Saturday, October 31, 2009


Debe Scozzafava has withdrawn from the NY-23 Special Election race. This is obviously big news. It likely will help Conservative Hoffman and may make Republican politicos think twice before they put forth RINOs.

And, for better or for worse, Sarah Palin’s power just increased a couple notches.

Much more here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

BREAKING: Daily Kos has NY-23 as Hoffman-Owens dead heat.

You know Conservative Doug Hoffman is running strong in the NY-23 special election when even the Daily Kos *spit* has that race as a virtual dead heat between he and Democrat Bill Owens, 32 to 33%.

RINO Dede Scozzafava? She’s back at 21%

Again, this could be a political earthquake this Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pray for South Sudan

Please do pray for South Sudan. Dinkas and Christians there are the targets of what can only be called a campaign of genocide by Muslims.

Among the attacks chronicled at the link above is the massacre of an Anglican archbishop and of thirty defending him by covering him with their bodies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beware of The Telegraph’s Religion Reporting

Recently, I was embarrassed by relying too much on the Telegraph’s religion reporting.

It nearly happened again yesterday.

I thought about blogging on this article from the Telegraph. After all, the Bishop of Chichester openly saying he would be “happy” to swim the Tiber would be quite newsworthy.

The problem is that is not what he said. He has clarified matters on his site, politely making it clear the Telegraph ripped his words out of context:

An article has been published today in the Sunday Telegraph asserting that I have announced that I am about to become a Roman Catholic.

This is not the case.

The report appears to come from a misunderstanding of an answer I gave to questions from the floor at the recent ‘Forward in Faith’ assembly, at which I spoke.

A questioner had asked about the Papal condemnation of Anglican Orders. I responded by speaking about the subtlety of the position. I referred to the moment when it seemed as if the issue of how the Roman Catholic Church sees Anglican orders might be reopened but how the ordination of women to the priesthood and other developments have now made that impossible. 

In the light of that I stated that in the event of union with the Roman Catholic Church I would be willing to receive re-ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood but that I would not be willing to deny the priesthood I have exercised hitherto.

This is clearly a contentious and complex issue and one where it is easy to misunderstand the nuances of the debate. I think I made my position clear in my address at the Forward in Faith assembly.

That is twice this month already that the Telegraph has twisted the words of a senior CofE bishop. May I suggest that paper needs to get their act together?

And let this be a lesson to current and prospective bloggers to be very careful about what sources you trust. Don’t learn this lesson the hard way as I have.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hoffman Leading in NY-23 Special Election?!?

With the big caveat that this is one poll for a conservative group, a Club for Growth poll shows Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman is leading in the three-way special election for the NY-23 congressional seat.

Should Hoffman actually win, it would be a political earthquake that would show the power of anger at Obama and at me-too Republicans. It would most certainly teach the Republican Party a much needed lesson.

This is a result to watch on November 3rd.

George Will Nails Obama on Fox News

I normally would not make a post merely to post a quote. But the following from George Will is so on target, I cannot restrain myself.

No president in the history of the Republic has less reason to complain about his treatment in the press than Barack Obama. Liberals have Academia, they have the mainstream media, they have Hollywood. They’re all for diversity in everything but thought.

And out here is this one channel, Fox, and they’re all up in arms because, in the words of Ms. Anita Dunn of the White House, it is “opinion journalism masquerading as news,” which some of us would say describes the New York Times and certainly MS-NBC.

To which I can only say, “Amen.”

Don’t Ask Democrat Pols About the Constitution . . .

. . . unless you want to see them reveal themselves as arrogant and power-hungry.

Yes, that may be slightly harsh. But it seems that lately they take great and pretentious offense or evade the question or both when one ventures to ask whether their policies, particularly on healthcare, are allowed by the Constitution.

Cases in point:

Nancy Pelosi.

Rob Andrews.

Patrick Leahy.

Maybe that is because Democrats don’t give a . . . have any regard for the Constitution. Leahy in particular has proven that in spades by the bozos he has supported (and the good nominees he has opposed) for the federal judiciary.

And to ask them as they try to exercise naked power whether they are wearing any constitutional clothes . . . . Well, one shouldn’t ask such things.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

More Sordid BDS!

If Benedict Derangement Syndrome amuses you, then MCJ is the place to go.

And the BDS is even coming from Episcopalian “bishops”:

“We for our part continue to welcome our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, both lay and ordained, conservative and liberal, who wish to belong to a church that treasures diversity of thought.”

“At the heart of all of this is the reality that the Roman Church is willing to welcome angry, reactionary, misogynistic, homophobic people.”

How pastoral.

Audio from Forward in Faith UK Conference

I haven’t read or listened to enough to comment, but much audio from the aforementioned Forward in Faith UK Conference is already posted here.

Readers may find this presentation particularly interesting and timely.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More Reaction to Vatican Anglican Announcement (with sordid BDS!)

In discussions of the Vatican announcement of provisions for Anglicans, count Christopher Johnson among those who have nailed it. He, too, thinks the Archbishop of Canterbury has only himself to blame:

Consider the irony. Benedict XVI, confronted with a problem (or an opportunity, however you want to look at it), comes up with a bold, innovative and, one might even say, audacious plan for dealing with it.

Rowan Williams, confronted by a problem, constantly falls back on what the “instruments of unity” will or will not permit him to do. Then whenever the current crisis abates for a while, he issues delphic responses that can be interpreted according to the political position of the reader.

What could Dr. Williams have done, Johnson? Quite a bit. He could have not invited the Americans to Lambeth (and that’s when I think the Pope finally made up his mind). He could declare that ACNA recognition is inevitable and that therefore, he was going to be begin inviting Bob Duncan to primates meetings.

He could have insisted that the Americans observe the terms of the Dar es Salaam Communiqué rather than completely cutting the ground out from under it after the New Orleans TEO bishops meeting. At least once, he could have acted as if Katharine Jefferts Schori was not the actual Archbishop of Canterbury.

But he didn’t do any of that. So if thousands of Anglicans in Great Britain and around the world take the Pope up on his offer, he only has himself to blame.

The Bovina Bloviator is even more to the point:

Well, your Grace, you had six-and-a-half years to do something about this mess and dithered all the while. The Pope, who isn't getting any younger, heard a cry for help and helped. It really should not come as a surprise.

Meanwhile, there’s been an outbreak of Benedict Derangement Syndrome. Here’s a predictably virulent case from a uberEpiscopalian. It begins:

There came in this morning's mail an announcement from Lambeth Palace concerning the "special and different" set up of the pseudo-Church that Pope Bennie has set up for "disaffected Anglicans.

More feminista BDS here with this comical headline:

Vatican to Anglicans: Come be bigots with us!

Feel free to post other cases of BDS. Or heck, if you have BDS, vomit away in the comments. Laughter is the best medicine, you know.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Forward in Faith UK Conference This Weekend

As mentioned on Ruth Gledhill’s blog, Forward in Faith UK has a conference this weekend in London. Needless to say, in light of the events of this week, the previous agenda has been torn up.

That should be an interesting meeting indeed.

Kendall Harmon (and moi) on Vatican Anglican Announcement

In short, Kendall Harmon nails it.

If the Anglican Communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury want to find someone to blame for the Vatican’s announcement of provisions for Anglo-Catholics, they need only look in the mirror.

I will give one break to Dr. Rowan Williams, however. He advocated for adequately providing for orthodox Anglo-Catholics as the CofE moves toward women bishops. But, sadly, those who don’t give a damn about traditionalists prevailed.

What amazes me is that those who have worked the hardest to push Anglo-Catholics out, such as Christina Rees, now fault the Vatican for welcoming them:

Christina Rees, of the pro-women group Watch, described the Vatican’s move as poaching. She said: “It is one thing to offer a welcome, but this seems to be a particularly effusive welcome where people are almost being encouraged. In the Anglican Church we like to operate with transparency. If this has not been done here that will add to the sense of this being a predatory move.”

Wolves complaining about all the predators around here. . . . I’ve got nothing to say.

Washington Post, ABC Rig Their Obamacare Poll

I’ve long suspected that “mainstream” media polling was biased. But until recently, I had no idea how much their polls are blatantly rigged. A case in point: a Washington Post-ABC poll purporting to show support for an Obamacare public option – a convenient conclusion to help their Dear Leader cram socialized healthcare down our throats.

But look at the sampling. 33% were Democrats; only 20% were Republicans. 20%.

Just how absurd is that rigging? The 33%-20% spread is larger than ABC-WashPost’s Election Day sample, not exactly a great Republican day. And numerous polls indicate that the spread between the two parties’ support has dramatically narrowed since then.

As if that is not bad enough . . .

The public-option question gets asked in this manner:

8. Would you support or oppose having the government create a new health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans?

I’d call that more than a little biased. The “compete with private insurance” is a political claim by ObamaCare advocates.

Not to mention that there is no mention of “public” or “federal” or “government-funded” or even “government-backed” in the question. It’s just a shiny “new health insurance plan” that would be "created."

And people think I’m biased.

This leads me to one of two conclusions:

1. Those behind the poll are so stupid and out of touch and downright incompetent that they did not realize their methods render their poll unreliable (to put it nicely). Or . . .

2. They knew what they were doing. During a crucial time for Obamacare, the Washington Post and ABC conveniently rigged their poll.

I choose #2.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Libchurchers Support Obama’s Attack on Free Speech

It is becoming clear that the Obama Regime with the support of libchurchers is conspiring to attack the free speech of political conservatives. Part of this attack is disguised as going after “hate speech.”

United Church of Christ member Jeffery Lord documents much of this attack and the involvement of libchurchers in painstaking detail. And it is chilling.

It is no coincidence that this is occurring at the same time when the Obama White House is constantly seeking to delegitimize Fox News:

The Obama White House is now quite specifically using the presidential bully pulpit to de-legitimize Fox News.
Note how this works:

• White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel says: "…the way we, the President looks at it, we look at it is it's not a news organization" and that Fox is not "a legitimate news organization."

• White House senior adviser David Axelrod says Fox News is "not really a news station."

• White House Communications Director Anita Dunn says: "What I think is fair to say about Fox -- and certainly it's the way we view it -- is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party," said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. "They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is."

Folks, this kind of attack on non-compliant news media is more what one would expect from a totalitarian regime than from a democratic White House. It is not enough that CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, ABC et al are in the tank for Obama. Those on the airwaves who oppose The Dear Leader must be silenced!

Some may find me alarmist to point out again the totalitarian streak of the Obama regime. I find it enabling and dangerous to ignore it. And I find it beyond shameful for “church” leaders to support it.

Vatican Announces New Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans

As many of you are already aware, the Vatican has announced new Personal Ordinariates to accommodate groups of Anglicans who wish to enter full communion with Rome. The provisions are quite generous, including retention of much Anglican liturgy and ordination of married clergy.

Although, the Archbishop of Canterbury is exercising a stiff upper lip in receiving this development with the RC Archbishop of Westminster, one can read between the lines and see His Grace is not pleased with this being sprung on him. By his own admission, he was not informed of the announcement until “a very late stage.” His letter to Bishops of the CofE and to Primates of the Anglican Communion may be found here along with a letter from the Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Richborough. The two Anglo-Catholic bishops are pleased along with Forward in Faith UK.

I intend to follow this development with interest. Initially I have mixed feelings about it. Pope Benedict is to be commended for his efforts to accommodate Anglo-Catholics. And I rejoice for those Anglo-Catholics eager to swim the Tiber. But I am afraid one result will be that Anglo-Catholics, such as Texanglican, who can not in good conscience submit to RC dogmas such as Papal Infallibility and certain Marian doctrines will find themselves more and more alone.

MORE: Unbiased headline from the Times: “Vatican moves to poach traditional Anglicans”.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Big Tea Party . . . in San Francisco?!?

I did not intend to become a tea party blog this morning, but this is remarkable. When Obama came to town, a big tea party broke out . . . in San Francisco. Yes, you read that correctly. And I don’t use the word “big” lightly. Look at the this photo.

If the tea party movement is that strong in Sodom, then it is stronger than most elite think or wish. Politicians who underestimate the importance of this movement do so at their own peril.

Hat tip to Gateway Pundit.

Tea Party People Complicate RINO Plans

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today (Registration may be required.) on how Tea Party people are throwing big wrenches into a common GOP strategy. That strategy is to nominate “moderate” Republican candidates who are supposedly more electable.

Tea Partiers are having none of that and may even cost Republicans elections, particularly the upcoming special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. After Republicans nominated “moderate” Dede Scozzafava, who supports abortion “rights”, gay marriage, and Obama’s stimulus, Tea Partiers threw their support behind Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. It’s a now a three-way race with Democrat Bill Owens narrowly ahead in the polls. He may take a seat that would otherwise go back to the Republicans.

To which I say . . . good! No, I’d rather not Owens win that seat. (Although that may be preferable in the long run to Scozzafava. Owens will likely be beatable in 2012. If Scozzafava wins, we may be stuck with her.) But the Republican Party needs to learn that nominating RINO (Republican in Name Only) candidates is both bad policy and bad politics. To win elections in the long run, one needs to provide people something to vote for, and “me, too” ain’t it. Who is the most successful Republican presidential candidate since WWII, elected in two landslides? Ronald Reagan.

Besides, is it not the duty of parties to provide the electorate with alternatives? But I am getting idealistic there.

And, if one succeeds in electing RINOs, it is bad policy. What is the point of electing Republicans if they will simply enable Obama and big government? Take Charlie Crist, please:

In Florida, Republican leaders were elated when popular Florida Gov. Charlie Crist agreed to run for the Senate. He has adopted policies such as an aggressive approach to global warming that appeal even to Democrats. Those very policies infuriated conservatives, as did Mr. Crist's decision to campaign with President Barack Obama on behalf of the president's $787 billion stimulus package.

The man campaigned with Obama for that stimulus. That is no alternative. What is the point of electing such a RINO?

So good for the Tea Partiers. This former Republican precinct chairman thinks someone should make the GOP pay when they push such RINOs on the electorate.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

An Obama Chaplain A Fervent Evangelical

This is interesting. A favorite chaplain of Obama, the one he most hears while at Camp David, is a fervent evangelical. So fervent that he’s become controversial, particularly after a Washington Post article. He’s even gotten attention across the pond.

Carey Cash, great-nephew of the late Johnny Cash, is involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, sees Islam as a violent religion, and has baptized more than 50 servicemen, often with water from a canteen.

Sounds like good guy.

And I am glad to read that President Obama likes to hear him preach. (Yes, I would rejoice in the salvation of Obama.) The president has been quoted as saying Cash “delivers as powerful a sermon as I've heard in a while. I really think he's excellent."

The two coming together may be providential. Cash was assigned by the Navy to preside over the small and very private Evergreen Chapel at Camp David. The main purpose of the chapel is to accommodate the military families stationed at the presidential retreat. But the Obama family has been attending as well.

However, it will be interesting to see if Obama distances himself from Cash now that there is a little controversy. The White House has already taken pains to say that Cash is not Obama’s pastor. (Hence, the Times’ headline stating he is “President Obama’s new pastor” is inaccurate.)

Obama has already been burned by his association with his past pastor, Jeremiah Wright. He does not want to be burned again.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

“Anglican” “Mother Earth” Drivel

Whom God destroys He first makes silly. A good illustration of this immutable truth may be found in the Diocese of New Aquarius Westminster:

What might Creation, the Spirit of Gaia, our Living Dew-Hearted Mother Earth spinning in the Infinite Cosmic Mystery, be asking of the church today?

Don’t laugh too hard. Even the Anglican Communion office is buying into this sort of neo-pagan drivel:

Our faith and our ancestors have always taught us that the earth is our mother and deserves respect . . .

Our faith? Funny, but I haven’t found “the earth is our mother” in the creeds or the catechisms or the Bible. Or is the faith in question actually Christian?

. . . we know that this respect has not been given.

Really? With all the greenie stuff about, I think more than a little respect is given to environmental causes. As it should be to at least some extent. I’m a conservationist and put my money where my mouth is in that regard.

But I’m not a neo-pagan. I’m an orthodox Anglican Christian, thank you. So if “our faith” worships “Mother Earth”, leave me out of it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Labour Cowards Put in Their Place: Wilders Ban Overturned

I am thrilled to see that the Labour government’s decision to ban Geert Wilders from entry into the UK has been overturned.

This tribunal decision is indeed a victory for freedom. That it puts totalitarian cowards in their place makes it that much sweeter.

How About Zero Tolerance for Administrative Idiots? UPDATED

Do you think a 6 year old should be sent to reform school for 45 days for bringing his cub scout camping utensil to school? The Christina School District in Delaware does. Yes, it’s their “zero tolerance” policy as in zero common sense.

And it’s not the first time that the Christina School District has engaged in such abusive idiocy:

“Something has to change,” said Dodi Herbert, whose 13-year old son, Kyle, was suspended in May and ordered to attend the Christina district’s reform school for 45 days after another student dropped a pocket knife in his lap. School officials declined to comment on the case for reasons of privacy.

Ms. Herbert, who said her son was a straight-A student, has since been home-schooling him instead of sending him to the reform school.

The Christina school district attracted similar controversy in 2007 when it expelled a seventh-grade girl who had used a utility knife to cut windows out of a paper house for a class project.

Any school district that abdicates their responsibility like that with idiotic “zero tolerance” deserves hell from parents and taxpayers. God help any school that ever abuses a child of mine that way.

As a former bullied kid, I do think school districts should be tough in protecting students from bullies and worse. But “zero tolerance” and no common sense just turns the schools themselves into mindless bullies.

UPDATE: That DANGEROUS 6-year-old has been paroled.

Monday, October 12, 2009

SHOCKING!: BBC Notices Debate Over Global Warming!

The BBC is actually noticing that there is legitimate debate over global warming and that, lately at least, the world is not getting warmer. Shocking!

To understand my (faux) shock, it would help to live in the UK for a time. Back in 2007, when I studied there, it was hard not to notice that global warming was a secular religion held by just about all British. And the news media treated global warming as established fact with admittedly interesting graphs, maps, inserts, and the like.

Sometimes, it wasn’t just a secular religion. Dr. Jane Shaw, Chaplain of New College, gave an eloquent sermon at Christ Church on global warming . . . on the most miserably cold day of my time in Oxford. I good-naturedly ribbed her about the weather that evening at New College.

So I do find it quite remarkable to see the BBC recognizing that the issue of global warming is not so clear cut after all. Heresy!

MORE: Meanwhile, Drudge has a number of headlines this morning about how COLD things are, including this story about an early Fall record cold snap in Montana.

Rowan Williams, Jerk (RETRACTED)

NOTE: I am retracting this post. See below.

[As you can tell by the title of this post, I am not the most tactful man in the world. However, I do have enough sense to know that one usually should not use the sermon at a memorial service for fallen soldiers to grind one’s political axe and to score points against political opponents.

But Rowan Williams doesn’t even possess that much common sense and decency.

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, mounted a direct attack on the Government over the invasion and occupation of Iraq when he used a national memorial service commemorating the servicemen killed in the conflict to accuse Tony Blair and his ministers of failing to “measure the price” of military action.

Delivering his address in St Paul’s Cathedral before a congregation including the Queen, Gordon Brown and Mr Blair himself, the spiritual head of the Church of England accused the former prime minister of indulging in rhetoric before the 2003 invasion, while leaving ordinary servicemen and women to pick up the pieces in a campaign which went on to last six years and claim 179 British lives.

Now, I am NO fan of Tony Blair. But a memorial service is not the time nor the place to indulge in such an attack. Dr. Williams can wear all the nice tat and use all the high-sounding language he can muster. What he did at St. Paul’s is still being a jerk.

Oh, but I’ve seen worse at memorial services.]

RETRACTION: Although some of what Dr. Williams said was of questionable wisdom, I now think the Telegraph article linked puts a rather harsh interpretation on his sermon. For starters, it is a bit of a stretch to see the sermon as a “direct attack on the Government.” Indirect, perhaps. But still . . .

As for me, I jumped the gun and went over the top, to put it mildly. I apologize and retract this post. Mea culpa.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Joke (UPDATED)

When I sleepily flipped on the TV this morning and heard that Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I had to immediately go online to make sure I heard that right, and sure enough . . . .

It is hard to plumb the depths of the absurdity of this award, but to start: the deadline for nominations was February 1st. So The Dear Leader earned the Nobel Peace Prize after only ten days in office. Sing to The Dear Leader!!

I may comment more later. But I think it best for now to provide some links:

The Times of London has published an excellent editorial. And even the U.S. “mainstream” news media is a bit stunned.

Hot Air and The Corner are following this matter closely.

Funny that Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize the same day he bombs the Moon. ;)

O.K., this is really getting silly now. The Democrat National Committee says that if you criticize Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize, you side with terrorists! I. am. not. joking.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Obama Attacks Freedom of Religion, Belmont Abbey

As many of you know, the Obama Regime is attacking Belmont Abbey for following their Catholic conscience and refusing to provide coverage for contraception.

This is an outrage that calls for action. But it should not be a surprise. Attacks on freedom of religion are to be expected from those of a totalitarian bent.

SEC Goes After Mark Cuban . . . Again. (Or Whatever Happened to No Double Jeopardy?)

When our founding fathers sought to protect our freedom from government abuses, they specifically mandated in the Fifth Amendment that the feds cannot prosecute a man twice for the same alleged crime. In other words, no double jeopardy.

So why the heck is the SEC going after Mark Cuban again for the same allegations after their flimsy case has already been dismissed?

Oh I’m sure there is some lawyerly bull manure excuse as to why this is supposedly not double jeopardy. But I’m not buying it. This is wrong. It’s prosecutorial abuse. And I wish Cuban would be allowed to sue the SEC to Hell for violation of his civil rights.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Obama Kills Iran Human Rights Agency

The Obama Administration is cutting off all funding for the State Department’s Iran Human Rights Watch Documentation Center.

Mustn’t let uncomfortable facts about the mullahs’ oppression of Iranians get in the way of a good appeasing sell-out.

I wonder if Obama will only bow to the mullahs, or also kiss their butts.

CNN = Obama’s Whore

CNN once again acts as Obama’s whore by fact-checking the Saturday Night Live skit lampooning Obama’s lack of accomplishments.

Fact checking . . . a comedy skit. I don’t know what’s funnier, the skit or the fact checking. I do hope SNL comes back and skewers CNN. There is certainly some rich comedy material here.

Can you imagine CNN doing this for Bush? I didn’t think so.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Monte+ Wilson on Evangelical “Worship”

Over the weekend, I came across this piece by Monte+ Wilson critical of evangelical worship. And critical may be an understatement!

His critique of the “worship” time at a typical evangelical church resonates with me.

Some churches will open with a cheery choir special or a hap-hap-happy song sung by the musicians. After all, happiness must mark the service. "We are a happy people. We have something to offer you. We are exciting and positive--and you too can be like us if you join our church!" Compare this with the ancient liturgies that began with, "O God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us miserable sinners." Whoa! That won't do. What a downer. . . .

Now the music leader steps to the microphone to lead the "worship." He is a combination of Pavarotti (albeit without the training), Dick Clark and Liberace. He stands, sometimes with other singers, at the center of the stage. The sound booth has been instructed to make certain that his voice is always louder than all others combined. He cajoles, he exhorts, he waves his arms, he explains the depth of meaning in the lyrics of each song, he cheerleads, he cries--all on cue. . . . By the way, are the people a little dull this morning? No problem. Change keys on each verse, increase the volume and dump all songs in minor keys. What matters is that everyone has a great, happy, ego-renewing experience.

And that sort of “worship” drove me to Anglicanism.

I began to know something was wrong in the early 90’s. It was a time of frequent depression for me. And the last thing I wanted to hear was constant, vacuous, happy, happy music at church. Proverbs 25:20 anyone? I distinctly remember this otherwise excellent Bible study I attended at a large Dallas church. Unfortunately, they always began with the song “Celebrate Jesus Celebrate”. Eventually, I began the habit of arriving late to avoid it.

Now I admit I may have been slightly grouchy. But to begin things this way every time grated on me and was a barrier to worship. Even today, when I’m unusually in a good mood, asking God for mercy on this miserable sinner resonates with me much more. I still may not at times feel like singing happy, happy songs; but I always know I need God’s mercy!

For a thankfully brief time, this Bible study employed one of those worship leaders who was so happy, he looked like he was about to explode. One time, when I particularly depressed, he was particularly happy and garrulous. At one point, he said, “You all probably want me to shut up.” I said, “Yes” and got some interesting looks.

Speaking of garrulous, it also annoyed me when worship leaders preached mini-sermons with their songs, sorely testing my patience and proving they should not be preachers. It prompted me to frequently say at the time, “Singers shouldn’t preach; and preachers shouldn’t sing.” I’ve since seen Anglican priests who can both sing the liturgy and preach the word very well. But cloying worship leaders was my experience during this time.

A few years later, at my Bible church of the time, the soundboards were taken over by people who must have had high frequency hearing loss. For they always pumped up the volume and the treble. It hurt my ears! I was stuffing kleenex in my ears during the worship time. I am not joking. Again, the typical evangelical worship methods made it difficult for me to worship. And this at an age when worship was becoming more important to me. (That subject will have to wait for another post.)

So I began to think that maybe I wanted a different kind of church when I moved to South Texas. And when I finally ventured into an Anglican church (Christ Church Plano to be exact), it was like a new world was opened to me. I thought “This is worship!” And many of you know the rest of the story.

Having said all that, I think evangelicals, especially those in charge of worship, would do well to take Wilson’s critique at heart, though it may be unpleasant reading.

By the way, Monte Wilson is a Reformed Episcopalian priest.

Hat tip to Creedal Christian.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

++Rowan Snookers the Orthodox . . . Again.

After having proclaimed the diocese the basic organizational body of the church and after having encouraged dioceses to sign up for the Covenant even if their provinces do not, now at the moment when the remaining orthodox TEC dioceses are struggling to somehow stay distinctly orthodox, Rowan pulls away the football by saying only provinces, not dioceses, can officially sign on to the Covenant. Oh, dioceses can endorse the Covenant – and that would be just wonderful! – but it would only be symbolic with no “institutional effect”.

Gee, thanks Your Grace.

This once again confirms Rowan is no friend of the orthodox and is not to be trusted.

As for those orthodox remaining in The Episcopal Church, Texanglican sums up the situation well:

Please, folks still trapped in the these handful of [orthodox] dioceses, it is time to admit the facts. Nothing you can do at the diocesan level will ever make you meaningfully different from the rest of TEC as long as you remain members of the national body. Your bishops are still ultimately answerable to PB Schori. You are still subject to TEC's constitution and canons and to its disciplinary procedures. And most importantly, the heretical majority of TEC's bishops and standing committees will have an absolute veto over whomever your elect to be your next bishop.

Your staunch defense of orthodoxy could evaporate rapidly if your bishop unexpectedly leaves office. The powers that be will insure that your next bishop is "reasonable" and "moderate"--one of those respectable "conservatives" who politely states his traditionalist positions at church meetings and then faithfully implements whatever the decision of the TEC governing body in question are without further cavil. Once such a "reasonable" bishop is in place a majority of your parish clergy will be cut from the same cloth in less than a decade. By 2025 most of the people still left in the once "orthodox" dioceses of TEC will hardly remember what all this fuss was about.

More purely symbolic declarations are pointless at this juncture. Either act to separate from TEC now or come to terms with where your denomination is inevitably heading. Further resistance inside TEC is futile. The TEC ship has left the shore of traditional Christianity and is rapidly sailing away into the brave, new sunset of radical inclusion. Loudly proclaiming that you are not part of the vessel's journey while you still stand on its deck watching the shoreline recede is simply a denial of reality.

And trust in Rowan to rescue you from inevitable shipwreck is also a denial of reality.