Philocrites : Scrapbook : August 2005 Archive

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Romney's paradox: Can his anti-abortionism overcome the right wing's anti-Mormonism?

Quoted 08.30.05:

"It would be extraordinarily hard for mainline denomination people in the South to openly and strongly politick or be involved in a Mormon's run for office," said Bobby Welch, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest non-Catholic denomination and a fixture of the Christian right.

Nina J. Easton, Boston Globe 8.30.05, reg req'd; see also "Onward, Mormon Soldiers" (Adam Reilly, Boston Phoenix 3.18.05)

Monday, August 29, 2005

St Albert the Great reopens without beloved priest

Quoted 08.29.05:

Last night, parishioners even had their old pastor back. After almost an entire year away, the beloved Rev. Ronald D. Coyne stood again at the altar alongside the newly installed pastor, the Rev. Laurence Borges. . . .

Coyne, whom many parishioners had not seen since last August, was assigned to the archdiocese's Emergency Response Team, which sends priests to parishes to fill in on a temporary basis, and many were devastated when O'Malley decided not to reinstate him at the church.

"He was such a big, big part of all of our lives," Sullivan-Pugh said. "We all have so much respect for him. A great injustice was done to our church, but a bigger injustice was done to him."

Coyne, an outspoken priest who called for the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law because of the sex abuse scandal, has kept a low profile since the archdiocese decided to close the church. Borges, 74, said he asked Coyne, 58, to give the homily at Mass yesterday, but the younger priest declined.

Maria Cramer, Boston Globe 8.29.05, reg req'd

Boston-area Muslims try to become political bloc

Quoted 08.29.05:

In the Boston area, as elsewhere, the faith includes a broad range of ethnicities: African-Americans, Somalians, Moroccans, Pakistanis, Ugandans and others, which has made it harder for them to coalesce into a community. The aftermath of Sept. 11 has done much to unite them, however. Strict immigration rules, long delays at airports, and discrimination on the street have given them more common ground than ever, several at the city council forum said.

Yvonne Abraham, Boston Globe 8.29.05, reg req'd

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Evangelical smackdown of the corrupt Pat Robertson.

Quoted 08.25.05:

Ted Olsen, Christianity Today Weblog 8.24.05

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The evolution debate

Quoted 08.24.05:

Whose money and agenda is behind the Discovery Institute, the "intelligent design" think tank? What are evolutionary biologists and intelligent-design advocates arguing about? And can science and Christianity get along?

New York Times, 8.20-23.05, reg req'd

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The remorseless president

Quoted 08.18.05:

And maybe this is the part I find most distancing about my president, not his fanatic heart - the unassailable sense he projects that God is on his side - we all have that. But that he seems to lack anything like real remorse, here in the third August of Iraq, in the fourth August of Afghanistan, in the fifth August of his presidency - for all of the intemperate speech, for the weapons of mass destruction that were not there, the "Mission Accomplished" that really wasn't, for the funerals he will not attend, the mothers of the dead he will not speak to, the bodies of the dead we are not allowed to see and all of the soldiers and civilians whose lives have been irretrievably lost or irreparably changed by his (and our) "Bring it On" bravado in a world made more perilous by such pronouncements.

Surely we must all bear our share of guilt and deep regret, some sadness at the idea that here we are, another August into our existence, and whether we arrived by way of evolution or intelligent design or the hand of God working over the void, no history can record that we've progressed beyond our hateful, warring and fanatical ways.

Thomas Lynch, New York Times 8.17.05, reg req'd

Reagan biographer damns Bush with faint praise

Quoted 08.18.05:

I have had few chances to observe George W. Bush close up, and can say only that he appears to have Theodore Roosevelt's muscular positivity (what Owen Wister, author of "The Virginian," described as "his determination to grasp his optimism tight, lest it escape him") and Reagan's benign lack of interest in individual human beings - without either man's ability to silently convey that they had, at least in private, pondered the larger questions of life and death.

Edmund Morris, op-ed, New York Times 8.17.05, reg req'd

Monday, August 15, 2005

Exurbs, the corporations that build them, and the people who move there

Quoted 08.15.05:

Poring over elaborate market research, these corporations divine what young families want, addressing things like carpet texture and kitchen placement and determining how many streetlights and cul-de-sacs will evoke a soothing sense of safety.

They know almost to the dollar how much buyers are willing to pay to exchange a longer commute for more space, a sense of higher status and the feeling of security.

Rick Lyman, New York Times 8.15.05, reg req'd

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Largest Lutheran denomination picks status quo on gay ordinations, blessings

Quoted 08.13.05:

In an indication of the deep split over homosexuality in the [Evangelical Lutheran Church of America], which with five million members is the nation's largest Lutheran denomination, the vote on gay clergy members at the church's assembly in Orlando, Fla., divided almost evenly, with 49 percent in favor to 51 percent opposed. To pass, the measure required a two-thirds majority.

The 1,018 delegates in Orlando also voted against an amendment that would have given pastors explicit permission to bless same-sex unions. But the assembly approved a more ambiguous measure that both upholds the current ban on same-sex blessing ceremonies, and says at the same time that the church will "trust" pastors and congregations "to discern ways to provide faithful pastoral care" to everyone.

Laurie Goodstein, New York Times 8.13.05, reg req'd; see also "N.E. Bishop at Center of Lutherans' Gay Debate," Michael Paulson, Boston Globe 8.9.05, reg req'd

Why other denominations won't follow UCC's lead on gay marriage

Quoted 08.13.05:

Most other denominations simply don't have the kind of liberal support that would be necessary to endorse gay marriage, either as a religious rite or as a civil right. . . .

The beauty—and frustration—of the UCC is that any statement made by the national church is simply advisory. . . . Other churches—Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian, for example—have more centralized authority, and their policies must be embraced on the local level.

Kevin Eckstrom [RNS], Christian Century 7.26.05

Thursday, August 11, 2005

State can't force churches to disclose financial records

Quoted 08.11.05:

The Rev. Diane Kessler, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, is right on the money in noting that the bill filed by Senator Marion Walsh requiring financial reports by churches originated in an effort to enlist civil power on one side of an internal dispute within the Catholic Archdiocese over parish closings ("Bill would force church to disclose its finances"). This is one solid reason why the bill should die in committee. Civil authority should move with extreme caution before taking sides in purely internal church matters.

The other solid reason why the bill should be scuttled is contained in Walsh's description of churches as charitable institutions that should be required to make financial reports, as do other charities chartered by the Commonwealth. The difficulty here is that churches do not receive their tax-exempt status because they are charities. The special tax treatment of churches is because they are churches and is not dependent on the nature and extent of their charitable expenditures.

Francis M. McLauglin (associate professor of economics, Boston College), letter to the editor, Boston Globe 8.11.05, reg req'd; see also "No on Church Disclosure Bill," John Garvey, op-ed, Boston Globe 8.11.05, reg req'd

Anti-liberal rector of St Patrick's Cathedral named 'other man' in divorce case

Quoted 08.11.05:

A strong proponent of traditional morality, [Msgr Eugene Clark] blamed the church's sex-abuse scandal in 2002 on "the campaign of liberal America against celibacy."

Clark was named in divorce papers filed last week in Family Court in White Plains by Philip DeFilippo, 46, who claimed that a private investigator taped his wife, Laura, [Clark's private secretary,] and the monsignor entering and leaving a Long Island hotel last month.

AP, 8.11.05, reg req'd

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

How my alma mater is responding to NCAA Indian mascot policy

Quoted 08.10.05:

University of Utah drum-and-feathers logoThe University of Utah — nickname: the Utes — is one of 18 schools targeted Friday by the NCAA for using Indian imagery or references in their logos and for their mascots. . . .

The U. has already stopped using references to and imagery of Indian culture in its logos, except for the drum and feather. It even removed the word "Runnin'" from the nickname of the Utes' basketball team. . . .

The university did have a face-off with the tribe in 1996, when the tribe threatened to sue for "reparations" for using the Ute name. Then-U. President Arthur K. Smith responded that the school would not pay for use of the name but would drop the name if it offended tribal members. The dispute ended with Ute leaders saying "they would not oppose the school's continued use of the nickname, as long as it was used 'respectfully and with dignity.'" . . .

Last month, [President] Young said he received approval from the Ute Tribal Council to continue using the Ute name.

Stephen Speckman, Deseret Morning News 8.5.05

Time to 'bring religious groups into the modern era of financial accountability'

Quoted 08.10.05:

Other than tradition, there is no clear reason why religious organizations should be exempt from the duty to disclose financial information required of other nonprofit charities in Massachusetts.

Editorial, Boston Globe 8.10.05, reg req'd

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Angry Catholic legislators propose forcing Church to disclose finances

Quoted 08.09.05:

The legislation, which would require all religious organizations to file annual financial reports and a list of real estate holdings with the attorney general's charities division, is opposed by the Catholic Church and major mainline Protestant denominations. It is being watched as a test of how much clout the archdiocese still retains with the state's political establishment.

Frank Phillips, Boston Globe 8.8.05, reg req'd; Mormon governor supports obligatory disclosures, Frank Phillips, Boston Globe 8.9.05, reg req'd

John Roberts volunteered help in landmark gay rights case

Quoted 08.09.05:

Judge Roberts, at the time an appellate lawyer for the Washington firm of Hogan & Hartson, did not write legal briefs or argue the case, [which led to a landmark 1996 ruling protecting gay men and lesbians from state-sanctioned discrimination,] lawyers involved said. But they said he did provide invaluable strategic guidance working pro bono to formulate legal theories and coach them in moot court sessions.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times 8.5.05, reg req'd

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Jim Wallis: Five ideas for the Democrats

Quoted 08.07.05:

The Democrats assume the poverty issue belongs to them, but with the exception of John Edwards in his 2004 campaign, they haven't mustered the gumption to oppose a government that habitually favors the wealthy over everyone else. . . .

Democrats should draw a line in the sand when it comes to wartime tax cuts for the wealthy, rising deficits, and the slashing of programs for low-income families and children. . . .

[Democrats] must insist that private interests should never obstruct our country's path to a cleaner and more efficient energy future, let alone hold our foreign policy hostage to the dictates of repressive regimes in the Middle East. . . .

Democrats should set forth proposals that aim to reduce [the number of abortions] by at least half. Such a campaign could emphasize adoption reform, health care, and child care; combating teenage pregnancy and sexual abuse; improving poor and working women's incomes; and supporting reasonable restrictions on abortion . . .

Finally, on national security, Democrats should argue that the safety of the United States depends on the credibility of its international leadership.

Jim Wallis, New York Times 8.4.05, reg req'd