will also be a fragile one. Thus such a moment will be served by a church that is relevant by being resilient. With change and chaos as the norm, a nostalgic desire to return to halcyon days is deeply tempting. Instead of wanting to return to the past, we must learn from the past. Two thousand years of Church history have shown us that again and again, even as large portions of the Church compromise with the spirit of the day. Creative minorities, who engaged new landscapes with creativity alongside biblical orthodoxy and faithfulness, flourish, bring good news and live as ambassadors of the kingdom. This can and will again happen in our day. If in some tiny way Disappearing Church can contribute to that renaissance I will be deeply grateful to Him.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Evangelism and Church Growth, Globalization, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Diocese of London) Living and speaking the Gospel of Christ

Grace Church Muswell Hill is part of a group of churches journeying together as they seek to equip and commission 100,000 ambassadors representing Jesus Christ in daily life. Philip Sudell, the Vicar of St Mary’s, writes:

“Well it all sounded so clear and coherent in church on Sunday ”“ I knew exactly why trusting in and seeking to follow Jesus was the best thing for me to be doing ”“ but when it came to telling my work colleague on Monday morning somehow the words deserted me, I couldn’t put two sentences together and to cap it all my knees were almost audibly knocking at the thought of how they might react!”

If that rings any bells with you then you are amongst friends at least here at Grace Church in Muswell Hill. When the London Diocese shared its Capital Vision 2020 of being Confident, Compassionate and Creative, the aspect of being “..more confident in speaking and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” was something that really resonated with us and tied into some thinking we had already been doing about how to better equip ourselves to share our faith with friends and family and colleagues.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

(FT) Jacob Weisberg: Autocratic attitudes emerge in a modern American setting

Mr Trump does not draw on traditions of European totalitarianism or even appear to know anything about them. He is not consumed with historical grievances; he is not an anti-Semite; he has not tried to build a mass party; and he does not demand the restoration of tradition or an old moral order. Indeed, as a reality television star and cyber-bully on his third trophy wife, he is a good illustration of the breakdown of any moral order possibly remaining.

Rather, Mr Trump represents what autocratic attitudes look like in a modern American context. He is unfriendly towards the free market, the free press, and the free exercise of religion while paying lip service to these values. He is xenophobic, conspiratorial in his worldview, admiring of violence and torture, contemptuous of the weak and unwilling to tolerate criticism or peaceful dissent ”” but all in the name of correcting excesses of tolerance. Various global and historical comparisons shed light on his style and thinking: Juan Perón, Charles de Gaulle, Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin. But Mr Trump isn’t importing Latin caudillismo or Russian despotism. He bullies those who resist him in the contemporary vernacular of American celebrity culture.

This is why those arguing that Mr Trump’s policies are more moderate than those of his rivals Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio miss the point. Mr Trump’s authoritarianism is an amalgam not of left and right but of wacko left and wacko right: he thinks that George W Bush was to blame for 9/11 and that Muslims should be barred from the US. Believing both of those things does not make Mr Trump a centrist; it makes him an eclectic extremist. When it comes to policies, he has none in the conventional sense.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, Theology

Today in History

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Children, Church History, History

(Bloomberg View) Justin Fox–Why Aren't More Americans Working?

The second chart paints a gloomy picture — the picture that Donald Trump may be referring to when he says the true unemployment rate is 40 percent or higher. A 59.8 percent employment-to-population ratio means that 40.2 percent of American civilians 16 and over don’t have jobs. That percentage includes high-school students, 100-year-olds and lots of other people who don’t want or need jobs, so the true unemployment rate clearly isn’t 40 percent. Still, in April 2000 the employment-to-population ratio peaked at 64.7 percent. Now it’s significantly lower. What’s going on?

The answer that I keep gravitating to is that despite the 4.9 percent unemployment rate, the job market is still pretty weak, and probably malfunctioning in some way. This isn’t the only possible answer. In 2014, for example, two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York divided people responding to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (from which the unemployment rate and the charts in this article are derived) into 280 cohorts defined by “birth, sex, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment.” They determined that most of the decline in the employment-to-population ratio since 2000 could be explained by the changing makeup of the population.

But demographics aren’t destiny.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The U.S. Government, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Henry Stobart

Into thy hands, O Lord, we commit ourselves this day. Give to each of us a watchful spirit and a diligent soul, that we may seek to know Thy will, and, when we know it, may perform it faithfully to the honour and glory of thy ever-blessed Name, though Jesus Christ our Lord.

–[The Rev.] Henry Stobart [(1824-1895], Daily Services For Christian Households (London: SPCK,1867), p.49

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

–1 Corinthians 10:10-13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CNS) House Committee calls attacks on Christians, others in Middle East 'genocide'

The resolution on genocide, introduced by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Nebraska, “expresses the sense of Congress that the atrocities committed by ISIS against Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.”

“ISIS commits mass murder, beheadings, crucifixions, rape, torture, enslavement and the kidnapping of children, among other atrocities,” said the committee’s chairman, Rep. Ed Royce, R-California. “ISIS has said it will not allow the continued existence of the Yezidi. And zero indigenous Christian communities remain in areas under ISIS control.”

The Islamic State “is guilty of genocide and it is time we speak the truth about their atrocities. I hope the administration and the world will do the same, before it’s too late,” Royce added.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence