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.
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.’”
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?
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.
Monday, March 30th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 15 Comments
The National Black Church Initiative is an umbrella group that describes itself as follows:
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 34,000 African-American and Latino churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, churches and the public. The National Black Church Initiative’s methodology is utilizing faith and sound health science.
A quick perusal of its web site suggests that NBCI trends left-of-center. But a recent press release indicates that it’s not that left-of-center:
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans has broken its fellowship with Presbyterian Organization USA (POUSA) following its recent vote to approve same-sex marriage.
The Presbyterian General Assembly, the top legislative body of the POUSA, voted last June to revise the constitutional language defining marriage. This arbitrary change of Holy Scripture is a flagrantly pretentious and illegitimate maneuver by a body that has no authority whatsoever to alter holy text.
Rev. Anthony Evans, NBCI President noted “NBCI and its membership base are simply standing on the Word of God within the mind of Christ. We urge our brother and sisters of the POUSA to repent and be restored to fellowship.”
POUSA’s manipulation represents a universal sin against the entire church and its members. With this action, POUSA can no longer base its teachings on 2,000 years of Christian scripture and tradition, and call itself a Christian entity in the body of Christ. It has forsaken its right by this single wrong act.
No church has the right to change the Word of God. By voting to redefine marriage POUSA automatically forfeits Christ’s saving grace. There is always redemption in the body of Christ through confession of faith and adhering to Holy Scripture. In this case, POUSA deliberately voted to change the Word of God and the interpretation of holy marriage between one man and one woman. This is why we must break fellowship with them and urge the entire Christendom to do so as well.
Content edited slightly.
Sunday, March 29th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 38 Comments
Reason #783,695 why nobody cares about “racism” anymore. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for BIGOTED TODDLERS:
An Indiana Democratic state representative made a shocking claim during a floor speech earlier this week when she said a Republican colleague’s 18-month-old toddler was scared of her because she’s black.
Rep. Vanessa Summers was debating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Monday when she speculated that Republican Rep. Jud McMillin’s young son is a fledgling racist.
“I have told Representative McMillin I love his little son, but he’s scared of me because of my color,” Summers speculated. “And that’s horrible.”
“It’s true,” Summers said in response to groans from the legislative body.
“And that’s something we’re going to work on. We’ve talked about it. And we’re going to work on it.”
“I asked him ‘please, introduce your child to some people of color so that he won’t live his life as a prejudiced person.’”
Saturday, March 28th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 65 Comments
You’d think that people would know this instinctively. But if you deliberately set out to make a posturing, abusive jackass of yourself on the Internet, it can and will only end very badly for you:
A CFO who drew widespread condemnation after berating a Chick-fil-A employee in a video that went viral three years ago is out of work and on food stamps, according to a published report.
Adam Smith, 37, was the CFO of a medical device manufacturer in Arizona until the summer of 2012, when he started protested Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay marriage to an employee at a drive-thru.
After the employee, who never loses her composure, wished Smith a nice day, he responded, “I will. I just did something really good. I feel purposeful.”
Since then, Smith was fired from his job, and his wife and four children lost their home. The family was forced to sell and give away their possessions and move into an RV. He is now on food stamps, he says.
According to other takes on this story, Smith found a job as a CFO in Portland, Oregon and almost immediately lost it again when someone realized who he was.
Excessive? Should we all let up on this guy? The young woman he yelled at already has. But I also know that certain words can never be unsaid (if I were to ever be recorded using the “N” word, say) regardless of how many “apology” videos you post.
Thursday, March 26th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 111 Comments
If you write for The Guardian, the chances are that you haven’t seen the inside of a Christian church since your baptism if you even had one. But I also think that, unlike their predecessors, the modern Left understands the value of slapping a pseudo-Christian whitewash on whatever the leftist Cause Of The Month happens to be which is why Suzanne Goldenberg had to fall back on interviewing Katharine Jefferts Schori:
The highest ranking woman in the Anglican communion has said climate denial is a “blind” and immoral position which rejects God’s gift of knowledge.
Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal church and one of the most powerful women in Christianity,
If, by “powerful,” you mean someone no serious Christian or Christian theologian pays any attention to whatsoever.
said that climate change was a moral imperative akin to that of the civil rights movement.
AFTER making homosexuals feel better about themselves, of course. Priorities, people.
“It is in that sense much like the civil rights movement in this country where we are attending to the rights of all people and the rights of the earth to continue to be a flourishing place,” Bishop Jefferts Schori said in an interview with the Guardian.
Didn’t know that planets have ”rights” but do go on.
In the same context, Jefferts Schori attached moral implications to climate denial,
If one of your parents was an English teacher, you tend to insist upon a certain rhetorical rigor when you read the English language. And the last time I checked, no one, anywhere, denies that the Earth has a climate.
suggesting those who reject the underlying science of climate change
Nor does anyone anywhere deny that climates change.
were turning their backs on God’s gift of knowledge.
Of what we want them to think of as science that is settled for all time.
“Episcopalians understand the life of the mind is a gift of God and to deny the best of current knowledge is not using the gifts God has given you,” she said. “In that sense, yes, it could be understood as a moral issue.”
“The best of current knowledge” is, of course, whatever we want “the best of current knowledge” to be. So, for us, it’s a win/win.
She went on:
She tends to do that.
“I think it is a very blind position. I think it is a refusal to use the best of human knowledge, which is ultimately a gift of God,”
“The best of human knowledge, which is ultimately a gift of God” agrees with my positions. But that’s just a coincidence. Think nothing of it. Goldenberg does work a few laughs into her piece.
As presiding bishop, [Schori] oversees 2.5m members of the Episcopal church in 17 countries, and is arguably one of the most prominent women in Christianity.
Sooze? The Piskies haven’t hit 2.5 mil in at least a decade. And Kate’s only “one of the most prominent women in Christianity” if you want an example of what not to do (see above). The woman’s an airhead, Sooze, and everyone knows it.
Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 79 Comments
Mussolini’s Obama’s regime has decided to make opinions run on time:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster-preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard-mitigation plans that address climate change.
This may put several Republican governors who maintain that the Earth isn’t warming due to human activities, or prefer to take no action, in a political bind. Their position may block their states’ access to hundreds of millions of dollars in FEMA funds. In the last five years, the agency has awarded an average $1 billion a year in grants to states and territories for taking steps to mitigate the effects of disasters.
“If a state has a climate denier governor that doesn’t want to accept a plan, that would risk mitigation work not getting done because of politics,” said Becky Hammer, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s water program. “The governor would be increasing the risk to citizens in that state” because of his climate beliefs.
Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 19 Comments
A POUSA outlet recently did this:
A Presbyterian church in Delaware has held a joint ordination ceremony for a lesbian couple.
Kaci Clark-Porter and Holly Clark-Porter were ordained Sunday afternoon at First & Central Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. Church members believe the two women are the first same-sex couple to be ordained jointly by the Presbyterian Church USA.
Thanks to the MCJ’s Fort Worth bureau chief.
Saturday, March 21st, 2015 | Uncategorized | 57 Comments
You know how certain people are always pompously prattling on about the “three great Abrahamic religions,” Judaism, Christianity and Islam? I may be totally wrong about this so don’t hold me to it but I think that TEO’s Presiding Bishop and Primate Katharine Jefferts Schori, speaking ex Kathydra, may have just added the Mormons to that list:
When General Convention shows up here just over 3 months from now, many of the volunteers and dispensers of hospitality will be our sisters and brothers from [the LDS] tradition. Will we recognize their welcome as a product of the same root, or will we assume that they come from a different and unrecognizable species?
Branches that seem radically different grow on the same tree and the same vine, even though we love to hate the ones who are not like us. We often in the church focus our attention on differences in reproductive customs and norms – yet both the grape vine and the olive tree has multiple ways to be generative. Flowers can be fertilized by pollen from the same plant or another one. The fruit and seeds that result are eaten by birds and animals and left to grow far from the original plant, yet they are still related. The vine also generates new branches from its rootstock or from distant parts of its branches. But all those kinds of vines and branches are related, however they come about.
God continues to bring new life out of chaos. Some time ago the LDS discovered, in the roots of their tradition, ways to include African-Americans after having long excluded them, and they are beginning to do the same for [homosexuals]. Today Salt Lake ranks 7th in the nation for its proportion of gay and lesbian residents. Episcopalians are still wrestling with our own patterns of exclusion: racism, classism, sexism, as well as assuming that everyone who should an Episcopalian already is.
It makes sense when you think about it and it might actually be a pretty good fit. Both TEO and the Mormons fervently believe in continuing revelation. Both are perfectly fine with alternatives to the Bible; TEO just has more of them. So if the Mormons ever do get right on The Issue, I have to believe that it’s Katie-bar-the-door. Although High-Church Mormonism is a little bit hard for me to conceptualize.
Thursday, March 19th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 49 Comments
Though I self-identify as a Christian and I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I raised eyebrows a few years ago when I posted an article on my website about how my personal beliefs don’t align with those of most Presbyterians.
What might those personal beliefs be?
For example, I believe that religion is a human construct.
The symbols of faith are products of human cultural evolution.
Jesus wasn’t really crucified. The early Christians just thought that crosses would look really bitchin’ on chains and stuff.
Jesus may have been an historical figure, but most of what we know about him is in the form of legend.
I think you know where John’s going with this so if you’ve got something more important to do, you can go ahead and skip this one.
God is a symbol of myth-making and not credible as a supernatural being or force.
The Bible is a human product as opposed to special revelation from a divine being.
As Leviticus 19:18 becomes totally optional.
Human consciousness is the result of natural selection, so there’s no afterlife.
But be sure to get your pledges in on time and DON’T YOU DARE insinuate that Shucky’s not a Christian.
And yet, even though I hold those beliefs, I am still a proud minister. But I don’t appreciate being told that I’m not truly a Christian.
Shucks to be you, Sucky, I mean, sucks to be you, Shucky. But it’s true, says Shucky. As long as I and I alone get to determine what “Christianity” means.
Why is that so many people think my affirmations are antithetical to Christianity?
I think it is because Christianity has placed all of its eggs in the belief basket. We all have been trained to think that Christianity is about believing things. Its symbols and artifacts (God, Bible, Jesus, Heaven, etc) must be accepted in a certain way. And when times change and these beliefs are no longer credible,
the choices we are left with are either rejection or fundamentalism.
Tru dat. Do go on.
I believe one of the newer religious paths could be a “belief-less” Christianity. In this “sect,” one is not required to believe things.
Like the Epicopalians, say?
One learns and draws upon practices and products of our cultural tradition to create meaning in the present. The last two congregations I have served have huge commitments to equality for LGTBQ people
AKA The Single Most Important Moral Cause In The Entire History Of The Universe.
and eco-justice, among other things. They draw from the well of our Christian cultural tradition (and other religious traditions) for encouragement in these efforts. I think a belief-less Christianity can be a positive good for society.
Belief-less Christianity is thriving right now
Actually, it’s dying, Shucky, but do carry on.
even as other forms of the faith are falling away rapidly. Many liberal or progressive Christians have already let go or de-emphasized belief in Heaven, that the Bible is literally true, that Jesus is supernatural, and that Christianity is the only way. Yet they still practice what they call Christianity. Instead of traditional beliefs, they emphasize social justice, personal integrity and resilience, and building community. The cultural artifacts serve as resources.
And people are abandoning these “churches” in legions
But what about belief in God? Can a belief-less Christianity really survive if God isn’t in the picture? Can you even call that Christianity anymore? In theory, yes. In practice, it is a challenge because “belief in God” seems to be so intractable. However, once people start questioning it and realize that they’re not alone, it becomes much more commonplace.
Explain to me again why I should wake up very early on one of my days off and attend the ceremonies performed at your church, never mind contribute any money at all to it.
Personally, even though I don’t believe in God as a supernatural agent or force, many still do. I utilize the symbol “God” in worship. This may be viewed as cheating but since our cultural tradition is filled with images of God, it is near impossible to avoid. As a symbol, I’m not yet ready to let go of God. It is a product of myth-making — I know that — but the symbol incorporates many of our human aspirations. I find that “God” for me is shorthand for all the things for which I long: beauty, truth, healing, and justice. They’re all expressed by this symbol and the stories about it.
So you’re basically a liar, Shucky? Is that about it?
Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 43 Comments
The PresbeeYooEssAces officially drink the Kool-Aid:
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved redefining marriage in the church constitution Tuesday to include a “commitment between two people,” becoming the largest Protestant group to formally recognize gay marriage as Christian and allow same-sex weddings in every congregation.
The new definition was endorsed last year by the church General Assembly, or top legislative body, but required approval from a majority of the denomination’s 171 regional districts, or presbyteries. The critical 86th “yes” vote came Tuesday night from the Palisades Presbytery in New Jersey.
After all regional bodies vote and top Presbyterian leaders officially accept the results, the change will take effect June 21. The denomination has nearly 1.8 million members and about 10,000 congregations.
Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 24 Comments
Because Benjamin Netanyahu pulled it off:
After a bruising campaign focused on his failings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel won a clear victory in Tuesday’s elections and seemed all but certain to form a new government and serve a fourth term, though he offended many voters and alienated allies in the process.
With 99.5 percent of the ballots counted, the YNet news site reported Wednesday morning that Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party had captured 29 or 30 of the 120 seats in Parliament, sweeping past his chief rival, the center-left Zionist Union alliance, which got 24 seats.
Mr. Netanyahu and his allies had seized on earlier exit polls that showed a slimmer Likud lead to create an aura of inevitability, and celebrated with singing and dancing. While his opponents vowed a fight, Israeli political analysts agreed even before most of the ballots were counted that he had the advantage, with more seats having gone to the right-leaning parties likely to support him.
Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 18 Comments
Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments
Sir Elton John has called for a boycott of fashion label Dolce & Gabbana after the legendary designers criticised same-sex families.
It followed an interview with the designers in Italy’s Panorama magazine in which the pair said: “We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one.
“No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.”
[Domenico] Dolce added that procreation “must be an act of love”, saying: “You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that’s how it should be.
“I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog.”
[Stefano] Gabbana added: “The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”
And now for the punchline.
The pair, who founded Dolce & Gabbana, were a couple for 23 years, before breaking-up in 2005.
Despite their sexuality, they have previously spoken out against same-sex marriage.
Y’all can take it from here because as I so often say, I got nuthin’.
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