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Episcopal Church Defrocks Dissident Bishop
Written by metallurge   
Friday, 19 September 2008 08:48

Michael Conlon, Religion Writer with Reuters, reports:

Leaders of the U.S. Episcopal Church voted on Thursday to defrock a bishop [Bishop Robert Duncan, head of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] who has been a leader among dissidents opposed to the ascendancy of gays in the church and a critic of other issues involving liberal scriptural interpretation.

Over the years Duncan has been a leading orthodox dissident and an organizer of those who have been at odds with the U.S. church since 2003 when the Episcopal Church consecrated Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as the first bishop in more than four centuries of church history known to be in an openly gay relationship.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, head of the U.S. branch of the 77-million-member worldwide Anglican church, said the bishops had concluded that Duncan's actions constituted an "abandonment of the communion of this church" and that "he should be deposed."

Why we should teach the Bible in all our schools
News, Culture, Society
Written by laika   
Thursday, 18 September 2008 19:47

At The Sydney Morning Herald:

To my mind, there are still plenty of reasons to bother with the Bible. But at least one is indisputable, and it reveals a gaping hole in the Australian educational experience. You need to know the Bible in order to understand the history, literature and arts of Western culture. In fact, it is an educational and cultural tragedy that the Bible has quietly disappeared from the schooling experience of many Australians.

In the US, a major project to restore biblical literacy is under way, called the Bible Literacy Project. It is a joint venture of Jewish and Christian educators intended to "encourage and facilitate the academic study of the Bible in public schools". In a country where religion and public education mix like oil and water, it is no mean feat they have got their textbook, The Bible And Its Influence, into the curriculum in 40 states, and counting.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2008 19:58
Rush Limbaugh on Sarah Palin: “Babies, guns and Jesus. Hot damn!”
Written by metallurge   
Tuesday, 09 September 2008 18:11

Spotted at US News & World Report:

It wasn't supposed to be a culture-war election, and not only because Iraq and the economy had shoved values issues into the background. The Republican candidate, at least back in his early, presumptive days, was notoriously uncomfortable talking about religion, and many conservative Christian leaders were equally uncomfortable about him. The Democratic candidate, by contrast, was at ease with his faith, biblically fluent, and reportedly doing an excellent job of reaching out to the elusive values voter.

[Then came Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin.] When Palin addressed the convention, she made it abundantly clear why she was there: Alluding to Obama's gaffe about working-class Americans who turn to guns and God when the economy sours, she presented herself as proof that his characterization was not only false but condescending. Proof, furthermore, that he was out of touch with God-fearing heartland America.

McCain hardly needed to say any more on that point when it came time for him to speak. His choice of Palin said it all. Not only was she anti-abortion; she was against it in all cases. Not only was she pro-gun; she was a hunter herself.

The Palin pick was McCain's way of reigniting the culture war, a limited culture war, while not getting too directly involved in it. Depending on how it works out, it will be deemed a brilliant or disastrous strategy. At the very least, it is a risky one.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2008 18:22
Looking Beyond Suffering
Literature, Etc.
Written by laika   
Sunday, 07 September 2008 17:50

At The Vancouver Sun:

In her little-understood theology, the winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize [Mother Teresa] not only celebrated her suffering, she taught the world's sick and dying their pain "was only the kiss of Jesus."

The inwardly tormented woman who spread the Missionaries of Charity to more than 100 countries said that "without our suffering, our work would be just social work -- it would not be the work of Jesus Christ, not part of the redemption."

In light of the summer release of a book that turns upside down the history of the Christian church's view of Jesus' crucifixion, the Albanian nun's convictions about suffering warrant re-examination. The new book, Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire (Beacon Press) says the early church didn't highlight Jesus' suffering, but emphasized love of this Earth, striving to make it a paradise.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 September 2008 17:41
Pop Spirituality v. Crucified Christ
News, Culture, Society
Written by laika   
Saturday, 06 September 2008 08:53

At The Ottawa Citizen:
Many who go to churches find her [Oprah] much more inspiring than the sermons they hear. And what can we say when we compare the typical parish Bible study, with a handful of believers, to the hundreds of thousands who tuned in earlier this year to her 10-week study with Eckart Tolle of A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose?
Last Updated on Saturday, 06 September 2008 12:04

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