Thursday, March 6th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 5 Comments
The Church of Uganda has had no discussions about breaking away from the Church of England or the Anglican Communion. It’s true that the fabric of the Anglican Communion was torn at its deepest level in 2003 when the American Episcopal Church consecrated as Bishop a gay man living in a same-sex relationship. Not only was this against the Bible, but it went against the agreed position of the Anglican Communion. Our current concern is that the Church of England seems to be drifting rapidly in the same direction. We are very grateful to them for sending missionaries who told us about the good news of Jesus Christ. Ironically, they seem now to be reversing themselves. Fortunately, we no longer need to be directed by them. We can read and interpret the Bible for ourselves, and we know what it says about sexual behaviour belonging between one man and one woman in holy matrimony.
Translation: we haven’t yet had any formal discussions about abandoning Canterbury but we can start them whenever we care to. So don’t provoke us much longer, Bwana.
Thursday, March 6th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments
There are St. Paul, Minnesota lawyers salivating in their sleep right now:
A ninth-grader says she has frostbite after standing outside for 10 minutes in a wet bathing suit during a fire alarm.
It happened around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at Como Park High School in St. Paul. Fourteen-year-old Kayona Hagen-Tietz says she was in the school’s pool when the fire alarm went off.
While other students had gotten out earlier and were able to put on dry clothes, Hagen-Tietz said she was rushed out with just her towel.
On Wednesday morning, the temperature was 5 below, and the wind chill was 25 below.
Hagen-Tietz says she and the another student were rushed out by the teacher. Her classmate had clothes by the pool, hers were in her locker. So she grabbed her towel and went outside.
A teacher eventually gave Hagen-Tietz a jacket, and one of her friends gave her a sweatshirt to wrap around her feet.
But due to school policy, she wasn’t allowed to sit in a faculty-member’s car.
“We kind of huddled up and made a circle around me, and the other kids who were cold,” Hagen-Tietz said.
Eventually, a teacher did get permission to allow Hagen-Tietz and her classmate to sit inside her car.
But by that time Hagen-Tietz had already stood barefoot and wet for 10 minutes in some of the coldest conditions of the year.
Hagen-Tietz mom then picked her up and took her to the doctor, who determined she has frostbite on her feet.
Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 36 Comments
Anybody ready for nine more years of Katharine Jefferts Schori?
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori has not ruled out seeking a second nine year term as Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of the USA.
Her comments came amidst a wide ranging interview broadcast on 25 Feb 2014 with Kansas City National Public Radio affiliate station KCUR.
Asked about the sharp decline in membership since the 1960s, Bishop Jefferts Schori said the decline did not worry her. While there were fewer Episcopalians today, they were nonetheless better Episcopalians. The “membership levels of 50 years ago are not reflective of the faith” of the people in the pews she noted.
Part of the decline was due to the sociological changes in society as “our grandparents joined institutions at far higher rates” in the past then the same age cohorts did today.
“We are not comparing apples to apples” when “looking at 50 year old statistics” she said. Numbers alone were of less consequence than “an active involvement in a community of faith,” said Bishop Jefferts Schori.
Asked by her interviewer whether she was forbidden from seeking a second term, the presiding bishop stated the canons were silent on the number of terms permitted. Presiding Bishops had to retire at the General Convention closest to their 70th birthday due to the church’s mandatory retirement age of 72. All of her predecessors were barred from seeking a second term due to age rules, while she would not be.
I say go for it, especially after that “better Episcopalians” blast. Heck, make it a lifetime appointment. The Episcopal Organization will be on its deathbed long before she is and there have to be hundreds of parishes that the Peeb hasn’t sued yet. So say it with me.
Monday, March 3rd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 64 Comments
I’ll bet that publishing this really sucked, didn’t it, The New Republic? Mark my words; thanks to President Empty Suit, whose 2008 election was supposed to make the entire world love the United States again, foreign policy will play a key role in the 2014 and 2016 elections in this country.
UPDATE: Seriously, Barry?
Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 49 Comments
The governing body of United Church of Christ congregations in the Mid-Atlantic is proposing that its members boycott Washington Redskins games and shun products bearing the team’s logo until the team changes its name and mascot.
In a meeting Saturday in Catonsville, the 25-member board of directors of the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC unanimously passed the boycott resolution, pointedly avoiding use of the word Redskins. The board, mostly laypeople, proposed that the 22,000 members of the liberal denomination “join a boycott of games played by the Washington National League Football team and not wear, display or purchase any items with the Washington National League Football team logo until the name changes.”
The Episcopalians recently passed a similar motion. But two things. I doubt that many UCZ guys own any Redskins gear at all so the team won’t take anything close to a financial hit. These resolutions might mean something except for the fact that the Left’s true attitude toward indigenous Americans occasionally forces its way to the surface.
In one of Alaska’s most remote outposts, where a thousand hardy souls make their homes, the Obama administration has put the fate of birds and bears above the lives of people, blocking construction of an 11-mile gravel trail connecting a tiny fishing hamlet to a life-saving airport.
For more than three decades the predominantly Aleut fishing community of King Cove has been fighting to build a one-lane,gravel track connecting the Cove to the nearby hamlet of Cold Bay. What they have gotten is 30 years of flat-out federal refusals or stall tactics.
Cove residents say a road is necessary so they can reach an all-weather airport in Cold Bay that will transport them to Anchorage, about 625 miles away, for medical treatment. They say that in emergency situations, it’s a matter of life and death.
Late last year, though, the Department of Interior announced it was rejecting plans for a proposed land swap that would allow the road to be built. The Dec. 23 decision cited the negative environmental impact on grizzly bears, caribou and water fowl like the Pacific black brant.
“(Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s) decision on King Cove was heartless and wrong, and her message to me ever since has been that I need to ‘just get over it and move on,’” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told FoxNews.com. “She thinks it’s over because she’s made her decision. But it’s not done. And it is not going to be done until those people have access to safety.”
According to local Aleutian elders, 19 people have died since 1980 as a result of the impossible-to-navigate weather conditions during emergency evacuations.
During an August visit to Alaska, Jewell was told that building a road that connects King Cove and Cold Bay was vital. But in December, Jewell rejected the road saying it would jeopardize waterfowl in the refuge.
“She stood up in the gymnasium and told those kids, ‘I’ve listened to your stories, now I have to listen to the animals,” Democratic state Rep. Bob Herron told a local television station. “You could have heard a pin drop in that gymnasium.”
The land required for the road is less than 1 percent of the total refuge.
The land exchange that was proposed – and denied – would take 206 acres from the Izembek refuge for the road and 1,600 acres from the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. In exchange, the refuge would receive 43,093 acres of state land and 13,300 acres of land owned by the King Cove Native Corp., which comes out to be 56,393 acres in exchange for 1,806 acres.
The Interior Department, though, argued that giving up refuge land would set a bad precedent.
So forgive me if I don’t get bent out of shape about an Eastern sports team called Redskins. “Eff off and die but we promise we won’t insult you if you do,” doesn’t seem like a particularly Christian attitude to me.
Saturday, March 1st, 2014 | Uncategorized | 53 Comments
Dr. Jay Michaelson writes one of the most stunningly boneheaded attacks on religious liberty that I have ever had the misfortune to force myself to read.
On a trip to Georgia, I enter a restaurant with my partner, who is male. “Sorry,” the maître-d’ says, “we don’t serve homosexuals.”
According to the law being debated in Georgia — quite similar to the one just vetoed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer — this would be perfectly legal. That law — like others rejected by legislators in South Dakota, Kansas, Idaho, and Tennessee — is the latest salvo in a long campaign to redefine “religious liberty” to include the liberty to discriminate against other people.
Doc? I’m a conservative Christian who considers homosexual activity to be a sin. You obviously disagree with me. But if you and your partner walk into my restaurant wearing rainbow flag T-shirts, sit down and order lunch, you know what you’re going to get?
You and your partner are going to get lunch. And I’ll fire anyone on my staff who refuses to serve it to you.
Know why that is, Doc? To a business owner, customers are extremely valuable people. And the Bible contains no moral injunction against eating.
The campaign targets women as well as LGBTs.
You guys really need to come up with a catchier euphemism.
Next month, the United States Supreme Court will determine whether corporations have consciences,
Many of which are owned by individuals with consciences.
and if so, whether they can opt out of laws on the basis of them. This will immediately affect millions of women who want contraception covered by their insurance (as is, say, Viagra).
Viagra wasn’t covered in mine the last time I was working.
But it will also impact millions more who corporations may wish not to serve or employ — like me and my partner.
Insofar as those weren’t homosexuals crammed into the holds of the slave ships in the 1600′s and 1700′s, you might want to dial back the faux civil rights, “oppressed” minority rhetoric, Doc.
Is it ethically, philosophically, or even logically the case that providing an option as part of an insurance plan is the same as exercising that option? Is it the same as providing contraception? When a woman takes a birth control pill, is there really shared moral responsibility between the woman and her employer who enabled an insurance company to pay for it?
Where the hell did you get your doctorate anyway, Michaelson? Ph.D’s ‘R’ Us? Can’t you see the ethical difference between an insurance plan paying for an employee’s blood pressure, anxiety or anti-seizure medication, none of which have any moral implication whatsoever, and providing free birth control (or cab fare to the nearest abortion clinic)?
Second, it is simply not the case, logically speaking, that providing insurance coverage is taking moral responsibility for how it is used. Would Hobby Lobby be liable if an employee overdosed on painkillers, paid for by its insurance plan? Obviously not. Then likewise here: they cannot assert a religious liberty claim for an action someone else decides to take.
OH, SWEET MOTHER OF…Doc? Most of us polished this one off in elementary school logic class but here goes. My old health care plan used to cover my phenobarbital. If, at some point, I decided to off myself and down 20 or so pills at once, that would be on me.
But if the health plan that I am forced by the government to provide to my employees requires that plan to pay for a drug or a service whose correct use will result in a grave evil, then I am complicit in that grave evil.
Because I helped it to happen.
And if my religious principles instruct me that homosexual practice is a sin, then the same idea applies if you legally force me to bake you a homosexual “wedding cake” or to photographically record your homosexual “marriage.”
It’s absolutely astounding that you can’t make yourself grasp so simple and so basic an intellectual concept, Doc.
Friday, February 28th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments
Responding to the recent furor over the invitation to Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach at Nashotah House, a heretofore “orthodox” Episcopal seminary, Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America issued this not-so-veiled threat:
At the request of the Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America, meeting in conference call on Tuesday, February 25, I have been asked to make the following statement:
“The Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America deeply regret the invitation by Dean Edward Salmon to Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach at Nashotah House. The insensitivity of this invitation to many of the loyal friends of the House is compounded by the proposed eucharistic context. What is far more concerning, however, are the fundamental spiritual, biblical and institutional issues that the visit to Chapel raises. We have trusted Nashotah House with our students, our prayers and our support, recognizing that the House also serves the Episcopal Church, and that a remarkable community has been built there. We hope that ways can be found to restore the trust that this particular invitation has seriously shaken.”
I was just going to post this and move on except for an intriguing suggestion made by a Stand Firm commenter. I admit that this sounds a little conspiracy-theoryish but MichaelA wonders whether the idea for inviting Mrs. Schori, which was supposedly initiated by some Episcopal Organization students at Nashotah, isn’t a back-door attempt by TEO to rid itself of one of its few remaining “orthodox” institutions.
I suspect the preamble is meant to make the point that, even though the bishops have not met nor taken a poll (which they could only do if they physically met, as I understand it) that they are nevertheless united on this issue.
That means that ++Duncan is truly speaking for the bishops.
That in turn means that if Nashotah House doesn’t do something to restore the relationship, it may soon not be getting any more students or contributions from ACNA.
tjmcmahon (#14) adds:
Something I find very concerning is that the usual outlets of revisionist bile – Episcopal Cafe and HoBD list- have been COMPLETELY silent on this whole affair. This indicates to me that the HoBD is being heavily moderated, and that EC has been alerted not to say anything. This almost always means that 815 is orchestrating something and they don’t want revisionist vitriol all over the place. SO I think there is much more going on behind the scenes, and this was much more at the initiative of 815, than the story of 3 students would have us believe. Yep, that is pure speculation. Or analysis based on previous behavior by TEC. Take your pick.
Is there anything to any of this? I have no idea except to say that it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if the Episcopal Organization wanted to cap one of the last of its “orthodox” seminaries and would use any means at its disposal in order to do so.
Thursday, February 27th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 15 Comments
If you are an American above a certain age, you can recall a time when the most evil place in the history of the entire world, without exception, was the State of Mississippi:
Although whites outnumber blacks in Mississippi by nearly 2-to-1, 71.67% of the babies aborted in Mississippi are black, while 26.6% are white.
Based on data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 39,052 black babies were killed by abortions in Mississippi between 1995 and 2010. During that same time period, 14,529 white babies were aborted in the Magnolia State.
The total number of abortions between 1995 and 2010 in Mississippi was 54,484. In addition to blacks and whites, that number also includes abortions among Hispanics, “Other” (meaning Asian and Native American), and “Unknown,” as published by the CDC.
Whites in Mississippi outnumber blacks by a ratio of 1.6-to-1. Despite that difference, the data show that black abortions comprised, on average, 72% of the total over the last 16 years.
Although black abortions comprised 72% of the total abortions between 1995 and 2010, in some years the percentage was higher. In 2009, for example, the percentage of black babies killed by abortion in Mississippi in relation to the total was 76.8%. In 2007, it was 77.8%; in 2005, 77.2%.
Thursday, February 27th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 62 Comments
You know how to tell when you’re jaded? When absolutely nothing shocks you any more. Greg Griffith reports that the members of Grace Episcopal Church of Pine Bluff, Arkansas recently received the following letter:
The time has come for me to share something with you that is deeply personal. This is not easy, but important journeys never are, so let me just say what needs to be told and invite you to join me in this journey.
My entire life I have known that there was something different about me and the way I felt inside. It has been like my inner self was out of sync with my outer self and so I have always experienced (to use a technical term) dysphoria. As a child I prayed that I would wake up some day the whole person that I felt myself to be on the inside. I need to tell you that after years of self-searching and therapy I have come to accept in myself that I am transgender. And now I need to be honest with myself and all those I care about which includes you. I am going to begin the final stages of transitioning and I would like you to invite you to join me in this journey.
There will be plenty of time for talking this out and for education but for today…. I am the same person you have always known. I will continue to be that person you know and, if possible, I hope to grow and become even a better and more whole person and priest.
Do not pretend to have all the answers because I certainly don’t have them all either.
My hope and my prayer is that you accept my sincere invitation to make the journey with me.
- To accept the challenge to grow as an individual and parish
- To discover what transformations and transitions in your life are occurring and happening before our eyes
- To learn more about what transgender means and is, for many people
- To walk with me as I complete (finalize) the transformation that has been working on me from the day I was born.
I hope that you will walk with me in faith, so that together we can discover and witness to that Love we are called to be, and bring into the world.
This letter came from Grace’s priest-in-charge, an…um…individual who used to be known as Greg Fry and now wishes to known as Gwen. The folks at Grace also got a letter from Bishop Larry Benfield: Look at it this way, Benny told them. This is a teachable moment and we Episcopalians rock at those.
For the past few months I have been talking with your priest, Greg Fry, after he revealed to me his awareness that he is transgender. I want to share with you my thoughts about what this situation means for Grace Church and Greg.
I have known Greg and his wife Lisa ever since we all attended Virginia Theological Seminary. I have respected and valued the ministries that they both bring to the church. In fact, I ordained Lisa as a priest as she began her work at St. Mark’s Church in Little Rock.
The issue of being transgendered is not one with which many of us are knowledgeable. I have learned much since working with Greg and another transgender priest in Arkansas, as well as my encounters with other transgender members of the clergy throughout the larger church. It is an issue centered on a person’s gender identity; it is not an issue of sexual orientation/attraction. My hope is that we can spend our time in the coming weeks asking questions and becoming knowledgeable about the issue. Good and thoughtful questions always precede any decisions about long-term ministry.
I continue to value Greg’s presence among all of you at Grace Church. he continues to be a faithful pastor. He and Lisa will be working on the next phase of their lives simultaneously with our working on learning more about this issue and how it is lived out in Greg’s life.
“Greg and his wife Lisa.” Oh, to have been a fly on the wall the day that guy told his wife that she was going to become a lesbian. “Look at it this way, honey. You’ll make a lot more friends and you’ll never again have to worry about me leaving the toilet seat up.”
UPDATE: Of course he didn’t do it for the reasons he should have done it but Benny kicks Fry to the curb. But Fry doesn’t sound too unhappy about it.
Monday, February 24th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 16 Comments
At their recent Cairo meeting, the Global South Primates Steering Committee made the following request of What’s-His-Face:
We request and will support the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for a Primates Meeting in 2015 in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion. It is important that the agenda of this Primates Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective meeting.
What are the chances of that happening? Zero, since the Americans call the shots in the Communion these days. And what was that definition of insanity again?
Friday, February 21st, 2014 | Uncategorized | 75 Comments
Nashotah House attempts to explain itself:
The term “Pax Nashotah” has been used for the last several years to describe life at Nashotah House. Life that involves people of multiple Anglican jurisdictions sharing the chapel, refectory, classrooms, and community. The current Dean-President, the Rt. Rev’d Edward L. Salmon, Jr. has said, “The House is a place – perhaps the only place – in the Anglican Communion where ecclesial affiliation has remained secondary to our primary mission of forming faithful priests and lay leaders for service on the modern frontier.” The announcement – made by roundabout means – of an invitation to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church to come visit, preach, and experience the “Pax Nashotah” seems now to call this peace into question. Like all peace, it comes at a price. There are many who look at our active practice of reconciliation and see us “selling out” to one faction or another. It is sad and hurtful to hear, but we know that many before us – our Lord, the saints, and founders of the House – went through the same. We simply pray to be as faithful to Christ and His teaching as were our forebears, so that we may be agents of reconciliation in a broken world and to a broken Church.
Robert Munday, a former Dean of the place, has shed his illusions. The options for any remaining traditionalists in the Episcopal Organization, he says, are basically gone.
1. There is no movement today in the Episcopal Church capable of sustaining orthodox Christians or fostering the growth of orthodox congregations.
2. In the absence of any movement designed to promote repentance, renewal, resurgence, and revival among orthodox Christians in the Episcopal Church, those Christians who remain in TEC are fighting a holding action and will ultimately lose through attrition.
Which leads to a third conclusion (which I say with great sadness):
3. You can have orthodoxy or you can have the Episcopal Church, but you can’t have both.
“Wait,” some will say, “I am still in the Episcopal Church and I am orthodox, so I have both.” If that is true, then you are part of the remnant that is involved in fighting a holding action (whether you realize it or not). So while your present situation may be safe for the moment, apart from divine intervention, the faith you hold, and the parish or diocese to which you belong (if they are still orthodox) will be lost in the next generation, if not in your lifetime.
Two things. How is it possible to “reconcile” with someone who hates and despises everything you claim that you stand for and who wishes that you didn’t exist? At this stage, it would be more reasonable to expect Czechoslovakia, Holland, Beligium and Luxembourg to “reconcile” with 1939 Germany than to expect the Episcopal Organization to retreat from its heresies any time soon.
Absent a genuine move of the Holy Spirit, of course.
The other thing is this: I don’t know how many traditionalist Episcopalians remain in TEO but you’re running out of excuses and you’re running out of them fast.
I am very grateful for Bishop Salmon’s ministry, heart, and faithfulness; I have always looked up to him. It is deeply saddening to hear his words, and to read some of the words here. I cannot imagine Nashotah House recovering from this disastrous and horrifying choice—not to “invite the Presiding Bishop to Nashotah House” to visit but to invite the Presiding Bishop—noted heretic, false teacher, deposer of clergy and bishops, and malicious lawsuit-lover—to *preach*—to share her particular, unique, custom, tiny gospel to clergy, laity, and seekers from the pulpit of the House. To offer her the credibility, the favor, and the honor of a pulpit, from which is meant to speak the Gospel, and the very word of God from Holy Scripture—and instead, from which people will hear the miniscule pathetic gospel and word of Katharine Jefferts Schori. It is the Presiding Bishop who will be “witnessing” to Nashotah House—and she will be proud of her witness.* I am far more heartsick to hear these words than I was to learn the news this morning. Why on earth would the House be concerned that the Presiding Bishop doesn’t like the House or desires people not to attend the House? *Of course* she wouldn’t like the House! It favors the Gospel. *Of course* she wouldn’t want seminarians to attend the House. That is a given. One could easily have invited the Presiding Bishop to visit without inviting her to preach. Certainly it is difficult to be in *happy* “relationship” with the Presiding Bishop—and that is a good thing. We do not need to be in happy relationship with someone who opposes the Gospel and presents another one entirely. It took all I could do to listen to this video—to hear someone whom I respect and love defend such a decision based, it seems, on the seminary’s desiring to be liked by the Presiding Bishop and to appear unconcerned by her horrific beliefs being held up in the pulpit as that of the Christian faith. I pray that various clergy, bishops, and laity of Nashotah House will take counsel together as they can and repudiate in word and deed, by any rightly legal and moral means that they can think of, this decision. In my 10 years of paying attention to the actions of TEC and of bishops, clergy, and laity outside of my parish, I have rarely been more heart-destroyed than tonight.
Thursday, February 20th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 29 Comments
If you’re in need of yet another reason to finally and forever abandon Anglicanism, Ed Salmon, the dean of Nashotah House, a formerly “orthodox” Episcopal seminary, has just provided you with an outstanding one:
Bishop [Jack] Iker has resigned as a trustee on the Nashotah House Board, where he has served for the past 21 years. This action was taken in protest of the Dean’s invitation to the Presiding Bishop of TEC to be a guest preacher in the seminary’s chapel. Citing the lawsuits initiated by her against this Diocese, Bishop Iker notified the Board that he “could not be associated with an institution that honors her.” Similarly, Bishop [William] Wantland has sent notification that he “will not take part in any functions at Nashotah” nor continue “to give financial support to the House as long as the present administration remains.” He is an honorary member of the Board (without vote) and a life member of the Alumni Association.
So far, there doesn’t seem to be any explanation on Nashotah’s web site for this bizarre invitation. Which leads one to ask what the hell Ed Salmon was thinking. Did Mrs. Schori make noises about seizing his pension or something?
Thursday, February 20th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 16 Comments
Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bedard has three words of advice for anyone who is excited at the prospect of Michael Sam becoming the first openly-gay player in the National Football League. Dial it down:
If Sam was a standout, you would see the Missouri coaches break from the rotation late in the game to get the best players on the field. That didn’t happen, and it stood out in the must-win finale against Texas A&M. On the Aggies’ final three possessions in a 21-21 game, Sam played five of nine snaps. It could be argued that Sam is the fourth-best pass rush prospect on the Tigers. Right end Kony Ealy, who could be a top-10 pick this year, drew much more attention from offenses and had to face the opponent’s best tackle, on the left side of the offensive line. Markus Golden, Sam’s backup on the left side, will be drafted higher than Sam when he enters the draft a year from now. Golden could be a star. He is more athletic and faster than Sam, and watching the Tigers play, I thought Golden was better. There could be other factors as to why he played behind Sam, including Sam’s leadership and smarts. Or perhaps the Missouri coaches didn’t want Golden, a junior-college transfer, to start, in order to increase his chances of staying another season. Sophomore Shane Ray is also more athletic than Sam, a quality valued on special teams at the next level. Same goes for senior end/outside linebacker Brayden Burnett.
There’s no question that Sam had major production this season, as he led the SEC in sacks and tackles for a loss (which includes sacks). This is probably why he was named SEC defensive player of the year by the media, and co-DPOY (with Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley) by the coaches. However, you have to look at the circumstances of his production. Namely, most of it came in three games of a four-game stretch against inferior competition: Arkansas State (three sacks), Vanderbilt (three sacks) and Florida (three sacks). Sam had a total of a half-sack in his final six games, until he made a huge play on basically the final play of the Cotton Bowl. As Oklahoma State was driving for a game-tying field goal or game-winning touchdown, Sam made a sack-strip that was returned by Ray for a touchdown. Sam beat right tackle Chris Grishby, who took a false step and was a beat late coming out of his stance. Of the 12 games I watched it was by far the biggest play Sam made all season. (The half-sack Sam had against Texas A&M would not be counted as such in the NFL: Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel left the pocket, although not on a designed run, and clearly had become a runner. The “sack” was mostly made by Ealy and Matt Hoch, with Sam coming in late.)
So basically in his final five games plus 40 snaps against Oklahoma State—the best competition Sam faced all season—he had no splash plays. The right tackles he faced (as a left end he didn’t go against Texas A&M left tackle Jake Matthews, a projected top-10 pick) in that stretch were more of what he will see in the pros. The right tackles he beat up to gain his production likely wouldn’t be on NFL training-camp rosters. Four of his sacks came with lesser opponents desperate and behind by large margins in the fourth quarter, in obvious passing situations. In addition, Florida’s offensive line was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Lastly: Sam’s sack against South Carolina in overtime was on an unblocked stunt.
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 12 Comments
or, “Complete Waste Of Time Watch.” The Episcopalianization of the Church of England continues. Someone named Jemima Thackray, a Church of England chaplain for some reason, thinks that the Creator of the universe is a sexist douche:
It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that so many people with modern liberal values are rejecting the church, unable to square their own sense of what’s right and wrong on issues like gender and sexuality with teachings taken from a book written over a thousand years ago. The irony is that the church is increasingly being seen, no longer as a repository for ethical guidance, but as a force for immorality in society.
Stop taking this crap literally.
This is inevitable when there are still so many Christians who read the Bible like a car manual or a science textbook, rather than the collection of historical writing, poetry (and, dare I say it, fiction) that it is. There are many intelligent people of faith who would never dream of reading a poem or even a newspaper, thinking that what they’re reading is 100% empirically true then and forevermore; yet when it comes to the Bible they throw all their God-given interpretative faculties out the window, because they believe that scripture is divinely inspired in such a literal way that it’s as if the ‘truths’ of the Bible have been dropped out of heaven, completely intact and written out word-for-word.
Don’t get Jemmy wrong. She really thinks that the “divine spirit” inspired all this. Really.
I too believe that the divine spirit guided the writers of the Bible, so that indeed it has special weight and resonance for humanity, but not so that this wipes out the influence of each of the individual writers’ contexts, personal circumstances and struggles. What we read in the Bible is the story of profoundly human writers who are all on a journey, often a tortuous one, towards a greater understanding of the entity we call God – a journey that we can learn from and is probably all the more useful for being unfinished.
It’s just that God didn’t know what we know now.
Part of this learning is being prepared to acknowledge that parts of the Bible are hugely misogynistic, not because the men who wrote the words were particularly bad guys, but because they were writing in contexts such as first century Judea in which women were not simply discriminated against, but downright brutalised. Seen in this light, the passage above (written by the Apostle Paul) that contains the phrase ‘women should learn’ becomes actually quite revolutionary given that the instruction was issued within a society which didn’t educate women.
Whatever, Jems. Moving on, the Church of England’s House of Bishops just issued a “pastoral teaching” on homosexual marriage and it’s about as useless as you’d expect. It opens with a feigned respect for Anglican teaching.
- The Church of England’s long standing teaching and rule are set out in Canon B30: ‘The Church of England affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.”
- The Book of Common Prayer introduces the Solemnisation of Matrimony by saying, ‘Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee…’
- The Common Worship marriage service, consistently with the Book of Common Prayer, says, ‘The Bible teaches us that marriage is a gift of God in creation and a means to grace, a holy mystery in which man and woman become one flesh…’ The House of Bishops teaching document of 1999 noted that: “Marriage is a pattern that God has given in creation, deeply rooted in our social instincts, through which a man and a woman may learn love together over the course of their lives.“
- The Lambeth Conference of 1998 said ‘in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage’ (resolution1.10) This remains the declared position of the Anglican Communion.
With the usual caveats.
The same resolution went on to acknowledge ‘that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God’s transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.’ It went on to ‘condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex.’
Believe it or else, it actually quotes a Primates’ Communique. Dromantine 2005:
“We …. wish to make it quite clear that in our discussion and assessment of the moral appropriateness of specific human behaviours, we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people. The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship.”
For the record, Dromantine also said this.
We then proceeded to our own reflections on these responses. There are a number of things which are quite clear. Many primates have been deeply alarmed that the standard of Christian teaching on matters of human sexuality expressed in the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which should command respect as the position overwhelmingly adopted by the bishops of the Anglican Communion, has been seriously undermined by the recent developments in North America.
We then proceeded to our own reflections on these responses. There are a number of things which are quite clear. Many primates have been deeply alarmed that the standard of Christian teaching on matters of human sexuality expressed in the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which should command respect as the position overwhelmingly adopted by the bishops of the Anglican Communion, has been seriously undermined by the recent developments in North America.
Back to the C of E bishops. It’s not like any of this means jack anyway.
20. The 2005 pastoral statement said that it would not be right to produce an authorized public liturgy in connection with the registering of civil partnerships and that clergy should not provide services of blessing for those who registered civil partnerships. The House did not wish, however, to interfere with the clergy’s pastoral discretion about when more informal kind of prayer, at the request of the couple, might be appropriate in the light of the circumstances. The College made clear on 27 January that, just as the Church of England’s doctrine of marriage remains the same, so its pastoral and liturgical practice also remains unchanged.
21. The same approach as commended in the 2005 statement should therefore apply to couples who enter same-sex marriage, on the assumption that any prayer will be accompanied by pastoral discussion of the church’s teaching and their reasons for departing from it. Services of blessing should not be provided. Clergy should respond pastorally and sensitively in other ways.
Church of England? Before you die your well-deserved death, could you do me a favor? Take an actual stand about something. Piss somebody off. This splitting-the-difference crap is getting really old.
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 42 Comments
Let’s say that you run a photography studio in Hays, Kansas or a bakery in Ness City. One day, two homosexuals walk into your fine establishment and inform you that they wish to engage your services for their upcoming “wedding.”
You politely reply that since your Christian beliefs teach you that homosexual activity is a sin, you cannot agree to their request. But you helpfully point them to a Salina photography studio or a WaKeeney bakery that would be more than happy to oblige them and at much cheaper rates than you charge.
This situation has happened before. And as far as Kansas Episocopal Bishops Dean Wolfe and Michael Milliken are concerned, both men would be perfectly fine with those two homosexuals suing your business into oblivion because of your incorrect religious opinion:
House Bill 2453, which is currently before the Kansas Senate, proposes to legalize discrimination against gay and lesbian couples, attributing the excuse for such discrimination as “religious freedom.” In truth, this bill is not about religious freedom but is aimed at creating state-authorized bias and inequality.
Under this bill, government employees could refuse to offer services to their fellow citizens and taxpayers, while claiming religious motives. Business owners could refuse goods and services to people they perceive to be partnered gay or lesbians without repercussion. This proposed legislation is reminiscent of the worst laws that permitted discrimination against people on the basis of color, sex or nation of origin. The intent of this bill is an affront to the beliefs of all Kansans who support equal treatment under the law for every human being.
If you’re thinking about playing the race card here, a quick word of advice. Don’t. That is, unless you can do two things. Show me where the Bible declares that it’s a sin merely to be an African and then come up with the ability to walk into a room full of people and instantly and unfailingly point out every single homosexual who happens to be there.
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