Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November 1: A.M. posts

Here are Kendall's posts from this morning through about 1 p.m. Eastern


Jay Bryant: The Most Important Senate Race

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 1:15 pm

All right, you need to guess both what race he thinks is the most important, and why he thinks so before you click.

John Humphrys talks to Archbishop Rowan Williams

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 12:35 pm

Listen to it all.

Partial-birth cases test abortion rights’ limits

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 12:30 pm

It was just after Mother’s Day in May 2003 when Ilene Jaroslaw, about four months pregnant, learned that the fetus she was carrying had a fatal spinal cord and brain defect.
Jaroslaw, then a mother of two, says she was devastated but decided immediately to have an abortion. Because she wanted to have another child — and because she had had two previous cesarean-section deliveries and an unrelated surgery on her uterus — she agreed with her doctor’s recommendation to undergo a procedure that would do as little damage as possible to the uterus.

“There was absolutely no hope at all,” says Jaroslaw, a 43-year-old lawyer in New York City who talked with USA TODAY about her experience. “This baby was not going to survive long.”

For Jaroslaw, having what Congress and critics of the procedure call a “partial-birth” abortion was an intensely personal health decision that led to a happier ending: In 2004, she got pregnant again and delivered a healthy baby girl.

The episode also made Jaroslaw a symbol of the ongoing debate over whether Congress’ effort to ban “partial-birth” abortion violates a woman’s right to end a pregnancy — a question that goes before the Supreme Court on Nov. 8.

Read it all.

National Battle Over Abortion Focuses on South Dakota Vote

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 12:23 pm

In the downtown headquarters of those opposing a ban on nearly all abortions in this state, there are notes from around the country taped up and down the hallway: “They need to butt out of women’s lives” and “Why did S.D. vote for this?”

On the other side of town, in a warehouse decorated in pink, the supporters of the ban doggedly work a phone bank, in some cases young children playing nearby.

The battle here over a statewide ballot measure to install one of the country’s strictest anti-abortion laws is playing out in television commercials, yard signs and Sunday sermons. It is also drawing the attention of national advocates on both sides of the abortion debate, who are watching the campaign with deep intensity and even fear.

Both sides predict that the outcome of the vote in South Dakota could send the country’s broader debate over abortion rights swerving in new directions, and will set the tone for the fate of similarly strict laws being considered in nearly a dozen other states.

“I think there’s some sense out there that — ‘By golly, if they can do it there, we’re going to do it here,’ ” said Nancy Keenan, the president of Naral Pro-Choice America, which opposes the South Dakota ban.

Read it all.

From the No Comment Department

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 11:44 am

ORLANDO - A 15-year-old Orlando boy is today charged with grand theft auto and driving without a license after stealing a bus and driving a route. The youth apparently stole the bus Saturday from the Central Florida Fairgrounds where it was awaiting auction. He picked up several passengers before, wary of the driver’s youthful appearance, one dialed 911.Aside from driving without a license, the teen seems to have obeyed traffic laws in making the rounds. He had only collected a few dollars when he was apprehended.

Who is going to win the Midterm Elections?

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 11:29 am

I have no idea. But I know one of the best places to look. They have a very good track record and I am continually surprised at how many people are unaware of them. Right now they have the Republicans keeping the Senate but losing the House. It will be interesting to watch how the numbers fluctuate going into the actual voting day next week.

Patrick Allen: All Saints’, All Souls’ & Our Prayers

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 11:10 am

At the beginning of November, we pay particular attention to our Christian dead with two days of commemoration – the Feasts of All Saints on Nov. 1st (or transferred, as our custom is, to the following Sunday) and All Faithful Departed, more traditionally “All Souls’ Day,” on November 2nd. In the Bible’s way of speaking, all the redeemed are “saints;” the Biblical writers make no distinction between those Christians whose lives of “heroic sanctity” are gratefully recognized and remembered throughout the whole Church, and the “faithful departed,” whose sometimes more and sometimes less holy lives are dear to us personally, or who are remembered no more – all these, in New Testament terms (and in the courts of Paradise) are saints, too. But for pastoral purposes, the Church makes a liturgical distinction between these groups. It has become common practice to conflate these two commemorations, but at St. Joseph of Arimathea we maintain this distinction between All Saints’ and All Souls’.

On All Saints’ Sunday we pay homage to and celebrate those giants whom God has raised up among us, to give thanks for their witness and to “consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Heb. 13.7). On All Souls’, we likewise come together to give thanks, but this is a bittersweet commemoration. Bitter, because we yet mourn the loss of loved ones; sweet, because we know that though departed this life, they are “with Christ, for that is far better” (Phil. 1.23), and await that great Day when all who have died in Christ shall rise again. This, of course, is the pastoral distinction between the two days: Francis of Assisi and a departed loved one may both be saints in the New Testament sense; but while we need to be humbled and strengthened by Francis’ example, we do not mourn his death as we do that of a lost parent or child. To put it starkly, I admire Francis, but I do not miss him.

Read it all.

U.S. Muslims Mobilize in 2006 Elections With Eye on 2008

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 9:19 am

Congressional elections haven’t meant much to Saadia Chaudhry, who, at 30, has never cast a midterm ballot. But this year Chaudhry is excited about voting in her suburban Maryland district, even though she admits — with a slightly embarrassed laugh — that she’s not even sure who’s running.

“I just know I’m voting for Democrats,” Chaudhry said.

Muslim American voters like Chaudhry, angered by policies they say abuse their civil rights at home and kill and injure Muslims abroad, are expected to turn out in unusually high numbers this year, throwing their support overwhelmingly behind Democratic candidates, observers say.

The boiling frustration with the Bush administration coincides with unprecedented voter registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns in Muslim communities. Meanwhile, other Muslim voters have been energized by what they see as anti-Muslim rhetoric.

While it is unclear if Muslim American voters have the numbers to tip any tight elections, many believe they have achieved unprecedented levels of political organization and electoral enthusiasm. Their political strength, they hope, will be remembered two years from now when the White House is again in play.

A 2001 poll by Zogby International found that 79 percent of the country’s estimated 2 million to 8 million Muslims are registered to vote. Mukit Hossain of the Muslim American Society told The Washington
Post in October there are an estimated 2 million registered Muslim American voters.

Read it all.

North Carolina Rector Bidding Parish Farewell

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 9:18 am

Not one piece of ground at Grace Church in the Mountains is the same as when Rev. Howard “Howdy” White became rector of this Episcopal congregation in 1984, White said.

He has led the church in numerous renovations, preparing for the future growth of the area, helped organize charities and guided his flock through difficult social changes.

On Nov. 26, White will walk the sanctuary aisle and out the church doors with his congregation behind him, never to look back.

“I hope they find someone holy to replace me,” White said, smiling at a co-worker in his office as he empties his pipe and refills it with fresh Borkum Riff tobacco.

White and many of his parishioners don’t take themselves too seriously. Last Friday, the congregation threw a “Roast the Rector” night, giving friends and colleagues a chance to poke fun at their retiring leader. Among the guests were the bishop of Western North Carolina and “Herman the Flying Bat.”

At the same time, White feels the weight of the change. He is leaving behind 22 years of life in a tight-knit community to start anew at a home in Bedford, Pa. The thought of leaving brings tears to his eyes, but he knows it’s time to go. White said his congregation has accomplished every goal it set out to complete over these past two decades.

Read it all.

Pennsylvania Bishop sends e-mail apologizing for handling of brother’s case

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 9:13 am

The leader of the Episcopal Church’s five-county Diocese of Pennsylvania sent an e-mail to clergy and lay leaders apologizing for failing to properly investigate or report sexual abuse of a minor by his brother during the 1970s.

“I sincerely apologize if any lack of action on my part 30 years ago has caused hurt or distress,” Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. wrote.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday that while he was a young rector in a California parish, Bennison failed to contact law enforcement or church officials when he discovered that his brother, a parish youth minister, had sexually abused a 14-year-old girl.

Bennison said in an e-mail Tuesday that “to the best of my memory,” he learned of the abuse in 1974 when the girl’s mother informed him. He said he confronted his brother and “told him to leave the parish’s employ.” He said he did not report the abuse to civil or church authorities because the girl’s parents had not chosen to do so.

Read it all and there is more there.

Albany Bishop ready to pass his pulpit

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 9:11 am

Albany Episcopal Bishop Daniel Herzog announced this week that he plans to retire early next year, well short of when he is required to step down.

That means the 19-county diocese is on the cusp of concluding a long transition that began in March when clergy and lay deputies elected the Rev. William Love to succeed Herzog.

Herzog and his assistant, Suffragan Bishop Dave Bena, will retire on Jan. 31. Church rules mandate that Herzog, 65, retire within three years of Love’s consecration, which took place in September.

“It’s probably not a good idea when a new bishop is elected for the old bishops to stay for a long time,” Bena said. “He’s a quick study, and we just believe he’s ready to move ahead as the ninth bishop of Albany.”

Read it all.


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