AND NOW…IDIOTS

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Guess who the newest “socially privileged” American group is.

Social Justice Warriors have found a new thing to be upset about: the institutional oppression that introverts endure because “this culture has been built for extroverts” and that gives them “social privilege.”

No. I’m not kidding. It’s a thing, and apparently such a big thing that an Everyday Feminism contributor named James St. James felt the need to write a whopping 1,700-word piece about it, titled “6 Examples of How Extroverts Benefit From Their Social Privilege.”

As a proud member of the Shy-American community, I’m not sure how you fix this.  Reparations for people too terrified to demand them?  Requiring universities or businesses to enroll or hire a certain percentage of people who didn’t make any impression at all, maybe?  I realize that this would be affirmative action for introverts but I honestly can’t think of any other way to go.

TURNING TO THE WORLD OF SPORTS…

Sunday, April 19th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Around here, the most popular professional sports team is the St. Louis Cardinals.  No question about it.  The team, which dates back about a century and a half, is the second-most-successful professional baseball team after the New York Yankees, with eleven world titles to their name.

The Cardinals have had many distinctions over the years, three of which involved women.  Legendarily, the name “Cardinals” was first bestowed upon them by a woman.  They were the first North American major-league sports team ever owned by a woman.  And a woman came up with the idea for the team’s iconic “birds on the bat” emblem.

The second-most popular local team is the St. Louis Blues.  They joined the National Hockey League in 1967 (when the NHL expanded from 6 teams to 12) and were an immediate sensation.  They made three Stanley Cup finals in their first three seasons in the league (two against Montreal, one against Boston) but didn’t win a single game.

And they haven’t been back since 1970.  They haven’t even been close to back.

My Blues are the most snake-bitten team in North American professional sports aside from the Chicago Cubs.  They’ve been torn down and rebuilt so many times that I’m amazed that they still have any structural integrity left.

The Blues have had too many owners or ownership groups to count and if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “This is going to be our year!!” I would have left the library ten years ago and retired to Boise, Idaho.  Despite all that, the Blues have a large, devoted and passionate following which is probably the reason why I’ll never live to see an NBA team call St. Louis its home.

Professional football here has always been much more problematic.  The Chicago Cardinals arrived in 1960 (and no, we are not the first city in the United States who has ever had two major sports teams with the same nicknames; New York has that distinction with its baseball and football Giants).

The football Cardinals (or Big Red as we referred to them then) had some success here.  In 1964, they were barely edged out for the division title (back when the NFL only had two divisions) by the Cleveland Browns who went on to easily win the title that year.  And they had three playoff appearances during their 28-year run.

All three of which were first-round blowouts and none of which were played in St. Louis.

That right there illustrates why, when the St. Louis football Cardinals left St. Louis and moved to Arizona, a great many of us who grew up following them, didn’t mourn at all.

Because there’s a major difference between repeatedly trying, failing, and trying again (the Blues) and trying, failing and not really giving a crap because you get paid the same either way (the football Cardinals).

If you followed the football Cardinals long enough, you learned something fairly quickly.  The Super Bowl, the championship, was most emphatically not on your radar screen.  No matter how good things got, you, as a Cardinal fan, instinctively knew one basic fact.

They’re going to find a way to mess it up.

Guarantee it.

Case in point?  The NFL draft.  The draft wasn’t as big of a deal then as it is now.  If it had been, a lot of us would have thrown parties.  Back then, on Draft Day, you couldn’t get through to TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, sports lines, anybody.

Granted, we had a lot of great football talent play in this town.  Larry Wilson, the greatest safety who ever played the game.  Hall-of-Famers like Dan Dierdorf and Roger Wehrli.  Guys who should be Hall-of-Famers like Jim Hart and Conrad Dobler.

But if the NFL draft had been on a weekend, a lot of us Cardinal fans would have had parties.  Because all of us had them same question.

How bad are they going to screw it up this year?

And my guys seldom disappointed.  I’ll never forget the deer-in-the-headlights look I got back from my best friend when I finally got through to some sports line or other and found out that the Big Red had, on the first round, drafted injury-prone Colorado State quarterback Kelly Stouffer (a guy who never played a down in St. Louis but had a brief and uneventful career with the Seattle Seahawks).

When the Arizona Cardinals somehow made the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers, I was, needless to say, gravely conflicted.  Kurt Warner was quarterbacking the Cardinals at the time and I desperately wanted to see him win another ring but I also didn’t want to see any member of the Bidwill family, the Cardinal owners, to get credit for it.

That year, I ended up pulling for Pittsburgh,

Cut to 1995 when the Rams moved in to town.  Their first few years here, I could see why LA gave up on them because they were basically the Big Red only in blue and gold (which is why 1999-2000 remains the most surreal experience of my Earthly existence).

For the last few years, though, my Rams have done pretty well, draft-wise.  Chris Long.  Robert Quinn.  Tavon Austin.

But here’s basically the worst first-round NFL draft pick ever.  Keep in mind that we let HALL-OF-FAME running back Jerome Bettis (I still have his Rams jersey) GO because we picked this loser on the first frickin’ round:

Former San Francisco 49ers running back Lawrence Phillips is suspected of killing his cellmate in a Central California prison.

Prison officials said Monday that Phillips’ cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison was found lifeless over the weekend and later pronounced dead.

Phillips, 39, was once one of the nation’s top college football players at Nebraska. Aside from the 49ers, Phillips also played for the St. Louis Rams and the Miami Dolphins in the NFL. He also played in NFL Europe, the Arena Football League and the Canadian Football League.

Phillips was considered by many the best overall player heading into the NFL 1996 draft, but he fell to the Rams with the number six pick following his suspension for an alleged assault on his girlfriend. His career was marked by frequent run-ins with coaches and off-field problems, including accusations of assault and brief stays in jail.

Because Dick Vermeil thought he could get through to the kid.  Or something.

MAXIM

Friday, April 17th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 22 Comments

While we should not let down our guard, we should also not forget one basic fact.

NOBODY 

is irredeemable:

An ISIS jihadist has recently converted to Christianity after being left for dead near the Eastern border of Syria where he was finally rescued by Christian missionaries from the region.

The man, that has miraculously survived multiple gun shot wounds after an altercation between ISIS and Syrian Army forces, was rescued by members of the Saint Dominican Catholic Presbytery of Ayyash hours after the conflict had erupted.

The members of the Christian organization wanted to give the man a proper Christian burial and carried him over 26 kilometres before the man miraculously came back to life as he was believed to have died from his wounds.

As the man came back to his senses, he reported to priest Hermann Groschlin of the visions he had whilst in the afterlife, an event that profoundly changed the 32-year old jihadist and eventually led to his conversion to Christianity days later.

“He told me that he was always taught that to die as a martyr would open him the Gates of Jannah, or Gates of Heaven” recalled the priest. “Yet, as he had started to ascend towards the light of the Heavens, devilish entities, or Jinns he called them, appeared and led him to the fiery pits of Hell. There he had to relive all the pain he had inflicted upon others and every death he had caused throughout his entire life. He even had to relive the decapitations of his victims through their own eyes”, images the jihadist claims will haunt him for the rest of his life, admits the priest.

“Then Allah, or God, spoke unto him and told him that he had failed miserably as a human soul, that he would be banned from the Gates of Heaven if he chose to die, but that if he chose to live again, he would have another chance to repent of his sins and walk along God’s path once again.”

KING PUTT?

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 34 Comments

Meet your legacy:

ISIS is operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, according to Judicial Watch sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector.

The exact location where the terrorist group has established its base is around eight miles from the U.S. border in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Another ISIS cell to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas, targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming for easy access to the United States, the same knowledgeable sources confirm.

During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s First Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.

AND NOW…IDIOTS

Monday, April 13th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 59 Comments

Out: do-it-yourself “sexualities.”  In: do-it-yourself pronouns:

Elle Mallon, who was the external vice presidential candidate on the Ducks F.I.R.S.T. slate, filed a second grievance against We Are Oregon regarding its response to her original grievance from April 3.

What happened?  This.

6:21 – Mallon files a response accusing Allison of sexual harassment because she referred to Mallon as “Ms.” when Mallon identifies with the use of “Mx.”

Gracious.  I can see why that would upset Mx. Mallon.  What was the other complaint?

Mallon submits a second grievance saying Allison chose to misgender her.

Um…how do you do that?

She cites the apology email from Allison as evidence saying that:

“Allison found a place where my pronouns were listed and then chose to misgender me anyway (My pronouns also include xe xem hyr and they them their).”

Got it.

Oh to be a fly on the wall when Ms. ERRRRR Mx. Mallon has hyr first job interview.  Personally, I think it’s a really xitty idea but since Mx. Mallon can look forward to a long and distinguished post-graduate career working the drive-through window at Burger King, I think xhe should be allowed hyr little personality quirks.

AND THE WINNER IS…

Sunday, April 12th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

The winner of the contest from the “Company Man” post is “The Fool on the Hill” (lyrics follow) by alfonso. As soon as I saw the title, I knew that it was a perfect fit. “Nowhere Man” is also very apt, but I think that it’s more appropriate to refer to Idowu-Fearon as a fool, as opposed to someone who is merely out of touch. I’ve always thought it more than a bit amazing how the Beatles managed to inject so much meaningful social commentary into their songs without (for the most part) turning them into political rants. (I’ve always been partial to “The Taxman”, which was a wonderful poke-in-the-eye at England’s abominable 95% tax rate.)

Runner up is David Fischler with “Sympathy for the Devil”. The extent to which Satan’s influence has infiltrated the Anglican Communion is truly frightening, and I think it’s something which we all need to acknowledge – the troubles besetting Christians do not come from man alone.

I would have liked to give an award to Dale Matson for “What Kind of Fool Am I?”, but the song itself doesn’t fit. It’s from the musical “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off”, and it’s a man lamenting the bad decisions he’s made in life. I love that musical; my parents had the soundtrack album, and I used to listen to it ad nauseam.

So – alfonso, you are officially an “MCJ Commenter Extraordinaire”, and entitled to all the honors and benefits which go with the title. Congratulations! Your reward is in a #2 mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnall’s back porch.

Bill (not IB)

********************************************

“The Fool On The Hill” (The Beatles)

Day after day, alone on the hill
The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
And he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

Well on the way, head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

He never listens to them
He knows that they’re the fools
They don’t like him

The fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

SCOTLAND THE WUSSY

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments

When someone mentions Scotland, what images come to your mind?  Braveheart?  Charging Highlanders wearing kilts and waving Claymores?  Bagpipes?  Tossing the caber at the Highland Games?  Really good whisky?  For those of you who have similar thoughts, Brendan O’Neill takes great pleasure in introducing modern, real Scotland:

Well, if that’s how you see Scotland, you urgently need to update your mind’s image bank. For far from being a land of freedom-yearning Bravehearts, Scotland in the 21st century is a hotbed of the new authoritarianism. It’s the most nannying of Europe’s nanny states. It’s a country that imprisons people for singing songs, instructs people to stop smoking in their own homes, and which dreams of making salad-eating compulsory. Seriously. Scotland the Brave has become Scotland the Brave New World.

Jailed for singing songs?  Surely O’Neill must be joking.  Unfortunately, he’s not.

Last month, a 24-year-old fan of Rangers, the largely Protestant soccer team, was banged up for four months for singing ”The Billy Boys,” an old anti-Catholic ditty that Rangers fans have been singing for years, mainly to annoy fans of Celtic, the largely Catholic soccer team. He was belting it out as he walked along a street to a game. He was arrested, found guilty of songcrimes—something even Orwell failed to foresee—and sent down.

Seems its now illegal in Scotland to make opposing sports fans feel bad in any way.

It’s all thanks to the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, which, yes, is as scary as it sounds. Introduced in 2012 by the Scottish National Party, the largest party in Scotland the Brave New World and author of most of its new nanny-state laws, the Act sums up everything that is rotten in the head of this sceptred isle. Taking a wild, wide-ranging scattergun approach, it outlaws at soccer matches “behaviour of any kind,” including, “in particular, things said or otherwise communicated,” that is “motivated (wholly or partly) by hatred” or which is “threatening” or which a “reasonable person would be likely to consider offensive.”

Catholic Celtic or Hibernian fans might want to leave their rosaries at home.

Even blessing yourself at a soccer game in Scotland could lead to arrest. Catholic fans have been warned that if they “bless themselves aggressively” at games, it could be “construed as something that is offensive,” presumably to non-Catholic fans, and the police might pick them up. You don’t have to look to some Middle Eastern tinpot tyranny if you want to see the state punishing public expressions of Christian faith—it’s happening in Scotland.

I sure am relieved that they don’t have a law like that here in St. Louis or the City Police would have to commandeer every bus in the metro area every time the Chicago Cubs came to town.  But what else can the haggis-for-brains Scottish National Party get its panties in a bunch about?  Well, there’s obviously smoking.

Not content with policing what soccer fans sing and say, the SNP also polices Scots’ smoking, boozing, and eating habits. It was the first country in the U.K. to ban smoking in public. Last month it announced that it will ban smoking in cars with kids. It is currently pushing through a ban on smoking in parks. And it has its eyes on smokers’ homes: if a public-sector employee, like a doctor or social worker, visits your home, he or she has the right to say that you should “not smoke when they are providing [their] service.” This, of course, is the ultimate goal of the global jihad against nicotine: to move from making bars, cars, and parks smokefree to making our homes smokefree.

Scotland has set itself the Orwellian-sounding goal of making the whole nation, every bit of it, smokefree by 2034. What will happen to any smoker still lurking in Scotland after the glorious dawn of the 2,034th year? It’s probably best not to ask.

And drinking.

Scotland is also plotting to put a sin tax on booze. The SNP blubs about the fact that “alcohol is now 60 per cent more affordable in the U.K. than it was in 1980″—that’s a bad thing?—and so it is pushing through the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Act, which will impose a state-decreed price on all liquid pleasures. It is trying to push the Act through, I should say: it’s being held up by a legal challenge from the Scotch Whisky Association which, understandably, doesn’t want the state telling it how much it should sell its wares for. I would say “God bless those whisky makers,” but I’m not sure how much you’re allowed to say “God” or “bless” in relation to Scotland these days.

Now that’s just wrong.  Oh and then there’s what Scots eat.

Scotland’s great and good also watch what the little people eat. Last month, BMA Scotland, an association of doctors, declared war on Scotland’s “culture of excess” and said ads for junk food and booze should be banned. The SNP wants to go further: it’s agitating for an EU-wide ban on junk-food ads, clearly keen that all the peoples of Europe, and not just poor Scots, feel the stab of its Mary Poppins extremism.

There is even—get this—a discussion in Scotland about making salad bars mandatory at restaurants. Yes, there exist actual officials who would like to force businesses to serve you vegetables, even if they don’t want to and you don’t want to eat them. Concerned that “Scots are 30 years away from reaching the World Health Organization target of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day”—apparently the average Scot only eats 3.5 portions a day—there is talk of “beefing up [get it??] the number of greens by introducing mandatory salad bars.”

Can’t leave out how they raise their children (this one is truly frightening).

And then there’s the authoritarian icing on the cake, if Scotland will forgive such an obesity-encouraging metaphor: the SNP’s Children and Young People Act. This Act plans to assign a Named Person, a state-decreed guardian, to every  baby born in Scotland, in order to watch him or her from birth to the age of 18.

Due to come into force in August 2016, the Named Person initiative is truly dystopian. Once, it was only abandoned or orphaned children who became charges of the state; now, all Scottish children will effectively be wards of the state under a new, vast system of, in essence, shadow parenting. In an expression of alarming distrust in parents, and utter contempt for the idea of familial sovereignty and privacy, the state in Scotland wants to attach an official to every kid and to keep tabs on said kid’s physical and moral wellbeing.

Hopefully, the Scots will, at some point, rise up and rebel against all this crap.  But until they do, I’m going to start referring to my dad’s European ancestors as Ulstermen.  Because Country-I’m Thoroughly-Embarrased-By-And-Would-Really-Rather-Not-Be-Associated-With-Right-Now-Irish is far too long and wouldn’t fit on any forms.

TOO LATE

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 16 Comments

I really, REALLY wish that someone had told me about this in 2007 because then I might not have had to undergo that unique medical torture known as a prostate biopsy:

Dogs have been found to have 98% reliability rate in sniffing out prostate cancer in men, according to newly-published research.

The Italian study backs up tests carried out by the charity Medical Detection Dogs, which is based in Buckinghamshire.

Its co-founder Dr Claire Guest said its own research had found a 93% reliability rate when detecting bladder and prostate cancer, describing the new findings as “spectacular”.

The latest research, by the Department of Urology at the Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre in Milan, involved two German shepherds sniffing the urine of 900 men – 360 with prostate cancer and 540 without.

Scientists found that dog one got it right in 98.7% of cases, while for dog two this was 97.6%.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 35 Comments

Suppose that San Francisco, California passed an ordinance forbidding Christian churches within its borders from teaching that homosexual activity is a sin.  Are you freaking kidding me, Johnson?  Such a law would get sued into oblivion on First Amendment grounds.  What part of “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” does Frisco not understand?

Not applicable, replies San Francisco.  No truly essential Christian doctrine would be impacted in any way; no San Francisco Christian would be suddenly be obligated to believe that Jesus Christ isn’t the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.

But the simple fact of the matter is that in the United States, religion is governmentally-restricted all the time.  No one would allow the “free exercise” of any religion that calls for human sacrifice.  Utah wasn’t admitted into the American Union until the Mormons officially disavowed polygamy.

And San Francisco has a compelling reason to pass this ordinance, namely protecting the lives of gay and lesbian youth whose lives have been and continue to be adversely affected by this teaching.

Anti-Christian?  Hardly.  Look at the tens of thousands of amicus curiae briefs in favor of this measure filed by members of the Episcopal Organization, the United Organization of the Zeitgeist, the Presbyterian Organization (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Organization of America, the Unitarian Universalists and other Christian entities.

The Roberts Court has bought weaker “reasoning.”  See Obamacare.

Of course, this approach might backfire.  If this ordinance passed muster, you just know that some mouth-breathing Flyover Country state will declare that discouraging abortion or divorce is a “compelling state interest” and pass laws forbidding churches in their borders from employing anyone who had an abortion or is on his/her second+ marriage.

But if Frisco ever should pass such a law, homosexual New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Bruni, who is a homosexual, would be homosexually on board:

The drama in Indiana last week and the larger debate over so-called religious freedom laws in other states portray homosexuality and devout Christianity as forces in fierce collision.

Probably because they are.  Nuh-uh, says Frank.

They’re not — at least not in several prominent denominations,

All of which are dying.

which have come to a new understanding of what the Bible does and doesn’t decree, of what people can and cannot divine in regard to God’s will.

“A new understanding” which, coincidentally, happens to agree with my own.

That many Christians regard them as incompatible is understandable, an example not so much of hatred’s pull as of tradition’s sway. Beliefs ossified over centuries aren’t easily shaken.

Show of hands.  How many of you think that Frank doesn’t set foot inside of a Christian church unless a family member or friend has either died or is getting married?

But in the end, the continued view of gays, lesbians and bisexuals as sinners is a decision. It’s a choice. It prioritizes scattered passages of ancient texts over all that has been learned since — as if time had stood still, as if the advances of science and knowledge meant nothing.

Yeah, that’s our God for you.  The Old Guy just can’t seem to keep with the times.

It disregards the degree to which all writings reflect the biases and blind spots of their authors, cultures and eras.

And it also disregards the fact that Christians are supposed to believe that the Bible is the Word of That Guy Who Friggin’ Created The Entire Friggin’ Universe.

It ignores the extent to which interpretation is subjective, debatable.

Word of God.  US Constitution.  Both really old writings.  If we can change one, why can’t we change the other?  Then Frank works in the whole slavery/contraception thing.  Really badly.

For a very long time, [David Gushee] noted, “Many Christians thought slavery wasn’t sinful, until we finally concluded that it was.

Two questions, Dave.  Does the name William Wilberforce ring a bell?  And can you show me where in the Scriptures we are commanded to own slaves?  Because I can show you lots of places where we’re commanded not to do what Gene Robinson and Susan Russell do in their off-hours.

People thought contraception was sinful when it began to be developed, and now very few Protestants and not that many Catholics would say that.” They hold an evolved sense of right and wrong, even though, he added, “You could find scriptural support for the idea that all sex should be procreative.”

I want to tap my best friend’s wife.  My best friend’s wife wants me to tap her.  But the Book says that it’s a sin to tap my best friend’s wife.  So I’ll just have my sense of right and wrong “evolve” a bit.  And it’s great to hear that I don’t have to worry about that Leviticus 19:18 crap any more.

“In the United States, we have abandoned the idea that women are second-class, inferior and subordinate to men, but the Bible clearly teaches that,” said Jimmy Creech, a former United Methodist pastor who was removed from ministry in the church after he performed a same-sex marriage ceremony in 1999. “We have said: That’s a part of the culture and history of the Bible. That is not appropriate for us today.”

And we could say the same about the idea that men and women in loving same-sex relationships are doing something wrong. In fact the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have said that. So have most American Catholics, in defiance of their church’s teaching.

Frank?  Seen TEO’s numbers lately?  Then Frank finally gets to his main point.

And it’s a vital message because of something that Indiana demonstrated anew: Religion is going to be the final holdout and most stubborn refuge for homophobia. It will give license to discrimination. It will cause gay and lesbian teenagers in fundamentalist households to agonize needlessly: Am I broken? Am I damned?

What should be done?  Persuasion, ideally.  At first.

Could this change? There’s a rapidly growing body of impressive, persuasive literature that looks at the very traditions and texts that inform many Christians’ denunciation of same-sex relationships and demonstrates how easily those points of reference can be understood in a different way.

But Frank’s patience does have serious limits.

Creech and Mitchell Gold, a prominent furniture maker and gay philanthropist, founded an advocacy group, Faith in America, which aims to mitigate the damage done to L.G.B.T. people by what it calls “religion-based bigotry.”

Gold told me that church leaders must be made “to take homosexuality off the sin list.”

His commandment is worthy — and warranted. All of us, no matter our religious traditions, should know better than to tell gay people that they’re an offense. And that’s precisely what the florists and bakers who want to turn them away are saying to them.

Just in case any of you were uncertain about what the term “thought crime” meant.

COMPANY MAN

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments

Attention Anglican conservatives, assuming there still are any floating around here and there.  You can officially disabuse yourselves of the idea that the appointment of Josiah Idowu-Fearon as Secretary-General of the London Catholic-ish (Sort-Of) Church will make any difference whatsoever in the trajectory of the Anglican Communion:

Now I want to begin with a personal experience I had as a member of the Lambeth Commission that produced the Windsor 2003 document. Our first series of meetings, one of us was not present, and the second time we reconvened, she was there. And Lord Eames who was our chairman asked her: ‘being a judge, look go through the job we did while you were away and come back to share with us’. So she spent the whole morning looking at what we had done and she came back and said: ‘oh you guys are brilliant you have done a good job.’ And we were sort of, you know, preening ourselves, felt we had done a good job, and suddenly you know like a whiplash, she asked: ‘who are you writing for?’

And there was this frightened silence. We never thought along that line at all. We thought we were speaking for the entire Communion. And so we went on discussing, and eventually we concluded that we were actually writing for 70% of Anglicans. The question you will ask is what about the remaining 30%? We discovered that, on the left we have 15 % who will not care about what we were discussing and on the right another 15%. And we discovered that the 15% on the left are what I, Josiah, would call Extreme Conservatives, and on the right we have Extreme Liberals.

Brothers and sisters let us not deceive ourselves, within this Communion we have conservatives and liberals. We have Extreme, and I use that word Extreme as a student of Islam, because we no longer use Fundamentalism for Muslims who are terribly radical, we call them Extreme Muslims. And that is the way I want us to understand this concept because we have to agree, otherwise there will be no communication.

So when you hear me say Extreme Liberals and Extreme Conservatives, I am talking about those who are really radical and they are not interested in being together. I have a petition for you towards the end of this from Lord Ramsey, what he has to say – sorry, Professor Seitz, what he has to say – about these two extreme groups. Brothers and Sisters, I believe as Anglicans and Episcopalians, that in spite of the serious problems we face today, 70% of us want us to be together. We want to stay in and checkmate each other.

Update from Bill (not IB)

Pardon me for kibitzing, Chris. I see a wonderful opportunity for an informal contest.

Scott W. commented: “Cue ‘One Night in Bangkok’”. I was going to respond with another song title, but before doing so it occurred to me that our beloved readers might like to offer their own suggestions. So – let’s hear from you, folks. Give us a song that you think fits the circumstances. Competition often inspires creativity. The prize – well, I think that simply being named “MCJ Commenter Extraordinaire” is something few would fail to recognize as being a magnificent honor. I’ll be the sole judge and arbiter, and promise that the ideas of fairness, equality and correctness will have absolutely nothing to do with my decision. And I will submit my own entry – but due to the conflict of interest, it won’t be the winner. At least it *probably* won’t be the winner…

My entry is in the comments.

Additional update by Your Editor:

Not a problem, Bill, jump into any of my posts any time the Spirit moves you.  Right now, watching the Christian tradition which my mother passionately loved and in which I was baptized and raised commit slow-motion seppuku brings only one song to mind.  “Tequila” by the Champs.  Of course, that song works for lots of other things as well. :-)

Additional additional update by Your Editor

Also, boss, since this is your idea, you get to pick the winner.  Me, I’m leaning to Jedinovice’s  “Nowhere Man.”  Or that “Tequila” thing some idiot mentioned.

Our Third Chief Additional update by Bill (not IB)
I’m away from my desk until Sunday evening. Winner will be announced then.

THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD…

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 34 Comments

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a quote which doesn’t even require “fisking”. At the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast on Sunday, an occasion of great significance to Christians, here’s what President Barack Obama had to say:

“On Easter, I do reflect on the fact that as a Christian, I am supposed to love,” Obama said. “And I have to say that sometimes when I listen to less-than-loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned.” As the crowd began to murmur, the president backed off, saying, “But that’s a topic for another day.”

Nothing like trashing fellow Christians as they’re busy observing the most important day in the Christian year, and the event which defines their faith. Fortunately, President Obama has the gift of knowing exactly what is in the heart and mind of each and every person, and that allows him to pass judgement on them. I’d just like to see him make a similar statement to Muslims on the first day of Ramadan… but I won’t hold my breath.

Bill (not IB)

JOHNSON’S FIRST LAW OF PUBLIC STATUARY

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 30 Comments

It seems to me that any statue erected to honor someone requires at least a passing resemblance to the person that it is intended to commemorate.

LOOK AWAY

Monday, April 6th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 58 Comments

Lest anybody accuse it of leftist political bias, The New Republic, that tottering shell of a formerly-interesting political journal, thinks that a crushing Republican defeat of a particular Democratic legislature should become a national holiday.

Prollum is…

WAIT…WHAT?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015 | Uncategorized | 43 Comments

The London Catholic-ish (sort of) Church appoints a new Secretary-General:

The Most Revd Dr Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon has been appointed to be the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

Dr Idowu-Fearon currently serves as Bishop of Kaduna in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) where he has earned a global reputation in the Church for his expertise in Christian-Muslim relations.

He was selected out of an initial field of applicants from Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Since 1998 the Most Revd Dr Idowu-Fearon has been Bishop of Kaduna, and he is the current Director of the Kaduna Anglican Study Centre. Before that he served as Bishop of Sokoto, Warden at St Francis of Assisi Theological College in Wusasa, and Provost of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kaduna.

Responding to his appointment, Dr Idowu-Fearon said, “I am excited to take up the post of Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, and to continue the fine work undertaken by my predecessors in this office.

“It is a privilege to be so honoured and recognised by the Communion for this leadership position. I look forward to serving the Anglican family with my future colleagues at the Anglican Communion Office and the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Bishop James Tengatenga warmly welcomed the appointment saying, “I am delighted that Bishop Josiah has accepted the position. He will bring a vital new perspective on the Anglican Communion, its life and ministry. His experience and expertise in Christian-Muslim relations is particularly welcome at this time.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said, “I warmly welcome the appointment of Bishop Josiah and look forward to working closely with him in the renewal of the Anglican Communion amidst the global challenges facing us today.”

An interesting choice, this, considering that Tengatenga’s on board with the Americans and that Idowu-Fearon’s on record as once having believed the following:

“My grandparents had practiced traditional religion before they became Christian. Now, in African traditional religion, if I had an attraction to a male person, that is considered as an abnormal thing, a spiritual problem. …

Now, when my grandparents met the English, who introduced us to the Christian faith, they read the Bible to my grandparents, and said, look, this thing you’re talking about, the Bible agrees that it’s sinful. So for us, the Bible supports our pre-Christian theology. We accepted it. We became Christian. And that is why in Africa, generally, if you have an abnormal sexual orientation, you don’t brag about it. …

That’s why we feel we are deceived, we have been cheated by the people the Lord Jesus Christ used to introduce us to the Scriptures, to bring us to a new faith in the Lord Jesus. They are telling us that it’s not wrong after all, that it’s a natural way. But we say: You are wrong; the Bible is right. So it’s not just a question of human sexuality. It’s about the authority of Scripture. For us, Scripture judges every culture. What I hear in the Western world is that culture judges Scripture. That’s the basic difference. It’s not a question of sex or no sex.

It’s the same thing with the unique nature of Jesus Christ and the finality of his sacrifice. …Today you will hear leaders of the Episcopal Church say that Jesus Christ is not the only way, and I say: ‘So why are you even in the church? You should resign.’”

Along with this:

The Church of Nigeria, (Anglican Communion) said yesterday that there was no going back on its 1998 stand against promoters of homosexuality and bi-sexual tendencies. Leadership of the communion lauded the Federal Government for the decisive step it took banning the ugly practices.

Bishop of Kaduna Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Most Rev (Dr) Josiah Idowu- Fearon, who spoke at the induction/investiture of knights and dames, held in Benin, Edo State capital, stated that legalising gay marriage or such acts amounted to making God’s good creatures and standards to look imperfect.

Rev. Idowu-Fearon said, “Our battle today is not against homosexuals, our battle today is against those who say God’s standards are not good enough for us.

The government has criminalised homosexuality which is good, our battle is not against human beings, it is against the devil. ”He urged all thse already initiated to reestablish the family system that is Anglican oriented.

Given all that, it seems Idowu-Fearon was against boycotting Lambeth.  Nevertheless, the denizens of Jim’s old joint are thoroughly appalled at this selection.

So is Idowu-Fearon’s selection significant?  I don’t know but here are two possibilities.

(1) Idowu-Fearon will shortly walk back those comments of his in order to become palatable to western Anglican money.

(2) What’s-His-Face knows that western traditionalist Anglicanism is dead and that ACNA recognition isn’t going to happen on his watch but it’s still necessary to keep the Global South on board if the Anglican Communion is to maintain any worldwide credibility at all so any port in a storm regardless of how much the western Anglican left bitches about it.

If any of you have any other ideas, leave them in the comments and I’ll update the post with the best of them.

UPDATE: The boss has an interesting and slightly optimistic take.

I think that ++Idowu-Fearon won’t deny his words or offer a softer version. He’s not going to draw a line in the sand, but he will remain firm and refuse to accede to demands from the West – and they (the West) may well walk. He’ll wave them a not-so-fond “farewell”.

Reasoning: For quite a while, the Western churches (primarily the Episcopals, Canadians, and increasingly the English) have felt that the power of the purse would keep them in the game. TEC’s purse is being sucked dry by legal costs; the Canadians aren’t really big hitters; and England is ready to fragment and implode over the female bishops issue. (Plus they have massive infrastructure and pensions woes.) Casting those three adrift from the Anglican Communion wouldn’t really be a great loss; the numbers and energy are no longer with the West, but the South. And, hanging on to the West means having to explain to one’s members why they are part of a Communion in which churches deny the uniqueness of Christ, the authority of Scripture, the Traditions of the church, openly allow heretics to function as clergy, persecute their own members, etc. Much easier to let go, and keep the faith unsullied from the revisionists.

On the other hand, in a discussion over at Kendall’s, the Pageantmaster is unimpressed.

Well, certainly a Canterbury/TEC-compliant model as he has shown recently, he is more than happy to toe the line and from his recent trip to Rome with the former and rabidly revisionist TEC Bishop of Washington,John Chane shows, the suspicion is that nowadays he is prepared to obey instructions and get onboard with TEC-led events as a Welby stooge.

Did anyone in the Communion have a say in this, or has it just been imposed as usual?  Were the Primate and House of Bishops of Nigeria asked?  Were the other Global South Primates asked?

If the answer is no, what credibility will he have for the Global South to have any real confidence in him, any more than they have had with the TEC-financed James Tengatenga who is still on the so-called ‘Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion?

Thanks for the T19 heads-up, Katherine.

UPDATE: Can I call ‘em or what?

WELCOME TO 2015 AMERICA

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 | Uncategorized | 28 Comments

Where “freedom of speech” areas need to be censored:

Officials at North Carolina State University are encouraging students to start censoring the school’s “Free Expression Tunnel” by purging it of speech that constitutes “social injustice,” reports Campus Reform.

NC State’s Free Expression Tunnel was created partly as a way to prevent graffiti from being sprayed on structures around the campus. Within the tunnel, the use of graffiti is allowed and encouraged, and students are given carte blanche to say whatever they like.

Now, however, director of student involvement Eileen Coombes wants to make it clear that “anything” shouldn’t be taken literally. The school, she said in an email to student group leaders, is launching a new “State Not Hate” campaign to help students cover up speech they consider icky. The campaign will supply students with stencils in order to make it easier for them to cover up objectionable content.

“If you see hate speech or offensive language in the Free Expression Tunnel, cover that speech with the stencil, indicating that you, as a member of this community of scholars, will not stand for any form of hate at NC State,” said Coombes.

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