Friday, October 16th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 74 Comments

Be honest.  How many of you were genuinely shocked by the following?

Some ordained ministers are throwing their support behind abortion providers. Last week, for example, clergy for Episcopal and Methodist churches were among religious leaders who gathered in Cleveland to bless an abortion clinic.

“I’m here today standing alongside my fellow clergymen and clergywomen to say: thank God for abortion providers,” said Rev. Harry Knox, president and CEO of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) which supports abortion rights and what it refers to as “abortion care.”

And this should surprise no one at all.

The Very [Lesbian] Rev. Tracey Lind, dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, blessed the abortion clinic, saying, “Bless this building. May its walls stand strong against the onslaught of shame thrown at it. May it be a beacon of hope for those who need its services.”

It’s what they do, people.  Or as the Apostle Paul would have put it in Romans 12:2 if only he’d been intelligent enough.

And be conformed to this world: but be ye not transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Big ups to JB.


Monday, October 12th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 233 Comments

The following are the thoughts of Michael Brendan Dougherty (the guy might be Irish, I don’t know, you’d have to ask him).  Mr. Dale Price of Detroit, Michigan largely agrees with Dougherty’s views which is why I give them added weight:

In the next three weeks, I fully expect the leadership of my own One Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church to fall into apostasy, at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family that begins today in Rome. This is the outcome Pope Francis has shaped over the entirety of his pontificate, and particularly with his recent appointments. An event like this —heresy promulgated by the Pope and his bishops — is believed by most Catholics to be impossible. But they should be prepared for it anyway. This is not an ordinary religious conference, but one to be dreaded.

My prediction is that, after much fixing and machinations by its leaders, the Synod on the Family will declare that the Holy Spirit led them to a new understanding of the truth. The Synod’s leaders will adopt the position that those living in second marriages, irrespective of the status of their first marriage, should be admitted to Holy Communion. This is commonly called the “Kasper proposal” after its author, the German Cardinal Walter Kasper. The Synod will likely leave the details of a “penitential period of reflection” for these souls up to local bishops and parish priests The leading bishops will assure critics that in fact no doctrine has been changed, only a discipline — even if these will make no sense when considered together.

Certain theologians will cheer this as a radical break. They will declare this change of discipline to be what the critics alleged all along: a rupture within the tradition of the church, a change in doctrine. They will say that this glorious event proves the church is capable not only of developing its doctrines, but also of evolving them into something new, even something that contradicts the old. Those who had made themselves enemies of papal authority for decades will become a new kind of ultramontanist. The papacy that had been the final guardian of the faith will now become an ongoing oracle, dispensing new gospel teachings that our Lord and the Apostles missed.

The church’s teachings on contraception, homosexuality, and pre-marital sex must all be subjected to this evolution, in light of what we know about how people actually live. How they ought to live is a moot question.

Is all this going to happen? I hope and fervently pray that it doesn’t.  But if even some of it does, I also hope and fervently pray that any serious Catholics reading this know the service times of any local or within driving-distance Orthodox churches.

Because Episcopalianization is a journey, not a destination.


Sunday, October 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Andy Brown thinks that homosexual bishops won’t hurt the Church of England:

Last week I was talking to a man who has some influence over the choice of bishops in the Church of England, and he said confidently that Dr Jeffrey John, the gay dean of St Albans, could never be a bishop because he could not function as a focus of unity in the diocese. In every part of the country, there are noisy and assertive evangelical groups who would make a production of marching out of the Church of England if he were appointed a bishop.

Do tell.  Andy writes for The Guardian so he’s almost always good for a larf.  But in the following paragraph, Andy manages a STUNNINGLY comedic, positively Griswoldian, howler which is as impressive as hell.  See if you can spot it.

It may be true that some will react like that. What’s wrong with this argument is not that it’s cowardly, so much as that it is stupid. It mistakes visibility for significance. The implicit assumption is that clergy who leave the church (and it is almost always clergy) on points of theological principle, and who announce that they are doing so, are somehow more real than all the more numerous laity who just quietly disappear without saying anything. None of the endlessly trumpeted schisms in the Church of England, over sexuality or gender, or anything else, have resulted in the loss of anything like a third of the church – yet that is what the completely orthodox boredom of the bench of bishops has managed over the last 30 years.

“Yet that is what the completely orthodox boredom of the bench of bishops has managed over the last 30 years.”  Right.  For the last five, six, seven, hell, let’s just go ahead and say fifty, decades, the Church of England’s house of bishops has consisted entirely of Anglican versions of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  And their Christian traditionalism is what finally drove away the English laity.

Took ‘em 500 years but they got it done.

I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news here, Andy, but for most of its history, the pointy hats of the Church of England have venerated one thing and only one.  The Church of England.  And Erastian “churches” tend to lose their appeal after a while.

Because if there’s no spiritual meat on those bones, what’s the point?

Then there’s the opposite side of Andy’s “argument.”  The Episcopal Organization is about as gay-friendly and culture-friendly a pseudo-Christian organization as it is possible to be.  But ever since Robbie got his pointy hat and hooked stick in 2003, TEO’s sharp decline has inexplicably picked up speed.

How do you explain that, Andy?


Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 58 Comments

That shiver that went up your spine just now has an explanation.  The Episcopal Organization is thinking of completely revising its “prayer book.”  Tomorrow, the Church Divinity School of the Pacific is going to have a forum on this topic:

The 2015 General Convention called for a plan for revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer that will “utilize the riches of our Church’s liturgical, cultural, racial, generational, linguistic, gender

Be sure to stick around for the symposium entitled “Male Pronouns: Signs Of The Antichrist?”

and ethnic diversity in order to share common worship.” Join us to explore the possibilities and challenges for Prayer Book revision. What should change?

We should suck out the last Christian marrow from the bones of this carcass?

What should be added?

Readings from the Koran?

What should we keep?


We’ll consider how a new prayer book can enable the Episcopal Church to gather and form faithful disciples in the 21st century, and how our common worship can express and shape our participation in the mission of God.

Sigh.  Here’s a few comments from Episcopal Café that indicate how this thing’s probably going to go.

I yearn for gender inclusive language, using feminine images from Scripture. I love Creationist imagery, oddly enough, it opens my heart to our Creator. And if it opens an awareness of creation and our stewardship of it, all the better.

I would want to keep the elements of the Mass, like the epiklesis!!! I would like the Mass to be recognizable, just with more inclusive imagery.

Of course you do.  What have you got, Annie?

I think Prayer Book revision is happening from the ground up this time. The arc of the service remains – Praise; Readings and exposition; statement of belief; prayers, petitions, confession and absolution; Eucharist and prayers of thanksgiving; blessing and dismissal. But the contents of each section can be created from a wide variety of resources – rather than a new BCP – we need clergy and lay leaders trained in liturgy and why we do what we do and have done. The church I attend is full of people who are serious about their faith and want liturgies that ground them and speak to their world. Male centric and hierarchical language is fading away. The key though, is how to treasure and value what is good and nurturing at the same time.

There’s no I in Jesus, Annie.

To straightjacket a church into a consistent liturgy in every place is not consistent with the nature of God or our relationship to Him (or Her). You have to allow the Holy Spirit room to move, and pastors the flexibility to respond to the needs of their flock as they occur. Our church utilizes a published booklet for Sunday Sung Mass which allows us to derive our liturgy and music from a wide variety of sources, Roman, Anglican, Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist and others. We are a place open to the Holy Spirit to respond to the pastoral needs of our people.

Seems to me that the Holy Spirit can do all of that any time He wants to, Dave.


Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 | Uncategorized | 48 Comments

Welcome to my world:

A record 94,610,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month — an increase of 579,000 from August — and the labor force participation rate reached its lowest point in 38 years, with 62.4 percent of the U.S. population either holding a job or actively seeking one.

Yeah, I’ve pretty much given up.  And pace John,  I don’t blame this on Obama.  At the end of this month, I’m going to be 60 so I don’t like my chances of finding something new any time soon.

So I’m working my way through what the old man left me when he died.  All it has to do is last me another two years.  Then I can officially go into “semi-retirement” and we’ll see what we’ll see.


Friday, October 2nd, 2015 | Uncategorized | 74 Comments

Get used to it and be ready.  Take the hit if you have to (there are way worse ways to die).  Because this is going to happen more and more often:

A gunman singled out Christians, telling them they would see God in “one second,” during a rampage at an Oregon college Thursday that left at least nine innocent people dead and several more wounded, survivors and authorities said.

“[He started] asking people one by one what their religion was. ‘Are you a Christian?’ he would ask them, and if you’re a Christian, stand up. And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you are going to see God in just about one second.’ And then he shot and killed them,” Stacy Boylen, whose daughter was wounded at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., told CNN.


Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 22 Comments

So far, Justin Welby’s desperate and, well, kind of pathetic attempt to remain an Important World Religious FigureTM seems to be on track:

AS RSVPs go, the Primates’ first responses to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to meet next January vary from the enthusiastic to the heavily caveated. The reaction in the Northern hemisphere has so far been positive.

Despite the Archbishop’s unexpected decision to invite a representative of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the Episcopal Church confirmed that the Rt Revd Michael Curry, who is due to succeed Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop, would attend.

Even though the ACNA Archbishop will only be there for a day before the actual meeting even starts.

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Most Revd Archbishop Fred Hiltz, welcomed the meeting as “a good thing”. Speaking on Tuesday, he described the decision to invite ACNA — it is understood that the representative will be present for one day, before the formal meeting gets under way — as “an opportunity for some conversation, in the ultimate hope that we might be able to find a way forward towards reconciliation”.

Some North Americans are cheesed that ACNA even got that.

US bishops also welcomed the Archbishop’s initiative, despite reservations. “I hope that all will be in attendance, and participate fully,” the Bishop of Vermont, the Rt Revd Thomas C. Ely, said. “It is not clear to me the reasoning behind inviting other guests who are not Primates of the Anglican Communion to this meeting, especially since this is the first meeting of the Primates in quite some time.”

The Most Revd Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya, doesn’t think that much of anything is going to happen.

A pastoral letter issued by the Most Revd Eliud Wabukala, the Kenyan Primate and GAFCON chairman, this week, was less than sanguine about the state of the Communion, which had become, he suggested, “a source of weakness, as Churches which have rejected the truth as Anglicans have received it spread false teaching, yet continue to enjoy full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury”.

While Fred’s not down with the whole “looser Communion” idea.

“I am uneasy with the notion that the Communion could be reshaped into a group of churches that all have some kind of relationship with Canterbury but not one another,” [Hiltz] said. “It flies in the face of our historic understanding of the Communion.”

So did giving a pointy hat and hooked stick to a homosexual, Fred.  But here we are.

The irony is that an approach like this might have worked in 2003.  Part of the problem, aside from the obvious, in making Robbie an Episcopal bishop is that by the rules of Anglicanism, he automatically became an Anglican bishop as well.

Free Anglican provinces from having to accept Robbie as anything at all and maybe a lot of the ensuing trouble doesn’t become as much of an issue as it became.

Mind you, I said “might have.”  Because the logical contradiction would still be there.  Churches that preach A and churches that preach Not A would still be in theoretical “communion” with one another.  And what communion hath light with darkness?


Saturday, September 26th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 116 Comments

Me neither:

Speaker John A. Boehner, an Ohio barkeeper’s son who rode a conservative wave to one of the highest positions in government, said Friday he would relinquish his gavel and resign from Congress, undone by the very Republicans who swept him into power.

Fond of saying “I’m a regular guy with a big job,” Mr. Boehner struggled almost from the moment he became speaker in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government while holding together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members.

The tension has spilled over into the race for the Republican presidential nomination, in which several candidates have openly derided Republican leaders in Congress like Mr. Boehner. The loud and potent voices in the House largely reflect the steady shift of power in the Republican Party base from places like Mr. Boehner’s suburban Cincinnati district to areas that are largely Southern, rural and white.

There you go.

In recent weeks, there have been stories all over the Internet about how Boehner’s Speakership was under threat from conservative Republicans.  So I’m guessing that the threat was real.

It was repeatedly pointed out that even if this threat had been pushed through, Boehner could have attracted enough Republican votes along with enough Democratic votes to keep the Big Gavel.  But what would he have gained?

A Speakership in which Republicans detested him while Democrats basically controlled him?  It’s not too tough to see why Boehner decided to call it a day.


Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 | Uncategorized | 72 Comments

Who or what killed the Anglican Communion?  James Pike?  Women’s ordination?  John Shelby Spong?  Gene Robinson?  Same-sex “marriage?”  Rowan Williams?  All of the above?  Giles Fraser suggests an interesting new candidate.  The Internet:

In the end, it was probably Tim Berners-Lee that did for the Anglican communion. And yet he may also be exactly the right person to show the church how to put itself back together again. But more of that in a moment. The archbishop of Canterbury has just announced a final throw of the dice to keep the family together. He plans a looser structure – not quite a divorce, but “sleeping in separate bedrooms”. It’s the right way forward. But it doesn’t go far enough.

How did the Internet do that?  Essentially, it killed the Anglican spin machine.

But when the soldiers finally withdrew from the empire and the colonial civil service shrank back to Westminster, so local Anglican churches began to develop in their own independent ways, each adopting local custom and absorbing the values of the surrounding culture. Over the decades, as congregations swelled, few people noticed that the Anglican family was drifting further apart. Until, that is, the C of E nearly appointed a gay bishop in 2003. And then all hell broke loose – with English conservatives, fearing they were about to lose the gay argument back home, cleverly re-inventing the C of E as part of the worldwide communion in which they form a natural majority.

But it was the world wide web that finally did for global ecclesiastical solidarity. Through the web, different churches could finally experience each other’s theology first hand. We could read their sermons and church pronouncements. And they could read ours. And we didn’t like what we saw. Western liberals saw anti-gay bigotry. African conservatives saw an abandonment of the traditional gospel. We had become strangers to each other. No, worse than that: we realised we were fighting on very different sides. And, however hard they tried (and Rowan Williams really did) the men in mitres could not put Humpty together again.

I agree with Fraser here; in fact, I’ve believed this for over a decade.  Anglicans used to be able to explain away guys like Pike or Spong or innovations like women’s ordination.

That’s just Pike or Spong.  Individual weirdo bishops with no influence on the national church.  Hell, most of us Episcopal bishops think Jim and Jack are whack jobs.  As far as women’s ordination is concerned, that involves no change whatsoever in our fundamental doctrine, we’re still just as Christian as you are.

Trust us.

Along comes the Internet and instantly Anglicans all over the world know that they’re being lied to.  Anglican web sites like Stand Firm started springing up all over the place.  Other sites, like this one, began covering the Anglican controversy full-time.  Then there was Binky’s original site, the greatest Anglican news aggregator of all time, where all these sites came together, shared links and learned from one another.

And, in both posts and comments, they started asking questions that Lambeth Palace, Church House or Church Center couldn’t answer without giving the game away.  And eventually, the cherry on the banana split, if you like, they revealed two things that Big Anglicanism desperately needed to keep secret.

Western liberal Anglican scorn and contempt for the Third World.  And, no matter their insistent comments about “local context,” the crystal-clear and unshakeable resolve that the Western liberal view would eventually have to prevail.

Which is why none of the following is ever going to happen.

But just as Berners-Lee’s great invention opened the church up to its own divisions, so it can provide a model for a more robust ecclesiology. For the great breakthrough that Berners-Lee made at Cern in 1989 was the creation of hypertext, connections that share information horizontally, between users, without having to pass through some central command and control. It was the ultimate Reformation, not just (as it were) the abolition of the pope – but the abolition of the whole need for a hierarchical and centralised authority. This is how the church should develop – locally based, and with a crisscrossing network of national and international connections where solidarity is helpful and required. Yes, a bit like the letters of St Paul, but not so bossy.

I’m a bit of a Trotskyist when it comes to the Reformation: I believe in continual revolution. But the hypertext church – connected horizontally, not vertically – is not some future possibility. It is a present reality. Most of us in parishes just get on with our work, forming alliances, independent of the rows going on up in Lambeth Palace. In truth, they don’t impinge on us all that much. The problem is not with the church on the ground. The problem is with the long, fictional notion of authority by which we are all supposed to be connected. And the archbishop himself knows it too: it’s not our links to him that make us a family, it’s our partnership in the gospel.

Forget it.  You and I don’t speak the same language any more.  Terms like “God,” “Jesus Christ” and “Holy Spirit” don’t mean the same thing to you that they mean to me.  Since 2003, the Internet’s made that abundantly clear.

Humpty-Dumpty and all that, G.


Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 | Uncategorized | 22 Comments

This is the reason (well, one of them) why we don’t like you:

Dear City council of Munich,

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention something that I and many Muslims believe is unfair and requires attention.

I would like to inform you that the Oktoberfest is an Intolerant and Anti-Islamic event. We tried to ignore the event, but there too many Un-Islamic acts done at the Oktoberfest. Such as alcohol consumption, public nudity etc.

We understand that the Oktoberfest is a yearly German tradition, but we, Muslims, can not tolerate this Un-Islamic event, because it offends us and all Muslims on the earth.

We are requesting the immediate cancellation of the upcoming Oktoberfest event.

We also believe that the Oktoberfest might also offend all the Muslim refugees coming from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. The cancellation of the Oktoberfest event will help refugees not to forget their Islamic history. Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Morad Almuradi


Monday, September 21st, 2015 | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

I guess every Christian has churches that he’d like to visit some time before he dies. You know, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,  St. Peter’s Basilica, Westminster Abbey, places like that.  Me, I want to worship here at least once.


Saturday, September 19th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 25 Comments

Legendary MCJ commenter Dale Matson inadvertently suggests an intriguing possibility:

“…but if he is wise [Welby] will at least up the ante and invite ACNA in full status…”  He is not able to do this. If he did, I guarantee TEC and the ACoC would not attend.

What if he did?  What if Justin Welby, in order to entice GAFCON to attend his meeting, decided to invite Foley Beach as a full participant rather than as a partial one?  After all, by the sound of things, this is just an informal get-together designed to find out ways Anglican churches can relate to one another going forward.

The fact that Welby invited Beach at all to a gathering of Anglican primates means that the North Americans couldn’t attend since Beach’s invitation would effectively render Beach a de facto Anglican primate.  Sort of, at this point.

Ballgame.  Thanks for playing.


Thursday, September 17th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 36 Comments

GAFCON sounds dubious about Justin Welby’s January, 2016 Primates Meeting idea:

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for a meeting of Primates in January 2016 shows that he has recognised the deep concerns of faithful church leaders around the world, including those belonging to the GAFCON movement who represent the majority of the global Communion’s membership.

Not to put too fine a point on it but Dr. Williams also “recognised the deep concerns” of Christian Anglicans.  What he chose to do about those “deep concerns” is why I can’t make myself care about the “Anglican tradition” any more.

GAFCON began with the first Global Anglican Future Conference in 2008 as an initiative to restore the integrity of Anglican faith and order as the Communion descended into deepening crisis.

We are now a global family standing together to restore the Bible to the heart of the Anglican Communion with a strength and unity that comes from our common confession of the Lord Jesus Christ, not merely from historic institutional structures.

It is on this basis that the GAFCON Primates will prayerfully consider their response to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter. They recognize that the crisis in the Communion is not primarily a problem of relationships and cultural context, but of false teaching which continues without repentance or discipline.

Get this through your heads right now.  “Repentance or discipline” of the Americans and the Canadians isn’t going to happen at this meeting.

Consistent with this position, they have previously advised the Archbishop of Canterbury that they would not attend any meeting at which The Episcopal Church of the United States or the Anglican Church of Canada were represented, nor would they attend any meeting from which the Anglican Church in North America was excluded.

So we’re not guaranteeing that we’ll be there although we might.

It is therefore of some encouragement that the Archbishop of Canterbury has opened the door of this meeting to the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Foley Beach.

The fact that Beach has been invited in a reduced role might pose a problem.

He has already been recognized as a fellow primate of the Anglican Communion by Primates representing GAFCON and the Anglican Global South at his installation in Atlanta last October and he is a full member of the GAFCON Primates Council.

Like that means jack to TEO or the AOoC.

In the end, our confidence is not in any structural reorganisation, useful though it may be,

You catch that, Lambeth Palace?

but in the saving grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and in the abiding truth of the Bible. That is what empowers us and this is the assurance we bring to our broken world.


If this meeting actually happens, it won’t be the Anglican Meeting That Changes EverythingTM because we’re way past that.  The best you can say about it is that it will be the Final Recognition Of What’s Been Right In Front Of Your Face For Years.


Thursday, September 17th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 36 Comments

From the looks of it, Justin Welby has officially thrown in the towel:

The archbishop of Canterbury is proposing to effectively dissolve the fractious and bitterly divided worldwide Anglican communion and replace it with a much looser grouping.

Justin Welby has summoned all the 38 leaders of the national churches of the Anglican communion to a meeting in Canterbury next January, where he will propose that the communion be reorganised as a group of churches that are all linked to Canterbury but no longer necessarily to each other.

Which is basically the situation we have right now.

He believes that the communion – notionally the third largest Christian body in the world with 80 million members, after the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox churches – has become impossible to hold together due to arguments over power and sexuality and has, for the past 20 years, been completely dysfunctional.

Gee.  Wonder why he thinks that?

Welby believes that his proposal will allow him to maintain relations with the liberal churches of north America, which recognise and encourage gay marriage, and the African churches, led by Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, who are agitating for the recriminalisation of all homosexual activity in their countries. Both will be able to call themselves “Anglican” but there will no longer be any pretence that this involves a common discipline or doctrine.


Instead, they may be able to cooperate on matters such as climate change and inter-religious violence, which are desperately important to many of the poorer churches. As well as the obvious religious tensions in the Middle East, 200 churches in south India were burned to the ground by Hindu extremists last year. These issues seem more urgent to the archbishop than the interminable wrangling about sexuality.

Which they do right now.  Along with Catholics, Orthodox, other Protestants, Jews, Zoroastrians, Muslims and any other religion interested in such problems.  Oh and TEO and AOoC?  If this meeting happens, ACNA will be there.

In his most controversial proposal, Welby will ask the American conservative grouping ACNA, which has been locked in bitter lawsuits over church property with the mainstream liberal American Anglican church grouping, TEC, to attend the meeting in January, but not as a full member.

Which suggests that the current state of Anglicanism will be permanently institutionalized.  Which also means that the “Anglican tradition” no longer has any significant meaning whatsoever.

Suggesting what?  Who knows?  If I’m GAFCON, I insist, minimum, that the price of my participating in this meeting is that ACNA, the Continuers and anybody else who claims an “Anglican” pedigree receives “official” recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Whether or not TEO or the AOoC bitches about it.

Otherwise, what’s the point of officially enshrining what everyone already knows?

I see two problems with this situation.  Why would any Christian tradition want to have any connection whatsoever, however theoretical, to any other “Christian” tradition whose beliefs completely contradict their own?

And this one’s for you, GAFCON.  What possible benefit is there in having on “official” relationship with Canterbury if Canterbury has “official relationships” with “churches” that you consider to be hopelessly heretical?

Man up.  Cut the damned cord.

Thanks to Richard M for the heads-up.

UPDATE: They’re not happy at Jim’s so this idea may have something going for it.


Monday, September 14th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Damian G. directs the Editorial attention to a recent missive from Andrew Amanda Leigh Bullard (referenced below) at the Piskie Peace Creeps web site dealing with The Single Most Important Social Justice Issue Of All Eternity And No, I’m Actually Not Talking About Homosexuality This Time, Thank You Very Much:

When I ask you to name a place of violence, where does your mind go? Is it to Charleston, the Middle East, schoolyards full of bullies or prisons? These jump to mind because the word ‘violence’ is often reduced to a direct physical assault on a persons’ flesh.

Insert “but” here.

Yet in my experience, violence can also occur spiritually and mentally, with words replacing guns and knives as implements of destruction. I’ve heard of an ancient torture called “the death of a thousand paper cuts”.

Which, last I checked, actually involved paper.

I feel we should also consider the torturous agony of those who are currently buried under the weight of a million words. Therefore, while all of the places I mentioned, and many more, have been tainted by the stain of violence against the body, mind and soul; I want to draw your attention to one that is a bit closer to home. The most violent place in my experience is one that I cannot escape from if I am to function in society.

Oh my dear Loud, what might such a horrifying place be?


That place is the public restroom.


You see, I am bigender.  That means that I was made in the image of God as a person who is simultaneously a woman and a man.

Yeah, kid.  Sure you were.

Just as we cannot divide Jesus’ humanity from his divinity, in a similar way it is impossible to divide my masculinity and my femininity. Because of this I face erasure from the moment I reach a restroom door.

Oh sweet mother of…

Sometimes the violence is more explicit. I took the follow pictures at a bus station while I was moving across the country. In the expectation that a men’s room has no place for women, and the women’s room has no place for men I was told that my existence as a person who is simultaneously a woman and a man is something wrong, something weird, and something for which I could be denied the ability to go pee.

When I got done having prostate cancer surgery in 2007, one of the problems I had to deal with for about the next year was incontinence.  Downside: you don’t get to wear your underwear.  Upside: you have to wear Depends so you don’t need to wash them, you just need to throw them out when you’re done with them.

But how do you buy them?  If you’re me, you take them to checkout with your head held high and, well, pay for them.  And if anybody says anything to you or makes a joke, you just say something along the lines of, “I just came off cancer surgery.  It happens.  Is there anything else that you’d like to know?”

Seems to me that that’s the best way to deal with the bathroom situation, Andy-Ammy.  Unless, of course, that you don’t actually believe that you’re…. whatever.

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