The fading Western dream: Children earning no longer more than their parents. This is a pretty startling chart, the theme is real and it's simply that the rate of improvement for developed market incomes was better a generation ago. (via Citi) pic.twitter.com/uZkdjvFYcC
— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) February 20, 2018
Category : Children
My son and I are driving to pick up my daughter from preschool, passing houses with icicles the size of trucks hanging from the gutters. To our west, as we cross an overpass above the highway, the sky is starting to weep with pink as the sun begins to set.
“Do you know where God is?” my 5-year-old son Henry asks suddenly from his booster seat.
“Where?” I answer, surprised that he’s bringing up God and curious to hear more.
“He’s that sky,” he says.
“Yeah. Of course. God is everything! Do you know what else is God?”
“He is that light,” he says as we drive past a streetlight. “He’s this car. We are sitting on God,” he says. “Even this toy car….”
(Archbp Cranmer Blog) Martyn Percy–‘Sorry’ seems to be the hardest word: apologetics and apologies in the Bishop Bell case
Lord Carlile reacted by saying that he was astonished that the Church had gone public with the new claim, when among his recommendations was that people accused of abuse should remain anonymous until the allegations are proven. We note that the decision of the NST to share the information through a press release is a direct breach of article 3.8 of the Practice Guidance 2017 from the House of Bishops, published in October 2017.
So, despite the Church of England saying – begrudgingly – that it had accepted many of Lord Carlile’s recommendations in his report, it appears that this is not the case. For starters, the ‘Core Group’ of the NST that will investigate the alleged “new information” looks set to include some members of the previously discredited group. Members of that original Core Group are seriously conflicted and should not in any way participate in the new investigation. The deficiencies and failings in the process and mind-set of the original Core Group were so extensive that no one who was a member of this dealing with the first complaint (by someone known as ‘Carol’) could be confidently relied upon.
We must remember that Carlile’s report noted that the original Core Group failed to establish a process that was fair and equitable to both Carol and the reputation of Bishop Bell. There was “a rush to judgment”, which failed to give proper consideration to the rights of Bishop Bell. The Core Group was set up in an unmethodical and unplanned way, and became a confused and unstructured process. The ‘process’ – if that can be any meaningful description of the debacle overseen by the NST – was predicated on Bishop Bell’s guilt. The truth of what ‘Carol’ was saying was implicitly accepted without serious investigation or and kind of wide-ranging inquiry. Carlile’s report was effectively a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the NST.
As for ‘proven’, Mrs Barbara Whitley, George Bell’s niece, and now 94 years of age, has made it clear that she wished to be represented by Desmond Browne QC. Yet without consulting with Mrs Whitley or the wider family further, on 8th February 2018, Graham Tilby of the NST informed Bell’s family and friends that he had assigned a Mr Donald Findlater to represent their interests and concerns.
(The Hill) In Washington State a student is arrested after grandmother finds journal detailing school massacre plans
An 18-year-old high school student in Washington state was arrested this week after his grandmother reportedly found his journal with detailed plans for a school shooting.
Joshua O’Connor’s grandmother called 911 on Tuesday, the day before a deadly high school shooting in Florida, saying she believed her grandson had plans with “upcoming and credible threats.”
Excerpts from the journal detailed how O’Connor planned to shoot students and use homemade explosives at ACES High School in Everett, Wash., police said.
Officers were alarmed when they reviewed the journal, where O’Connor reportedly wrote about how often he thought about his plan and wanted to make it “infamous” by causing the “biggest fatality number I possibly can,” The Everett Daily Herald reported.
(Miami Herald) Rifle type used in South Florida school massacre ‘designed to kill multiple enemy combatants at once’
Semi-automatic rifles look like military weapons, and in many cases they are. But most types of semi-automatic AR-15 rifles — like the one the Broward Sheriff’s Office said was used to massacre 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday afternoon — are legal for civilian use across the United States. In Florida, any adult can buy a rifle so long as they are not a convicted felon.
Most guns used in mass shootings across the United States were legally obtained — sometimes by the individual, or they were taken from a family member with a permit.
“AR-15s are designed to kill multiple enemy combatants at once,” said Frank Smyth, weapons expert and founder of GJS, an organization that trains journalists for combat reporting. “But of course in the hands of an active shooter or an individual that was targeting civilians, it’s a tactical weapon. It enables them to target multiple people in a quick period of time.”
There is a persistent belief among church-goers that a person should be able to get all the benefits of Christian community without any of the doctrines that make religion unpalatable to modern moral fashion. That’s in essence the mission statement of Mainline Protestantism. And it simply doesn’t work.
The Christian community and Christian service that people love are ultimately inseparable from the entirety of the Christian faith that spawned them. Carve out the doctrines that conflict with modern morals and you gut the faith. When you gut the faith, you ultimately gut the church. It makes sense then that mainline denominations aren’t thriving. They’re dying. Without the eternal truths of the Christian faith, the church becomes just another social club. Why sacrifice your time and money for the same wisdom you can hear at your leisure on NPR?
Here’s the interesting thing: Some of the casual Christians who’ve fled the unsatisfying Mainline are joining more traditionalist churches and schools without changing their beliefs. They don’t become more theologically orthodox, they just crave the benefits of the more orthodox communities. Once in their new religious home, they exert the same kind of pressure for cultural conformity that helped kill the churches they fled. It’s the religious analog of the well-known phenomenon of blue-state Americans leaving their high-tax, heavily-regulated states for red America and promptly working to make it more like the place they left.
Legal victories preserving our fundamental freedoms are ultimately meaningless if cultural pressures create a dreary intellectual conformity. You can win all the Supreme Court cases you want, but if the faithful don’t maintain the moral courage and strength of conviction to tack into the cultural headwinds, it will all be for naught….
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
(Tablet) Lord [Rowan] Williams: the environmental crisis is a toxic expression of humanity’s failures
Lord Williams of Oystermouth was speaking on Monday night at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, where he gave an address on Pope Francis’ green encyclical, Laudato Si’.
He praised the encyclical for highlighting that the Christian understanding of “who is my neighbour?’’ should embrace the whole of creation and that humanity’s treatment of the environment is self-destructive.
“For the Christian, the doctrine of creation is a declaration that all that is comes from God”, said Lord Williams. “But as Pope Francis says, it is not enough to avoid environmental disaster, to love our neighbour and ourselves…we have to ask how do we live in such a way to receive from God”.
Lord Williams, now the Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, reserved his staunchest criticism for contemporary approaches to education.
“Children need to know what beauty is and we need to think how this can be nurtured and developed in education. We have increasingly lost sight of education as a humanising task,” he said.
On the second point, I had to ask myself why we are so timid in being clear about what we believe? Martyn Taylor’s proposed amendment was very modest, simply asking that the affirmation at point a. referring to people with Down’s Syndrome ‘before and after birth’. In doing this, Martyn was proposing that we simply use the language found in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of a Child:
Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth… (in the Preamble).
James Newcombe’s objection here was that saying this would make it harder for Government and GMC to listen to the request made in the motion. But the request came in point d, not in point a. And it is difficult to see why aligning with the UN Declaration would appear to be so unpalatable. But there is a wider point which this hints at: in our discussions with other bodies, and in our making reasonable requests, why are we so shy at being open for our reasons for doing so? If we did make the Church attitude to abortion clear, and if that is at odds with the views of professional bodies, why would that disqualify our request? Do we have to look like these bodies before we can speak to them? Are they so closed to reasonable requests from people with different views, values and outlooks? And does the Church of England have to, chameleon-like, changes its colours to match its surroundings before speaking into a particular context? (Before anyone points it out, I know that chameleons don’t in fact do this.) American theologian Stanley Hauerwas urges that our main priority for living in a post-Christendom world should be to ditch our obsessions with relevance, and simply be the Church we are called to be. And we are not called to be chameleon.
On this issue, it might not in the end make much practical difference. But I am saddened that, in rejecting these amendments, we held back from saying the thing that I think most disabled people want to hear: that we not only value them, but we are prepared to confront those who would see them eliminated. If we cannot do that, can we really say that we value them without qualification?
The Church of England’s General Synod has given unanimous backing to a call for people with Down’s Syndrome to be welcomed, celebrated and treated with dignity and respect.
A motion affirming the dignity and full humanity of people with Down’s Syndrome was passed after a debate at the General Synod meeting in London.
It comes as a new form of prenatal screening, Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT), is set to be rolled out in the NHS to women deemed to be at ˜high-risk’ of having a child with Down’s syndrome.
The motion welcomes medical advances and calls for the Government and health professionals to ensure that women who have been told that their unborn child has Down’s Syndrome are given comprehensive, unbiased information on the condition.
This is only funny because…[the children] miss her more than me too (they’ve set up an Instagram account devoted to her).
Even my husband, not the most expressive of men, is like putty when around her, as I discovered when I overheard him say: “Do you not want your breakfast?
“No? Shall I grate some Parmesan on to it?” (The dog in my new book, Still Me, has adopted this culinary habit).
She has inadvertently improved my writer’s back because I’m forced to leave my desk at least four times a day.
She has brought me and my husband closer — we walk together at dawn….
(NBC) A brief video that will brighten your day–Meet 18-month-old Lucas, The First Gerber Baby With Down Syndrome
The Church of England insists it is not resisting inspections of out-of- hours school settings to combat extremism and that it supports “targeted interventions.”
[The] Revd [Nigel] Genders said the “blanket regulation” and powers of inspection that Ofsted is calling for are a massive burden, unhelpful and ineffective: “It would be creating a massive haystack and never being able to find the needle.” He argues there is confusion over the issue of tackling extremism because a distinction needed to be made between voluntary church settings and illegal schools. He stressed that the church wanted to work with the government to keep children safe and if they have got concerns about particular settings “they should intervene.” But, he added: “It’s not for the state to tell churches how to behave or to get into state regulation of religion.”
Our eldest son Ben is ten years old. He plays football and cricket, cycles and swims. He enjoys cartoons, playing Minecraft and other computer games, likes music and reading. Ben has a well-developed sense of humour which tends towards the absurd. He is an expert at annoying his younger brother, is passionate about ice cream and for years has been fascinated by dinosaurs. He also happens to have an extra copy of his twenty first chromosome – he has Down’s Syndrome.
Ben was diagnosed postnatally and at the time it was a shock. This was due in part to the diagnosis being unexpected. Blood tests and a nuchal scan during the pregnancy revealed a low probability of Down’s Syndrome. More to the point, I had absolutely no idea what the diagnosis meant. I had never met anyone with Down’s Syndrome. I had seen an episode of Inspector Frost which featured a character with Down’s Syndrome. This, and the rather dated leaflets handed to us at the hospital were all I had to go on. Things have improved since then. People with Down’s Syndrome are more represented in the media, (although there is still a very long way to go). There are several blogs with the stated aim of raising awareness of the realities of Down’s Syndrome and there are online parent forums which have grown with the rise of social media. None of these sources of information and help were available to me when Ben was born. We were wonderfully supported by friends and family but they were also unsure of what the diagnosis meant for us. Indeed, Ben was about eighteen months old before my first thought each morning ceased to be ‘my baby has Down’s Syndrome’.
Learning to adapt to Ben’s diagnosis has been the most profoundly enriching but also challenging experience of my life. I have had ten years of disrupted nights, do more laundry than would seem physically possible, have a filing cabinet of paperwork just for Ben and a great deal of my time is spent attending appointments. However, Ben touches people’s lives.
Children in Britain spend just 16 minutes a day playing or exploring in parks and other open spaces, according to a detailed new study.
The figure, an average of time spent outdoors in parks, the countryside, the coast or seaside, includes excursions at weekends as well as weekdays.
Among children in their mid-teens it drops to ten minutes per day as younger children, aged between eight and 13, spend more time playing outdoors.
The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, are the first to examine how children spend their free time and will be used to track engagement with the outdoors and sport.
Read it all (requires subscription).
Speaking on behalf of the Church of England, which is a member of the UK End Hunger UK campaign, the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Rev Rachel Treweek, said: “That nearly a quarter of parents are saying they cannot reliably afford to feed their families shows that it is time to take a serious look at what
we are doing about the growing problem of household food insecurity in the UK.
“I am amazed by the generosity of the volunteers who run food banks in churches all over the country, helping those in the most acute need, but it is now clear that we need to do much more to reduce the need for food banks in the first place, starting with a commitment from Government to measure the scale of the underlying problem.”