Friday, July 24, 2009

Church of England Offers Combined Wedding and Baptism of Children Service

Realizing that one of every five couples who marries in the church already have children, the Church of England is introducing what is being referred to as a "two-in-one" marriage and baptism ceremony in which a couple who already has children can marry, and have those children baptized into the Church of England at the same time.

These services are being touted as "Family-friendly weddings", and are seen as an attempt to make the church more relevant for the 21st century.
The joint ceremony will cost approximately 300 pounds ($500), which is about what the two ceremonies would cost seperately. Cost saving to the families would come in not having to plan multiple celebrations.
Read the ABC News report of this story by clicking here.
Read the ABC News blog of this story by clicking here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spanish-surnamed Yankee Doodle Dandy not a legitimate American?

Ruben Navarrette Jr., member of the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board and national syndicated columnist, wrote an insightful commentary for CNN entitled, "I'm a Spanish-surnamed Yankee Doodle Dandy."

Navarrette states that he was born in the U.S., as were his parents, 3 of his grandparents, and a "handful" of his great-grandparents.

Because Navarrette identifies himself as a Mexican-American, he has received comments such as, "Why don't you try being a real American" from his readers.

He notes that he has friends who, although they do not use hyphens, call themselves Irish, Jewish, Italian, or German.

Navarrette is very articulate in describing that he is an American because of what he believes, including loving freedom and democracy, and believing that with sacred rights come equally sacred responsibilities to self, family, community and country.

This compelling article was met, however, with some rather disturbing comments posted to the story by readers (which are unfortunately no longer available online). The comments immediately bypassed his description of being American, or anything else he said, and immediately went after the issue of illegal-immigration.

This was a very clear example of how in the minds of some there can be no discussion of Hispanic in the U.S. without it being connected to a discussion of illegal-immigration. It actually seemed that for those posting the comments, that although some of Mr. Navarrette's family has been in the U.S. for 4 generations, and Navarrette himself has a clear understanding of what it means to be an American, he is not not legitimate, simply because he identifies himself as a Mexican-American.

To read the CNN commentary, click here.

Are America's Best Days Behind Us Or In Our Future?

A recent Rasmussen Reports poll found that 44% of likely voters felt that the nation's best days were in the past, while 38% felt that America's best days were yet to come.

The more startling difference comes when looking at the difference of opinion among Democrats and Republicans.

Among Democrats 54% believe that the nation's best days are yet to come.

Among Republicans 61% believe that America's best days are in the past.

One is left to wonder how much the rhetoric of conservative pundits and talk show commentators may be affecting Republican opinions on this question.

To read the Rasmussen Reports story, click here.