Archive for June, 2010


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Based on his total indifference to the fate of the Gulf Coast, I guess one would have to conclude that Barack Obama hates African-Americans:

The federal government has shut down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico.

The berms are meant to protect the Louisiana coastline from oil. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department has concerns about where the dredging is being done. The department says one area where sand is being dredged is a sensitive section of the Chandeleur Islands, and the state failed to meet an extended deadline to install pipe that would draw sand from a less-endangered area.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 | Uncategorized | 35 Comments

The Anglican left is still seething about the sanctions imposed on the Episcopal Organization by Rowan Williams and if you want to see just how angry they are, check out any given Thinking Anglicans comment thread(this one and this one are typical; thanks, Prof) or read little Katie Sherrod’s nasty, petulant and childish account of the Executive Council’s recent meeting with Kenneth Kearon.

Which brings up the question: if push were ever to come to shove, would the Anglican left walk away from Canterbury?  I’m not sure that they would.  For one thing, I think the liberals need whatever “legitimacy” the Canterbury connection can offer them.  If they walk away, they’re just another bunch of Protestants.

But suppose TEO decided to cut ties.  Would others follow them?  Episcopalians would have no problem with leaving, of course, and neither would Central and South America, but others might.  Fred Hiltz can talk a good game about supporting the Americans but if TEO walked, I think Church House might hesitate to follow them out.

After all, Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada and her image adorns that country’s Great Seal so cutting ties with the mother church might be a difficult thing for Canadian Anglicans to commit themselves to.  Add to this the fact that the colossus to Canada’s south would be running the show(for it would) and you can see why the Canadians might develop qualms about a final break.

Church of England supporters of the Americans might hesitate as well.  Perhaps Colin Slee would consider himself the most blessed of men just to be permitted to grovel at Mrs. Schori’s feet but British law might prove a stumbling block to the Dean’s aspirations.

So I can’t see the liberals walking out.  Particularly when they don’t have to.  Why?

Liberal GAFCON.

What’s the ultimate goal of the Anglican left?  To increase the worldwide prestige of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Organization.

How do you do that?  Let’s say that Mrs. Schori is informed that her presence at the next Primates Meeting will not be helpful or whatever euphemism my gracious lord of Canterbury chooses to use.  So she stays away. 

Because of the “insult” to the Presiding Bishop, TEO itself completely withdraws from Anglican affairs for a short time.  They won’t formally cut ties; they’ll call it a “period of discernment” or whatever other weasel words those people like to employ.

At the end of that time, Kate, Fred, whatever other Anglican primates want to join them and sympathetic bishops from England and other places announce that they’re going to hold a Very Important Anglican MeetingTM, probably in London, which will be extensively covered by the sympathetic British and American press. 

The result of that meeting?

Liberal GAFCON.  L-GAFCON will have a mission statement and a professional web site and a way for people to contribute or join if they want.  And L-GAFCON, of course, will have a presiding bishop who will, of course, be named Katharine Jefferts Schori.

L-GAFCON will emphasize that it has no intention of withdrawing from the Anglican Communion but that it does intend to represent the interests of its constituent churches in the councils of the Anglican Communion.  And L-GAFCON will have an advantage that its conservative counterpart lacks.  Respectful and extensive media coverage.

Think of it.  For all practical purposes, Anglicanism will become the first and only Christian tradition with its own organized political parties and Mrs. Schori will become a left-wing alternative to Rowan Williams.  Every time he says something about anything at all, the media will be sure to find out what her take is on the subject.

The two of them may agree or may disagree.  But they’ll be mentioned in the same news stories so often that as far as the uneducated public will be concerned, Dr. Williams and Mrs. Schori will become two versions of the same thing. 

And down the road?  Who knows what the de jure politicization of the Anglican Communion will be able to achieve?


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The first public referendum on ObamaReidNannerMcBotoxCare will take place right here in Missouri:

Ultimately, the Congress passed the President’s health care reform bill.  While many saw this as a defeat for the movement that rose up to oppose it, the truth of the matter is that there is still much regulation, legislation and litigation ahead.

Several states’ Attorneys General have filed a lawsuit against the bill.  Many more states have enacted statutes in opposition to federally mandated health insurance and penalties for paying for care out-of-pocket.  A small handful of states have proposed constitutional amendments to that effect.  All these votes are to take place in November.  All except for one: Missouri.

The Missouri General Assembly passed the Health Care Freedom Act, placing on the August 3 primary ballot an opportunity for voters to approve a bill that would, “deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services.”

This referendum is remarkable for two reasons: (1) it gives voters a direct opportunity to affect the health care debate and (2) it is the first such vote in the nation, driving the debate for the next three months until the general election.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Mitch Szabo, Alburqueque, New Mexico.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Murderer and traitor.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, June 21st, 2010 | Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Katharine Jefferts Schori still not Archbishop of Canterbury.  Developing…

The chancellor to the Presiding Bishop, David Booth Beers, told bishops attending the May 24 to 28 Living Our Vows bishops’ training programme at the Lake Logan Episcopal Center in North Carolina that in this letter Dr. Williams had asked the Presiding Bishop to consider absenting herself from meetings of the Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee and the Primates Meeting in light of the Episcopal Church’s violation of the moratoria on gay bishops and blessings, those present tell CEN.

Speaking to a group of bishops during an informal after dinner session, Mr. Beers stated the Presiding Bishop had rejected the Archbishop of Canterbury’s suggestion, observing that he had no authority to remove her from the Primates Standing Committee as she had been elected by the North and South American primates.  She also objected to Dr. Williams’ claim to have the authority to ban her from the councils of the church.

I guess that means that the arrogant fraud will show up for the next Primates Meeting whether Dr. Williams invites her or not.  Which, when you get right down to it, might be more fun than I’ve had following this story up to now.

If my gracious lord of Canterbury wanted to be a badass, there are a number of ways His Grace could play this.  He could refuse to allow Kate in.  Or he could let her in and then spend the entire meeting completely ignoring her and not allowing her to speak.

Mrs. Schori could be presented with an unsignable ultimatum.  Or Dr. Williams could blandly announce that the start of the meeting would be delayed for a few days until Archbishop Duncan arrives.  There are all kinds of ways he could go.

Will he?  If the Archbishop of Canterbury expects Mrs. Schori to skip the meeting and she shows up anyway, he’d have to do something.  The Episcopal/Anglican left would go absolutely bat crap if he did but until the conservative Communion unconditionally surrenders, they’ll do that anyway.  So Dr. Williams no longer has anything left to lose.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, June 21st, 2010 | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Central Pennsylvania Episcopal Bishop Nathan Baxter has a message for conservative Episcopalians in his diocese.  Your money’s just as good as anyone else’s:

He said that Central Pennsylvania would “continue to move forward as a truly inclusive diocese, to be prepared as our Episcopal Church moves towards full liturgical recognition of gay and lesbian Episcopalians.”

“But our preparation must include how we honor those whose convictions limit their support for full inclusion,” Baxter added. “They too are part of our church and their concerns will be honored, and they too are and will be part of the full inclusion of which we speak [which includes] full inclusion in our love, in our protection from disrespect for their beliefs and sincere convictions and full inclusion in our larger mission.”

So please keep sending us your money because we’d really be diminished as a diocese if your money wasn’t around anymore.  All sorts and conditions of money are welcome here in Central Pennsylvania.  Cash, checks, electronic transfers, silver, gold, platinum, real estate, etc.  You name it, we include it.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, June 21st, 2010 | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I guess if mass murder doesn’t bother you, stealing will be a walk in the park:

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on federal tax money funneled into Planned Parenthood and similar organizations raises more questions than it answers about the nation’s largest abortion chain.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA) audits show the organization spent just $657.1 million between 2002 and 2008 from federal government grants and programs, but the abortion behemoth’s own annual reports show that it took in $2.3 billion from government grants and programs during the same time period.

GAO reports for prior years show that from 1997 through 2001, PPFA expenditures of federal money accounted for an average of 72 percent of its government income.

Yet this new report shows PPFA expenditures of federal money making up an average of just 32 percent of its government income from 2002 through 2008.

Thanks to Greg Griffith.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, June 20th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 70 Comments

To the Anglican left, there is only one right answer.  And you don’t have it:

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are to make a dramatic intervention in the long-running row over women bishops this week by demanding that opponents  of female clergy are not driven out of the Church.

Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu are so concerned thousands of traditionalist churchgoers will quit when women become bishops that they are to risk the wrath of liberals by calling for major reforms in Church legislation.

Sources said their statement will spell out a legal formula that will give traditionalist clergy and parishes the right to reject the authority of a woman bishop.

Traditionalists, who do not accept that women can be priests or bishops, have been calling for the creation of a ‘his and hers’ Church, in which they cannot be forced to serve under a woman bishop.

Liberals say, however, this would unacceptably diminish the status of women bishops because there would be parts of the Church over which they would have no sway.

The Archbishops want the Church legislation radically amended so that opponents are fully protected in law. They are, however, running the risk that the liberal-dominated Synod, which is made up of nearly 500 bishops, clergy and lay people, will reject the proposals, leaving their authority in tatters.

I know what a contentious issue women’s ordination is so I’m not going to waste any more time debating it.  I will say this; that while my opinion of Rowan Williams has improved considerably in recent weeks, if he and Dr. Sentamu put their prestige on the line over this proposal, they’re both fools.

The ordination horse is out of the barn and it’s not going back in.  So if the Church of England proposes to consecrate female bishops, either make them full bishops without restrictions or don’t make them bishops at all. 

We here in America know that the sort of legislation Dr. Williams and Dr. Sentamu suggest is a lot like putting a Band-Aid on a compound fracture.  It might help a little but it’s not going to help for long.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Saturday, June 19th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments

If you can judge a man by the people who don’t like him, I may have to eventually admit that I was completely wrong about Rowan Williams.  The Episcopal left continues to react to yesterday’s meeting with Anglican Communion Secretary General Kenneth Kearon by forcefully demonstrating that it just doesn’t get it:

“I don’t think [Canon Kearon’s] responses clarified matters,” the Rev. Canon Mark Harris told The Living Church.

Translation: Mark didn’t hear what he wanted to hear.

Sarah Dylan Breuer of Massachusetts said she felt disappointed, particularly over “remov[ing] people from [ecumenical] conversation,” but added: “We have opportunities to get creative.”

Neither did Sarah but she was more upbeat about it.  After all, “getting creative” is something Episcopalians are particularly good at.

In her closing remarks to the council on Thursday afternoon, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson referred to a statement made by Canon Kearon that some people desire that the Archbishop of Canterbury act as a pope.

It always gets back around to that, doesn’t it?  The Episcopal Organization!!  Where every day is Guy Fawkes Day!!

“I’m still an Anglican, and nobody, whether it is a person who is told that they are an Anglican pope or that they should not be an Anglican pope … can tell me that I’m not an Anglican,” she said.

Bonnie?  Kitten?  That’s not what’s in view here and you know it. AH-OOH-GAH, AH-OOH-GAH, BEVERAGE ALERT, BEVERAGE ALERT!!  Immediately swallow whatever you’re drinking and remove all liquids from the vicinity of your computer!!

She also told The Living Church that she sees the disciplinary actions as contributing to a “strain in Anglican Communion relationships.”

I have to tell you that as far as I’m concerned, airheaded obliviousness like that is really impressive.  You have to go some to be that out of touch.

“Do you sign on to … a punitive body of Christ?” she asked. “Are we now part of a punitive body of Christ?”

No, B, we’re part of a church that actually believes something.  Meanwhile, someone named Lucas Mix thinks he’s caught my gracious lord of Canterbury in a contradiction.

And herein lies the rub for Rowan Williams. He can either choose for national autonomy or for an international church, and I would respect either choice. If he chooses national autonomy he has no right to tell the Episcopal Church (USA) or any other Anglican province how, who, or in what manner they can choose bishops. As a man appointed by Parliament, he looks mighty silly claiming authority over an elected American Primate. Archbishop Williams may or may not choose to allow Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori to preach in his jurisdiction, but he cannot stand in judgment of her consecration.

Lucas!  Use the Force, Lucas!  My gracious lord of Canterbury was not passing judgment on her consecration but on her primacy.  Specifically, the way she and her pseudo-spiritual debating society have been using their “apostolic” connection to Canterbury to completely reinvent the Christian religion.

If, alternatively, he chooses an international church, he has no right to call himself an Archbishop. John Henry Newman became famous for leaving the Church of England for Rome. The belief in an international church leads one, in the end, to recognize the largest and oldest church (in the West) as the central authority. Rowan Williams only has authority as the Archbishop of Canterbury because he thinks the British Parliament gives him that right. Thus Mr. Williams is free to believe in the international church, but it makes of him a Roman Catholic layman, and not an Archbishop.

Oh sweet mother ofnow do you people see up with which I have to put?  Lucas?  Try this one on.  Did you know that one of the official titles of Pope Benedict XVI is “Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Province of Rome?”

About the only Christians who still use the title “Metropolitan” on a regular basis are the Eastern Orthodox.  So according to your “reasoning,” His Holiness has either got to drop that title or become an Eastern Orthodox layman.

Similarly, Shenouda III is the head of the Coptic Church in Egypt.  I don’t what the term is in Coptic or Arabic but one of his titles is “Pope of Alexandria.”  Since “Pope” is Western, Shenouda is obligated to either drop it or become a Roman Catholic layman.

Shenouda also styles himself the “Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.”  Since “Patriarch” is almost exclusively identified with Eastern Orthodoxy these days, Shenouda must also drop that title as well or convert to some branch of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

For the love of God, Lucas, try a little harder than that.

Mr. Williams seems to have forgotten that his power as head of the Anglican communion rests squarely on national autonomy.

Wrong.  It depends on the respect that Anglican churches, or those churches who call themselves Anglican, have for the Anglican tradition. 

Apparently he has also forgotten that he has a freedom of conscience, for his decisions as head of the communion are utterly at odds with what he published as a theologian (when he was actively and famously pro-gay).

Wrong again, jackass.  Dr. Williams’ actions suggest two things.  He may be “actively and famously pro-gay” but he doesn’t necessarily believe that his views must prevail over the views of the Communion he leads.

And unlike Her Arrogance there in New York or any of the rest of her “church”, my gracious lord of Canterbury at least seems open to the possibility of his own imperfection.

I hope he comes to his senses soon.

From all indications, I think there’s a good chance that he has.

I hope he realizes what it means to be an Anglican.

He understands that a whole lot better than the Americans do.

The alternative, for him and for many others, can only be a hierarchical international church that lacks the wealth, history, prestige, complexity, and numbers of the Roman Catholic Church.

Anglicanism is, what, the third largest international Christian tradition in the world?

Our true heritage and our Divine gift has always been national autonomy, theological diversity, and the ability to disagree with one another.

In a Christian context, L.  “Our true heritage” has never been to make crap up and call it Christianity.

Otherwise, we’re just disobedient Romans.

Or Protestants.  To-may-to, to-mah-to.

Do you know how to identify an adult?  Here’s one way.

I suppose there are quite a few Roman Catholics who have read arguments for and against women’s ordination and are persuaded by the former.  If you’re one of those, what do you do?  If you’re a grown-up, you have two options.

One is to drop the subject.  You may still think women ought to be ordained but your church doesn’t so that’s that and there’s no point in raising a fuss.  But if the issue is important enough to you, your other option is to leave the Roman Catholic Church and join a church that ordains women.

Those are adult responses.  A childish response would be something along the lines of loudly declaring that you believe women should be ordained and you don’t care what the Church teaches, that you’re as good a Roman Catholic as anyone and that no old man in Rome has the right to tell you differently.

Here’s the deal.  Whatever else you can say about him, Rowan Williams is an adult.  And he realizes that the teaching of the Communion on the subject of homosexuality does not agree with his own views on the subject.

So what does he do?  Joyfully participate in the consecrations of Gene Robinson and Mary Glasspool, kill the Anglican Communion and jump up and down on its corpse?  Or try to keep the Communion together as best he can, implying that maybe he was the one who got it wrong?

Rowan Williams understands that the Anglican Communion means something and stands for something.  Dr. Williams might not agree with the conclusions the Communion he leads comes to but he loves the tradition anyway and, unlike the Episcopalians, he does not think that his disagreement grants him the right to unilaterally annul Communion understanding.

Because the Archbishop of Canterbury is two things that the United States Anglican primate is not.  A grown-up.  And something who is willing to admit the possibility that he might be wrong.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, June 18th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 59 Comments

The Episcopal Organization’s Executive Council met with Anglican Communion Secretary General Kenneth Kearon today and Mark Harris lists some of the questions the Council planned to ask him.  Here are three of them:

There is a covenant being considered that has in it certain processes, some of which have caused great concern for some of the provinces on how fairly they would be applied. For example, the Province of New Zealand gave only partial approval to the covenant, with members of its General Synod noting that Section 4 could “get into a situation where we sanctify a process of exclusion or marginalization” and that it might be implemented in ways that are “punitive, controlling and completely unAnglican.” Do the recent actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury give credence to these concerns?

There are always consequences to living authentically as Christians. Within relationships among Christians, however, we ought to have opportunity to question those consequences, lest all end up walking on eggshells. Is there such a process now? And, do you foresee a season of such sanctions or is the removal of ecumenical committee appointees from The Episcopal Church an isolated event?

You have stated that The Episcopal Church does not “share the faith and order of the vast majority of the Anglican Communion.” Given the place of the Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral in our common life as The Episcopal Church, how was it determined that The Episcopal Church does not share this faith and order?

Harris also heard from a Canandian female bishop who was allowed to wear her miter in Southwark Cathedral.

For the record, I celebrated and preached at Southwark Cathedral on November 9, 2009 with the permission of the Powers-That-Be in the C.of E. in the presence of the Diocesan Bishop and fully vested including mitre. It was a public service to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood in the C. of E. The only restriction place on me was that I was not to “perform an episcopal function”. As I was not planning either a confirmation or an ordination this was not a big deal, though the whole process was aggravating. To my mind this makes the insult offered to the Presiding Bishop even more gratuitous.

An Executive Council member named Lelanda Lee live-tweeted the Kearon meeting and from the sound of some of these posts, the mood was tense bordering on hostile.

Kenneth Kearon asked for “private conversation” but ExCoun declined. So staff & press are present.

Kearon emphasized this is a “conversation” & “from my perspective” & admonished ExCoun when we speak it’s also “from our perspective.”

Kearon says he’s member of Irish church not of C of E. Don’t blame him for ABC’s remarks. Kearon interrupted his vacation to speak w/ExCoun.

+++KJS has told Kearon to cut his comments. He’s run overtime. He says that puts him in dilemma. We ask to go forward with Q&A.

Kearon says our L.A. elections the TEC must admit, puts us out of step with the communion. “Sadly, you don’t see it that way.”

Ballentine, “ABC’s actions were precipitous.” Kearon says ABC had private conversation w/PB prior to such actions.

Lee Crawford: As a lesbian priest in a civil union – removing reps by executive action contrary to ABC’s Pentecost ltr re value of inclusion

Kearon: one form of exclusion for faith and order issues not same as other form of exclusion.

+Wendell Gibbs: C of E in communion w/Church of Sweden which has out lesbian presiding bishop. Logic? How compare to removal of TEC?

Kearon: (pause, stammer) – there are different types of full communion. And sticking point is representing Communion vis a vis faith & order

Simon Sarmiento points out that Mrs. Schori once preached at Salisbury Cathedral and got to wear her pointy hat.  And Geralyn Wolf also got to preach in Britain without any apparent millinerial sanction or difficulty.

Episcopal News Service already has a report on the Kearon meeting up.  Here’s a short example of its general tone.

The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, told the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council June 18 that when Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop Suffragan Mary Glasspool was ordained as the church’s second openly gay, partnered bishop, the church ought to have known that it would face sanctions.

However, he said that in the recent removal of Episcopal Church members from some Anglican Communion ecumenical dialogues “the aim has not been to get at the Episcopal Church, but to find room for others to remain as well as enabling as full a participation as possible for the Episcopal Church within the communion.”

Kearon claimed that the communion’s ecumenical dialogues “are at the point of collapse” and said that the last meeting of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, of which Jefferts Schori is an elected member, “was probably the worst meeting I have experienced.”

The secretary general said that the Episcopal Church is free to make any decision that it wants to make but, he added, that the Glasspool decision put the church “out of step with the rest of the [Anglican] Communion” on same-gender issues.

“There is a logic which says if you do not share the faith and order of the wider communion then you shouldn’t represent that communion to the wider church,” he said.

Kearon’s remarks came during a 35-minute question-and-answer session with the council on the last day of its June 16-18 meeting at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute here just outside of Baltimore. The secretary general’s visit was initiated by member Bruce Garner of Atlanta, Georgia, who suggested to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori that she invite Kearon, who was vacationing in North America, to the meeting.

Garner told ENS afterwards that he had “never witnessed so much obfuscation in such a short period of time” in his entire life.

“We were polite,” he said, “but we asked him questions he could not or would not provide answers to.”

Two facts are becoming increasingly apparent.  There has been a revolution in Anglican Communion thinking about the Americans.  And the Episcopal/Anglican left does not comprehend the reasons for it.

Think about it.  A month or so ago, it was conservatives like me who disdained Rowan Williams and thought “official” Anglicanism was a worthless bauble we could no longer afford.  Now, it’s the habitués of the Jimi Naughton Experience and other places who can’t get execrate Dr. Williams too strongly and talk more and more of abandoning the Canterbury connection altogether.

What happened?

A commenter at Kendall’s gets at something important.

TEC is getting nervous because the ABC is leveraging the only thing they care about—legitimacy.  As they are being relegated to second class status and stripped of ecumenical prerogatives they are diminished.  The ABC understands that TEC doesn’t care about how they have damaged Anglicanism in ecumenical relationships with global Christianity.  He understands that the Pope has offered a home to disaffected Anglicans and all that implies.  So, he’s hit them with the only thing they respect—legitimacy.  How legitimate can you be as a Province if you can’t be taken seriously enough to go meetings and represent the Communion?

As delphic as he is, I doubt that my gracious lord of Canterbury will ever come out and explain Lambeth Palace’s apparent volte-face.  Since all we are ever likely to have is speculation, here’s mine for what it’s worth.

Whatever criticisms can be made about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s handling of this situation from 2003 to the present, and there are a great many of them, one thing is abundantly clear.  Rowan Williams loves the Anglican tradition.  And I think he has finally realized that the Americans do not.

Let’s face it.  If people like Katharine Jefferts Schori, John Chane, J. Jon Bruno, Tommy Three-Sticks, Gene Robinson and the rest of the Episcopal left could have accomplished their goals inside the Roman Catholic or Orthodox churches, they would have.  But those churches are permanently closed to them.

Which leaves the Anglicans.  A connection to a Christian tradition with apostolic pretensions is absolutely essential for the religious left.  After all, what does it matter if the Christian Church(Disciples of Christ) ordains women or the United Church of Christ ordains homosexuals and permits homosexual marriage?

But the fact that an “apostolic” church permits all these things carries considerably more weight for two reasons.  Because it places in the public mind the idea that such innovations are legitimate “apostolic” positions to take.  And it implies that perhaps the other two larger and far more influential “apostolic” churches might be, well, wrong.

As the Episcopal Organization’s hysterical overreaction to the extremely mild sanctions imposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury demonstrates, Dr. Williams’ newfound understanding about the Americans has suddenly endangered all that.  The Episcopalians cannot accept any Communion sanctions, even mild ones.


Because the moment they do, they also accept the fact that their positions are not Anglican.  And if TEO’s stances are no longer Anglican, they can no longer be considered to be “apostolic.”  And if they are no longer “apostolic,” the church that promulgates them isn’t either, Episcopalians instantly become run-of-the-mill Protestants and Mrs. Schori is no more of an Anglican bishop than I am.

Hence the angry defensiveness of the Episcopal/Anglican left these days.  Was Southwark a deliberate insult?  Undoubtedly.  It’s just too bad that the Anglican left cannot understand the quite legitimate reasons(and even the need) for it.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, June 17th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 26 Comments

The Anglican Curmudgeon has a possible explanation for the petulant, childish mood Katharine Jefferts Schori has been in lately:

But according to reports received by the Rev. George Conger (which I have confirmed through an independent source), the Presiding Bishop’s Chancellor, David Booth Beers, told some ECUSA bishops gathered for the Living Our Vows training session at the Lake Logan Episcopal Center in North Carolina (held from May 24-28) that the Archbishop had conveyed to the Presiding Bishop a private request that she withdraw from her position on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, and not attend the next Primates’ Meeting. It would thus appear that since there was a letter delivered, the request either was in the letter itself, or else the letter asked Bishop Jefferts Schori to listen to what Canon Kearon would say to her in private. (The latter option, if true, would permit spokespersons on both sides of the Atlantic to deny that any “written request to step down” had been sent.) But Chancellor Beers left no doubt: the request was made. And whichever way it was made, it also would seem, to put it mildly, that the request was not well received.

According to Chancellor Beers again, the Presiding Bishop responded in private that she would not step down from the Standing Committee, because she had been elected to the Committee by the collected primates of North and South America, and the Archbishop had no power to remove her. (If the account as related to Fr. Conger is correct, there would be some degree of overstatement involved: of course the Archbishop would not claim any authority to remove persons from the Standing Committee, since no such authority is given to him by the ACC Bylaws. But he would certainly be within his moral authority to request that Bishop Jefferts Schori voluntarily step down.)

The Archbishop of Canterbury may not have the authority to remove the Presiding Bishop from the Standing Committee.  But Anglican bishops don’t go to Primates Meetings unless he invites them there.

Which may account for the recent Southwark dust-up.   Primates may get a pass; regular priests have to obey the rules.  If Dr. Williams has, in fact, told Mrs. Schori to stay home next January, it follows that he is open to the idea that there is no longer(or not at this particular moment) an Anglican primate in the United States. 

So what does my gracious lord of Canterbury do about the Primates Meeting?

Invite Bob Duncan?  Doubtful; the moment he does that, the Anglican Church in North America is “officially” Anglican regardless of Communion rules and I don’t think he’s quite ready to take that step.

Ask Mrs. Schori to send a representative?  Probably a waste of time.  Invite her predecessor?  Frank won’t go.  Invite one or all of the Communion Partner bishops?  That’s probably his safest course of action although the CP bishops will no doubt catch hell once they return home.

The problem for Dr. Williams is if Mrs. Schori isn’t there, other liberal primates might not be either.  It’ll certainly be tough for Fred Hiltz to crawl back from his expressed position of support for the Americans.

If this story is confirmed, which it isn’t yet, what happens?  I have no idea.  But I suspect that the Anglican Communion’s days are numbered.

Thanks to Wannabe Anglican for the heads-up.

UPDATE: From George Conger.

The letter exists … the CEN article cited by the Anglican Curmudgeon cites the press secretary for the ACC, who confirmed a letter from Dr. Williams to Bishop Jefferts Schori was hand delivered by the ACC Sec Gen on April 17 at the consecration of Bishop Ian Douglas in Connecticut.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, June 17th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 29 Comments

Before reading this, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and maybe a little snack to go with it.  Or pour yourself a really good whiskey or bourbon, something you can savor for a while.  Then enjoy the ride.

In what’s already being called Mitregate, the Episcopal left is going absolutely bat crap over the Archbishop of Canterbury’s alleged insult to Mrs. Schori.  Three Facebook pages have sprung up(one of which is titled “Rowan Williams Needs to Apologize to the Episcopal Church”), Ruth Gledhill has a story in the Times of London, it’s made UselessA Today and the egregious Diana Butler Bass writes:

Christianity in the west is in a persistent state of decline (this includes England and the United States), losing spiritual market share in favor of other religions and atheism.  Why?  Some of the loss is due to the fact that most western people find Christianity boring and hypocritical–sentiments that the spiritual head of the Church of England underlined by Mitregate.

The world is facing global warming, an economic meltdown, massive immigration crises, continued international terrorism, interreligious tensions and warfare, nuclear escalation in the Middle East, poverty, the abuse of women and children, human trafficking, genocide, oppression of LGBT persons, and a massive environmental cataclysm in the Gulf of Mexico–and the Archbishop of Canterbury is worried about a woman’s hat? 

In case the Church of England hasn’t noticed, this is why people are rejecting Christianity.  It isn’t because some Christians chose women to lead their churches, ask questions about traditional renderings of theology and the Bible, doubt God’s existence, or want their gay and lesbian friends and relatives to be part of their church communities.  Canterbury, please know that western people are rejecting Christianity because–as noted in a recent survey of young Americans–Christians are “out of touch with reality.”

Quick observation, D.  The Catholics are rocking, what, a billion and change worldwide?  Pentecostal numbers are way up pretty much everywhere.  So I don’t think people are “rejecting Christianity” as much as they are rejecting weak, spineless, quasi-secular imitations of Christianity.

The Episcopalians, say.

Here’s the problem I have, D.  The Episcopal Organization is pretty much everything the modern young person could want.  They ordain women, they don’t seriously believe much of anything and they’re wildly enthusiastic about homosexuals to the point of basically allowing them to run the place.

Yet TEO has been hemorrhaging members for at least the last 30 years and their decline has picked up dramatically since, oh, 2003, give or take.  You’d think Episcopal barns would be bursting at the seams with young people and liberals and people who “reject Christianity” and gays and stuff.  But they’re not.  What up with that?

John Chilton thinks he’s found a “Gotcha!” moment.  Frand Griswold preached at Southwark in 2006 and Frank got to wear his pointy hat.  SEXISM!!

Ordinarily it would not be news that in 2006 the Most Rev. Frank Griswold, then presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church USA wore his mitre at Southwark Cathedral. But these are not ordinary times.

Two things.  Frank’s better than Kate, everybody knows that.  And at the time Frank wore his pointy hat, Kate had not even been elected and TEO had not yet flipped off the Anglican Communion a second time.

Here’s something the Episcopal left needs to remember.  Rowan Williams is the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Katharine Jefferts Schori is not.

Spend the last seven to twelve years arrogantly acting as if the Anglican Communion wasn’t there and you have no right to be shocked or surprised if the Anglican Communion suddently reasserts itself.  Should Rowan Williams have simply waved Kate through and said nothing at all about her chapeau?

I’ll listen to that argument.  What I won’t listen to is the assertion that it should automatically have happened in this case.  Because Katharine Jefferts Schori is the very last person in the entire Anglican world who should expect any kind of favor at all from the Archbishop of Canterbury.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 24 Comments

Give it up for the worst photo caption EVER!!


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Perfeshnul Edjamakayshkun takes aim at another Grave ThreatTM to the health and happiness of Young People.TM  Best friends:

Most children naturally seek close friends. In a survey of nearly 3,000 Americans ages 8 to 24 conducted last year by Harris Interactive, 94 percent said they had at least one close friend. But the classic best-friend bond — the two special pals who share secrets and exploits, who gravitate to each other on the playground and who head out the door together every day after school — signals potential trouble for school officials intent on discouraging anything that hints of exclusivity, in part because of concerns about cliques and bullying.

“I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”

“Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend,” she continued. “We say he doesn’t need a best friend.”

Of course not.  Who needs someone you can confide in?  Who needs someone you can tell stuff to that you’d rather not tell your parents?  Who wants somebody who’s always there for you and who always has your back?  What does intimacy ever do for you?

“Do we want to encourage kids to have all sorts of superficial relationships? Is that how we really want to rear our children?” asked Brett Laursen, a psychology professor at Florida Atlantic University whose specialty is peer relationships. “Imagine the implication for romantic relationships. We want children to get good at leading close relationships, not superficial ones.”

Many psychologists believe that close childhood friendships not only increase a child’s self-esteem and confidence, but also help children develop the skills for healthy adult relationships — everything from empathy, the ability to listen and console, to the process of arguing and making up. If children’s friendships are choreographed and sanitized by adults, the argument goes, how is a child to prepare emotionally for both the affection and rejection likely to come later in life?

“No one can teach you what a great friend is, what a fair-weather friend is, what a treacherous and betraying friend is except to have a great friend, a fair-weather friend or a treacherous and betraying friend,” said Michael Thompson, a psychologist who is an author of the book “Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children.”

“When a teacher is trying to tone down a best-friend culture, I would like to know why,” Dr. Thompson said. “Is it causing misery for the class? Or is there one girl who does have friends but just can’t bear the thought that she doesn’t have as good a best friend as another? That to me is normal social pain. If you’re mucking around too much in the lives of kids who are just experiencing normal social pain, you shouldn’t be.”

I’ve never been blessed with either a wife or children so take this for whatever it’s worth.  I hope the people who micromanage their kids’ lives really enjoy the nursing homes in which they’re going to finish out their own.

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