Monday, February 28, 2011


I am sad to see that the Borders’ bankruptcy is forcing the company to close about a third of their stores. A large number of those closings are in my home state of Texas.

The closing of their Lewisville, Texas store is particularly sad. They not only graciously hosted one of my book signings, but also hosted the Lewisville Chess Club, where I often tried to play the game, for over 14 years. They served up a great mocha, too.

The Lewisville Borders store was part of a big chain, yes. But they did not act like it.

I know progress is reducing the economic demand for big box bookstores, and such closings are inevitable. But still . . .

Libya: Not So Fast

On Friday, I heard all sorts of noises that Gadhafi would be out by Monday. But I seriously doubted that. Libya is not Egypt. Unlike Egypt, Libya does not have a strong national army. For Gaddafi (Yes, I like mocking him with the numerous correct spellings.) has intentionally weakened the army through the years and strengthened security forces more under his personal control.

So if Kaddafi wishes to kill as many people as possible and hold out to the bitter end, he probably has the fire power to do so for some time. Indeed the opposition pretty much admits this, conceding they are not ready to take Tripoli, even though much of the Libyan army has defected to the opposition.

Sorry to be a downer, but that madman Gadafi may be around longer than we either think or desire.

Keep praying . . .

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fleeing Demorats Are Uniting the Nation . . .

. . . uniting the nation against them, that is. Rasmussen Polls has 67% of voters nationwide disapproving of the tactic of Wisconsin Democrat state senators fleeing the state to stop legislation reducing union power. The dispproval cuts across just about every demographic imaginable, too, even government employees. Well, Democrats support this tactic, barely.

And Demorats have fled Indiana and may flee other states at the behest of their union keepers. Run, Demorats, run! Run to political destruction!

That they are fleeing to protect the power of (NOTE: Content warning at both of the following links.) union thugs like these surely unites people even more!

Evil people digging pits. Check. Then they fall into them. Check.

The REC Lectionary during Pre-Lent

One of the strengths of the lectionary in the Reformed Episcopal Church’s BCP is how it handles the weekday readings for Pre-Lent, aka the “gesimas.”

The second lessons for the daily offices are particularly appropriate. For Morning Prayer, 2nd Corinthians is read straight through (unless there is a break for, today, St. Matthias Day, or for Purification Day, February 2nd), finishing the epistle on the first Saturday in Lent.

2nd Corinthians is probably the deepest, most personal look into the heart of St. Paul. It is an excellent plumb line to evaluate where our hearts are and should be as Christian ministers. (And virtually all Christians should be ministers of some sort.) I therefore find it excellent preparation for Lent as it helps me find attitudes to improve or to repent of as I seek to fulfill my ministry.

For Evening Prayer, the second lessons begin the long march through the Gospel of St. John. This continues through Lent and climaxes during Holy Week, when the second lessons for both daily offices leading into the Triduum are from John chapters 14-17, which reveal so much of the heart of Jesus towards us just before his arrest and crucifixion.

I think these parts of the lectionary an improvement on the 1928 BCP (US). The MP second lessons for Pre-Lent are from Mark 6:7-10:16. For Evening Prayer, the second lessons are from Galatians. Maybe I’m missing something, but I find the REC selections for Pre-Lent more appropriate. Although all scripture is profitable for penitence, of course, I find it difficult to see how Galatians and that section of Mark fit well into preparation for Lent. But I am engaging in liturgical nitpicking as usual. (Writes down an additional item of which to repent.)

For those interested in such things, the REC lectionary “is generally drawn from the altar edition of An Australian Prayer Book 1978,” augmented for Sundays by the 1945 edition of the 1928 BCP (US).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Democrat Congressman Calls for Union Violence

Do not expect the “mainstream” news media to pay much attention to this. They are too busy inventing violence from the right to pay attention to real violence from the left. But a Democrat Congressman has called for unions to “get out on the streets and get a little bloody.”

“I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Ma.) told a crowd in Boston on Tuesday rallying in solidarity for Wisconsin union members.

I have not yet been able to find video, but he reportedly gestured over at a tea party rally when he made those remarks. Given the past record of union violence against tea partiers, that makes his speech even more inexcusable.

Democrats sure are showing their true union colors lately, are they not?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wisconsin Quacks Who Handed Out Fake Sick Notes to be Investigated

I agree with Allahpundit. The result of any investigation will likely be “wrist slaps for everyone.”

But I am glad I am not the only one outraged by the unethical behavior of those doctors who handed out phony sick notes to union protesters in Madison. Even some of a left of center bent are taken aback:

[Those doctors have] managed to belittle a public trust between physicians, employers and patients. A doctor's sick note is a serious document. It represents an employer's desire to verify through a respected, independent, medically qualified third party the fact of an illness and the true need for convalescence. In the videos now circulating online, we witness multiple members of a noted family medicine department trash one of the well-recognized rights and privileges of their profession, with little forethought as to the consequences.

If I found out my doctor engaged in such behavior (and he would not), I would immediately inform him I no longer required his services. So others can make an informed choice, I hope the names of all the doctors who handed out phony sick notes are publicized.

Pray for Christchurch

As most of you know, Christchurch, New Zealand has been hit hard by an earthquake. The death toll is 65 and rising. Damage includes the collapse of its landmark cathedral tower.

On a brighter note, New Zealand’s largest glacier, the Tasman, has calved a massive amount of icebergs due to the earthquake. The Tasman Glacier is about 120 miles from Christchurch.

Back in 1993, I took a quick small plane tour that landed on Tasman Glacier and let us walk around. It was otherworldly up there.

Yes, they are relaxed about such things in New Zealand. Earlier a bed-and-breakfast owner took me over an active cluster of volcanoes in his old Cessna. There are ski slopes on the same volcanoes. Can you imagine that in the U. S.?

Volcanoes and earthquakes are part of life in New Zealand. Kiwis are tough and will recover. But for now, the loss is great. Pray for Christchurch.

Pray for Libya

The situation in Libya is horrific. In order to hold on to power, Gaddafi has even stooped to hiring foreign mercenaries to shoot civilians. It is difficult to sort out rumor from fact, but there are reports of even funerals being attacked.

Let us pray for the people of Libya and for the quick removal of that monster Gaddafi.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wisconsin Democrats Show Their Priorities

If there was ever any doubt that Democrats are in the hip pocket of unions look to Wisconsin.

Given a choice between democracy and compulsory unionism, Wisconsin Democrat senators choose compulsory unionism of course, fleeing the state to thwart the real democratic process. Given a choice between taxpayers, fiscal responsibility and militant teachers unions, they choose the teachers unions.

But maybe I’m not being fair. I mean how can these Democrats choose against democracy if they do not know democracy if bit them on the ass. Take David Obey. In 2010, democracy did bite him on the ass, kicking him out of Congress. Along with the shameless strikers, he compares Gov. Walker with Hosni Mubarak. Uh, the people of Wisconsin just elected Walker the same day they unelected you, sir. He is no dictator. He is trying to do what he was elected to do.

And Madison has much more in common with Europe than with Cairo. As in Europe, we have those taking advantage of taxpayers striking against them when their gravy train is threatened.

Speaking of which, taxpayers are paying the teachers to strike. Most of the teachers are using their taxpayer-paid sick days to protest. Hey Wisconsin, how does it feel like to taken for suckers?

What is happening in Wisconsin proves Gov. Walker’s point – restrictions must be placed on public sector unions. And no one should be forced to join a union to keep their job.

Guess who is backing the unions and the strikers against Wisconsin taxpayers? Obama and his permanent campaign.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Abdication of Responsibility

With his latest budget (if it can be called that) combined with the profligacy of his first two years, Barack Obama has already proven himself to be the most irresponsible president of my lifetime. And since my lifetime covers LBJ and Richard Nixon, that is saying something. His budget is an abdication of responsibility.

It is also clear that his talk of fiscal responsibility is just that – talk. It is clear that he appointed a Deficit Commission only to look concerned about deficits, not to do anything about them. His budget virtually ignores the recommendations of that commission. It is clear his strategy is to let others deal with the deficit and take the political heat while he avoids tough decisions. It is the beginning of the usual liberal Democrat gutter politics:

This will go down as canny politics in Washington, as the President lies in wait to ambush Republicans when they propose their real spending cuts. Then he hopes he can cut them to ribbons on his way to re-election.

His budget practically begs for a showdown over raising the debt ceiling, a showdown in which Obama hopes to make political hay ala Clinton. Hey, the next election is far more important than the nation’s future.

Obama is not only irresponsible; he is almost incapable of shame.

And if you think I am hard on him, read the following (with a warning on language) and guess the source:

In this budget, in his refusal to do anything concrete to tackle the looming entitlement debt, in his failure to address the generational injustice, in his blithe indifference to the increasing danger of default, he has betrayed those of us who took him to be a serious president prepared to put the good of the country before his short term political interests. Like his State of the Union, this budget is good short term politics but such a massive pile of fiscal bullshit it makes it perfectly clear that Obama is kicking this vital issue down the road.

To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: he just screwed you over. He thinks you’re fools. Either the US will go into default because of Obama’s cowardice, or you will be paying far far more for far far less because this president has no courage when it counts. He let you down. On the critical issue of America’s fiscal crisis, he represents no hope and no change.

And I apologize for the language, but it is certainly appropriate given what Obama is doing to this country.

This source is absolutely right. And that, again, is something coming from me as the above quote is something coming from him. For the source is . . . Andrew Sullivan.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Crooks Rule. Rowan Williams Cheerleads.

Sometimes there is so much outrage of various sorts in one story, one hardly knows where to start.

Outrage 1: The European Court of Human Rights has presumed to tell the UK that prisoners must be allowed to vote. (Of course, if one goes further back, it is an outrage that the UK gave away so much sovereignty to European courts, but I can only do so much outrage at one time.)

Outrage 2: It appears that UK prisoners will indeed get the right to vote. The Government apparently doesn’t have enough of a backbone to tell the European Court of Human Right to . . . . Well, I will let my tactful readers complete that sentence in an appropriate manner.

Outrage 3: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, is cheering this on, saying prisoners should indeed retain the right to vote.

Well, he lets heretics continue on indefinitely in the councils of the church. So at least he is consistent.

This all goes to show it is unwise to let international courts make your domestic laws . . . or to let modern politicians appoint your bishops.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Reverse Evangelism

Former Planned Parenthood clinic Abby Johnson is joining the Roman Catholic Church. In doing so, she is leaving The Episcopal “Church”. One reason behind the move is slightly ironic:

Johnson’s embrace of Catholicism was a natural development after she became pro-life but was precipitated by her pro-choice Episcopalian community’s vocal rejection of her change of heart, she said. Even before the dramatic experience of assisting in an ultrasound abortion, Johnson said God had been calling to her for several months through the penitential rite of the Episcopal service, which is similar to the Catholic prayer. With the Episcopalian Church one of the largest donors to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Johnson said she and her husband were not going to remain at the church anyway.

It is not every day that that a former abortion clinic director leaves a “church” because it is pro-abortion. But Ms. Johnson is not alone in leaving a mainline denomination over the abortion issue. I know first hand because I am one who has so departed.

Abortion was far from the only reason I swore off the mainline Presbyterian Church after being Presbyterian for my first 27 years. But it was an important reason. And that even though I’ve never had a traumatic experience with abortion as Ms. Johnson has.

I think it safe to say that mainline denominations have lost far more people over their pro-abortion stands than they have gained. And that is not to mention the quality of people support of abortion repels and the sort of people it attracts (if it does attract anyone). This is yet another example of evil people digging pits and then falling into them themselves. Support of abortion has greatly harmed mainline denominations in the U. S. Really, it is a form of reverse evangelism.

Well, since mainline denominations suck at positive evangelism, I guess they have to be good at something.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Philip Turner Gets Real About the Anglican Communion

Dr. Philip Turner has posted a succinct and, I think, accurate look at the future of the Anglican Communion. He does not like what he sees. Neither do I.

I won’t rehash Turner’s piece. But whether you measure by truth, by unity, or by church discipline, the Anglican Communion is failing. About the only aspect of the Anglican Communion that is stronger than in 2003 is the control of ++Canterbury and his men . . . which is a (the?) major reason the Communion is failing by just about every other measure.

Really, it’s hardly even a Communion anymore. In Turner’s words:

What was a communion is no longer a communion. It is now something else on top of which sits an Archbishop of Canterbury who claims novel authority yet does not enjoy the confidence of those provinces in which the majority of Anglicans reside.

Long time readers of this blog know I once yearned to be a part of the Anglican Communion (without being in The Episcopal “Church”). But not anymore.

I can understand those who are already in staying in. The orthodox are not of one mind on whether to leave the Anglican Communion or not. So leaving now would likely damage unity even among the orthodox. Besides, as Matt+ Kennedy has noted, now one can “defect in place” to heart’s content without sanction.

But I would advise those jurisdictions not in the AC to stay away. And I intend to oppose vigorously any further efforts by ACNA (of which I am a member) to join the Anglican Communion.

I instead think there is the need for a new orthodox Anglican Communion along the lines of GAFCON. And I think that is coming in the near future as well.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Abomination of the Week: Chrislam RETRACTED

(NOTE: The above photo is fake.)

Libchurchers have found yet another way to pervert Christianity – Chrislam:

According to a recent blog post from The Last Crusade, congregations in several metropolitan areas -- Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, and Detroit -- preached sermons and held Sunday school lessons recently on the founder of Islam, Mohammad, whom Muslims consider a prophet. Qurans were also placed in the pews next to Bibles.

It is only by the mercies of the Lord that I did not spontaneously combust when I read about the Qurans being placed next to Bibles.

But what is with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the image above going whole hog, er, non-pork product for this schlock? I thought the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination was staunchly orthodox. If any readers wish to inform me what the heck is going on, feel free to comment.

RETRACTION: OOPS! It appears the above image is an internet prank. I now notice the sign of this “Beulah Cumberland Presbyterian Church” has been used for other tomfoolery as well. But now I am the fool. My apologies to my readers and to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mea culpa!

And I have sniffed around some more, and this whole story doesn’t pass the smell test. There is a Chrislam religion in Nigeria, but I am unsure how much of it in America is real and how much a leg-pulling attempt at humor. So I am retracting the whole thing at least until I find out more. Again, my apologies.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Anglican Church in America Update

I should disclaim at the beginning that the Anglican Church in America (ACA) situation is complex and colorful. So readers should feel free to add details and/or corrections (but not gossip) in the comments.

Having said that, it appears matters are winding down to a resolution. You will recall that the ACA was divided over whether to follow the rest of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) and its Archbishop John Hepworth in joining the Church of Rome. Most ACA parishes wanted to stay Anglican, but some were firm in following ++Hepworth’s lead.

It appears that, though neither ++Hepworth nor the bishops of the ACA are particularly pleased about it, the ACA will indeed remain Anglican and not Roman, but that those parishes wishing to swim the Tiber with ++Hepworth will be allowed to do so without interference under a Patrimony of the Primate.

Further, the remaining ACA bishops are taking this episode as a nudge toward greater unity with other Continuing Anglicans: "We do regard this as an opportunity for all Continuing Anglicans to come together, said Marsh. "We are in talks with other Continuing Anglican bodies."

So, as messy as this has been, this may be leading toward greater Christian unity on both sides. Let us hope and pray so.

The ACA view on this matter may be found here. Archbishop Hepworth’s view may be found here.

A hat tip to the Good Professor for alerting me to these developments.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Boy Named Reagan

The moment I realized how much I missed Ronald Reagan came at Denton Bible Church shortly after his death. The morning service had just ended when I noticed a Russian teenage boy I knew. A family or two at Denton Bible had adopted Russian children, and they added a lot to the life of our church.

The boy’s name was Reagan.

We were chatting, and loving to teach as I do, I said with a smile, “Let me tell you about who you are named after.” And I told him of Ronald Reagan and of how helped wear down the old Soviet Union. And because of that, Russia and the United States were now on good terms . . . and that was a big reason he got adopted and was with us.

The thing is, I had a lot of trouble getting all that out. I broke down crying before him before I could finish. The boy was a great kid and, with a calm smile, was patient with me.

And, to be honest, I am crying now as I type this.

That boy named Reagan, and us all, owe Ronald Reagan so much.

And I miss him.

Happy 100th birthday, Mr. President. And thank you.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Super Bowl: It’s Happening Again

The run up to this Super Bowl not only brings up bad memories to this Steelers-hater. It is reliving them.

Back in 2006, Seattle was going to their first Super Bowl vs. the Steelers. But did the NFL and the sports media focus on that? No. It was all about the Steelers going back to the Super Bowl. Seattle was just a bit player.

And I think that atmosphere was factor behind perhaps the most infamous botched Super Bowl of all time. The referees, particularly one from Pittsburgh, so rigged the game against Seattle that Seahawk coach Mike Holmgren remarked afterwards that it is hard to beat Pittsburgh and the refs. And last year, head ref Bill Leavy admitted his role still haunts him:

I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game, and as an official you never want to do that. It left me with a lot of sleepless nights, and I think about it constantly. I'll go to my grave wishing that I'd been better ... I know that I did my best at that time, but it wasn't good enough ... When we make mistakes, you got to step up and own them. It's something that all officials have to deal with, but unfortunately when you have to deal with it in the Super Bowl it's difficult.

The NFL and the sports media certainly created an atmosphere that made it that much more difficult for the refs to be impartial.

Now, it’s happening again.

You’d think with storied Green Bay going to the Super Bowl, one would hear at least as much about “The Pack is Back” as about Pittsburgh. But no. The pre-game hype has been Steelers, Steelers, Steelers.

ESPN stands out in this regard. On Tuesday the 25th, who was featured as the lead on their home page? Troy Polamalu. And this morning, this fawning article practically declaring the current Steelers a dynasty is their lead story.

All we need now is for the refs to help the Steelers yet again in a Super Bowl, and the repeat of history will be complete.

I’ve seen this movie before, and I don’t like it.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Media Quiet About Obama Contempt Ruling

As I alerted you yesterday, federal Judge Martin Feldman ruled that the Obama Administration was in contempt of court due to its persisting with its moratorium in various forms on deepwater drilling in defiance of an earlier order from Feldman.

There is little question this is significant and that if such a ruling were made against a Republican administration, the “mainstream” news media would be all over it.

But the news media is being strangely quiet about this. I searched the front web pages of the Washington Post, CBS News, and CNN and found nothing. Maybe it was off in a corner on those home pages, but I could not find it. Searches of those three news sites using “Obama contempt” came up with AP stories at the Post and CBS and nothing, nada, of this story at CNN.

The news media dropped the ball when it came to informing us about Obama during the 2008 campaign. That dereliction of duty continues.

But I cannot let Republican leaders off the hook on this. They should be raising hell about this ruling and about Obama’s unlawful attacks on the offshore oil drilling industry. Few, if any, are.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

BREAKING: Obama Administration Held in Contempt of Court . . .

. . . but it is not over the issue you think. Long after a federal judge ordered the Obama Administration to lift its moratorium on deepwater oil drilling, the administration persisted and persisted, costing thousands of jobs and making us that much more dependant on oil imports.

Now federal Judge Martin Feldman, stating the regime acted with “determined disregard” for the earlier ruling, has found the Obama Administration in contempt.

This is a story to watch. At the very least, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar should resign . . . at the very least.

After Dublin: A Happier Future for Everybody

No, I am not being sarcastic in the title to this post. In fact, it is not my title, but Matt+ Kennedy’s. Now when I first saw the title to his piece, I thought he was being sarcastic. But no.

Kennedy predicts that after the Dublin Primates Meeting, there will be no dramatic split in the Anglican Communion, but more walking apart, with most of the orthodox on one side of a theological chasm and heretics and their enablers on the other. Both sides will pay less mind to each other as in the last eight years and therefore be “happier.”

I think he is correct. Now one may ask why will orthodox jurisdictions stay in the Anglican Communion at all. Matt+ gives two reasons in the comments:

1. Unlike the relationship between heretic bishops in TEC and orthodox parishes, the Communion exercises no authority over various primates. The ABC could, I suppose, not invite various orthodox primates to various meetings, but that would not mean much to primates determined not to go in the first place. The lack of Communion authority over various provinces means that there is nothing for provinces to “escape” from. They are already free to essentially do as they wish.

2. Since the Global South meeting in 2010, the more centrist conservative primates like Chew and Anis and the Gafcon primates have been seeking to act in concerted, unified ways. Listen again to Anis’ speech and Q/A at Mere Anglicanism. They seem to have committed to act as a unified group in a way that they had not before. Perhaps this is because the centrists have finally seen the light with regard to RW? In any case, declaring independence from the Communion would split the GS primates along the old lines and make both sides weaker. And, given the truth of #1 above, there is no compelling reason to do it.

The conservative primates are have no necessity or reason to declare that they have officially broken with the Communion when doing so would disrupt their own unity and they are free to essentially defect in place with no sanction.

Again, I think he is on target. I once thought there would be a formal split in the Anglican Communion. But with the way authority is structured, that is really not necessary and would split the orthodox as well.

So expect more walking apart, but not a formal split. A separation, but not a divorce if you will. And, yes, I too suspect that will make everyone happier.

Read Matt+ Kennedy’s post for more discussion.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Imagine if a law pushed by a Republican president and passed by a Republican Congress was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. And the response by the said president’s administration was to pour contempt on the ruling and state that implementing the law would “proceed apace” in complete disregard of the ruling. Can you imagine the furor that would create in the “mainstream” news media and other Lefty circles?

That is exactly what the Obama regime has done. And yet there is hardly a peep about it outside of conservative talk radio.

And Republicans are partly to blame for that. Where are the Republican leaders demanding that Obama respect the ruling and stand down from jamming Obamacare down our throats? Republicans should be raising hell concerning Obama’s contempt.

Yes, I know. This week’s ruling is not the final word. But to “proceed apace” as if the ruling did not happen and without some sort of injunction or stay permitting it would be simply contempt of court.

But then this whole sordid Obamacare putsch has been marked by contempt. There has throughout been contempt of the Constitution and of its champions. Remember when Nancy Pelosi was asked how the Constitution allowed the mandate that all Americans purchase health insurance? She refused to answer except to laughingly ask, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” Her attitude reflected that of Leftists everywhere. They laughed at those who strove against Obamacare as unconstitutional.

But as the ruling made clear, that was and is indeed a serious question of great import. Who is laughing now?

There was contempt of the American people. Poll after poll made clear a majority of Americans did not want Obamacare. And Massachusetts even elected a Republican to replace Ted Kennedy in the Senate largely because of this issue. Hell froze over. Yet Obama and Democrats “proceeded apace.”

That contempt continues, particularly contempt of taxpayers. It would be simple prudence to delay implementing Obamacare until the Supreme Court rules. Obama risks spending billions on a program that will be voided by the Supreme Court once and for all. Pouring tax dollars down a (Demo)rat hole does not concern Obama at all.

There’s contempt of the states. Remember that it was 26 states filing suits against Obamacare that resulted in this week’s ruling.

And now Obama’s contempt of the Constitution, of the people, and of the states is pushing him to the brink of contempt of court.

I long ago said Obama has a totalitarian streak. His contempt of the American people and of the rule of law are certainly part of that.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Plight of Coptic Christians in Egypt

Coptic Christians are apprehensive about the current push for a new government in Egypt and for good reason.

The current situation for Egyptian Copts is not good with attacks from predatory Muslims, including bombing of churches and torching of homes, and little protection from the government. But a new government would likely be more sympathetic towards extremist Islam and less towards non-Muslims, particularly Copts. The Muslim Brotherhood gaining power would be especially bad news. Read more here.

Pray for Egypt, particularly for Coptic Christians there.