Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First REC Franciscan!? (Confirmed)

With the caveat that the only direct report of this I can find is a YouTube video, it appears the Reformed Episcopal Church has its first Franciscan, Fr. Greg Mashburn. The video is of his consecration by Bishop Dan Morse. (And although the video and audio is fuzzy, the voice does sound like Bishop Morse’s.)

This is not completely unheard of as there are Franciscans in the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church.

If I find out more, I’ll let you know. There are no reports yet of Bishop Cummins spinning in his grave.

UPDATE: The consecration is now confirmed. See the comments.

MORE: Now that the consecration of the first REC Franciscan is confirmed, I feel free to say I am glad to see this. The Franciscans are a very honorable order. And this event is part of the REC evolving from a sectarian church to a truly catholic church with varying churchmanships and callings.

Although the founders of the REC would probably not be pleased to see this, it lives out well their ecumenical spirit.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Michaelmas Memories

Tomorrow is Michaelmas. And for me, it evokes memories. Yes, I am a bit odd. For most people, it’s Christmas and such that brings forth memories.

But the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (known more commonly as Michaelmas in the UK) roughly marks the beginning of the academic year in Oxford and Cambridge. And that turns my thoughts back to my times there particularly in 2007 when I was studying medieval history at Oxford.

There was the anticipation and joy of the Oxbridge choirs resuming their services. I took a pleasant weekend off to Cambridge chiefly to hear the King’s College Choir start their year and to study the windows of the chapel. But there was much more to enjoy, such as an excellent Michaelmas service at Little St. Marys. I was glad Cambridge started their term a week earlier than Oxford.

And I looked forward to and enjoyed the Oxford term beginning. The flummery associated with the occasion was a treat, but that was only part of Oxford coming alive for a new academic year.

Do the memories make me miss Oxford and Cambridge? Yes. Will I go back sometime? Probably, if not this year (too much going on at home), and even though I know it will be near impossible to relive the experience of the first time to study there.

Now I haven’t forgotten that academic pressure made my time in Oxbridge bittersweet. But I still look fondly back on it. I am glad I did it, and part of me wishes I could do it anew.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jesus and the Bible

I thought about titling this post “Brilliant Minds Think Alike.” For this morning, I’ve been working on a back-up sermon for my parish, a sermon for me to give in case my rector cannot preach. And in it I make the point that one cannot divorce Jesus from the Bible. To warm up to my point, I remember an episode from my Presbyterian Church of years ago:

One time I heard a preacher say, “We don’t believe the Bible; we believe the Christ behind the Bible.” Well, that preacher was wrong. And, by the way, I told her so after that service. Which wasn’t exactly appreciated. But, regardless, she was wrong. If you believe Jesus, then you believe the word that he believed in. One cannot call Jesus Lord and then in effect say Jesus was wrong to trust God’s word as authoritative, so we won’t believe God’s word as authoritative. But there are people who try to get away with this somehow.

In the draft sermon, I continue:

Beware of those who divorce Jesus and the Bible. The result is not the real Jesus, but a pet Jesus who reflects our inclinations rather than God’s. To the politically radical, a pet Jesus is radical; to hippies, a pet Jesus is a hippy; to surfers a pet Jesus is a surfer dude.

Now Jesus may have been radical; he may have had long hair; and he most certainly walked on water like surfers only dream of. But Jesus is much much more than that. Yet if we fall into the foolishness of divorcing him from God’s word, our Jesus will be as small and as distorted as our desires. Our Jesus will not be the real Jesus.

Well, just a few moments after working on those words, I see that Matt+ Kennedy has made a very similar point over at Stand Firm. If we are left to our own inclinations and perceptions, then . . .

One person's Jesus is meek and mild another person's Jesus is Almighty and King and Lord. One person's Jesus is all about non-violence and another's is making whips out of cords. One person's Jesus says that its okay never to go to church because worship takes place in the heart another person's Jesus says go to church every Sunday. There is the emergent Jesus, the inclusive Jesus, the social revolutionary Jesus, the peace and justice Jesus, the green Jesus, the gay Jesus, the straight Jesus the Republican Jesus the Democrat Jesus, the baby your politics, name your movement, name your preferences, name your passions and there is a Jesus for you.

The remedy?

But you don't have to stumble around and wonder, guess, speculate about who God is and what he is like. He speaks. He speaks to you and to everyone else directly and clearly. God has answered that question. When you read scripture, when you come face to face with God's own self-revelation, then you know who God is.

The point is clear. If you seek to know Jesus, to know God, then don’t rely on just your own perceptions. Seek to know His word.

And not just because Matt+ and I say so. ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pope to Visit UK Next Year

The word is not official yet, but the Daily Telegraph reports that Pope Benedict will visit the UK next year. It would be only the second time a pope has visited Britain since the unpleasantness under Henry VIII.

UK Cartholicks of a traditionalist bent, such as Damian Thompson, are pleased and hope this will hasten the demise of some of the nonsense in the UK RC church.

Children Sing of Our Dear Leader!! (UPDATED)

No, I am not going to blame Obama for this. But school children singing praise of Our Dear Leader is the sort of thing that occurs under totalitarian regimes. And it creeps me out to put it mildly.

If I were a father of one of those kids, I would demand the firing of the teachers responsible. The school responsible is of yet unknown. I pray it becomes known.

UPDATE: My prayer is answered. The school is B. Bernice Young Elementary in Burlington Township, NJ.

The Superintendent for the Burlington Township School District has sent out a letter to parents.

More to come I’m sure.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The St. Ives Fund . . . to Sue the Orthodox

Stand Firm has posted a letter from The Episcopal Church soliciting donations to sue departing orthodox out of their buildings. What a lovely cause.

And they created a special fund for this wonderful cause, the St. Ives Fund. Won’t you contribute?

Really, one has to be bereft of shame and conscience to send out that letter unawares of how ghoulish and smarmy it is.

The abuse of poor St. Ives' name is particularly inappropriate (or appropriate as the case may be). St. Ives of Huntingdonshire was thought to be a hermit who put aside honor and luxury. It is safe to say he would not be the least bit interested in the cause of suing the orthodox out of their church homes.

I think it much better to give to a new fund I’ve created, the St. Arnold Fund. The worthy cause? To buy me beer. I particularly like this one.

Please give generously.

Canada Will Walk Out of Ahmadinejad’s UN Speech (UPDATED)

Canada’s delegation to the UN General Assembly will walk out on Iran’s Holocaust-denying puppet president Ahmadinejad today.

Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon will be at the world body to attend the opening of the UN General Assembly's annual debate, but officials signal he and other members of the Canadian delegation will vacate the Canadian seats when the Islamic republic's President approaches the podium.

Walking out of the chamber is seen as a strong diplomatic show of disgust at the UN -- and since the chamber is generally packed on the first day of the annual summit, Canada's empty seats will not go unnoticed. . . .

"President Ahmadinejad's repeated denial of the Holocaust and his anti-Israel comments run counter to the values of the UN General Assembly, and they're shameful," said one Canadian official.

Good on them! If only Obama and his U. S. delegation were that principled.

UPDATE: It turns out the delegations of eleven nations walked out -- Argentina, Australia, the UK, Costa Rica, Denmark, France(!), Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand … and, yes, the United States. Good on them.

Bishop of Tulsa Goes Ad Orientem

Big news lately in American Roman Catholic circles is the Bishop of Tulsa’s decision to go ad orientem. ++Edward Slattery wrote his diocese to notify them that henceforth, he will celebrate Mass in his cathedral facing East, and he gave his cogent reasoning for his decision.

It turns out that ++Slattery was the celebrant for the excellent Tridentine Pontifical Mass I attended in Oxford at the end of the 2007 Latin Mass conference there. It was clear he is committed to excellence in both his liturgical duties and in his preaching.

And his decision to go ad orientem reflects that commitment. Kudos to the Bishop of Tulsa!

Hat tip to Stand Firm.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It’s Official: Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme

Hot Air has an important scoop this morning. The CBO has reported to Congress that Social Security will run a deficit in 2010 and will be likely running permanent deficits by 2017. If you, like me, suspected Social Security is the world’s largest Ponzi Scheme, you were right.

Time and time again, forward-looking leaders have warned us that Social Security needed reform to remain solvent. But Democrats, time and time again, chose to demagogue Social Security for political gain rather than reform it. And, understandably, most Republicans learned to be afraid to touch the issue due to the success of the demagoguery. (Like him or not, President Bush the younger was exceptional in trying to tackle the issue.)

And, yes, Obama is one of those Democrats as I noted during the campaign.

Who cares if future generations are left holding the bag? Who cares about the truth? It’s all about winning the next election.

And don’t get me started on AARP. Their slogan through the years might as well be “Screw the grandchildren. Show me the money!”

Well, it looks like AARP and Democrats have succeeded in screwing our children and grandchildren for political gain. Congratulations.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama, Democrats Considering Liberal Media Bailout

Obama and some Democrats are looking favorably at the idea of bailing out failing newspapers.

You don’t have to be paranoid to dislike intensely the idea of government subsidizing the press. Is anyone so na├»ve to think that will not affect reporting on the government? That it will not increase government control over the news media?

The New York Times and Washington Post are too much like Pravda as it is.

And The Dear Leader Obama clearly likes the idea of affecting news reporting:

I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.

Yes, we must help the masses “understand” things. We must counteract those nasty blogs.

But “all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context” – isn’t that what the “mainstream” news media is guilty of? Isn’t that what blogs have exposed? Should the government subsidize those truly guilty of “all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context”?

But that is the sort of thing totalitarian regimes do, isn’t it. So why does Obama want to do it?

Not only is there the issue of government control over the press, most of those failing newspapers deserve to fail. YID With LID sums up the situation quite well:

There is a reason that these newspapers are failing, they are not addressing the needs of their readers. Newspapers tend to have a liberal slant, it is no coincidence that they are going the way of liberal talk radio. Readers are tired of the bias, and now they can get their sports scores on line.

While the number of newspapers (and readers) have fallen, the number of news sources has grown, including the internet, cable news, and radio. Maybe they should concentrate on giving straight news instead of op-eds made to look like reporting.

Hear, hear. And maybe the federal government should stop bailing out its cronies and subsidizing failure.

Obama Lies on ACORN

Obama on ACORN over the weekend: “I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.”

Yeaaaah, riiiight.

You’d have to have your head in the sand not to know that ACORN is “getting a whole lot of federal money.” Instead Obama’s White House has been busy from Day One shoveling money to ACORN. Only when it was further revealed what a criminal enterprise ACORN is has the White House tried to distance itself from ACORN . . . which is another joke.

When Obama took office, I never thought he would rival Bill Clinton at being a bald-faced liar. I was wrong.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Democrat Virginia Gov Candidate Endorses Obama Race Card

In the Virginia Gubernatorial debate overnight, Democrat candidate Creigh Deeds, said the following:

There's a hint of racism in some of the opposition to President Obama. That is crystal clear.

I find that remarkable coming during a debate in a closely fought campaign. I also find it politically unwise.

For the sake of future political discourse, let us now pray Mr. Deeds' campaign now goes down in flames. I suspect it will, and largely because of that very statement.

Mr. Deeds may be hurting himself by tap-dancing on taxes, too.

His campaign is summed up pretty well here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good News From Ft. Worth

It’s not the final word, but a significant ruling has come down in the dispute between the Episcopal Church and the (real) Diocese of Ft. Worth. The 141st District Court slapped down the TEC puppet diocese’s claims to be the real Diocese of Ft. Worth. But the court went far beyond that:

The judge also ruled that neither the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church nor the Constitution and Canons of this diocese prohibit withdrawal from TEC and realignment under another province. Further, he found that the Diocese had done so at its November 2008 annual convention, saying that “they [the members] took the diocese with them.” The action of the November convention was not, he said, ultra vires and void, as the suit’s plaintiffs have argued. He declared, too, that the Diocese had taken its property with it in realignment.

I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me this ruling leaves The Episcopal Church without a leg to stand on in its attempt to steal the property of the Diocese of Ft. Worth, in this round at least. Is there a legal term for “slap down”?

Expect an appeal.

For more lawyerly comments, the Anglican Curmudgeon is following this matter closely.

Hat tip to Stand Firm.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More on Playing the Race Card

It looks like my post yesterday on RAAAAACISM! was well timed. The electrons were hardly dry when the insufferable Jimmy Carter played the race card for all its worth.

I’ll spare my forbearing readers another good rant and instead direct them to erudite comments from none other than Daniel Hannan and the Anchoress.

Also, Jules Crittenden suggests “the moment has arrived for President Obama to start working on his legacy as the first post-racial president” by clearly and emphatically calling for no more of the blanket accusations of racism. I think Crittenden is right in saying Obama faces “a legacy of having the most racially divisive presidency in modern American history” if he does not do so.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Okoh New Primate-Elect of Church of Nigeria

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has been elected the next Primate of the Church of Nigeria.

CANA has released the following statement from Bishop Martyn Minns:

“Archbishop Okoh is a Godly leader and CANA is delighted that he will be leading the Church of Nigeria. He is strong supporter of CANA and the Anglican Church in North America, and has been instrumental in helping to advance the orthodox Anglican GAFCON movement. Archbishop Okoh is committed to spreading the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a personal friend, and I’m pleased that he is stepping into this leadership role during this crucial time in the life of the worldwide Anglican Communion.”

I’m Racist. (NOT!) UPATED

In an effort to discredit growing opposition to Obama, Democrats are playing the race card all over the place. If you oppose Obama, you are racist. Just letting you know.

Some of the race card playing is really, really rich. Take Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX):

“As far as African-Americans are concerned, we think most of it is,” said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), when asked in an interview in between sessions how much of the more extreme anger at Obama is based upon his race. “And we think it’s very unfortunate. We as African-American people of course are very sensitive to it.”

Most of you have never heard of Eddie Bernice Johnson, so let me tell you about her. She is a woman who has based her career on race. When she was a state senator, she chaired a key redistricting committee and personally made sure Dallas got a congressional district virtually guaranteed to elect a Black congressmen. And she succeeded in that. Guess who then ran for Congress in that district and won?

Eddie Bernice Johnson.

But she can say, with indignation no doubt, that her career is not race-based, yet opposition to Obama is.

Or take Maureen Dowd, please! Over the weekend, she writes in her New York Times op-ed that Joe Wilson blurted out that “You lie!” during The Messiah’s speech because he’s . . . you guessed it . . . racist! Her column is so egregious that it has even gotten attention across the pond .

By the way, why does the New York Times continue to employ Dowd? I stopped reading her years ago because the vomits of that shrill harpy are so predictable, false, and offensive. To say she adds nothing of value to political discourse may be an understatement. If the New York Times is such an oh-so-reputable paper, they would fire her . . . now.

Speaking of Joe Wilson, the House is expected to reprimand him, which is just slightly hypocritical. To their credit, some Democrats, including some of the Congressional Black Caucus, think this a bad idea.

I think it a wonderful idea myself. Along with playing the race card, it just pours that much more gasoline on the fires of opposition to Obama and his allies.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) gets downright nutty in playing the race card.

Monday, September 14, 2009

News Media Credibility at New Low

It looks like the “mainstream” news media is reaping what it has sown, namely, more than ever, people flat do not believe them:

Nearly two-thirds of Americans think the news stories they read, hear and watch are frequently inaccurate, according to a poll released Sunday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. That marks the highest level of skepticism recorded since 1985, when this study of public perceptions of the media was first done.

Combine that with a poor economy, and it is no wonder many media companies are hurting. (I will not gloat. I will not gloat. . . . )

Rest assured the “mainstream” news media has well earned its lack of credibility. I think their failure to vet Obama, to reveal his radical background has angered many who honestly thought they were electing a uniter instead of one of the most divisive and radical presidents ever. Also, the internet, particularly blogs, assure that when the news media blows it or ignores it, they will get called out on it.

And, of course, the news media keeps on earning its lack of credibility by, say, ignoring the Van Jones scandal until he is cast away for being a Leftist too nutty even for Obama. Or how about ignoring the ACORN/pimp video?

The “mainstream” news media thought it could get away with its old ways of spiking stories that didn’t fit with their agenda and with distorting others. And I remember when the news media did mostly get away with it in pre-internet days when there was little average Joes could do about it.

Thanks be to God those days are over!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Joe Wilson is Was My Hero.

Details here .

I may elaborate at a later date.

UPDATE: Joe Wilson WAS my hero. He has apologized now. Disappointing. It was high time to call out Obama.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

On Being “Nice” to False Teachers

I’m quite busy today. In fact, I may have to cut back on blogging through next week. But I want to direct my good readers’ attention to this post by Fr. Matt Kennedy.

Matt+ questions the wisdom of being collegial with heretics. And so do I.

Moreover, I think a big reason for the downfall of the Episcopal Church and other mainline denominations is the past reluctance of the orthodox to call out heretics. There was a time when the march of these churches towards apostasy could have been stopped. But it would have required saying “No!” to false teaching and the exercise of church discipline against clergy persisting in the same.

Instead, the orthodox were “nice” and collegial. . . . And the souls of many and the faithfulness of whole denominations were sacrificed on the altar of that niceness.

I much prefer attitude of the church fathers. They most definitely were not nice to false teachers. (And that’s one reason I do not pull many punches on this blog.)

Whether you agree or not, I urge you to think upon Matt+ Kennedy’s post.

(In my haste, I was not clear that I don't believe in being collegial with heretical clergy. We've all had mistaken views at various times. All the more reason to insist on faithful clergy and teachers.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

About the Whole Foods BUYcott

I know I tend to be slightly snarky and cranky on this blog. But today I want to spotlight something positive that warms my cynical heart.

As many of you are aware, Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he dared to questioned the wisdom of Obamacare.

Well, the unions and the Left were outraged and called for a boycott against Whole Foods. That was flat wrong and just about as intolerant as you can get. Here is a man who has a well-earned reputation for treating employees well and who provides such a good product that I wish there was a Whole Foods nearby. But because he exercises his free speech in a way that doesn’t toe the union/Left line, they boycott him. Shame!

But I want to focus on the positive response of many right of center. They countered with a BUYcott of Whole Foods, making a point to shop at Whole Foods and to let people know about that.

And that shows their love of free speech and of tolerance as well. Whole Foods, for better or worse, has a slightly left of center reputation and atmosphere. That has certainly been my impression when I shopped at one in the past. (I used to live in a more metropolitan area.) But, nevertheless, the Tea Party people have come to the defense of Whole Foods and of free speech with their time and money. And it appears the net of the Lefty boycott and the Righty BUYcott is that Whole Foods has gained business. The BUYcott appears to be a rousing success.

This sort of positive action demonstrates that those who love freedom are the truly tolerant and genuinely “progressive” ones. May this not be the last time that they – and the Lord – turn the dark intolerance of the Left into good.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Christianity Today Interview with Todd Hunter

I was among those at the ACNA Provincial Assembly who looked slightly askance at Todd Hunter so quickly being made a bishop of the AMiA.

But I thought he gave a good talk at the assembly. And I think he shows forth a lot of wisdom in an interview by Christianity Today. He is particularly perceptive on the subject of what effective evangelism looks like.

Read and think upon the interview here.

How to Catch an Episcopalian

How does one catch an Episcopalian? Make a statement advocating baby-killing reproductive freedom and perversion sexual justice, invite religious leaders to sign and watch those Episcopalians come running. It will be like flies on . . . well, you get the picture.

Here’s the complete list of signers. Evil is so ecumenical.