Daily Archives: April 21, 2016

[AP] Queen Elizabeth II Celebrates Her 90th Birthday

Posted in * International News & Commentary

[NASA] Stunning Aurora Borealis from Space in Ultra-High Definition (4K)

‘Harmonic produced this show exclusively for NASA TV UHD, using time-lapses shot from the International Space Station, showing both the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis phenomena that occur when electrically charged electrons and protons in the Earth’s magnetic field collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere’ more

Use cogwheel lower right for higher definition video playback

Posted in * General Interest, Photos/Photography

(Express) Turkey seizes ALL Christian churches in city and declares them 'state property'

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken control of six churches in the war-torn southeastern city of Diyarbakir in his latest move to squash freedom of speech and religious movement.

The state-sanctioned seizure is just the latest in a number of worrying developments to come out of increasingly hardline Turkey, which is in advanced talks with the EU over visa-free travel for its 80 million citizens.

Included in the seizures are Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches, one of which is over 1,700 years old.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Turkey

What did the Lusaka ACC-16 Meeting Decide? Some views

There are a number of reports of what went on and what its impact is. A few are below, but if readers can shed further light please let us know and add any links in the comments below.
ACC declines to go along with ‘consequences’ – ENS/Anglican Journal Canada

‘..the council declined to endorse or take any action similar to the primates’ call in January for three years of so-called “consequences” for the Episcopal Church. The primates’ call was in response to the 78th General Convention’s decision to change canonical language that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman (Resolution A036) and authorize two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples (Resolution A054).’

ACC Churns Out Resolutions – The Living Church

‘Resolution C34, proposed by delegates from South Sudan, called upon the ACC to receive the report of the January Primates’ Meeting, including consequences for the Episcopal Church detailed by the primates’ communiqué. It affirmed “the commitment of the Primates of the Anglican Communion to walk together; and commits to continue to seek appropriate ways for the provinces of the Anglican Communion to walk together with each other and with the Primates and other Instruments of Communion.” As part of the consent agenda, the resolution was received without objection and passed without amendment.

A second resolution welcoming the full text of the primates’ communiqué was proposed by delegates from Ireland and Australia. It was initially set aside for further discussion, but was later withdrawn by the proposers. The Archbishop of Canterbury told the delegates that he was pleased with this action, saying that Resolution C34 “covers issues we need to cover,” establishing sufficient concurrence between the ACC and the Primates’ Meeting.

“The consequences [for the Episcopal Church] stand,” Archbishop Justin Welby said in a news conference Monday afternoon.’

ACC-16: Electric Boogaloo – Tom Ferguson, Crusty Old Dean

‘The ACC formally received the report from the Primates’ Meeting in a resolution proposed by Bishop Deng of Sudan. Further, declined to pass a resolution which would have received and welcomed the entire text of the Primates. Some people have been spinning the first action: by “receiving” the Report, is it acknowledging and approving of that report? Others have focused on the second action: Or, by declining to receive the entire text, is that somehow a repudiation? In the end, it did what it was supposed to do: one instrument of communion received a report from another. By failing to receive the entire report, this can clearly be seen as being reluctant to take any further steps, but Crusty is reluctant to see it as some kind of grand repudiation of the Primates, at least at this stage.’

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council

[AS Haley] San Joaquin Diocese Files for Rehearing (I)

Yesterday the attorneys for the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin (of which your Curmudgeon is one) filed a petition with the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Fresno to grant a rehearing (and re-briefing) of the case which that Court decided on April 5, as reported in this earlier post. The link to the Court’s April 5 decision is here, and you may download the petition for rehearing here (a 45-page Adobe Acrobat file; nothing about this case is short and sweet).

Based on what the Court wrote in its decision, the petition recites a number of grounds for granting a rehearing (Petition, pp. 6-7). Let me deal with them one-by-one…

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

[Foreign Policy] Forecasting the aftermath of a ruling on China's Nine-Dash Line

The arbitration tribunal of five impartial experts that has been considering the Philippines suit against China under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) will soon hand down its final decision. Although the tribunal will not decide territorial sovereignty questions or set maritime boundaries, it may well determine, among many other issues, whether there is a legal basis for China’s notorious “Nine-Dash Line” that ambiguously claims over 85 percent of the South China Sea and whether any of the islands in dispute are entitled to a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

If, as it promises, Beijing rejects the outcome, it will harm the UNCLOS system that Beijing, which has ratified the agreement, played a significant role in negotiating. It will also hurt Beijing’s own interests by reinforcing the image of lawlessness that it has acquired by its expansive territorial claims and assertive maritime actions ”” including a relentless drive to convert disputed submerged features, low-tide elevations, and rocks into islands, airfields, and ports.

Read it all

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, China

([London] Times) Investigation reveals Muslim inmates raised funds for ”˜extremists’

Approval was given at a senior level of the prison service for Muslim inmates in British jails to raise money for an organisation linked to the alleged funding of terror attacks against Israel.

The discovery was made by an official probe into Islamist prison radicalisation that identified widespread failings at the top of the National Offender Management Service (Noms).

The Times revealed yesterday that state-appointed Muslim chaplains at more than ten prisons distributed extremist literature that encouraged the murder of apostates and contempt for fundamental British values.

It has now emerged that prisoners in at least four jails were encouraged by chaplains to participate in sponsored fundraising activities for “inappropriate” causes.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Other Faiths, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(C of E) A Prayer for HM The Queen on her 90th Birthday

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

(CC) Andrew Lazo–C. S. Lewis and American political rhetoric

[Laura] Turner’s article shows Lewis decrying the dangers of patriotism becoming a demon when it becomes a god. But Lewis has even more pointed wisdom to offer. His devil Screwtape urges the making of “an extreme patriot or an extreme pacifist,” exhorting us that “[a]ll extremes except extreme devotion to [God], are to be encouraged.” We turn blind eyes to this crisis of the extreme to our own peril.

From a life devoted to literature spanning centuries, Lewis offers an alternative to the trap of extremity. “The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison,” Lewis says. “My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others.” He claims that generous exposure to other voices “heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality.”

Inspired by her long study of Lewis’s circle of friends, Diana Pavlac Glyer calls for such selfless exploration in her talk “Intellectual Hospitality.” Drawing from the Inklings’ practices, Glyer argues that “the impulse to gather, and the impulse to maintain a healthy space” suggest a discourse of distinction wherein we speak with grace even while maintaining very deliberate differences. We must hear voices other than our own.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Anselm

Almighty God, who didst raise up thy servant Anselm to teach the Church of his day to understand its faith in thine eternal Being, perfect justice, and saving mercy: Provide thy Church in every age with devout and learned scholars and teachers, that we may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Lancelot Andrewes

O God our Father, let us find grace in thy sight so as to have grace to serve thee acceptably with reverence and godly fear; and further grace not to receive thy grace in vain, nor to neglect it and fall from it, but to stir it up and grow in it, and to persevere in it unto the end of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

–Psalm 50:14-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Ben Stein–A World Without Fathers:That’s why our country is falling apart from the ground up

Our country needs a great many things. More stealth bombers. More Marines. More medical care for Veterans and their families. More good teachers. But our most urgent need is for more fathers.

In every study, by every metric we have, we see that young people of color who grow up without a father present in the household do far worse in school than kids with a father present, have FAR more trouble with the law, are incarcerated at a far higher rate than young people who grow up with a father present.

The fatherless kids have wildly more mental illness, commit more violent crimes, have more suicides, more rapes, have incredibly higher rates of illiteracy, higher rates of dropping out of school than kids with fathers present.

Fatherlessness predicts trouble for kids of any race.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Men, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

[LM] Official: Pakistan’s blasphemy law is ”˜manmade’ – and promotes ”˜religious vigilantism'

It is not known what prompted the chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) publicly to announce a U-turn in the blasphemy law.

Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani, announced in January that if formally requested by the government, the CII would be prepared to review the controversial law.
The recent judgment of the three-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the case of Mumtaz Qadri has had a salutary effect. Mumtaz Hussain Qadri was an official bodyguard of the Governor of the Punjab, Salman Taseer, when he assassinated him in 2011, deeming him a blasphemer for criticizing the blasphemy law and expressing support for Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who had been sentenced to death in a blasphemy case.

The sentence against Qadri was upheld by the High Court. The bold observations made in this judgment include that the blasphemy law was a manmade law and any criticism or comment about its reform could not be termed as a blasphemous act. It went on that no one could be allowed to take the law into their own hands ”˜as a door would open for religious vigilantism that would deal a mortal blow to the rule of law in the country in which divergent religious interpretations abound, and tolerance stood depleted to an alarming level’.

Read it all

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Religious Freedom / Persecution