Uncategorized

YOU’RE A BAD U.S. PRESIDENT WHEN…

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 56 Comments

…criminals start ordering you around:

Illegal immigrants picketed the White House Monday afternoon, calling on fellow immigrant-rights advocacy groups to refuse to meet with the Obama administration until President Obama specifically includes illegal immigrants in any future meetings.

“We are among the millions of people who will either benefit or be harmed by the decisions the President makes, and we are here to represent ourselves in any future negotiations,” said Rosi Carrasco, one of organizers, in a statement announcing the action.

THIS IS JUST SAD

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 35 Comments

These days, Lambeth Palace is like some particularly pathetic guy who refuses to accept the fact that his girlfriend has broken up with him and gotten on with her life:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to Pope Francis in a plea to prevent the ordination of women bishops from derailing plans for the eventual reunification between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.

In his letter sent to the Pope and other churches, Archbishop Welby wrote: “We are aware that our other ecumenical partners may find this a further difficulty on the journey towards full communion. “There is, however, much that unites us, and I pray that the bonds of friendship will continue to be strengthened and that our understanding of each other’s traditions will grow.”

Every one of the 28 phone calls he made to her last week went straight to voice mail

He added: “It is clear to me that whilst our theological dialogue will face new challenges, there is nonetheless so much troubling our world today that our common witness to the Gospel is of more importance than ever.

“There is conflict in many regions of our world, acute poverty, unemployment and an influx of oppressed people driven away from their own countries and seeking refuge elsewhere.

And that guy she was passionately kissing yesterday?  Could have been anything.

“We need each other, as we, as churches empowered by the Holy Spirit, rise to the challenge and proclaim the good news of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and strive for closer fellowship and greater unity.”

Catholics?  I don’t want to tell you how to run your church or anything but if I’m Francis and this thing requires some kind of answer, I route it straight to the coach of the official Vatican City slow-pitch softball team and move on.

THE KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI GAME

Monday, July 28th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 77 Comments

Although I’ve been writing about her for eight years, I’m still taken aback at how incredibly limited Katharine Jefferts Schori’s intellect is.  The Presiding Bishop literally thinks in bumper stickers.

Mrs. Schori’s latest piece for the Huffington Post admirably demonstrates this.  Essentially, the Peeb takes almost every current idea that the left desperately needs to be true whether it actually is or not, tosses them in a blender and hits Puree.

So instead of wasting my time and yours arguing with her vapidity yet again, I decided to take a different, fun approach and created the Katharine Jefferts Schori Game.

How do you play?  It’s challenging.  Several examples follow.  All you have to do is to guess which ones that I have picked as the top three dumbest and enter your guess, IN ORDER (first to third), into the comments.  First person to do so wins:

(1) High praise from me.
(2) Bragging rights until the next Katharine Jefferts Schori Game.
(3) The right to design and print out on your own printer a piece of paper declaring the fact that you won the Katharine Jefferts Schori Game on this date.  If you want to frame the thing, that’s also entirely on you.

Are you ready to play?  Let’s begin:

(A) We have observed the passage of time and noted that the work is still far from complete. We have made progress, yet discrimination continues.

(B) Women were first recognized to have access to these rights when they were granted the vote in 1920. Today, they still earn less than men in the same occupations.

(C) They still lack guaranteed access to the full spectrum of health care, and that access is denied by political leaders who deem women’s reproductive health less significant than that of men.

(D) Viagra is a covered drug under most insurance plans, yet we don’t see the same move to limit its availability based on religious principles. No one is asking for a conscience clause so corporations don’t have to pay for it.

(E) Women have served with great integrity as leaders in government, academia, business, the nonprofit world, and their communities, yet we still see inordinate attention paid to their hairstyles and modes of dress — attention of a kind that is almost never directed toward men.

(F) Violence against women is hidden, ignored, and rampant, whether we speak of rape on college campuses or the subtle violence that ignores and discounts the contributions of women in public discourse.

(G) We watch as esteemed professions and occupations once dominated by men begin to be integrated and see average wages and social recognition plummet — as if they were now contaminated.

Good luck.

UPDATE:  High praise to Gregg the obscure for being the first to get the answers in the correct order.  They are:

(D) Viagra is a covered drug under most insurance plans, yet we don’t see the same move to limit its availability based on religious principles. No one is asking for a conscience clause so corporations don’t have to pay for it.

Two things, Presiding Bishop.  You might want to, you know, actually back up that claim about Viagra being covered under “most insurance plans” because it certainly wasn’t covered under mine.  After my 2007 prostate cancer surgery, the one time I got a prescription for it ended up costing me $68.00.  For four pills.

The Viagra “conscience clause” business might stem from the fact no one wants one since, while your employer owes you many things, a great sex life isn’t one of them.  That and the fact that “Thou shalt not consume any potion that enhances thy chances to attain wood” appears nowhere in the Bible or any other sacred text of which I am aware.

(C) They still lack guaranteed access to the full spectrum of health care, and that access is denied by political leaders who deem women’s reproductive health less significant than that of men.

Men can have babies?  Apparently, her theology classes weren’t the only ones that the Presiding Bishop slept through.

(G) We watch as esteemed professions and occupations once dominated by men begin to be integrated and see average wages and social recognition plummet — as if they were now contaminated.

I have absolutely no clue what Mrs. Schori means here.  Have doctors and lawyers lost salary and respect merely because some of them are women?  Would it mean less to you if the paramedic who saved the life of your child was female?

I think what the Presiding Bishop is referring to are the low salaries and lack of respect shown to Christian ministers.  Mainline Protestant ministers in general and Episcopal ministers in particular.

Which stems from two factors.  There are far too many of them in relation to the actual number of Episcopalians out there.  And too many Episcopal ministers are, indeed, “contaminated.”  With heresy.

So Mrs. Schori got something right.

THIS AND THAT

Friday, July 25th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 64 Comments

Ordered the new lapper today.  It’s going to be one of these (suck it, Gates), non-retinal, with as much candy as I could possibly cram in to the thing without breaking my bank.  Why non-retinal?  Since this thing is going to be a work tool and nothing more and since I know that when I look at an image on a computer, I’m looking at something that isn’t actually there, I don’t need what I see to look lifelike.

I also opted for the rust-proofing, fabric protection and extended warranty options.  I agreed with the salesman; you never know what might happen.  Why are all of you rolling your eyes at me like that?

Once the thing gets here and once I get up to speed on it (which may be quite a while; I intend to take my time), I’m probably going to add more contributors.  The Bill (not IB) experiment has been a tremendous success and I think that several more of you would make this site even better than it is.

I’ve got four of you in mind already.

Don’t worry if your contribution isn’t long and insightful.  Quick-hitters like this one and this one are just as good.  Or something along these lines. Whatever gets people talking; just make sure that you sign your actual name or your MCJ handle.

Bill?  What would you think about some kind of live event here at the MCJ?  It’ll be a ways off and I don’t know exactly what it would involve.  I don’t know when I’ll be proficient on the Mac and I don’t know when any new folks I bring on board will be proficient with WordPress software.

But it would run no more than an hour or so because it might involve a good bit of work on both our parts.  While there is free chat software out there, this might be nothing more than you and I going back and forth, editing and reediting one post while one or the other of us checked out from time to time to search the comments and post any particularly insightful ones we ran across.

SECOND LIFE

Friday, July 25th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments

Do you know why the rhetoric of Hamas and other Muslim radicals is, as far as the Jews are concerned, so exterminationist?  It’s quite simple, really. To a great many modern Middle Eastern Muslims, a famous German is still very much alive:

Why do so many Arabs sound like Nazis when they talk about Jews?  The answer lay buried for decades in the archives of the Third Reich.  Then a generation of younger German scholars expanded their attention beyond the death camps of Europe to Hitler’s activities in the Middle East.  What they discovered: it was Hitler who financed the modern jihadi movement. 

Nazi-Arab collaboration was crucial to the Final Solution.  The Third Reich financed and trained the Muslim Brothers of Palestine and Egypt in terrorism and focused their anti-modernity rage on Jews.  One of the first people Hitler told about his plans to kill Europe’s Jews was the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, the infamous mufti of Jerusalem, Yasser Arafat’s cousin.  Hitler and the mufti shook hands on a plan to exterminate all the Jews of the Middle East.  The Reich preserved the memo, the minutes, and a photo of their famous handshake. 

Husseini was passed along to Goebbels, who established him as the Nazi voice to the Middle East.  It was the most popular radio program of the long war years, broadcast daily into every café.  This Nazi station was listened to by the entire male population, Arab and Persian, including most famously Ayatollah Khomeini.  It was an intoxicating mix of militant Islam, Nazism, and war propaganda.

Hitler has never left the Middle East.  For almost 70 years, the Arab world has been pickled in Nazi Jew-hatred.  In the words of Matthias Kuntzel, author of Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11, “[i]f there is one theme … which unites Islamists, Liberals, Nasserites and Marxists, it is the collective fantasy of the common enemy in the shape of Israel and the Jews, which almost always correlates with the wish to destroy Israel.”  Jew-hatred is indispensible to Arab leaders, from Egypt to Saudi Arabia to Iran to the Palestinian Authority, in their fight against democratic Western values.

Nazi jihadism didn’t win without a fight from the modernizing forces in Egypt.  Many signs indicate that Israel would have been a welcome neighbor.  Religious leaders fought the Brotherhood’s attempts to politicize Friday prayers with false claims that Jews were attacking Al Aqsa and the Koran.  The rector of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s most important university, forbade anti-Jewish propaganda.  Ali Mahir, Egyptian King Farouk’s top adviser, called for a united Palestinian state based on mutual tolerance and regulated immigration for both Jew and Arab.

VANITY OF VANITIES

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 39 Comments

One of the problems with running a site like this for as long as I have is that you eventually figure out that as far as The Issue is concerned, there is, in the words of whoever wrote Ecclesiastes, “no new thing under the sun.”

The left knows that all their arguments in favor of The Issue have been slapped down and that they have no valid arguments with which to replace them.  Which means that they continually need to find new ways to say the same thing.  Which also means that you will pretty much know exactly what’s in any given story before you even read it.

Case in point: the Rev. Dr. Mark Achtemeier actually thinks he’s found the Achilles heel of traditionalist Christians regarding duh gaze.  See if you can figure out what it is.  In case you don’t feel like reading Achtemeier’s article, I put the answer on the very next line but I’m going to render it in white so you’ll have to highlight the space just below this paragraph in order to see it (I don’t see why I should do all the work around here).

THE BIG PICTURE

Regular as clockwork:

I myself had learned to support the categorical condemnation of same-sex relationships by appealing to scattered fragments of Scripture. But Irenaeus helped me understand that being able to cite Bible passages in support of a particular teaching is no guarantee that the teaching is either true or faithful. Where does that leave us?

Fortunately, the church across the centuries has developed guidelines for interpreting Scripture that help keep our use of particular passages in touch with the true portrait of God’s love in Christ. When we apply these guidelines, the Bible’s teaching about gay people and their relationships appears in a whole new light. In my book I show how the application of these time-tested principles of biblical interpretation produces an overwhelmingly positive biblical case in favor of gay marriage. I came to realize how my former reliance on fragmentary, out-of-context quotes from Scripture had led me to lose touch with the “big picture” of God’s love that lies at the heart of the Bible’s witness.

This is not the first time well-meaning Christians have made such a mistake. Some of my devout Presbyterian ancestors used fragmentary quotations from Scripture to defend their traditional beliefs supporting slavery and the subjugation of women. In those cases the church eventually came to embrace a more faithful interpretation of the Bible that did a better job of remaining in touch with the “true portrait” of God’s love for all people in Christ.

Here’s the problem I have, Mark.  When Our Lord said the following:

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.”  But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Was He not referring to a fragment of Scripture, taken out of context, namely this one here?  Seems to me that if a fragment of Scripture, taken out of context, tells you not to commit adultery, then maybe you shouldn’t commit adultery.

Are you calling the Risen Lord wrong for saying what He said, Achtemeier?  If you are, then, in the immortal words of Alan Parsons, “I wouldn’t want to be like you.”

Because you’ve just rendered the entire Bible utterly meaningless.

AND NOW…IDIOTS

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 45 Comments

Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Tracy Van Slyke, authoress of the SINGLE dumbest thing ever written:

Thomas [the Tank Engine] and those friends are trains that toil away endlessly on the Isle of Sodor – which seems to be forever caught in British colonial times – and, on its surface, the show seems to impart good moral lessons about hard work and friendship. But if you look through the steam rising up from the coal-powered train stacks, you realize that the pretty puffs of smoke are concealing some pretty twisted, anachronistic messages.

ANNNNNNNNND we’re off.  What kinds of “pretty twisted, anachronistic messages” can be worked into a kid’s TV show, Tracy?

For one, these trains perform tasks dictated by their imperious, little white boss, Sir Topham Hatt (also known as The Fat Controller), whose attire of a top hat, tuxedo and big round belly is just a little too obvious. Basically, he’s the Monopoly dictator of their funky little island. Hatt orders the trains to do everything from hauling freight to carrying passengers to running whatever random errand he wants done, whenever he wants it done – regardless of their pre-existing schedules.

Because he’s a human being and they’re…talking machines?

Inevitably, the trains get in a fight with or pick on one another (or generally mess up whatever job they are supposed to be doing) until Hatt has to scold one of them about being a “really useful engine”, because their sole utility in life is their ability to satisfy his whims. Yeah, because I want to teach my kid to admire a controlling autocrat.

Trace?  Sweetie?  You do know that Sir Topham Hatt isn’t the central focus of that show, don’t you?  And that sentient trains don’t actually exist?

But there was one particular episode that caused me to put the brakes on Thomas for good. It revolved around James, a red engine who is described in the opening credits as “vain but lots of fun.” (Wait, it’s OK to be vain if you can show others a good time occasionally? Great – that’s going in my Parenting 101 book.) In the episode “Tickled Pink”, poor vain James, is ordered by Topham Hat to get a new coat of paint. But while James has only had an undercoat of pink slathered on, Topham Hatt interrupts and demands that James go pick up Hatt’s granddaughter and deliver her and her friends to a birthday party right now.

You all know what pink means.

James is mortified that he has to travel while pink and proceeds to hide from all the other trains along the way. When he’s caught, the other trains – including Thomas – viciously laugh and mock him.

Thomas the Tank Engine.  Gay basher.

“What are you doing James? You’re a big pink steamie,” says Diesel, the bad-boy engine. (For the record, all the “villains” on Thomas and Friends are the dirty diesel engines. I’d like to think there was a good environmental message in there, but when the good engines pump out white smoke and the bad engines pump out black smoke – and they are all pumping out smoke – it’s not hard to make the leap into the race territory.)

Check that.  Thomas the Tank Engine.  Racist gay basher.

But once James gets back on the rails and picks up Granddaughter Hatt and her friends, all seemingly ends well because the girls love pink.

Well guess what? It’s not OK. You think a little boy watching Thomas is going to file away the lesson that pink is OK for boys? No, what kids remember is that James was laughed at, cruelly, over and over again, because he looked different and was clad in a “girly” pink color.

Whatever, kid.  Trace?  You’re right to be concerned.  If you play any given version of a British Thomas episode backward, do you know what you’ll hear?  Campaign commercials for the UK Independence Party (play an American version backward and you’ll hear a whole lot of people explaining why Barack Obama is the single worst president in the history of the United States of America).

Get help, Tracy.

WHO KNEW?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 24 Comments

Not only is the moon American but it’s also Protestant (and Calvinist at that). ;-)

BEATDOWN

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 30 Comments

If A. S. Haley is right, TEO is getting its ass handed to it in South Carolina.

Your prayers are requested …. Bill (not IB)

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments

**UPDATE**

My Mom has never read a blog before. This afternoon I guided her to MCJ on my tablet, and showed her the comments you folks have made. She was moved to tears – more than once. Thank you very, very, very much. Bill

* * * * * * * * * *

I seldom consider asking people for anything, but –

My Dad passed away at 6:30 PM Monday [today, for me] most unexpectedly. He was suffering from Parkinson’s and aspiration pneumonia (a tendency to fail to clear the lungs of foreign materials) as well as having had his vision almost completely eliminated by 50+ years of glaucoma. Although he had entered a hospice program about a week ago, his death was not considered imminent.

Your prayers are requested for Bill (my Dad), Bill (myself), and all our family. My Dad was 90, and he and my Mom would have celebrated their 65th anniversary shortly. She’s taking it hard, as I knew she would. Every night of their married life, the last thing they did before going to sleep was to say the Lord’s prayer together. They did so for the last time Sunday night.

“The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)

Bill (not IB)

IPECAC

Monday, July 21st, 2014 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

A month or so ago, while she was in Britain, Katharine Jefferts Schori dropped in on some English church ladies.  And I simply cannot emphasize this too strongly.  If you’ve just eaten or drank something,

DO NOT

click on that link.

TANTRUMS

Monday, July 21st, 2014 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments

After all this time, it still amazes me what petty, vindictive creeps Episcopalians can be:

The retirement savings of more than 80 non-clergy employees of the Diocese of South Carolina and its parishes are being held hostage by their former pension plan at the Episcopal Church (TEC).

The lay employees have been trying to arrange for the rollover of their retirement savings since February, when they first contacted the Church Pension Group, which provides retirement, health and other benefits to employees of The Episcopal Church, its parishes, dioceses and other institutions. The employees became eligible to rollover their funds into another qualified plan when their employer, the Diocese or the parishes that voted to disassociate from the denomination, officially ceased to be employed by any TEC organization or parish.

In mid-March, the Diocese’s pension administrator Nancy Armstrong began correspondence with TEC’s Church Pension Group administrator to notify it that several Diocese employees would soon begin the rollover process.  After numerous emails back and forth, Frederick Beaver, a senior vice president with the Church Pension Group, informed Armstrong that protecting TEC’s pension plans is “paramount” and said he would contact her when he has “definitive legal responses.”

For more than six weeks, the Pension Group has not responded to communication on the issue and has not provided the promised legal response.

“TEC is in non compliance with the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service requirements, said Jim Lewis, Canon to Bishop Mark Lawrence.  “These 403B contributions are being incorrectly held.”

GIFT HORSE

Sunday, July 20th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Jacqueline Small must be absolute hell to shop for at Christmas:

Of course women can be talented and capable religious leaders, but the current push for women’s ordination or appointment to the bishopric [in the Church of England] doesn’t erase prejudices that have thrived in, and because of, Christian churches. Allowing them to join the boys’ club is a small gesture to placate progressives, and distracts from other archaic policies.

Such as?  If you have to ask, you haven’t been paying attention at all.

A Church that gives women more power gets points for liberality, but it seldom has to address deeper issues of patriarchy, like male language for God, permissive attitudes toward gendered violence, and expectations that women must prevent men from lusting. Nor does such a Church necessarily affirm LGBT lives, or welcome non-white people.

It’s like I’ve always said.  For the left, it’s a journey not a destination.

SHAKIN’ ALL OVER

Sunday, July 20th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments

When the new machine arrives and I get up to speed on it, I’ll probably start doing things differently around here.  For one, there’s a pretty good chance that I’m going to start posting periodic fund-raising appeals.

I’ve fiercely resisted that idea ever since I started doing this but I no longer have much choice.  Since the state and federal unemployment bennies have run out and aren’t likely to come back, I’m living on my inheritance so things are going to get tight.

Initially, I’ll probably only do it every three or four months.  And it’s not going to stay on the top of the page for a week straight; I’ll post it once and that will be that.

But if New Madrid kicks in any time soon, money will be the least of my problems.

APPS

Saturday, July 19th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 28 Comments

As far as the “Is the Church of England apostolic?” question is concerned, What’s-His-Face’s explanation of the women bishops vote doesn’t help the C of E’s case any:

This comes to you with warm Christian greetings and the wish to communicate personally to you the decision of the General Synod of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopate.

This is an occasion of deep rejoicing for many, especially for many of the women clergy in the Church of England. They feel that this decision affirms their place and ministry in the life of the Church. For others in the Church of England, the decision may be a source of disappointment and concern.

The decision may also be a source of disappointment and concern for folks in actual apostolic churches not, at present, in any sort of official relationship with the Church of England.  The Roman Catholics and the Orthodox, say.  But do go on.

As the Synod moved towards the decision many were struck by the spirit of the debate: frankness, passion and, I am glad to say, a good deal of Christian charity.  It all indicated an intention and sincere assurance to hold all of us together in one Church. There appeared a determination that the genuinely held differences on the issue of the ordination of women to the episcopate should not become a dividing factor in the Church of England, and there was care and expressions of love for those troubled by the outcome.

“Care and expressions of love” might better be translated as “crocodile tears.”  But what What’s-His-Face actually means here is what the Episcopal Organization meant in 2003.  The Church of England is more than happy to cash the pledge checks of its sexist bigots.  And here’s the thing, Catholics and Orthodox.  We’re not changing our minds.

1.  Now that legislation has been passed to enable women to become bishops the Church of England is fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being open equally to all, without reference to gender, and holds that those whom it has duly ordained and appointed to office are the true and lawful holders of the office which they occupy and thus deserve due respect and canonical obedience;

Ever.

2.  Anyone who ministers within the Church of England must be prepared to acknowledge that the Church of England has reached a clear decision on the matter;

But we’re more than happy to continue dialogue with other churches in order to get them to realize what sexist pigs they are.

3.  Since it continues to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and those provinces of the Anglican Communion which continue to ordain only men as priests or bishops,

According to us, anyway.

the Church of England acknowledges that its own clear decision on ministry and gender is set within a broader process of discernment within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God;

Since our baseline seems to be that we’re right and you’re wrong.

4. Since those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to enabling them to flourish within its life and structures; and

5.  Pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church of England will be made without specifying a limit of time and in a way that maintains the highest possible degree of communion and contributes to mutual flourishing across the whole Church of England.

Translation: we’ll just wait ‘em out.  Everybody dies eventually.

The Church of England continues in its quest to make our unity more visible with those with whom we are in communion, and to seek greater unity with those with whom we are not yet in communion. Some of our Sister Churches in communion will share the joy of those in the Church of England, who welcome the development of having women in the episcopate. But we are also aware that our other ecumenical partners may find this a further difficulty on the journey towards full communion. There is, however, much that unites us, and I pray that the bonds of friendship will continue to be strengthened and that our understanding of each other’s traditions will grow.

Translation: Please keep talking with us so we can continue to call ourselves “apostolic.”  Besides, SQUIRREL.

Finally, it is clear to me that whilst our theological dialogue will face new challenges, there is nonetheless so much troubling our world today that our common witness to the Gospel is of more importance than ever. There is conflict in many regions of our world, acute poverty, unemployment and an influx of oppressed people driven away from their own countries and seeking refuge elsewhere. We need each other, as we, as churches empowered by the Holy Spirit, rise to the challenge and proclaim the good news of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and strive for closer fellowship and greater unity.

In other words, a lot more unites us than divides us, blah, blah, blah.  Was this thing written in New York?  Has the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Organization already become the de facto head of the Anglican Communion?

Seriously, Orthodox and Catholics.  Cut these people off.  With every little “ecumenical” discussion you have with them, you’re just making things worse.

Support The MCJ

Search

Links

Meta