Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas Lights Are My Downfall

Those who know me know I’m a liturgical Nazi, especially when it comes to Christmas. Christmas music before Advent? Bah, humbug! As I frequently remind people, Christmas starts on Christmas Eve (with the beginning of Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings College Cambridge if you wish to know the exact hour) and doesn’t end until Epiphany. When I sing the Twelve Days of Christmas, I mean it! I mock at those who celebrate Christmas before its time. I mock them as they sing their Christmas Carols when it’s not yet Christmas. And I merrily mock them with my proper celebration of the real Christmas season when they are sick of it all with their premature debauched celebration of faux X-mas.

Last year, I didn’t even allow myself to play my glorious English choral Christmas carol CDs until right before Christmas. For Advent is the time for Advent carols. And when doing my Advent lector duties, I don’t dare wear red or green like the ignorant. I proudly wear Advent blue, as the Lord intends.

But this year . . . this year, something’s wrong. First, I noticed I was getting into a Christmasy mood in mid-November. I considered that strange but didn’t think much of it. But then, then there were those Christmas lights. After a couple friends helped me put up my Christmas lights, I actually turned them on . . . and kept them on. Oh, I did it to test them out and so those who helped me with my lights could enjoy them. That was my excuse.

But then Sunday evening, I gave in to the urge to turn them on again. I thought, Hey it’s Christ the King Sunday, that’s worth turning on some lights, right? – as if the Lord wouldn’t see right through that dissembling.

Then Monday night . . . I turned them on again. Hey, it was St. Clements Day. Isn’t that good enough reason? Isn’t it?

But tonight, my liturgical calendar is blank. It's just the green of ordinary time mocking me. What will I do? I will stand firm tonight. No lights for me! . . . Yeah, right. I’ll probably drink my Winter Warmer and give in to my weakness and turn on the lights again.

And it’s not even Advent yet.

How weak I have suddenly become. I am so ashamed.

Dean Munday Responds to Ephraim Radner

Ephraim Radner once again is undercutting those orthodox who are seeking to be faithful Anglicans apart from the Episcopal Church by poo-pooing the coming new province.

It’s quite difficult for me to respond graciously to Dr. Radner anymore. I once highly respected the man and his efforts. And I would still do so if he stuck to his knitting, to his “inside” strategy of striving for the faith within the Episcopal Church. I think staying in the Episcopal Church is a mistake, but I honor those orthodox who do so out of conscience, as I have stated before.

But he, along with the ACI, doesn’t stick to that strategy, but for some reason feels he must undercut those orthodox who out of conscience pursue an “outside” strategy of realignment outside the Episcopal Church. I fail to see the point of that persistent undercutting to say the least.

Well, Dean Munday, surely being a more patient, gracious man than I, has posted a response both gracious and cogent to Dr. Radner’s missive. I commend it to you and heartily concur, particularly with the conclusion:

I have not criticized and would not want to see anyone criticize the work the ACI is doing on an "inside strategy" to the same degree that they apparently feel obliged to criticize those who are working on an "outside strategy." I can imagine the frustration that members of the ACI feel with those who are leaving existing Anglican structures while they are trying to save them. But I believe the ACI's efforts would win the support of a greater number of people if they spent more time telling us how they propose to save the ship and less time knocking holes in other people's lifeboats. It remains to be seen whether the ACI's strategy can be successful; and, if not, there may come a day when we are glad the lifeboats are there.

Monday, November 24, 2008

NBC Has Green Egg on Their Face

Those who watch NBC at all surely have not been able to escape their big green emphasis of late. Hell, they spent much of a football game I was watching pumping it. Crap, can’t a red-blooded Texan watch his football without being propagandized by the lib’rul news media? It’s un-American!

Anyway, their cloying environmental push is back-firing a bit. Turns out they sent a 52-year-old with little climbing experience and little prep to go up Mt. Kilimanjaro with predictable results.

You’d think the brilliant, erudite people of NBC would have more sense than to send an inexperienced 52-year-old up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

But, then again, we are talking the same people who handed over MSNBC to a left-wing sports broadcaster.

Friday, November 21, 2008

George Soros, Al Gore Helping Franken Steal Election (UPDATED)

Yes, that focus of evil George Soros is funding Al Franken’s effort to steal the Minnesota U. S. Senate election. Al Gore is joining in, too.

On a less contentious note, this is a very interesting sample of some of the ballot issues Minnesota recounters face. Even if you are a not a former election judge like myself, you might want to check it out.

UPDATE: More on the ballots and recount here. Coleman's lead over Franken is now down to 136. Why am I not surprised?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Abortion Fanatic Sebelius In Line for Obama Cabinet Post

As if Obama’s cabinet isn’t sordid enough already, word is getting around that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius in line for an appointment.

Sebelius is the pro-abortion fanatic who hosted a reception at the Governor’s Mansion for the notorious late-term abortionist, George Tiller. Not only that, she has twice vetoed increased regulation of abortion clinics.

Now one of her excuses for the reception is that it was given as a donation to the Women’s Political Caucus for the WPC to auction off, and that she had no control over who won.

But that is a bit like donating a reception to the National Bocialist Party and being surprised when men conversing in German accents and wearing funny armbands show up.

Her scruples certainly haven’t kept Sebelius from accepting multiple large political donations from Tiller.

This is the sort of quality people Obama is appointing.

Obama Administration Already Ethically Impaired

I really didn’t expect to be blogging about Obama for a while, at least until Inauguration Day. But the Messiah man is amazing. He is two months away from taking office, and already his administration is ethically impaired, to put it nicely.

For he has appointed some real sleazes to his Cabinet. Tom Daschle, who engineered the vote fraud riddled election of Tim Johnson to the Senate, will head Health and Human Services.

But even worse is Obama’s selection of Eric Holder to be Attorney General. He played a key role in Bill Clinton’s outrageous pardon of Mark Rich. Yes, Holder was knee-deep in that great vomit of sleaze at the end of the Clinton presidency. He even gave a big assist to the pardon of FALN terrorists.

This selection begs for a big confirmation fight in the Senate. If Republicans have any backbone, there will be one.

As for Obama, Jennifer Rubin says it well at the first link:

When one looks to the people Obama in turn has selected as mentors (e.g., Reverend Wright, Father Michael Pfleger), friends (e.g., Tony Rezko), and now key advisors (e.g., Eric Holder), voters may begin to question whether Obama possesses the judgment necessary to run an effective and scandal-free administration. If Holder is emblematic of Obama’s personnel decisions and an example of what is to come, the answer is “no.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why Do Traditionalists Put Up With the Church of England?

Christians of a conservative bent, particularly from the Western side of the pond, may wonder why Christians of a conservative bent in the U.K. put up with the Church of England in spite of its many enormities.

This post over at Anglican Wanderings illustrates one reason why – the ecclesiastical atmosphere is just different in Britain. We Americans tend to be church hoppers and even church splitters with little denominational loyalty. Some even dislike denominations and prefer independent churches (as I did for almost twenty years). Heck, many churches do their best to conceal their denominational affiliation.

Apparently, it is not so in England, at least not for the most part. Andrew Teather:

People are loyal to the Church of England, as I have seen in a couple of Parishes where the Priest has retired and the new Vicar has been a lady - parishes where people said most vehemently that they would 'not stand for it' and the rest of the verbiage and then stayed because it is their home, where that have always worshipped and where their friends and family have always worshipped. Nothing would stop them going (and who would want to, really). For this reason, I am firmly convinced that solutions which may seem natural and workable overseas would not work here. This is a small island dominated by two main Churches and I am certain that any move by orthodox Anglicans which, in peoples eyes, takes us away from either of those two bodies is doomed to failure.

Indeed, the Free Church of England, the English sister church to the Reformed Episcopal Church of long standing, is small and struggling even while the REC grows in the U. S. And that’s not for lack of leadership. One of their bishops is John Fenwick, an excellent, energetic churchman with whom I had the pleasure to enjoy lunch in Victoria at the REC General Council recently. But he freely admits the Free CofE is in difficult straits. Churches that flourish in the U. S. usually struggle in the U. K. if they are not Church of England or Roman Catholic. It’s a different climate in the U. K.

But my U. K. readers surely can speak more knowledgably to this than this Texan. Feel free to comment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Episcopal Bishops Give Democracy the Ring Finger

Granted, this is rather predictable. But I still find it irksome that the Episcopal Bishops of Los Angeles and Northern California have chosen to give democracy and a majority of California voters their ring fingers.

They prate about “rights” in calling for the arbitrary overturning of Proposition 8. But to say the “right” of gays to marry each other trumps democracy is fatuous at best. Further, to use ecclesiastical office to push such views and to undermine democracy is an intolerable abuse of said office.

CORRECTION: A helpful commenter at the above link has pointed out that the AP article is mistaken. The bishops in question are California (Andrus) and Los Angeles (Bruno).

Fr. William Davage: “They threw us a Code of Practice on the etiquette of begging.”

Fr. William Davage of Pusey House gave a sermon a week ago on November 11th for the Patronal Festival of St Martin of Tours, Brighton.

Not being a Tractarian, I don’t necessarily agree with every aspect of Fr. Davage’s sermon. I’m not quite as Catholic as he. (Who is?!) But the sermon is pure Davage, both wonderfully and appropriately combative.

I particularly like his critique of the General Synod:

Flowing from that was the impetus for S. Martin to share his cloak with a beggar: “I was naked and you clothed me.” Unlike S. Martin, however, the General Synod and the Bishops of the Church of England did not share their cloak with us, rather they passed by on the other side and threw us a Code of Practice on the etiquette of begging.

Perhaps I have intruded a note of contention. But in this year of anniversary the Movement which began in Oxford in 1833 is facing what might be its final crisis and the year seems ablaze with ironies: an inclusive church has no room for those of conscientious dissent . . .

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Province to be Formed on December 3rd! (UPDATED)

This was a big weekend, was it not?

First, the Diocese of Ft. Worth left The Episcopal Church. Texanglican reported along with photos.

I love the Diocese of Ft. Worth and am looking forward to being in the same province with them.

Speaking of which, word came out and was confirmed by Bishop Duncan himself that there will be a constitutional convention on December 3rd at Wheaton to form a new Anglican province, d. v.

I have yearned for orthodox Anglican unity since the day I was confirmed – and even before! So thanks be to God!

UPDATE: The Anglican Communion Network has now posted more details.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two Important Meetings This Weekend

There will be two important Anglican meetings this weekend. The Church of England House of Bishops will meet. Task one will be dealing with what General Synod has wrought on women bishops and provision – actually, lack of provision – for objectors.

The bishops are feeling pressure from all sides on this. Some positive pressure comes from this open letter. And then there’s pressure from the “inclusive” crowd.

The second meeting will be that of the Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth. They will likely decide to leave The Episcopal Church and join the Province of the Southern Cone. Shortly before this meeting, Stand Firm has an interesting interview with the Bishop of Ft. Worth, Jack Iker.

Please pray for both meetings.

Also pray for a youth retreat of my parish tomorrow night. The theme is “What is the Gospel?” And we do expect non-Christians to attend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

GM and Ford Should Be Allowed to go Bankrupt

There’s a lot of talk around that the feds should bail out GM and Ford. I’m dead set against that. They should be allowed to go bankrupt.

The biggest reason these companies should be allowed to go bankrupt is their worker compensation is irrational and not sustainable. An UAW auto worker gets paid around $70 an hour! Toyota and Honda auto workers get paid around $45 an hour. How can GM and Ford compete with that disparity? Bailing out and propping up such an operation would be pouring money down a rat hole.

Bankruptcy, if done right, can rationalize now irrational worker compensation. A bail out will just perpetuate it.

Now some say that Obama and the Democrats are pushing a bail out of GM and Ford in order to pay off their union supporters. Surely not!

U. S. Catholic Bishops Cut Off Funds to ACORN

Kudos to U. S. Roman Catholic bishops for cutting off all funds to ACORN. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (There’s a scary title.) had been making grants to ACORN.

Now I could ask why the heck the Cartholicks were giving uberleftist pro-abortion subverters of democracy like ACORN money in the first place. But I’m trying to be charitable this morning.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Scumbag Price Gougers Ticketmaster Earnings Down

There is a bright side to the current economic difficulties. Ticketmaster’s earnings are down.

Now if only those price gougers would go out of business.

It’s Time to Say “Enough!” to the Gay Rights Crowd

There are some acts that make me so angry, I make a point to wait until the next morning to post on it in order to avoid saying something I’ll regret later. This attack by gay activists on a Michigan church is such an act.

Now that I have calmed down, I’m convinced my gut reaction last night was correct – it’s time to say “Enough!” to the gay rights crowd.

They can push for their perversions to receive special status in society. That is wrong, but it is their right in a democracy. They can peacefully protest as much as they want. They can even try to overturn elections in the courts. I very much oppose such contempt of democracy, but it is their right to address perceived wrongs in the courts. The best way to deal with such efforts is to make sure judges are appointed who will rule against such anti-democratic, anti-constitutional efforts (which we have royally botched for now by electing Obama, but anyway . . .). And no one can deny that gays have made much progress through such efforts.

But in attacking, disrupting and vandalizing churches, the gay rights crowd has crossed the line. Society should emphatically say no to such acts, just as it has said no to the “God Hates Fags” nuts who picket the funerals of soldiers. Such should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and the laws against their acts strengthened if necessary. For one thing, I think strong laws against disrupting services at churches where one is not a member are in order.

And this act is by no means isolated. Particularly in the aftermath of voter approval of Proposition 8 in California, churches and Mormon temples are being threatened and vandalized.

A more difficult question (discussed at the first link) is how should churches respond when under such attacks. We should certainly rejoice when we are called to suffer for Christ’s sake. Of that there is no question. But how should to respond to the activists? We should love our enemies, but in what way? Jesus said we should “turn the other cheek.” And the Michigan church mentioned in the first link responded with admirable restraint and grace. But Jesus also forcefully cleaned out the temple. And certainly there is a time to defend our church, our brethren, and our children.

I don’t have any easy answers. And I suspect there are none.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coleman Won the Election, But Will Franken Win the Counting?

Last week, I mentioned I was still a little nervous about the Coleman-Franken count in the Minnesota U. S. Senate race and that I expected Franken to try to steal that election.

It appears my paranoia was justified. For some reason, votes keep being found . . . for Franken, of course. This example takes the cake – 32 absentee ballots have been “found.” They had supposedly been riding around in a Democrat official’s car for several days.

Yeah, right.

In any case, the integrity of those ballots is doubtful. They should not be included in the count. But they are, of course.

I’m praying we don’t end up with yet another illegitimate Democrat U. S. Senator.

“Three Private Meetings” Between Obama and Gene Robinson

Ruth Gledhill recently had an interesting interview with Gene Robinson. In it, Robinson claims he and Obama met privately three times during the campaign, and at Obama’s initiative.

Now Robinson is *understatement alert* a bit of a self-promoter. So I wouldn’t take his claim completely at face value. But nevertheless, this doesn’t bode well as to the sort of input to which Obama will listen most closely.

Oh, and by the way, if you dared to question Obama’s background during the campaign, you’re a racist. Bishop Gene:

But because some of the claims have been so outrageous - that he's a Muslim, that he wasn't born in the United States, his associations with various incendiary people - I have to wonder if because people couldn't outright say they weren't going to vote for a black man that this became a way of objecting to his presidency, that that was more defensible than racist attacks.

Again, if this is the sort of moonbattery Obama is listening to . . .

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Revelation 7

Wednesday, it was my turn to do lector duty for Evening Prayer. And the second lesson I read was Revelation 7.

Wow. Reading that chapter in a church setting is electric, awesome beyond words

MSNBC’s Matthews Still in the Tank for Obama

Anyone who thinks complaints about the news media being in the tank for Obama were overdone should take a good, hard look at this video from MSNBC. In it, Chris Matthews frankly professes his purpose to be to do “everything” he can to make Obama’s presidency successful.

Not only is that just slightly biased (Did he purpose to make Bush’s presidency successful?), it is incredibly unprofessional. That is not the role of a journalist.

On a personal note, I used to be a fan of MSNBC and Matthews. MSNBC was my favorite TV news outlet, and, when something political interested me, I would tune to Matthews’ show Hardball. I was well aware of Matthews’ Democrat background, but he hid his bias well and ran a pretty good show.

Then Keith Olbermann came to MSNBC. And under his poisonous influence MSNBC has become a propaganda arm of the Left with Matthews gladly going along.

It’s sad really. But it’s also one more reason I am passionate about the role of blogs to get the truth out. They are needed now more than ever. For the “mainstream” news media not only cannot be trusted to be evenhanded; they cannot even be trusted to be professional.

Not-so-by-the-way, I’m also passionate about the role of conservative talk radio in informing people. Under the guise of “The Fairness Doctrine,” look for a lefty attack on that important exercise of freedom of speech. I haven’t warned of dangers to free speech for nothing.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Right Has More Class

Remember how the lefty blogs responded to their defeat in 2004? Yes, it was rather . . . unseemly.

Now compare how the righty blogs are responding to their present defeat. Methinks it obvious who has more class.

By the way, I love this reaction to the election:

Ok, so we just re-elected Carter.

How bad were the late 70's, anyways? They gave us the Sex Pistols, Blondie, and The Talking Heads. And Star Wars. And Apocalypse Now.

And the Ayatollah Khomeni. And long, long gas lines. And runaway inflation. And disco.

Dear Lord, can this country stand four more years of disco?

Christina Rees is at it again.

Christina Rees continues her drive to make practicing traditionalists extinct in the Church of England. She even calls the accommodation of flying bishops “modern day Donatism.”

Well. I’m so gratified to see Ms. Rees’ concern about heresy.

Fr. Jeffery Steel responds to Rees’ latest efforts with erudite restraint of which I am not capable under such provocation.

Massinformation, though also erudite, is not quite as restrained.

Tropical Storm Paloma??

What’s this? A tropical storm likely to become a hurricane . . . in November??

Apparently so.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Good News for Conservatives

It may surprise my readers that I’m actually in an upbeat mood this bright morning. Yes, Obama won by a greater margin than I expected. The polls were actually right! What’s with that?

(Unless I missed something, I was also wrong in predicting that a Missouri judge would once again try to rig the election by holding polls open longer in Democrat areas. I’m glad to be wrong on that one.)

But I was right in predicting election night wouldn’t be a disaster. Democrat gains in the Senate were even less than I feared/expected. The race I cared most about, the Minnesota Senate race, has been called for Coleman by AP and CNN over Franken. And right before I post this, the unofficial results are all in with Coleman ahead. It is very close though, and there will be a recount. Franken and his team are lowlifes who will still try to steal this election if they can. So I am still a little nervous. But let’s keep this post upbeat.

Another Senator I’ve thought well of for many years is Gordon Smith of Oregon. But Oregon in this election year . . . I didn’t think he had a chance. But it looks like he will pull it out. (Due of Oregon’s mail-in ballot regime, the vote count is very slow in coming in.)

(UPDATE: Gordon Smith has fallen well behind now. I guess that was too good to be true. *sigh* He’s a good guy, too.)

Now someone I don’t think much of is (I’m embarrassed he’s a) Republican Ted Stevens of Alaska. He’s long been an obstacle to needed spending reforms and is just flat out sleazy. It looks like he will pull this one out in spite of just being convicted of taking illegal gifts from a crook. Hopefully, he’ll be kicked out of the Senate and Gov. Palin will appoint a replacement, which would be a good outcome in the end.

So the Senate won’t even get close to filibuster proof for Obama. It looks like Democrats 56 - Republicans 44 (now 57-43). Heck, if Obama overplays his hand, the Republicans might even have a chance to take the Senate in 2010. (I say that without previewing the 2010 Senate races, however.)

There are other reasons to be encouraged. For one thing, anti-gay marriage referendums passed across the country, even in California.

So last night was no disaster. And it could have been with the financial crisis. With God’s help and mercy, if we all do our part and fight well, we can persevere and recover and be better as a nation for it.

Good Advice for Conservatives

Bob Krumm has good advice for conservatives in the aftermath of the election.

I think the financial crisis is what put Obama over. Remember that McCain was ahead before it fully broke out. But Republicans and conservatives do need to get their act together and quickly. Heck, America needs for them to get their act together. I hope this election provides enough impetus for that.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Out-of-State Obamatrons Voting in Swing States

More election-rigging from Obama supporters: Obama campaign workers have voted in swing states where they don’t live (at least not on any permanent basis). That’s right – New York Obamatrons voting in Florida, etc. And it’s quite brazen. Details here and here.

The legality of this differs from state to state. As far as ethics are concerned . . . well, The Dear Leader is so much more important than trivial things like ethics and fair elections.

A Warning About Exit Polls Today

Mark Steyn gives a timely warning about exit polls that will surely show The Dear Leader way ahead. Remember the exit polls leaked in the middle of Election Day that made it look like it would be a landslide for Kerry? They were wrong, obviously, and there are reasons exit polls skew Democrat as a prescient McCain campaign memo spells out. And, as I pointed out yesterday, with Obama being both a Black man and the Chosen One anointed by the media, the polls are skewed all the more.

So when you first hear exit polls numbers leaked or come out, don’t give them much weight. There will be plenty of time to freak out after the real numbers are in.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Preface for All Saints’

The Preface for the octave of All Saints’ really grabbed me yesterday during Holy Communion.

Who, in the multitude of thy Saints, hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses, that we, rejoicing in their fellowship, may run with patience the race that is set before us, and, together with them, may receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away.

I’ve continued mediating on it since. It, and the celebration of All Saints’ as a whole, certainly is a good reminder that it isn’t just about me, nor is it just about now.

My Useless Election Predictions

For what it’s worth, I think Obama wins tomorrow. However, he and his worshippers will sweat at least a little. I think most of the polls are off in part because some people, um, dissemble to pollsters when you have a Black candidate or when you have a media-anointed candidate. Combine the two . . . well, then rely on polls at your own risk.

Also, Obama’s hostility to coal is more fully coming out at the last minute. (Why did the SAN FRANCISCO Chronicle sit on this? Hmmm.) That will hurt Obama, particularly in Pennsylvania.

In Congress, Democrats will make significant gains, but it won’t be an utter disaster in part because enough people 1. don’t appreciate the sorry job Congressional Democrats are doing as polls reflect and 2. don’t want to give Obama too much of a majority in Congress.

And don’t forget that I’ve already predicted a Democrat Missouri judge will hold polls open longer in that state . . . in heavily Democrat areas only, of course.

MORE: Bob Krumm has made some provocative and detailed election predictions. He also predicts a Democrat judge will try to rig Missouri, btw.