Archive for November 23rd, 2007

By K. Connie Kang, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 20, 2007

Speaking with mutual respect and sensitivity, prominent Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars and clergy from around the country met in Los Angeles this week to “wrestle” with what one rabbi described as the “dark side” of the three faith traditions.

  • Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith- Gospel of Mark: “Go into the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned
  • Rabbi Reuven Firestone-Deuteronomy: “For you are a people consecrated to the Lord your God: of all the peoples of the earth the Lord your God chose you to be His treasured people.”
  • Muzammil H. Siddiqi- Koran -“You who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as allies: they are allies only to each other. Anyone who takes them as an ally becomes one of them — God does not guide such wrongdoers.



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  • For researchers, the Eindhoven DNA bank could prove a major windfall, paving the way for a host of new studies. To unravel the mysteries of human disease, researchers are increasingly studying genetic variations in human populations that increase the risk of illnesses, such as diabetes, or boost resistance to infections such as malaria. By studying the variants over time, researchers hope to advance knowledge of these diseases and gather clues to produce vaccines or new drug treatments. And such medical research is where the Eindhoven DNA bank, which spans 600 years of history, could really shine.

Medieval DNA, Modern Medicine

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Casual sex is a con

  • Our culture — both in the media via programmes such as Sex and the City and in everyday interactions — relentlessly puts forth the idea that lust is a way station on the road to love. It isn’t. It left me with a brittle facade incapable of real intimacy.

Good article in the London Times by Dawn Eden. As my daughter has entered young womanhood, I’ve looked for ways to broach this difficult topic with her.

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Mexico City cathedral suspends Masses after protesters kick over pews

  • Church officials closed and locked Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral and suspended all services after about 150 leftist protesters stormed into a Sunday Mass shouting slogans and kicking over pews.


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Bishop Lipscomb reconciles to Catholicism.

I am sure that there are several Catholic site that are rejoicings over Bishop Lipscomb’s decision to become Catholic. Hopefully they are rejoicing for the right reasons. I think however some will post barbs of swimming the Tiber as if to reassure that their own personal doubts about the faith were unfounded.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to leave a faith community of 40 plus years, rise to be a bishop responsible for the spiritual care of thousands and leave that to become a lay Catholic. If for no other reason then loss of income.

How many of us Catholic’s are willing to give up their jobs for their faith? If it was just myself I believe I could do it, but I think it likely that I’d delay such a decision with a family to support.

The Anglican communion needs are continued prayers for those that left and those that attempt to uphold their faith.

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The Pope’s Got A Point By: Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz


  • The pope has generated a bit of controversy. First, he permitted congregations to go back to the old custom of praying in Latin. (More about that later.) Then he announced that only the Catholic Church qualifies as a real church….I, for one, am not at all put off by the fact that the leader of another religion sees that religion as primary. If he thinks his religion is right, he obviously thinks mine is wrong….If my religion is okay and your religion is okay, we can mix and match and share with mutual respect and admiration. Can you envision Elijah the Prophet conducting an ecumenical service on Mount Carmel? “Oh, would you like to have a joint prayer meeting? Great! We’ll do God, and you can do Baal!” I don’t think so!…. We need to respect all people. All of us are created in God’s image. This does not mean, however, that we have to respect their opinions. Nor does it mean that we should go around trashing the beliefs of other people. What it means is that we don’t need to play games of “I’m okay, your okay” with beliefs we find unacceptable….The Latin Mass that was dropped many years ago included a prayer for the conversion of the Jews. Now that the Latin Mass is once again acceptable to Catholics, the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations has written to the Vatican and expressed “profound concern … that the authorization may have allowed the return of this prayer.” They have requested confirmation that the conversion prayer will not be reintroduced. I ask you, does this make sense? Where do we Jews get off making demands of Catholics that they only say prayers that meet with our approval? Next week is Tisha B’Av. Have we forgotten that we are living in exile? The audacity of Jews dictating to Christians how they should pray is simply mind-boggling.

Now this is a guy I can talk to about Catholicism and the Jewish faith.


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Angelus -Pope Benedict XVI


I can’t recommend this enough on the weekly reflection of the Sunday readings of Pope B16.

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Die Hard Orioles fan

I grew up in the 60’s with a very loyal Yankee family, so what happened?

I was a bit confused in childhood about who was more important  God, Mickey Mantel, or family. When i got to see my first pro baseball game with my father and brother, the great Mic came to bat 3 times. First time K, second time K, it’s ok even Mickey can have an off day. Third time up Yankees down 2-0 to the Twins, Mickey comes up with 2 man on. At age 6 you know he’s going to hit a HR after all it’s God, family and Mickey Mantel! Strike three!!

I hate the Yankees, heck I can strike out 3 times! He stinks, stinks.

But I love baseball, who do I root for? Well who beats up on the Yankees? Why the O’s of the 60’s & 70’s.

Sadly, the O’s of the 80’s,90’s, and double otts are not the O’s of the late 60’s.

But I have high hope for 2011.

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It may be partly because I just entered my 50 th year on this earth, but for the past 10 years or so I have gotten more and more agitated with commerical ads moving the “Christmas season” to Sept. 30th and going full swing after Halloween.

My neighbors are now putting up Christmas lights the weekend after Halloween. A small percentage have illuminated them since about November 10th. Driving home from the in-laws today(Thanksgiving) I saw quite a few more lights on.

I have tried to stay within the traditional church season of Advent with some fasting prior to the celebration of the Incarnation of God made Man.

However, the secular society with ever passing year has increased pressure into celebrating the “holiday” season btwn Thanksgiving and about Dec. 21st. Work functions in particular seems to hold parties during this time frame.Then the secular tradition is to open up your material gifts on Dec. 25th in the morning and go to a movie in the afternoon.

Adults will then spend the next 6 days feeling guilty about all the Christmas/Holiday parties they’ve been to and resolving to go on a diet January 1st so they can look physically good for spring.

The Christian however should be praying, fast and reflecting (improving on their spiritual health) on the numerous blessings they have been given by our Lord prior to Christian day, in preparation of when He actually makes His second return. Then on December 25th we start celebrating the twelve days of Christmas with gifts and feasts. The last day of these feasts is January 6th. However the church has completely given into the secular culture. For most Christians that I know of regardless of communion celebrate Christmas parties before Christmas and fast after just like their secular brothers and sisters.

It’s not that this is evil or sinful, it’s simply that church culture has been replaced by secular culture. It’s a tell tail sign that Christian society has lost the True Meaning of Christmas (TM) and brought into the secular society of “holidays”. There are slight signs of a fight by Christians making a stand of insisting on using the term Christmas, but this is in the long term a tactical battle with no strategic outlook. Our children will grow up viewing Christmas very much as a secular feast with the exception of a church service on Christmas eve or day (assuming they maintain their faith into adulthood).

My neighbors think me a bit odd in that I put my lights up late (around the weekend of Dec. 15th) and take them down late Jan. 6th. It has been a good conversation starter on the “True Meaning of Christmas”(TM) even for some Christians.

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