Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin in Play.....!

Hey, Barry - - I Wouldn’t Call That Woman “Sweetie,” If I Were You

Posted by jay1949 on August 29, 2008

By its vicious, visceral reaction to Sarah Palin, the Obama campaign erased any lingering doubts about whether it used sexist attitudes to defeat Hillary Clinton. The attacks on Palin - - like those on Clinton - - are designed to create the impression that this person cannot be trusted with this responsibility. Clearly, however, the only basis to differentiate is that Palin and Clinton are women.

Sexist remark, yes or no: “Sarah Palin has a 4-month-old baby at home; she won’t have time for the job.” Now, some of you guys may have missed that one, but I’ll bet the women who heard that got it without missing a beat. Translation: “She can’t handle this job; she’s a woman.” The answer is “yes,” sexist remark. No one suggests that Barack Obama shouldn’t be running for President because he has two young children to raise.

Now, I realize that Obama himself didn’t say this, and to his credit he promptly disowned it, but a person Obama pays to speak on his behalf said this, according to FOX News and numerous other outlets:

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” spokesman Bill Burton said.

Grok that statement for a minute. Savor it. It is, to begin with, a tacit admission that the McCain-Palin ticket has the better chance to win. But also, it makes an obvious comparison between Palin and Obama:

- - Palin has only a few years of experience. Of course, the same can be said for Barack Obama, who has less time than Palin as any kind of executive officer.

- - Palin has no foreign policy experience. Of course, neither does Barack Obama. If you’re counting trips to Iraq, they’re even.

So why is it that Palin, in her mid-forties, is not qualified to be Vice-president, but Obama, in his mid-forties and with no more relevant experience than Palin, is qualified to be President? Why would we be worried to have Palin a heartbeat away from the Presidency, but confident that Obama can handle the Presidency itself? What does Obama have that Palin lacks?

A penis, of course.

I found this hilarious and it does strike a chord of truth! Sure to be quite an exciting race!



Monday, August 25, 2008

Who's Your Daddy...?

A John Mccain "Le gusta la gasolina" ?

Well it would seem so! For an older guy running in a change, youth themed presidential race, John Mccain is attempting to add some hip to his image among Hispanics!

At the library of Central High School in Phoenix, to the shriks and screams of teenage girls, Daddy Yankee, the popular Puerto Rican reagetton recording artist endorsed the Republican candidate.

"I believe in his ideals and his proposals to lead this nation…He’s been a fighter for the Hispanic community.” said the artist . Mcain's response... “I just wanna say thank you, Daddy Yankee,”

It is reported that when asked what his popular hit "Gasolina" is about, the artist replied with a smile and said..."energy independence"! Indeed...quiero mas gasolina!

This may not translate to votes but it does seem Juan is making the effort! Politics makes for interesting bedfellows! It is sure to be an entertaining race!



Which Wives...?

Nigerian faces death for 86 wives

Mr Bello Abubakar challenged Muslim scholars two weeks ago. Nigeria's Islamic authority has told the man who has 86 wives to choose only four and repent within three days or else he will be sentenced to death.

The Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI) passed their verdict on Mohammed Bello Abubakar, 84, according to Sharia law. This comes two weeks after the Nigerian press and the BBC reported on the case.

Talking to the media then, Mr Abubakar challenged Muslim scholars, saying there is no punishment stated in the Koran for having more than four wives. The former teacher and Muslim preacher lives in Niger State with his wives and at least 170 children, and says he is able to cope only with the help of God.

"A man with 10 wives would collapse and die, but my own power is given by Allah. That is why I have been able to control 86 of them," he told the BBC.

Most Muslim scholars agree that a man is allowed to have four wives, as long as he can treat them equally. But Mr Bello Abubakar told the BBC:

"To my understanding the Koran does not place a limit and it is up to what your own power, your own endowment and ability allows. "God did not say what the punishment should be for a man who has more than four wives, but he was specific about the punishment for fornication and adultery."

Marriage to one wife has its challenges...I can not even begin to imagine 86 and 170 kids!!!! Lord have mercy!



Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mellizos....Mommie Missing!.

Ricky Martin a father of twin boys...

Aug. 20, 2008, 5:15 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) -- There won't be much "livin' la vida loca" for Ricky Martin these days — he's now the father of twin boys.

The Latin superstar had the children via a surrogate mother, and the babies were born a few weeks ago, according to a statement from his representatives.

"The children, delivered via gestational surrogacy, are healthy and already under Ricky's full-time care," said the statement. "Ricky is elated to begin this new chapter in his life as a parent and will be spending the remainder of the year out of the public spotlight in order to spend time with his children."

A representative said there was no further information on the details of the children's birth.

Martin, 36, is a multiplatinum singer who is best known for English-language hits like "She Bangs!" and "Livin' la Vida Loca." In recent years, the Puerto Rican star has been active in charitable efforts, including the prevention of sexual exploitation of children
This is an interesting bit of news; Ricky Martin is a parent!

I like him and admire his work with charity and children in particular. I wish him and his sons happiness and blessings! Yet, there are a lot of questions raised by the happy event...for us now, for the children maybe later...the obvious one ; where is mommy???

Though single parenthood is by no means a rarity in our society, the opting out of a relationship altogether yet choosing to have children has not been as common. Childbirth and rearing, wonderful and difficult as it is, has traditionally been in the context of a relationship between a man and a woman, or at least long term partners.

Two realities sort of seem to collide here, a person's wish for parenthood versus a child's need for the most stable family possible.

Reproductive technologies have made it possible for parenthood to increasingly be separated from its natural and traditional contexts. Increasingly in our society, relationship, joint responsibility, two people parenthood, are seen as merely options among others. It is now possible, and socially acceptable, to bypass the whole relationship thing, wedding expenses, marital discord, wife with postpartum blues thing.. and just opt for children born from a surrogate!

What a novel own kids no others intruding! As a parent, I must admit that at times, it sounds great, except for... those many other times when I am so glad there is a mommy!

Despite the excitement of the news and the joy I desire for the Martin boys, the trend seems a little disturbing.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Barak and Babies....

Warren: "At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?"

Obama: "Well I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with know is...uh....above my pay grade."
These words lifted out of the interview with Barack Obama at Saddleback Church leave me a little disgusted. The question does not even address the issue of when life begins, nor the status of the unborn under our laws but refers to human rights for babies! One could apply this to an unborn child, McCain did, or refer to the present law of the land where "baby", as far as human rights go, means a child that has been born...but to say it is beyond you to answer seems like a major cop out!

It is also a bit difficult to reconcile with at least this statement from the presidential candidate made on Father's day 2007 which would seem to acknowledge that the life of a child begins at conception; On that ocassion Barak Obama said.. "We need fathers to recognize that responsibility doesn't end at conception . . . It's the courage to raise a child."

Though Mr. Obama did speak clearly on issues related to his own faith in God, this kind of evasion will certainly not win him any friends among people who view life as a gift from God. He owed them at least a coherent explanation of his own views as the person of faith he claims to be.



Doctors Dissed...

California Supreme Court Limits Religious Liberty of Physicians
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 18- In a 7-0 decision, the California Supreme Court restricted the religious liberty of physicians' to respect his or her conscience when deciding whether to perform a particular medical procedure.

San Diego physicians Christine Brody, M.D., and Douglas Fenton, M.D., asserted a Constitutional defense, based on their religious liberty, to a lawsuit that was brought by an unmarried female patient over six years ago. The patient, Guadalupe Benitez, claimed the two Ob/GYNs discriminated against her based on her sexual orientation by referring her to another physician for the performance of an IUI (intrauterine insemination) in the course of fertility treatment.

The court's ruling holds that the First Amendment right to free speech and the free exercise of religion cannot be used as a defense to a claim of unlawful discrimination that is based on sexual orientation.

Dr. Brody began treating Ms. Benitez in August 1999 for infertility and informed the patient at the outset that the only procedure during the course of the extended fertility treatment as to which she had a religious issue was an IUI. The defendants contend that Ms. Benitez and her partner understood and agreed in advance to a future referral to another physician, at no expense to Ms. Benitez, should the IUI become necessary. After other fertility protocols were unsuccessful, Ms. Benitez objected to the IUI referral contending that she was being discriminated against because she was a lesbian.

Of course there are several takes on these news from California. Some are touting this as another victory against discrimination based on sexual orientation, others are seeing it as a limitation on religious freedom.

I find this disturbing! Of course physicians may not deny life saving treatment to any patient based on sexual orientation, but that they be forced to act againt their conscience and religious belief when it comes to an elective procedure seems a little much!

This case seems to be akin to that of physicians and pharmacists prescribing medication to induce an abortion. Yes, it is available and legal, but for some doctors and pharmacists to prescribe or dispense would be a violation of their religious belief and conscience. If the desired procedure or medication is available to the patient elsewhere in the community and the physician makes an appropiate referal, that should fall under acceptable medical practice.

I am very much in favor of the equal treament of gays and lesbians in society and the church, but no ammount of positive publicity makes this decision feel right! It seems like the court is limiting the religious freedom and constitutional rights of some to expand the privileges and services available to others.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Miami Medic.....!

Col. Ted Martin, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, presents Sgt. Rafael Delgado, a combat medic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, with an Army Commendation Medal with Valor device Aug. 10 during an award ceremony here.

Delgado, a native of Miami, was presented the award for selfless and valorous actions to save the lives of fellow team members after an improvised-explosives device struck his vehicle. Delgado reacted immediately providing emergency medical treatment to Soldiers in the vehicle.

"It showed me that if there is one thing that I am proud of, and if there is one thing that I am true to, and if there is one thing that I am faithful to and will give my life for, it is my Soldiers," Delgado said, of his actions on that day. "As a medic and now a sergeant, it's an honor to work with these guys ... I will definitely put my life on the line for every one of these guys."

Congratulations Rafi! You are in our hearts and our prayers!



Friday, August 15, 2008

Paraguay's Lugo; President and Priest...

ASUNCION, Paraguay - Paraguay's president-elect has received unprecedented permission from the pope to resign as bishop, the papal nuncio said Wednesday, ending a dispute over Fernando Lugo's priestly status. Church officials earlier insisted that Lugo, 57, would always be a bishop under church law.

"This is the first case within the church in which a bishop receives a dispensation," Nuncio Orlando Antonini said at a news conference. "Yes, there have been many other priests the pope has left in the status of layman, but never a member of the hierarchy until today."

Lugo also made history with April's presidential election victory, which ended the 61-year rule of the Colorado Party in Paraguay. The former "bishop of the poor" takes office on Aug. 15.

"It's a great pain for the church to lose a bishop, a priest whom we tried to dissuade from the political option up to the last day of his election campaign," Antonini said. "But the Holy Father recognized that he was elected by the majority of the people to lead Paraguay for the next five years."

This is a very interesting case in which a bishop and pastor apparently finds the political arena and the presidential office a better alternative to the pulpit in the task of improving the life of the poor in his flock. Wether he can render to God and to Ceasar as well as strike a balance between God and "mammon", remains to be seen. May God bless Fr. Lugo as he follows his call and takes on the task of governing Paraguay. This will surely merit watching!



Friday, August 8, 2008

Rowan on Gays...!

From Archbishop Rowan, 28 September 2000

Dear Dr. Pitt,

"...This will have to be a relatively brief response to your very substantial question, but I hope it may suggest a few avenues. Until about 1980, I fully shared the traditional ethical understanding of homosexuality as a condition of (at best) some sort of ‘privation’, the practice of which was strictly forbidden to Christians by scripture and tradition.

My mind was unsettled by contact, as a university teacher, with one of two genuinely serious Christians who had concluded after prayer and reflections that the Scriptural prohibitions were addressed to heterosexuals looking for sexual variety in their experience; but that the Bible does not address the matter of appropriate behaviour for those who are, for whatever reason, homosexual by instinct of nature .

...By the end of the 80’s I had definitely come to the conclusion that scripture was not dealing with the predicament of persons whom we should recognise as homosexual by nature. And many of the arguments assumed by theologians in the Middle Ages and later increasingly seemed to beg questions or to rest on contested grounds. I concluded that an active sexual relationship between two people of the same sex might therefore reflect the love of God in a way comparable to marriage, if and only if it had about it the same character of absolute covenanted faithfulness...I was not convinced by the argument that the ethics for homosexual relations should be different from those for heterosexuals ...But it is now a very much politicised question, with many treating it as the sole or primary marker of Christian orthodoxy.

I find myself personally in a difficult situation, between the pressures of the clear majority view in my Church, my own theological convictions on this matter (as someone who has no desire at all to overthrow the authority of scripture here, but wants to ask if it has been rightly read on this matter) and the complex needs of individuals for pastoral counsel and support. I don’t see myself as a campaigner for a new morality; but if I’m asked for my views as a theologian rather than a church leader, I have to be honest and admit that they are as I’ve said.

One last point. The Church has shifted its stance on several matters ¬¬– notably the rightness of lending money at interest (condemned outright in the Old Testament and by all theologians before the seventeenth century) and the moral admissibility of contraception (generally denounced by the Anglican Church up to the middle of the twentieth century) so I am bound to ask if this is another such issue. If I am really seriously wrong on this, I can only pray to be shown the truth. I’d ask simply that Christians might be a little more ready than they seem to accept the good faith of those who have to a different conclusion..."
This certainly is an interesting insight into The Archbishop of Canterbury's thoughts at least in 2000, on this very pertinent issue which the Anglican Communion has been facing.



Thursday, August 7, 2008

Presiding Bishop...Post Lambeth

"...Many bishops came to this gathering in fear and trembling, expecting either a distasteful encounter between those of vastly different opinions, or the cold shoulder from those who disagree. The overwhelming reality has been just the opposite.

We have prayed, cried, learned, and laughed together, and discovered something deeper about the body of Christ. We know more of the deeply faithful ministry of those in vastly differing contexts, and we have heard repeatedly of the life and death matters confronting vast swaths of the Communion: hunger, disease, lack of education and employment, climate change, war and violence.

We have remembered that together we may be the largest network on the planet – able to respond to those life and death issues if we tend to the links, connections, and bonds between us. We have not resolved the differences among us, but have seen the deep need to maintain relationships, even in the face of significant disagreement and discomfort.

The Anglican Communion is suffering the birth pangs of something new, which none of us can yet fully appreciate or understand, yet we know that the Spirit continues to work in our midst. At the same time patience is being urged from many quarters, that all may more fully know the leading of the Spirit. God is faithful. May we be faithful as well..."

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori Presiding Bishop and Primate The Episcopal Church

Inflatable Church...

Italian nuns set up inflatable church to save the souls of beach goers. The 100-foot-long church will be set up on Saturday and is to be manned by a team of priests waiting to hear confession, give mass and sing holy music.

"There will be four or five people singing, with music about God," said Chiara Facci from the Catholic group Sentinelli del Mattino, which is putting up the blow-up church. A night-time mass, competing with the more worldly attractions of local night clubs and bars, will take place between 10pm and 1am.

The Catholic church is trying to counteract the holiday effect of the Italian summer, when large cities empty and holidaymakers head for the beach. With businesses already suffering the holiday effect, churches want to make sure the travelling faithful do not leave their sense of piety and devotion at home.

The inflatable church is not the only such effort. Near Naples a group of nuns have relocated to beach cabins to help tourists say the rosary with an altar set up between tents. "The concept of a beach-convent is something that is appreciated by vacationers and the nuns themselves," said priest Antonio Rungi.

I must confess to struggling a bit with the concept. On one level it seems rather tasteless, but then again it is a creative way to reach people where they are.

Christ promised us he would be where there are two or three gathered in his name I guess that also means...inflatable churches! They would need to be real careful if they use incense and candles ... and be concious of hungry, pesky seagulls!

So many questions pop up in my head; can folks go in their tangas? ...whatever will the nuns wear? Will priests be in bathing suits or some kind of summer liturgical attire..that's a scary thought! Hmmm... I wonder?



Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Lambeth is finally over and the buzz is on as to what actually took place or not!

Predictably no one seems particularly pleased at the outcome of the Conference. Bishops, media and bloggers have been quite busy over the last month either criticizing or lauding the meeting format. Too restrictive and controlled alleged some, a good way to meet and converse in small groups said others. Difficult, honest conversations took place reported a few bishops, a lame waste of time and money was the impression of others.

Some things stand out for me at the conclusion of this Lambeth, my first as an Episcopalian;

The obvious one is there is still an Anglican Communion something which seemed doubtful a few months ago. Despite all the pre conference talk of schism, many bishops seem to remain committed to relationships and to the idea of a worldwide family of churches.

Secondly, +Gene Robinson, duly elected and consecrated bishop of New Hampshire who was excluded from the conference and inhibited from celebrating the Eucharist in England. It was precisely this which made him the more visible to press as he made the case for inclusion of the GLBT in all areas of the church....many heard!

GAFCON and the absence of 200 or so conservative bishops, mainly from Africa certainly was of significance. Their unwillingness to participate certainly sends a foreboding message for the future of a united Anglican Communion! Lambeth was impoverished by their boycott. Despite this, the case for a conservative reading of the Bible in reference to sexual ethics and the traditional understanding of the sacrament of marriage was made clearly by most bishops present in the conference. This surely was felt by the Episcopal Church!

The Archbishop of Canterbury surprisingly came out as a more imposing figure than I supposed. His leadership in the early retreats and conference seemed to raise his stature in the eyes of the bishops , and certainly so in mine.

I guess the last thing is the Lambeth Reflections document, fruit of the bishops conversations. For most people the key elements are those related to sexuality and the proposed moratoria…no new openly gay and partnered bishops , no church blessings for same sex couples and no unwelcome intervention of one province on the life of another. Though these ideas were well articulated in writing, it seems very unlikely these will happen in reality.

...I do not think Lambeth was lame but those who may have been looking for ironclad unity or quick solutions to the Anglican Communion’s problems to come from Lambeth are sure to find it quite dissapointing! One thing remains clear to me at the conclusion of this conference, we must trust the future of the Church into the hands of the only one who can lead it, guard it protect it for error, violence and schism…its Lord Jesus Christ.

We often look to human instruments to ensure the unity and agreement that has always eluded us, but perhaps, the message to keep in mind is that the Church is united at the Eucharist with Christ at the very center . In the end that may be all that is needed…



Saturday, August 2, 2008

CEC Convocation

Well …Convocation is over and we are safely home! Today I am struggling with a bit of headache, surely from generously sampling a new spirit while in conversation with CEC clergy boys last night. I should have known better but felt exceptionally brave, maybe from the excitement of the occasion.......lesson learned!

It was a wonderful couple of days of worship , conversation with old friends and making new acquaintances. Our departure from the CEC for ECUSA seemed common knowledge, yet we were treated with great cordiality. I hoped and expected no less…we are, after all.... family!

The Convocation began with the enthronement service Wednesday. The CEC was at worship in all its convergence glory featuring colorful banners, processions, flags, wonderful music, dynamic worship, the Gospel read in multiple languages and, of course, clouds and clouds of incense. The entrance procession seemed endless with the deacons and priests and the bishops all decked out in red… a sight to see! It was services like these that attracted many of us initially to this expression of the Church, and even the annoying feedback from the sound system, did not detract from truly beautiful celebrations.

The events were energetic, joyful with a focus on the present and future of the CEC. The crises of the last years seemed passed and, although acknowledged in passing by +Bates, the focus was on mission and ministry. There was much positive to be seen; young people who seemed inspired in the worship, younger clergy obviously excited about God and the church, an international presence from the Philippines, Africa , Brazil and a definite mellowing in the language as it refers to the CEC’s place in Christendom.

The star of the show, for me was Olivia Jones! After what seemed to be a losing battle with illness and great suffering, her smiling face, her health improved beyond odds, reminded us all of the power of faith! We sung Happy Birthday to his wonderful woman of God, as +Bates reminded us of the CEC’s own difficult last years and recovery. As the services ended, there seemed to be enough talent, gifting and conviction in the place to allow for hope as to the CEC’s future.

Yet, for both of us attending the services some concerns remain. The absence of +Randolph Adler, the CEC’s founder and first Patriarch,certainly was felt and the subject of uncertainty and question. The CEC remains committed to Government by Consensus, male headship, and despite a softening on the language from its bishops, seems to remain on a very conservative bent. The Liturgy is definitely evolving most notably the new version of the Creed, minus the filioque, and a couple of innovations borrowed from the Roman Rite which, to a fan of the BCP, did not seem to flow well.

I am so glad we had the opportunity to attend, to worship with this family in Christ, to rejoice with them even as they look forward to a future full of hope. As to regrets …happily I have none! Even as I rejoice in the joy the CEC expressed in its Convocation in Orlando, I am more excited than ever to be in the Episcopal Church.