Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Not a Good Year for EU Idolatry

As 2019 comes to a close, right-minded people can rejoice that Great Britain will be sovereign again having thrown off the EU.  The 2016 Brexit referendum was finally followed up in 2019 by the resounding victory of Boris Johnson, who made “Get Brexit Done” his chief campaign platform, and the accompanying resounding defeat of those who did not respect the 2016 referendum and sought to obstruct Brexit.

But Robert Innes, the Bishop of the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe, is not so happy about that.  If you really want to read his whinging, you can go to Anglican Ink for that.

Now one may think my headline about “EU Idolatry” might be overwrought.  But it is prompted by the photo of Innes’ idolatrous mitre at Anglican Ink (with apologies to Anglican Ink for, well, stealing it):

Yes. That is an outline of Europe front and center on his mitre.  It is appalling that anyone claiming to be a Christian bishop would wear such a mitre.  Jesus is Lord, not any state, and not the EU.  And his kingdom is not of this world.  To have Europe – or the U. S. or a world globe for that matter – so displayed on a mitre is idolatry (not to mention in bad taste, also a cardinal sin in Anglicanism).

(And if that is the outline of his diocese, that is no excuse.  Jesus is Lord, not the area of a diocese.  If I were somehow a Bishop of Texas, I would not dare to have an outline of Texas so prominantly displayed on my mitre.)

But then the Socialist Globalist politics most Church of England bishops so adore is part of the idolatry of the state which has so plagued Europe and the world, is it not? No wonder those bishops so deplored Brexit.

Anyway, let us rejoice all the more that the brazen idols of Statism, Globalism and of the EU had a bad year in 2019.  May the 2020's be a decade in which millions upon millions become all the more freed from their illegitimate power.

Monday, December 30, 2019

A Hard Question After the New York Hanukkah Attacks

There are some questions that are so sensitive that the prudent rather not touch them with a ten-foot pole.  But sometimes those are the very questions that should be asked.  So with trepidation, I proceed.

Violent anti-semitism has been a problem in New York City for some time although it has not gotten much attention from the mainstream “news” media.  But the rash of attacks against Jews in New York during Hanukkah has been hard to ignore even for the Democrat “news” media.

Yet one inconvenient fact about these attacks is still being largely ignored.  These attacks, like many (if not most) of New York City anti-semitic attacks, have been committed by Blacks.  Pointing that out is politically incorrect, goes against “the narrative” and practically asks to be smeared as racist, so it doesn’t get pointed out much.   But as David Marcus notes, if the perps were White, reporting would be very different:

Make no mistake, if white supremacists in MAGA hats were shooting minorities or carving them up with machetes, it wouldn’t just be news, it would be the only news. So satisfying would that narrative be to our politicians and scribes that we would scarcely be able to turn away. But alas, it’s Jews being killed and maimed. And the criminals don’t fit the bill of right-wing, Trump-supporting Nazis, so, you know, it’s complicated.

That anti-semitism among Blacks is swept under the rug in spite of its virulence in New York City, that some of the perps have been released quickly on bail, and the silence from some on the Left and deflection from others are among the factors that compel me to ask a question that is very inconvenient, including for me:

Are identity politics, intersectionality and Critical Race Theory enabling Black anti-semitism and other forms of racism from people of color?

(And modern anti-semitism, being based mostly on ethnicity, is indeed an especially toxic species of racism.  I do not have the time to go into all the history of that here.)

What are the messages that CRT (I focus on Critical Race Theory as it is a chief source of identity politics and intersectionality.) and cultural elements influenced by CRT are sending to Blacks along with other people of color? You are oppressed. And the oppressors are Whites, including Jews.

Yes, adherents of CRT frequently lump Whites and Jews together when they are not singling out Jews as oppressors.  See the BDS efforts on campuses and elsewhere for some of their singling out. Further, identity politics activists have long stoked anti-semitism as William Jacobson and Samantha Mandeles documents.

Continuing, CRT further tells Blacks: Because Whites and Jews systematically oppress you and because racism is prejudice pluspower, it is virtually impossible for you to be racist against Whites and Jews.

Thereby racism and anti-semitism from people of color is neatly redefined not to be racism at all.

This message is far from merely theoretical or academic.  It is hard to miss that Western society and culture applies much more pressure against racism and anti-semitism from Whites than against racism and anti-semitism from people of color.  (Of course, one can argue that is justified given past history, but it that justified given society today?)

For those who think I am wrangling about words, definitions have power.  It’s not for nothing that most White racists are loath to admit they are racist.  Many instead say they are just realistic, and/or they use other words to define their prejudice.  The Monty Python troupe once noted the use of “racialist” by racists in its Hilter – National Bolcialist Party sketch (Those are not typos.  Watch it sometime.).  Society rightly rejects and ridicules such redefinition.

But Critical Race Theory conveniently performs the redefinition for Black racists and anti-semites and that with the approval of academia and even woke church people.

Now, of course, most Blacks completely reject violent racism and anti-semitism, just as most Whites do, even with the influence of CRT.  But toxic woke ideologies, such as CRT, and the accompanying coddling and even encouragement of racism against Whites and Jews do affect people at the margins, including those who may be prone to bigoted violence due to their own prejudice or mental illness.  Certainly, thanks largely to CRT, Western culture treats the explaining away or justification or redefinition of Black racism very differently than that of White racism.

Now, in this post, I am surely oversimplifying matters.  And perhaps my brief analysis is off in a significant way. I am certainly no sociologist. Further, anti-semitism from all ethnicities certainly pre-dates CRT.  We cannot blame all violent anti-semitism on CRT in any case.

But I would consider myself a coward if I were to remain silent after what I see. So, yes, I do ask: Are identity politics, intersectionality and Critical Race Theory enabling Black anti-semitism and other forms of racism from people of color?

Friday, December 27, 2019

About that Christianity Today Editorial…

When I heard of the Christianity Today editorial from Mark Galli calling for President Trump to be removed from office, I almost went incandescent.  But I had just pledged to lay off politics for the end of Advent.  So I deferred on posting here, while promising a “present” after Christmas Day.
Well, it’s after Christmas Day now, but by this time there is so much commentary out there I think it best for me not to add much to it, at least not now.  Many of you have probably heard quite enough about the subject already anyway.
At the same time, I want to point to two responses that are being largely overlooked. First is an open letter response from a number of evangelical leaders.  I am linking to it because although I’ve read about it, the open letter itself is not easy to find . . . because of search engine bias perhaps?  The letter concludes:
The editorial you [i.e. Christianity Today]published, without any meaningful and immediate regard for dissenting points of view, not only supported the entirely-partisan, legally-dubious, and politically-motivated impeachment but went even further, calling for Donald Trump not to be elected again in 2020 when he certainly survives impeachment. 
As one of our signatories said to the press, “I hope Christianity Today will now tell us who they will support for president among the 2020 Democrat field?” 
Your editorial offensively questioned the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens-of-millions of believers who take seriously their civic and moral obligations. 
It not only targeted our President; it also targeted those of us who support him, and have supported you. 
The second response is more off the radar screen of most, but it is one of the better rebuttals I’ve seen and merits more attention.  Carol Swain packs a lot into a short op-ed.  She begins by pointing out that Galli is wrong about the facts surrounding the impeachment hearings and wrong in being an “accuser of the brethren.”  But she says so much more.  Do go read her commentary.

I will briefly add that what I find most troubling about this episode is that a number of evangelical leaders not only seem not to have much problem with the perpetual coup against Trump but now are even cheerleading it.  And a few of the cheerleaders are leaders in ACNA. But you really do not want to get me started on that, so I will leave off for now.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Daniel Hyde Makes His Mark On Nine Lessons and Carols (and on the BBC)

This year’s Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College Cambridge on Christmas Eve was the first under the new Director of Music Daniel Hyde. And he certainly was not shy about leaving his mark on the famous service.
Further, some of the millions listening around the world may have thought him more mad or presumptuous than courageous as more than one of the carol arrangements were very different than in years past.  As I listened while driving on a road trip, I strongly disapproved of one or two rearrangements while I thought I could eventually get used to one or two others.  Still one must marvel at Hyde’s bravery, especially given that this is his first year.
Fortunately, during the latter half or so of the service any changes in the carols were subtle, and I found myself able to enjoy the service again.
Having said that, there was one significant change towards the end I much admire – unless I miscounted, the choir sang all the verses of O Come All Ye Faithful as the Baby Jesus intends.  I cannot recall that happening during the years I’ve been listening.  Now, as most of you know, that makes it a rather long hymn, and the service went longer than scheduled – or at least longer than the BBC scheduled.  It was as if Daniel Hyde was showing the BBC who’s boss!
In turn, on BBC World Service at least, the BBC cut off the live broadcast of the service in the midst of the last hymn, Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Yes, very foolish and ungodly of them.  Boos and other imprecations surely arose from around the world.
In any case, it made for an eventful Christmas Eve drive and part of a Christmas I will always fondly remember.
I hope you had and will have (for Christmas lasts until Epiphany, you know) a very happy Christmas as well.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Christmas at Pusey House

The Chapter of Pusey House has been expanding its services and activities outside of term.  This was well underway when I visited last year.  When I arrived before the Michaelmas Term, they had already been doing weekday morning mass for a week or more.  And this year, they had a full slate of worship for Holy Week and Easter (which always falls between the Hilary and Trinity Terms).
Now, in response to pious requests, they are venturing into having services for the end of Advent and for Christmas.  For those who may be in or near Oxford during this blessed time, the details from the Sacristan follow. Do note that you may need to time your arrival for when the front door is open.
You’re welcome.  And have a Happy Christmas.
Morning Prayer & Mass - Saturday 21st December, St Thomas Day (tomorrow), 10:00am in Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament
All are most welcome to join us for Morning Prayer (10:00am) and Mass (10:25am) tomorrow morning, as we commemorate St Thomas and the transformation of his doubt to faith. 
Please note that the front door will only be open from 9:45-10:05am and 10:20-10:25am for each service, so please factor this into your arrival.

Christmas Services at Pusey House next week
- 23 December, O Emmanuel,  Monday,  Morning Prayer 8:40, Mass 9 am, Evensong 5:30 pm
- 24 December, Tuesday, Morning Prayer 8:40, Mass 9 am, Evensong 5:30 pm, 
Midnight Mass, 11:30 pm. Carols will be sung from 11:15 pm.

- 25 Dec, Evensong, 5:00 pm (door open 4:45 to 5:05)
- 26th December, St Stephen's Day 10 am Morning Prayer, Mass, 10:20 
- 27th, St John the Evangelist, 10 am Morning Prayer, Mass, 10:20
- 28th December The Innocents, 10 am Morning Prayer, Mass, 10:20

For the Midnight Mass on Tuesday, the front door will be open from 11:00-11:45pm.

For services on 26,27, 28, Please note that the front door will only be open from 9:45-10:05am and 10:20-10:25am for each service, so please factor this into your arrival.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Psalm 92 and God’s Providence (and a Needed Break)

I’ve oft marveled at how God knows what you are going to read or hear from the Bible, and he knows what you are going through, and he knows how to bring the two together to speak to you very personally. (I have to give a hat tip to Tommy Nelson of Denton Bible Church from whom I first heard this taught.  But I’ve experienced it virtually my whole life as a Christian.)
I experienced this again last night.  I was very angry off and on during the day due to the impeachment.  But during Ember Wednesday Evening Prayer at my church, the Psalm was Psalm 92.  It was the perfect scripture for me to hear. (Yes, God can use the Lectionary, too!) It reminded me that part of God’s infinite goodness is his justice even in the midst of great injustice. And his justice will prevail.  Yes, I read the imprecatory parts with some extra vigor. And it calmed me.  I needed that.
Still my anger during the day was unhealthy to say the least.  So early in the evening I decided to add to my Advent discipline that I am pulling back from politics until after Christmas Day.  That includes no politics on this blog at least until then.
I do apologize ahead of time that I think I must later blog on politics relevant to us Anglicans for reasons stated before.  But for now I need a break, and I suspect many of you all do, too.
May you have a blessed last week of Advent and a happy Christmas.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Apostate Liar to be Archbishop of York

That the Church of England is sinking lower and lower is evidenced by the next Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, who is not only an apostate, who not only practically drives out orthodox clergy, but is also a liar. But those do go together, don’t they.
Andrea Williams, Synod Member and Chief Executive of Christian Concern [Emphasis mine]:
This is a Bishop who endorses gender transition in primary school children.
Stephen Cottrell has told multiple clergy on multiple occasions that if they don’t like the approach of the diocese on human sexuality they can leave the CofE.
Stephen Cottrell has attempted to deny this, but there are more than thirty clergy who know what they heard him say on multiple occasions.
Several clergy in Stephen Cottrell’s diocese are out of communion with him because of his stance on human sexuality. One resigned over this. For him now to be appointed as Archbishop of York is a final insult to those who want to hold onto Biblical teaching in the CofE.

I can hardly add to that.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

On Gavin Ashenden Becoming Roman Catholic

The news hit me suddenly yesterday.  I know several say they were not at all surprised by Gavin Ashenden announcing he was joining the Roman Catholic Church, but I sure was.
Ashenden is such a good gentle man, it is hard to be upset with him about anything, but I have to admit I was upset with him at first.  He was such an asset to Anglicanism; we need more like him.  So for us struggling faithful catholic Anglicans that remain to lose yet another one to Rome is distressing.
I will say some of the speculation I’ve read online about why he is doing this is uncharitable and unfair.  If you want to know his reasoning, watch this Anglican Unscripted episode first:
After watching it, I became more understanding of his decision. To be an Anglican in England but outside the Church of England is difficult indeed.  UK culture is very hard ground for continuing Anglicans. The alternative of being under an inviting traditional RC bishop – and everything I’ve heard about the Bishop of Shrewsbury, Mark Davies, is excellent – had to be inviting indeed.  And it appears opportunities for ministry will now expand for Gavin.  I certainly hope that will be the case now and wish him the best.
I am still upset with the Church of England among other Anglicans. (Yes, I am well aware he left the Church of England in 2017.)  We need to keep people like Ashenden, not drive them away. As I’ve stated before, us Anglicans owe it not just to ourselves but to the Lord and to the church and world that needs robust non-papal catholicity to keep orthodox Anglo-Catholics and enable them to flourish.
Losing Gavin Ashenden is yet one more failure at that.

Here We Go Again...

One would think Leftists would learn that one way to lose the next election is to disrespect voters in the last election.  Disrespect for the 2016 Brexit Referendum certainly hurt both Labour and the LibDems in last week’s UK General Election.  One would think that would be a learning experience.
One would think.
But no.  The day after the election, Leftists took to UK streets to protest . . . what? Voters? Free elections? Those sort of anti-democratic temper tantrums might have sold in the Weimar Republic, but last I looked, most British prefer democracy with their Queen, thank you.
Oh, and here’s where Leftist whining gets beyond satire. The founders of Fusion GPS, purveyors of lies used in the perpetual coup against Trump, these scumbags are blaming . . . Russia.  No I am not kidding:

The founders of Fusion GPS, the Democrat-backed consulting firm behind the famously discredited Christopher Steele dossier at the heart of the Russia hoax, are blaming Russia for the liberal Labour Party’s loss in the U.K. elections Thursday. Seriously….
“Britain needs its own Mueller report on Russian ‘interference,’” [Guardian] editors titled the article.
“The British political system has become thoroughly compromised by Russian influence,” Simpson and Fritsch declared. “In 2016, both the United Kingdom and the United States were the targets of Russian efforts to swing their votes.
But us in The Colonies had better not laugh too hard.  For Democrats and Leftists (But I repeat myself.) are already making it known ahead of time that they have no intention of respecting the 2020 elections should Trump get re-elected.  California Democrat Rep. Karen Bass, for one, says they just might impeach Trump yet again after 2020.  And Democrat House Judiciary Chairman Nadler is openly saying the 2020 election will be rigged if Trump is not impeached and removed.
Yes, Americans might collude by voting to re-elect Trump. How dare they!
All this may amuse, but it should also disturb as well.  For a major party again and again so to disrespect elections they don’t win is dangerous to a country.  And that is the situation in the US and UK today.
This Leftist impulse against democracy and against the rights of political opponents makes me fear what will happen if and when Democrats or Labour do win.  We must not let that happen at least until they transform themselves into parties that actually respect constitutional democracy, even when they don’t win.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Trump Signs EO Against Campus Anti-Semitism

I’m in a slight rush this morning.  But something overlooked last week amidst the UK election and US shampeachment news is that President Trump signed an executive order directing and empowering the Department of Education to go after anti-semitism on college campuses.
I was very glad to see this.  It is much needed.  Two examples:

Harassment of Jewish and pro-Israel students has been going on for a long time. At Temple University in August 2014, SJP members called Daniel Vessal, a Camera on Campus fellow and a member of the Jewish fraternity AEPi, “kike” and “baby killer,” and punched him in the face. Vessal explained that he tried to engage SJP members in dialogue, but “people at the table were calling me a ‘baby killer’…And then this kid just rocks me in the face as hard as he can. My glasses flew off. After a two-second blur I had no clue what had happened. I couldn’t believe the kid actually hit me. When the police came over and were filing the report the kids at the table were screaming ‘You Zionist pig, you racist, that’s what you get.’” Police did not arrest the attacker. 
In May 2016, Eliana Kopley, a sophomore at the University of California at Irvine (UCI), was trying to enter a screening of an Israeli documentary about the IDF called “Beneath the Helmet” when she was accosted by an angry mob screaming “Long live the Intifada!” and “F**k Israel!” The protesters prevented her from entering the building where the film was being shown and even chased her into a nearby building, where they pounded on the doors and windows while continuing to scream their slogans. Police ultimately escorted Kopley into the screening. The UCI chapter of the SJP was thrilled with this thuggery and praised the mob.
It will take more than an EO to bring justice, free speech, and sanity even back to U. S. campuses.  But Trump’s EO is an appreciated step in the right direction.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Boris Wins Big. Will History Echo?

I begin writing Thursday night under the influence of a bit of beer and a lot of schadenfreudein celebration of Labour and the LibDems getting their just desserts.  But I retain enough wisdom to review and rewrite this morning.  Still, I cannot resist wondering if history is, if not repeating, at least echoing.
No, it’s not just booze that has me pondering this.  I am barely old enough to remember Margaret Thatcher’s groundbreaking victory in 1979.  Labour had power for much of the 70’s thanks to the foolish and dishonest Edward Heath.  But Labour blew their chance with obnoxious Leftist policies that ground the UK economy into the ground.
Thatcher’s victory turned out to be a precursor for the election of Ronald Reagan the following year.  The Democrats had power since 1974 thanks to the foolish and dishonest Richard Nixon.  But the Democrats blew their chance with obnoxious Leftist policies that ground the US economy into the ground.  Reagan won in a landslide, and Republicans took the Senate.
Fast forward, in June 2016,British were fed up with the establishment of both major parties who did not listen to them but who were instead beholden to EU Brussels bureaucrats.  So in a shocking upset they voted for Brexit; they voted to leave the EU. 
In 2016, Americans were fed up with the establishment of both major parties who did not listen to them but who were instead beholden to the Washington establishment. So, after dispatching Jeb! and Co. mercilessly in the Republican primaries, they in a shocking upset elected Donald Trump as President of the United States.
In the years since, neither the Left nor the establishment of the UK and US have respected those 2016 votes and have worked tirelessly to undermine them.
So we get last night.  Yes, there are significant differences from Thatcher’s election and even Brexit, but Labour did have some power before the election thank to the weak and duplicitous Teresa May.  But they blew their chance with obnoxious Leftist policies with a strong dose of anti-semitism and, probably most importantly, by disrespecting the 2016 Brexit referendum result.  And the LibDems were even more all in on undoing Brexit.
And you know the result last night (with one seat undeclared): Labour loses 42 seats; the LibDems lose almost half their seats; Boris Johnson and the Tories gain 66 seats, a strong majority, and, barring any egregious foolishness, he will be PM for at least five years.  Contempt for Brexit and for democracy were thoroughly punished.
Here in the U. S. the Democrats have some power, holding the House, most cities, several states, the “news” media, and most cultural institutions.  But they are blowing their chance with obnoxious Leftist policies with a strong dose of anti-semitism and, probably most importantly, bystilldisrespecting the 2016 election of Trump, even to the point of the current absurd impeachment effort.
And . . . you can probably guess what I am hoping and praying for next year – the Democrats being thoroughly punished for their contempt for democracy.  Last night in the UK may yet again be a precursor for the US.  I am not quite yet to the point of expecting that.  But I did not entirely expect the 1980 Reagan landslide or Trump either.
So history may yet again echo.  We shall see.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Do Not Vote Labour … Say 15 Labour Former MPs UPDATED

Those who follow me, especially my Twitter feed, know I can be tough on the Labour Party.  But I have to admit I am still thankful that Gordon Brown’s government banned indoor smoking in 2007.  That may have saved my health as I studied at Oxford that same year.
But Labour under Jeremy Corbyn has become so extreme and toxic that even many Labour people will be voting against them tomorrow. Especially notable is that fifteen Labour former MPs are publicly urging people not to vote for Labour this time.

I particularly appreciate that they cite Corbyn/Labour anti-semitism as one big reason for their stand:
Despite what Jeremy Corbyn says about anti-semitism, we need to accept that most Jewish people have well founded fears about what Labour has become.  British Jews deserve our support.
I will add that, unless one’s Labour candidate is an exceptionally principled person who has strongly and without equivocation opposed anti-semitism through the years, a vote for Labour is indefensible, especially for Christians. 
Yes, I said it.  Although I have strong political convictions, I am one to allow a lot of leeway for personal political decisions.  But the rampant anti-semitism of today’s Labour Party puts it beyond what is acceptable.  Even many past Labour voters and officials are seeing that.

On the last night before the election, Labour anti-semitism was on open display, complete with that lovely genocidal chant “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and more. Watch for yourself.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Bernie Sanders' Anti-Semite

In the UK, it is hard to miss that Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party have a serious problem with anti-semitism.  He and the Corbynistas are that blatant at times about their Jew-hate plus the UK has a politically diverse print news media, remarkably so. Yes, there are UK newspapers willing to do actual journalism on the sins of the Left.
The US “news” media lacks such political diversity.  That is one reason it is easy to miss that Democrats also have a problem with anti-semitism.  For example, I bet most of you good readers, though unusually well informed, did not know that Bernie Sanders has added to his campaign as a surrogate the notorious anti-semite Linda Sarsour.  But now you do.
You’re welcome.
Now, yes, Sanders is technically an independent Socialist, but that’s pretty much the same as a Democrat nowadays, and he is again running for President as a Democrat.  I should also say that not all Leftists and Democrats are okay with anti-semitism.  To their credit, some left the Women’s March due to anti-semitism from Sarsour and others.
But the Democrat Party is still the Party of Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar and their ilk.
And, not so by the way, I still have heard just about nothing about the Democrat’s anti-semitism problem from the woke church crowd, from the AND Campaign, from the Anglican Multi-Ethnic Network (AMEN), etc.
The AND Campaign tells us, “Christians can hold both parties accountable.” But when it comes to Democrat Anti-Semitism, AND and most other woke churchers are not among said Christians.

NOTE: AMEN has a new director now, the Rev. Canon Lawrence McElrath.  May his leadership be more balanced and edifying than Esau McCaulley’s was.

Monday, December 02, 2019

An Advent Reset

I am using this first week in Advent to do a bit of a reset. That I just traveled to visit my father for Thanksgiving week assists in that as traveling usually gives me a reset.
I guess I should explain what I mean by a “reset.” I, and I suspect most of us, tend to get in ruts.  Said ruts could be a lack of motivation, initiative, and creativity. There could be bad habits. Yes, I saw myself in more than one rut before my trip.
And this first week in Advent is ideal for me to reset and get out of those ruts.  I’ve just traveled and (after a lot of sleep after returning) I am refreshed. I got enough excess during Thanksgiving.  And Christmas excesses have not yet begun, at least not for me.   And this is the beginning of Advent after all.  It is a penitential season, you know, and therefore intended by God for resets.
Yes, Jesus instituted Advent.  I just know it is in those red letters in my Bible somewhere.
Anyway, I am making a point to fast until St. Nicholas Day and probably some more after. (I can’t fast on that happy day!) In addition to cutting several food and booze excesses, I am cutting out online chess as I’ve gotten addicted to that again.  Said addiction has ravaged my time management.  I’m not mentioning this fast to brag as it is so modest it is hardly bragworthy, but to illustrate there are very doable everyday ways to fast and reset this first week of Advent.
And after Thanksgiving and before the Christmas rush, I suspect most of us could do with a reset. Thanks be to God that the traditional church calendar, including the first week in Advent, provides opportunity for those.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Blocked by Greg Club and Accountability in ACNA

In recent weeks I’ve discovered I’ve become part of a club. I wish I could say it is very exclusive but it does not seem to be as it is growing and getting close to numerous. It is the Blocked by Greg Club, the club of those blocked by the twitter account of Canon Greg Goebel or by the Facebook page of his Anglican Pastor site.  I will say the club seems to be exclusive in one fashion: I only know of traditional Anglicans that have been blocked, not of others.  (There may be others; if so, I am not aware of them.)
The pattern often is that Goebel will post something that provokes traditional Anglicans.  And should one dare to express their provocation and disagreement in a manner displeasing to the Canon, he/she is blocked. 
Now one certainly has the right to act in such a catty manner on a social media account, even a public one.  But it is questionable coming from clergy, much less from a Canon in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).  Yes, all are entitled to private online space where one can include and exclude as one wishes more or less.  But I do not think that applies to public Twitter and Facebook accounts on which clergy comment on churchly matters and other public issues. Church people should be able to know what their clergy is saying in public or semi-public settings about church and political issues.  That is basic accountability.
It is fair to say ACNA handles accountability well more often than not and better than most church jurisdictions.  But there are times it does not, and this is one of them. It is not right for a Canon to block people, especially church people, from seeing what he is saying or doing as a minister, except in extreme circumstances or when privacy is appropriate.  Church people should be able readily to know what their clergy are teaching and advocating. And if clergy cannot handle critical responses to that better than blocking the responders, perhaps other jobs should be sought.
In this case, the problem of lack of accountability goes right to the top in ACNA.  For Greg Goebel is the Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of the South, the bishop of which is the Archbishop of ACNA, the Most Rev. Foley Beach.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Sir Stephen Cleobury RIP

Sad news comes this morning of the death last night of Sir Stephen Cleobury, past Director of the Choir of King’s College Cambridge.  He died in his hometown of York after a long illness.
I will leave it to others to note his many musical accomplishments. In person, he was a gracious man as I’ve experienced more than once, particularly when meeting him in Beeville, Texas of all places where he gave a organ recital.
November 22ndhas not only claimed John F. Kennedy and C. S. Lewis, but now Dr. Cleobury as well.  May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Tennessee Baptists Denounce Critical Race Theory

I am heartened to see that the Tennessee Baptist Convention has “strongly denounc[ed] CRT and intersectionality as inconsistent with the Biblical worldview and theology.”
I could nitpick the passed resolution, particularly the preamble’s acknowledgement of “the presence of structural and systemic racism.” Those are Critical Race Theory terms that I do not think should be given credence.
Nonetheless, Tennessee Baptists have provided a godly example for the rest of the Southern Baptist Convention and for other church bodies infiltrated by CRT and intersectionality.  Yes, that includes the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).  As I’ve stated here, I think it is needful for ACNA bishops and dioceses to denounce CRT and its cousins, particularly their inherent racism.

May the courage of the Tennessee Baptist Convention multiply.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Blaming the Holy Spirit in ACNA

So many things on which I could post and so little time!  But I am prepared enough for my lecture later this week that I can sneak in a post on the latest from Emily McGowin, Canon Theologian of the ACNA Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO).
She writes vigorously in defense of women’s ordination.  I concede she argues well . . . until this near the end “on the subject of theological method”:
Does the apparent work of the Holy Spirit in setting apart and empowering women for priestly ministry today—not just in the West, but in regions all over the world—have something to contribute to the discussion? Certainly, experience alone cannot be normative within the Anglican tradition, but can it be permitted a seat at the theological “table”?
Ah, yes. Blaming the Holy Spirit for one’s pet innovations. The Holy Spirit has brought about women’s ordination.  Right.
I am amazed that McGowin would make this argument.  Does she not remember that making one’s innovations a work of the Holy Spirit is “the theological method” of apostate bodies, including The Episcopal Church from which The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) fled?  Does she not remember that this is the very method used by those who push any number of ungodly innovations and enormities in the organized church?
Or at least I thought we in ACNA fled from this LibChurch “theological method.”
Really, being as sloppy as apostates in theological reasoning and exalting that even is a more alarming problem in ACNA than women’s ordination.
But the two usually go hand in hand, do they not?

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Great Whore of Pachamama Update

I apologize for not posting and especially for falling behind on news concerning the Church of Rome.  One excuse I have is I am preparing for a lecture next week on the Venerable Bede’s Explanation of the Apocalypse.
I do want to bring your attention to two excellent items. First is a number of faithful Roman Catholics have issued a public rebuke to Pope Francis and a call for him to repent of the idolatrous worship of Pachamama at the Amazon Synod. It is well written and well titled Contra Recentia Sacrilegia.  I you have not read it yet, I urge you so to do.
Second, Taylor Marshall and George Neumayr have given an excellent video summary of the U. S. Roman bishops meeting and of the current state of the Roman Catholic Church particularly in the U. S.  It is an eye-opener.
I wish I could say more and may when priorities allow.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Pushing “Social Justice” in ACNA Disregards Too Many Faithful

Alexander Wilgus has well responded to an article advocating more unity between The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and The Episcopal Church (TEC). One problem he has with such increased unity and relationships is that it does not give enough weight to the difficult experiences of those perhaps slightly older who fled TEC.  
Ask any of them: it was not a concern for “being right” that caused the men, women, youth, and children to separate themselves from their ancestral congregations which–they assure me–had ceased to partake in Christ’s body, and instead given themselves over to become literal bodies of death. These acts were discerned through years of deep and careful prayer. Besides this, their decision to flee from false teaching, which in so many cases cost them property, friendships and reputations, ought to be honored by those of us in the next generation… 
I think a similar argument can be made against pushing “social justice” political agendas in ACNA and other predominantly orthodox churches. Part of the bad memories of many who fled “mainline” denominations, including TEC, is they saw their churches pushing political agendas they find repugnant. 

I remember being especially offended by my Presbyterian Church in the U. S. (PCUS), into which I was baptized, pushing legal abortion on demand and constantly siding with the Soviet Union against President Ronald Reagan. (Trust that I am notexaggerating.) Such was done in the name of being “prophetic” among other inane rationalizations. 
When I decided to leave PCUS and “mainline” denominations in general behind for that and other reasons, I thought with relief that I was leaving such churchly Leftism long behind as well.
So imagine my chagrin when I began to see ACNA, the formation of which I enthusiastically supported, being used as a venue for “social justice” agendas.  No, the leadership of ACNA is not as whole hog behind lib/left politics as PCUS was and TEC is. But ACNA initiatives behind “social justice” have proliferated and those who are pushing “justice” (a buzzword in ACNA now) keep getting promoted to leadership. 
When I first noticed this tendency, it was the first time I realized something might be seriously wrong with ACNA.  Yes, I had been warned that ACNA had “the Episcopalian virus,” but I disregarded those warnings . . . until I saw ACNA sponsoring “justice” through the Matthew 25 Project, the Anglican Multiethnic Network, The Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO), etc.  
Anyway, seeing all this has me considering exit scenarios just ten years after attending and cheering the formation of ACNA.  I never thought I would ever be at this point.  I once would have laughed at anyone who suggested I would be.  Again, I thought I had left such toxic church politics behind.  Of course, I knew that ACNA contains people of differing political views.  But it never occurred to me that those of a more Leftist political bent would so disrespect conservatives and gain so much influence as to push their political agendas under ACNA auspices.
I am not alone. Many now in ACNA and other orthodox churches fled “mainline” churches and their toxic Leftist politics.  They have no desire to see their own churches once again being used to push Leftist agendas they find repugnant.  Using the church to push “social justice” offends these faithful and stresses their loyalty and support.  Disregarding their experiences and consciences by returning to the vomit of LibChurch politics* puts the unity of ACNA at further risk.
*Proverbs 26:11

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Schiff Prohibits Witnesses Requested by Republicans

If there is any remaining doubt that the present impeachment inquiry is more an attempted coup than a lawful proceeding, it should be dispelled by Democrat Adam Schiff’s refusal to allow key witnesses requested by Republicans.   (I’ve read that he has denied all Republican witness requests, but I cannot verify that yet.)
Most telling is that he will not even allow Republicans to call the Fake Whistleblower to testify.  The Whistleblower Who Must Not Be Named is how the latest phase of the perpetual coup began – in public at least.  But Schiff will not allow Republicans to call even him as a witness.
I am at the point where I think someone has not to be paying attention to miss that this impeachment inquiry is part of the perpetual coup against Trump that began on Election night 2016 and even before. Democrats like Schiff have never respected that election, and they are not respecting basic principles of law and fair play in still  trying to overturn it.
But with hope I agree with the always colorful Senator John Kennedy (R-La): “The American people are going look at this and go, 'I get it. They're going to give the president a fair and impartial firing squad.'"
But how many are so un-American as to be fine with this unending attempted coup?
NOTE: Yes, my recent policy about politics on this blog has usually been that of H. P. Liddon:  “A large number of people came to St. Paul’s this afternoon expecting a political sermon.  I disappointed them.”
However, since several ACNA leaders, such as now C4SO Canon Theologian Esau McCaulley and C4SO Bishop Todd Hunter are supportive of Democrat objectives while being silent about the Democrat coup, I think it is time to speak up about the coup in an Anglican context.  So, with apologies (or not), the ongoing coup will now be one of the subjects I address here for this and other relevant reasons I may address in due time.
So far every time accusations against Trump have been aired in public, they have been a bust.  See the Mueller Report, Mueller’s testimony, backstabbing lawyer Cohen, the creepy porn lawyer and Stormy Daniels, and . . . I can hardly remember them all anymore.

When the impeachment inquiry goes public beginning tomorrow, it will be a bust as well and may backfire on the Democrats.  We shall see.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Corbyn Still One of the Comrades of Evo Morales

I am among those thankful that the Leftist supposed President of Bolivia Evo Morales resigned under pressure after a fraudulent re-election. But look who is not thankful: the dictators of Cuba and Venezuela . . . and Jeremy Corbyn.
The Glorious Leader of the Labour Party tweeted:
To see [Evo Morales] who, along with a powerful movement, has brought so much social progress forced from office by the military is appalling. I condemn this coup against the Bolivian people and stand with them for democracy, social justice and independence. #ElMundoConEvo
Never mind Morales’ human rights abuses or his election stealing.
By the way, I wonder what Pope Francis thinks of Morales’ resignation.  Will the LibPope miss him?  After all they’ve met at least six times, including as recently as last year when Francis surely knew the nature of the Morales regime.  And remember Morales gave Francis that lovely Communist cross. So maybe Francis will invite his buddy to move into the Vatican where he will be right at home with any number of Leftist abusers.

Friday, November 08, 2019

More about the Timing of the AND Campaign

I’ve mentioned here that the AND Campaign and its timing reminds me of the Seamless Garment political philosophy pushed during the 80’s. There is one aspect of AND’s timing I have not yet mentioned but have been thinking about.
There are indications that Trump might be gaining more Black support than the usual Republican.  The poll numbers are hard to discern but can be read favorably for Trump.  And there is no question that he is making more of an effort to woo Blacks than past Republicans.  There is a large contingent of Black conservatives backing him vociferously.  And one may not want to underestimate the influence of Kayne West.  Of course, that Black unemployment is now the lowest recorded helps Trump.
I understand if readers think this is all anecdotal wishful thinking.  I guess we will find out in a year, won’t we?  But I predict Trump will get 16% or more of the Black vote.  That may not sound like much, but it would be double his 2016 vote.
Of course, if Trump makes significant inroads with Black voters, it would be catastrophic for Democrats just as Ronald Reagan winning over Roman Catholics was in the 80’s.  From a Democrat point of the view, that Must. Not. Happen.
Now I do not presume to know for sure whether one of the purposes of the AND Campaign is to prevent this and to keep largely Black “Urban Christians,” as they dub them, on board with Democrats.  Just as I do not presume to know all the motives of Cardinal Bernardin when he gave his Seamless Garment lecture in 1983. Still, there is no question a big theme of AND is Orange Man Bad.  They do NOT want “Urban Christians” voting for Trump at a time when more of them just might.
Thus the timing of AND is interesting, is it not?

Friday, November 01, 2019

Is the AND Campaign a Democrat Front Group?

Up to now, I have given the benefit of the doubt to the motives behind the AND Campaign.  They certainly present themselves winsomely and sound earnest.  But after digging a little deeper, I cannot see how I can give the benefit of the doubt any longer.
What I’ve just found out is a bit embarrassing because I should have known before now.  Finding out just who is leading a political campaign is a rather obvious thing to do, but my focus was on what AND was saying, particularly in their 2020 Presidential Election Statement. Nonetheless, I have now looked into their leadership.
The President and Co-Founder of the AND Campaign is Justin Giboney.  I will allow his intro at the AND site to speak for itself (Emphasis mine):
Justin Giboney is an attorney and political strategist in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Giboney has managed successful campaigns for elected officialsin the state and referendums relating to the city’s transportation and water infrastructure.
In 2012 and 2016, Georgia’s 5th congressional district elected him as a delegate for the Democratic National Convention and he served as the co-chair of Obama for America’s Gen44-Atlanta initiative.A former Vanderbilt University football player and law student, Justin served on the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Board of Directors. Additionally, Justin has participated in LEAD Atlanta, Outstanding Atlanta and the Georgia Bar Association’s Leadership Academy. He’s written op-eds for publications such as Christianity Today.
So the President and Co-Founder of AND is a Democrat “political strategist” who was a delegate to the Democrat National Convention in 2012 and 2016. He was surely an Obama delegate in 2012.  He was a delegate for Hillary Clinton in 2016.  So we are supposed to trust the judgement and leadership of someone who still supported Obama after four years of his regime and then supported Hillary in 2016? Really? And he also worked for Obama for America.
Not much Christian judgement and not much non-partisanship there.
Okay, but maybe the Number Two in AND leadership will provide a little bi-partisan balance.  Let’s see…
Michael Wear serves as Chief Strategist and member of the executive leadership team for The AND Campaign. 
As one of President Obama's "ambassadors to America's believers" (Buzzfeed), Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts.
He founded Public Square Strategies LLC, a consulting firm that helps religious organizations, political organizations, businesses and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape.
Michael is the author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in AmericaHe also writes for The Atlantic, Christianity Today, USA Today, Relevant Magazine and other publications on faith, politics and culture. He holds an honorary position at the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Center for the Public Understanding of Religion. He is also a Senior Fellow at The Trinity Forum. Michael and his wife, Melissa, are both proud natives of Buffalo, New York. They now reside in Washington, D.C.
But of course they do.
So the two top leaders of the AND Campaign are both experienced Democrat political operatives.  Both were all in for Obama, even in 2012.  And Wear directed conning Christians, er I mean, “faith outreach” for the Obama re-election campaign in 2012, again after the nature of the Obama regime was quite clear after four years.
So now he is again directing conning Christians for Democrats.
That may seem harsh.  But that is what Wear has done and is doing. And really, with those two leading the AND Campaign, isn’t that is what AND is doing?  If not, then why the heck are two Democrat political operatives leading the AND Campaign?  Why would you have two Democrat political operatives lead unless you intend to do some Democrat political operating? 
With their leadership and with their 2020 election statement, it is hard to come to any conclusion but that AND’s intended purpose is persuading evangelicals into thinking supporting Democrats is the Christian thing to do. Their supposed non-partisanship is a mask, a front.
As much as they may try not to appear so, AND is beyond a reasonable doubt a Democrat front group with the current chief purpose of getting evangelicals to vote Democrat in 2020.  Do not be deceived.  Do not be conned.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The AND Campaign: “Seamless Garment” Redux?

When I first heard of the AND campaign, I was immediately reminded of the “Seamless Garment” pushed by the late Cardinal Bernardin.
An old Crisis article by Michael Pakaluk goes through the history of Bernardin’s Seamless Garment and the problems with it very well.  A key moment was when the Cardinal brought together liberal Democrats talking points under a “pro-life” umbrella in a 1983 address at Fordham:
If one contends as we do, that the right of every fetus to be born should be protected by civil law and supported by civil consensus, then our moral, political, and economic responsibilities do not stop at the moment of birth. Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker. Such a quality of life posture translates into specific political and economic positions on tax policy, employment generation, welfare policy, nutrition and feeding programs, and health care. Consistency means we cannot have it both ways: We cannot urge rights of the unborn and then argue that compassion and significant public programs on behalf of the needy undermine the moral fiber of the society or are beyond the proper scope of governmental responsibility.
As Pakaluk notes, “this controversial passage, never withdrawn or repudiated by Bernardin, links regard for life with regard for the ‘quality of life’ in a highly dubious moral equation.”  And it is dubious. Say, letting illegals right on in and helping them stay, as the Roman Catholic hierarchy has long advocated and Catholic Charities has long enabled, is in the same category as protecting the unborn? No.  It is not.
For all I know, Bernardin may have had the best of motives. But the timing of the address and how the U. S. Roman Catholic bishops pushed the Seamless Garment is suspicious in light of the politics of abortion, Democrats, and Roman Catholics at the time.  
Democrats used to be a mixed lot on abortion.  Even Ted Kennedy once opposed abortion.  But by 1983, Democrat pols were becoming more and more pro-abortion under deceptive rhetoric such as “pro-choice” and “personally opposed but…”  And more than a few of these pro-abortion Democrats were Roman Catholics, such as Kennedy and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.  Most U. S. Roman bishops were Democrats, of course, and liberal on social welfare issues while still opposed to abortion.  But with the Democrat Party becoming increasingly pro-abortion, continuing support for them was getting harder to justify.
In addition, Ronald Reagan was recovering well from his 1982 mid-term election setback.  Thanks to a robust economic revival and his social conservatism, he was popular among Roman Catholics and was well on the way to a landslide 1984 victory.  And he was pro-life. On the other hand, all but the gullible were not buying the “personally opposed” bit of Democrats.
This presented U. S. Roman bishops with some quandaries. How to get Roman Catholics to return to the Democrat fold?  How to justify voting for Democrats when they had become more and more pro-abortion?  And how could the bishops justify their own usual support for Democrats or even justify giving pro-abortion Democrat pols communion?
The Seamless Garment came to the rescue, doing far more for Democrats and for the bishops than for the unborn.  Now one could be “pro-life” by being for food stamps for illegals or by being for a “Nuclear Freeze,” a trendy stance back then, or by supporting Democrats on liberal quality of life issues as whole.  Abortion was relegated to one issue among many if even that.
By thereby supporting Democrats, efforts to protect the unborn were undermined. For the days of Democrats embracing the unborn under their liberalism were ending if not already over.  The Seamless Garment gave an excuse to put Democrat political and policy priorities above the lives of the unborn.  Oh, the pro-life rhetoric continued from the U. S. RCC, at least for a time.  But their political actions usually undermined efforts to protect the unborn. The Seamless Garment was a compassionate appearing fig leaf over that.
Obviously, this is a very condensed overview.  But discerning readers may already notice parallels between the Seamless Garment and what AND is promoting.  I see the AND Campaign, particularly their 2020 Presidential Election Statement, and I see Democrat priorities dubbed pro-life. I see an effort to undermine a pro-life Republican President (Reagan then. Trump now.) while wanting still to appear pro-life and non-partisan.  I see an effort to justify voting Democrat to pro-life evangelicals being driven away by Democrat extremism on abortion (and today on many more issues than in the 80’s).  I see once again the “highly dubious moral equation” between quality of life issues with the right to life.  And if AND comes close to succeeding in attracting Evangelical voters to Democrats as well as the Seamless Garment blessed Roman Catholic support of Democrats, I see the unborn as the losers in the end, along with church and country as well.

I see Seamless Garment Redux in the Evangelical Church of What’s Happening Now.
Again, the AND Campaign may be well meaning, but it repeats the errors of the Seamless Garment.  May it not repeat its influence.