Saturday, November 24, 2012

Anglican Unscripted Episode 57

Nov 24, 2012

This week Kevin and George talk about the Diocsese of South Carolina and the response to their vote to leave the Episcopal Church. Peter talks about the recent vote for Women Bishop in the Church of Englican and Alan Haley discusses the legal remification facing the Diocese of South Carolina and the Episcopal Church. And as always there is much much more in Episode 57.

Every growth of spiritual life...

Every growth of spiritual life, from the first tender shoot until now, has been the work of the Holy Spirit.... The only way to more life is the Holy Spirit. You will not even know that you want more unless He works in you to desire it.... The Spirit of God must come and make the letter alive, transfer it to your heart, set it on fire, and make it burn within you, or else its divine force and majesty will be hid from your eyes.... Prayer is the creation of the Holy Spirit. We cannot do without prayer, and we cannot pray without the Holy Spirit. ...CH Spurgeon image

Scrolling around... November 24, 2012

...In the past, Americans often took foreign jobs for the adventure or because their career field demanded overseas work. Today, these young people are leaving because they can’t find jobs in the United States. They’re leaving because the jobs they do find often don’t offer benefits such as health insurance. They’re leaving because the gloomy atmosphere of the American economy makes it hard to break through with a new innovative idea or business model. “This is a huge movement,” says Bob Adams, president and chief executive of America Wave, an organization that studies overseas relocation... image

Emboldened gay-marriage supporters now want more
Bolstered by their recent wins at the ballot box, gay-marriage activists say they are looking to build on their newfound momentum at the ballot box and in the courtroom.

Having broken a long losing string at the polls Nov. 6, gay marriage backers already have targeted several states for statewide voting drives, even as they await an imminent announcement from the Supreme Court that could reignite the battle over same-sex marriage in California.

Among the states being primed for marriage battles are New Jersey, one of just two states electing a governor and new state legislature in 2013, Delaware, Illinois and Rhode Island...

Democrats Groom the Mentally Disabled to Vote
...But even knowing this, I was not prepared for a conversation I had at Thanksgiving dinner with my brother-in-law, Henry, who has lived most of his life in a home for the mentally disabled and although now in his 40s, has the intelligence level of a 6-year-old.

“Obama saved me,” he said to me out of the blue.

“What do you mean?”

“I voted for him for president and now he’s saving me.”

I was taken aback by these words, since Henry had no idea who Obama was, or what a president might be, and would be unable to fill out a registration form let alone get to the polling place by himself.

So I asked him how he knew that and how he had registered and cast his vote. In halting, impeded speech he told me that the people who take care of him at the home filled out “the papers” to register him to vote, told him how Obama cared for him, even taught him the Obama chants, and then took him to the polling place to vote. They did the same for all of the mentally disabled patients in their care, approximately 60 in all...

Electronic tracking: new constraint for Saudi women
Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women's male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together...

Jewish Group Concerned About Anti-Semitism at European Soccer Games
The World Jewish Congress is expressing concern about an anti-Semitic and racist outburst at a recent soccer game. The concern relates to a Europa League game between Italian team S.S. Lazio and the English the Tottenham Hotspur. The match took place Thursday night in Rome...

Jurors Agree: University of Iowa Law School Discriminated Against Faculty Applicant Due to Her Conservative Views
Following up on my previous posts (links below) about Teresa Wagner's federal lawsuit: Des Monies Register, Jurors Say They Saw Hiring Bias at University of Iowa; But University, Not Former Law Dean, Wronged Conservative Job Applicant:
A federal jury believed the University of Iowa’s law school illegally denied a promotion to a conservative Republican because of her politics, former jurors told The Des Moines Register.
However, jurors said they felt conflicted about holding a former dean personally responsible for the bias. They wanted to hold the school itself accountable, but federal law does not recognize political discrimination by institutions. “I will say that everyone in that jury room believed that she had been discriminated against,” said Davenport resident Carol Tracy, the jury forewoman.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thou hast given so much to me...

Thou hast given so much to me
Give one thing more-a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
But such a heart whose pulse may be
Thy praise.
...George Herbert image

This way of seeing our Father in everything...

This way of seeing our Father in everything makes life one long thanksgiving and gives a rest of heart, and, more than that, a gayety of spirit, that is unspeakable. Some one says, "God's will on earth is always joy, always tranquility." And since He must have His own way concerning His children, into what wonderful green pastures of inward rest, and beside what blessedly still waters of inward refreshment is the soul led that learns this secret. If the will of God is our will, and if He always has His way, then we always have our way also, and we reign in a perpetual kingdom. He who sides with God cannot fail to win in every encounter; and, whether the result shall be joy or sorrow, failure or success, death or life, we may, under all circumstances, join in the Apostle's shout of victory, "Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ!" ...Hannah Whitall Smith

A "liberal" member of Synod explains his "no" vote on women bishops

Protections for conservatives were "insufficient"
November 21, 2012
By Tom Sutcliffe

voted for women priests in 1992 and I am in principle keen that we should have women bishops in the Church of England. But I voted against the Measure being proposed for final approval yesterday. I had two main reasons for voting no.

The Provision is not sufficient

It simply is not true that it made appropriate provisions for the two minorities of less than a third of Church members who cannot accept the ordination or consecration of women as being consistent with their understanding of scripture and tradition. It may well be that traditionalist Anglo-Catholics could have lived awkwardly with the Measure as proposed had it got through. But conservative evangelicals would have been severely affected and in an impossible position. the rest

Church of England in crisis: Archbishop of Canterbury attacks members for voting against women bishops
The Archbishop of Canterbury has launched a scathing attack on those within his own church who voted down legislation to approve women bishops accusing them of being “unrealistic”.

In an impassioned speech at the General Synod this morning that vividly illustrates the depth of the current crisis facing his organisation, Dr Rowan Williams admitted that the Church of England loses credibility every day it fails to approve women bishops.

GetReligion: On women bishops: Who voted “no” and why?
To the shock of legions of mainstream reporters, the Church of England fell just short of approving the long-debated step of raising women to the Anglican episcopate.

The issue that seems to have some reporters stumped, a bit, is why the laypeople who cast these votes didn’t go along with this latest evolution in Anglican orders. Take, for example, the pretty solid report from Reuters, as offered by The Huffington Post. Here are two summary passages that contain the key material...

Albert Mohler: The Church of England Votes Against Women Bishops — What Does This Mean?
“This is a train crash,” said one frustrated priest. Yesterday was a decisive day in the history of the Church of England, but it was also a deeply divisive day. After 37 years of controversy and turmoil, the church’s General Synod turned down a proposal to consecrate women as bishops. The proposal required a two-thirds majority in all three houses of the General Synod in order to pass, and it failed to receive that vote among the laity...

Scrolling around...November 21, 2012

Hamas 'blesses' terror attack on Tel Aviv bus
Sweet cakes handed out in Gaza's main hospital after TA bombing, celebratory gunfire reported throughout Strip...

21 wounded in terror attack on Tel Aviv bus
An explosion ripped through a bus in central Tel Aviv around noon on Wednesday — the first bombing attack in the city since 2006.

Twenty-one people were injured in the bombing, three of them seriously. No one was killed...

Hobby Lobby Appeals Decision Forcing It to Obey HHS Mandate
Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned and run company, is fighting back against a judge’s decision siding with the Obama administration saying that it has the right to force it to pay for drugs for women that may cause abortions.

The privately held retail chain with more than 500 arts and crafts stores in 41 states filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The company says it would face $1.3 million in fines on a daily basis starting in January if it fails to comply with the mandate, which requires religious employers to pay for or refer women for abortion-cause drugs that violate their conscience or religious beliefs...

Same-Sex Marriage Ten Years On: Lessons from Canada
...At first glance, clergy and houses of worship appeared largely immune from coercion to condone or perform same-sex marriages. Indeed, this was the grand bargain of the same-sex marriage legislation—clergy would retain the right not to perform marriages that would violate their religious beliefs. Houses of worship could not be conscripted against the wishes of religious bodies.

It should have been clear from the outset just how narrow this protection is. It only prevents clergy from being coerced into performing marriage ceremonies. It does not, as we have seen, shield sermons or pastoral letters from the scrutiny of human rights commissions. It leaves congregations vulnerable to legal challenges if they refuse to rent their auxiliary facilities to same-sex couples for their ceremony receptions, or to any other organization that will use the facility to promote a view of sexuality wholly at odds with their own.

Neither does it prevent provincial and municipal governments from withholding benefits to religious congregations because of their marriage doctrine. For example, Bill 13, the same Ontario statute that compels Catholic schools to host “Gay-Straight Alliance” clubs (and to use that particular name), also prohibits public schools from renting their facilities to organizations that will not agree to a code of conduct premised on the new orthodoxy. Given that many small Christian congregations rent school auditoriums to conduct their worship services, it is easy to appreciate their vulnerability.

Changes to the Public Conception of Marriage

It has been argued that if same-sex marriage is institutionalized, new marital categories may be accepted, like polygamy. Once one abandons a conjugal conception of marriage, and replaces it with a conception of marriage that has adult companionship as its focus, there is no principled basis for resisting the extension of marriage licenses to polygamist and polyamorist unions...

Communion-sponsored mediation proposed for South Carolina

ACI urges use of the Windsor process to resolve split
November 21, 2012
By George Conger

Resolution of the South Carolina standoff would best be served by an international intervention of the type proposed by the Anglican Communion's Windsor Continuation Group, the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI) said last night in a paper released on its website.

The American-based church think tank has proposed the national Episcopal Church and the Diocese of South Carolina take up the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group formed by Dr. Rowan Williams.

The ACI stated the WCG recommended that in cases of theological dispute between a diocese and province “a provisional holding arrangement” for the diocese be crafted that would “enable dialogue to take place and which will be revisited on the conclusion of the Covenant Process." the rest
It is unclear if such a proposal will be received favorably by the national church. Speaking on 17 Nov 2012 in Chicago at an academic conference, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey described the situation in South Carolina as "utter madness." He argued the Episcopal Church had lost sight of its essential mission and was now a creature of its canons. While not sharing Lord Carey’s views on the underlying issues, the former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Frank T. Griswold conceded the Episcopal Church in recent years seemed to have lost its spirit of “liberality” and did not handle well dissent.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Church of England rejects women bishops

Consecration and Ordination of Women Measure falls six votes short
November 20, 2012
By George Conger

The General Synod of the Church of England has rejected legislation allowing women priest to be appointed to the episcopate.

Following 12 years of legislative progress and several hours of debate during the 20 Nov 2012 afternoon session of synod, the Consecration and Ordination of Women Measure failed to pass in all three houses of the Church of England's legislative body.

In the House of Bishops the vote was 44 for and 3 against with 2 abstentions; in the House of Clergy 148 for and 45 against; and in the House of Laity 132 for and 74 against.

A two-thirds margin was required in all three houses to amend church canons to permit women bishops. While the bishops and clergy endorsed the measure, it fell six votes short amongst the laity. the rest

Stand Firm: Church of England general synod votes against women bishops

BBC: Church of England general synod rejects women bishops

First Things: Church of England Votes Against Women Bishops

Telegraph: Women bishops: the Anglican Church is paralysed by its conflicting obsessions of equality and consensus
Wow – we truly live in an age of miracles. The Church of England just voted in favour of tradition. To be precise, its Synod failed to garner the necessary two thirds majority to allow for women bishops. A majority did want change, just not a large enough one – and most of the opposition seems to have come from the laity rather than the clergy...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Church of England will not break with South Carolina

General Synod told the CoE seeks to maintain relations with both sides in the US church civil war
November 19, 2012
By George Conger

The Church of England has declined to accept Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori’s assertion the Diocese of South Carolina may not withdraw from the Episcopal Church. Nor will Saturday’s vote by the South Carolina Special Convention affect the standing of its clergy with the Church of England at this time, General Synod learned today.

Speaking for the church’s Council for Christian Unity (CCU), Bishop Christopher Hill said the Church of England sought to maintain good relations with all sides in the Episcopal Church’s civil war and would take no “hasty” actions at this time.

On 19 November 2012 two questions were put to the CCU by members of General Synod on the South Carolina affair. the rest
Bishop Hill said that “on Saturday, a Special Diocesan Convention endorsed the South Carolina withdrawal from the Episcopal Church. The Bishop has stated that their position would be to remain within the Anglican Communion as an extra-provincial Diocese. The Episcopal Church on the other hand maintains that General Convention consent is necessary for any withdrawal. So the legal and indeed theological and ecclesiological position is extremely complicated. And it is absolutely not certain.”

The bishop concluded “it has therefore not been possible to consider the consequences for our relationships at this immediate stage. And, in my view, any statement just at this point would be premature.”

South Carolina quits the Episcopal Church

Special Convention affirms disaffiliation of the diocese from the General Convention
November 19, 2012
By George Conger

The Diocese of South Carolina has withdrawn from the Episcopal Church.

On 17 Nov 2012 delegates to a special meeting of the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina endorsed resolutions affirming the withdrawal of the diocese from the General Convention of the Episcopal Church made last month by the Standing Committee and adopted resolutions amending the constitution and canons to delete reference to the national church.

“Ask yourself how long do I want to spend my time, my soul and my energy in a resistance movement that has proven so fruitless,” Bishop Mark J. Lawrence asked the convention. “We have spent far too many hours and days and years in a dubious and fruitless resistance to the relentless path of the Episcopal Church,” the bishop said, saying it was not time to “move on.”

He added: “Let me state it more accurately. We have moved on. With the Standing Committee’s resolution of disassociation the fact is accomplished: legally and canonically. The resolutions before you this day are affirmations of that fact.” the rest

Scrolling around...November 19, 2012

Tax Preparers and IRS Agents May be Stealing Taxpayer Direct Deposit Refunds
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has released Processes for the Direct Deposit of Tax Refunds Need Improvement to Increase Accuracy and Minimize Fraud

Investment Falls Off a Cliff-U.S. Companies Cut Spending Plans Amid Fiscal and Economic Uncertainty
U.S. companies are scaling back investment plans at the fastest pace since the recession, signaling more trouble for the economic recovery.

Half of the nation's 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders have announced plans to curtail capital expenditures this year or next, according to a review by The Wall Street Journal of securities filings and conference calls.

Nationwide, business investment in equipment and software—a measure of economic vitality in the corporate sector—stalled in the third quarter for the first time since early 2009. Corporate investment in new buildings has declined...

NYT: Church of England Prepares for Vote on Female Bishops
Two decades after it supported the introduction of female priests, the Church of England was set to begin three days of deliberations on Monday that will include a critical vote on the ordination of female bishops — a notion that still splits its members and priests into rival camps.

The 470-member national assembly of the church, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion that is deeply divided on issues of gender and sexuality, is to vote on Tuesday on the issue. The measure requires the approval of all three houses of the synod — grouping bishops, clergy and laity — by a two-thirds majority...

France: 100,000 protest gay marriage
FRENCH opponents of same-sex marriage and adoption have staged their first major protests, rallying more than 100,000 people nationwide as police used tear gas against counter-demonstrators in one city.

Wearing pink scarves and T-shirts and carrying pink balloons with the image of a man and woman holding two children's hands, demonstrators on Saturday marched against plans by the socialist government to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption...

How Free Speech Died on Campus
A young activist describes how universities became the most authoritarian institutions in America...

Public nudity ban eyed in fed-up San Francisco
San Francisco may be getting ready to shed its image as a city where anything goes, including clothing.

City lawmakers are scheduled to vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would prohibit nudity in most public places, a blanket ban that represents an escalation of a two-year tiff between a devoted group of men who strut their stuff through the city's famously gay Castro District and the supervisor who represents the area...