Friday, December 26, 2008
Bush Signs Anti-Trafficking Bill
December 24, 2008 2:57PM
by Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service
Religious leaders hailed President Bush's signing of a bill that continues U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking across the globe.
In an Oval Office ceremony on Tuesday, Bush signed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.
"This is a piece of legislation we're very proud to sign and to see that it's authorizing funding for fiscal years ... 2008 through 2011," White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto told reporters before the signing ceremony. "And this program has been very effective around the world in trying to stop trafficking in persons in Africa and Asia."
The law aims to prevent and prosecute trafficking of humans in foreign countries and assist its victims.
"This bill will significantly assist the United States government in impeding the trafficking of women and child for sexual purposes," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in a statement to Baptist Press, the denomination's news service. "It's a tremendously important new tool available to law enforcement officials in prosecuting those who traffic in human flesh. It will make a real difference to the victims of sex trafficking."
Finish the article . . .
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
by Sarah Pulliam
Barack Obama will be sworn into office using President Abraham Lincoln's Bible, the first time it has been used since its original use in 1861.
The press release from the transition team about the Bible is after the jump.
"Washington, D.C. - On January 20th, President-elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office using the same Bible upon which President Lincoln was sworn in at his first inauguration. The Bible is currently part of the collections of the Library of Congress. Though there is no constitutional requirement for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in, Presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony, choosing a volume with personal or historical significance. President-elect Obama will be the first President sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861.
'President-elect Obama is deeply honored that the Library of Congress has made the Lincoln Bible available for use during his swearing-in,' said Presidential Inaugural Committee Executive Director Emmett Beliveau. 'The President-elect is committed to holding an Inauguration that celebrates America's unity, and the use of this historic Bible will provide a powerful connection to our common past and common heritage.' "
Read the rest . . .
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Check out my sweet percussion playing skills in this video. I hope to get more of a singing part in some future vids. ;-)
The Archbishop of Canterbury has surprisingly reignited the row today over the separation of church and state by saying it is "not the end of the world" if the established church were to disappear.
Rowan Williams, the most senior figure in the Church of England, argues that there is a "certain integrity" to a church that was free from state sanctions.
His endorsement of disestablishment comes in an interview published today in this week's New Statesman.
Williams, who was born in Swansea, converted as a teenager to the Church in Wales, a disestablished church, and spent 10 years working as one of its bishops. He told the magazine his early clerical experience taught him there were advantages to not needing state approval.
He said: "I can see that it's by no means the end of the world if the establishment disappears. The strength of it is that the last vestiges of state sanction disappeared, so when you took a vote at the Welsh synod, it didn't have to be nodded through by parliament afterwards. There is a certain integrity to that."
Continue reading here
Friday, December 12, 2008
Here are a few more images from the Universal Records international release party for "No One's As Irish As Barack Obama" by the Corrigan Brothers.
The first two are of some of the paraphernalia littering the walls of Ollie Hayes' pub along the Main Street in Moneygall, Co. Offaly.
The next is of the promotional cd of the single given out free today and one of many stickers sent anonymously from Washington, DC with an Irish declaration on it. It (loosely) translates: "Yeah Obama! You're very welcome to Moneygall, Mr. President!"
And the last is a fantastic little video that Universal Records commissioned for the new song. It's quite humorous and features my friend and rector (see previous post) Stephen Neill in cartoon. Apparently it's true that President- Elect Obama himself has said he would like to visit Moneygall and have a pint here - yeah! Enjoy.
Here's the previous music video complete with clips of Obama himself - dancing.
Buy the song at iTunes!
Okay, here's the first shot taken at the international release of the Universal Records single 'There's No One As Irish As Barack Obama' by the Corrigan Brothers in Moneygall, Co. Offaly where I'm at this minute. The band are in front, distant relation of Barack at top left & friend / rector, Stephen Neill who found the link w/ Obama in our church records is on the right. You can download or purchase the physical copy of the single in stores and on the net now.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
As an experiment, I'd like to profile, or highlight each one of you who visit the blog. Whether you visit regularly or have just 'happened' upon this space, I'd like to know who you are, where you're based and what you're up to. Three brief lines in the comments section. I'll then introduce you to one another right here. Are you up for that?
I'll re-post your submitted info (and an image if you'd like to send me one) here in this post.
It's just a little way to connect miles and miles away. Let's see where this goes . . .
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
What are your views? What has been your experience?? What role do you think the net will play in peoples' encounters with God and one another in the years to come?
Can you believe it??
Man, if this is true, it could be frikin' awesome!
I wouldn't put it past U2 to come up with something like this. Remember *POP*?
KANYE WEST has fuelled speculation BLACK EYED PEAS star will.i.am will produce U2's forthcoming album by apparently confirming the news on his blog. Will.i.am sparked rumours of an unlikely collaboration with the rockers after telling MTV he had been in contact with frontman Bono, and that it would be "a dream come true" to work with the band.
And now West has taken to his blog to announce that hip-hop star will.i.am is indeed set to produce material on U2's forthcoming LP, which was originally slated for release in September (08) but has since been delayed until 2009.
West writes: "Will.i.am is producing U2's next album. I'm sure it will be dope as s**t judging from the crazy beats he's done in the past 3 years!"
12/09/2008 01:41:55 AM
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
I was sorry to have missed this event held in Tennessee of all places (!) which took place last week. It seems to have been an interesting gathering of a diverse grouping of people. The event has come about because of a book written by Phyllis Tickle called The Great Emergence (if you hadn't figured it out yet) which was released by Baker Books and Emergent Village. The synopsis of the book (crudely put) is that about every 500 years there has been a major shift in the direction the 'Church' has gone beginning within Judaism (Abrahamic tradition) and then within the Christian tradition. I love discussing history, culture and Christianity, so this one pretty much promises to be a great read! I'll wait til I get through some of the others I have bought recently though before purchasing it though.
Here's a link to some YouTube vids from The Great Emergence gathering in Memphis, Tennessee las week.
Did any of you attend the event? If so, what was the tone, content presented and discussion like??
Has anyone read 'The Great Emergence' yet? If so, could you give your best synopsis in a paragraph or less?
Monday, December 08, 2008
I wonder what my wife thinks?? Christy?
Religion May Help Extend Your Life
Regular attendance is key, researchers say, but they don't know why
By Serena Gordon
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Attending a weekly religious service, regardless of your faith, may lower your risk of death by 20 percent compared to people who don't attend services, researchers are reporting.
"Religion is always a hot topic, but particularly now, when people are perhaps in fear because of the recession and the threat of terrorism, people are looking for stability, and religion is something we find people reach out to for that stability. And, we see some health benefits here," said the study's lead author, Eliezer Schnall, a clinical assistant professor of psychology at Yeshiva College at Yeshiva University in New York City.
"Maybe it's the sense of community, or the support, or maybe people are less depressed when they join in religious services," he said, adding that the researchers tried to control the data to account for many of these factors, but "we have not completely explained it all."
Results of the study were published in the current issue of the journal Psychology and Health.
Read more . . .
Oh, I've got to see this one. 'What Would Jesus Buy' is another installment from Mr. Morgan Spurlock that promises to be amusing and painfully poignant. I saw it advertised earlier this year but have yet to see it in our video shops for rental. Maybe I'm just missing it? Anyway, something of the tact of f this film could be a great counter-balance to our holiday shopping tendencies this Christmas. The message is clear . . it's NOT about more stuff!
Here's an article about the film from the Charleston City Paper.