Southern Religion

Palintologists discover the annotated Sarah Palin global warmer

Not-a-liberal Mark Ambinder of The Atlantic gives us a clarifying interpretation of the text of the Washington Post’s Sarah Palin outreach to refugees from the pink-slip besieged Washington Times.

As counterfactual as it is charming, Palin’s text benefits from Ambinder’s concise Palintological efforts.

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Science | , , , | Comments Off on Palintologists discover the annotated Sarah Palin global warmer

Tony Cartledge skins the ‘conservatized’ Bible

We have little regard for Andy Schlafly’s “Conservative Bible Project,” and Tony Cartledge, an associate professor of Old Testament at Campbell University, has less.

He gives the project a fair and thorough review, concluding:

It should be apparent to anyone with a modicum of intelligence that Schlafly’s project will produce nothing more than a radically biased rewriting of the Bible slanted toward an extremely conservative political point of view and designed to reinforce that particular worldview. The One who inspired the scripture needs no re-interpretation of divine revelation.

Read the entire piece here.

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Book Review, Religion | , , , | 1 Comment

Scientology in Germany

Still in trouble in Germany, Scientology was the target of an official warning via a public kiosk early this year that “the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf ‘expresses its opposition to the activities of the Scientology sect in this district and in Berlin, and hopes that responsible parties in Berlin will watch the Scientology sect with a critical eye in the near future, and that any new information will be made public.'”

In 2007 a German court ruled that ongoing surveillance by the government there was merited.

Neither a religion nor an ideology under a German Federal Labor Court ruling, the six-story, 43,000 square foot center “in the upscale western Berlin district of Charlottenburg” was found in 2007 to be subject to Sunday closing laws.

Ursula Caberta, who heads a working group that studies Scientology in the Hamburg senate, told Der Tagesspiegel that it was one of several new centers [London, Madrid, Brussels] which are part of a campaign to “‘scientologize’ Europe once and for all. They want to influence politics. We have to take that very seriously.”

According to Speigel.Online:

The Church of Scientology is a controversial organization in Germany, and is regarded as dangerous by the federal government. It is one of the organizations currently being monitored by Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the country’s domestic intelligence agency, which also keeps an eye on neo-Nazis, left-wing extremists and Islamist terrorists.

“There is substantial evidence that the Scientology Organization is involved in activities directed against the free democratic order,” the Office for the Protection of the Constitution warns in its most recent annual report.

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Religion | , | Comments Off on Scientology in Germany

Lesbian Episcopal bishop-elect speaks for herself [Addendum]

The Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, elected the first openly lesbian bishop in the 70-million-member worldwide Anglican Communion, told the Baltimore Sun in an interview published today that “I’m conscious of the symbolic nature of my election and hoped-for consecration, and it’s very humbling. … I’m not ignorant of some people who are fearful that this will mean a real change in our relationship in the Anglican Communion. I’m more hopeful than fearful.”

Guardian religion correspondent Riazat Butt irreverently summarizes the matter:

That the US Episcopal Church has elected a lesbian as a bishop should come as no more of a surprise than learning that the future of the Anglican Communion is once again in jeopardy. The trajectory of each has been clear to church watchers for almost a decade [detailed history here], so talk of schism and turmoil is not so much premature as it is tardy and, quite frankly, a statement of the bleeding obvious.

Or as Duke University’s David C. Steinmetz, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of the History of Christianity, Emeritus, told the Sun:

For the first time, it seems very possible to me that the Episcopal Church may lose its place in the Anglican Communion not against the wishes of the Archbishop of Canterbury but with his full consent. What is not clear to me is whether the effective governing majority of the Episcopal Church even cares.

The history of these divisions in the United States is briefly documented by ReligionLink and there are regular news reports suggesting ongoing schism. For example, this week the Anglican Church of Uganda “expressed dismay,” according to The Daily Monitor.

Glasspool’s focus in the Baltimore Sun interview was in the importance of her selection to others. She illustrated that by way of reference to “the hundreds of e-mail messages she has received since her election Saturday to be bishop suffragan in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

There was the missive from the gay teenager in Auckland, New Zealand, telling her how proud he was of their church. The congratulations from the married couple from the conservative Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. The appreciation from a lesbian Roman Catholic couple in England.

Similarly, in the Baltimore Sun video she focuses on the shared values of those who pursue the church’s mission in the world:

The process of selection is formally incomplete, as the Sun observes:

Pending the consent of the bishops and standing committees of the 108 other Episcopal dioceses in the United States — typically, a formality — she is to be consecrated in Los Angeles in May. That would make her only the second openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion and the first since the consecration of V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire in 2003 brought a decades-long divide over homosexuality in the church into the open.

Protest of Glasspool’s election from Uganda underlines the failure of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of the broken church, to address pending gay genocide legislation there while quickly rebuking the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles for Glasspool’s election as a bishop.

Some who are marvels of bigotry may recall that decision with respect if the Ugandan law is enacted and executions begin.

Addendum re Mark Silk

Mark Silk gets it exactl right:

Has anyone ever tried to determine how many Episcopalians even care if their denomination is part of the Anglican Communion? Just as the Church of England split with the Church of Rome over a matter of state (Henry VIII marital inclinations), so the Episcopal Church created itself as an entity separate from the Church of England over that late unpleasantness involving tea and other disagreements resulting in the United States of America. Maybe it’s time for the Episcopalians to return to their revolutionary roots.


December 9, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , | Comments Off on Lesbian Episcopal bishop-elect speaks for herself [Addendum]

Atheists & officeholding in North Carolina

Perhaps also refugees from the war on Christmas, opponents of Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell argued that he shouldn’t be seated because he’s an atheist. All reported by the Asheville Citizen-Times, which also explains that Article 6, section 8 of the state constitution (a bootless anachronism) says:

The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.

The U.S. Constitution supersedes any and every state constitution where there are conflicts. There’s the First Amendment to consider, as well as Article VI, which says: “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

Yet the opponents of duly elected Bothwell, author of “Pure Bunkum: Reporting on the Life and Crimes of Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Lee Medford,” persisted. And failed. For Bothwell was sworn in Tuesday night.

Thus the silly season came again this year to North Carolina, and passed.

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Religion | , , | Comments Off on Atheists & officeholding in North Carolina