Archive for January, 2012
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, January 23rd, 2012 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments
…you have to murder 54,000,000 human beings. Our idiot president on the most evil Supreme Court decision since Scott v. Sanford:
In his statement on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling, Obama said it reflects the broader principles of America.
“As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters,” Obama said. “I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right.
“While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue — no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption,” Obama said.
“And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”
UPDATE: Katherine jacks one into the seats.
“…that government should not intrude on private family matters.” Did he say this with a straight face? They tell you how much your children should weigh, what they should eat, what kind of propaganda they must be taught at school, and what and when they should learn about sexual matters, in some cases mandating that begin in kindergarten. They want your underage daughters to be able to get contraceptive medications, which are strong hormones, and to be able to abort pregnancies, both of those without telling you at all. If those things aren’t “intruding on private family matters,” what is? The ONLY thing about private life they don’t want to regulate is the “right” to have unrestricted sex without commitment and without consequences.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, January 23rd, 2012 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments
This February, George Lucas will release Episode 1 of Star Wars in 3-D. And I hope you realize what that means. A three-dimensional Jar Jar Binks.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, January 23rd, 2012 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments
Got any spare cash lying around? Pension you’re not using, 401K just sitting there, some antique in the attic appraised for six figures, that kind of thing? If you do, New Jersey Episcopal Bishop George Councell would like to hear from you:
The Diocesan Finance and Budget Committee has been seriously deliberating the issues necessary to produce the annual, balanced Diocesan budget for 2012. That budget, as always, is built primarily upon the pledges made by our individual congregations related to the Askings. The preliminary budget for 2012, approved at the 2011 Convention, was predicated on receipt of pledges at 70% of the asking. The actual commitments to date, when added to estimates for the forty congregations yet to make a pledge, accrue to only 60% of the asking.
When we combine the estimated income with an extremely tight expense budget projection, and as we search for a new bishop, we are almost $600,000 underfunded. Even after planning, as a result, to reduce our budgeted pledge to The Episcopal Church to a tithe, we are still left with a lot of ground to make up.
To those 27 congregations who have already pledged the full asking, and to those of you who continue to move toward that goal by increasing your pledges, thank you. Perhaps this communication will underscore to your congregations the true importance of your continued leadership and support, as well as our appreciation for it. Unfortunately, numerous congregations have reduced their comparative commitment. A dozen of the larger churches have reduced their pledges by a combined total of over $130,000. Finally, many, many congregations have pledged less than 10% of their parochial income.
I wouldn’t worry about it, Bishop. You could have a diocesan telethon or something to raise enough scratch to tide you over until all those progressives start flooding into Episcopal church because of Gene Robinson. They’ll be here any day now. Trust me.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments
There’s no longer room at the inn at a Manhattan church that’s sheltering Occupy Wall Streeters after a holy vessel disappeared from the altar last week.
When the Rev. Bob Brashear prepared for Sunday services at West Park Presbyterian Church on West 86th Street, he noticed parts of the bronze baptismal font were gone.
In a fire-and-brimstone message to occupiers later that day, he thundered, “It was like pissing on the 99 percent.”
In Brooklyn, at another church housing OWS protesters, an occupier urinated on a cross, according to Rabbi Chaim Gruber, who has angrily abandoned the OWS movement.
In a letter last week to OWS obtained by The Post, the rabbi fumed, “The Park Slope church housing occupiers was desecrated when an occupier peed inside the building and the pee came into contact with a cross.”
About 60 occupiers had rolled out their sleeping bags between the pews the night before as part of their evening ritual, Rev. Brashear recalled. When they returned to the church later, following the pastor’s discovery, he issued a stern warning: “You have 24 hours to find it and to come up with an amends and to come up with a plan. ‘I’m sorry and it won’t happen again’ won’t work,” he scolded.
The artifact vanished just three weeks after a $2,400 Apple MacBook vanished from Brashear’s office. He told the occupiers that even when the 100-year-old Upper West Side church extended help to addicts during the 1980s drug scourge, no visitors touched its $12,500 sacramental instrument.
The pastor has given protesters two weeks to vacate the church.
Ms. Kaeton? Bishop Packard? Your reactions?
UPDATE: You’ll be pleased to know that OWS found a path through the magma and is currently occupying the Lost World.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Saturday, January 21st, 2012 | Uncategorized | 22 Comments
Chuck Murphy makes it official:
Bishop Chuck Murphy along with the other former bishops of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) have rejected the protocol for reconciliation with the Church of Rwanda brokered by the Archbishop of Kenya at the 4 January 2012 meeting in Nairobi.
Speaking at a conference in Houston this week, Bishop Murphy reiterated his plans to form a mission society with an international focus from the remnants loyal to him within the former AMiA. The decision to repudiate ties with Rwanda severs the last link to the Anglican Communion for Bishop Murphy and his faction within the AMiA.
Bishop Phillip Jones, one of the resigned suffragan bishops told the Houston Conference, the new group no longer sought to be Anglican or to work within the confines of the Anglican tradition. The Murphy group wanted to be attached to some wider organization, but in its current form it was a non-institutional entity with a global focus, that did not need to be Anglican, Bishop Jones said according to those present at the meeting.
Normally, I’d consider a willingness to walk away from an “official” Anglican connection to be admirable. But not in this case. I can’t see any “wider organization” that would willingly take on a group headed by Chuck Murphy. Prior to Murphy’s power grab, AMiA already had a global focus. It has considerably less of one now.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, January 20th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 30 Comments
Question: does this mean anything?
Archbishops Rowan Williams of Canterbury and John Sentamu of York have suggested that the Church of England and the Anglican Communion ought to be in “an open-ended engagement” with the Anglican Church in North America.
Williams and Sentamu made their remarks in a report to the Feb. 6-9 sessions of the Church of England’s General Synod.
The report comes in response to a resolution the synod passed two years ago in which the Church of England recognized and affirmed ACNA’s desire “to remain in the Anglican family,” but said it was not yet ready to be in full communion with the breakaway entity.
The February 2010 resolution referred to “the distress caused by recent divisions within the Anglican churches of the United States of America and Canada,” and the archbishops said that that distress will continue “for some considerable time.” The divisions occurred over the decisions of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada related to full inclusion of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people in the life of the church, the ordination of women and the authority of scripture.
“Wounds are still fresh,” Sentamu and Williams write. “Those who follow developments in North America from some distance have a responsibility not to say or do anything which will inflame an already difficult situation and make it harder for those directly involved to manage the various challenges with which they are still grappling.”
Thus, they said, the outcome of the open-ended engagement that they suggest “is unlikely to be clear for some time yet, especially given the strong feelings on all sides of the debate in North America.”
Answer: not a heck of a whole lot.
Read the report; it’s not long, only four pages. Then read the comments at the ENS story. They are not happy campers over there.
My view is that this report doesn’t really say very much. It doesn’t grant ACNA the “official” recognition it seeks but it also doesn’t do what the Americans and Canadians fervently wish, namely, taking ACNA recognition permantly off the table.
Where clergy from ACNA wish to come to England the position in relation to their orders and their personal suitability for ministry here will be considered by us on a case by case basis under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967.
Which means that if Bob Duncan is invited to England by a conservative parish or diocese and Dr. Williams grants him a license to preach, ACNA is effectively recognized as Anglican whether Dr. Williams or the Anglican Consultative Council agrees or not.
So there’s that.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, January 19th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 23 Comments
“I’ve figured it out! I am a lesbian!” I exclaimed to my other Sapphic friends.
Within weeks though, I was engaging in very unexpected behavior. I resumed sleeping with men with a vengeance, and yet, still identified as a lesbian.
It started with an ex-boyfriend, Eli*. He got back in touch with me a few months after we broke up. After some email exchanges, we decided to hang out. I met him at his apartment and we caught up over wine. As the saying goes “one thing led to another,” and like a scene out of a movie, I was laughing, fell on top of him, looked into his eyes, and we started to make out. Minutes later, we were having sex.
For nearly a year the pattern continued. Whether I had one-night stands or was screwing guys casually, I still identified as a lesbian, and most of these men knew it. I never experienced any cognitive dissonance, confusion, or felt I wasn’t gay. I had learned the art of compartmentalizing and detaching emotions from sex. Sex was sex, not a declaration of sexuality. I liked having sex with men because it felt good and fulfilled all of my urges and cravings.
Right. I guess gay guys who enjoy sex with straight women will have to have their own marriage liturgy as well. As will lesbians who enjoy sex with gay guys. And straight guys who enjoy sex with straight women but only if they imagine that the women are lesbians. And straight guys who enjoy sex with straight women but only if they imagine that they themselves are the lesbians.
But I’m probably leaving somebody out.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, January 19th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 15 Comments
The Rev. Gene Sherman, pastor of a breakaway Anglican congregation in Cleveland, believes this about Jesus Christ:
“When they talk about Jesus, it’s not the same Jesus I talk about,” said the Rev. Gene Sherman, pastor of the 250-member breakaway congregation from St. Barnabas.
“They say Jesus is a way to salvation. I say Jesus is the way to salvation.”
Sherman’s former bishop disagrees.
In response, Ohio Episcopal Bishop Mark Hollingsworth said in a prepared statement that Episcopalians believe Jesus is the way to salvation, but he added that “there is a range of understanding as to whether Jesus is the only way to salvation.”
“In our belief that God is generous . . . many of us suspect that in striving for intimacy with all human beings, God can achieve it through varying faith experiences and traditions,” he said.
And the result of Hollingsworth’s brain-dead universalism?
Meanwhile, the Episcopal diocese is working to rebuild the St. Barnabas congregation, which has only 30 to 40 members left.
The Episcopal Organization death spiral, if you need it.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, January 19th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments
I have news for The Atlantic’s Joshua Green. All high-school yearbook photos taken in the 1970’s are tragic. Every. Single. One.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, January 19th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments
Some NotSocialists in the US Congress get all Episcopalian:
Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a “Reasonable Profits Board” to control gas profits.
The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a “windfall profit tax” as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation. The bill provides no specific guidance for how the board would determine what constitutes a reasonable profit.
The Gas Price Spike Act, H.R. 3784, would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent on all surplus earnings exceeding “a reasonable profit.” It would set up a Reasonable Profits Board made up of three presidential nominees that will serve three-year terms. Unlike other bills setting up advisory boards, the Reasonable Profits Board would not be made up of any nominees from Congress.
The bill would also seem to exclude industry representatives from the board, as it says members “shall have no financial interests in any of the businesses for which reasonable profits are determined by the Board.”
According to the bill, a windfall tax of 50 percent would be applied when the sale of oil or gas leads to a profit of between 100 percent and 102 percent of a reasonable profit. The windfall tax would jump to 75 percent when the profit is between 102 and 105 percent of a reasonable profit, and above that, the windfall tax would be 100 percent. The bill also specifies that the oil-and-gas companies, as the seller, would have to pay this tax.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, January 19th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 16 Comments
Please indulge me while I get sentimental:
Like the 33-rpm vinyl records it still sells, Webster Records has been a survivor.
But after six decades in business here, on Jan. 31 it will go the way of gramophones and 8-track cartridge players. Webster Records is closing its doors at 117 West Lockwood Avenue, succumbing to the Internet and the economy.
For those who have frequented and loved Webster Records over the decades, it’s a loss that won’t be filled by MP3 players, downloads and assorted digital devices.
“I can’t imagine Webster Groves without Webster Records,” said Louise Gowen, 92, a fan of classical music and Broadway musicals who has lived in Webster since 1945. “It has been here forever.”
The best bookstore the St. Louis area ever had was a place called Library Ltd. It was a lot more than just a store. You hung out there, you stuck around. The food at their cafe was off-the-charts good(true story; one time I had really bad nasal congestion, ate LL’s Dijon chicken and didn’t have bad nasal congestion anymore) and their history selection was the best in this whole SMSA.
Every author who was any author made it a mandatory stop on their book tours and drew huge crowds. Colin Powell came in once and brought a sea of humanity with him. The place was delightful chaos when Anne Rice dropped by. And I still remember the jolt I felt the day I was coming in just as TV’s Fran Drescher(The Nanny) was leaving.
Webster Records was like that but on a much smaller scale. It wasn’t the area institution Library Ltd. was but it was a Webster Groves institution. It used to be the go-to store for music in this town.
When you grew older and outgrew pop, it was where you went for great music, jazz or classical. And it was a place where you always stayed a while. You were never in a hurry there because who knew what you might have found?
I realize that this is all driven by the Internet and its instantly downloadable music, movies, TV shows, etc. I get that. But I just hope that the Internet generation realizes what it’s far too rapidly losing.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 15 Comments
Baby killer thinks that the Civil War will start back up if Obama loses:
The founder and owner of one of the first and largest abortion clinics in the United States, Merle Hoffman, held a press conference Tuesday to discuss her study that found abortions in the United States are on the rise.
Hoffman told TheDC that there will be “free states” and “slave states” if President Obama loses the 2012 election to any of the current Republican presidential candidates.
“Each and every candidate has specified unequivocally that they would overturn Roe v. Wade. And if in fact they were in the power of the presidency and had the ability to do that … we can see a pre-Roe reality … where you’d have a country where there, in my mind, are free states and slave states,” said Hoffman.
“Women would be coming in droves to the free states … more and more women would attempt to have illegal abortions. We’re going to have things like underground railroads to help these women,” she said.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 24 Comments
“Who needs ’em?” says the stupidest US president in the history of this country:
Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.
Besides, the stupidest US president in the history of this country has an awesome plan that will totally create way more jobs than that dumb pipeline will.
As Obama called for passage of those bills, he also responded to a recent Republican push to require him to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. “However many jobs might be generated by a Keystone pipeline,” he said, “they’re going to be a lot fewer than the jobs that are created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance.”
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments
Do you think that Sarah Palin’s comment about “death panels” in ObamaCare was a hysterical overreaction? Then I have two words for you. Think again:
After the labs, Amelia falls asleep in her stroller and we are called back to a large room with a screen and about sixteen chairs. Joe and I get comfortable and leave a space between us to fit the stroller. After about five minutes, a doctor and a social worker enter the room. They sit across from us but also leave a space between the two of them.
The doctor begins to talk and I listen intently on what he is saying. He has a Peruvian accent and is small, with brown hair, a mustache and is about sixty five years old. He gets about four sentences out ( I think it is an introduction) and places two sheets of paper on the table. I can’t take my eyes off the paper. I am afraid to look over at Joe because I suddenly know where the conversation is headed. In the middle of both papers, he highlighted in pink two phrases. Paper number one has the words, “Mentally Retarded” in cotton candy pink right under Hepatitis C. Paper number two has the phrase, “Brain Damage” in the same pink right under HIV. I remind myself to focus and look back at the doctor. I am still smiling.
He says about three more sentences when something sparks in my brain. First it is hazy, foggy, like I am swimming under water. I actually shake my head a little to clear it. And then my brain focuses on what he just said.
I put my hand up. “Stop talking for a minute. Did you just say that Amelia shouldn’t have the transplant done because she is mentally retarded. I am confused. Did you really just say that?”
The tears. Oh, the damn tears. Where did they come from? Niagara Falls. All at once. There was no warning. I couldn’t stop them. There were no tissues in conference room so I use my sleeve and my hands and I keep wiping telling myself to stop it.
I point to the paper and he lets me rant a minute. I can’t stop pointing to the paper. “This phrase. This word. This is why she can’t have the transplant done.”
I begin to shake. My whole body trembles and he begins to tell me how she will never be able to get on the waiting list because she is mentally retarded.
A bit of hope. I sit up and get excited.
“Oh, that’s ok! We plan on donating. If we aren’t a match, we come from a large family and someone will donate. We don’t want to be on the list. We will find our own donor.”
“Noooo. She—is—not—eligible –because—of—her—quality– of –life—Because—of—her—mental—delays” He says each word very slowly as if I am hard of hearing.
Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, January 15th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 51 Comments
Prof? If the comments to this story from you or any of the rest of this site’s Roman Catholic readership suck, I will instantly and enthusiatically dump them because I just can’t tee them up for you guys any better than this. Seems that Jeff John is considering suing his way into a bishopric:
A controversial gay dean has threatened to take the Church of England to court after he was blocked from becoming a bishop.
The Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, has instructed an eminent employment lawyer to complain to Church officials after being rejected for the role of Bishop of Southwark.
Sources say the dean, one of the most contentious figures in the Church, believes he could sue officials under the Equality Act 2010, which bans discrimination on the grounds of sexuality. Such a case could create a damaging new rift within the CoE.
Dr John was at the centre of a storm in 2003 when forced to step down as Bishop of Reading by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams after it became known that he was in a gay, though celibate, relationship. The furore fuelled a bitter civil war within the Anglican Church that has dominated Dr Williams’s decade in office.
The dean was again a cause of infighting in 2010 when he was a candidate for Bishop of Southwark. A respected theologian and former canon at Southwark Cathedral, he had strong backing from senior Church liberals and it was said even David Cameron was supportive.
But the Crown Nominations Commission, whose members are responsible for selecting bishops and include Dr Williams, appointed another candidate. Dr John was said to be furious and his supporters’ anger was stoked by a memo by another member of the commission, the late Dean of Southwark Colin Slee, claiming Dr Williams was one of those who tried to ‘wreck’ Dr John’s chances.
Dr John has instructed Alison Downie, partner and head of employment at London lawyers Goodman Derrick, to write to the Commission to suggest it risks breaching gay equality laws if it is blocking the dean over his homosexuality.
Ms Downie previously acted for a gay youth worker who successfully sued the Church in 2008 after the Bishop of Hereford Anthony Priddis refused him a job.
It is understood there has been a lengthy correspondence between Ms Downie and Church lawyers in an attempt to resolve the dispute. No legal action has been launched but it is thought Dr John has not ruled out the possibility, although one source said Dr John suggested he would drop his legal threat if he felt he would not be ruled out for future posts.