Mass. Lawmakers Set to Vote on Gay Marriage Boston (RNS) State legislators are scheduled to meet next Thursday (June 14) in a constitutional convention to vote on whether to place a referendum on the 2008 ballot that, if approved by voters, would ban future gay marriages. â€“from a news listing by Dan Ring for Religious News Service at the PBS Religion and Newsweekly website
As Will Rogers said: “It aint ignorance that hurts us as much as the things we know that aint so.”
It requires courage to cast the accumulated myths of a lifetime to the wind. Our natural desire for simplicity, certitude, and the approval of others occasionally causes us to defend even our most flawed worldviews as if our very lives depended on them. Dead belief systems are difficult to bury, for in doing so we enter a world we do not recognize; we watch the carefully crafted towers of our understanding crash down in ruins; and we lose an integral piece of the only reality we have known, reinforced and imprinted on our minds by a thousand voices internal and external. –John Perrazzo, from The Myths That Divide Us, as quoted in Thomas Sowells Black Rednecks and White Liberals.
Episcopal liberals prepare for split
A liberal Episcopal group is crafting a strategy to disenfranchise about 16 conservative bishops if the denomination’s pivotal General Convention next year in Columbus, Ohio, results in a church split.
Informally named the “Day After” for the aftermath of the June 13-21 event, the strategy outlines a way to file canonical charges against conservative bishops, unseat them from their dioceses, have interim bishops waiting to replace them and draft lawsuits ready to file before secular courts for possession of diocesan property.
The strategy was revealed in a leaked copy of minutes drafted at a Sept. 29 meeting in Dallas of a 10-member steering committee for Via Media, a network of 13 liberal independent Episcopal groupsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ In July, about 20 liberal and conservative Episcopal bishops met secretly in Los Angeles to discuss how to divide billions in church assets in the event of a split.
The memo assumes that the Episcopal Church will refuse to renounce its 2003 consecration of V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as the denomination’s first openly homosexual bishop, an action many archbishops in the 70-million-member Anglican Communion have urged it to do. –from an article by Julia Duin, in The Washington Times, 10.24.05
More beheadings for AllahÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Three girls have been beheaded and another badly injured as they walked to a Christian school in Indonesia. They were walking through a cocoa plantation near the city of Poso in central Sulawesi province when they were attacked. This is an area that has a long history of religious violence between Muslims and Christians….
Police say the heads were found some distance from the bodies.
It is unclear what was behind the attack, but the girls attended a private Christian school and one of the heads was left outside a church leading to speculation that it might have had a religious motive. –from a BBC posting listed at www.jihadwatch.org 10.29.05
A Separate Peace
It is not so hard and can be a pleasure to tell people what you see. It’s harder to speak of what you think you see, what you think is going on and can’t prove or defend with data or numbers. That can get tricky. It involves hunches. But here goes.
I think there is an unspoken subtext in our national political culture right now. In fact I think it’s a subtext to our society. I think that a lot of people are carrying around in their heads, unarticulated and even in some cases unnoticed, a sense that the wheels are coming off the trolley and the trolley off the tracks. That in some deep and fundamental way things have broken down and can’t be fixed, or won’t be fixed any time soon. That our pollsters are preoccupied with “right track” and “wrong track” but missing the number of people who think the answer to “How are things going in America?” is “Off the tracks and hurtling forward, toward an unknown destination.”
I’m not talking about “Plamegate.” As I write no indictments have come up. I’m not talking about “Miers.” I mean . . . the whole ball of wax. Everything. Cloning, nuts with nukes, epidemics; the growing knowledge that there’s no such thing as homeland security; the fact that we’re leaving our kids with a bill no one can pay. A sense of unreality in our courts so deep that they think they can seize grandma’s house to build a strip mall; our media institutions imploding–the spectacle of a great American newspaper, the New York Times, hurtling off its own tracks, as did CBS. The fear of parents that their children will wind up disturbed, and their souls actually imperiled, by the popular culture in which we are raising them. Senators who seem owned by someone, actually owned, by an interest group or a financial entity. Great churches that have lost all sense of mission, and all authority. Do you have confidence in the CIA? The FBI? I didn’t think soÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ –excerpted the editorial by Peggy Noonan, posted at www.opinionjournal.com free online site, and in The Wall Street Journal, 10.26.05.
How to move past the previously mentioned morass
Come unto me ye that are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you restÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me. –Jesus
Sex and school kids
There is something awfully sad and strange about a culture in which teenage sex is condoned so long as it is “safe,” while teenage smoking is denounced as categorically wrong. Sex has become a mere issue of health and the law, while morality is reserved for tobacco. –Jeff Jacoby, from his article at www.townhall.com 10.24.05
Religion and morals
Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness. — Samuel Adams (from a letter to John Trumbull, 16 October 1778)
Ammunition for poverty pimps
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of New Orleans, President Bush gave America’s poverty pimps and race hustlers new ammunition. The president said, “As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region as well. And that poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action.”
The president’s espousing such a vision not only supplies ammunition to poverty pimps and race hustlers, it focuses attention away from the true connection between race and poverty.
Though I grow weary of pointing it out, let’s do it again. Let’s examine some numbers readily available from the Census Bureau’s 2004 Current Population Survey and ask some questions. There’s one segment of the black population that suffers only a 9.9 percent poverty rate, and only 13.7 percent of its under-5-year-olds are poor. There’s another segment that suffers a 39.5 percent poverty rate, and 58.1 percent of its under-5-year-olds are poor. Among whites, one segment suffers a 6 percent poverty rate, and only 9.9 percent of its under-5-year-olds are poor. The other segment suffers a 26.4 percent poverty rate, and 52 percent of its under-5-year-olds are poor. What do you think distinguishes the high and low poverty populations among blacks?
Would you buy an explanation that it’s because white people practice discrimination against one segment of the black population and not the other or one segment had a history of slavery and not the other? You’d have to be a lunatic to buy such an explanation. The only distinction between both the black and white populations is marriage — lower poverty in married-couple families.
In 1960, only 28 percent of black females ages 15 to 44 were never married and illegitimacy among blacks was 22 percent. Today, the never-married rate is 56 percent and illegitimacy stands at 70 percent. If today’s black family structure were what it was in 1960, the overall black poverty rate would be in or near single digits. The weakening of the black family structure, and its devastating consequences, have nothing to do with the history of slavery or racial discriminationÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Since President Johnson’s War on Poverty, controlling for inflation, the nation has spent $9 trillion on about 80 anti-poverty programs. To put that figure in perspective, last year’s U.S. GDP was $11 trillion; $9 trillion exceeds the GDP of any nation except the U.S. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita uncovered the result of the War on Poverty — dependency and self-destructive behaviorÃ¢â‚¬Â¦–excerpted from an article by Walter E. Williams, as posted at www.townhall.com 10.29.05
Has Prayer Become Controlled Speech?
If you are a military chaplain today, the chances of having your religious expression restricted by senior officials are very strong. According to an October 20 report in The Washington Times, military chaplains are being instructed in how they should pray.
Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) is circulating a letter to be sent to the White House. He is requesting President Bush to sign an executive order guaranteeing free speech rights under the Constitution to all military chaplains. According to Jones, military chaplains are being told not to mention the name of Jesus when they pray. They are to speak only in general terms.
In the Army chaplain training course, according to the Washington times, “It is offensive and against Army policy to pray in the name of Jesus.” The article goes on to report that chaplains have been officially rebuked for invoking the name of their SaviorÃ¢â‚¬Â¦–excerpted from an article by Thomas D. Segel 10.26.05, unknown source.
“Bringing every thought and motive into captivityÃ¢â‚¬Â¦”
Never tolerate through sympathy with yourself or with others any practice that is not in keeping with a holy God. Holiness means unsullied walking with the feet, unsullied talking with the tongue, unsullied thinking with the mind – every detail of the life under the scrutiny of God. Holiness is not only what God gives me, but what I manifest that God has given me. –Oswald Chambers
Article contributed by Richard Vandagriff and Mark Zaveson