Anglican Samizdat

March 31, 2010

More Anglican moaning about funding cuts to Kairos

Filed under: Anglican — David @ 2:07 pm
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The editor of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa’s paper (page 5), Art Babych reckons that government cuts to Kairos were retribution for Kairos’s anti-Israel bias:

But this isn’t about CIDA’s priorities, is it? The denial of 35 years of government funding for KAIROS, coupled with the recent firings amid a politically charged atmosphere at Rights and Democracy over the funding of some groups critical of Israel, suggest that in government quarters, criticism of Israel is the new anti-Semitism. And that should send a shudder through all who value free speech, not only those groups who criticize Israel.

I wouldn’t be particularly surprised if Art is correct; I wouldn’t be particularly upset, either. In fact I’d be rather pleased.

Whatever the reason, though, this is in no way a curtailing of free speech. By not giving taxpayer money to Kairos, the government is not preventing Kairos from saying whatever it wants; it is just not being paid to say it by you and me.

I wonder if Babych’s devotion to free speech would extend to allowing Ann Coulter to speak in his city?

For a Lent study, a Quebec Anglican Church invites imam to speak about Islam

Just what every Anglican needs to meditate on during Lent: the basics of Islam:

Also, on three Tuesday evenings at 7:30, beginning Feb. 23, we welcome Dr. Ahmad Shafaat, the imam of the local mosque, who will teach us some basics about Islam. He will bring several members of his congregation to join us in conversation. Take the time for what interests you; everyone is welcome.

The series was called, “Understanding Islam” and:

Dr. Shafaat’s lectures dealt with the life of the prophet, the roots of Islam, and the prayer recited by the faithful five times daily. It begins, “In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, Master of the Day of Recompense.” Everything we have comes from God, Dr. Shafaat said, and our relationship to Creation is based on respect. The nature of God is indescribable but unmistakable, a transcendental reality.

As Anglicans we do need to remember, particularly during Lent, that Jesus died on the cross to help us understand Islam better.

March 30, 2010

Where are fish more important than babies?

Filed under: Abortion — David @ 6:02 pm
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In the UK. A childhood friend of mine used to buy goldfish and feed them to his pet snakes. Couldn’t do that now:

Buying a goldfish at a pet shop used to be an innocent childhood pleasure.

But today an elderly pet shop owner told how she was ‘entrapped’ into selling a goldfish to a 14-year-old schoolboy, then warned she could face jail.

She had breached a law introduced in 2006 which bans selling live fish to anyone under 16.

After a prosecution estimated to have cost taxpayers £20,0000, Joan Higgins, 66, a great-grandmother who has never been in trouble before, has been forced to wear a tag on her ankle like common criminal and given a seven-week curfew.

But you can do this:

More abortions are carried out in Britain than any other country in Europe, research has shown.

Half of all pregnancies among girls under 18 in Britain end in abortion.

The figures, collated by a European pressure group, showed that the 219,336 abortions carried out in England, Wales and Scotland in 2007 topped the 209,699 in France to put Britain at the top of the abortion count for the first time.

No need to worry, though, as long as we keep the goldfish safe.

Peter Tatchell defends Christian’s right to criticise homosexuality

Filed under: homosexuality — David @ 5:40 pm
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The law in the UK seems to have abandoned common sense:

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has defended a Christian street preacher fined £1,000 for saying that homosexuality is a sin.

Baptist Shawn Holes was taken from a busy shopping street in a police van and locked in a cell for the night.

He appeared in court the next day charged with ‘uttering homophobic remarks’ in a breach of the peace that prosecutors said was ‘aggravated by religious prejudice’.

Last night Mr Tatchell attacked the fine as ‘heavy-handed’ and ‘totally disproportionate’.

He said: ‘The price of freedom of speech is that we sometimes have to put up with opinions that are objectionable and offensive.

‘Just as people should have the right to criticise religion, people of faith should have the right to criticise homosexuality. Only incitements to violence should be illegal.’

Mr Holes, an American preacher who was travelling around Britain with a dozen colleagues, was arrested in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, on March 18.

After discussing general Christian topics, the married father-of-two, a former wedding photographer, was fielding questions from the crowd.

When asked about his views on gays, Mr Holes, 47, from Lake Placid in New York State, said he told questioners: ‘Homosexuals deserve the wrath of God – and so do all other sinners – and they are going to a place called Hell.’

A spokesman for the Crown Office – the Scottish prosecution service – said: ‘We take all crimes of prejudice extremely seriously.’

When Peter Tatchell’s view of a Christian repeating what the Bible says about homosexuality is more tolerant than that of the police, it seems fairly obvious that something has gone badly wrong with British justice.

The Scottish prosecution service takes all crimes of prejudice extremely seriously except its own.

Vision 2019: the Anglican Church of Canada is in serious decline

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David @ 3:42 pm
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At least someone in the ACoC has noticed it is in serious decline:

“The church of Christ in every age, beset by change but Spirit led, must claim and test its heritage and keep on rising from the dead.”  (“The Church of Christ in Every Age, #584, Common Praise)

“Beset by change but Spirit led”—this description of the church could apply to any century and certainly applies today. Media reports confirm what our best demographics tell us, that the Anglican Church of Canada is in serious decline in terms of numbers and influence. It is time to claim our heritage and be open to the leading of the Spirit.

If we reclaim our vocations—as evangelists, storytellers, caregivers, advocates for peace and justice, and stewards of creation—the church can and will find new ways to express service to God and neighbour.

This message is begging for a little translation. When the ACoC says open to the leading of the Spirit, it is not referring to God the Holy Spirit, third member of the Trinity. It is referring to the institutional zeitgeist, a junior demon subject to strict orders from the National Zeitgeist, the senior demon.

In addition, since, by and large, the ACoC no longer believes in the innate sinfulness of man, that he deserves God’s judgement and without redemption will end up in hell,  it isn’t aware that there is anything he needs saving from other than global warming. So when evangelism is mentioned the good news that is the subject of the evangelism is nothing more than nice liturgy, nice preaching and nice stories – and who, other than the usual coterie of effete clergy, really cares about that.

As the title says, the Anglican Church of Canada is in serious decline.

What is the Anglican Church of Canada all about?

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David @ 3:05 pm
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The April edition of the Anglican Journal provides the clue. Here is a selection of headlines:

Falling in love with Mother Earth
The green wave is sweeping across many Anglican parishes in Canada.

Eco-spirit strong in New Westminster
Respond to one of the most urgent issues of our time: care for the earth. (What the hell is an “eco-spirit”?)

Begin with a simple cup of joe
If congregations want to take action on environmental and climate change issues, they can begin with a simple cup of joe.

You can go green at home, too!
Even if you can’t go off the power grid, you can buy your electricity from Bullfrog Power, which sources electricity from wind and hydro-electric facilities.

Small steps
Look to Greening Sacred Spaces

There you have it: The Anglican Church is getting into the eco-spirit of things by loving Mother Earth while drinking fair-trade coffee heated with Bullfrog Power all in a lush verdant sanctuary. I think I’m turning green; pass the sick-bag.

March 29, 2010

A Muslim student doesn’t want ‘in the year of our Lord’ on his diploma

Filed under: Christianity,Islam — David @ 8:23 pm
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And he has convinced a cadre of mindless dupes to go along with him:

A group of students at Trinity University is lobbying trustees to drop a reference to “Our Lord” on their diplomas, arguing it does not respect the diversity of religions on campus.

“A diploma is a very personal item, and people want to proudly display it in their offices and homes,” said Sidra Qureshi, president of Trinity Diversity Connection. “By having the phrase ‘In the Year of Our Lord,’ it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.”

Qureshi, who is Muslim, has led the charge to tweak the wording, winning support from student government and a campus commencement committee. Trustees are expected to consider the students’ request at a May board meeting.

Other students and President Dennis Ahlburg have defended the wording, arguing that references to the school’s Presbyterian roots are appropriate and unobtrusive.

Founded by Presbyterians in 1869, Trinity has been governed by an independent board of trustees since 1969 but maintains a “covenant relationship” with the church.

“Any cultural reference, even if it is religious, our first instinct should not be to remove it, but to accept it and tolerate it,” said Brendan McNamara, president of the College Republicans.

McNamara pointed out that Trinity displays other signs of its Christian heritage, including a chapel on campus, a chaplain, Christmas vespers and a Bible etching on the Trinity seal.

Why, I wonder, did a Muslim student attend a college with such overt Christian symbolism in evidence if he is too fastidious to have “in the year of our Lord” on his diploma?

This could not possibly be an attempt to subvert Christianity in the interests of promoting Islam could it? Surely not.

March 28, 2010

Nuns are not what they used to be

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David @ 11:14 pm
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I have a friend who used to be an Anglican Nun; she is a bit of a stickler for correct doctrine.

In contrast, here is a creed written by a current Anglican Church of Canada Nun:

A Creed for the Twenty-First Century
I believe in God, I guess
well no. I am pretty sure.
I do believe in God.
I don’t know
who God is
or
what God is
or
how God is
but
I believe in God.
I guess.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I guess.
well, I believe in Jesus,
God-born man,
my brother, friend and guide.
Yes, I believe in Jesus.
But as for Christ
anointed one
Messiah
Savior
sacrifice
I do, I guess, believe in Christ,
But wonder
How? and why? and what?
So I believe in Jesus Christ.
I guess.
Do I believe in Holy Spirit?
well I guess.
For something
part of me yet not,
inborn yet not of me
Something makes me yearn
and search and open
something quite
against my will,
and that, perhaps, is Holy Spirit.
So I believe in Holy Spirit.
I guess.

Sr. Sue Elwyn, SSJD

I wonder how quickly the early church would have spread if this had been its creed. Not very. I guess.

Incisive satire or merely an offensive cartoon?

Filed under: Politics,Pro-life — David @ 8:25 pm
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A pro-life blogger wonders if this goes too far.

This blogger wonders if it goes far enough.

Richard Dawkins spouts empty rhetoric at the Catholic Church

Filed under: Richard Dawkins — David @ 4:20 pm
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In the Washington Post

No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice – the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution – while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.

This is just a snippet from the article, whose author is obviously the antithesis of the sober, detached scientist that Dawkins has erected as a front to conceal a cantankerous, illogical old theophobe.

The article uses the word “should” eleven times which is eleven times too many, since to claim something should happen, presupposes a moral standard by which it can be measured. When Dawkins rejected God, he renounced belief in objective moral standards and abrogated the right to pontificate on them.

Damian Thompson’s opinion of the article is here.

March 27, 2010

Something else for Earth Hour

Filed under: Science — David @ 9:17 pm
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The Orbo bunch are still at it: if they are to be believed, they have produced a motor that returns more energy than it consumes, which means – free energy. The problem is, it violates the first law of thermodynamics and even Richard Dawkins knows that is impossible.

My tribute to earth hour

Filed under: Global Warming — David @ 7:45 pm
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Suffer the little children to come unto me

Filed under: Roman Catholic child abuse — David @ 7:21 pm
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In Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov one of the brothers, an atheist, Ivan– a 19C Russian Christopher Hitchens – argues with Alyosha, a Christian on the meaning of suffering. He asks Alyosha whether mankind’s redemption would be worth torturing to death one innocent child:

Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature — that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance — and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.”

“No, I wouldn’t consent,” said Alyosha softly.

Even though Dostoevsky was a Christian, I have always found the arguments he places in Ivan’s mouth convincing – though they present their own set of problems. Dostoyevsky’s own answer – told through Ivan – comes in the next section, the Grand Inquisitor, where Christ’s reply to the Inquisitor was not in words, but a kiss on the lips. Christ would only answer by demonstrating that he loved the Inquisitor. It didn’t change the Inquisitor’s thinking: “The kiss glows in his heart, but the old man adheres to his idea.”

Christ, of course, was innocent in that he was sinless, and he was tortured to death for the redemption of mankind – a fate that was not thrust upon him: he chose it.

Innocent children do suffer, yet, however great the payoff, we would all be with Alyosha: we would not consent.

And all this is what makes the present scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church so horrifying: through repeated cover-ups and the moving around of pederast priests, children were sacrificed, not to save mankind, but to save the reputation of the Roman Church and the miserable skins of abusive priests. To use the excuse that child abuse has been rife in every organisation is simply not good enough:

If the Church suffers more — in the innocent victims, in the faith shaken, in the credibility of her preaching — than other institutions, that too relates to her mission. Sexual abuse of the young is prevalent in staggering numbers in every dark corner of society; yet only very few cases are brought to light. If the Church should be the place where more cases are exposed rather than fewer, that is for the good, for there is the possibility of grace and healing. Consequently, if the Church as a whole feels the pain of shame and disgrace, that can be an expiatory suffering for a sexually dissolute and depraved age. Expiatory suffering is, amongst other salvific things, what the Church exists for.

“In the past decade, nearly every pillar institution in American society — whether it’s General Motors, Congress, Wall Street, Major League Baseball, the Catholic Church or the mainstream media — has revealed itself to be corrupt, incompetent or both.”

The Roman church as the body of Christ has a higher standard set for it than General Motors, yet it has behaved in ways that would shame the most secular organisation. The Roman church as a human institution should be subject to the rules a civilised society applies to other human institutions: priests who engaged in criminal activity should be prosecuted. So should those who tried to cover up the criminal activity. And anyone who – even for a moment – placed the reputation of the church above the abuse of a child should be made to find another job.

March 26, 2010

Just what Obama needs: Fidel Castro applauding the US health-care reform bill

Filed under: Politics — David @ 11:20 pm
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From here:

HAVANA (AP) — It perhaps was not the endorsement President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for.

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform “a miracle” and a major victory for Obama’s presidency, but couldn’t help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago.

Can’t think why the US has waited so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago:

Add an Image

Word is getting out about the disastrous state of Cuban health care.

During that cold snap in mid-January, Cuban dissidents snuck out, via internet, a report claiming that over forty patients had somehow frozen to death in Cuba’s Mazorra mental hospital  — not far from the one featured in Michael Moore’s paean to Cuban health care, Sicko.  Cuba’s Stalinist regime, along with the media courtesans to whom it grants press bureaus and “journalist visas,” were utterly mum on the matter, however. It took three days — as the word spread through the mostly Spanish-language web –but finally the Stalinist regime issued a terse and exculpatory press-release on the matter.

But the story did not go away. Just last week, pictures of some of the dead were snuck out of Cuba. They proved that hypothermia alone was not the cause of death, any more than it was the cause of the death for the prisoners at Dachau or Buchenwald. Horrific malnutrition and savage beatings were plain to see for anyone genuinely interested in the causes.

Needless to add, such interested parties do not include Castro’s favored members of the press. True to form, they dutifully connived with the regime, as they have for half a century, to hide the catalog of Castroite horrors.

But don’t take my word for it. Apparently tormented by their consciences, two Spanish journalists have just released mea-culpa- books (sadly available only in Spanish) about this collusion. “Self-censorship is a very common practice,” one writes. “No journalist on the island can write the truth of what happens there.”  Whatever their faults, at least these Spanish journalists finally came clean. When will Barbara Walters, Dan Rather, Andrea Mitchell, Ted Turner, Herbert Matthews and the rest of the bunch come clean? Don’t hold your breath.

The Cuban health stories ignored or buried by the MSM would require an entire 24-hour network broadcasting for five decades to disclose. Senor Marzo Fernandez, an economist who, until defecting in 1996, served as Secretary General of Castro’s Ministry of Nutrition gets us started. “The average height of Cubans has decreased by 8 centimeters in the past 25 years,” he reported on Miami television. “For the first time in Cuban history, thousands of Macrocepahlic children (abnormally large heads in proportion to their bodies) due to protein (primarily milk) deficiencies have been found in the eastern provinces.” This in a country that prior to the glorious revolution enjoyed a lower infant-mortality rate and more doctors and dentists per-capita than half of European countries, plus a larger middle class than Switzerland.

March 25, 2010

The ideology of death has a problem with…. Death

Filed under: Terrorism — David @ 5:59 pm
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Bin Laden complains over the possibility that Khalid Sheik Mohammed might be executed:

CAIRO-Osama bin Laden threatened in a new message released Thursday to kill any Americans Al Qaeda captures if the U.S. executes the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks or other Al Qaeda suspects.

In the 74-second audiotape aired on Al-Jazeera television, the Al Qaeda leader explicitly mentions Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was captured in Pakistan in 2003. He is the most senior Al Qaeda operative in U.S. custody and is currently detained at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In 2008, the U.S. charged Mohammed with murder and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. Pentagon officials have said they will seek the death penalty for him. Four of his fellow plotters are also in custody.

“The White House has expressed its desire to execute them. The day America makes that decision will be the day it has issued a death sentence for any one of you that is taken captive,” Bin Laden said, addressing Americans.

Binny baby, that’s what it’s all about: death and destruction; after all, if the US executes Khalid, he’ll soon be ravishing – sequentially, I presume – 72 virgins. And it’ll be less excruciating than going out with exploding bombs in his buttocks. So stop moaning.

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