Daily Archives: December 2, 2016

Whos on Which Side of the Lunch Counter? Civil Rights, Religious Accommodation+Diversity Challenges

Perhaps progressives hope and expect that, under the heavy weight of the law, traditionalists will abandon their religious conviction that sexual relations should be confined to marriage between a man and a woman. If that is the expectation, then the project would appear to be one in suppression or elimination: disagreements about marriage and sexuality should be eliminated by using law to make one side disappear.

More commonly, though, what we hear from the progressive side is that the Christian florist and photographer and marriage counselor are still free to retain their private religious convictions about marriage. They simply cannot act on those convictions while carrying on the business of florist or photographer or counselor. Such religious commitments should be left behind when the believer enters the public square. If a believer is unwilling or unable to make that sacrifice, then she should stay at home or find some other line of work.

This position is overtly segregationist in its strategy for dealing with religious diversity. Those who take this view are analogous to the 1960s segregationist who said, “Of course there’s a place for you: it just isn’t here (in this school, or this section of the bus, or this end of the lunch counter).” In that respect, it is the contemporary progressive, not the Christian florist or photographer, who is the faithful heir of Jim Crow.

Read it all from Professor Steven Smith at PD.

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

([London] Times) Most Muslims want full integration with British way of life

More than half of British Muslims want to “fully integrate” with society, according to the most extensive survey of its kind.

Research involving more than 3,000 Muslims shows that they broadly share the views and priorities of the wider population, rather than being shaped by supposedly “Islamic” concerns. Ninety-three per cent feel a fairly or very strong attachment to Britain and are likely to identify the NHS, unemployment and immigration as the biggest issues facing the country.

British Muslims were more likely than the general population to condemn terrorism, the survey by ICM and Policy Exchange, the right-of-centre think tank, found. They were also more likely to give credence to conspiracy theories that the United States government or Jewish influences were behind the September 11 attacks.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Multiculturalism, pluralism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Sociology, Theology

Remembering the San Bernardino Terror Attack one year later–ABC's Nightline

New video, obtained by ABC News, shows Farook two days before the attack practicing at a local firing range with a pistol and an assault rifle that a friend bought for him

The video shows Farook adjusting the sights on his rifle and then firing at paper torso silhouette targets, one of which was later recovered in the shooters’ vehicle and led authorities to the range.

“They had high-powered weaponry. They had lots of ammunition. They had bombs at their disposal,” said Burguan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Pastoral Theology, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(NC Reporter) Irish RC priest warns of depression among overworked clerics

Irish priests’ ever-increasing workload is threatening to turn this aging, demoralized and declining group into “sacrament-dispensing machines” who find pastoral work less and less satisfying, a co-founder of Ireland’s Association of Catholic Priests has warned.
In his address to the association’s annual general meeting in Athlone Nov. 16, Fr. Brendan Hoban highlighted how suicide is on the rise among Irish priests, a group he said was also increasingly prone to depression.

With the vast majority of Irish priests now age 70 or over, elderly diocesan priests are living increasingly isolated and lonely lives and are constantly “reminded that we no longer really matter, that at best we’re now little more than a ceremonial presence on the sidelines of life,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Ireland, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Stress

The Archbishop of Canterbury opens House of Lords debate on shared UK values this morning

There is no better example of the expression of good values than in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan; a story deeply embedded in our collective understanding of what it means to be a good citizen, and which reminds us that our values have not emerged from a vacuum”Š”””Šbut from the resilient and eternal structure of our religious, theological, philosophical and ethical heritage.

It reinforces a Christian hope of our values: those of a generous and hospitable society rooted in history; committed to the common good and solidarity in the present; creative, entrepreneurial, courageous, sustainable in our internal and external relations; and values that are a resilient steward of the hopes and joys of future generations in our country and around the world”Š”””Šhopes that are not exclusive, but for all. That is what our values have been when they are at their best.

Burke famously wrote that society is a “partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”[1] He articulates an idea of loyalty:[2] loyalty to those who have sacrificed much in the past for us to be where we are; to our fellow citizens and to those whose lives will stem from our lives. Speaking of loyalty transforms the abstract idea of values”Š”””Šshared or otherwise”Š”””Šinto relationships and practices.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BBC) ISIS group to step up attacks on Europe – Europol

Europol has warned that militants from so-called Islamic State (IS) will aim to step up attacks on European targets, as they face defeat in the Middle East.
The European police force says more foreign fighters will try to come back to Europe, and “several dozen” capable of attacks could already be there.
Their tactics could include car bombs, kidnappings and extortion, it said.
But the report plays down the likelihood of attacks on critical infrastructure, such as nuclear sites.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Channing Moore Williams

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy Servant Channing, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the peoples of Asia. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Saviour Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from W E Scudamore

O Lord Jesus Christ, who at thy first coming didst warn us to prepare for the day when thou shalt come to be our judge: Mercifully grant that being awake from the sleep of sin, we may always be watching and intent upon the work thou hast given us to do; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, every one who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy and a pavilion. It will be for a shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

–Isaiah 4:2-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[GAFCON UK] An open letter to the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council

the doctrinal primacy of the Bishops’ 1987 motion was subsequently announced by the Archbishop of Canterbury who had signed off the 1991 document; and that was the legal advice. Of course, the 1991 Issues in Human Sexuality, while being uneven as many such statements are, contains most helpful material. For example, Section 2.29 is a brilliant summary of the biblical teaching on sexual relationships:

“There is ”¦ in Scripture an evolving convergence on the ideal of lifelong, monogamous, heterosexual union as the setting intended by God for the proper development of men and women as sexual beings. Sexual activity of any kind outside marriage comes to be seen as sinful, and homosexual practice as especially dishonourable.”

It is a fact that every bishop and priest/presbyter in the Church of England is bound “with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word” (BCP Ordinal). Surely, therefore, Canon Andy Lines and the GAFCON UK Task Force should be thanked, rather than opposed, in all their efforts to help the Church at large be true to its apostolic faith, and its clergy true to their canonical duty.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(CC) Lydia Bailey–Advent is about "the radiance when God comes close"

Is this not what Advent is about? God is coming to reside in the intimate particularity of our everyday lives.

Standing on the porch at home, my mind went to other settings: the bitter lot of Syrian refugees””they were under this moon. I thought of those at the homeless shelter in Cleveland where I work, having one last cigarette outside before lights off. Moonlight was touching their foreheads in a tender way. Beyond them were empty warehouses, the moon defining the scarred rooftops of the city before reaching the expanse of Lake Erie and shining brilliantly on waves.

My entire family went back for the 11 p.m. service. We were a tiny cluster leaving the church, walking to our car and driving home with moonlight enveloping us. After everyone had gone to bed, I stood out in the backyard. No wind, not a sound””except something like the sound of the ground absorbing moisture. This was not an empty silence but the quiet being of rocks, ferns, moss, the roots of trees.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Theology

(Stuff) 150 years of formal Anglican worship in Tawa recognised with service

The Anglican church is celebrating 150 of worship in the Tawa area this year.

On November 27, a celebratory service was held at St Christopher’s Church, on the corner of Main Rd and Lyndhurst Rd, with Bishop Justin Duckworth giving the sermon.

It was the second event held in Tawa this year to mark the occasion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Church History, History

Church of England launches its #JoyToTheWorld Christmas campaign

Over 27,000 services and events, ranging from the contemporary to traditional carols and nativity stories, have been added to a new website that enables the public to enter their postcode and find Christmas services and events happening near them.

Smartphone users will also be able to geo-locate the nearest services and add a reminder to their calendar. So far more than 2,300 congregations are providing mulled wine and 3,500 sharing mince pies after services.

In addition to the www.AChristmasNearYou.org website, there are four videos being released throughout December, each one sharing a moment of true Christmas joy. The short films star Gogglebox vicar Revd Kate Bottley, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Becoming Revered author Revd Matt Woodcock and comedian Paul Kerensa.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Advent, Anglican Provinces, Christmas, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture