Morning Ed: World {2016.10.06.Th}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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35 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    Canada: There were similar conflicts in the Church of England during the early 20th century. In the very late 19th century and early 20th centuries, you had more than a few Anglican priests that really didn’t believe in God and saw Jesus as this nice man with nice teachings that they wanted to work for so they became clergy anyway. I think one of them was a candidate for Bishop and the entire English religious world exploded in furious debate. It really seems to be a no brainer to me. Yes, a religious organization should be able to fire a minister for not believing in the basic tenants of its religion. They actually believe things.

    Chinese housing bubble: If the prediction is right, hopefully the Chinese government takes heed and does things to lessen the impact of the bubble busting. Otherwise, we are in for a big bit of economic trouble.

    Venezuela and China: Your absolutely right. It sounds horrible and things are just going to get worst for Venezuela.Report

  2. J_A says:

    Chinese loans

    One of the major risks, for China, is that the loans are not properly documented. The loans, technically, advance payments on future oil purchases, have never been disclosed, nor approved by any proper Venezuelan authority, not even the pre 2016 National Assembly that was 100% Chavista deputies (the opposition boicoted the 2009 elections). The reason the loans were never brought for legal approval is probably that the Venezuelan authorities did not want their terms disclosed publicly, even knowing they would be approved.

    So right now any non chavista future government could very easily reject any additional loan payments, claiming the loans were illegally contracted, and that the Chinese government knew, or should have known, that the counterparties lacked legal authority,

    For the sake of the continuos supply of oil (more so than the unpaid 20 billion remaining) it is being said that the Chinese are discretely supportive of a removal of Maduro from power, which will happen sooner rather than later, albeit the question is whether he will be booted out by the opposition or by the chavista new oligarchy desirous of preventing further erosion of their political and economical gains.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

      I am reminded of a Trump story that was popular around the time we were worrying about Grexit.

      A guy was telling Trump that he had too much debt and Trump interrupted and explained “you don’t have *ENOUGH* debt!. If you default, everybody takes a bath. Get more debt and people will stand in line to loan you even more money so you can keep up repayments.”Report

  3. Oscar Gordon says:

    Venezuela is the gift that keeps giving.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    The United Church of Canada: This might be one of the few times I am on the side of the employer during a employment dispute. It seems fairly obvious to me that the minister in question fails the basic requirements of her job if she does not believe in the basic tenants of protestant theology. I think she takes it further than the Anglican ministers that Lee mentioned and there is no “Jesus is a nice guy” aspect to her Church as well.

    Interestingly I have seen atheists debate whether atheists should have something like Church as a community source. A few of my friends take a hard no stance on this and think emulating any aspect of religion is wrong for atheists.

    There is also a property law aspect to the debate.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Most of the atheism I’ve encountered in the US is better described as post-Christianity.

      They’re still using the same dance moves according to the same traditions. They’re just out-Protestanting the Protestants is all.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I suspect that stances atheists take on atheist congregations depends heavily on their background. Those that had a nice time and really felt the community spirit during their religious life probably miss it and want to replicate it but without God. Atheists that had a bad time or were raised without religion are probably going to be more hostile because a congregation as a joyful community is something that they did not experience.Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      United Church of Canada: This isn’t really an employment issue. The UC of Canada comes out of the Presbyterian tradition. This usually means that the the individual congregation is a legal entity that owns its own property and pays its clergy. So if the higher-level structure declares this person ineligible for the ministry, but her congregation loves her and wants to keep her, they can withdraw from the UC of Canada and continue on as before.

      More broadly, what we have here is the characteristic form of a Christian church falling off the edge on the progressive side. The Unitarian Universalists are the classic example in the US. It is not merely a question of whether this is a Christian church, but also whether it is a church. (This is a philosophical question: not a tax-status question, which follows its own rules.) For the equivalent on the conservative side, consider Westboro Baptist.

      Conservatives love to point at stuff like this story and declare all progressive Christians to be like this. Progressives do the same with Westboro Baptist. Both are wrong, though there is the substantive difference that UUs tend to be very nice, if ineffectual, people sitting around having overly earnest discussions; while Westboro Baptist is a group of hateful assholes working tirelessly to impose their hateful assholery on the rest of us.Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

        On the ineffectuality if UUs – ineffectual at what? What ought they to be effecting that they are not, and members of other, more clearly theistic, churches are?Report

        • Richard Hershberger in reply to dragonfrog says:

          This is purely personal impression, but the UUs I have known tend to be very nice people that I wouldn’t put in charge of organizing a picnic. Undoubtedly my experiences are not representative.Report

          • dragonfrog in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

            That makes sense. Thinking of the few of UUs I know, I can’t say I find them notably more or less organized than average. Not that I’ve ever collaborated on a major project with any of them.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to dragonfrog says:

              My experience with UUs was pleasant.

              That said, the church oozed some strange amalgam of progressive guilt, a very traditional going through of motions, and some strange feeling where everyone knew that they were doing something important… but vestigial. But important. But vestigial.

              Like people who know that they don’t “dial” phone numbers anymore and point out that they know they don’t “dial” phone numbers anymore but still use phrases like “dialing phone numbers”.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      There are a *LOT* of weird implications here that go much further than atheism/Presbyterianism (THEY BAPTIZE BABIES!).

      Look at the local Mosque and Synagogue (presumably two buildings but, hey, you never know).

      Remember the guy who wanted to order the homophobic cake and then made the news when he found a bakery that wouldn’t take his order?

      Well, imagine what this guy could do with the aforementioned local Mosque and Synagogue if this case goes the way we all suspect it’s going to go.

      Edit: WAIT WAIT WAIT. This isn’t the legal question.
      Never mind.
      It’s an entryist question.

      I imagine that Synagogues and Mosques have antibodies against entryist memes that Protestants no longer have.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

        Well, I think it was established through repeated angry assertion that Bill Jack wasn’t allowed to demand a cake with “God Hates Fags” because and therefore he wasn’t.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        And, in thinking about this some more, I’m finding myself amused by a bit of the brouhaha in some of the corners of some of the fundy churches over new and improved translations of the Bible that do a better job of translating some of the nuance of the Hebrew language and they find that ancient cultures did not, in fact, have 1930’s attitudes about the roles of Husband and the roles of Wife but, instead, had “hey, have you heard of this newfangled metal ‘iron’?” attitudes when it came to gender which were much more, shall we say, “utilitarian” and these attitudes washed over to even the gods in the henotheistic religions that were popular at the time.

        And so we’ve got a bunch of proddies upset that Genesis 3’s new translation isn’t the KJV one and they’re hammering on stuff like “God’s hand guided the KJV’s translation in the first place!” and I’m thinking “like God guided the Catholic church?” and remembering that stuff like the difference between “debts” and “trespasses” was enough to split a church when I was a kid and, once more, this whole “search for truth” is resulting in schism because even proddies can learn the importance of long-established tradition if you wait long enough for them to be on the wrong end of Progressive Revelation.Report

    • Fortytwo in reply to Saul Degraw says:


  5. Saudi Arabia is going Gregorian as a way to cut pay for civil servants — their yearly salary now covers 365 days instead of 354.Report