Thursday, October 11, 2018

Hillary: “You cannot be civil” to Republicans

You never know who you are going to run into at Evensong . . . or after Evensong.  There was quite a commotion during and after Evensong at Magdalen Oxford this past Sunday.  Afterward I found out why when I saw Hillary Clinton herself enjoying the adulation of students.  She looked well and happy by the way.
 But look what she said while in Oxford.  Her response to the recent uncivil, abusive, threatening, and, yes, violent tactics of Leftists?
 You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about…
 She thereby justifies the Brown Shirt tactics of the Leftist mob.  She endorses the tactics of totalitarians.  And face it, the way the Leftist base of the Democrat Party has been acting, with the blessing of Hillary, of Eric Holder among others – that is the way totalitarians act.
 I’ve said before the Democrat Party has a totalitarian streak.  Its tactics against Kavanaugh, trying to turn his confirmation into a show trial, its attacks against the free speech of opponents and even against the peace and persons of opponents, reveal it is becoming a totalitarian party if it is not there already.
 And that is further indicated by even the uber-establishment Hillary Clinton being okay with that.
 With the way the Democrats are going, I expect to revisit this subject.  But it suffices for now to say that if they are not politically punished for their totalitarian tactics and soon, namely November, it will be a disaster for the United States. 

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Christ Church Oxford has issues with time

Christ Church Oxford has long had issues with time.  Because they apparently don’t believe in time zones, official Christ Church time is 5 minutes slower than Greenwich Mean Time.
But this evening they really did it.  Their music list had Evensong starting today at 5pm (Christ Church time).  But that was in error; it started at 6pm.  People who came for the non-existent 5pm service were turned away at the gate (although invited to come back in an hour), and my schedule was thrown off for sure.  I adapted but could not make Evensong.
I hope the choir is being run better than that.  Perhaps the Dean, Martyn Percy, should pay more attention to his knitting rather than blackballing the orthodox.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Latin BCP Holy Communion at St. Mary’s Oxford

Yes, a Latin Book of Common Prayer service may seem a bit of a contradiction, an oxymoron even. Wasn’t the BCP written in English precisely so that it would be “understanded of the people”? Wasn’t it a pointed break from the Latin Sarum Rite?
But remember that in times past, Latin was very well “understanded” by Oxford scholars.  You really could not even get into the place, much less flourish within, without knowing Latin well.  So in 1560, just one year after the Elizabethan Prayer Book of 1559 was approved, a Latin BCP was promulgated for the use in the universities.
A survivor of those times – because tradition! – is a Latin BCP Holy Communion service at the University Church of St. Mary’s in Oxford at 8am the Thursday before the beginning of the academic year, which service I attended this morning.
I attended (among only about 15 so to do) because . . . tradition! and because Oxford could use all the Latin prayer it can get.  But I have to admit it was more stirring than I expected.  As I walked down the High about ten minutes early, St. Mary’s main bell was calling scholars to the service. Of course, most of even Oxford students on High Street were probably clueless as to why all the gonging.
The service itself was quiet and said, only about 35 minutes.  I found hearing and saying (tolerably well) the Latin moving.  There is something about Latin.  And when I crossed my arms for a blessing only (Oddly, the sacrament was brought around to the stalls instead of the congregation going forward.), being quietly blessed in Latin moved me indeed.
I attended this in 2007, missed it in 2011.  I am glad I didn’t miss it this time and recommend it to all visitors to Oxford, at least those not allergic to Latin.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Arriving in Oxford

I arrived in Oxford today.   I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Oxford in the past.  But right now it’s love!  It’s funny how excited I was at arriving here and walking around like when I arrived for my past stays.  You’d think that would not happen so much now given my past two Michaelmas Terms here (in 2007 and 2011) were a bit of a struggle.
Oh well.  Oxford does bring out peculiar responses in people as I’ve experienced first hand.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Michaelmas Eve in Cambridge

It is Michaelmas Eve in Cambridge, and I am resting more than usual because I am fighting off a small cold. But that’s okay, especially because, like in 2007, I get to experience Michaelmas in Cambridge!
Tomorrow morning is High Mass for Michaelmas at Little St. Mary’s.  Then late afternoon is the first public Evensong at King’s.  This being the beginning of the last academic year of Stephen Cleobury directing the King’s College Choir is a big reason I am here. Once again, I get to have an auspicious Michaelmas.
But first to defeat this cold….

Thursday, September 27, 2018

A church-aided Syrian “refugee,” murder, and an object lesson for ACNA

Out of Vancouver comes a heart-rending and perhaps enraging story.  The oh-so progressive and inclusive St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church to their credit (or discredit) contributed not a little money to import a lovely refugee family.  But that did not have a happy ending:
The 30K/ 30Day project on Bowen Island through St. Andrews- Wesley set out to raise $30,000 to bring Syrian refugee families to Vancouver. They succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. The money they raised paid for Ali’s brother and his family to come to Canada. 
And an extra $15,000 was raised to bring Ibrahim Ali and another brother.
“It would mean they could have a family reunion along with family that is in Burnaby,” was the pitch.
At 1 in the morning, last summer, the body of 13-year-old Marrisa Shen was found in Burnaby’s Central Park. The last sight of her was on the security camera of a Tim Horton’s. After over a year of searching, as her photo in a sailor suit looked out from the TV news, posters and flyers, after hundreds of interviews and tips, the case broke wide open.
St. Andrews- Wesley’s gift to Canada was arrested for her murder. That extra $15,000 had paid for a little girl’s life.

Read more here.  My point in bringing this up is not to address the politics of refugees and immigration, but to present an object lesson the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) must consider.  I do not think ACNA has any churches as sold out to the social justice gospel as St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church.  But there are a few parishes, organizations, and at least a diocese or two in ACNA that are very committed to refugee and immigrant ministry.
Now certainly we should minister to refugees who are refugees indeed and to other immigrants.  But we should not enable wrong behavior such as illegal immigration, deceptive refugee claims, or otherwise taking wrongful advantage of host countries or even preying on them.  If that seems harsh, remember that St. Paul wrote that assistance for widows should go to those who “are widows indeed” and that assistance to the poor should not go to those who are able-bodied but unwilling to work.  Part of his reasoning was to avoid enabling sinful behaviors.
Likewise, we should not enable the sinful conduct of illegals and of faux refugees.  But I fear some ACNA parishes and organizations are not being as careful as they should be.  Someday the result could be as awful as in Vancouver.  And then ACNA would be found to have enabled awful crime.  ACNA could even be found with blood on its hands.
I do not have easy answers to prevent this.  But perhaps the College of Bishops could give firmly worded guidelines and instructions in line with St. Paul’s above instructions about church charity. Some in ACNA may still chose to disregard wise guidelines, but that would then be on them, not on ACNA as a whole.  And any wise steps to avoid enabling can only do good.
But for now, the attitude of much of ACNA towards immigrants and refugees seems not that much different that that of St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church.  If that continues, it will only be a matter of time before a similar awful result.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Remembering the East Yorkshire Regiment in World War I

In the past when I visited English churches, I’ve rarely paid much attention to war memorials. My focus has been much more on older, especially medieval aspects of church buildings.  But with this year being the 100thanniversary of the end of World War I, I am making a point to pay more attention.
So two days ago, I noticed a cenotaph style memorial in a small chapel of Beverly Minster.  Around all sides are the names of those who died in “The Great War” from the East Yorkshire Regiment.  I walked around it and saw all. the. names.  From just one regiment. 
It was overwhelming.  I had to sit down for a few moments to regain my composure.
Us Americans came in late to World War I.  And today we frankly suck at history.  So most of us do not get how devastating WWI was.  But I am at least beginning to get it in recent years.  Being in England certainly assists with that.  I was chatting with some gentlemen in York, and they told me a big reason the term “Lost Generation” came about.  When the English went off to war, they wanted to be together with their buddies and brothers, of course, (And I’ve noticed this desire reflected in some of C. S. Lewis’ letters.) and to a large extent this desire was accommodated. So during some of the worst battles and/or in some of the worst hit regiments, the male youth of whole towns were decimated.
And some of that decimation is documented, name by name, in that memorial in Beverly Minster.