Friday, December 30, 2011

Will Eric Holder’s Attack on SC Voter ID Backfire?

How predictable. Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder is using “voting rights” as a cover to enable vote fraud and has blocked South Carolina’s Voter ID law.

I will not rehash here what an outrage this is in number of ways. I have toasted Democrat opposition to Voter ID more than once.

But there is another interesting angle to Holder’s decision to block Voter ID – it could easily backfire. For he is not only going against past Supreme Court precedents as well as past Justice Department actions . . .

But the Justice position is a lead zeppelin, contradicting both the Supreme Court and the Department's own precedent. In 2005, Justice approved a Georgia law with the same provisions and protections of the one Mr. Holder nixed for South Carolina. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board that an Indiana law requiring photo ID did not present an undue burden on voters.

. . . he is also practically inviting the Supreme Court to strike down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The Court has made some past noises questioning that section which allows the Justice Department to harass states and localities in the egregious fashion it is so doing now. Holder’s conduct presents a good case for finally doing away with Section 5.

I doubt that will happen, but one can always hope.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Queen’s Christmas Message

Between hosting two Christmas parties and recovering from the same, I have fallen behind on a number of tasks. Regrettably among them is viewing The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast, which I did not get around to doing until this morning. I know. Terrible.

But what a magnificent message it is! Her Majesty did not give in to the world’s pressure to secularize or water down Christmas, but forthrightly and winsomely proclaimed the core message of the birth of our Lord.

And I agree with Cranmer that her brief speech greatly outshone the Christmas missives of the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster. Do not even get me started on ++Vincent Nichols’ message. Christmas is about trashing Israel’s effort to defend herself?

I was glad to see Nichols ascend to his see, but I am sorely disappointed in him.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS) has not only recognized The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as the legitimate expression of Anglicanism in the United States instead of The Episcopal “Church” (TEC), but has also explicitly dis-invited TEC Presiding “Bishop” Schori from visiting the Sudan church.

Given the financial help The Episcopal Church has given ECS in the past, this is a principled and courageous act. A few commenters at the above link think this will not affect future financial assistance from TEC, but I very much doubt that.

Our prayers and our help for The Episcopal Church of the Sudan are in order, for this matter and for the severe hardships all Christians are suffering in the Sudan and South Sudan.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas has begun.

In the Chapel of Kings, Once in Royal David’s City is sung.
All around a listening world, Christmas has begun.

Obama 2012 wants YOU to propagandize your family for Christmas!

One mark of the totalitarian impulse is that everything is about The Dear Leader, whoever he may be at the time. A case in point – the Obama campaign is urging his followers to propagandize their families for Christmas. I am not kidding.

I can think of few things which would better promote family disharmony at Christmas. (But then totalitarians and assorted Leftists do constantly work to undermine the family and Christmas for that matter.) Whatever one’s political leanings, propagandizing your family at Christmas is a bad, bad idea. I know. I am just about the only conservative left in my admittedly small family. My hippie dad and I used to get into some heated arguments. And he used to give me gifts such as an Al Franken book.

We are both wiser now and keep our political discussions in small, infrequent, and careful doses. And when I call him today, I will not berate him for voting for Obama or for being likely to do so again.

Besides, Christmas is not about politics or someone’s Dear Leader. It is about the Lord of Lords and King of Kings humbling himself to be born into our messed up world for our sake and for our salvation.

The Obama campaign clearly does not get that.

Let us be more wise. Let us celebrate the birth of our Savior and love our family and friends . . . whatever their politics. Even if we are engaged in political warfare, we can follow the good example of the Christmas Truce and let our warfare cease for a time in honor of the Prince of Peace.

May you have a Happy Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Letter from Archbishop Duncan on the AMiA Situation

I am not yet sure exactly what to think of all this – one reason I haven’t posted on the subject. But Archbishop Duncan has issued a plain spoken letter tonight on the current AMiA situation and ACNA’s response:

20th December, A.D. 2011

Eve of St. Thomas the Apostle


Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Recent events within the Anglican Mission in the Americas have challenged us all. This letter is a brief report to you all about those events and about our efforts to find a path forward. The present reality is brokenness. The vision, however, that governs our fledgling Province remains unchanged: a Biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America.

The resignation of nine Anglican Mission bishops, including the Bishop Chairman, from the House of Bishops of Rwanda, changed relationships with Rwanda, with fellow bishops and with the Anglican Church in North America. The resigned bishops lost their status in our College of Bishops as a result of their resignation from Rwanda. The Anglican Mission also lost its status as a Ministry Partner, since that status had been predicated on AMiA’s relationship with Rwanda. In addition, confusion and hurt has been created in Rwanda and in North America, and there is much serious work ahead of us.

Representatives of the Anglican Church in North America and of the Pawleys Island leadership met today in Pittsburgh. For the Anglican Church in North America the starting point was the importance of our Provincial relationship with the Province of Rwanda (a sister GAFCON Province) and with His Grace Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, of our relationship with the North American Bishops Terrell Glenn and Thad Barnum and all the clergy licensed in Rwanda, and of our relationship to those represented by the Pawleys Island group with whom we were meeting. We, as the Anglican Church in North America, have been deeply connected to all three, and we can only move forward when issues and relationships have been adequately addressed and necessary transitions are in progress.

The agreement from today’s meeting in Pittsburgh was that the Anglican Church in North America is prepared to enter into a process by which our relationship with those who will rally to the Pawleys’ vision and leadership (Anglican Mission in the Americas, Inc.) might be restored to a status like the one existing before the Ministry Partner decision of 2010. All those at the meeting today agreed “that there were no subjects that were not on the table.” For the Anglican Church in North America, these subjects must include leadership, relationships, and jurisdictional participation in a way that is fully Anglican.

We made a partial beginning. Bishops Leonard Riches and Charlie Masters agreed to lead the negotiations from the Anglican Church in North America. Bishops Doc Loomis and TJ Johnston will lead from the AMiA side. There is much about what has happened that will have to be faced. The other part of this beginning will be to come alongside P.E.A.R. and their designated bishops (Barnum and Glenn), clergy, people and parishes in North America as they discern their next steps. The good news is that we know a God who has called us and who is able. [I Thess. 5:24] We are sure that He wants all the pieces back together in an ever-more dynamic, ever-more-submitted, ever-more transformed and transforming North American Church. [John 17]

Keep praying. With God nothing shall be impossible. [Luke 1:37] And besides that, He works all things together for good for those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. [Rom. 8:28] Blessed Christmas!

Faithfully in Christ,

+Robert Pittsburgh
Archbishop and Primate 
Anglican Church in North America

Rep. West Calls Out Holder for Playing the Race Card

Oh. So people like me aren’t upset with Eric Holder and the Obama regime about Fast and Furious because of funneling guns to Mexican drug cartels, losing track of them, subsequent crimes with the guns, including the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and many others, of the cover-ups, etc, etc. We are upset because Holder and Obama are black. Yes, that explains everything.

Well, Rep. Allen West, who also happens to be black, has called out Holder for playing the race card.

“I think this is absolutely the last card in the deck, and that shows how weak their ground is,” West said in a phone interview. “But, what that means is they want to make white individuals afraid of continuing to put the pressure on Eric Holder because they don’t want to be seen as racist, and that is something that we have got to move beyond.”

West said Holder can’t logically assign race as a motivation behind the criticisms for his handling of Operation Fast and Furious. “What Fast and Furious has to do with is misleading the Congress and the American people about what you knew about this program, and if you did not know anything about this program, then who’s in charge of the Department of Justice?” West said. “It has nothing to do with your race — it has everything to do with competence, with your character and with your ability to lead the Department of Justice.”

West said Holder’s use of race as a way to attack his critics is “the most insidious thing I ever heard.”

But what should we expect from Holder and the Obama regime? After all, the Dear Leader Himself has been known to play the race card.

Monday, December 19, 2011

About “Newt’s War on the Courts”

There has been not a little unhappiness among conservatives about Newt Gingrich’s recent statements about holding federal judges accountable. Hot Air even dubbed it “Newt’s war on the courts”.

However, I am not among those who are unhappy. Although I, too, may disagree with details of what Gingrich has said on the subject, I am actually heartened by his boldness.

For the problem in recent decades has not been Presidents and Congresses confronting the Judiciary, but the unwillingness of Presidents and Congresses to do so. Federal judges have again and again disregarded and undermined the Constitution with impunity. And the other branches of the federal government have done next to nothing.

That is not the way constitutional government should work.

Under our Constitution, the three branches of the federal government are to check and balance each other. And the Executive branch has done that to Congress, and the Congress to the Executive, and the Judiciary to both.

But who has checked the Judiciary and kept it in balance? Federal judges have acted like dictators in black robes, even nullifying elections without Constitutional backing, and have not been held accountable at all.

There are constitutional means for Presidents and Congresses, as well as Governors, to put rogue federal judges in their places. But they rarely, if ever, do so even when outrageous rulings cry out for it.

So when a candidate expresses the willingness to actually defend our Constitution against judges who care not a wit for it, I am that much more inclined to support said candidate. When one branch goes rogue and disregards and even attacks our Constitution, it is the sworn duty of other branches to defend the Constitution.

Now, can this be taken too far? Can one branch so suppress the power of another branch that it is dangerous and unconstitutional? Can checking the power of federal judges go too far? Yes, and FDR, for one, did take things too far.

But since FDR, that has rarely if ever been the problem. The problem has been federal judges who tear down the rightful power of the other branches, of the states, and of the people, and have disregarded the Constitution without let or hindrance. And the future of our constitutional republic demands that such judicial arrogance be put in its place.

Good on Newt Gingrich for the courage to express the willingness to do so.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P.

You may have noticed I can be slightly vehement about the enormities of the Left. And I am certainly no fan of the aggressive New Atheism.

So it may surprise that I have long been a fan of Christopher Hitchens.

Through the years, I have gotten so weary of the idiocy emanating from the Left that I find it refreshing when I come across those left of center, even far left of center, who can actually think for themselves and communicate well.

Christopher Hitchens was such a man. I’ve always enjoyed listening to him because he has always been unpredictable, witty, and sharp . . . and unafraid, particularly unafraid to offend the kneejerk Left, but just about everyone else for that matter. He relished going against the grain and did not seem to care who was annoyed by that.

Was much of what he said outrageous? Oh, yes! But he was outrageous because he was unafraid to think independently and to speak and write clearly and intelligently with his unique biting wit. Even when his conclusions were utterly wrong, he came to them in a right way worthy of respect and attention.

His demise is a loss to intelligent discourse.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eric Holder at the LBJ Library – How Appropriate

Eric Holder gave a little speech in Austin yesterday on how he wants to rig elections. The venue was the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum.

How appropriate.

LBJ got elected to the Senate due to ballot stuffing in Duval County. So his library is the perfect venue for Holder’s speech.

Like all good Democrats, Holder sticks his head in the sand concerning election fraud.

[Holder] said there is widespread agreement that in-person voting fraud -- the chief target of the new laws -- "is uncommon."

Well, maybe most voters are not ineligible felons or illegal aliens or voting multiple times or had their votes bought etc. etc., but somehow enough of them are to help Democrats win in close races. But it’s “uncommon.” No problem here!

But Voter ID laws to make vote fraud even less common, why we can’t have that. That’s vote fraud suppression, I mean, “voter suppression.”

And we must make sure the right people are elected.

Holder reiterated the department's assertion that Texas "has failed to show the absence of discrimination" by not drawing new congressional districts that would strengthen the voting power of Hispanics, who fueled much of the state's population growth over the past decade.

So the Texas congressional delegation must elect Democrats through gerrymandered districts based on race. Never mind that Texas is an overwhelmingly Republican state. Only groups favored by Democrats have “voting rights”, not those racist Republicans.

As if that is not enough, this gem came up after the speech:

In a question-and-answer session with library Director Mark Updegrove, after his 30-minute address, Holder said that after taking office, he chose to reinvigorate the department's Civil Rights Division because he felt the unit had "lost its way."

In other words, the Civil Rights Division was not as Leftist and devoted to rigging elections as Holder wanted. So he hired some real winners. Hire after hire are Leftists with a record of opposing efforts to prevent vote fraud. Some even oppose felon disenfranchisement laws.

Again, Holder’s (and Obama’s) determination to support election rigging and fraud is in the spirit of that greeeeat man, Lyndon Baines Johnson. The LBJ Library was indeed the perfect venue for yesterday’s speech.

MORE: J. Christian Adams was in Austin. The money line of his take:

[Holder] said that voter fraud “isn’t a huge problem,” perhaps marking the first time the nation’s chief law enforcement downplayed criminal behavior.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Commercial Christmas Summarized

Tonight I saw an ad that is such a brazen, shameless, cheesy exploitation of Christmas . . . it gave me a good laugh – Nissan’s “Most Wonderful Sale of the Year”:

“The most wonderful sale of the year” . . . that sums up a commercial Christmas rather well, does it not?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Occupy Attacks America

My post title may seem overwrought. But I think Occupy has now shown that their target is not just "the 1%" and economic inequality, but the United States itself. They are now going beyond class warfare – as if that is not bad enough – to war against the whole American economy. For this morning, they intend to blockade ports throughout the U. S. West Coast.

Whatever their explanations and idiocies, this is nothing less than an attack on the economy of the United States.

And it should be treated as such.

Friday, December 09, 2011

NAACP Runs to UN to Defend the Right to Vote . . . Fraud

So this is what “voting rights” has come to – the right to rig elections to get the results you want, whether by arbitrary law or by outright lawlessness, namely election fraud. The NAACP is letting their self-righteous cover of their efforts to rig democracy slip with their petition to the UN alleging disenfranchisement of Blacks and Hispanics.

For about what is the NAACP really whining to the UN? Efforts to ensure votes are legit and not fraudulent. Prominent in the NAACP complaint are Voter ID laws and laws to keep ineligible felons from voting. Trying to make sure only eligible people vote is racist, don’t you know.

By way, does the NAACP really want to argue that keeping felons from voting is an anti-Black measure?

Another NAACP complaint is even more . . . interesting. They cite Georgia shortening its early voting period from 45 days to 21 days. Only 21 days to early vote? That RAAAACCISSM!

The NAACP might want to think again about this. Their course of action is so obnoxious it just might backfire. As if race-baiting for vote fraud in front of the UN isn’t bad enough, they might (and I am not yet certain of this) petition the UN Human Rights Council:

What better forum for the NAACP to use to berate and try to embarrass the United States than the dysfunctional United Nations Human Rights Council, where 57.45% of the members are rated “Not Free” or only “Partly Free” by Freedom House?

We don’t have to imagine what this travesty of an international “human rights” organization will do with the report. Members with such stellar human rights records as Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Cuba and China will have a field day trying to deflect attention from their own blatant denials of fundamental freedoms to their peoples by turning the United States into a racist oppressor.

Yeah, that would go over well in America.

May I humbly suggest the NAACP might be wiser to declare victory on voting rights (And they have won and then some.) and focus on voter responsibility. Blacks still have relatively low voter turnout, and when they do vote they often elect loons *coughsheilajacksonleecough* and crooks. And that hardly advances black people or anyone . . . except for race-baiting loons and crooks.

And enabling vote fraud hardly advances real voting rights and the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Do-nothing Obama

With Obama striving to pin Congressional Republicans with a “do-nothing” label, it is time for a reality check.

I’ve posted on how Obama simply played politics with the Super Committee failure after doing almost nothing to prevent it. Now he is taking a similar tack with the payroll tax cut extension.

Republicans have made it clear they also want a payroll tax cut extension, but that it must be paid for, and it must not be an excuse to raise already high taxes on high income brackets.

So if Obama wants to extend the payroll tax cut, he would simply scale back a little of his trillions in new spending to pay for it. And a deal would be done tomorrow. But no, he instead demagogues and plays class warfare politics by pushing the very tax hikes Republicans have made clear are unacceptable. As with the Super Committee, it seems Obama really wants failure and inaction for his own political ends.

And this is indeed part of a pattern. Obama rushes to the podium at every opportunity to engage in class warfare as well as to pin a “do-nothing” label on Republicans. But the reality is he himself is pursuing a strategy of do-nothing to further this political strategy of failure.

As part of this do-nothing strategy, he and his administration is making remarkably little effort to contact and negotiate with Congress, especially Republicans. And it is not just conservatives who have pointed this out:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) had emerged last year as a potentially fertile lobbying target for the administration when she touted her independence after losing the GOP primary to tea party Republican Joe Miller, whom she subsequently defeated as a write-in candidate in the general election. But Murkowski said that after a call congratulating her victory, little of substance has come from her spare dealings.

Murkowski said she did get a call from White House Chief of Staff William Daley asking about her vote on the Commerce secretary nomination. She also visited the Oval Office in February, according to news reports.

"I, too, kind of assumed there would be greater outreach there. But this administration is not known for reaching out on the legislative side," she said. "It's not just my observation. I talk with colleagues on the other side of the aisle who had expected perhaps a little more reach out because of the fact that the president used to serve with us in the Senate and the vice president used to serve with us here in the Senate."

Obama wooed Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) a lot early in his presidency, first to get her vote on the stimulus package and later seeking her vote for health care reform.

But he doesn't call anymore, and his team hasn't reached out much either, she said.

Snowe, who is up for re-election next year, said the Obama White House has the worst relationship with Congress of any of the six presidents with whom she's served.

"It's a dramatic difference. ... I don't expect the president every day to be calling me or somebody else. [But] I think what you do expect is to have a team that can work through the various issues ... and build a consensus," she said.

Snowe added, "I can understand him using the bully pulpit, you know, to enhance his position, but it can't be to the exclusion of ever working with the legislative branch."

Now Murkowski and Snowe are hardly conservative or rabidly anti-Obama. In fact, they greatly vex conservatives such as myself in part because they are most likely among “Republicans” to go along with Obama. They are logically among the first Obama would contact if he wants to get something done. So if they are among those pointing out that Obama makes little effort to work with Congress, that is saying something.

What we have here is a President who doesn’t really want to get anything done before the election, but instead wants inaction so he can use it to engage in political theater.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Do-nothing Obama.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

About Rowan Williams’ Advent Letter to the Primates

The Archbishop of Canterbury has sent an Advent letter to the Primates of the Anglican Communion. There is much here, but I will focus on the following paragraph:

8. These questions are made all the more sharp by the fact that the repeated requests for moratoria on problematic actions issued by various representative Anglican bodies are increasingly ignored. Strong conscientious convictions are involved here. No-one, I believe, acts out of a desire to deepen disunity; some believe that certain matters are more important than what they think of as a superficial unity. But the effects are often to deepen mutual mistrust, and this must surely be bad for our mission together as Anglicans, and alongside other Christians as well. The question remains: if the moratoria are ignored and the Covenant suspected, what are the means by which we maintain some theological coherence as a Communion and some personal respect and understanding as a fellowship of people seeking to serve Christ? And we should bear in mind that our coherence as a Communion is also a significant concern in relation to other Christian bodies – especially at a moment when the renewed dialogues with Roman Catholics and Orthodox have begun with great enthusiasm and a very constructive spirit.

What stands out, nay, shouts to me is Dr. Williams' utter cluelessness as to what is needful for “personal respect”.

If one has children who willfully and brazenly disobey household rules, you may clearly warn them once before discipline, but then if the disobedience continues, you must impose discipline, not make more expressions of “concern.” Otherwise there will be rampant disrespect for you and for your rules – and disrespect not only from the disobedient children, but also from faithful children who see your spinelessness.

Rowan Williams not only has refused to discipline The Episcopal Church and other apostates, but also willfully undermined the Primates after they sought to do the job at Dar es Salaam. And he short-circuited Lambeth from doing the job by turning it into an Inbada. He is like an indulgent parent not only will not discipline, but who also deflects and undermines all efforts of schools, of churches, and even of law enforcement to bring his riotous brats in line. No one respects such a father, no matter how shiny his mitre.

And speaking of the Roman Catholics and Orthodox, they are just being polite in any so-called “renewed dialogues.” They know full well that Rowan Williams has turned the Anglican Communion into a playground for apostates and heretics. He has thereby shot ecumenical efforts with orthodox Christians to Hell.

Having lost the respect of the vast majority of orthodox Anglicans as well as a great many not-so-orthodox Anglicans by his fecklessness, the best thing Rowan Williams could do now for the Communion and for the whole catholic church is to repent and to resign.

Otherwise, he is, as Christopher Johnson points out, a pointless man sending out useless letters.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chris Christie goes yard on Obama: “What the hell are we paying you for?”

After the failure of the Super Committee, I was amazed at the gall of Obama to run to a podium, wage brazen class warfare, and blame Republicans. By his own admission, he hardly lifted a finger to move the Democrats on the Super Committee to negotiate in good faith. Instead, he jetted to Australia when he took a break from campaigning at taxpayer expense. But it’s all Republicans’ fault that the Super Committee failed. And the evil rich are to blame, too, somehow.

Frankly, I think Obama wanted the Super Committee to fail to make Congress look bad and to make him look above it all. Sen. Pat Toomey, who tried mightily to make the Super Committee work, has suggested as much.

Thank God there is a public official with the gut (and a large one at that) to say The One has no clothes, that Obama is willfully not doing his job. I present to you Gov. Chris Christie who rightly asks, “What the hell are we paying you for? . . . What have you been doing exactly?”

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Psalm for Advent

During my recent sojourn in England, God blessed me with a frequent sense of his presence. Receiving communion at Pusey House most mornings was an important part of that blessing.

Psalm 46 was important to me as well in that regard, coming to mind time and time again. God showed himself to me to be not only “a very present help in trouble”, but also very present at all times.

As I’ve read and reread this psalm, for the first time I’ve noticed how appropriate it is for Advent. (Yes, I can be slow, but hey . . .) The presence of God with men is certainly a vital theme of Advent and then the Christmas season.

But what I had not noticed before is how Psalm 46 is almost a prophesy of the end times and of Christ’s Second Advent. The earth changing, melting even as God raises his voice; mountains slipping into the sea as the earth quakes – that sounds like end times. Nations making an uproar and God putting them in their place as “he makes wars to cease” in all the earth; then God is exalted in all the earth and is “with us,” even in our midst. All this reflects his glorious Second Advent.

Note there is no promise of “the Rapture” here, that his people escape all tribulation, but instead the assurance of God being a “very present help” and refuge to his people in the midst of tribulations now and future. And he will bring us to that “river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High.”

Again, Psalm 46 was very helpful to me in experiencing God’s presence in England and is a timely reminder of the same during Advent.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

About the St. Paul’s Occupy Protest

I am confident most of my readers already know that most of those camping out in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral are, well, lowlife and should be cleared out asap. But for those who still think that the occupiers and their protest are noble, I have two words and a link.

Yeaaah, riiight.

Maybe I should say more than two words. Sure, some people joined the protest out of noble if misguided intent. But a few weeks of the scummy conduct of the camp at St. Paul’s (as well as a number of other places around the West) should convince anyone who can think for themselves that there are better ways to make one’s voice heard.

I, too, in my younger days joined a certain protest out of noble intent. But when the ignoble nature of the protest became evident, I left.

Those who remain at St. Paul’s are an ignoble lot, to put it mildly, and should be cleared out.

Monday, November 21, 2011

500 pounds and the bishops

Back in my Duke days, there was a rally against President Reagan’s proposed cuts to student aid. (Yes, I am that old.) The promoters of said rally tried to motivate us students by saying that 62% of us received some form of federal student aid.

That number resonated with me, but not in the way promoters intended. I took the podium (not long after Duke President Terry Stanford said his piece against the cuts) and said that most of us Duke students were pretty well off and that if 62% of us were getting federal student aid, then that was too much.

That not only put a damper on the rally, it made the local TV news.

The reason I mention this episode is that I think certain Church of England bishops have just made the same mistake the rally promoters did. They have used a number to push their agenda when the same number really cries out against it. The said bishops, including ones I respect, have taken a public stand against a proposal to cap welfare to 500 pounds a week per family. In doing so, the bishops have joined others in much “What about the children?” handwringing.

But my reaction is 500 pounds a week is not chump change and to cap welfare benefits at that point is exceedingly reasonable. Now maybe I’m a hard-hearted meanie, but I doubt it. And I bet I am not the only one who thinks the bishops in error. At the very least, Cranmer also and his commenters are looking askance at 500 pounds a week.

I suspect the bishops by trying too hard to be sensitive and in touch are only proving to many that they are the opposite.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Schori and the Abuser . . . and the quiet

I’ve been preoccupied with studies of medieval church history and of ale in England. But I’ve watched from afar the scandal of --Schori’s enabling of an abuser of minors during her tenure as Bishop of Nevada. What I have found most remarkable about the story is that her tenure as Presiding “Bishop” appears to be in little danger despite the revelations. The quiet is deafening.

Now, I am not the one to go to for the details on this story. As is often the case, the Anglican Curmudgeon is carrying out the thankless, curmudgeonly task of laying out the facts. His conclusion?

… it is now undisputed that Bishop Jefferts Schori learned early on, from Bede Parry's own former Abbot, that he was a multiple-count abuser who could not continue to function as a Catholic priest (or monk) because he had "a proclivity to reoffend with minors." And she learned of this fact before she decided to receive him into her Diocese as an Episcopal priest.

Further, he (still somehow an Episcopalian) calls for her to be inhibited.

But I would be surprised if that ever happens although it most certainly should. And where is the outrage about that? Again, the quiet is remarkable.

I theorize several causes of the quiet, when there should be shouting:

1. The utter disciplinary and moral bankruptcy of The Episcopal Church.

2. The Episcopal Church has become so wedded to the secular zeitgeist and has so fallen into decline that it is not a fat target as, say, the Roman Catholic Church and Penn State.

3. A corollary is the “mainstream” news media would rather investigate conservatives and orthodox Christians rather than one of their own.

4. Anglican fatigue.

Some will need no explanation of #4, but perhaps I should give one anyway. There is now so much weariness of the enormities and conflicts among Anglicans, and so many have written off the Episcopal Church in particular, that few hardly care anymore, at least not enough to do much about it.

Even this Anglican blogger does not frequent the Anglican blogdom with the zeal he once did. And the last time he can remember blogging on the Episcopal Church, it was still summer and the title of the post was “YAWN”.

Thus the motivation and energy to do much about this latest outrage from The Episcopal Church is lacking on all sides . . . even from those of us who know full well it is indeed an outrage.

ADDENDUM: I was just about to post when Schori issued a statement on the Bede Parry case. It may be found here.

Given her credibility, my opinion concerning this matter remains unchanged, except to say that perhaps things are not as quiet as I think if she feels compelled to make a statement.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remembrance Day Disturbance at Westminster Abbey

I’ve had an excellent Remembrance Day in Westminster. An beautiful and solemn special service at the Abbey; a parade with what had to be thousands of veterans, many so old I wondered how they could march the whole route; an hour of change-ringing from the Abbey against a bright cloudless sky – all this and more made it a great day.

And I may say more about that in due time. But the end of the day was a bit too interesting.

During Evensong at Westminster Abbey, a disturbed gentleman created a disturbance in the North aisle beside the Quire. Clothed and in his right mind he was most definitely not.

Now, I did not eyewitness the incident though I most definitely heard it as he was shouting and rattling around. I did hear after the service that he stripped during his episode. I did not bother to ask if he wore boxers or starkers.

The episode began shortly before or during the First Lesson. It ended during or shortly after the Second Lesson. The vergers were concerned enough that they closed the quire screen for a time. But the service did not stop.

The choir carried on admirably. One chorister was in tears for a moment, but he, too, carried on. Good on him! I am very impressed with the choir. They have been sounding great and sounded great even tonight under trying circumstances.

I cannot blame the chorister if he was frightened. It was a bit frightening. In the Quire, I could not see what was going on. At times I thought it might have been organized with more than one person involved. I was honestly considering what action to take to defend myself and others if matters escalated and someone entered the Quire itself. It was only during the sermon that we were informed it was one disturbed man.

As I've mentioned, there was a lot of rattling around during some of the disturbance. So after the service I asked a verger if any damage was done. He said no.

I did not ask and do not know just exactly how the disturbance was ended or whether law enforcement was called in. It was most certainly handled with restraint.

As if that is not enough, I attended the organ recital not long afterwards. And the organist turned out to be a very accomplished but perhaps slightly mad Russian named Ilya Kudryavtsev.

Why do I question his sanity? He played Alain’s Trois Dances. Those who have had the misfortune of hearing this piece and remembering it will understand.

But at least he kept his clothes on.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Behind Closed Doors at Christ Church

Last month, (Yes, the times I’ve had both the time and energy to post have been few.) I took a special Behind Closed Doors tour at Christ Church Oxford. In fact, we were told this was the first Closed Doors tour, and that they hoped to do this two or three times a year.

It was a great day. The highlights for me were an excellent lunch at high table in Christ Church Hall (Eating in that glorious hall has been one of my aspirations.) and the books – wonderful old books, some of which we actually got to handle.

The outstanding book in that regard was St. Augustine’s Homilies on John from Buildwas Abbey, written in 1167. That is not a typo. It is in its original binding, too.

It is a very practical book and built to last (obviously!) which is what one would expect from the Cistercians. There isn’t a lot of illumination but some nice workmanlike initials. The abbey was not overly picky about the vellum (treated calf skin) it was written on. So the numerous holes in the vellum pages were simply written around. This was a book to be used, not for some lord to show off.

But that was not all. At my request, we visited the obscure Allestree Library. Many students at Christ Church have never heard of it, and it is in a smallish room in a corner of the college. It does not stand out at all.

But all the old books in it! Not as old as 1167; I think they are all printed books. But almost all are also 17th century or older.

There was more we got to see. The Dean’s Garden, complete with chickens and Alice’s Door, was an unexpected treat.

By the way, to find out the best things happening in Oxford, you do have to be alert. I found out about this by looking at a message board in Christ Church Meadow. And I had only read or heard of Allestree Library in a worn copy of Jan Morris’ Oxford. Some of the best events and places here are hardly publicized. As I’ve heard Barry Orford of Pusey House note with his characteristic perplexity, “No one tells you about anything in this town.”

Early in term, I completely missed the old town walls at New College being duly inspected, a regular event I was well aware of, but the timing of which I had completely forgotten. It took me a while to get over my grief.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Banqueting House Whitehall

I mentioned that when I visited London on St. Edward’s Eve, I did more than listen to two great choirs. One destination was the Banqueting House at Whitehall.

Seeing the great ceiling paintings of Peter Paul Rubens is worth the price of admission and is, in fact, the main attraction.

The main reason I found the paintings interesting is the insight they give into the mentality of Charles I. He had the paintings done in honor of his father King James I and, boy, do they honor him. I found them over the top to the point of being funny.

In the central painting, King James ascends up into heaven accompanied by the heavenly host. In another, personified England and Scotland look gratefully upon the wise James on his throne. And the whole scheme has virtues triumphing over vices, because of King James, of course.

The ceiling portrays the past King of England as godlike . . . which is not far akin from how Charles saw himself as king. An examination of the ceiling gives a good idea as to how Charles could be so insufferable he got his head lopped off.

And the ceiling is one of the last things Charles saw, which is ironic indeed.

By the way, Oxford, which was King Charles’ friendly home for much of the Civil War, still seems to be fighting said war. Portraits and statues of him are everywhere.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

An 18th Century Oxford Experience

While at the Oxford Beer Festival I had an interesting conversation with a student about differing models of university education. (No, I am not kidding. Oxford is both social and brainy that way.) And said conversation gave me the idea for a post or two here.

The first model I will look at is that of 18th Century Oxford. Oxford has a well-earned reputation for rigorous education, but it was not always so. In 1700’s, students were left to their own devices to a great extent. Many Oxford tutors were notorious for not wanting to spend any time with those annoying undergraduates. And the demands on many students were slack.

Therefore many students (who tended to be younger than today’s university students) were slack themselves. And even those who were not often found themselves at a loss as to how best to proceed with their studies.

So how did they graduate? The oral examination system was often perfunctory, especially if the examinee was of a high social class, which he often was. Such became the butt of jokes. One Lord Eldon was said to have been examined thus:

Q: What is the Hebrew for the place of a skull?

A: Golgotha

Q: Who founded University College?

A: King Alfred (a legend steadfastly believed against all evidence at the time)

Examiner: Very well. You are competent for your degree.

And such slackness became somewhat scandalous as well. That is one reason Oxford has a more rigorous system today, which expects more of both faculty and students, much more.

But something is to be said of the 18th Century model, in which there is not constant pressure to prove oneself academically. IF a student knows what he wants to study and indeed wants to study it, there is both tremendous freedom and opportunity with the excellent libraries of Oxford, which today are augmented by the internet.

In fact, on this trip to Oxford, I decided to mimic the 18th Century by eliminating academic pressure altogether. I am not taking a course for credit. (I am not actively seeking a degree, so I have that luxury.) I read what I want when I want.

And I find that this is very productive for me. Not only am I reading and learning a lot in the general area of English Medieval Church History (even though I have already studied the subject much in recent years already). But when I find a book I particularly like and in which I want to spend a lot of time, I look the book up on Amazon. If it is available and reasonably priced, I wish list it to buy it when I get home, and spend more time on books not so readily available back home, thereby multiplying the effect of my visit here.

If I had constantly to prove that I am reading and learning by writing papers, I would have much less time for actually reading. And on some occasions, I would not be able to profitably delay reading certain books until I get back home.

Of course, the problem with giving students such freedom is that many of them will take advantage of that in the wrong way, by being lazy, blowing off their studies, and, yes, getting drunk and obnoxious. Having experienced some of that from “students” first hand, it would not surprise me if past Oxford slackness contributed to town vs. gown riots of notorious history. But I better not get going on that subject.

And there is also the problem of how to evaluate student performance. For that, surely a student must produce something. But if a student is harried by demands for the production of papers and the like, can that not get in the way of real and thoughtful studies?

I do not have easy answers. But that won’t keep me from poking a stick at the issue.

In the meantime, I am thankful that I get to have something of an 18th Century Oxford experience augmented by 21st Century technology.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


One would not think the UK is a gun nut’s paradise, and it is not . . . except for Windsor Castle.

I greatly enjoyed my tour of Windsor Castle yesterday. The famous portraits of kings stand out, but there is so much more that it is really impossible to take it all in.

But I have to admit what was most memorable to this Texan was all . . . the . . . guns. The two guard rooms contain an amazing display of old guns. There had to be hundreds of them, in cabinets, arrayed on the walls, everywhere! I’ve never seen anything like it. It made me think the Royal Family are a bunch of gun nuts.

But, yes, there are other things to see. So if opportunity presents, take the first non-peak train there (to avoid lines getting into the state rooms as I did) and go see it. And do be sure beforehand that the State and Semi-State rooms are open.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Corpus Christi College, Oxford

This past week, I finally got to visit Corpus Christi College, Oxford. This has been problematic because the college is always closed, at least every time I’ve walked by during my three stays in Oxford.

But I have discovered that polite asking can get you a long way in England. Some Oxford colleges especially put up a front of being almost inaccessible. (And when there are hoards of tourists about, I do not blame them.) But that is often an illusion. If you are polite and earnest and ask, it is surprising how far that can get you here.

So, with Corpus Christi closed, of course, I went to the Porters’ Office and pleasantly told the two porters I am a student from Corpus Christi, Texas, that I’ve been in Oxford three times, but I have never gotten to visit the college and very much wanted to do so.

With a smile he let me right in with the only restriction that the Chapel is the only building I should enter.

And Corpus Christi is an amazing college to visit. It is the smallest college in area in Oxford. So I was not expecting much. But it makes marvelous use of its space. The main quad is simple but stately with a tall sundial in the middle and with a formidable statue of the founder, Bishop Foxe glaring over you. There are two smaller quads – much smaller. Remember that Corpus Christi is hemmed in by Christ Church and Merton College and so has little space with which to work. But the smallness of those quads make them that much more interesting.

The Chapel is the narrowest I’ve seen in Oxford, but still impressive and peaceful with interesting monuments, a nice screen and the oldest eagle lectern in Oxford.

But my favorite part of the college is its garden. It is an oasis with three huge shade trees and a high wall that looks over Christ Church’s gardens and Christ Church Meadow. The garden is narrower than other colleges' for sure, but you do not feel hemmed in at all. Just the opposite. It is surely a most pleasant place to sit and read as I saw one student doing.

My visit to Corpus Christi College was interesting and refreshing. I am very glad I asked my way in.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

You might be dining with Oxford Anglo-Catholics if . . .

. . . if a priest insists, with not a little persistence, that you drink some wine on the Feast of St. Frideswide (as I experienced last night at Pusey House).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

St. Edward the Confessor Eve in London

This past Wednesday I spent an excellent Eve of the Feast of the Translation of St. Edward the Confessor in London. My chief missions were two:

1. To worship on the special day at Westminster Abbey, founded by St. Edward. The Choral Evensong was packed with some having to sit in the Nave and was broadcast on BBC, which said broadcast can still be heard for a couple more days. Although I would have selected different music in places, the choir sounds great.

But, having worshipped on the same day at the Abbey back in ’07, there were two disappointments this time. After the service, we did not get to circumnavigate the shrine of St. Edward. And when I stepped outside, there was no change ringing from the Abbey bells. But I am still glad I went.

2. To hear the Choir of King’s College Cambridge sing Mozart near King’s Cross. It was a very interesting and enjoyable performance. And the choir sounds great as always.

Mainly early Mozart was performed, particularly Missa Brevis in C, K140 and Missa Brevis in D, K194. Both were lively as is typical of Mozart and, well, brevis and that for interesting cause. The Archbishop of Salzburg at the time was of a reforming bent and did not like long masses. In fact, he wanted them no longer than 45 minutes! Mozart did not appreciate that much as is understandable, but he certainly adapted well in his composition.

A much longer piece was also played, Divertimento in B flat, Second Londron Night Music. The piece was entirely instrumental, being played by the Dante Quartet. It is interesting, and I enjoyed it, but it takes a little endurance to listen to the whole piece. It was amusing to see some of the idle boys in the choir get bored.

One pleasant surprise of the evening was to see Samuel Landman back in the choir, a choral scholar now and a bass of all things.

By the way, my seat was front row. That is not supposed to be the best seat for a musical performance, but I wouldn’t have been anywhere else. It was great.

As if my day was not full enough, I did some exploring as well. But I will leave off for now.

(Aside: Yes, I finally got some serious sleep overnight. Can you tell? I think the matriculating Freshers drunk themselves into an early stupor yesterday.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Oxford Matriculation

Even through my sleep deprived eyes, I could see that today was a glorious day in Oxford. The sun was shining brightly and literal armies in academic dress converged on the Sheldonian from their various colleges. It is the day new Oxford students are matriculated, if in assembly line fashion, but in proper Latin.

Afterwards, many students parade around town in their fancy dress. If there is a day when Oxford lives up to the stereotype of students walking around in flowing academic dress, today is it. Not a few immediately begin celebrating and, yes, drinking, still in said academic dress.

And who can blame them.

Friday, October 14, 2011

An Apology and Prayer Request

I’m sorry that I’ve been slow to post. For one thing, I had a wonderful Eve of the Translation of Edward the Confessor and desire to post on it.

But a lack of sleep has made posting difficult among other things. There is a problem with noise outside my room. I think, with God’s help, I will be able to deal with the situation adequately. But lack of sleep has literally made me sick in the past. And I am not at 100% now. So I would appreciate your kind prayers.

Thank you.

Today is very sunny . . . yes, in Oxford! So perhaps a nap in the sun will do me some good later. I am now having a profitable morning in the Upper Reading Room of the Bodleian Library, in spite of my sleep deprivation, after an uplifting start to the day at Pusey House.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Church Etiquette Lesson #2

Lesson #2: When the organ begins playing before a service, cease any conversation immediately.

One would think the English, with their Anglican heritage, would get this, and most do. But my contemplation and listening before services has been disturbed more than once already by those English who do not get it.

Even by secular standards, yakking away during the organ prelude is disrespectful to the organist and to those wanting to listen to his effort. By Anglican standards, it is irreverent and bad form.

And even after the service, if you must yak it up during the organ voluntary as so many do, kindly do not do so next to someone still sitting and trying to listen. Go outside!

The Sermones Catholici or Homilies of Aelfric

I’m already flourishing in the wonderful libraries of Oxford. Being surrounded by old books, stained glass, and portraits of English worthies glaring down on my studies inspires me.

Perhaps my most important discovery thus far is the Catholic Homilies of Aelfric.

I first came across some of them browsing in the Upper Reading Room of the Bodleian. I quickly was impressed and edified by them though I’ve only read or skimmed a few just yet. I’ve even found good material for my Sunday School. I particularly find the sermons for Advent Sunday and for Christmas creative and insightful. Brilliant medieval minds often found gems in the scriptures us moderns miss today.

But it took me a while to find a good complete set of them . . . in modern English. I very much wanted to find such, not only for my current studies but to acquire for future study, even if I had to pay up to acquire an old edition. And what I did found was old, from the 1840’s, Benjamin Thorpe’s The Homilies Of The Anglo-Saxon Church: The Sermones Catholici; Or Homilies Of Aelfric, in two volumes.

The format is excellent, with the Old English on one side (Aelfric (of York?) compiled the sermons in the 11th century.) and a modern English translation on the other. The sermons cover at least most of the church year and additional topics as well.

So imagine my joy to find reasonably priced reprints are available online. Thanks be to God!

Friday, October 07, 2011

All Saints North Street, York

The touring part of my trip has ended, and I am happily in the haven where I would be, Oxford.

A highlight of my trip and certainly my favorite parish church so far is All Saints North Street in York. I visited it first chiefly to see the medieval interior, particularly its renowned stained glass.

And the medieval stained glass is outstanding. At York Minster and elsewhere, much medieval glass is quite a puzzle after enduring time and questionable, if not “indifferent” restorations. (One window in the Minster even contains a 20th c. confession of “indifferent” restoration in 1789.) But in All Saints, the old glass is in wonderful condition and easy to interpret.

The windows that stand out are the Prick of Conscience window, which portrays the last fifteen days of the world. Yes, medievals were into horrific end times, too. Nearby is the warm Acts of Corporal Mercy window. Another window portrays a miracle of Christ appearing in the Mass. At the bottom of it is the remains of an indulgence for those who gaze reverently at the window. Yes, such a window surviving the ravages of the Reformation and Civil War is very rare indeed.

All Saints also has a long history of anchoresses and anchorites, even in the 20th century!

As I visited, I noticed they were having a special mass the following Sunday evening for their Dedication Day. So I decided to go to that.

When I arrived early for the Mass, their change ringers were joyfully busy pulling their church bells. Much of the small congregation was already there.

This is very much an Anglo-Catholic parish. The rector wore an actual biretta when he processed then began with Asperges. Later, the Canon was silent – the first time I have seen that in an Anglican setting. Although I read the Canon in my mass booklet because I wanted to know what the priest was praying, I actually did like the silence during the Canon. It added an appropriate reverence and sense of holiness after the Consecration. The service ended with a Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, complete with a procession around the interior of the church!

I very much enjoyed the service, and it certainly enabled me to worship personally. But that was not all. The rector invited me to join others in the congregation to proceed to a nearby pub afterwards. This is a godly parish indeed! Thus concluded an excellent evening this past Sunday.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Church Etiquette Lesson #1

Baptismal fonts, no matter how large and deep, are not to be used as wishing wells.

(This lesson is prompted by seeing staff at Lincoln Cathedral early this morning busy hand removing coins from their medieval font. They and I were amused by the improper offerings. But still . . . )

Monday, October 03, 2011


Although I’ve been to England before and explored cathedrals and abbey ruins, on this trip I cannot get over how . . . well, how big some high medieval houses of worship were/are.

York Minster, which I am presently spending a lot of time exploring, is huge. It claims to be the largest cathedral in Northern Europe. Even the chapter house is imposing. And the famous East Window (now under a massive reconstruction. I do hope I get to see it one day.) is bigger than a tennis court.

But it’s not just York Minster. Close by are the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey. The size of that impresses.

Earlier from Durham, I made a walking pilgrimage to the ruins of Finchale Priory. I had never heard of the place until my last day in Durham and decided on the spur of the moment to go there. It is a mostly pleasant walk through countryside. I ate blackberries by the path to keep my energy up.

The ruins of the abbey were both more intact and larger than I expected. It is a beautiful and imposing place. And, yes, the priory was big.

The size of such houses of worship speaks still to medievals’ powerful desire to glorify God. And it certainly discredits any delusion that the middle ages were a backward time. Centuries later, the work and technology that went into constructing York Minster and a multitude of cathedrals and abbeys still astounds.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Medieval Whimsy in Serious Places

Today at the Treasures of Cuthbert in Durham Cathedral, I saw a 13th century copy of Gratian’s Decretum complete with an illumination of some odd imaginary creature, a friendly dragon perhaps?

Since Gratian was the dominant canon law reference of the time, that’s a bit like seeing a modern lawyerly tome illustrated with Spongebob.

Now I am certainly aware that many medieval manuscripts, even of religious import, are whimsically illustrated. The Luttrell Psalter, which I intend to study in some detail, stands out in that regard. But I certainly did not expect such in a medieval law book.

Such can also be found in English cathedrals and churches. In Hexham Abbey is stone carving of a jester and of a fox preaching to other animals. And this on a chantry near the altar no less. At the crossing of Wells Cathedral is the famous stone carving of a man with a toothache.

I have not yet come across much scholarly commentary on frequent medieval whimsy in illuminated manuscripts and in places of grave, even holy import.

But I have a theory . . . which I may promulgate at a later time.


Housekeeping: I did promise you a surprise about this time. I am studying in England again. And my posts will focus mainly on that experience for a while.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Obama’s Class Warfare Attack on Muni Bonds

Yes, this is a slightly arcane subject. But it reveals so much about the sheer madness mindset of Obama, I cannot let it pass.

Among Obama’s tax hike proposals is removing the tax exemption on municipal bond interest for high income earners.

Leaving aside the important issues of how this would affect individual muni bond holders and whether it is right to tax something that has traditionally been tax free for good reason, this proposal is a punch in the gut to states and municipalities at a time when many are struggling to fund themselves. It would make muni bonds much less attractive to investors and, therefore, make it harder for states, municipalities, and school districts to raise funds. That Obama has now even made this a possibility harms states and localities as it puts a question mark of the valuation of muni bonds.

Concerning school districts, for all Obama’s talk about education, one could hardly come up with a more anti-public school proposal.

Fortunately, this proposal has about 0% chance of passage . . . at this time. But that Obama is even remotely willing to inflict such collateral damage on states, towns, and school districts in his relentless class warfare shows how radical, petty, and profoundly irresponsible the man is.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Here we go again. Another Obama Snitch-line: Attack Watch

Remember that Obamacare snitch-line? Well, the Obama Regime is at it again. They are acting like the petty totalitarians they are and trotting out another Snitch Central, namely Attack Watch.

It already seems to be backfiring, not unlike that earlier snitch-line. Go to twitter, search “#attackwatch” (which is now trending) and enjoy the fun.

I’ll conclude by repeating what I said at the demise of the Obamacare snitch-line:

I am convinced this administration has a totalitarian streak that won’t go away until we make them go away in 2012. In the meantime, if you like your freedoms, you better fight for them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Obama’s HHS: Abstinence Programs Need Not Apply

From the National Catholic Register:

The Department of Health and Human Services released a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for initiatives that promote healthy marriages — as long as those projects don’t include abstinence-education programs.

FOA applicants are required to include a written statement pledging that abstinence education is not a part of their programs. In fact, teaching abstinence is defined as an “unallowable activity.”

Groups are asked to make a “commitment to not use funds for unauthorized activities, including, but not limited to, an abstinence-education program.”
The funding for these marriage programs comes from the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, which includes $75 million for “healthy-marriage promotion” and “responsible fatherhood grants.”

There is little question that abstinence before marriage is conducive to healthy marriages. And, certainly, “responsible fatherhood” includes not bedding around.

But Lefty secularist ideology comes before genuinely healthy families (and common sense) in the Obama Regime, especially under Kathleen Sebelius’ HHS.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cranmer’s Law

His Grace has promulgated a law of political and religious discourse:

CRANMER’S LAW: “No matter how decent, intelligent or thoughtful the reasoning of a conservative may be, as an argument with a liberal is advanced, the probability of being accused of ‘bigotry’, ‘hatred’ or ‘intolerance’ approaches 1 (100%).”

He helpfully fleshes out this law in action:

Should you dare to raise the thorny subject of limiting immigration, you are ‘racist’; if you juxtapose homosexuality with sin, you are ‘homophobic’; if you argue for the Protestant foundations of the British Constitution, you are a ‘bigot’; if you expresses theological concerns over Islam or utter a word in defence of Israel, you are is ‘Islamophobic’; if you are sceptical about man-made global warming, you are a ‘denier’; if you reason from Scripture and seek to uphold traditional morality, you are ‘intolerant’; and should you ever dare to question any precept or directive of the ‘ever closer’ European Union, you are a not only ‘xenophobic’, but a ‘swivel-eyed, right-wing loon’.

Thus is the level of political discourse in modern Britain . . .

And thus is the level of political and religious discourse in the U. S. as well. And it is shutting down real dialogue that liberals claim to cherish.

Nevertheless we must not allow this libelous and poisonous atmosphere to cow us from standing up for what is right and opposing what is evil.

Friday, September 09, 2011


An August 2009 cable has been released that shows Obama State Department concern with “homophobia” in Poland and points the finger at the Roman Catholic church as playing “a significant role in the formation and propagation of anti-gay attitudes in Polish society.”

Now, that State Department bureaucrats favor the gay agenda hardly shocks. But what is shocking is that the State Department under Obama considers the status of that agenda in Poland and RCC influence thereon any of their business.

What the heck does this have to do with American interests? And with 9-11 upon us, the question must be asked – what does this have to do with protecting Americans?

Yet few are making any note of this. Can you imagine the outcry if there were a cable within the Bush State Department that showed concern for how Sweden has gone whole hog for the gay agenda and pointed the finger at the Church of Sweden for pushing it?

The news media and the chattering classes are, as always, dropping the ball on the excesses of Obama and his feds.

And this is inexcusable excess. There is a word for the Obama State Department sticking its nose in Polish domestic affairs that are none of their business – meddling.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Publican and Purgatory

Since most of us are very familiar with the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9ff), which is the Gospel Lesson for this past 11th Sunday after Trinity, it is easy to miss how radical it was . . . and is.

Jesus emphatic statement that the publican “went down to his house justified” after a simple but heartfelt confession of his faith and of his own sin (“God be merciful to me a sinner.”) went very much against the grain of Jewish culture which emphasized the works of the law and did not like tax collectors.

And, as Fr. Robert Hart points out, Jesus’ statement goes against the grain of prominent church errors through the centuries as well. The church has often either diminished the power of the cross of Christ to forgive sin or has diminished the evil of sin itself. But Jesus does not give room for that.

Jesus’ radical statement particularly does not give room for Purgatory. The Publican did not go home in hope that he can somehow work off his sin after death. No, he “went down to his house justified.”

The doctrine of Purgatory has compassionate origins and was a comforting doctrine, at least before the likes of Johann Tetzel got ahold of it. But the doctrine grew out of a lack of comprehension of the finished work and willingness of Christ to forgive all who come to Him.

But more on that in due time.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Obama Black-outs?

This has been largely drowned out by other news stories. But I expect this to be a big story in the future.

The EPA under Obama’s pick Lisa Jackson is pushing regulations that may shut down 8% of U. S. electric generating capacity. AEP alone says it will shut down five power plants because of the EPA regs.

I see more black-outs in our future . . . a lot more. And the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has warned as much, not only saying the regs increase the likelihood of rolling black-outs, but that there would have been rolling black-outs in Texas last month if the regs were already implemented.

Now Obama can stop his rogue EPA from shutting down so much U. S. power. But will he?

I do not think he will unless forced to do so politically. But a bad spate of rolling black-outs this winter or next summer in the midst of a presidential race combined with campaigns smart enough to call him out on this may push his hand. We shall see.

But sooner or later, the EPA’s putsch to shut down U. S. power plants will become a big issue, as it should be.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rowan Williams to Seek Meeting with Mugabe

This should create not a little controversy. George Conger reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury intends to seek a meeting with Robert Mugabe to discuss Zimbabwe’s persecuted Anglicans – persecuted by Mugabe to be exact.

I do not know what to think about this. Certainly, Dr. Williams has a pastoral duty to do his best on behalf of persecuted Anglicans. And, like it or not, Mugabe is in charge in Zimbabwe.

But how evil does a leader have to be before one determines that meeting with him would be pointless? If Mugabe made some sort of agreement with Rowan, would he keep it? And certainly ++Canterbury seeking a meeting with Mugabe (whether Mugabe agrees to a meeting or not) would buttress the stature of that thug.

I’ve been highly critical of Dr. Williams. But on this, he has not my criticism, but my sympathy. This is a difficult and ethically problematic decision indeed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Obama Regime and False Accusations

A word of advice to men going off to college in the next few days: beware of being falsely accused of sexual assault, especially under the Obama Regime.

For his Education Department is virtually requiring that those accused of sexual assault not receive a fair hearing from college authorities. For starters, his Education Department Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is pressuring colleges not to allow the accused “to question or cross-examine the accuser” during college hearings. Also, the accuser must be allowed to appeal decisions, subjecting the accused to double jeopardy.

But, perhaps worse, the OCR is requiring colleges to use “a preponderance of the evidence” standard, an absurdly weak standard for a rape case worthy of a kangaroo court:

This is the lowest standard. It is much less demanding than "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is used in the criminal justice system, and the intermediate standard of "clear and convincing proof."

Yet the Obama Regime would destroy a student’s reputation and career based on such a low standard.

Read more here. It suffices to say that the OCR’s version of “civil rights” omits the civil rights of the accused. Because womyn never make false accusations of sexual assault or harassment in the correct feminist view, don’t you know.

This is not the only indication that the Obama Regime cares not a whit for college students falsely accused of sexual assault. Months ago, Obama appointed one Cathy Davidson, an English professor at Duke University, to the National Council on the Humanities.

Davidson was one of the infamous Group of 88, a cabal of Duke faculty who made statements extremely prejudicial to the falsely accused Duke Lacrosse students years ago. Worse, she refused to admit her wrong and instead brazenly defended the Group of 88 when it became clear the accused students were innocent.

The best source on the whole sordid affair is the Durham-in-Wonderland blog. Look back on the posts in the Spring of 2007.

I was so outraged by the actions of the Group of 88 that this alum wrote to the Duke Board of Trustees and suggested the following:

Each member of the Group of 88 should individually be asked either to publicly and completely apologize for their extremely prejudicial actions against the three students or to begin seeking employment elsewhere.

That will be more courtesy than those faculty members deserve. And it's the least that furthering a safe, welcoming, and just atmosphere for students demands.

Obama instead gives one member of the Group of 88, Cathy Davidson, a plum appointment. That adds insult to injury to those students who have found themselves falsely accused of sexual assault.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bishop Tutu Proposes a White Tax

After reading this, I think I should perhaps give up parody and just report straight news. For Bishop Tutu has proposed a tax on being White:

Tutu called for a small "wealth tax" on all white South Africans as they had benefited during apartheid, the race based segregation system that operated between 1948 and 1994, according to the Cape Argus.

He said the wealth tax call was not new but came up during the TRC process where many in the white community were ready for it at that time. "It could be quite piffling, maybe 1 percent of their stock exchange holdings. It's nothing. But it could have helped," Tutu said.

"Our white fellow citizens have to accept the obvious: You all benefited from apartheid. But that does not mean that all are responsible for apartheid," said Tutu, who retired from public life in 2010 at the age of 79.

What an idea! Myself, I think, here in the U. S., Blacks have benefited disproportionately from affirmative action and welfare programs. So I propose a tax on being Black. Also in certain areas of California, gays have an unfair edge in their careers. So I propose a California Gay Tax as well.

And you just know there ought to be a Jew Tax.

I’m sure other special taxes would be good also. Such taxes are the right thing to do. After all, those who benefit from inequities in our society should pay their *fair share*.


I think Christopher Johnson should be hit with a special tax, too. His blog gets more traffic than mine. Unfair!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Reminder

My loyal readers may have noticed I do not post here as often as I used to. I just haven’t had the time and energy and inspiration lately.

I do expect a special treat for you all beginning in late September.

But for those who just cannot get enough of my ranting, a reminder that I have a Twitter feed, linked over there on the right, which has become both more active and more wide ranging than this blog. Recent posts rant about King Obama and rejoice in Burger King dethroning its creepy king. There are also rants about sports among other odd posts, including doubts about the latest Black Death theory.

In other words, my Twitter feed has something to amuse and/or offend just about everyone! So go there. You know you want to.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Warren Buffett, SHUT UP!

The other day, Warren Buffett once again called for raising taxes on the “rich”. Buffett comes across as a nice rich grandpa and is very popular, so he usually gets kid glove treatment.

But it is time to take the gloves off.

The arrogance of a man who is worth billions calling on the feds to make it harder for those behind him to create wealth galls me.

And it appears I am not the only one. The Wall Street Journal goes yard on his hypocrisy this morning, concluding:

Mr. Buffett is one of the great stock-pickers of his time, and we don't begrudge him a single dollar of his wealth. We only wish that, having already made himself rich, he weren't so intent on making it harder for others to become rich too. If he's worried about being undertaxed, we'd suggest he simply write a big check to Uncle Sam and go back to his day job of picking investments.

In other words, Warren Buffett, SHUT UP!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

“Imaginary” Vote Fraud

We have recently been informed that vote fraud is an “imaginary crime.”

I am so glad to know that. Then it must be just my imagination that three North Carolina Democrats have admitted to voting for Obama . . . two times apiece. Glad to know that didn’t really happen.

And ACORN being fined the maximum amount for violating voter registration laws in Nevada? Just my imagination. The judge must have been really delusional. He said he would send the perpetrator to prison for ten years if he could.

And that NAACP and Democrat Party official who just got sentenced to five years for vote fraud, why, we should march in the streets for her. How dare the court send a Black woman to prison for an imaginary crime! That’s RAAAAACISM! Just like those Voter ID laws. Preventing imaginary vote fraud is RACIST!

Anyway, I am so glad I have had the delusion of vote fraud lifted from me. I will no longer have to waste time on this issue.

Monday, August 15, 2011

“In Britain, everything is policed except crime.”

Over the weekend, I came across the above seven words. I think they summarize exceedingly well much of what is wrong with the current state of UK law and law enforcement as well as why the riots got so out of hand.

I wish I could take credit for said words, but they are Mark Steyn’s. Of course, his quip overstates his case slightly for purposes of impact and humor. But they are deliciously on target nonetheless.

Why do these words resonate so much with me? Back in 2007, I saw a photo in the Daily Mail of a scraggly gentleman being caught red-handed conducting a smash-and-grab on a car. You see, the car was booby-trapped with a camera which took a wonderful photo of the gentlemen.

But what shocked me was the caption. Without further comment, it noted his sentence. I wish I could remember the sentence or find the photo online, but I do remember it was a slap on the wrist, outrageously so. And, no, he was no juvenile. He looked well above 30.

Also back in 2007, I remember seeing, and most definitely hearing, animal rights protesters out the window of the Bodleian Library. The protesters, complete with at least one very loud megaphone, were intentionally disrupting an Oxford graduation ceremony. And I saw this act at more than one such ceremony.

Now certainly the protesters have their right to free speech. But they do not have the right to disrupt an once-in-a-lifetime ceremony as well as those reading in the Bodley. Well, actually they do in the UK, complete with police protection no less.

This mentality allowed the riots to get out of hand. What, it took three days for Cameron to suggest water cannons? What about rubber bullets? No wonder the looters ravaged without fear. Common sense required a tough response on the very first night. But common sense is lacking among UK authorities. They do precious little to defend your property. Hell, they hardly allow you to defend your property.

In the UK, it seems at times that criminals have more rights than citizens who wish to live a quiet and peaceable life. “In Britain, everything is policed except crime.”


Friday, August 12, 2011

The Kindergarten President

Yesterday, President Obama gave a stump speech in Michigan, complete with the usual class warfare and blaming. Really, a long stretch of his speech blaming everything but his regime for the economy was downright comical:

Now, some of what we’re facing today has to do with events beyond our control. As the economy was improving and improving through 2009, 2010, the beginning of this year, suddenly it was hit with the unrest in the Middle East that helped send gas prices through the roof. Europe is dealing with all sorts of financial turmoil that is lapping up on our shores. Japan’s tragic earthquake hurt economies around the globe, including ours, cut off some supply chains that were very important to us. And all of this has further challenged our economy. And as we’ve seen, it’s playing out in the stock market, wild swings, up and down, and it makes folks nervous, and it affects the savings of families all across America.

Now, challenges like these — earthquakes, revolutions — those are things we can’t control. But what we can control is our response to these challenges. What we can control is what happens in Washington. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen in Washington the last few months has been the worst kind of partisanship, the worst kind of gridlock –- and that gridlock has undermined public confidence and impeded our efforts to take the steps we need for our economy. It’s made things worse instead of better.

So what I want to say to you, Johnson Controls, is: There is nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics. (Applause.) There’s something wrong with our politics that we need to fix.

Of course, those politics are not his fault at all, no more than the earthquakes, revolutions, sea monsters, etc. etc.

One statement later in his speech also stood out to me:

We can’t ask the people in this room — working families, middle-class families — to bear the entire burden. We’re not going to balance our budgets on the back of middle-class and working people in this country. Everybody has got to do their part. (Applause.) Everybody has got to do their part. Everybody has got to chip in. That’s fair. You learn it in kindergarten.

And you know, Obama is right. We do learn a lot in kindergarten.

What do kindergarteners learn and learn well? They learn to blame others. I remember saying, “It’s not my fault.” Those were among my favorite words. I even remember blaming my babysitter for drawing on a white sofa. Why, I didn’t do that.

Has Obama learned to blame others? Check! (Pats Obama on head.)

Kindergarteners also learn to whine, “It’s not fair!” Hey, I said that a lot, too!

Has Obama learned to whine about fairness and to play that card against “the rich”? Oh, has he! Check!

And we see both traits in his speech yesterday . . . and practically every other day.

Barack Obama – the Kindergarten President.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Abomination of the Week

Puppet of Doom consumes a congregation foolish enough to attend St. Joan of Ark Roman Catholic Church, Minneapolis, which is a veritable zoo of abominations.

I always thought that interpretations of the Apocalypse that associate the Church of Rome with the Beast were a bit over the top. But I might make an exception for that parish.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Blame Games

When the blameworthy engage in blaming others, it says more about those engaging in blame games rather than their targets. Two instances (actually three *coughSchoricough* but I may get to that later) over the weekend stand out in that regard.

First, the worst of the Labour Left have tried to pin the blame for the Tottenham riots on the Tories. Red Ken Livingstone is, of course, among those playing that blame game. Yes, I can envision Maggie Thatcherites and businessmen in suits setting London on fire.

The blame, of course, belongs with the lowlifes who rioted and, perhaps, with the very soft response to their predations.

But if one wishes to blame political parties, which party is it that opened the door to massive indiscriminate immigration of those whose culture is an ill fit with English culture? If any party owns those who rioted, it is Labour, most definitely not the Tories.

Second, in the aftermath of the S&P downgrade of U.S. debt, Democrats have tried to pin the blame on Tea Partiers.

Excuse me. Who is it that created a welfare state of entitlements that we cannot afford? Who is it that has created another massive entitlement, Obamacare? Who is it that, for decades, whenever someone dares to stick his neck out and reform Social Security and Medicare so that they are slightly more financially rational, they demagogue, engaging in scaring the elderly and in mediscaring and in selling out our future in order to win the next election?

And under whose President do we have three straight $Trillion plus deficits, exploding the national debt?

And Tea Partiers get blamed because they are striving to put a stop to this madness.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Comment of the Week

Yes, this post is a first for me. I've never had a comment of the week before. But with all the blaming of our current debt situation and the accompanying S&P downgrade on eeeevil Republicans, TERRORIST CARJACKING tea partiers, George W. Bush, etc. etc., it is a good time for a reality check. And this comment by one Deacon Michael Harmon is a reality check that goes yard:

The national debt when Bush left office was approximately 10.0 trillion. It took us about 233 years to accumulate this amount. The current debt limit that was just expanded was $14.3 trillion, and it was expanded to $16.7 trillion, which is expected to get us through 2012. Therefore, Obama’s first term in office will add 60 percent of the total debt the nation will experience by the start of 2013. To recap, $10 trillion in 233 years, $6.7 trillion in four years.

He calls it Winning The Future, but I just use the initials.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

About Child Bans

There has been no little controversy lately about private businesses banning young children. Such bans are being decried as anti-children. And it is hard to deny that they are literally anti-children. But the issue is not so simple.

(Note: The story linked above notes that a Missouri Whole Foods is reportedly banning young children during certain hours. The reports are wrong. The Whole Foods in question is actually assisting families with young children. Glad I double-checked that!)

On the one hand, businesses have a right to seek to provide a pleasant experience for their customers. On the other hand, although most parents do their best to make their children act tolerably in public (and gently remove them when they do not), enough do not that it can be a problem. I still can remember one set of parents who let their precious one bang his silverware on a metal tray, metal on metal, without let or hindrance at a meal I tried to enjoy years ago.

I have mixed feelings about all this. Society should and needs to welcome children – for its own good! Still, there are certainly some places were young children are not a good fit.

The Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at Kings College comes to mind. Does anyone in their right mind think it appropriate to allow in babies and toddlers to interrupt the music? And Kings ever politely and rightly states, “Please note that the service is not suitable for young children.”

Less clear cut, but still understandable is the controversial McDain’s restaurant banning of children under six. The owners tried to accommodate families with young children. But some families were less than cooperative.

In a very tactful summation of the scenario, the McDain's Restaurant owner says he doesn't hate kids: “Parents have gradually diminished their cooperation.”

Basically there's been a lot of customer complaints -- and the owner's obviously tired of dealing with it.

“This is a three-part issue," says Vuick. "One is the increasing number of small babies that can’t be controlled. They can’t be quiet and really they can’t be expected to.” He says the kindergarten crowd has “shown increasingly poor manners.” And the McDain's guy says parents “act like we’re the ones being offensive” when staff asks them to help their children simmer down.

What we have here are jerk parents (and their little ones who predictably take after them) making life more difficult for others, including for those parents who try to control their kids and not inflict their misbehavior on others.

And parents need to realize that they are responsible for their children. While, again, society should welcome children, that does not mean people are obligated to put up with all of their enormities in every situation.

And with the decline of common sense courtesy in our society (I could have a good rant on that topic!), private businesses and other institutions have to make some hard choices. I understand those who make provision for those who have a reasonable desire for some peace.