Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our Lady of Perpetual Litigation

I should say I am not the first one to dub the Presiding “Bishop” of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Schori, Our Lady of Perpetual Litigation. But better late than never.

A detailed series on her and TEC’s litigious ways over at the Anglican Curmudgeon inspires me. And she has so pushed the abundance of litigation that it almost seems unfair to blame the rest of The Episcopal Church. This following fact is particularly eye-opening:

Frank Kirkpatrick, professor of religion at Trinity College, wrote in a survey article in 2008 that "there were, as of December [2007], 55 [Episcopal Church] property disputes in one state or another of resolution around the country." (You may find a listing of those lawsuits in this post from August 2008, and see also the latest report from the American Anglican Council.) Of those fifty-five lawsuits, I estimate that ECUSA itself was a party to about half of them. Thus from the five lawsuits to which it was a party as Bishop Griswold ended his term in November 2006 (the Pawley's Island case in South Carolina, the three Los Angeles lawsuits, and a case involving St. James Church in Elmhurst, in the Diocese of Long Island), the number increased by five times in the first full year of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's term.

One instance comes to mind. The then Bishop of Virginia, Peter Lee, seemed close to an agreement with congregations departing from his diocese . . . until . . .

Katharine Jefferts Schori stepped in. According to sworn testimony given in court proceedings, Bishop Lee told the leaders of the departing congregations that "there is a new sheriff in town." Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori directed him to sue the congregations and not let them leave with their property.

There is little question the wave of litigation was her policy:

There are no records in the minutes of the Executive Council during this period to show that it was ever consulted before any of these multiple filings in the name of the Church took place; as quoted in the previous post, the Presiding Bishop held the view that only she personally, and neither the Council, nor even General Convention, had any authority over litigation. Thus she simply gave her Chancellor free rein -- and ECUSA's legal bills began to mount exponentially.

Many of my knowledgeable readers are well aware of how litigious Schori is. I thought I was thus informed as well. But the extent of how much she has pushed litigation not only on the orthodox but on The Episcopal Church itself astounds. TEC is among her victims as well.

Again, the Anglican Curmudgeon is patiently examining Schori’s litigiousness in great detail.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oxford English Dictionary to be Online Only

This is a red letter day in the migration from print to electrons.
The Oxford University Press has announced that its famous Oxford English Dictionary will henceforth not be printed but will be online only.

This comes as a slight shock to me, but it makes sense. I used to always have a printed dictionary ready by my side as I wrote. But now, if I am uncertain about a word, I immediately google it. It is just easier that way. If this semi-technophobe, who has so far shunned the Kindle and loves actual books, does that, then the rest of the English world is surely further down that electronic path.

Hat tip to Anglican Samizdat.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Liberals and the Race Card, the Homophobia Card, the . . .

This morning, Charles Krauthammer nails a common reflex of liberals and leftists – to equate opposition to them to bigotry. And we have been seeing that reflex in spades of various cards lately:

. . . promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.
-- Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.
-- Disgust and alarm with the federal government's unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.
-- Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.
-- Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

Hence, if you oppose the various agendas of the Left, you are a bigot. Just letting you know.

It will be interesting to see how this bigotry meme plays in November. Krauthammer thinks it will not play very well:

The Democrats are going to get beaten badly in November. Not just because the economy is ailing. And not just because Obama over-read his mandate in governing too far left. But because a comeuppance is due the arrogant elites whose undisguised contempt for the great unwashed prevents them from conceding a modicum of serious thought to those who dare oppose them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anglican Priorities

Kudos to Christopher Johnson for spotting it and to Riazat Butt of the Guardian for writing it. It being a very concise portrayal of the very different priorities of the orthodox and the apostate in the Anglican Communion:

The archbishop of Uganda has urged hundreds of African bishops to shake off their fears, shame and superficial dependency and re-evangelise the "ailing" churches of the west.

In a rallying cry to the biggest constituency of the Anglican Communion, Henry Orombi said yesterday was time for Africans to "rise up and bring fresh life in the ailing global Anglicanism".

His call came on the day that US Episcopalians published a guide on liturgical and ceremonial resources for clergy and same-sex couples.

What more needs to be said?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bishop Benhase’s Selective Inclusiveness

I’ve frequently noted how the inclusive crowd is not. TEC “Bishop”* Benhase of Georgia is a case in point. When it comes to the consent to and the consecration of an active lesbian as “bishop,” he is oh-so-inclusive.

But when it comes to those nasty schismatics of ACNA? From his clergy handbook revised after his consecration:

"Anglican" or "Continuing" Splinter Groups [Love those scare quotes! – Ed.] not part of TEC

These groups undermine the geographical authority of the bishop
[Love that geographic fundamentalism! – Ed.] as defined in the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church and observed in historical Anglican practice. Therefore, no clergyperson from these groups may participate in any service of worship, and no joint services may be held with any congregation of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. Episcopal clergy of the Diocese of Georgia may not participate in any service held in or by these congregations except with written permission from the Bishop.

Though you may choose to notify the Bishop, attendance at a wedding or funeral held in such congregation, for reasons of previous pastoral or personal relationship, is an exception to this more general statement and requires no such permission.

It’s not quite “Shun! Ssshhhhhunnn!” But it’s close.

*(About my quotation marks: I consider it very questionable whether apostates are valid bishops.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You might be having a bad election year if . . .

. . . you are Senator Russ Feingold and two of the “regular people” in your anti-“special interests” ad . . . are AFL-CIO officials.

. . . some of your “safe” seats suddenly aren’t so safe after all.


. . . July existing home sales drop 27.2% . . . and it is not a typo.

U. S. Taxdollars Funding Mosque Renovations

No, the headline is not a joke or paranoid ranting. Your taxes really are going overseas to fix up and rebuild mosques.

That should add that much more unhappiness to the Ground Zero Mosque controversy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You might be having a bad election year if . . .

. . . you are a Democrat and Time has you down 6 on their generic congressional ballot poll. You know it has to be even worse in the real world.

. . . liberal allies fondly want a past president to help you out: George W. Bush.

. . . the economy is still getting worse with unemployment claims surging over 500,000.

My political bloodbath prediction yesterday is looking better already.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pelosi: Investigate Ground Zero Mosque Opponents UPDATED

When I first saw this, I said, “What?!?” I did not think she was that, well, stupid. But sure enough, it’s true. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for “looking into” funding of the opposition to the Ground Zero mosque.

The audio may be found here.

At the very least, there is the appearance of a brazen attack on free speech here. But putting that aside for now, I wonder if Democrats have a death wish. Or, in biblical terms, it is remarkable that they keep digging pits and then jump right into them.

As if the poor economy and the past enormities of Obama weren’t enough, The Dear Leader just had to weigh in on the Ground Zero Mosque controversy and support building the mosque. He had since backtracked and said he wasn’t really supporting the mosque, but the damage was done and is getting worse.

(By the way, would it have been that hard for Obama to at least play the statesman and say that he supports freedom of religion for all Americans but that Muslims would do well to consider other locations for a mosque?)

That Pelosi would go so far as to at least seem to advocate calling the federal dogs on those who oppose the mosque shows how much this issue is hurting Democrats. But her call will just enrage people that much more.

Expect a mealy-mouthed “clarification” from her soon, but, again, the damage is done. She said what she said. And it is spreading like wildfire.

And her statement prompts me to make a call of my own. I’ve stated it might happen, but now I am convinced it will: this November will indeed be a political bloodbath for Democrats. The Republicans will not only take the House but will make historic gains, even bigger than 1994. I am yet not sure that the Republicans will take the Senate. It will be close one way or the other on that.

This is not reason for complacency, however. The Democrats are getting desperate and will try almost anything to hold on to their power . . . as Nancy Pelosi’s statement illustrates.


As if the Ground Zero Mosque is not angering people enough, more gasoline for the fire:

New York officials are not allowing a Greek Orthodox church destroyed by 9-11 to rebuild near their original site.

So a church of long standing destroyed at Gound Zero cannot rebuild there. But a new mosque can be built there?

Meanwhile, as I predicted, Pelosi’s office has issued a clarification. But it is clear she still does not get how outrageous her comment was.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Issue with the Assumption of Mary

Yesterday (or today for those who prefer to transfer it), many Christians celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.

I did not. Moreover, I find it a sad day.

I find it sad not because I have anything against the doctrine and those who hold it. Quite the contrary, I highly respect many of those who affirm the doctrine and cherish my communion with them. Moreover, I think a case can be made for the Assumption of Mary.

Nevertheless, I do find it a secondary and speculative doctrine not at all central to the faith. And, though my opinion about its veracity is not strong, I do not hold to it.

But that is not my main issue with the doctrine. Really, my issue is with the dogma as proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on November 1st, 1950. That he chose All Saints’ Day to issue his decree is the saddest of ironies. For on October 31st, 1950, one’s communion with Rome was unaffected by one’s opinion on the Assumption. But afterward?

. . . by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma:

that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.

So on November 1st, 1950 and afterward, if you do not hold to the Assumption, you better keep it to yourself or you are on the outs with Rome. For according to Rome, you have fallen away completely from the Faith.

It is tempting to have fun with such a brazen decree, but I will refrain.

For I find November 1st, 1950 and every August 15th an occasion for grief. For in 1950, the Roman Catholic Church became that much more sectarian, divisive, and uncatholic.

This is a vital difference between Roman Catholicism and orthodox Anglicanism. Many Anglicans hold to the Assumption of Mary. But I do not know of any which require assent to it for communion. And I have joyfully taken the sacrament with them on numerous occasions.

But to enter communion with Rome, I would have to confess that all that the Roman Catholic Church teaches is true, including the Assumption, thanks to the presumption of Pope Pius XII.

For any who pray for the unity of Christ’s church as I do, that is sad indeed.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New York Democrooks

Andrew Cuomo snuck around this week to help raise funds for crook Charlie Rangel.

What does it say about a political party when its Attorney General raises funds for a known crook?

And don’t bother playing the race card on this. The race card is maxed out.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Economy, Santa Fe, and November

My visit to Santa Fe last week was an eye-opener. I went to visit a gallery where I bought art about a year ago and had a little trouble finding the entrance. It turns out that the owner decided to shrink her space in the past year. I asked why, and it was that business was too slow to pay for the previous space. She added that she was able to keep most of her artists. But that means she had to drop some.

At another gallery where I bought art this visit, the owner informed me she would be moving soon because her landlord was not lowering rent while others were. Now, this gallery is in a prime spot on San Francisco St. not far from the Plaza. Incredulous, I asked if rents around the Plaza were indeed going down, and she said yes.

The Plaza area in Santa Fe is a busy and prime area for upscale tourists and art (and food) lovers. If landlords feel they need to lower rents there, that says volumes about how weak the economy is. I was genuinely surprised the economy is having this much impact on the Plaza.

Since I’ve returned home, numbers, including another rise in jobless claims this morning, and the Fed statement Tuesday confirm the economy is getting worse again. And that is saying something given the economy was not exactly great earlier this year.

Shifting to politics, I had thought a slightly improved economy might help limit the damage for Democrats in November. Now that it appears the opposite might be the case, that political bloodbath I’ve said might be coming might indeed come right on schedule. To add a further weakening in the economy to all the Democrats’ provocations . . . .

Do I need to say more?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Harry Reid Plays the Race Card

An incredible statement from Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, okay. Do I need to say more?"

Check out the video for yourself.

Again, that racist Democrat mentality slips out – to be a good Negro or a good Mexican, you have to stay on the liberal plantation.

Do I need to say more?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Feast of St. Lawrence

Today is the Feast of St. Lawrence. I particularly appreciate this deacon and martyr because the method of his martyrdom was particularly unpleasant – grilling on a gridiron. That makes burning at the stake seem merciful in comparison.

Yet, he is said to have been cheerful and even joking ("This side’s done, turn me over and have a bite.") during his torture.

I notice that his feast had a prominent place in the Sarum rite. He even had a vigil assigned to him.

If a learned reader has insight as to why St. Lawrence was so important in the late medieval English church, please post a comment.

Monday, August 09, 2010

About Those “Stimulus” Signs

There has been some controversy about money being spent on signs to trumpet “stimulus” projects. I encountered one in New Mexico the other day on the stretch of highway being repaved between Carlsbad and Carlsbad Caverns.

Now place yourself in the driver’s seat. You may have driven a lot of miles and may have a lot of miles in front of you as I did. And you may have already been tortured by driving through all the traffic lights of Carlsbad as I had been. (By the way, a much needed highway project is to build a loop around that miserable town.) Then, thanks to “stimulus,” once free of Carlsbad, you have to slow down again, be funneled unto a two-lane road, and perhaps be stuck behind a slow driver. And that even though the old pavement on what is normally a four-lane divided highway seems fine and smooth.

And the sign trumpeting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act tells you who to thank.

And it occurred to me that some of those signs may backfire on those Demorats who passed “stimulus.”

But I can be a bit slow. I discovered this morning I am not the first one to think this.