Daily Archives: April 26, 2016

(PD) Christopher Kaczor–Why Governments Haven’t, and Shouldn’t, Recognize Polygamy

Contemporary sociological research provides extensive empirical evidence justifying the claim that polygamy is disadvantageous for society. [John] Witte cites Rose McDermott’s cross-cultural study of polygamy in 170 countries, which showed,

increased levels of physical and sexual abuse against women, increased rates of maternal mortality, shortened female life expectancy, lower levels of education for girls and boys, lower levels of equality for women, higher levels of discrimination against women, increased rates of female genital mutilation, increased rates of trafficking in women and decreased levels of civil and political liberties for all citizens.

At times, the case against polygamy has been made using arguments, often theological, that would not now hold much sway in the contemporary public square. The case against polygamy begins by considering marriage as a public good. The status of being married is not just about the individual persons and their private relationships; the state publicly recognizes marriage because marriage is a central component of the political common good. Legally recognizing polygamy is a matter entirely different from criminalizing three or more people who live together in a sexual relationship. To recognize polygamy in law is to ask for a governmental stamp of approval of such relationships as “marriages.” We may ask, therefore, whether polygamy is to the advantage or disadvantage of the public good.

Witte’s book is not a systematic political or philosophical treatise against polygamy. It rather provides a useful survey of what has been said over more than 2,000 years of discussion of the issue. The truth is that the good of marriage, and through it the good of future generations, is at stake in how we understand marriage and legally define it

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

BBC Live Coverage of the Hillsborough Inquests verdict Today

Follow it there.

Update Hillsborough inquests: Fans unlawfully killed, jury concludes:

Ninety-six football fans who died as a result of a crush in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed, the inquests have concluded.

The jury decided the match commander Ch Supt David Duckenfield’s actions amounted to “gross negligence” due to a breach of his duty of care to fans.

Police errors also added to a dangerous situation at the FA Cup semi-final.

After a 27-year campaign by victims’ families, the behaviour of Liverpool fans was exonerated.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Sports, Theology

(BV) John Micklethwait-Leicester City on verge of most outrageous surprise in modern team sports

The first truth can be proven by the odds. Nothing in American sports comes close. Judged on their gambling prices, both the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves are pretty useless at baseball, but as spring training dawned you could only get odds of 500-1 on them to win the World Series. Leicester was deemed 10 times less likely to win the Premiership. By way of contrast, bookmakers think that Bono stands a 5,000-1 chance of being the next pope.

The long odds last summer reflected a couple of realities. For starters, the Premier League, the most watched in the world, is an oligopoly: Four big clubs — Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal — have won all the titles in the past 20 years. The big four in England get most of the television revenue (especially once you add in the European Champions League) and they have the biggest stadiums so they can buy the best players and pay them better wages — and there has been a very high correlation between wage bills and league position. Last year’s Premier League winner, Chelsea, spent 215 million pounds assembling its squad, roughly 10 times the cost of Leicester’s team.

The other justification for the long odds is that last summer Leicester looked pretty useless. They had just achieved one sporting miracle, somehow avoiding being one of the three clubs that were relegated, despite being bottom for most of the season. “The Great Escape,” as it was known, saw Leicester win seven of its last nine games, an amazing feat for a struggling team. But miracles don’t tend to happen twice­

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Men, Science & Technology, Sports

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Henry Stobart (1824-1895)

O Almighty and Eternal God, the creator of all things, who hast made our days upon earth as it were a span long, and our age even as nothing in respect of Thee; give us grace, we humbly beseech Thee, to live under such a constant sense of our mortality, and of the shortness and uncertainty of this present life, that death may never surprise us in an hour that we are not aware; but, being always provided with oil in our lamps, we may be ready, whenever the Bridegroom may come, to enter with Him into the marriage feast, and receive a blessing among those who watch and wait for the coming of their Lord; to Whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end.

–Henry Stobart, Daily Services For Christian Households (London: SPCK,1867), pp. 95-96

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to thee, when my heart is faint. Lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I; for thou art my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in thy tent for ever! Oh to be safe under the shelter of thy wings!

–Psalm 61:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The bk that revolutionized ”˜Christian manhood’:15 yrs after John Eldredges '”˜Wild at Heart’

RNS: What would you change about “Wild at Heart” if you were writing it today? Anything?

JE: Here’s the fascinating thing ”“ the proof is in the pudding. “Wild at Heart” is still the #1 book for men in spirituality on Amazon. We still fill every conference we hold. More importantly, “Wild at Heart” is being used in prisons all over the world to help men; it is being taught in Catholic monasteries in Europe and in rural villages in Uganda. What does that story say? [tweetable]There are deep and lasting truths about men that transcend time and culture.[/tweetable] More importantly, the thousands of letters we receive every year are stories of men who have become good dads, loving husbands; stories of men getting free from addiction and living a life of genuine integrity. Isn’t that what society needs? Human trafficking and particularly the sex trade are fueled largely by men with evil intent; men with deeply distorted sexuality. If you can heal a man’s soul he doesn’t support that industry. That is our only hope for lasting justice.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Men, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(New Statesman) Shakespeare, our contemporary: the Bard 400 years later

Dodgy dossiers, smiling tyrants and just wars: Rowan Williams on Henry V

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Rowan Williams, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Books, Capital Punishment, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Theology