Daily Archives: September 24, 2017

A Series of Wonderful Photos of the new bishop of Sheffield Pete Wilcox

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Photos/Photography

(Globe+Mail) Margaret Wente–Why are good men so hard to find?

Spend a little time with single women in their early to mid-30s, and you’ll be grateful you’re not one of them. The relationship scene is even more dismal today than when I was their age. All the women want serious relationships that lead to marriage, but many of the men they meet do not. All too often a woman moves in with some guy, hoping they’re on the road to somewhere. Two years later, he tells her he’s not ready for marriage and kids just yet. Splat.

But wait. Hasn’t online dating made the mating market easier? Yes – for men. If you really want to hear a woman rant, just utter the word Tinder.

Single women are more equal and empowered than ever before. They have unparalleled sexual, reproductive and economic autonomy. In many ways, they’re doing much better than the men. (Just look at the lopsided university graduation rates, which are now around 60-40). And yet, large numbers of young women admit their private lives are a sad mess.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Marriage & Family, Men, Sexuality, Women, Young Adults

(Wash Post) George Will–Is Complacency thing America strives for most?

Although America is said to be — and many Americans are — seething about economic grievances, Tyler Cowen thinks a bigger problem is complacency. In his latest book, “The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream,” Cowen, professor of almost everything (economics, law, literature) at George Mason University and co-author of the Marginal Revolution blog, argues that the complacent class, although a minority, is skillful at entrenching itself in ways detrimental to the majority.

For 40 years, Cowen believes, “we have been building toward stasis” with a diminishing “sense of urgency.” Americans and American businesses are, on average, older than ever. Interstate migration — a risk-taking investment in a hoped-for future — has been declining since the mid-1980s. Although there is much talk about job churn, the percentage of workers with five or more years on the job has increased in 20 years from 44 to more than 50. Declining labor mobility is partly the result of the domestic protectionism of occupational licensing. “In the 1950s,” Cowen writes, “only about 5 percent of workers required a government-issued license to do their jobs, but by 2008, that figure had risen to about 29 percent.”

There is “more pairing of like with like” (assortative mating, economically homogenous neighborhoods, segregation by educational status), and the nation is losing the capacity and will “to regenerate itself.” In the 19th century and much of the 20th century, travel speeds increased dramatically; since the 1970s, ground and air congestion has slowed travel. Fifty-two years ago, children’s most common leisure activity was outdoor play; today, the average 9-year-old spends 50 hours a week staring at screens. Campuses, Cowen notes, are one of society’s segments “where the complacent class exercises its strongest influences,” doing so to preserve, like flies in amber, its status and consensus, thereby slowing what the economist Vilfredo Pareto called the “circulation of elites.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., History

What You Should Know About ‘Freedom Sunday’ and Modern Slavery

This…Sunday (September 24), thousands of churches around the world will dedicate their service to fighting modern-day slavery as part of International Justice Mission’s annual Freedom Sunday. Around 2,700 churches from 16 countries will share stories about the reality of slavery and call on their congregants to partner with IJM until all are free. The call to act on slavery will go out in 10 different languages as Christians worldwide unite to fight for more than 40 million men, women, and children who are in slavery today.

I corresponded with Mike Hogan, IJM’s national director for church mobilization, about Freedom Sunday and the evil of modern slavery.

What exactly is modern day slavery?

Most people think slavery is a thing of the past, but there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. It’s hard to grasp, but millions of men, women, and children all around the world are considered someone else’s property. Simply put, slavery is the use of lies or violence to force another person to work for little or no pay—also because there’s no one there to protect them. In many places, the laws against slavery just aren’t enforced by the police and courts so slave owners and traffickers know they can prey on the poor without fear of any consequences at all. Think what it would be like if someone picked up the phone to call 911 and either no one was there to take the call or the operators said they couldn’t help. That is the reality millions face.

What parts of the world is slavery a problem?

Slavery is an international problem stretching around the globe, but for IJM specifically, field offices are located and case work occurs in the following places: Guatemala, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, India, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. Just because IJM doesn’t operate in a specific country does not mean slavery does not exist, but rather our knowledge and resources are best utilized in these locations.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

(NC Register) Msgr. Charles Pope–Catholics Beware: The Attack on Free Speech is Growing Stronger

Hate is a strong word. It means “to regard with extreme ill-will, have a passionate aversion to, treat as an enemy” (source: Online Etymology Dictionary, etmyonline.com). True hatred is ugly. One should exercise care in attributing hatred to others because it identifies a dangerous level of passion in them and can poison reputations. Doing so can even amount to libel or slander.

Sadly, the words “hate” and “hatred” are bandied about today in a very careless manner. Mere disagreements or differing views about issues (not even about persons) are called “hate speech” and people who espouse them are called “haters.” Using such a term to describe a person speaks to his or her psychological state. As such, it is a form of ad hominem argumentum, an argument that seeks to discredit the person rather than address the issue. In effect, the charge is an attempt to shame or discredit rather than to debate the issues at hand openly and honestly.

One of the greatest and most prized things about our country has been our dedication to free speech and open, honest discussion and debate about issues and policies. Unfortunately, that has been eroding over the past few decades.

The erosion began with the concept of “political correctness.” Irritating though that often was, there was still the notion that being “incorrect” was not a crime. Political correctness is now devolving into something more pernicious; many views seem to be politically required under pain of social and economic exclusion—sometimes even legal sanction. If you espouse a view that is not the politically required one, the increasing effect is not merely to be scorned, but to be dragged into court, sued, decertified, and/or banned from social media/websites. The legal, economic, and social consequences can be steep and swift. It is today’s version of the “McCarthyism” of the 1950s.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(The Star) Bells ring out as new Bishop of Sheffield, Pete Wilcox, is installed

The Right Reverend Pete Wilcox was installed as the city’s eighth bishop during a ceremony at Sheffield Cathedral this afternoon.

In a time-honoured tradition, he knocked three times on the cathedral’s main door before being welcomed inside by the Dean of Sheffield, the Very Reverend Peter Bradley.

He prepared for his installation by completing a 50 mile pilgrimage across South Yorkshire, meeting people and holding prayers en route.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Augustine

Almighty God, who knowest our necessities before we ask, and our ignorance in asking: Set free thy servants from all anxious thoughts for the morrow; give us contentment with thy good gifts; and confirm our faith that according as we seek thy kingdom, thou wilt not suffer us to lack any good thing; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, he is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
thy throne is established from of old; thou art from everlasting.

–Psalm 93:1-2

Posted in Theology: Scripture