Jonathan Sacks-70 yrs after the Auschwitz liberation, anti-Semitism+attacks on Jews are rising again

Last Tuesday, a group of Holocaust survivors, by now gaunt and frail, made their way back to Auschwitz, the West’s symbol of evil—back to the slave-labor side of the vast complex, with its mocking inscription Arbeit Macht Frei (“Work makes you free”), and back to the death camp, where a million and a quarter human beings, most of them Jews, were gassed, burned and turned to ash. They were there to commemorate the day, 70 years ago, when Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz and saw, for the first time, the true dimensions of the greatest crime since human beings first set foot on Earth.


A Prayer to Begin the Day from Henry Alford

O thou who in the days of thy humiliation didst command the winds and waves, and they obeyed thee: Do thou so dwell within us, that we may be safe from all dangers, and steadfast in all temptations; and evermore keep us in thy peace, for thy holy name’s sake.


From the Morning Scripture Readings

The earth is the LORD's and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.

--Psalm 24:1


In defence of selfies

When taking photographs on my travels, I am inevitably confronted with people obscuring famous landmarks by standing in front of them taking selfies. They appear to suffer from the conceit that a grinning visage is of more interest than a 1000 year old cathedral. Consequently, I have developed an intense dislike of selfies. Until now, that is; a Muslim cleric wants to ban selfies. What more incentive do we need to start taking them?
From here:


Justin Welby the socialist

From here:


(WPost) “Pastor Joshua Harris, an evangelical outlier, heads to” leading graduate school of Theology

[joshua] Harris is the oldest of seven children of Gregg Harris, one of the early national leaders of the Christian home-schooling movement and a strong advocate of independent learning. Joshua was 21 when he wrote “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” a memoir that became a cult classic to young evangelicals by urging them not only to hold off on sex but even dating — saying it was a form of promiscuity to spread around one’s emotional intimacy.


Steve Hayner, onetime President of IVCF and president emeritus of Columbia Theological Seminary, RIP

In 1988, Steve was called as President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (USA), a non-denominational discipleship ministry to students on college campuses across the country. Alec Hill, current President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (U.S.A.) said of his predecessor, “Steve brought pastoral care, healing and hope to an InterVarsity community that had undergone much trauma in the 1980’s. When he left in 2001, the Fellowship was healthy and the board fully engaged.


(Economist Erasmus Blog) Greece, religion and geopolitics-A hint of civilisations clashing

As my last posting noted, the first edgy thing which the new Greek government did was to downgrade, albeit very politely, its relations with the church. The second thing was to upgrade a relationship whose historic roots are at least partly religious, with Russia. On his first day in office, prime minister Alexis Tsipras met the Russian ambassador, and then distanced Greece from an EU statement which protested over Russian actions in Ukraine and threatened further sanctions.


(LA Times) Downtown L.A. mosque imagines empowered role for Muslim women

Female-only mosques may exist in China, Chile and India, but Muslim leaders say this could be the first in the U.S.

The inaugural prayer Friday marked the launch of the Women's Mosque of America, a nonprofit that hopes to create a space where Muslim women can "bring their whole self," learn more about their faith and foster bonds of sisterhood.