Archive for March, 2009

IN THE CROSSHAIRS

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Now it’s Quincy’s turn to feel the jackboots Christian love.  Via e-mail:

The Diocese of Quincy has petitioned the Circuit Court of Illinois in Quincy to issue a Declaratory Judgment clarifying the rights of the Diocese to hold and manage its endowment funds. The petition was filed in response to actions taken by leaders of the Episcopal Church in New York claiming that trust funds held by the diocese must remain in the Episcopal Church. Quincy formally separated from the Episcopal Church at it annual Synod in November, 2008.

“We hoped from the beginning to avoid any legal action,” said Fr. John Spencer, President of the Standing Committee which oversees the diocese. “Our Fall synod passed a resolution asking the leaders of the Episcopal Church to find ways ‘in which the two entities might carry out the mission of the church as brothers and sisters in the Lord Christ rather than as hostile parties.’ We sent that to the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop. She never responded. We wrote to the leader of a group of several churches that is setting up a new Episcopal diocese here, asking to meet and talk about the property issues. They said they didn’t have the authority to talk with us.”

Quincy, along with the Dioceses of San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, and Ft. Worth, withdrew from the Episcopal church over the meaning and authority of Holy Scripture and other basic Christian teaching, according to Fr. Spencer. San Joaquin separated in December, 2007, and the other three last fall.

A series of legal actions by the Episcopal Church led to the filing of the Quincy petition this week, Fr. Spencer said. In January, an attorney for the Episcopal Church wrote the bank that holds Quincy’s diocesan endowment funds, claiming that those funds have to stay in the Episcopal Church. The letter also claimed that the elected officials of the diocese no longer had any say in the control of those funds.

In February, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, wrote the members of the Quincy Standing Committee, claiming they were no longer officers of the Diocese. “The problem is,” Spencer said, “she has no authority to make such a judgment. The governing officers of each diocese have always been elected at the local level, and the General Convention officers in New York have no say in the matter.”

About the same time, Spencer said, a group of churches that have broken away from the Quincy Diocese announced they would organize a new Episcopal diocese in central Illinois. An article appeared in the March edition of the Episcopal Church’s official newspaper, “Episcopal Life,” saying the Episcopal Presiding Bishop was giving “extensive guidance” to the churches organizing the new diocese and that the goal of Episcopal Presiding Bishop and other Episcopal leaders was “to craft a lawsuit that is trim and focused on the critical claims involving ownership and possession of diocesan property.”

“It was clear,” Spencer said, “that a law suit was heading our way. From suits they have filed elsewhere, we know Episcopal Church leaders will start by trying to seize our funds, and eventually try to take our churches.”

After lengthy consultation with their legal counsel, the Quincy Standing Committee made the decision to petition the Illinois court to clarify and define the property rights of the Diocese against the claims of Episcopal Church officers from New York.

“We want people to understand, this is not a typical ‘law suit’,” Fr. Spencer said. “We’re not trying to take property away from anyone. We’re simply trying to protect the property of our Diocese and local churches which we believe legally — and morally — belong to the people of those churches, and to our historic Diocese that has existed since 1877.“ A Declaratory Judgment, Spencer said, is a particular court petition that asks the court to spell out what the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the Diocese are under Illinois law. “Only then will we be able to move forward with releasing property to those churches who have decided to leave us. We want to do everything properly, and an explanatory ruling from the court will ensure that we stay within the bounds of the law.”

Spencer emphasized that the Diocese has offered to work charitably with those few churches that decided to leave the Diocese and stay under the control of the Episcopal Church. “We were willing to begin those talks. Unfortunately, the improper legal claims by leaders of the Episcopal Church in New York have tied our hands. We need direction from the court before we can proceed.”

Spencer said he had no idea how soon the court will make a decision on their petition. “The sooner the better,” he said. “The Episcopal Church has spent millions of dollars in the last few years suing churches who no longer want to be a part of it. Our goal is not to make their lawyers rich. Our goal is to protect our churches and diocesan resources. Many people have given sacrificially to our Diocese for over a hundred and fifty years because we have always upheld traditional Christian faith and discipline. We plan to do so for the next 150 years, God willing.”

SHIFTING ODDS

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Confirmation of the Kevin Thew Forrester election is starting to look rather dicey.  Ted Gulick votes no.  And if it does go down, this might be the final nail in its coffin.

LET’S PLAY JEOPARDY!!

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

I’ll take “Clinton Quotes” for $1,000, Alex:

You have a marvelous virgin!

What does Bill Clinton say every time he meets someone with an attractive young daughter?

DINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDING!!

THE PASSWORD IS…CALIFORNIA

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Susan Russell, flaming hypocrite.

UNSOLICITED TESTIMONIAL

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

CHERCE

Monday, March 30th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 42 Comments

Don’t get Katherine Ragsdale wrong.  No one supports freedom of conscience more strongly than Katie Rags.  As long as your stupid conscience does what she tells it to:

Let me say a bit more about that, because the religious community has long been an advocate of taking principled stands of conscience – even when such stands require civil disobedience. We’ve supported conscientious objectors, the Underground Railroad, freedom riders, sanctuary seekers, and anti-apartheid protestors. We support people who put their freedom and safety at risk for principles they believe in.

But let’s be clear, there’s a world of difference between those who engage in such civil disobedience, and pay the price, and doctors and pharmacists who insist that the rest of the world reorder itself to protect their consciences – that others pay the price for their principles.

This isn’t particularly complicated. If your conscience forbids you to carry arms, don’t join the military or become a police officer. If you have qualms about animal experimentation, think hard before choosing to go into medical research. And, if you’re not prepared to provide the full range of reproductive health care (or prescriptions) to any woman who needs it then don’t go into obstetrics and gynecology, or internal or emergency medicine, or pharmacology. Choose another field! We’ll respect your consciences when you begin to take responsibility for them.

If you’ve read much antebellum American history, you probably recognize that argument.  Think chattel slavery is a great evil?  That’s your right.  Want to ban chattel slavery in your state?  That’s also your right.  But it is not your right to demand that I agree with your view of the world.

Once again, we see the modern Episcopal weltanschauung in full flower.  There is only one right answer.  Mine.  So we need to keep talking until you realize how right I am. 

But Katie Rags takes matters a step further.  In her ideal world, if you think that the unborn are human beings, you would literally be forbidden from holding certain professions.  You couldn’t be a doctor or a nurse or a pharmacist or any other kind of medical professional.  Ever.

Unless, of course, you decide that your principles really don’t matter that much and whore them out to the Zeitgeist like Katie Rags did.  In which case, the sky’s the limit.

MOLECHING IT

Monday, March 30th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 89 Comments

Or, why I no longer recognize Episcopalians as Christians.  Seems that the new president and dean of the Episcopal Why Don’t We Take That Stupid Word Divinity Out Of The School Name Since All Of Us Stopped Believing That Stupid Mythological Crap A Long Time Ago School will be a woman for whom abortion is about the closest thing her religion, whichever one that might be, has to a sacrament:

EDS is pleased to announce the appointment of Katherine Hancock Ragsdale as the school’s sixth president and dean. In making this announcement, EDS trustee chair Brett Donham said, “The Search Committee presented to the Board of Trustees The Reverend Katherine Ragsdale as its unanimous recommendation for president and dean of Episcopal Divinity School. Katherine’s gifts, skills, and experience are an excellent match with the criteria established by the Search Committee, both in terms of the current challenges and opportunities at EDS and the personal attributes we were looking for in a new leader.” Ragsdale will join EDS full time beginning July 1, 2009.

How radically pro-abortion is Katie Rags?  This radically pro-abortion[UPDATE: Ragsdale has since removed the sermon from which the following is excerpted from her site but it can also be found here]:

And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight — only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.

These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing – who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes — in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You’re engaged in holy work.

So.  Rev. Mengele thinks that snuffing out the life of your baby simply because you’d rather not take the pay cut right now is a blessed, saintly and holy act.  She has no more concern for the unborn than she has for a dead goldfish.

One wonders whether the loathsome fraud thinks infanticide is equally blessed, saintly and holy.  If you happen to make it out of Mom without getting your brains sucked out of your head or getting cut up into filets, are you home free?  And if so, why?

After all, the only difference between me on October 29, 1955 and me a day later was the umbilical cord.  Had my mom had second thoughts about yet another kid and told Deaconess Hospital in Billings, Montana to put me in a room and leave me there, I would have cashed in my stack in a very short time.

Problem solved.  Mom and Dad would probably have remained in Billings, a place both loved, and been a lot happier.

It is interesting that more and more, the Episcopalians aren’t even trying to hide their radicalism.  Why should they, since Rowan Williams essentially signed off on it by inviting them to the last Lambeth Conference and since conservative primates have so far done nothing but rhetorically posture?

This is, of course, one more thing for conservative Episcopalians to rationalize away.  And in this particular case, I don’t really want to hear, “Well, that’s horrifying and I certainly don’t agree with Katie Rags!”

Because the fact is that a principal seminary of the organization in which you think you’re called to remain thought that hiring this vile, disgusting piece of moral crap was a perfectly splendid idea.  Like it or not, this is what you’re yoked to.

Enjoy.

UPDATE: Lest you think that Katie Rags is just some isolated radical whack job, Tommy Three-Sticks is delighted by this appointment:

The Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, EDS trustee[and Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts], said, “I am thrilled with the appointment of Katharine Ragsdale as the president and dean of EDS. She brings a wealth of small parish ministry to her new position and it is critical that the new president and dean be able to train and form parish priests for the growth of progressive parishes across the country. She brings a wealth of experience, talent and creativity to this new position.”

UPDATE: So is Susan Russell.

UPDATE: As is Vermont Bishop Tom Ely.

The Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely, EDS trustee and search committee member, said, “The search committee sees in Katherine the right combination of a person of immense faith, demonstrated organizational and team leadership ability, a passion for academic excellence and quality theological education, formidable development skills, and the ability to be a strong, articulate, and inspiring voice for the mission of EDS, both within the Episcopal Church and beyond. From among the many gifted candidates we interviewed, Katherine Ragsdale overwhelmingly stands out as the one best equipped and called to lead EDS into this next exciting and promising chapter of our life and mission.”

AND SO IT GETS NASTIER

Sunday, March 29th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 32 Comments

When pushback comes next year, it’s going to be all kinds of fun:

WHITE FLAG?

Sunday, March 29th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

George Pitcher thinks that the sudden resignation of the Anglican Bishop of Rochester, Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, means that the liberals have won the Anglican war:

For the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion, the retirement of Michael Nazir-Ali as Bishop of Rochester is another such totemic event. I must be quick to declare that there is nothing sleazy in the departure of Dr Nazir-Ali from the English episcopate.

On the contrary, he is to devote the rest of his considerable ministry to the support of persecuted Christians here and abroad, which is a noble and sacramental enterprise.

But his departure from the House of Bishops is nevertheless emblematic of the decline of a political force in worldwide Anglicanism, which as recently as last year threatened to tear our Communion apart. For such a significant figure of conservative evangelicalism to be throwing the episcopal towel in at this time shows just how far the Church has travelled over the past 12 months.

Again, it’s important not to read too much in to Dr Nazir-Ali’s resignation itself. He has had the See of Rochester for 15 years; at not yet 60, he has another career in him yet. But can anyone seriously suggest that, had those biblical traditionalists of the southern hemisphere, known collectively as the Global South, prevailed last year in overthrowing the authority of Canterbury in favour of an African-led Communion, he would have abandoned his important foothold in the English Church?

No. Dr Nazir-Ali, scourge of homosexual liberalism and what he sees as the Muslim threat to Christendom, pitched his tent with the African rebels, under the flag of the unfortunately named GAFCON, but now finds that army dispersed and demoralised.

On one level, it’s tough to argue with that.  Peter Akinola, Henry Orombi and Gregory Venables all attended the last Primates Meeting and made no effort to rock the boat whatsoever.  They all signed its toothless communiqué and almost immediately after began dampening down the idea of a new North American Anglican province, calling such an idea “premature.”

The question of recognizing a parallel province in North America was premature, [Venables and Orombi] said, because the underlying theological differences had not been addressed. 
 
“Being an Anglican without knowing Jesus” conferred membership “in a club” and not in the true church, Archbishop Orombi said. Before a vote on a third province is taken, he said, “we have to see what happens to the Communion.”
 
Archbishop Orombi said he hoped that a theological council would be called by Archbishop Williams that could devote the time and expertise to engage in these issues.
 
“My proposal is, let’s have two sets of theologians and debate these things,” he said. “Primates don’t have the time,” and the primates’ meetings are not the proper venue for these issues.

Which didn’t suggest then and doesn’t suggest now that a break with the rotting carcass of the western Anglican church is on the table or ever will be.

Another take on this is that since Anglican “rules” are a dead letter, GAFCON’s going to do what GAFCON’s going to do regardless of what the Archbishop of Canterbury or the “instruments of communion” think about it.  Which is probably right.

But it would be nice if GAFCON would DO something other than rhetorically posture.  And it would be even nicer if people like me didn’t have to continually ”interpret” out our victories in this battle.

EPISCOPAL HEAVEN

Saturday, March 28th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Let’s see.  I’ve got a decent knife but I’ll probably need a better one.  And a throwing knife.  Oh, and an axe.  And probably a hatchet. 

A gun?  Probably not.  Be nice to have but ammo costs money and I don’t expect to have any of that much longer so I guess I’ll go the bow-and-arrow route since you can reuse arrows.

Shelter and firewood shouldn’t be too much of a problem and there’s enough deer around here to keep me going for some time.  I’ll have to learn how to butcher ‘em but that shouldn’t take too long.  And there’s always fishing.  And picking berries and wild onions and whatnot. 

Yeah, I think I can make it work:

A United Nations document on “climate change” that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes — all under the supervision of the world body.

Those and other results are blandly discussed in a discretely worded United Nations “information note” on potential consequences of the measures that industrialized countries will likely have to take to implement the Copenhagen Accord, the successor to the Kyoto Treaty, after it is negotiated and signed by December 2009. The Obama administration has said it supports the treaty process if, in the words of a U.S. State Department spokesman, it can come up with an “effective framework” for dealing with global warming.

Among the tools that are considered are the cap-and-trade system for controlling carbon emissions that has been espoused by the Obama administration; “carbon taxes” on imported fuels and energy-intensive goods and industries, including airline transportation; and lower subsidies for those same goods, as well as new or higher subsidies for goods that are considered “environmentally sound.”

Other tools are referred to only vaguely, including “energy policy reform,” which the report indicates could affect “large-scale transportation infrastructure such as roads, rail and airports.” When it comes to the results of such reform, the note says only that it could have “positive consequences for alternative transportation providers and producers of alternative fuels.”

In the same bland manner, the note informs negotiators without going into details that cap-and-trade schemes “may induce some industrial relocation” to “less regulated host countries.” Cap-and-trade functions by creating decreasing numbers of pollution-emission permits to be traded by industrial users, and thus pay more for each unit of carbon-based pollution, a market-driven system that aims to drive manufacturers toward less polluting technologies.

The note adds only that industrial relocation “would involve negative consequences for the implementing country, which loses employment and investment.” But at the same time it “would involve indeterminate consequences for the countries that would host the relocated industries.”

No problem.  No problem at all.  What the heck, everybody’s going to die some time.  And I have to think that it’s way better to cash in your stack on your feet rather than on your knees.

COMING CLEAN

Saturday, March 28th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 16 Comments

The Episcopal Organization officially admits what most intelligent people figured out a long time ago.  Robbie’s pointy hat has been a singular disaster:

More than five years later, tensions caused by the consecration of a partnered homosexual man as Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire continue to affect half of all Episcopal churches, according to census information compiled in the Blue Book prepared for the 76th General Convention, to be held July 8-17 in Anaheim, Calif.

“In prior years the Committee on the State of the Church often heard the criticism that our church seemed unwilling to recognize the presence of a major source of internal controversy that some argued was having an impact on our common life, as reflected in declining membership and attendance statistics,” the Blue Book Report states. “The metaphor most often used was that we ‘failed to acknowledge the elephant in the room’, referring to what many viewed as the momentous decision by the 74th General Convention (2003) to consent to the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire.”

Mrs. Schori can cheerlead all she likes but the facts tell a different story.  Far from being past the controversy, this war, in some respects, may even be intensifying.

There are some indications that what the committee describes as “tensions” are growing in congregations. In a similar survey undertaken in 2005, 37 percent of congregations reported serious conflict that resulted in at least some members leaving. About one-third of those responding in 2005 attributed the conflict to decisions made during the 2003 General Convention. In a similar survey conducted in 2008, 64 percent of congregations reported some level of conflict over the ordination of homosexual clergy, with most reporting such conflict to be serious.

“Overall, 47 percent of Episcopal congregations had serious conflict over this issue, 40 percent indicated that some people left and 18 percent indicated that some people withheld funds,” the committee report states. “Furthermore, the rate of decline in Average Sunday Attendance from 2003-2007 among congregations with serious conflict over the ordination of gay clergy was 35 percent higher than congregations with no conflict over the issue (and accounted for more than double the aggregate loss).”

Add to all that the fact that TEO, as The Living Church observes, basically loses a diocese every single year.

The report states that among the most enlightening insights gained from the survey is the skewed age structure of The Episcopal Church. The report noted that The Episcopal Church has an average 19,000 more deaths than births each year, which is comparable to the loss of an entire diocese annually.

Gene Robinson, of course, is only a symptom, not a disease.  And there is an elegantly simple remedy for the Episcopal Organization’s slow suicide.  But absent a genuine move of the Holy Spirit, I don’t expect the Episcopalians to avail themselves of it.

SEE TO IT THAT YOUR LEFT HAND KNOWS WHAT YOUR RIGHT HAND IS DOING

Friday, March 27th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 28 Comments

Without the Meaningless But Symbolic GestureTM to make an elaborate show of now and then, western liberal Anglicanism would be lost:

Canadian churches have been encouraged to “power down” and operate without using fossil fuels or fossil fuel-powered electricity for one 12-hour day, as a lead in to Earth Hour, an initiative that aims to see one billion people in 1000 cities switching off their lights to show commitment to the future of the planet.

Cool.  Paid day off, I’m guessing; this is Canada, after all.  Which means that the folks who work in those churches can spend the day driving around Regina, Saskatoon, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, Etobicoke, Yellowknife or Dawson running errands or just hanging out in this coffee house or that restaurant all while pumping way more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than would have gotten there if the churches had been open.

“Our dependence on fossil fuels is fuelling climate change, deepening human rights abuses around the world, and contributing to conflict and economic inequality,” says Kairos, a Toronto-based group of churches and religious organizations that promotes social justice.

Westerners fuel climate change, deepen human rights abuses around the world and contribute to conflict and economic inequality just by waking up in the morning.  What else ya got?

Kairos has called on Canadian Christians to dim non-essential lights for one hour at 8.30 p.m. local time on March 28, as part of Earth Hour, a global event to raise awareness about climate change and the threat from rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Okay if I “dim non-essential lights for one hour” starting at, oh, I don’t know, 4:00 AM, 5:00 AM, somewhere in there, on March 29th?   I promise I’ll raise awareness and crap.

Kairos has made a number of suggestions as to how those marking Earth Hour or Power Down Day can eliminate or reduce the use of fossil fuel energy. They include carpooling, walking or cycling to church,

Sucks for the elderly, I guess.  But they’re a lot closer to heaven anyway so they won’t mind missing church for a day.

conserving energy by using no stereo, computer, stove or videos,

Which means McDonald’s for dinner which means even more driving which means even more greenhouse gases pumped into the air which means…

bringing food to Earth Hour events in only recyclable containers, and serving locally produced food and no meat.

You folks in Tronno are screwed.

The pressure group has also urged churches to use beeswax candles rather than petroleum-based candles in their special services, and has posted worship service resources on its website.

Oh sure, exploit bees.  Bees have rights too, you know.

St. Catherine’s Anglican Church in East St. Paul, Manitoba, will use its Earth Hour Coffee House event to inform the surrounding community about fair trade coffee and tea and eating locally. All baked goods for the event will be made from local ingredients, in keeping with the so-called 100-mile diet, which is another ecological concept aimed at reducing people’s impact on the environment.

If that concept ever takes hold, folks in New York, Boston and Los Angeles can officially go ahead and shoot themselves.

Local musicians will also perform — acoustically — at the Coffee House. Meanwhile, St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church in Toronto has planned a candlelight service of reconciliation with Earth through prayer, reflection and music.

I didn’t know Earth was pissed off but thanks for the heads-up.

WHAT GOES AROUND…

Friday, March 27th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Wherever he is right now, John C. Calhoun must be smiling:

There’s an old joke in South Carolina: Confederate President Jefferson Davis may have surrendered at the Burt-Stark mansion in Abbeville, S.C., in 1865, but the people of state Rep. Michael Pitts’s district never did.

With revolutionary die-hards behind him, Mr. Pitts has fired a warning shot across the bow of the Washington establishment. As the writer of one of 28 state “sovereignty bills” – one even calls for outright dissolution of the Union if Washington doesn’t rein itself in – Pitts is at the forefront of a states’ rights revival, reasserting their say on everything from stem cell research to the Second Amendment.

“Washington can be a bully, but there’s evidence right now that there are people willing to resist our bully,” said Pitts, by phone from the state capitol of Columbia.

Just as California under President Bush asserted itself on issues ranging from gun control to medical marijuana, a motley cohort of states – from South Carolina to New Hampshire, from Washington State to Oklahoma – are presenting a foil for President Obama’s national ambitions. And they’re laying the groundwork for a political standoff over the 10th Amendment, which cedes all power not granted to Washington to the people.

The reversal of the federal stem cell research ban, a stimulus package widely seen as a backdoor grasp for more federal power, and fears about gun control have accelerated a state sovereignty movement that began taking shape under the Bush administration. In the past, both liberals and conservatives have used states’ rights arguments for political expedience. That may be the case now as ousted conservatives try to force issues out of Washington and into states, where they have a better chance of winning them.

Thanks, Prof.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU SAY, “AW, SKIP IT!”

Friday, March 27th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Ms. Lydia York of Wilmington, Delaware brilliantly sums up the modern Episcopal Organization:

As we could not violate the decisions of the Diocese of New Hampshire, we should not violate the decisions of the Diocese of Northern Michigan.  They have found their bishop. Others should not interfere unless there is concrete evidence of heresy or apostasy.

IPECAC

Thursday, March 26th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 23 Comments

If you’re planning on eating dinner tomorrow, you may want to stay off the Internet until much later on in the evening:

Leaders of the three great faiths that trace their heritage back to Abraham — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — will gather on March 27 in Omaha, Nebraska to talk about peace. The program will be broadcast live via the Internet.

The groundbreaking event, called “Dinner in Abraham’s Tent,” will draw 1,000 persons to the Qwest Conference Center. The webcast will begin at 8:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time/9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and may be viewed at www.trifaith.org.

The “conversation on peace” will involve Rabbi Peter Knobel, immediate past president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America.

Well, two great faiths and whatever it is that the Episcopal Organization represents these days, anyway.  I think I know how this “conversation” is going to go.  How can we in the West get our co-religionists to stop being so mean to all those billions of peace-loving Muslims out there?

The pre-game show which won’t be webcast will consist of Colorful CeremoniesTM that, in this context, border on blasphemy three ways from Sunday(or Saturday or Friday, depending).

Prior to the webcast portion of the program, guests will participate in a service designed to give a true sense of the worship practices of the three faith communities,  said Nancy Kirk, executive director of the TriFaith Initiative.

There will be a full Shabbat service by Temple Israel, an Episcopal Evening Prayer service with Bishop Joe Burnett of the Diocese of Nebraska, and Salat al Asr, the Muslim afternoon prayer service. 

“Everyone will get to see how everyone else prays, follow along with the words in Hebrew, English and Arabic, and participate in the unison prayers as they feel comfortable to do so,” said Kirk.

And if you actually want to show up for this thing, you’ll have to find a ducat on the Web somewhere.

With more then 1,000 attending, the event is sold out, said organizers.

You have been warned.

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