Monday, April 30, 2007

Texas Anglican Tat!

The processions and T. A. T. of St. Timothy’s in Fort Worth are so impressive it’s making the Catholicks over at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping jealous.
A Book on Hillary to Watch

Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame is a few weeks away from a releasing a book that exposes Hillary Clinton as, well, a fibber.

Now I coulda told ya the Clintons are congenital liars. But it’s interesting that at least a few prominent liberals seem to be waking up to that fact. For example, former Clinton donor David Geffen has stated, “The Clintons lie with such ease, it’s troubling.”

Troubling indeed. During the Dark Days of 1992-2000, I would almost automatically turn the sound off when Bill Clinton spoke because I could not endure his constantly lying with such a sincere front. He reminded me of the smartass kid who could tell the most brazen lies with such a straight face, it almost made you want to believe him.

Now I could get snarky that a few liberals are waking up to this endearing Clinton trait. But I’ll just say it’s interesting . . . and that the fall out from Bernstein’s book A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton will be interesting to watch. Hillary is already losing support to Obama. This book can’t help.

Hat tip to titusonenine.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Quiet Before the Storm

After the Episcopal House of Bishops gave their ringed fingers to the Primates and the Tanzania Communique, the Network was strangely quiet. A few were alarmed by that quiet, but I suspected and word later confirmed that there were consultations going on before a statement.

But the quiet has continued. And I was about to post that I’m getting concerned about that . . . until I came across this from Fr Dan Martins. (The 4-26-07 post. I would link directly to the post, but the direct link makes my browser quit!)

He reports there are strong rumors that five Network dioceses are about to leave the Episcopal Church. And he is convinced the rumors are true. If so, things are about to get . . . interesting.

He’s not very happy about this. He prefers a more moderate ACI style of working from within the Episcopal Church. But as you can guess from my No Safe Place posts, I don’t think there is any place for the orthodox in the Episcopal Church anymore for a number of reasons. It’s hard to say what is the perfect timing for orthodox Episcopalians to leave, but I suspect sooner is better than later.

And we may be about to find out that five dioceses agree.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Schori for UN Secretary General!

I find TEC PB Schori’s obsession with the UN Millennium Development Goals amusing if somewhat tiresome.

But the Reformed Pastor has had enough, and rightly so.

Really, Schori's obsession with the UN MDGs is “another gospel.” She certainly preaches the MDGs more than the death and resurrection of Christ.

Paul had strong words for pseudogospels. So I suspect the Reformed Pastor’s ire is more biblical than my amusement.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


If this isn’t arrogance, I don’t know what is:

Jefferts Schori said that it could take 50 years for the debate over homosexuality to be resolved, but that she believes it will happen. She said she hopes that the Anglican Communion, an umbrella organization including the Episcopal Church and the Church of England, will stay together.

"Where the protesters are, in some parts of Africa or in other parts of the Anglican Communion today, is where this church and this society we live in was 50 years ago, and for us to assume that people can move that distance in a year or in a relatively instantaneous manner is perhaps faithless," she said. "That kind of movement and development has taken us a good deal of pain and energy over 40 or 50 years, and I think we have to make some space so that others can make that journey as well.

I may be backward and behind the times, but I think I detect condescension, too . . . and not the good kind. But what does a Neanderthal like me know.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Is Orange a Liturgical Color?

My parish has this orange trim in the sanctuary that is oh-so seventies. I have repeatedly informed my fellow parishioners that orange is not a liturgical color.

Or is it?

I’ve come across this photo of none other than TEC PB Katharine Schori wearing a very orange chasuble. No, I don’t think she’s saying, “Give me a ‘T’!!”

(By the way, laziness is not the only reason I’m not putting the photo itself on my blog. I don’t want to traumatize my good readers. Click the link above at your own risk if liturgical abominations disturb you.)

Now if you’re thinking that’s just Purple Haze and therefore not the best example, I’ll have you know I saw a photo of the Archbishop of Canterbury himself wearing orange in Christianity Today (p. 77 in the April 07 issue). Unfortunately, I have not been able to find this photo online.

So, is orange a liturgical color? If so, why?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Central African Anglican Bishops Support Mugabe.

This is truly disturbing. The Primate of Central Africa and a number of other Anglican bishops have written a letter supporting Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe.

And this while Catholic bishops have put themselves at risk by opposing that thug.

Few things are worse than and provoke me personally as much as those who use the name of Christ to support such blatant evil. I have no problem suggesting a special place in Hell may await those who have used the Name to support Nazism, Communism, abortion etc. and have not repented. It’s really blasphemy of the worse sort. And supporting Mugabe certainly falls into the same category.

I’m old school. I strongly believe there are times to excommunicate and anathemize.

Now is such a time.

Hat tip to Stand Firm.

Afterword: As contemptable as the letter is, I now think I may have overreacted. Apologies to all if I indeed have.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Lord Told Me to Post This.

Last night I was drinking an excellent wine with two Anglican clergy friends. They get together to smoke cigars and drink most Friday nights. (Gosh, it’s great to be an Anglican!) I don’t smoke, but I often join them for the drink and talk.

One mentioned something he saw on T.V. (And since I’m repeating it second hand, I’ll leave names and claims of 100% accuracy out.) A self-proclaimed apostle was on the program of an obnoxiously prominent Christian author. Mr. Apostle was telling of a flight delay at an airport. And he said, “The Lord told me, ‘This isn’t about them; it’s about you.’” In other words, Satan was delaying the flights to prevent him from getting to a conference.

Yes, a bit self-important. But I’ve noticed this is a pitfall church people of various stripes often fall into – it’s all about me.

Now, I understand that God acts personally, very personally at times. And He can and does communicate very personally with individuals. I’ve seen it happen. But we can be a bit quick to claim we’re at the top of the Lord’s cell phone directory. And when we claim he rings us up in ways that glorify “me” more than Him, something is probably wrong with our claim. It’s probably “private interpretation” run amuck.

I’ve just mentioned one episode from one segment of the theological spectrum. Any number of episodes could come from one Gene Robinson. It seems every time he opens his mouth, “it’s all about me.” In 2003, he insisted he wouldn’t be “the Gay Bishop.” Not only has he become the Gay Bishop, he’s become the Me Bishop.

Dr. Mabuse exposes this well with her painstaking transcript of Robinson’s talk at Vanderbilt. She points out this particularly revealing quote:

And I tell you, the greatest blessing of this last 3 and a half years is that God has seemed so close. Prayer sometimes seems redundant…God is so right there. Now, how can you regret something like that? People say, ‘If you had to do this all over again, would you do it?’ Well, my God, of course! Because look at what it’s done in terms of my relationship with God!

Never mind what it’s done to relationships between churches in the Anglican Communion. It’s all about Me!

Now I don’t mean to pick on Robinson. I really don’t. My point is that this “It’s all about me” tendency crosses various theological lines. It’s just about everywhere in the church, especially in America. And it’s something for people of all theological stripes to be aware of both in themselves and others.

And the Lord told me to tell you that.

Friday, April 20, 2007

News Media Botches Abortion Coverage . . . Again

As awful as partial birth abortion is, it does shine light on the depravity of the pro-abortion crowd and their cheerleaders in the news media.

GetReligion has posted a detailed piece documenting some of the slanted and at times flat out false coverage of the Supreme Court decision this week on partial birth abortion.

I’ve followed news media coverage of abortion for too many years, including writing a massive and detailed paper back in my Duke days on major newspaper coverage of abortion-related events I attended. And I can assure you the major news media are unwilling and perhaps unable to cover abortion with a reasonable degree of fairness and accuracy. It was so twenty-five years ago. And it is so today.

By the way, guess the identity of the Washington Post reporter who covered one of the Marches for Life I attended? Janet Cooke. How appropriate.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bishop Iker on Eternal Life

Back during Lent, I noticed that the Church of the Holy Communion in Dallas was having Bishop Jack Iker speak to them as part of their Lenten series. I thought, “Man, if I still lived up there . . . .”

Well, I was poking around and saw that CHC has his talk on their site here. Both his talk on eternal life and the sound quality are excellent. And though it was given in a Lenten teaching series, it’s very relevant to the Easter season, as you’ll hear -- and you better hear or you’ll be missing out.

You may find other audio files from CHC here.

By the way, Church of the Holy Communion is a Reformed Episcopal Church parish. How many TEC bishops would go speak at a REC parish?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

BREAKING: Supreme Court Upholds Partial Birth Abortion Ban.

This is wonderful news.

I was very concerned about Anthony Kennedy, the “swing vote.” And the majority opinion, written by him, goes a bit far in reaffirming Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which was an awful decision.

But this is still good news for which I’ve personally longed for years.

For ongoing analysis, I recommend Bench Memos.
The Real News from Canada: Lambeth is On.

The Globe and Mail created quite a twitter in the Anglican blogosphere yesterday with a report that the Archbishop of Canterbury does not approve of the current draft Covenant because of its disciplinary measures. Note the unease here, for example.

However, note on the same link comments from one Trinitymatthew, who actually attended the meeting in question. It appears that the Globe and Mail may have gotten it wrong, that +++Rowan made no such comments about the draft Covenant. So as for that “news”, Blame Canada.

However, there is very significant news from Canada. And on that the Global and Mail got it right as confirmed by an interview over at the Anglican Journal – the Archbishop will not cancel Lambeth ’08.

There had been speculation +++Rowan would dodge the issue of who to invite to Lambeth, traditionally taken as indicating who is in and out of communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, by canceling it. And he has now acknowledged canceling it was indeed considered. But he has decided to go forward. Lambeth is on.

And that is good news. However he and others may try to “keep people at the table” and drag this out, he will choose whom to invite to Lambeth. He will not dodge that pivotal decision. And kudos to him for that. (Although he has indicated he’ll let the Primates make that decision, the choice is ultimately his even if he shares it.) And that coming decision is perhaps the most important signal of both communion and discipline many Anglicans are waiting for in deciding how to proceed.

So 2008 may be – Please, Lord – for all practical purposes, the year that the Anglican Communion decides how to realign – keeping TEC and allies on board or keeping orthodox conservatives on board.

(No, as much as +++Rowan tries, I don’t think everyone can be kept on board. No matter what he does, a substantial block of the Communion will walk. The question is which block.)

As for that all important question of whom +++Rowan will invite to Lambeth, it’s, in his own words, “a genuinely open question.”

The drama continues.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury to meet TEC House of Bishops in late September

Yesterday came word that the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams along with other Anglican leaders will meet with the Episcopal Church House of Bishops in September as the HOB decides formally how to respond to the Primates Tanzania Communiqué just before the September 30th deadline. The best summary of this news I’ve come across is here.

This sets us up for high drama, does it not? The Archbishop of Canterbury meets the TEC HOB with the September 30th deadline looming. As I’ve said before, who needs soap operas when you’ve got Anglicans?

As for whether this is a positive development, my opinion is . . . it depends. It depends on what +++Rowan and company will say to the bishops.

If they tell TEC bishops that this is the end of the line; they will either get on board with the rest of the Communion and disallow same-sex blessings and homosexual bishops as requested, or they will be left behind. That should TEC continue their course, there will be a split. The only question is who leaves or is pushed away. +++Rowan needs to make it clear that, if forced to choose, he would choose to give priority to the orthodox majority staying, not to the Episcopal Church. Therefore, should the HOB fail to meet fully the requests of the Tanzania Communiqué, it’s highly unlikely the Episcopal Church will be invited to Lambeth or in any significant way continue in the Anglican Communion for the foreseeable future.

If that is what is communicated, then the meeting would serve a good purpose of buttressing Tanzania and Windsor/Dromantine and of shattering any illusions that there is some other viable way for the HOB to proceed.

However, if +++Rowan and company in any way negotiate down or soften the requirements of the Tanzania Communiqué, that would be a terrible development. I don’t think I’m overstating matters though it may seem so. It would perhaps lead to a quick departure of several orthodox provinces from the Anglican Communion. Many orthodox have had enough. The Episcopal Church will have had four long years to stop walking apart. If +++Rowan acts in a way that enables instead of disciplines TEC, that prolongs matters yet again and allows all TEC bishops (save you-know-who) to be invited to Lambeth regardless of their intransigence, many orthodox will walk and for good reason. The current bleeding of conservatives from the Communion could easily become a torrent from which it would not recover.

Therefore, to keep the Anglican Communion somewhat intact and orthodox (not to mention it’s the right thing to do), +++Rowan must let the bishops know he is poised to back full discipline of the Episcopal Church and that very soon -- on October 1st, 2007.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Risen Christ and Scripture

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day . . .

Luke 24:44

This was one of the passages I taught my Sunday School yesterday. It wasn’t until I was preparing the session that the import of these verses hit me, something very basic I’ve missed before.

This is from the Risen Christ’s first appearance to His disciples as a group (if I have the chronology right. Upon further study, it seems possible that Luke may be summarizing a lot here that occurred between the Resurrection and the Ascension. Any thoughts on that?). Yet he spends much of the time teaching the scriptures to them.

Think about that. Christ Himself is with them. It may be His first time with them after the Resurrection. And he doesn’t have long to be with them, the Ascension being no more than 40 days away. Yet he spends a lot of time digging into the scriptures with them.

That says volumes about the priority Jesus gave the scriptures and about the weight he placed on their authority.

People of all church backgrounds would do well to take note of this neglected aspect of Christ’s post-resurrection appearances (which can also be seen on the Road to Emmaus, a favorite passage of mine, in Luke 24:27).

Liberals insist Jesus is their Lord. Yet most of them don’t share His priority of the authority and teaching of scripture. That’s not right.

People of a more conservative bent likewise insist Jesus is their Lord and do believe the Bible is authoritative. Yet how many of them make the lamest excuses (to themselves mainly) to neglect reading the scriptures. That’s not right.

Yesterday, I taught on our response to the Resurrection. A big part of our response must be to place the same priority on the scriptures that Jesus did and to dig into them!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Straight Talk about “Women’s Studies” and Feminism

Duke began its Women’s Studies program around when I graduated. It was a big tip off to me that Duke might be going downhill.

I’ve long opposed Women’s Studies programs. They are nothing but feminist propaganda and have no place in a genuine university. Now propaganda of all sorts is part of the university atmosphere. That’s well and good. But you don’t give an ideological viewpoint its own department . . . if you have any backbone and common sense that is. Such departments only narrow the mind, not educate it.

But rarely do I hear anyone taking on these programs. So Jennifer Roback Morse’s voice is music to my ears.

By the way, her intro rings particularly relevant, in light of recent events:

I hesitate to proclaim the death of feminism, since it seems to be alive in the public square. Men are still being persecuted on trumped up rape charges. Fathers are still being kept out of their children's lives. The abortion lobby is still whining about crisis pregnancy centers. . . .

Before I came across her article, I was thinking how feminazis were in the forefront of the lynch mob to destroy the Duke Lacrosse Three, and how they have fought to rig the justice system against falsely accused men.

And if you’re offended by my use of “feminazi,” then you probably don’t get the harm they have shamelessly inflicted on society. May the tribe of Dr. Morse and others who tell it like it is about them increase.

Hat tip to Drell’s Descants.
The Unlevel Playing Field of Name Disclosure

The Duke Lacrosse case shines more light on one of the injustices of how we do justice in America. The three accused were vilified for months while the accuser . . . well, we didn’t know who the accuser was until the past few days because, as is standard in rape cases, her name wasn’t revealed.

This policy of revealing the names of the accused in sex crime cases but concealing the names of accusers has got to go. It enables and encourages false accusations. Disclosing the names of accused does the dirty work of false accusers, dragging reputations through the mud while the accuser is protected by anonymity.

And there is less opportunity for people to come forward and say, “I know the accuser, and he/she is a liar. And here’s a previous time she lied.” Meanwhile, past alleged victims of the accused sometimes come forward once the accused’s name is out there. Most of these instances are surely legit. But I always wondered how many who come forward after the fact are simply opportunists who are piling on. When there’s money involved, as in the accusations against Catholic priests, I suspect more than we know.

In any case, it’s an unlevel playing field.

I’ve long felt that you either reveal the names of both the accuser and the accused in sex crime cases, or you reveal neither. I lean strongly toward revealing neither. One plus of that is that it may discourage some of the sensationalistic irresponsible news media coverage of sex cases. It would increase chances of a fair trial. And it wouldn’t discourage legitimate accusations from coming forward.

But the current standard of throwing the reputations of the accused to the wolves, even before indictment, while concealing the names of accusers is an outrage.

There are now calls for justice reform after the vindication of the Duke Lacrosse Three. Leveling name disclosure policies would be a good start.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Message from the Duke Board of Trustees . . . and My Response

I received this e-mail overnight:

Dear Member of the Duke University Community,

I write to you on behalf of the Trustees of Duke University.

Today the North Carolina State Attorney General announced that all remaining
charges against David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann have been
dropped and should never have been brought. This announcement explicitly and
unequivocally establishes the innocence of David, Collin and Reade, who with
their families have suffered an unimaginable year of accusation and public
scrutiny. They deserve our respect for the honorable way they have conducted
themselves during this long legal ordeal that ends with their exoneration.

The Attorney General determined that there was no credible evidence to support
the charges that were brought, with so many statements of certainty, by the
Durham District Attorney last spring. Many have suffered from his actions,
these three students and their families most of all. The Attorney General's
investigation places responsibility for this miscarriage of justice with the
District Attorney, and we now look to the proceedings of the state bar to call
him to account before his peers.

Much as we wish that these three young men, their teammates and their families
and indeed the whole community of people who love Duke could have been spared
the agony of the past year, we believe that it was essential for the
University to defer to the criminal justice system. As imperfect and flawed as
it may be, it is that process that brings us today to this resolution.

Throughout the past year President Richard Brodhead consulted regularly with
the trustees and has had our continuing support. He made considered and
thoughtful decisions in a volatile and uncertain situation. Each step of the
way, the board agreed with the principles that he established and the actions
he took. As we look back and with the benefit of what we now know there is no
question that there are some things that might have been done differently.
However, anyone critical of President Brodhead should be similarly critical of
the entire board.

In closing, we express our relief for today's outcome and recognize the
character that our three students, their teammates and all of their families
have shown over the past year. Furthermore, we hope that the resolution of
this unfair, divisive and painful episode can serve to unite us all. There is
much to learn from the events that we have lived through, and we intend to put
this learning to use. Duke is a great university that steps up to challenges
and opportunities, and together we will use this moment to make our community

Robert K. Steel, Chair, Duke University Board of Trustees

I e-mailed back this response:

Quote: Duke is a great university that steps up to challenges
and opportunities, and together we will use this moment to make our community

Dear Chairman Steel,

May I suggest a needed measure to make the Duke community stronger. Each member of the Group of 88 should individually be asked either to publicly and completely apologize for their extremely prejudicial actions against the three students or to begin seeking employment elsewhere.

That will be more courtesy than those faculty members deserve. And it's the least that furthering a safe, welcoming, and just atmosphere for students demands.


Background: The Group of 88 are 88 Duke faculty members who rushed to judgement and made statements highly prejudicial to the accused and adding to a lynch mob atmosphere, including signing a newspaper ad.

Durham-in-Wonderland, of course, has numerous posts on their shameful actions.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I may post more on this tomorrow, but I want to get out the good news to you now. The North Carolina Attorney General has completely vindicated the three Duke Lacrosse players falsely accused of and maliciously prosecuted for rape.

It sounds like the Attorney General did everything but hang the “rogue prosecutor” Nifong from the state Capitol flag pole . . . . And that may be coming.

There’s a live press conference on FOX News now. Kudos to FOX News and Durham-in-Wonderland for their coverage of this case.
Has Newsweek No Shame?

I’ve never had a very high opinion of Newsweek or of its publisher, the Washington Post, but this rant from Susan Jacoby surprises even me.

I don’t have the temperament to go over it line by line without spontaneously combusting. But what she does in short is insist that anti-Catholicism is not significant in America today, all the while trotting out a multitude of stereotypes against conservative Catholics and conservative Christians as a whole.

She reminds of an idiot insisting there is no racism in America today while using every imaginable anti-Black stereotype and the N-word in doing so.

Newsweek or just about any national magazine would be called to the carpet if they ran such a racist piece. And they should be called to the carpet for running Susan Jacoby’s rant against conservative Catholics.

But they won’t, of course. Such are double standards in American liberal public life.

Hat tip to MCJ, which takes a slightly lighter approach to this.

Afterword: I was about to post this when I came across this comment at MCJ. It says it all so well, I’ll just conclude by quoting it:

The only proof one's needs of anti-Catholicism is the fact that this article has appeared in a major news magazine. Would Newsweek have *dared* to publish an opinion piece charging that there is no homophobia and that it's all a product of GLAAD? That anti-Semitism doesn't exist and that's all a product of the Anti-Defamation League? That racism doesn't exist and it's all a product of the NAACP? Of course not. It's only acceptable to publish this AT ALL because of the anti-Catholic bias she so virulently denies. Idiot.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Bittersweet Easter Post

On Easter, Christopher Johnson invited people who had left the Episcopal Church since 2003 to write of their experiences. A flood of responses came in and may be read there. It’s an interesting and bittersweet mix of accounts.

In case someone thinks these are just a few disgruntled people and not that many are leaving TEC, I will point out two things relevant to TEC lies membership statistics.

First, many (most?) people that leave a denomination do not bother to write a letter to be taken off the membership rolls. They should write in, but they don’t.

Second, those that do clearly communicate their leaving often are kept on the rolls anyway against their will! Read some of the interesting experiences here. As one commenter put it, “I’m trapped in the Episcopal Church and I can’t get out!”

Monday, April 09, 2007

Two Glorias

I hope you all are having an excellent Easter Monday.

For those new to Anglican and Catholic liturgical practices, The Gloria in excelsis Deo is omitted from services during Lent, not to be revived until the Easter Vigil.

That revival of the Gloria can be a moment of high drama. And I knew that. But I was surprised at the strength of my reaction to that moment this year . . . twice.

Saturday afternoon, I watched parts of the Easter Vigil from the Vatican on EWTN. I was switching between that and the Masters.

I was tuned in when the Pope in his slightly weak voice sang “Gloria in excelsis Deo.” Then all heaven broke loose. The organ broke out and cranked loud. And the big St. Peter’s bells began ringing.

I got so into it I roared, “Yeeeahhh!” You’d think I was watching a movie where the bad guys get theirs in the end, or a basketball game where a team I hate gets dunked in the face . . . except this was better -- certainly more exciting than the Masters.

Later on, I went to the Easter Vigil at my REC parish. We don’t do the first Gloria of Easter with great ceremony. We just sing it at the end of the Holy Communion portion of the service as we do for all Holy Communion services outside of Lent.

But yet it was different. I had the feeling of wondering, Are we really going to sing it? And I was hesitant to stand up when the time came. I think the rest of the congregation was the same way. For when I heartily belted out the first line “Glory be to God on high,” I’m sure my voice stood out. The rest were hesitant in singing.

(Note: For better or worse, we sing the whole Gloria as a congregation, including the first line.)

But quickly the congregation did get into it, and, though small in number, we were loud.

One youth who enjoys pointing out my quirks noted afterward that I was particularly loud and into it, however. And I imagine I was. I felt like pumping my fist during the Gloria. But I didn’t think that was liturgically correct, so I restrained myself.

In any case, though I anticipated the first Glorias of Easter, the adrenalin they gave me pleasantly surprised me.

Perhaps it’s because this year it came home to me:
Gloria in excelsis Deo sounds like victory!

Friday, April 06, 2007

It is Finished

On this Good Friday, I commend to you this excellent meditation from Matt+ Kennedy over at Stand Firm.

May you have a holy Good Friday.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy Week Ads and Catholic Church Names

During the local T. V. news here in Corpus Christi, various churches are running ads to encourage us to attend their Easter services. Bay Area Fellowship is promoting their new mall, stadium, amusement park church. First Baptist’s ad sounds, well, wonderfully Texas Baptist. You Yankees and Foreigners would be rolling on the floor, trust me.

But the ad that catches my attention the most is the one from Most Precious Blood Church . I think they left out Catholic in the ad. In any case, they downplayed that at least a bit. In fact, the ad almost made their church look like a hootenanny with a procession. But it’s a 30 second ad trying to attract people, so I don’t begrudge them that. And they do attract people. Their parking lot looks full when I drive past them on Sundays.

Anyway, the ad reminds me of a quirk of Catholics and of myself for that matter. I’ve always found it odd and irreverent even to name churches after such holy things as the Most Precious Blood of Christ. You say such things with hushed tones and bowed heads. You don’t name things after them, not even churches. Or so I think. Catholics obviously disagree.

Seriously, I think it encourages a casual attitude towards holy things. I’ve overheard conversations like this:

“Where do you go to church?”

“Oh, Most Precious Blood. How about you?”

You can imagine other possibilities.

“Now to get to my house, you turn right just after Most Precious Blood.”

What if they chose to have a school of the same name? (Later: Heck, they do have one!) What would their cheers be? “Go, Most Precious Blood! Go! Fight, Most Precious Blood, Fight!” No that’s a bit of a mouthful. How about “Go, Blood! Go!” No, I don’t think that will fly. Hmm, I wonder what Our Lady of Perpetual Help School does for cheers.

Anyway, I hope I’m not being irreverent here. But you can see why I think some things are so holy that the way to show proper reverence is not to name your church after them.

But I have to admit I find the Catholic tendency to do so endearing. If only my quirks were as questionable, I’d be doing well. Besides, I live in a town called Corpus Christi, and that rolls right off my tongue.

And, hey, “Holy Week” used not to be in my vocabulary, so you never know.

Speaking of which, have a holy Triduum.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Weather and Holy Week

I’ve always liked it when weather enhances worship. I experienced that once again this morning as an ominous dark cold front moved through during my personal Morning Prayer with singing of the Litany. When cold fronts hit the humid Gulf of Mexico air down here, it’s often something to see. It continues to be a stormy Holy Wednesday morning. It’s thundering as I write this.

Easter on the other hand always seems bright and sunny. I can remember only one or two times when it hasn’t been. (This year may be another one of the exceptions, though, if the forecast is right. But we get so much hot sun, we don’t complain about rainy days here in Corpus.)

Do you have any memories of weather enhancing worship, especially during Holy Week?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What I’m Reading This Holy Week

As the 1928 and REC Books of Common Prayer assign for the daily offices, I’m reading the Gospel of St. John, chapters 14 through 17.

That we can read what Jesus said to his disciples the night before his crucifixion is like the Holy of Holies to me. And there are so many sayings in these chapters that mean a lot to me. The whole passage is so intimate, revealing much of the heart of Jesus before his departure.

I can’t do it justice with words. Who can?

I know reading it during Holy Week brings home its intimate yet solemn nature that much more to me.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Holy Week

In my spiritual journey, it’s remarkable that I’m now using the term “Holy Week” at all.

In my younger, even less reverent, low church past, I used to be amused by higher church types’ use of the word “holy” for various things. It sounded so pious and overly devotional to me. Inwardly, I made fun of those who called things holy this and holy that, including “Holy Week.”

Please don’t be too offended. A quirk of mine is that once I became a Christian as a teenager, poking fun at my fellow Christians of every churchmanship imaginable, including my own churchmanship, became quite a sport for me. I even listened to Christian radio for laughs.

Anyway, God must have a strange sense of humor, too. For here I am now using “Holy Week” without batting an eye.

Speaking of Holy Week, I’m not sure how much or on what I’ll be posting. I have decided to give up snarkiness and negativity for the week, God help me.

If something really provokes me, I’ll just save it for next week.

Next week might be interesting.

I might post something this week, so feel free to check. But in any case, do have a blessed Holy Week.