Let’s Put Another Log On The Fire

Here’s a bit of news likely to fan the flames of the fire that is burning the bridge between the Episcopal Church USA and the rest of the Anglican Communion. Just when one thought the struggle could not get meaner, nastier, and more destructive………..

News of McGreevey’s plans come a day after his estranged wife, former
first lady Dina Matos McGreevey, released her own tell-all memoir,
called Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage. The McGreeveys are
embroiled in a nasty divorce and custody battle, which has boiled over
in recent weeks and led a Superior Court judge in Elizabeth to instruct
the couple to use common sense and remember that their daughter will
one day read everything they’re saying about each other.

While
in office, McGreevey’s pro-choice political stance put him at odds with
the Catholic church. And soon after his resignation, McGreevey began
attending Episcopal services. A central point of contention between the
McGreeveys in their divorce is whether their 5-year-old daughter, being
raised Catholic by Matos McGreevey, should be allowed to accept
communion while at services with her father.

Of the Episcopal
discernment protocols, Bean said: "There’s a whole process that takes
place within his parish here at St. Bart’s, of discernment. That is
followed by a process of further discernment at the diocesan level,
involving the bishop and all. The decison to go to seminary is part of
a more thorough process of discernment to ordination. It’s not just
going to seminary that gets you ordained … It’s a pretty extensive."

We’d say there’s enough meat on that bone for the whole pack to fight over.

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Whither Episcopalians?

My church is dying. Torn apart by doctrinal divergence, disappearing due to a declining demographic, rendered increasingly irrelevant in a post-modern secular world that assaults Christianity at every opportunity, the Episcopal Church is slowly dissolving. Lacking the will to rebuild the foundation, while tearing down the walls in the name of social relevance and acceptance, the ECUSA faces a very difficult future. To be fair, all of the post-Reformation liturgically oriented Churches are dying. It is said that the churches of Western Europe are empty save for the tourists; village churches are crumbling without the donations of the visiting hordes that at least drop enough in the alms plate for pay for the maintenance of the great cathedrals.

There is one place where Christianity is growing, strong, and vital. Africa, Latin America and Asia are the new growth centers of Christianity. As any student of the world’s great religions understands, the spread of religions includes the adoption of local influences, the ethnology, if you will, that "fits" the universal view to the local condition. The great question for Churches like the Anglican Communion is how vastly different cultures will settle their liturgical differences as they move toward a new paradigm. I wouldn’t bet on the Western view prevailing.

The Belmont Club  moves the discussion forward in his usual thoughtful way.

A taste, to whet your appetite….but read it all:

Christianity has so often been described — often by Leftists — as a
"Western" religion that it is easy to forget that its roots are in the
Middle East and that the oldest Christian communities are in places like Iraq,
Syria and Ethiopia. Recently, I engaged in a dinner table discussion with a
Jewish friend who recalled the shameful behavior of Christians in Russia,
Eastern and Western Europe in the years before and immediately after the Second
World War. I wondered rhetorically how much of what is ascribed to
"Christianity" was really European behavior as opposed to anything
doctrinal. And now the question will be become sharper across the board as
non-Europeans inexorably gain the majority in church councils.

There are two further implications Father de Souza doesn’t address which will
have a gradual but growing impact. The first will be the effect of the numbers
and unapologetic style of Third World Christians in the current clash of
civilizations between the West and Islam.

 

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Is Science a Religion?

Donald Sensing, posting at Winds of Change, introduces us to Michael Polanyi, a British scientist and member of the Royal Society. In his article: "The vital necessity of recovering scientific faith", Polanyi poses some interesting questions, and answers, that Sensing then relates to the current struggle between Islam and Western values.

Excerpts (courtesy of Dr. Sensing):

Any account of science which does not explicitly describe it as
something we believe in, is essentially incomplete and a false
pretension. It amounts to a claim that science is essentially different
from and superior to all human beliefs which are not scientific
statements, and this is untrue. To show the falsity of this pretension,
it should suffice to recall that originality is the mainspring of
scientific discovery. Originality in science is the gift of a lonely
belief in a line of experiments or of speculations, which at the time
no one else had considered to be profitable. Good scientists spend all
their time betting their lives, bit by bit, on one personal belief
after another. The moment discovery is claimed, the lonely belief, now
made public and the evidence produced in its favor, evokes a response
among scientists which is another belief, a public belief, that can
range over all grades of acceptance or rejection. …

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Women Pilots in Pakistan?

How can a religion that allows clitoridectomies also allow women to pilot military jets?  Just when you think you’ve got Islam figured, here comes information that casts doubt on the whole deal.  Our research started here, in a story that confirmed our notion that technology and fundamentalist Islam are incompatible. Pilot won’t shave beard, can’t breathe at altitude, so can’t fight.  Score one for Western Civilization.  But a closer read of the story reveals that the Paks made the pilot shave his beard; so, we think, a profoundly fundamental Islamic country, whose military supported the Taliban, at least in part, is willing to force its soldiers to bow to military efficiency at the expense of a deeply held religious belief. This insight gives us pause.  Digging further, we find this story about women flying combat jets in the Pakistani air force.  This raises all sorts of questions.  How many non-Islamic countries have female combat pilots?  The French?  The Japanese? Does the Pakistani  decision to allow female pilots confirm the suspicion in some minds that women potentially are better pilots than men? Will techonology, used in a military setting, cause Islamic culture to reconsider the role of women in it’s society?  Much to ponder, much to investigate….

H/T Althouse

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A Mother’s Grief

All of us, at one time or another, are forced to deal with the death of a member of our family or a close friend. Whether death occurs suddenly, without notice, or more slowly, with time for all to comprehend the finality of the process, the pain is all consuming.  Each of us has our own way of dealing with the experience.  Here is one story.

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