Anglican Samizdat

May 6, 2010

New home

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 4:05 pm

I’ve moved Anglican Samizdat to a new home here.

If I decide I like it there, I might even stay.

Although I’ll leave this version blog up, I’ve closed comments; please see the link above for the new location of Anglican Samizdat.

RSS post feed is now here

RSS comments feed is now here


April 26, 2010

The Diocese of Niagara has something to be proud of

Filed under: Diocese of Niagara,Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 1:13 pm

The Anglican Church of Canada is shrinking faster than a haemorrhoid in an argon laser. Consequently, the dioceses of B. C., Toronto, Rupert’s Land, Ottawa, Ontario and Huron (and Montreal) are “restructuring” in order to survive with fewer people. This, of course, is a euphemism for closing parishes.

I just received an email from a friend in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land who was very excited by the fact that a committee of the Synod will be looking at the vitality and viability of all the parishes in the diocese. This follows on the news of the completed Diocese of B. C. study that called for the closure of some parishes and restructuring of others. The Diocese of Toronto has a strategic plan in the making, Ottawa, Ontario and Huron as well as others I may not know about.

The Diocese of Niagara, however, during the diabolarchy of its last three bishops, has been clever enough to anticipate fleeing parishioners and has been closing churches in advance. Bravo the Diocese of Niagara!

This is simply to illustrate that in light of declining membership and resources in many dioceses the leadership is taking a hard look at the future, most have decided to create a “grand plan”. We in Niagara have taken a slightly different approach and under the leadership of the Bishops Asbil, Spence and Bird and the support of Synod Councils over the years, we have been closing and amalgamating parishes at a pace that makes us the Canadian leaders in restructuring for mission in a changing context.

This technique has been so successful, it is to be exported:

Our Synod has been so successful in our approaches to these issues that the writer and other members of the Mission Strategy Committee have been asked to present our methods to other Diocesan leaders across Canada and the United States.

The whole thing is based on relationship and trust:

This respect leads to relationship which leads to trust and finally a mutual understanding of what the next steps in ministry may need to be.

And doing things the Niagara Way:

What is more it all seems to be very much our “Niagara Way”.

April 24, 2010

How Christopher Hitchens copes with futility

Filed under: Atheism,Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 11:10 am
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Albert Camus in his novel, The Plague, makes the point that without God humans live in an indifferent, incomprehensible universe that has no rational meaning or order. Camus’ solution to this little problem is not resignation or stoicism but to fight back even though it may be with the knowledge that the fight is futile. For an atheistic existentialist, life’s meaning is found not in overcoming, but in struggling against  the apparent evil in the natural order of things. This struggle in the certain knowledge of ultimate failure defines man’s freedom: he is not merely a puppet of the natural order that created him.

I think this is a daft way to live but, as can be seen in this exchange with William Lane Craig, it seems to be an energising principle behind Christopher Hitchens’ attempt to live with the futility of his own existence. The difference between Camus and Hitchens is that, whereas Hitchens never tires of expressing his hatred of all things Christian, Camus had a grudging respect for believers who lived by their Christian principles.

April 5, 2010

Whiteness workshop

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 12:02 pm

Exposing your inner racist:Add an Image

“Thinking About Whiteness and Doing Anti-Racism,” a four-part evening workshop for community activists, presented earlier this year at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore.

The central theme of the course was that this twinned combination of capitalism and racism has produced a cult of “white privilege,” which permeates every aspect of our lives. “Canada is a white supremacist country, so I assume that I’m racist,” one of the students said matter-of-factly during our first session. “It’s not about not being racist. Because I know I am. It’s about becoming less racist.” At this, another student told the class: “I hate when people tell me they’re colour-blind. That is the most overt kind of racism. When people say ‘I don’t see your race,’ I know that’s wrong. To ignore race is to be more racist than to acknowledge race. I call it neo-racism.”

“Doing Anti-Racism” resonates with the same jarring fingernails-on-a-blackboard sound as “Doing Justice”: I can’t understand why the Anglican Church of Canada hasn’t caught on to it yet.

March 28, 2010

Nuns are not what they used to be

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 11:14 pm

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
what God is
how God is
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
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.

March 17, 2010

Aberrations from cyberspace

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 6:19 pm

A selection of today’s outré articles.

Only the BBC could report this with a straight face:

A man who assaulted a female police officer with his penis has been fined.

Marium Varinauskas, 28, tried to strike the officer on the head with his penis when she was called out to his flat, but she got out of the way.

Fiscal depute Elaine Lynch said: “The accused got to his feet and was standing over the police officer exposing his penis and thrusting it in her face, forcing her to take evasive action to avoid getting struck.”

One-year-old McDonald’s Happy Meal – still delicious:

It smelled delicious for a few days. I’d get a whiff of those yummy French fries every time I walked into my office. After a week or so, you could hardly smell it. My husband worried that when the food began to decompose, there would be a terrible odor in our home. He also worried the food would attract ants and mice. He questioned my sanity.

NOPE, no worries at all. My Happy Meal is one year old today and it looks pretty good. It NEVER smelled bad. The food did NOT decompose. It did NOT get mouldy, at all.

The Catholic Church is considering sainthood for this happy meal.

Mother dressed her baby as Hitler for exhibit:

Ms. Kleivan’s exhibit, Potency, also featured photos of her daughter dressed as Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Mao Zedong, Idi Amin, Augusto Pinochet and Slobodan Milosevic. In the 10th and final photo of the series, Faustina — depicted as a boy throughout — was naked, revealing her gender and, according to the artist, her innate innocence.

“We are all born as a blank slate, who knows who we will become,” Ms. Kleivan said. “I wanted people to think about where tremendous evil comes from.”

Ms. Kleivan in this case.

March 15, 2010

The Roman Catholic Church in disarray

Filed under: Nothing in Particular,Roman Catholicism — David Jenkins @ 4:56 pm
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The Roman Catholic Church likes to think of itself as the one true church, a notion that does not sit particularly well with most non Roman Catholics, including me. Understandably, people expect an institution that makes such an audacious claim to hold itself to high standards; when, instead, they find child abuse, systematic cover-ups and hypocrisy, it does little for any of the RC Church’s claims, let alone the pretension that it is the one true church.

Ruth Gledhill reports the imminent implosion of the RC church:

Catholic Church ‘imploding’ over child sex abuse.

That is the view of a senior journalist in Rome over the latest round of revelations of the extent of paedophilia among Catholic clergy.

Unsurprisingly, no-one is more smugly satisfied over the troubles in the RC church than Christopher Hitchens:

The Great Catholic Cover-Up

The pope’s entire career has the stench of evil about it.

On March 10, the chief exorcist of the Vatican, the Rev. Gabriele Amorth (who has held this demanding post for 25 years), was quoted as saying that “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican,” and that “when one speaks of ‘the smoke of Satan’ in the holy rooms, it is all true—including these latest stories of violence and pedophilia.” This can perhaps be taken as confirmation that something horrible has indeed been going on in the holy precincts, though most inquiries show it to have a perfectly good material explanation.

Hitchens, as an atheist, likes to indulge in play-morality, and, so, is eminently unqualified to give an opinion on what is evil; for an atheist, such categories are merely preferences induced by the occasional stray spasm of a neuro-mechanism. The fact that Hitchens has said something about a church that is not all wrong, in itself means that there must be something really rotten afoot.

At the moment, the storm for the RC Church has just begun; for the institution to survive, it will need a long-overdue pruning – a pruning that would have to remove and bar homosexuals from the priesthood (60% of the cases involved priests who were sexually attracted to male adolescents). If it happens, there will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth among liberals.

March 6, 2010

Apparently, size does matter

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 1:20 pm

I recall walking into a chemist to buy my first packet of condoms in my reprobate youth; back in the middle-ages you could not simply pick them up from an easily accessible shelf, you had to ask for them. As fate would have it, I was confronted by an attractive young lady assistant who asked me “what size?” Not having done this before, I had to quickly assess whether she was referring to the size of the condom, the number in the packet, or whether she was simply having fun with me. In retrospect, I’m sure it was the latter. I played it safe and said “large” – after all, what self-respecting youth would admit to small; but, then, I wasn’t 12:

Twelve-year-old boys in Switzerland will soon be able to buy packets of extra small condoms, and the controversial contraceptives may soon be on their way to the UK.

The Hotshot condoms, manufactured by Lamprecht AG, have been produced after research by the Swiss Government revealed that an increasing number of twelve to 14-year-olds are having sex.

January 18, 2010

Warming and Rumours of Warming

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 12:14 am

The fudging of climate science is much broader and deeper than the Climategate email embarrassment would lead one to believe. Guesswork is rife:

Claims by the world’s leading climate scientists that most of the Himalayan glaciers will vanish within 25 years were last night exposed as nonsense.

The alarmist warning appeared two years ago in a highly influential report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

At the time the IPCC insisted that its report contained the latest and most detailed evidence yet of the risks of man-made climate change to the planet.

But the experts behind the warning have now admitted their claim was not based on hard science – but a news story that appeared in the magazine New Scientist in the late 1990s.

That story was itself based on a telephone conversation with an Indian scientist who has since admitted it was little more than speculation.

And figures have been fiddled:

Certified consulting meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo of and a computer programmer from San Jose, Michael Smith, have written an expose of extensive manipulation of the temperature data by the federal government’s National Climate Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) at Columbia University in New York City. D’Aleo says in the report, “NOAA is seriously complicit in data manipulation and fraud.

four key revelations:

1. NCDC is no longer monitoring many actual temperature stations. Coleman explains, “In the transition to a computer averaging system, the National Data Climate Center deleted actual temperatures at thousands of locations throughout the world as it evolved to a system of global grid boxes. The number that goes into each grid box is determined by averaging the temperatures of two or more weather observation stations nearest that grid box.” This method is inaccurate according to D’Aleo because “temperatures are not linear over space, but instead vary enormously because of differences in terrain, elevation, vegetation, water versus land and urbanization.” It also makes an apples and oranges situation, comparing today’s averaged grid boxes to past actual station temperatures.

2. The number of weather stations NCDC uses was reduced 75%, from approximately 6,000 to 1,000 stations.

3.  The vast majority of the stations cut from the record were from the cooler higher latitudes and altitudes. Smith says, “The more I looked, the more I found patterns of deletion that could not be accidental. Thermometers moved from cold mountains to warm beaches; from Siberian Arctic to more southerly locations and from pristine rural locations to jet airport tarmacs. The last remaining Arctic thermometer in Canada is in a place called ‘The Garden Spot of the Arctic,’ always moving away from the cold and toward the heat.”

4.  Temperatures then were altered by “homogenization,” a process which always seemed to result in higher readings. According to the report,”the data centers then performed some final adjustments to the gathered data before final analysis. These adjustments are in some cases frequent and undocumented. Examining raw data versus processed final data shows numerous examples where the adjusted data shows a warming trend where the raw data had little change.”

In fact, it’s getting to the point where the only people who still believe in global warming are the non compos mentis inhabitants of the dusty corners of derelict liberal churches represented by dotty United Church Moderators and batty Anglican bishops.

January 14, 2010

The Welsh are not used to snow

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 6:58 pm

You tell from this:

January 12, 2010

Headline of the month

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 2:40 pm


Gay man who tried to poison lesbian neighbours with slug pellets over three-legged cat feud walks free.

January 11, 2010

Google’s Islam bug

Filed under: Islam,Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 12:23 pm

Google is claiming that the reason their search engine does not complete the phrase “Islam is”

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but does have suggestions for “Christianity is”

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is not because they are censoring search results, but because they have a bug:

But the query “Islam is”? Not a thing comes to mind for Google to suggest. (Search results are still there, of course.)

It’s enough to get some to conclude Google is censoring itself, perhaps as a result of complaints for suggestions that one guesses are just as flattering as those for other faiths.

But Google says it’s just a software problem.

“This is a bug and we’re working to fix it as quickly as we can,” a Google spokesman told

The bug obviously needs some work, because it has overlooked Mohammed:

December 18, 2009

Irritating the universe – one person at a time

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 5:20 pm

Anglican Samizdat reached 100,000 hits today.

November 7, 2009

Prince Charles in Canada

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 1:21 pm

Prince Charles is in Canada and apparently, some Canadians think he is irrelevant:

Prince Charles arrived in Canada on Monday for a 11-day cross-country visit that comes at a time when many Canadians say the royal family is no longer relevant to them.

I’m not against the monarchy, but try as I might to push the thought from my mind, every time I see Charles I am reminded of this:

October 9, 2009

On Lake Huron

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 4:09 pm

We have just returned from a trip to Lake Huron:

On Guard

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The beach

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Lowering Sky

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Some Sunsets

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More here

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