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(WSJ) Vatican Pushes Against Growing Acceptance of Euthanasia

The Vatican condemned the spreading international acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide, including in some traditionally Catholic countries in Europe, in a strongly worded document that reasserts traditional teaching.

“Euthanasia is an act of homicide that no end can justify and that does not tolerate any form of complicity or active or passive collaboration,” the Vatican’s doctrinal office said in a document published Tuesday and expressly approved by Pope Francis. “It is gravely unjust to enact laws that legalize euthanasia or justify and support suicide, invoking a false right to choose a death improperly characterized as respectable only because it is chosen,” the document says.

Spain’s Parliament is considering a law that would make the country the fourth in Europe to legalize euthanasia, after the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Legislators in neighboring Portugal are considering similar proposals. In February, Germany’s highest court overturned a law banning assisted suicide.

Euthanasia is the painless killing of a patient suffering from a physical or mental disease. In assisted suicide, patients administer lethal drugs to themselves under medical supervision.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology

(CT) Atlanta’s Black Church

They say you can’t love what you don’t know, and lately, many of us are realizing just how much we don’t know. This year, my church in Augusta, Georgia, began exploring the racial history of our city, the location of one of the first and largest civil rights riots in the South. The details of the 1970 riot—chronicled in a recent Georgia Public Broadcasting podcast—resemble current events: a teen beaten to death in police custody, the black community responding with peaceful demands then rebellion, police using deadly force to suppress the uprising. But the parallels to the present aren’t striking if, like so many young people in our city, you had no idea it took place.

No wonder we feel so stuck in this racial justice fight. You can’t lament a past you don’t remember. You can’t change problems you don’t recognize. You can’t empathize with voices you ignore. Part of our call to love and serve our neighbors is to understand the lingering scars and burdens they bear.

Learning how my community downplayed the significance of its racial past made me all the more curious about the extensive civil rights legacy in the Georgia capital, the subject of this month’s cover package. Across the generations, Atlanta—with the black church as its heartbeat—has worked to honor its hard-won progress as well as to lament the cost of the ongoing fight for justice.

That practice has helped carry on a long legacy and inspire today’s leaders in Atlanta—the preachers and politicians, entrepreneurs and activists, who are working to see the principles of God’s kingdom shape every sphere of life.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(New Atlantis) Yuval Levin–Prudence in a Storm

Everything therefore depends on our assessment of the severity of the crisis we are living through. We are called to judge our circumstances. And that means we are called to the hard work of prudence. As Greg Weiner puts it in his magisterial study of the subject:

An essential element of prudence is thus recognizing the difference between genuine emergency and the aggrandizing rhetoric of catastrophe. Not every moment is Munich, but Munich was. A wide range of experience and circumstances is necessary to discern the difference.

Not every moment is a time of exceptional crisis, but a few moments are. And how we think about the policies our country is now pursuing ultimately hinges on whether we judge this pandemic to be such a time. Most of us are not experts in the relevant knowledge, and we must make the necessary judgment as citizens, calling on our read of the available evidence and our degree of confidence in those who claim to know — calling, in the end, upon our prudence. This doesn’t free us from the need to consider tradeoffs. On the contrary, it compels us to consider them in full, and to do so in full knowledge of the limits of our judgment.

The debunkers may be right about some important elements of our situation, and we must not forget it. But it seems awfully likely they are not right on the whole. And so we need to treat this crisis as a grave emergency, with an eye to doing what’s required to protect the most vulnerable among us and recover our safety and prosperity — precisely so that we can return to normal life, and to our vitally important debates about how best to live it.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Philosophy

The Columbus [Ohio] Dispatch looks back to 1817–Episcopal priest Philander Chase Comes to Preach

On May 3, 1817, he conducted the first…[Episcopal] service in Columbus at the Buckeye House hotel.

Four days later, he preached again at the High Street home of storekeeper Lincoln Goodale. “Some of those who came were merely curious. Others believed that God’s inerrant providence brought them to that spot. All listened with reverence as Chase intoned the service from the Book of Common Prayer and preached to them,” Lisa M. Klein wrote in her 2003 history of Trinity Episcopal Church, Be It Remembered.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Philander Chase

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith We give thee heartfelt thanks for the pioneering spirit of thy servant Philander Chase, and for his zeal in opening new frontiers for the ministry of thy Church. Grant us grace to minister in Christ’s name in every place, led by bold witnesses to the Gospel of the Prince of Peace, even Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Eugene Bersier

O God, Who hast given us life and all things good in this world: Thou hast created us for Thy service, and when we have forsaken Thee in our wanderings Thou hast sought us out; Thou hast vouchsafed to us the precious treasure of Thy Gospel; Thou hast ordained that we should be born in the bosom of Thy Church; Thou hast revealed to us Thy exceeding great mercies in Jesus Christ our Lord; Thou hast borne with us in our rebellions, raised us up from our falls, comforted us in our sorrows. For all these gifts of Thy grace, and for Thy benefits which we remember not, we Thine unworthy servants do give Thee thanks, and bless thy holy Name.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But when Gallio was proconsul of Acha′ia, the Jews made a united attack upon Paul and brought him before the tribunal, saying, “This man is persuading men to worship God contrary to the law.” But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, I should have reason to bear with you, O Jews; but since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; I refuse to be a judge of these things.” And he drove them from the tribunal. And they all seized Sos′thenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to this.

After this Paul stayed many days longer, and then took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aq′uila. At Cen′chre-ae he cut his hair, for he had a vow. And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there; but he himself went into the synagogue and argued with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined; but on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus.

When he had landed at Caesare′a, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phryg′ia, strengthening all the disciples.

Now a Jew named Apol′los, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, well versed in the scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aq′uila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Acha′ia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully confuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

–Acts 18:12-28

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(The State) South Carolina hits record number of days under 1,000 cases since virus peak

South Carolina hit a new record on Monday in its road to recovery from COVID-19.

It was the 14th straight day the state has reported under 1,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, capping a trend of falling case numbers in recent weeks.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 393 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, and 13 confirmed deaths caused by COVID-19.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine

Scientists in Japan have developed a paper-based sensor equipped with an array of extremely tiny microneedles

The scientists now intend to test their proof-of-concept further, conducting experiments with human participants, to confirm it works as they expect in real-world diagnostic conditions.

If it does, we could be looking at much more than just glucose monitoring in the future, they suggest – and all without spilling a single drop of blood.

“Of course, prediabetes testing is just one application of the technology,” says first author and PhD candidate Hakjae Lee.

“The paper-based sensor can vary depending on the biomarker you wish to monitor.”

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

Marcus Kaiser, rector of Holy Comforter, Sumter, SC announces his call to be the new dean of St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Tallahassee, Florida

This is a letter I knew that I would one day write, but never wanted to believe it. It’s with the most extreme mix of sadness and excitement that I tell you that I have been called to be the next Dean of St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Tallahassee, FL. My last Sunday at Holy Comforter as your Rector will be October 18th, 2020. In the coming weeks, Bishop Lawrence will be working with the vestry to develop a plan both for the interim period between Rectors and the calling a new Rector for Holy Comforter.

It has been a privilege and honor beyond anything I can explain to have worked and served alongside you for the past 11 years, and even more so as your Rector for the last 6. I want you to know that I am not being called away from you, but to St. Peter’s and serving the wider Church. Kim, our boys, and I will be here for plenty of discussion and questions, and this is not our final farewell, but in the remainder of this letter, I want to answer two questions – Why now and why this call?

First, why now?
The truth is that there is never a perfect time, but I have come to believe this is God’s kairos time. I did not know then, but looking back it is clear I was called to see Holy Comforter through a contentious time of lawsuits and conflict. I have learned hard lessons of patience and known God’s grace in ways no human could ever imagine. We have been through this struggle for the gospel together, most of you have stayed in and stood your ground, and we have come through. I truly believe that the worst of that is behind us and that this congregation is poised to start a new chapter, an era unmarked by the existential threat of the past several years, a time of asking, “what now, Lord?” It is clear to me that the vision for that new chapter will be given to someone else, and I am excited to see how God directs this.

You might also reasonably ask why I would leave in the middle of a pandemic. All I can really say is that Kim and I have struggled with that very question more than any other, even more than the lawsuits. The reality of this pandemic is that we simply don’t know when it will be over enough. We are now 7 months in, and it was clear months ago that there will probably not be a single day when we can say the threat has passed. Still, we are in a good and stable place. Almost half of the congregation has decided to return to in-person worship, even with the restrictions in place, and the staff is working hard on exciting bible studies and small groups that will be sustainable. I would not have picked this time, either for my family or for Holy Comforter, but after many hours of prayer, I believe it is the time God has anointed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

Andrew Cannell’s Sunday Sermon–Giving Hope to Our Enemies (Jonah 3:10 – 4:11)

The sermon starts about 22:30 in.

Posted in * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture, Youth Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Matthew

We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of thine apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of thy Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Eastern Orthodox Church

Set our hearts on fire with love to Thee, O Christ our God, that in that flame we may love Thee with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our strength, and our neighbours as ourselves; so that, keeping Thy commandments, we may glorify Thee, the giver of all good gifts.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And they told Mor’decai what Esther had said. Then Mor’decai told them to return answer to Esther, “Think not that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

–Esther 4:12-14

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Join us this Sunday, September 20, 2020, as we, in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, pray for the retired clergy…

Posted by The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina on Friday, September 18, 2020

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from John Wesley

Deliver me, O God, from a slothful mind, from all lukewarmness, and all dejection of spirit. I know these cannot but deaden my love to Thee; mercifully free my heart from them, and give me a lively, zealous, active, and cheerful spirit; that I may vigorously perform whatever Thou commandest, thankfully suffer whatever Thou choosest for me, and be ever ardent to obey in all things Thy holy love.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

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

(NYT) ‘Warp Speed’ Officials Debut Plan for Distributing Free Vaccines

Federal officials outlined details Wednesday of their preparations to administer a future coronavirus vaccine to Americans, saying they would begin distribution within 24 hours of any approval or emergency authorization, and that their goal was that no American “has to pay a single dime” out of their own pocket.

The officials, who are part of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed — the multiagency effort to quickly make a coronavirus vaccine available to Americans — also said the timing of a vaccine was still unclear, despite repeated statements by President Trump that one could be ready before the election on Nov. 3.

“We’re dealing in a world of great uncertainty. We don’t know the timing of when we’ll have a vaccine, we don’t know the quantities, we don’t know the efficacy of those vaccines,” said Paul Mango, the deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Health and Human Services. “This is a really quite extraordinary, logistically complex undertaking, and a lot of uncertainties right now. I think the message we want you to leave with is, we are prepared for all of those uncertainties.”

The officials said they were planning for initial distribution of a vaccine — perhaps on an emergency basis, and to a limited group of high-priority people such as health care workers — in the final three months of this year and into next year. The Department of Defense is providing logistical support to plan how the vaccines will be shipped and stored, as well as how to keep track of who has gotten the vaccine and whether they have gotten one or two doses.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine

(NPR) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died Friday. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.

The court, in a statement, said Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family. She was 87.

“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

Architect of the legal fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation’s highest court, becoming its most prominent member. Her death will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty and tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her, and it thrusts the Supreme Court vacancy into the spotlight of the presidential campaign.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Law & Legal Issues, Supreme Court, Women

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Theodore of Tarsus

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Theodore of Tarsus from Rome to the see of Canterbury, and didst give him gifts of grace and wisdom to establish unity where there had been division, and order where there had been chaos: Create in thy Church, we pray, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, such godly union and concord that it may proclaim, both by word and example, the Gospel of the Prince of Peace; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Prayer Manual

Almighty God, give us grace to do the work to which Thou hast called us with reverence and Godly fear, not with eye-service as pleasers of men, but in singleness of heart as in Thy sight. Direct, we beseech Thee, all our thoughts, words, and deeds, with the help of Thy Holy Spirit; that we may set Thy will ever before us, and turn away from vanity and self-seeking, and give ourselves wholly unto Thee to spend and be spent in Thy service; through Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Saviour.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another…

Psalm 75:6-7

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(The State) South Carolina areas that adopted mask ordinances first see biggest COVID-19 declines

South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control has released data before touting declines in coronavirus cases in areas where local governments have required residents to wear face masks. Now, the agency is saying that the earlier such ordinances were implemented, the better.

In its daily COVID-19 update Friday, DHEC broke down the 11 counties and 61 cities and towns where masks are currently required, splitting them into five groups according to the weeks that they implemented their mask ordinances.

In the earliest group, between June 23 and 29, cases decreased 66.5% more over the following month than in areas without ordinances. The latest group to implement ordinances, in the week of July 21-27, recorded no greater decrease in cases than those without them, DHEC reported.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General

(Telegraph) Pandemic response is too centralised, say Archbishop Welby and Bishop Mullally

When the coronavirus pandemic began and lockdown took force across the country – shuttering shops and pubs, closing schools and barring places of worship – much of what we saw, heard and experienced was dictated and driven by “the centre”. Ministers and officials commanded our attention and determined the daily details of our lives. Few of us have experienced the sheer power of government like that in our lifetimes.

It makes sense to instinctively look for central direction in such an acute crisis, and we’re indebted to the roles many played in doing so, especially those who organised the NHS to cope with the increased demand. Within the Church there are lessons to be learnt about the role and importance of central guidance, and its crucial interplay with government rules that exist for the benefit of all.

But with a vaccine still far from certain, infection rates rising and winter on the horizon, the new normal of living with Covid-19 will only be sustainable – or even endurable – if we challenge our addiction to centralisation and go back to an age-old principle: only do centrally what must be done centrally.

As a country, this principle is in our DNA. In the Church of England, we have been committed to localism for centuries.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Choral Worship back at Hereford and Lincoln Cathedrals

Hereford and Lincoln cathedrals are the latest to reintroduce choral worship upholding a tradition that goes to the heart of our mission and ministry – thanks to the support of the Church Commissioners.

Tonight (Friday) will mark the first time the full choir of Lincoln Cathedral will return for Choral Evensong since our cathedrals were closed last March.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

An EB Pusey Sermon for his Feast Day–“Patience and Confidence the Strength of the Church” (1837)

The general conduct of our Church has been true to her first principles, to render to Caesar the things that were Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s; to do nothing against the command of God, but to suffer every thing which the Caesar may require. It was thus that the seven Bishops mainly checked James’s tyranny, refusing to do, but submitting to suffer, what was unlawful; it was thus that even in the Great Rebellion men cheerfully took the spoiling of their goods; it was thus that in events familiar to us, the members of this place, at different periods, suffered what was un lawful, rather than compromise their principles;–and we cherish their memories.

The two events, for which we keep this day as an annual thanksgiving to God, together, strikingly illustrate these principles. 1. That we may safely leave things to God. 2. That there is great risk, that man, by any impatience of his, will mar the blessing which God designs for His Church.

In the plot, from which this day is named, God had permitted things to come to the uttermost; every preparation was made, every scruple removed; a Roman priest had solemnly given the answer, that, for so great a benefit to the Church, their own people too might be sacrificed; the innocent might be slain, so that the guilty majority escaped not. The secret was entrusted to but few, was guarded by the most solemn oaths and by the participation of the Holy Eucharist, had been kept for a year and a half although all of the Roman Communion in England knew that some great plot was being carried on, and were praying for its success; inferior plots had been forbidden by Rome, lest they should mar this great one; no suspicion had been excited, and there was nothing left to excite suspicion, when God employed means, in man’s sight, the [28/29] most unlikely. He awoke, at the last, one lurking feeling of pity for one person in the breast of but one, so that a dark hint was given to that one: and He caused him who gave it, to miscalculate the character of his own brother-in-law, or entrust him with more than he was aware; then He placed fear in that other’s breast, so that, through another and distant fear, he shewed the letter which contained this dark hint; then, when the councillors despised the anonymous hint, as an idle tale, He enlightened the mind of the monarch, to discover the dark saying, which to us it seems strange that any beforehand should have unravelled; and when even then the councillors had surveyed the very spot, and discovered nothing, He caused the monarch to persevere, undeterred, until He had brought the whole to light. Yet to see more of this mystery of God’s Providence, and how He weaves together the intricate web of human affairs, and places long before the hidden springs of things, we must think also, how He ordered that one of these few conspirators should be intermarried with one of the few Roman peers, and so desired to save him; and by the conspiracy from which God had shielded the monarch’s early life, He quickened his sense of the present danger; so that while men were marrying, and giving in marriage, and strengthening themselves by alliances, God was preparing the means whereby this kingdom should be saved against the will of those so employed; and while men were plotting against a sacred life, God was laying up in the monarch’s soul the thought, which Himself should hereafter kindle to save it. Verily, “a man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps.” “The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He pondereth all his goings; own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” The words of the Psalmist, selected for this day’s service, find a striking completion in this history. “God hid him from the secret counsel of the wicked, from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity–they encourage themselves in an evil matter; they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? they search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search; the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep: but God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded; so they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves.”

But it yet more illustrates the teaching, and is an argument of encouragement to our Church, how God in two neighbouring countries permitted similar plots to be accomplished.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Edward Bouverie Pusey

Grant unto us, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know thy presence and obey thy will; that, following the example of thy servant Edward Bouverie Pusey, we may with integrity and courage accomplish what thou givest us to do, and endure what thou givest us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sake didst endure the cross, and hast bidden us to follow thee: Take away from us all fear, all coldness of heart, all unwillingness to suffer; that we, glorying in thy cross, may glory also that thou hast called us to bear it with thee; for thy name’s sake.

Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehu′man, Biztha, Harbo′na, Bigtha and Abag′tha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served King Ahasu-e′rus as chamberlains, to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty; for she was fair to behold. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command conveyed by the eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his anger burned within him.

Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times—for this was the king’s procedure toward all who were versed in law and judgment, the men next to him being Carshe′na, Shethar, Adma′tha, Tarshish, Meres, Marse′na, and Memu′can, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king’s face, and sat first in the kingdom—: “According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasu-e′rus conveyed by the eunuchs?” Then Memu′can said in presence of the king and the princes, “Not only to the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also to all the princes and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasu-e′rus. For this deed of the queen will be made known to all women, causing them to look with contempt upon their husbands, since they will say, ‘King Ahasu-e′rus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’ This very day the ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will be telling it to all the king’s princes, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty. If it please the king, let a royal order go forth from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be altered, that Vashti is to come no more before King Ahasu-e′rus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.

–Esther 1:10-19

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Local Paper) Mask rules draw heated debate in Summerville and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Summerville and Mount Pleasant became the recent centers of the COVID-19 debate in the Lowcountry as they updated their mask ordinances.

Residents gathered at council meetings in both towns over the past two weeks to voice their objections to government-enforced mask mandates. Some residents cited religious concerns about wearing masks and others questioned the effectiveness of mask usage in general.

Officials in both communities had to decide whether to listen to science or to a vocal group of mask opponents.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Anthropology, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General