Saturday, February 21st, 2015 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Sometimes, many weeks go by without seeing something worth a post. Other times, the gifts just keep coming, and coming, and coming…………

If you’ve ever traveled for business, it’s likely that you’ve had to eat at least one meal “on your own” at a restaurant. This is a really depressing thing to do; you feel that everyone else in the restaurant is watching you, wondering “what’s wrong with him/her that they can’t find a companion?” You’ve got no one to talk to, and once upon a time you had no Smartphone, iPad or other electronic gizmos to help kill time. Reading was about all you could do, but a book and a bowl of pasta can be an unfortunate combination.

Leave it to the Koreans to come up with an answer. For about the past four years, a “fad” has been growing – “Mukbang”. Translated, it means something like “food porn.” Someone (in most of the samples shown, a girl) will sit down and cook themself a whopper of a meal in front of a web cam, and then eat it. Users log in to follow the action, “sharing” in the meal. Some of the “hosts” have become minor celebrities, and they’re referred to as (be adult now, people…..) “Broadcast Jockeys”, nowadays shortened to “BJ’s.”

No kidding – this is all for real. No longer need you eat alone. Pile up your plate with kimchi, bulgogi, and cuttlefish, sit down in front of your computer, and *PRESTO*! You’ve got company for your meal!

Of course, you don’t get something for nothing. Some sites ask for donations, others are subscription based. After all, someone has to pay for all that food, right? It’s not like anyone would eat unless they get paid for it, eh?

The video with it all is   here  . And I have to say that I can vouch for both the food market location shot being filmed where they say it was, and also that at least one other eating scene (showing a woman by a bulgogi brazier) looks very legit, as they are using ordinary scissors to cut the meat with – something unique to Korea. (Scissors are required because the cut of beef they use for bulgogi appears to be the calceatus lorum, or “shoe leather” part of the beeve.)

Bon apetit!

Bill (Not IB)


Friday, February 20th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 70 Comments

Recently, Rudy Giuliani got himself into incredibly hot water by suggesting that Barack Obama doesn’t really like America, a comment Giuliani has since refused to back away from.  As I can’t see inside anyone’s heart, I won’t go along with Giuliani there but I do think this.  Whether through malice, incompetence or both, the Obama Administration and everyone in it has gravely harmed the United States of America to such an extent that it may literally take generations to repair the damage.

A few days ago, everybody was pointing and laughing at State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf for her suggestion on what needs to be done in order to fight the Islamic State:

We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians. They’re in this fight with us. But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war.

Marie?  We actually did kill out way out of that little dust-up with the Japanese in the Forties.  Just sayin’, babe.

We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether…

We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people…

Right.  The Islamic State is attracting members because Middle Eastern Starbucks aren’t hiring.  This seems to be the Administration line since the First Incompetent believes pretty much the same thing.

In the face of this challenge, we must stand united internationally and here at home. We know that military force alone cannot solve this problem. Nor can we simply take out terrorists who kill innocent civilians. We also have to confront the violent extremists — the propagandists, recruiters and enablers — who may not directly engage in terrorist acts themselves, but who radicalize, recruit and incite others to do so.

This week, we’ll take an important step forward as governments, civil society groups and community leaders from more than 60 nations gather in Washington for a global summit on countering violent extremism. Our focus will be on empowering local communities.

We know from experience that the best way to protect people, especially young people, from falling into the grip of violent extremists is the support of their family, friends, teachers and faith leaders. At this week’s summit, community leaders from Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Boston will highlight innovative partnerships in their cities that are helping empower communities to protect their loved ones from extremist ideologies.

More broadly, groups like al Qaeda and ISIL exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives. The world has to offer today’s youth something better.

Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.

Ah, the old “root causes” garbage.  Haven’t seen that one around in a while.  And nothing says, “We don’t have the slightest idea what we’re doing” better than…whatever the hell this crap is.

But what happens when Islamic countries take direct steps against the Islamic State?  This does.

The Obama administration was given multiple chances Wednesday to endorse a longtime ally’s airstrikes on America’s biggest enemy at the moment, the so-called Islamic State. Over and over again, Obama’s aides declined to back Egypt’s military operation against ISIS. It’s another sign of the growing strain between the United States and Egypt, once one of its closest friends in the Middle East.

This shouldn’t be a complete surprise; Cairo, after all, didn’t tell Washington about its strikes on the ISIS hotbed of Derna, Libya. Still, Wednesday’s disconnect was jarring. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest passed on a reporter’s question about an endorsement of Egypt’s growing campaign against ISIS. So did State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

“We are neither condemning nor condoning” the Egyptian strikes, is all one U.S. official would tell The Daily Beast.

In other words, these once-close nations are now fighting separate campaigns against their mutual foe. And that could prove to be very good news for ISIS. The rift between U.S. and the region’s most populous country portends of another division that ISIS could exploit, this time for its expansion into northern Africa and the broader Middle East.

In the last 18 months, tensions between Cairo and Washington have only mounted. The U.S. has suspended some weapons systems sales, like F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 Abrams tanks, and even spare parts for helicopters, in part because of how Sissi ascended to power. Meanwhile, Egypt has suppressed freedoms and made arms deals with China and France and hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin last week.

Sissi’s attack on Libya and his push to expand Egyptian relations beyond the U.S. has the backing of his population and the military. Egyptians demanded a reaction to the killing of its fellow citizens. And the strained relationship between the U.S. and Egypt is not lost on the public. The most common question Egyptians politicians, journalists and citizens alike have asked as their nation faced a mounting ISIS threat has been: “Where is the United States?”

And that’s just foreign policy.  Don’t get me started on all Obama’s executive orders because the Congress would not bow to the imperial will or the way the Affordable Care Act was stuffed down the throats of the American people and how Obama has been personally modifying it ever since as the political need arose.

Washington turned down an American throne.  Interesting that Barack Obama didn’t.


Friday, February 20th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

My previous post dealt largely with how much time folks are willing to put into their faith. That brought a fair amount of discussion, and it raised an issue I think is worthy of further discussion.

More than a few commenters lamented their lack of time. I do understand this; in my younger days, it was not uncommon to work several 100+ hour weeks in a row when a project was falling behind schedule. That left time for one meal a day, a quick shower, and a few hours of sleep. Getting to banks, the grocery store, the post office, or church were literally impossible – I’d be at the factory from 6:00AM to 8:00PM. And I’ve been a parent; I know how the schedule of school, work and home can become overwhelming.

Nonetheless, it seems to me that something has happened to us as a society since about the end of the 1970′s. We’ve lost track of time.

Arriving at a party plus or minus 30 minutes was typical. When you took some photos, it then took a few days to have them processed and get the prints back. Waits of 25-35 minutes between ordering your meal at a restaurant and the arrival of the entree were considered normal. Just the very idea of “waiting” was okay – it wasn’t a big deal. Time was divided into blocks of 30 minutes; it was rare to have to narrow things down to 15 minutes. To put it simply – life was slower, more relaxed, and less clock-driven.

Now, with computers, cell phones, iPads, and their ilk, we have instantaneous communication*. And we time things in MINUTES. Not half-hours, quarter-hours – our days seem to get eaten up as fast as we can live them, with nary a spare few moments to catch our breath.

Is it just me? Am I imagining that the pace of life has increased; that we have to get out answers to email in a matter of hours; that text messages must be replied to almost instantaneously; that voice mail must get a response before the day is out?

I truly feel that we’re overdoing it; that we’re expecting too much of one another. There are darned few things that can’t be put off for a few hours, or even a few days. And if something doesn’t take place within the time frame we *think* it should, will the world collapse? Will we lose our job, be thrown out of our home, and tossed into jail for vagrancy?

Your thoughts and observations are solicited. I believe this is a very significant issue, and one which is intimately connected to our lives as faithful Christians.

Discuss, boys and girls.

* – I HIGHLY recommend that everyone read this short story by Ray Bradbury:The Murderer

also available as an episode of Ray Bradbury Theater on YouTube

Bradbury nailed it.

Bill (not IB)


Thursday, February 19th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 43 Comments

I should have known what I’d find when I investigated this item from yesterday’s “Dallas Morning News”, but given the wide range of ecclesiastical frivolity in all sorts of churches, one can’t make blind assumptions.

In Allen a Reverend is driven to help on Ash Wednesday

Did you want to participate in Ash Wednesday services? Were you pressed for time, unable to give more than a few moments of your precious day (otherwise dedicated to eight hours in the office discussing last night’s sitcoms with your co-workers, getting your daughter to soccer practice, and then assisting at the ACLU monthly fundraiser)? Did the idea of having your faith take valuable minutes away from your day-to-day activities cause you to shake and tremble in frustration?

Fortunately, the Episcopal Church of the Savior in Allen, Texas, has you covered. No need to go to those time-consuming worship services, where you sit for perhaps 30 or 45 minutes as part of a group of commonplace robots. No, thanks to the wonders of time-management studies and efficiency experts, there’s a better way. You can be a part of Ash Wednesday with a minimum of fuss, and all from within the comfort of your car. Yes, “Ashes to Go” lets you just drive in, get a quick smear of soot on your forehead, and for the rest of the day you can feel every bit as righteous about yourself as those fools who actually took time from their busy schedules and attended worship.

I can understand wanting to make the church accessible. But – we are called to approach our Lord on his terms, not ours. Convenience has nothing to do with attending worship – it’s all about making ourselves accessible to God, not the other way around. Events like this one reinforce the idea that God is “on call” when we want him, and that he’s there to do our bidding.

Given the way that TEC has voted on God’s opinion in the last few decades, this is a natural outgrowth of revisionist doctrine. But it still sticks in my craw big-time.

Bill (not IB)


Thursday, February 19th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 41 Comments

First, government urges.  Then it mandates:

California lawmakers on Tuesday urged the archbishop of San Francisco to remove from a teachers’ handbook morality clauses they say are discriminatory and divisive.

The lawmakers said in a letter to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone that the clauses “foment a discriminatory environment” and send “an alarming message of intolerance to youth.”

Cordileone earlier this month presented teachers at the archdiocese’s four high schools with a statement that says Catholic school employees are expected to conduct their public lives in a way that doesn’t undermine or deny the church’s doctrine.

The statement outlines the church’s teaching that using contraception is a sin and that sex outside of marriage, whether it is in the form of adultery, masturbation, pornography or gay sex, is “gravely evil.”

The letter, written by Democratic Assemblymen Phil Ting of San Francisco and Kevin Mullin of San Mateo, was signed by every lawmaker representing the communities served by the four Catholic high schools in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties.

A group of parents and students from the Catholic high schools plan to hold a candlelight vigil outside St. Mary’s Cathedral in support of teachers Wednesday, which is Ash Wednesday, a holy day that starts the Lenten season in the Roman Catholic church. 

“We call on the Archbishop to reconsider his proposal, stop his attack on our LGBTQ family members and friends, and instead, affirm the fundamental Catholic values of love, respect and justice,” vigil organizers said.


Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Old broad says stupid crap:

What’s your relationship with Catholicism at this point?

[Madonna]: Catholicism feels like my alma mater. It’s the school I used to go to, and I can go back any time I want and take whatever I want from it

Attention Episcopal Organization.  Potential convert here.

because I suffered all the oppression, and all the abuse

Yeah, your junior-year auto-da-fé must have been a real bitch.

and also enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance,

See what I mean, TEO?

the drama and the confusion and the hypocrisy and the craziness. I feel like I can say whatever I want and do whatever I want. I’ve been ex-communicated by the Catholic Church a few times.

Why?  Because the first couple excommunications didn’t take?  Bag of freaking hammers, ladies and gentlemen.  I don’t know how you Catholics are reacting to all this but I really hope you’re joining me in laughing so hard that it literally hurts.

But I also feel like this new pope is kind of groovy, and I think we might be able to get together and have a chat about sex.

Sure you can, old-timer.  Francis will get right on that.


Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 116 Comments

As most of you know by now, this recently happened:

The Islamic State terror group released a video on Sunday showing the Islamic jihadis beheading 21 Egyptian Christians who were previously kidnapped in Libya.

The Egyptian Copts, who were dressed in prisoner-like orange jump suits, were lined up along a beach and abruptly beheaded in the graphic five-minute video.

The IS was quite explicit about why they did it.

The Islamic State’s Al Hayat Media, the group that has published the previous beheading videos in the Middle East, produced the Libya video titled, “A Message Signed With Blood To The Nation Of The Cross.”

Pope Francis also knew why.

At the end of his prepared speech, the Pope switched to his native language and continued off the cuff in Spanish, turning to the events in Libya, and said that the witness of these brother Christians should move all Christian communions to draw closer to one another.

“Today I read about the execution of those twenty-one or twenty-two Coptic Christians,” the Pope said. “Their only words were: ‘Jesus, help me!’”

“They were killed simply because they were Christians,” he said.

Francis made reference to the speech that Chalmers had given, in which he spoke of what is happening in the land of Jesus. “The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a witness that cries out to be heard,” the Pope said.

“It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants,” the Pope continued. “They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ.”

It was only our idiot president who wouldn’t admit the obvious.

On Sunday night, White House press secretary Josh Earnest issued a statement condemning the actions of Islamic State Militants after they released a video of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians.

The statement from the White House described the victims as “innocents” and “citizens,” but made no mention of the victims’ faith.

“The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists,” the statement read, offering condolence to the victims families.

Earnest condemned the actions as a “despicable and cowardly murder” and a “heinous act.”

“ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds,” he reminded the world. “It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity.”

What I find fascinating is that some Muslim countries are awakening to the danger the Islamic State poses not only to them but to the Islamic religion itself.  Jordan, for one.

After the IS burned its Jordanian pilot captive alive, Amman responded by immediately executing two captives it had considered swapping for its pilot, one of them a woman, and initiating a series of air strikes on IS positions. The Egyptians hit IS’s Libyan positions just as hard.

It sure is nifty living in a country whose foreign policy is lamer than Jordan’s or Egypt’s.  I can’t remember a time when my contempt for an American president was higher than it is right now.  Richard Nixon included.


Sunday, February 15th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 48 Comments

Sewanee University recently awarded N.T. Wright, the former Bishop of Durham, an honorary degree and Paul Holloway, Professor of the New Testament at Sewanee’s School of Theology, is pissed off about it:

I am writing to express dismay at Sewanee’s recent awarding of an honorary degree in Theology to Tom Wright, former bishop of Durham and now professor of New Testament at St. Andrews University in Scotland. I am the current professor of New Testament at the School of Theology at Sewanee, and Wright’s receiving an honorary degree during my tenure is a professional embarrassment.

Why is that, Paul?  Well, there’s the Unforgivable Sin.

Some of the readers of this letter will know Wright as an outspoken opponent of LGBT rights and a vociferous critic of the Episcopal Church for its progressive stance. I find Wright’s position on these matters offensive and harmful. It is an affront to the School of Theology in general and to its LGBT community and its allies in particular.

But that’s not what really has Professor Holloway’s panties in a bunch (although it really is).  According to Holls, Tom Wright is, get this, a bad scholar.

But that is not my complaint here. My complaint is that Sewanee has recognized Wright as a scholar in my discipline, when in fact he is little more than a book-a-year apologist. Wright comes to the evidence not with honest questions but with ideologically generated answers that he seeks to defend. I know of no critical scholar in the field who trusts his work. He contradicts what I stand for professionally as well as the kind of hard-won intellectual integrity I hope to instill in my students. I feel like the professor of biology who has had to sit by and watch a Biblical creationist receive an honorary degree in science.

Long-time readers of this site already know what all that crap means but for the benefit of anyone new here, let me bottom-line it for you.  Tom Wright actually has the audacity to publish Scriptural opinions that not only disagree with but completely contradict my own.  And the…shudder…general public actually buys his books.

Yet again, a reading from the Prophet Søren:

“The matter is quite simple. The bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”    


Saturday, February 14th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Today’s a twofer.  First up, this one goes out to all you Sound of Music fans:

A Turkish man who posted images to Facebook showing Adolf Hitler along with statements calling for the killing of Jews did not carry out anti-Semitic acts, because the postings in question were legitimate critiques of Israel, according to Phillip Christl, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Linz, Austria.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ibrahim B. wrote on Facebook in December, attributing a quote to the infamous Austrian-born Nazi leader, “I could have annihilated all the Jews in the world, but I left some of them alive so you will know why I was killing them.” In another message, Austrian media reports that Ibrahim called for “Allah” to “annihilate the Jewish State” and its people.

The prosecutor’s office spokesman said that Ibrahim was simply expressing his “displeasure toward Israel,” Oberoesterreichische Nachrichten reports. Christl added, “the law prohibits and punishes the glorification of the National socialist (NAZI) movement, but the suspect’s statements are not a glorification of Hitler.”

In other news, senile actress writes particularly stupid crap.

Her bizarre New Age views on topics such as reincarnation and UFOs have often left the public baffled.

Now Shirley MacLaine has provoked widespread fury by claiming the victims of the Holocaust may have brought their fate upon themselves.

The veteran Hollywood actress suggests the six million Jews and millions of others systematically murdered in Hitler’s death camps in the 1940s were ‘balancing their karma’ for crimes committed in past lives.

She also suggests that cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking may have subconsciously given himself his debilitating motor neurone disease.


Friday, February 13th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Because the US is not arming the Peshmerga.  Which, by the way, would make a REALLY cool nickname for an American professional sports team.


Friday, February 13th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 31 Comments

Mark Judge dreams big dreams:

Memo to Hollywood: if you want to replicate the blockbuster success of American Sniper, make a film about Lepanto.

The Battle of Lepanto was fought on October 7, 1571, in the Gulf of Lepanto south of Greece. It was a seminal victory of the Western world turning back Islamic imperialism, which in the 16th century had been spreading west for one hundred years, since the time of Mohammed.

It would make a ton of money.  But I think that Mark is smart enough to know that there is a five-word reason why a Lepanto movie will never see the light of day.  Roman Catholics win.  Muslims lose.

I’ll just be blunt about it: Lepanto would be a film about Islamic imperialism and the attempt by the Christian West to turn it back. It would depict Muslims — not all Muslims, but more than a few — as violent hegemonic oppressors intent on taking over the world.

Yeah, Mark, considering what Hollywood just did to Noah, here’s that pitch meeting.

“Okay, we LOVE the script.  Our tech people tell us that CGI-ing the sea battle itself will be a piece of cake so we’d LOVE to take this project on.  There are just a couple of very MINOR changes we’d like to make.

“What kinds of changes?

“Well, for a start, is it absolutely NECESSARY that the opposing fleet be Muslim?”

“Because…that’s what they…were?”

“I’ll take your word for it but remember, we’ve got foreign markets to consider.  What Muslim country will show this movie?

“What self-respecting Turk is going to pay good money to watch his own fleet getting blown out of the water?  No, we’ve got to lose the Muslim angle.  How about we make the other fleet Protestants?”

“Because Protestantism was barely 50 years old at the time of the battle and didn’t have a fleet.  Why would you even suggest such an absurd…”

“Artistic license.  What say we move the whole thing to land then?  Protestants v. Catholics.”

“Then it wouldn’t be a sea battle, would it?”

Will you work with me here?!!  How about this?  The enemy fleet is filled with Vikings.”

“Great!! Except for the fact that the Viking Era ended roughly 500 years before this battle took place.  Tell you what.  Thanks for your time and we’ll get back to you.”


Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Stop paying attention to food studies:

Eating a whole egg, yolks and all, has gotten a bad reputation over the years, but new dietary guidelines may send egg white-only omelets by the wayside. The recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which are now under review, are expected to downplay the importance of lowering cholesterol intake.

The most recent set of guidelines in 2010 recommended consuming less than 300 milligrams per day of dietary cholesterol, which is about the amount in one egg.

In the coming weeks, the committee is expected to release the report for use by the Agriculture and Health and Human Services Departments to write the final version of the 2015 dietary guidelines, due by the end of this year.

For decades, the government has warned against diets high in cholesterol. But now many nutritionists believe that cholesterol intake may not significantly impact cholesterol blood levels or increase the risk of heart disease in healthy adults, according to the Washington Post.

In December, the advisory panel said in its preliminary recommendations that cholesterol is no longer “considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.” That would be a change from previous guidelines, which said Americans eat too much cholesterol. This follows increasing medical research showing how much cholesterol is in your bloodstream is more complicated than once thought, and depends more on the kinds of fats that you eat. Medical groups have moved away from specific targets for cholesterol in the diet in recent years.

And stock up on the liverwurst.


Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 26 Comments

Remember back when the Episcopal Organization insisted that it merely wanted to allow homosexuals to marry “bless life-long, committed same-sex relationships,” that it was most emphatically not changing the definition of Holy Matrimony, which it still considered to be between a man and a woman, just like every other Christian church, and how


you even begin to suggest that we’re changing the definition of marriage or anything as outrageous as that?  Yeah, me neither:

The A050 Task Force on the Study of Marriage is recommending that the 2015 meeting of General Convention authorize Episcopal Church clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages.

The task force proposes the change in its just-released Blue Book report by way of a resolution (numbered A036) that would revise Canon I.18 titled “Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony.”

The revision removes, among many edits, the language of I.18.2(b) that requires couples to “understand that Holy Matrimony is a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman.” Removing that and other gender-specific language from the canon, the report says, addresses the mandate in the group’s enabling resolution that it “address the pastoral need for priests to officiate at a civil marriage of a same-sex couple in states that authorize such.”

Section 3 of Canon 18 would be rewritten to, in part, remove the requirement that the couple sign a declaration stating they “solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.”

The revision would recast the requirement in the canon’s first section that clergy conform to both “the laws of the state” and “the laws of this Church” about marriage. The rewritten portion of that section would require that clergy conform to “the laws of the State governing the creation of the civil status of marriage, and also to these canons concerning the solemnization of marriage.”

Canon I.18 contains the majority of the rules in the church’s canons about clergy officiating at marriage. Canon I.19 governs the “preservation of marriage, dissolution of marriage, and remarriage” and as such refers to “husband” and “wife” in its third section. The Book of Common Prayer, which Article X of the church’s constitution authorizes, refers to marriage on page 422 as Christian marriage being “a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God.” It uses gender-specific language throughout “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage,” “The Blessing of a Civil Marriage” and “An Order for Marriage” rites, as well as in its “Additional Directions” section.

The task force says in its report that its revision of Canon I.18 makes the canon “focused on the actual vows made in The Book of Common Prayer marriage rite, rather than on the purposes of marriage in general,” which it adds are stated “in literally creedal form.”

The clergy’s discretion to decline to solemnize any marriage is preserved and extended to include the choice to decline offering a blessing on a marriage, the task force said.

For now, anyway.


Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Congratulations, Islam.  The Islamic State has managed to turn the shahada, your most basic statement of the Islamic religion, into a new swastika:

I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears. If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness. I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God.

I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else…. + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall. I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it.

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Read the whole thing.  And if you haven’t teared up by the end of it, I don’t want to alarm you or anything but your soul is already dead.

The Jordanians and the Kurdish Peshmerga, among others, are fighting for the honor of Islam with little or no help from the United States.  But Barack Obama is the this country’s current president so, unfortunately, that shouldn’t surprise anyone.


Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Via David Fischler comes word that, starting in March, some World Council Of Churches Nobody Goes To Any More types will spend the first of each month commanding the tide to stay out or something:

The Fast for the Climate campaign is an interfaith initiative bringing people of different faiths to fast, as a spiritual exercise, in solidarity with the victims of climate change. People are invited to fast the 1st of each month. The WCC is one of the co-sponsors of this initiative.

I was a “victim of climate change.”  I don’t like to talk about it because it happened fairly recently and the emotional wounds are still raw.  But…I was walking home from the market, it started to rain, I didn’t have an umbrella and I got…really wet.  I’m sorry but I can’t say any more.   Excuse me.

In a comment, the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said, “the WCC 10th Assembly has recently stressed the urgency of climate crisis in a Minute on Climate Justice. The interfaith fast for climate justice is one concrete way churches and other religious institutions have expressed their concern about the situation and the negotiations at COP 19 in Warsaw.”

For I was hungry and you gave me no food.”

“That’s a damned lie.  Remember that time that you told me how hungry you were and I gave you a picture of a T-bone steak?”

The fasting can be seen as a component of the pilgrimage of justice and peace, called by the WCC Assembly message.

Whatever.  There’s a web site here if you’re interested.

Support The MCJ