The new Episcopal Church Diocese in South Carolina and TEC have filed a motion to extend the time to file a response from March 29, 2018 to April 30, 2018. Interested blog readers may continue to follow the case there on the SCOTUS website.
Daily Archives: March 26, 2018
As with Google, it was advertising that made Facebook money. The crucial difference was that Google simply helped people find the things they had already decided to buy, whereas Facebook enabled advertisers to deliver targeted messages to users, tailored to meet the preferences they had already revealed through their Facebook activity. Once ads were seamlessly inserted into users’ News Feeds on the Facebook mobile phone app, the company was on the path to vast profits, propelled forward by the explosion of smartphone usage.
The smartphone is our telescreen. And, thanks to it, Big Zucker is watching you — night and day, wherever you go. Unlike the telescreen, your phone is always with you. Unlike the telescreen, it can read your thoughts, predicting your actions before you even carry them out. It’s just that Big Zucker’s 24/7 surveillance isn’t designed to maintain a repressive regime. It’s just designed to make money.
The only law of history is the law of unintended consequences. Is anyone — apart from Zuckerberg, that is — really surprised that, during the seven-year period when app developers had free access to Facebook users’ data, unscrupulous people downloaded as much as they could? Do we seriously believe that Cambridge Analytica are the only people who did this? Can you give me one good reason why, after Barack Obama and his minions smugly boasted about their use of Facebook in his 2012 reelection campaign, Donald Trump’s campaign was not entitled to try similar methods four years later?
…this is true of the #MeToo movement. It is a quasi-voluntary response to the drift of things, from deep in the conscience of society. It is, fundamentally, a cultural adjustment, necessary and inevitable though not overtly willed. And, although for the moment quite sincerely explaining itself in other terms, it is the bust to end the 1960s boom in sexual permissiveness.
Sixties libertinism is now more problematic for our societies than even ELP’s noodlings were in ’76. Together with its cultural offshoots—industrial abortion, fatherlessness, the evisceration of marriage—it is, beneath the radar of conventional mainstream discourse, the cause of immense damage. And yet, to speak against it publicly is still to announce oneself a puritan. With such double-binds in play, cultures subject to the laws of evolution find roundabout ways of introducing necessary ameliorations.
Rarely has a generation of ideologues been less honest about the consequences of its agenda than the 1960s Peace & Love generation, which sold its prescriptions as the apogee of freedom and attributed all inadequacies and negative side-effects to a surfeit of false shame or overdeveloped user-conscience. Sexual licentiousness was presented as liberty, cost-free fun, the surrogate of the infinite, as though the human body were a complimentary resource, adrift from its situation in the humanity of the ensouled being. The wastages and casualties of this misunderstanding were swept up by psychotherapists and placed in the bin marked “indeterminate symptoms.”
The agenda had been inadequately measured against life’s iron law that the pursuit of selfish desires leads to chaos and grief, first for those misused in the pursuit of reductive desires—and ultimately for the misuser. Privately, individually, the children of the 1960s found that their pursuit of the chimera of freedom did not deliver as promised, but they had invested too much of themselves in the project to admit as much publicly. Thus was the revolution allowed to persist beyond logical limits and appear to render naturalistic a degree of license that was self-evidently unsustainable.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
As a Muslim who is not happy to see my coreligionists leave the faith, I have a great idea to share with the Iranian authorities:
If they want to avert more apostasy from Islam, they should consider oppressing their people less, rather than more, for their very oppression is itself the source of the escape from Islam.
That truth is clear in stories told by former Muslims, some of which I have heard personally over the years. Of course, as in every human affair, motivations for losing faith in Islam are complex and vary from individual to individual. But suffering from the oppression or violence perpetrated in the name of religion is cited very often.
Take, for example, the words of Azam Kamguian, an Iranian former Muslim, in “Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out,” a collection of memoirs. “I have lived thousands of days in Iran when Islam has shed blood,” he wrote, referring to the violence of the Islamic Revolution. “Islam ruined the lives, dreams, hopes and aspirations of three consecutive generations.” The perpetrator of the mass killings or jailings he talks about was, of course, not “Islam”; it was the Islamic Republic of Iran. But apparently it is easy to conflate the two, extending a resentment of a theocratic regime to the theology it claims to represent.
This trend is certainly not limited to Iran. Authoritarianism, violence, bigotry and patriarchy in the name of Islam are alienating people in almost every Muslim-majority nation….
[it is].. hard to know the exact number..[of #Muslim converts to #Christianity]. But the trend seems strong enough to worry #Iran’s religious establishment — and make it turn to a solution it knows well: oppression+[its backfiring and adding to the trend] https://t.co/we8trwDvYy
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) March 26, 2018
(Telegraph) Will Heaven–Christianity in Britain is only decades away from vanishing – but there is hope yet
….it’s overwhelmingly likely that the children and grandchildren of today’s immigrants will be less religious. Secularism is the dominant cultural force. For Christians, especially, the trends are alarming. If they continue, we are only decades away from complete statistical invisibility and near-total atheism.
But it would be wrong – and surely un‑Christian – to give in to fatalism, or to the Marxist historical view that we are subject to vast, impersonal forces and can’t do a thing to resist them. There are points of light scattered about and reasons for hope.
For a start, young people become parents – and when they do, they’ll find faith schools dominating the league tables and achieving the best results for their children. They may even find themselves re-engaging with the Church to win a place at them.
There is also evidence of an emerging Christian counter-culture. Evangelical churches are springing up, partly thanks to a sympathetic Archbishop of Canterbury. The new Gas Street Church in Birmingham, based in an old warehouse, attracts hundreds each week. Good liturgy – tambourines for some, the music of Thomas Tallis for others – is for me the crucial factor. It helps to explain a wonderful fact: attendance at Anglican cathedrals is up over the last decade.
(FT) Shell faces push from shareholders, among whom is the Church of England, on climate change goals
…climate activists are disputing Shell’s claim that its goal is in line with the Paris agreement — the 2015 international pact aimed at limiting global temperature rises to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels.
“The ambitions announced by Shell are inconsistent with the Paris agreement, in particular when taking into account expected global energy demand growth,” said Mark van Baal of Follow This, the shareholder group that has submitted a resolution calling for more aggressive targets.
Activists point to forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency, which advise governments on climate change and energy policy, that an absolute reduction in carbon emissions of 60-65 per cent would be required by 2050 to fulfil the Paris agreement.
Moreover, they say that Shell’s goal for a 50 per cent reduction would be only 25 per cent in absolute terms if the group maintains its share of a global energy market that is forecast to grow by 50 per cent by 2050.
Read it all (subscription).
The Church in Wales may have to argue that better public services require people to pay “a bit more tax”, the Archbishop of Wales has said.
The Most Rev John Davies warned there were “dwindling services” and a “disintegration of communities”.
Diocese of #SouthCarolina to offer Basic Christian Theology Class this Easter https://t.co/IHtnNH46mJ Beginning April 4 and for the following six Weds, we will offer a course on Basic Christian #Theology taught by Canon Theologian Dr. Kendall Harmon with Bp Mark Lawrence +othrs pic.twitter.com/9yrGSpFEnI
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) March 26, 2018
Beginning April 4 and for the following six Wednesdays, the Diocese of South Carolina will offer a course on Basic Christian Theology taught by Canon Theologian Dr. Kendall Harmon with Bishop Mark Lawrence and others. The first five classes will be held at St. Philip’s Church, Charleston, and the last two will be held at St. Michael’s Church, Charleston. The classes will be held in the church parish halls.
The format of the evenings will be to have a teaching from 7 to 8 pm (after which people who need to leave may do so), with an open Question and Answer session to follow for those who wish to stay from 8 to 8:30 p.m.
The class will cover the following topics in order:
- Authority and Revelation
- The Holy Trinity
- The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
- The Nature of Human Beings
- The Christian Life
- The Church
- Eschatology, or the Last Things
Though there is no charge for the class, participants are asked to register online at www.diosc.com and obtain the book, Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief, by Bruce Milne. Participants are asked to bring the Milne book and their own Bible to each session. There will be reading assignments as well as a minimum of course work to be completed. Though there will not be credit awarded, at this time, we hope for this to be the beginning of a lay theology curriculum offered by the Diocese in the future.
Download a poster to share in your parish.
Empty churches. One-person congregations. Ministers “dressed up with no one to listen.” Is this the stark reality facing Church of England parishes?
While to many, the future of the denomination looks bleak, there are major efforts at work aimed at bringing the faithful back to the church.
One is a digital initiative that develops new ideas to enhance outreach and information. Another seeks to showcase the importance of the church community during momentous events in people’s lives, such as weddings and funerals, when they’re seeking answers to critical questions.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who..[in this week] didst enter the rebellious city where thou wast to die: Enter into our hearts, we beseech thee, and subdue them wholly to thyself. And, as thy faithful disciples blessed thy coming, and spread their garments in the way, covering it with palm branches, make us ready to lay at thy feet all we have and are, and to bless thee, who comest in the name of the Lord.
–Prayers for the Christian Year (SCM, 1964)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother.
To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Acha”²ia:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
–2 Corinthians 1:1-7