Monday, December 30, 2013

GLAAD Bullies . . . Gays?

I do not yet know if GLAAD got the comeuppance I put forth as a possibility.  But that the backlash against the GLAAD-pressured suspension of Phil Robertson prompted A&E quickly to lift that suspension and make GLAAD oh-so mad warms my heart almost as much as the Steelers being eliminated from the play-offs.

Why my animus against GLAAD?  Because they are bullies.  Worse, they are bullies who are smugly self-righteous as they engage in their bullying, in their attacks against the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and livelihoods of their opponents.

And do not think that GLAAD only bullies racistsexisthomophobebigoted straight white men such as yours truly.  Gays who do not toe the politically correct gay activist line are targeted as well, too.  Robert Oscar Lopez knows about that first hand and has shared his experience of life on GLAAD’s blacklist.

Really, most gays are victims of GLAAD’s bullying.  Even those racistsexisthomophobebigots who, like myself, disagree with the gay activist agenda know through experience that most gays do not wear horns.  But such good will gays have earned through years of more open engagement with society is not easy to retain when GLAAD and others who purport to speak for gays try to blacklist, silence, boycott, and otherwise bully those who hold to a more traditional view of morality and family life.


Even many gays are coming around to saying it’s time for GLAAD to stop their bullying, that the way to combat bigotry is not more bigotry.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Carol for Holy Innocents

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which we remember those small children of Bethlehem slaughtered by Herod in his mad attempt to murder the young Jesus.  Yes, not very Christmasy. . .

Or is it?

For as I wrote some years back, there is a dark side of Christmas, and we impoverish ourselves if we ignore it.  It is fitting that we remember the first martyr of the church, St. Stephen, on the day after Christmas and the first child martyrs of Christ two days after that.

There is a Christmas carol that has become a favorite of mine, Unto Us is Born a Son, as arranged by David Willcocks, the venerable past Organist of the Choir of King’s College Cambridge.  Here is it from Carols from Kings back in 2003.


And it was also sung in this year’s Nine Lessons and Carols service from King’s on Christmas Eve.  (And at this time, you may still listen to said service from BBC for a few days.)

While listening to the service this year, I noticed a verse dedicated to the Holy Innocents, which I’ve highlighted.

U us is born a Son, King of quires supernal:
See on earth his life begun, Of lords the Lord eternal.

Christ, from heaven descending low, Comes on earth a stranger;
Ox and ass their owner know, Becradled in the manger.

This did Herod sore affray, And grievously bewilder,
So he gave the word to slay, And slew the little childer.

Of his love and mercy mild This the Christmas story;
And O that Mary’s gentle child Might lead us up to glory.

O and A, and A and O, Cum cantibus in choro,
Let our merry organ go, Benedicamus Domino.

Whoever wrote these words in the 15th Century (then in Latin) understood well that remembering the Holy Innocents is very much a part of Christmas.


May God bless you on the Feast of Holy Innocents and in the remainder of this Christmas season.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

St. Stephen, the First of Many

Today, the church remembers St. Stephen, the first martyr of the church.
And he is the first of many, and of many sure to come, as the army of martyrs grows even this Christmas.

There is a particular parallel between the martyrdom of Stephen and the martyrdom of now thousands of Christians in the Middle East today that we must not ignore.  After the stoning of St. Stephen, the church was for the most part forced to flee from Jerusalem. (Acts 8:1)  Today, the church is being pressured by Muslims (There. I said it.) to flee from much of the Middle East.  The population of Christians in several Middle East countries is shrinking precipitously.  It is distressing, and it is hard to see what can be done about it.

And I am at a loss even what to say, except to pray and to remember that the holy Army of Martyrs will grow yet larger and will triumph in the end.



When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.  They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.  Rev. 6:9-11

Monday, December 23, 2013

Lessons and Carols

As you may know, I love a good Christmas Eve service of Lessons and Carols.  (Here you may find a good summary of the origins of this format at Truro.)  And when a chosen solo chorister bravely commences the glorious Nine Lessons and Carols in the Chapel of King’s College Cambridge, Christmas for me begins.

And, of course, I will be listening tomorrow morning when allergies will no doubt make me teary-eyed.

However, there is a contrary opinion about such services:

By and large, however, loyal churchmen agree that it is better not to attend services of Nine Lessons and Carols, even if your favourite nephew is singing in the choir. However beautiful the music, nine carols is far too many for a single evening, and the meretricious extravagance of Lessons and Carols cannot compare to the simple beauty of a Christmastide service of Said Matins and Commination.


Whether you celebrate the Nativity of our Lord with Nine Lessons or with a heartfelt Commination, may you have a Happy Christmas.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Will the Firing of Phil Robertson Prove the PC Crowd’s Waterloo? UPDATED

There is a possibility the firing of Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty for comments he made about homosexuality may prove to be a significant comeuppance for the Lavender Mafia and the rest of the PC crowd.

The reaction not just from the right-of-center but from all who value free speech is already a tidal wave.  As I type this, #DuckDynasty and A&E were the top two trends on Twitter.  And the new @BoycottAETV has over 6,000 followers literally overnight.

We shall see if this has lasting significance and puts the speech squelchers in their place.  Perhaps it may be a “Have you no shame?” moment.  I am not necessarily predicting this, but I can’t recall such a reaction to speech squelching before as we see already.  It is indeed worth watching.


Speaking of twitter (And I should have mentioned this yesterday.), even when I am not blogging much, I usually do keep tweeting and have done so lately.  I’m @wannabeanglican there.  Hey, it doesn’t take as much energy to vent in 140 characters or less.

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UPDATE: It's dinner time in the U.S. now.  Top three trends on Twitter?

1. A&E.  2. #DuckDynasty 3. Phil Robertson

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Personal Note

Yes, I have not been posting for a while, and then infrequently before that.  And I think it’s at the point where I owe an explanation.

Life is good, and I am well, so don’t worry.  But I have been stressed, in part by dealing with cattle that got out four times.  (Hopefully stopped now.)  Also, I’ve been run down, behind on sleep and energy and on getting some things done during the holidays.  Heck, even after a good sleep last night, I am feeling run down already.

And this has taxed my creativity so that I cannot think of posts worth posting.  Or if I think of something, by the time I have the time and energy to post, it’s already old news or not the right time.

Anyway, like I said, I’m o. k.  I do hope to get my blog rolling again, but I do not know when that will be.  Maybe I’ll be like Instapundit and briefly throw things out there I find interesting.


I hope your Advent is coming to a blessed conclusion.

Friday, December 13, 2013

IRS Targeting – There Must be a Special Prosecutor

Think IRS targeting of political opponents is a thing of the past?  Think exposure and Obama making his faux displeasure known put a stop to it?

Think again.

Not only does IRS targeting continue, it is progressing on a new front, against vocal opponents of Obamacare.

Which prompts me to put my foot down and say there must be a Special Prosecutor of the IRS and of whoever has directed their targeting of political opponents.  And "whoever" includes all the way up to the White House.

The investigation by Congressman Issa, assisted by Rep. Blake Farenthold and other good people, has served good purposes.  But a Congressional investigation can only do much, particularly when even the FBI is in on the cover-up.

That IRS attacks on free speech continue even now make the need for a Special Prosecutor that much more urgent.

And, for reasons I’ve stated before, people must go to prison for this.  There are times when politics are not enough, and this is such a time.  To effectively punish and deter such attacks on our freedom of speech, perps must serve prison time.  And I cannot see that happening without a Special Prosecutor.


And we may have to impeach a President as well.  But let a good, fair, tough Special Prosecutor do his work first.

Monday, December 09, 2013

About the Collect for the 2nd Sunday in Advent

First I should say that I downright revere Thomas Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer.  Long time readers remember that traditional Anglican liturgy was key in luring me to Anglicanism.  And I think his collect for the 2nd Sunday in Advent, an original composition by Cranmer, is an excellent one.  For those who don’t have a BCP handy it reads:

BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.  

But (And now I may have to duck.) I wish Cranmer had not made this a collect in Advent.  Yes, my wish is “a fond thing,” admittedly pointless.  Nevertheless, I think a collect more directly related to Christ’s Advent would have been more appropriate.  In that regard, I like the Sarum collect for Advent 2, translated:

Stir up, O Lord, our hearts to prepare the way of Thy Only Begotten; that by His coming we may be counted worthy to serve Thee with purified hearts.  Who livest etc.

This collect has strong themes of Christ’s coming and of our preparation and response to the same.  And it echoes nicely the “Stir up” collect of the Sunday Next Before Advent.

Cranmer’s collect just does not fit as well in Advent in my not-so humble opinion.  I think it would fit very well early in Trinity season.  That long season of “ordinary time” emphasizes our response of discipleship to the great things God has done through Jesus Christ.  And close attention to His word is central to that.

But – let there be no misunderstanding – I am not advocating so altering Cranmer’s work in public liturgy.  Such a disruption to traditional Anglican worship would not be worth it.  And this collect is much beloved.  I am sure a great many would not want it moved to a less prominent place.


As for me, I intend to use both the Sarum and Cranmerian collects in my personal Daily Office.

Friday, December 06, 2013

The IRS Cover-up Continues

Excuse me for being terse.  I have a lot on tap this St. Nicholas Day.

But I wanted to alert you that the Cover-up of IRS targeting of conservatives continues.

An IRS lawyer answered “I don’t recall” to a House committee investigating the IRS . . . 80 times.

And the FBI is in on the Cover-up.

If this were under a Republican President, the news media would be having a field day.

By the way, you can find some of my past posts on the Obama IRS Scandal here.


And I still want people in prison.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

When Should We Allow Advent to Become Christmasy?

A question with which this liturgical nitpicker wrestles each year is when shall Advent be allowed to become Christmasy?  To be more exact, when should I allow my Advent to become Christmasy?

Now I am tempted to drive Santa Claus out of the mall when he arrives even before Advent.  But in my more reasonable moments, I confess such enormities are not my concern.  How I observe Advent is.

As the Low Churchman points out, this concern can be taken to an extreme:

As part of their Advent observance, Ritualists are forbidden to take part in Christmas activities, to listen to Christmas music, or to allude to the coming of Christmastide in conversation. If a Ritualist is forced to attend a Christmas event against his better judgment, he is obliged to stand in the corner with a downcast expression, commenting angrily to passers-by that the Christmas season does not begin for another four hours.

No, I am not quite that bad about it.

By the way Christmas begins at the first note of the boy soloist singing Once in Royal David’s City in the Chapel of King’s College Cambridge.  And not a moment before.  Now you know.

Anyway, I do rightly consider Advent to be a penitential season focusing on the coming of Christ and preparation for that.  Thus some restraint is in order.  I do a number of little things.  I try to exercise some restraint in my diet (in part to offset the lack of restraint that will surely come later).  I play CDs that focus on Advent music for the first week of Advent at least.  Yes, those are hard to find.  But my numerous Christmas CDs can wait at least that long.

I have a homemade custom that ornaments depicting Santa do not go on the . . . Advent tree until St. Nicholas Day.  Yes, tomorrow.  By the way, St. Nicholas is a favorite saint.  I even intend to give a brief talk on him to a private party tomorrow night.

But I confess that, despite my pious efforts, by the time the Third Sunday in Advent comes around, I am unbearably Christmasy.  There is no hope for me then.  Even though I may continue to inveigh against premature displays of Christmas, privately I am listening to cheesy Christmas music and gazing upon lurid Christmas lights in the safety of my pick-up truck.  My excuses are that the Feast of St. Nicholas and the Third Sunday in Advent are appropriate times to allow oneself to become slightly more Christmasy.  But who is kidding who?

But in spite of myself, I do try to use Advent to watch and pray for Christ’s Advent and to get my life and attitudes more prepared for that blessed event.


And I guess I cannot quibble with the customs of those who do likewise . . . not too much anyway.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Downfall XX: Words Words Words

Peggy Noonan wrote a very insightful piece yesterday on a root of Obama’s problems with Obamacare.  In short, she points out (as I did back in June) that Obama is not very interested in actual administration.  And he has precious little experience at it.  His thing has always been . . . words.

It’s a leader’s job to be skeptical of grand schemes. Sorry, that’s a conservative leader’s job. It is a liberal leader’s job to be skeptical that grand schemes will work as intended. You have to guide and goad and be careful.

And this president wasn’t. I think part of the reason he wasn’t careful is because he sort of lives in words. That’s been his whole professional life—books, speeches. Say something and it magically exists as something said, and if it’s been said and publicized it must be real. He never had to push a lever, see the machine not respond, puzzle it out and fix it. It’s all been pretty abstract for him, not concrete. He never had to stock a store, run a sale and see lots of people come but the expenses turn out to be larger than you’d expected and the profits smaller, and you have to figure out what went wrong and do better next time.

People say Mr. Obama never had to run anything, but it may be more important that he never worked for the guy who had to run something, and things got fouled up along the way and he had to turn it around. He never had to meet a payroll, never knew that stress. He probably never had to buy insurance!

And he has surrounded himself with Liberal to Leftist ideologues, often young, who are, yes, idealistic, who put being right, er, being enlightened and politically correct far above the boring nuts and bolts of administration.  The result?  (And I find this passage from Noonan’s post particularly revealing.)

For four years I have been told, by those who’ve worked in the administration and those who’ve visited it as volunteers or contractors, that the Obama White House isn’t organized. It’s just full of chatter. Meetings don’t begin on time, there’s no agenda, the list of those invited seems to expand and contract at somebody’s whim. There is a tendency to speak of how a problem will look and how its appearance should be handled, as opposed to what the problem is and should be done about it. People speak airily, without point. They scroll down, see a call that has to be returned, pop out and then in again.

It does not sound like a professional operation. . . .

And when you apply this to the ObamaCare debacle, suddenly it seems to make sense. The White House is so unformed and chaotic that they probably didn’t ignore the problem, they probably held a million meetings on it. People probably said things like, “We’re experiencing some technological challenges but we’re sure we’ll be up by October,” and other people said, “Yes, it’s important we launch strong,” and others said, “The Republicans will have a field day if we’re not.” And then everyone went to their next meeting. And no one did anything. And the president went off and made speeches.

Because the doing isn’t that important, the talking is.

So what we have here is a President and an administration that is very interested in words, but not terribly interested in the logistics of actual administrating.  As Charles Krauthammer wryly opined yesterday, “It’s sort of touching the way [Obama] believes in the power of rhetoric, his rhetoric, in denying and trumping reality.”  It is not unlike the dictator who thinks he can go out on his balcony, make a ringing declaration, and it is so!

Well, sometimes that does not work as intended.


And, although Obamacare is so ill conceived it was fated to be a disaster, this wordy ideological trait of the Obama administration has certainly made things worse, thereby making the Downfall of both Obamacare and Obama that much more likely.

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Downfall is an ongoing series anticipating and tracking what I expect will be the self-destruction of Obama.


The first post may be found here.  The series may be found here.