Archive for July, 2010


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, July 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Hooray!!  The National Council of Churches Nobody Goes To Anymore has finally figured out how to reverse its slide toward total joke:

A diverse group of Christians will gather here August 9-11 to talk about the language people use to talk about God and faith. 

The National Council of Churches symposium, “Language Matters,” will discuss how to talk about God and faith in ways that respect the sensibilities of people from a variety of Christian traditions and viewpoints. 

The conversation will focus on the language, images, and symbols used in worship and everyday life to talk about faith and God.

While it is fully aware that the mere utterance of a male pronoun in mainline Protestant churches causes shrieking, hysteria, convulsive sobbing and fainting(although mainline Protestant women seem to handle things better), the NCCNGTA has bigger portabella mushrooms to fry

The term “expansive language” has been used in some circles to describe respectful language that honors all of God’s people and is more than just “gender inclusive”.

As communions seek to become genuinely inclusive as well as multiracial communities of faith, planners say, the conversation about the use of language in churches becomes more critical, and more challenging. 

Furthermore, new insights have emerged within our churches about language that reinforces harmful stereotypes around the realities of race, disabilities, sexual orientation and gender, planners say. 

I think this idea is a non-starter for this reason. According to these people, here’s how John 3:16 should read:

For God/Zot/Déu/Bog/Bůh/Jumala/Dieu/Gott/Isten/Guð/Dia/Dio/Dievas/Allah/Alla/Bóg/
Dumnezeu/Boh/Dios/Mungu/Tanri/Thiên Chúa/Duw so loved the world that God/Zot/Déu/Bog/Bůh/Jumala/Dieu/Gott/Isten/Guð/Dia/Dio/Dievas/Allah/Alla/Bóg/
Dumnezeu/Boh/Dios/Mungu/Tanri/Thiên Chúa/Duw gave God/Zot/Déu/Bog/Bůh/Jumala/Dieu/Gott/Isten/Guð/Dia/Dio/Dievas/Allah/Alla/Bóg/
Dumnezeu/Boh/Dios/Mungu/Tanri/Thiên Chúa/Duw’s only begotten
Jesus Christ/Jezu Krishti/Jesús Crist/Isus Krist/Ježíš Kristus/Jeesus Kristus/Jésus-Christ/Jesus Christus/Jézus Krisztus/Jesús Kristur/Íosa Críost/Gesù Cristo/Jėzus Kristus/Yesus Kristus/Gesù Kristu/Jezus Chrystus/Isus Hristos/Ježiš Kristus/Jesús Cristo/Yesu Kristo/İsa Mesih/Chúa Giêsu Kitô/Iesu Grist that whoever believes in Jesus Christ/Jezu Krishti/Jesús Crist/Isus Krist/Ježíš Kristus/Jeesus Kristus/Jésus-Christ/Jesus Christus/Jézus Krisztus/Jesús Kristur/Íosa Críost/Gesù Cristo/Jėzus Kristus/Yesus Kristus/Gesù Kristu/Jezus Chrystus/Isus Hristos/Ježiš Kristus/Jesús Cristo/Yesu Kristo/İsa Mesih/Chúa Giêsu Kitô/Iesu Grist should not perish but should have everlasting life.

That’s just one verse and I didn’t even try to include every language that there is.  I have to think that if the NCCNGTA churches took this to its logical conclusion, Christian liturgies would take several days if not an entire week or even longer to complete.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, July 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 29 Comments

In your Government Motors Volt!!

For starters, G.M.’s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks … but after billions of dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt’s development and production. And instead of the sleek coupe of 2007, it looks suspiciously similar to a Toyota Prius. It also requires premium gasoline, seats only four people (the battery runs down the center of the car, preventing a rear bench) and has less head and leg room than the $17,000 Chevrolet Cruze, which is more or less the non-electric version of the Volt.

So the future of General Motors (and the $50 billion taxpayer investment in it) now depends on a vehicle that costs $41,000 but offers the performance and interior space of a $15,000 economy car. The company is moving forward on a second generation of Volts aimed at eliminating the initial model’s considerable shortcomings. (In truth, the first-generation Volt was as good as written off inside G.M., which decided to cut its 2011 production volume to a mere 10,000 units rather than the initial plan for 60,000.) Yet G.M. seemingly has no plan for turning its low-volume “eco-flagship” into a mass-market icon like the Prius.

Quantifying just how much taxpayer money will have been wasted on the hastily developed Volt is no easy feat. Start with the $50 billion bailout (without which none of this would have been necessary), add $240 million in Energy Department grants doled out to G.M. last summer, $150 million in federal money to the Volt’s Korean battery supplier, up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives, and some significant portion of the $14 billion loan G.M. got in 2008 for “retooling” its plants, and you’ve got some idea of how much taxpayer cash is built into every Volt.

Your mileage may vary.

UPDATE: In a related story, Iowahawk is right.  Behold the death of a once-great American art form.  The car song.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, July 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments

Stop it. 


By the way, here are four words I don’t want to see adjacent to one another EVER AGAIN!!  Ministry of the puppets.

Props to Elle.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, July 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

In case you were wondering:

“Ophthalmologist” has an ‘h’ in it. A handy mnemonic for this is that the ‘h’ stands for, “Huh! There’s a ‘h’ in ‘ophthalmologist’!”


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, July 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Because some Anglican sermons start out like this:

In the name of God: Lover, Beloved, and Love Between. Amen.

Thanks to the Good Doctor.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, July 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Next Tuesday, this country’s first referendum on ObamaReidNannerMcBotoxCare takes place right here in the Editor’s home state of Missouri:


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, July 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Somebody e-mailed me this the other day.  He asked that no names be used:

An old friend located me recently.  His marriage collapsed in a peculiarly horrible way so I would greatly appreciate prayers for this friend and family from the regulars here.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, July 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Germany’s first female bishop has resigned:

The first woman elected to serve as a Lutheran bishop has resigned, following allegations of failing to investigate cases of sexual abuse in her diocese.

The Bishop of Hamburg, Rt. Rev. Maria Jepsen, who in 1992 was elected leader of the North Elbian Lutheran Church and became the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany’s (EKD) first woman bishop, resigned on July 16, telling reporters she could not continue in office with her integrity in doubt.

A diocesan committee has been investigating allegations that a pastor in the town of Ahrensburg had molested approximately 20 children in the 1980s.  Bishop Jepsen said she had only become aware of cases in March of this year when she received a letter from one of the victims.

However, the news magazine Der Spiegel and the newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt have contradicted these claims, stating the bishop knew of the priest’s suspected behavior in 1999.

“My credibility has been contested,” Bishop Jepsen told reporters in Hamburg. “For that reason, I do not see myself in a position to continue to spread God’s word as I had promised.”

Let’s see.  You didn’t resign because you knew about a sexual predator eleven years ago and were caught in a lie.  You resigned because someone questioned your integrity.  Apostolic of you.

Oh, and Bishop?  To folks around these parts, quitting in a situation like this is pretty much the same thing as admitting that the German media has you dead-to-rights.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, July 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Did I happen to mention that TEO’s not going anywhere?

a) First resolution:

That in view of the recent actions of the 76th General Convention, particularly Resolutions DO25 and CO56, representatives of TEC should be invited to withdraw from all Anglican Councils until ACC-15. This [time] would give both TEC and the AC a temporary safe distance for discernment in regard to the issues that currently threaten the unity of the Anglican Communion.6

2 votes for, and 8 votes against, no abstention recorded

b) Second resolution:

The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion meeting in London from 15th-18th December 2009, noting that the Episcopal Church had at its 76th General Convention in July 2009 resolved to reopen a process for the blessing of same gender relationships and to recognise the right of gay and lesbian persons to any ordained ministry in the church:

i) Expresses its deep disappointment and regret over such decisions, having regard to the declared position of the Anglican Communion over those matters through various Lambeth Resolutions; the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Report and the resolutions of the Primates’ Meeting held in Dromantine in February 2005 and at Dar-es-salaam in February 2007;

ii) Disassociates the Anglican Communion from those decisions of The Episcopal Church as well as with any actions that may be taken by churches in The Episcopal Church in North America pursuant to those decisions.

2 votes for, 7 votes against and 2 abstentions

c) Third resolution:

The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion resolved that, in the light of:

i) The recent Episcopal nomination in the Diocese of Los Angeles of a partnered lesbian candidate

ii) The decisions in a number of US and Canadian dioceses to proceed with formal ceremonies of same-sex blessings

iii) Continuing cross-jurisdictional activity within the Communion

The Standing Committee strongly reaffirm Resolution 14.09 of ACC-14 supporting the three moratoria proposed by the Windsor Report and the associated request for ‘Gracious Restraint’ in respect of actions that endanger the unity of the Anglican Communion by going against the declared view of the Instruments of Communion.

8 votes for, 1 vote against, 1 abstention recorded.



Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, July 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments


The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion adjourned its July 23-27 meeting here with its members celebrating a renewed focus on mission and greater commitment to transparency.

“I feel like we’ve grown closer as a body and we’re living more deeply into[AAAAAAAAUUUGGGH!! – Ed.] our charge to be the trustees for the various offices and programs of the Anglican Communion,” Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut, who serves on the Standing Committee as an elected representative of the Anglican Consultative Council, the communion’s main policy-making body, told ENS following the meeting.

Douglas said the committee, through the support of the Anglican Communion Office, “has pursued a course of transparency and open communication, which I think is vitally important if trust and understanding across the communion is to be engendered. We cannot minimize what a significant move that is in the right direction for our health as a communion.”


Throughout the five days of closed sessions, the 14 committee members heard about efforts to improve communication across the Anglican Communion’s officially sanctioned networks.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, July 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

…when Diogenes compares you to an Episcopal bishop and finds you wanting.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 47 Comments

There has been another giant papier-mâché puppets of doom sighting.  This one took place at the First Congregational Church here in Webster Groves, Missouri, also known as the Paris of St. Louis County, and it seems to have…no, I’m sorry.  I can’t do this.  Something’s weighing on me and I have to get it out or I’ll explode.


The Catholics have employed them, the Episcopalians have employed them, the Presbyterians have employed them, someone sent me an ELCA link the other day and now we see that the United Church of the Zeitgeist thinks this is a good idea.

What in the world are you trying to accomplish by ridiculous displays like this?!!  Well, we’re just trying to make worship more interesting and meaningful.  Oh.  Okay.

The worship of the Creator of the universe and the Redeemer of your immortal soul isn’t meaningful enough for you?!!  It’s SO DULL and SO BORING to praise and glorify the One who created you and died on the Cross for your sins that you’ve got to come up with shows to keep yourself entertained?!!

I’m a Protestant and I’m probably going to die one.  But there’s a lot to be said for Eucharistic Adoration.  Which is better?  Participating in any sort of “worship” at all that includes giant puppets?  Or sitting there quietly, keeping your mouth shut and knowing that He is God?

Thought so.

End of rant.  Sorry that you had to see me blow up like that.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 43 Comments

This long New York Times article on training new baby-killers(which also manages to vividly demonstrate Our Lord’s observation that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God) provides another possible entry to carve on the Episcopal Organization’s tombstone:

Many of the two dozen young doctors I talked to for this article were similarly conflicted. They wanted to talk about their work. They see it as part of making abortion mainstream. But the murder of Dr. George Tiller last year scared them. One 33-year-old family-medicine doctor I met in Rochester drives 90 miles each week to perform abortions at a clinic in Syracuse. She is pregnant with her third child, and she asked me not to use her name after her father insisted that she’d be putting herself and her kids at risk. Still, at her Episcopal church, where she feels safe, she is open about what she does. “When people are surprised, I say, ‘Yes, a Christian can also be an abortion provider,’ ” she told me.

No, you can’t, junior.  If you can do what you do for a living while forgetting that your own kids have the same body parts you’re pulling out of women, then there is something morally wrong with you.  News flash, “doctor.”  You’re not a Christian just because you perform ceremonies once a week.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments

If ObamaReidNannerMcBotoxCare ever fully kicks in, some of you gals will be the first to take one for the team:

The ink is not yet dry on the Obama Health Care takeover and rationing advocate Donald Berkwick has yet to have his desk moved into the Medicare offices, and the Administration is already attempting to limit life-extending drugs for cancer patients.

In September, the Food and Drug Administration will try to take the anti-cancer drug Avastin “off-label.”  Avastin is a Stage 4 drug used to battle breast cancer.  Avastin is not a cure but has been shown to stop the growth of cancer for an average of five months — meaning some late stage breast cancer victims live beyond five months.

But late stage breast cancer patients do not fit into the cost-benefit analysis of the Obama Administration.  We told America rationing would happen if the health care takeover bill passed and in September, women with breast cancer will be its first victims.

Avastin is the first medicine to fight cancer by blocking the growth of blood vessels that feed tumors.  While Avastin is expensive and may not be the miracle drug some anticipated for breast cancer (it is for other types of cancer) from the success of the early trials, the overwhelming majority of breast cancer specialists believe the drug can be effective and useful in certain patients

If the FDA takes Avastin off label it will effectively deny all but the richest Americans access to the drug. Once a drug is off label, most insurance and Medicare will no longer cover the cost of the treatment. So even if a patient meets the criteria of one who might respond positively to Avastin once it is taken off label it is highly unlikely that patient will have access to the drug unless they have the money to pay for it outright.

Mad props to Dana Loesch.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

It might interest you to know that the Episcopal Organization isn’t going to get run from the Anglican Communion any time soon:

A proposal from Dato’ Stanley Isaacs that The Episcopal Church be separated from the Communion led to a discussion in which Committee members acknowledged the anxieties felt in parts of the Communion about sexuality issues.

Isaacs’ suggestion was shot down.  Guess why.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming opinion was that separation would inhibit dialogue

You can set your clocks by these people.

on this and other issues among Communion Provinces, dioceses and individuals and would therefore be unhelpful. The proposal was not passed, and the group agreed to defer further discussion until progress on Continuing [Real African Word] project had been considered.

In other words, they’re not going to have a dialogue about this subject until they finish the rest of their yammering.  Which basically means that the Episcopalians can rest easy.

This is good news for the Episcopal Organization, right?  Depends on who you ask.  Mark Harris, for example, doesn’t seem to have heard the one about gift horses.

What is astounding about this proposal is that it was considered.  The notion that the Standing Committee has the power to effect a separation is not even suggested in the Anglican Covenant being proposed. There the Standing Committee could recommend to various instruments of the communion a course of action, but those instruments would have to act.  
Here, in the context of the Standing Committee meeting itself apparently the proposal was discussed and failed to pass. It was not considered out of order. 
So, here it is, dear friends.  The Standing Committee believes it has the power to pass on a resolution that The Episcopal Church be separated from the Anglican Communion.  THERE IS NO RECORD OF OBJECTION. Further, we have no idea what actually went on in the discussion that followed because the meetings are closed.
So a closed meeting of the Standing Committee can consider a proposal to separate The Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion, supposedly with the understanding that such a proposal was in order.  It failed not because the power of the Standing Committee was challenged, but because it was felt to be premature and the Standing Committee awaited further input.
Harris and most of his commenters, predictably bat crap over the insult, are ready to pull the financial plug the day before yesterday.
A lot of that is the usual temper tantrum Episcopalians throw whenever anyone looks at them funny or criticiizes them in any way.  But the power question Harris raises is an interesting one.
It boils down to this: in the Anglican Communion, you have the power to do pretty much anything you want to unless you don’t. 
That is, Harris’ pseudo-ecclesial entity had the power to give a pointy hat to an unrepentant sinner and unilaterally change 2,000 years of Christian teaching but the rest of the Christian association to which Harris’ pseudo-ecclesial entity belongs does not have the power to call them on it.
Got it?  Are we clear on all this?  Good.  Live to serve.

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