Anglican Samizdat

April 22, 2010

Hope ‘n climate change from Canada’s churches

Filed under: Global Warming — David Jenkins @ 11:06 am
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Perhaps this is how it will end for the both United Church and Anglican Church of Canada: an ever increasing obsession with bogus causes by an ever decreasing band of eccentrics struggling to have their communities of congruence taken seriously:

“We have to work together in communities of congruence…. We must be prepared to speak the truth even in the midst of denial and even in the midst of ridicule,” said Mardi Tindal, moderator of the United Church of Canada.

Tindal said that in the course of advocating for climate change action, she has learned that “there is a deep hunger for hope” among people, and that “you and I are actually in a position to offer it.”

Meanwhile, to remind Mardi Tindal who is really in charge:


January 17, 2010

A Post Copenhagen Jeremiad

Filed under: Global Warming,United Church — David Jenkins @ 5:47 pm
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The Moderator of the United Church of Canada has written this lament on the dismal failure of the climate conference. It cheered me up immensely:

An open letter to all Canadians from the Moderator of The United Church of Canada.

This letter was born in Copenhagen where, heartbroken, I watched the international climate talks fall apart.

Heartbroken because it was clear to me, as it was to many of you, that the talks in Copenhagen needed to succeed, that it is no longer safe for us to go on as we have before.

I believe this is a unique time in humanity’s fretful reign on Earth, a rare moment that will have historic significance.

And yet the Copenhagen talks failed. We have no plan to reduce deadly emissions of carbon dioxide. Emissions that are a symptom of our broken relationship with the web of life.

I don’t remember ever having a relationship with the web of life let alone breaking it; still, if I do discover it, I’ll be sure to emit copiously all over it to ensure that we become disentangled at its earliest convenience.

December 10, 2009

Rev. Gretta Vosper and the evolution of the Babel Fish

Filed under: United Church — David Jenkins @ 3:10 pm

Gretta Vosper likes discussing The Evolution of Religion and is the minister of West Hill United Church, a church which is so inclusive and diverse that it is desperately seeking someone who would not be welcome, so that it can find a way to entice them in; I am writing this from a hiding place in my basement, trying to look inconspicuous.

The inclusiveness of West Hill United doesn’t just extend to sexual diversity, it extends to every kind of diversity one can imagine.

“As soon as we recognize a group there that is not identified as being welcome, we will change that,” she said.

Inclusive though it might be, the West Hill United Church doesn’t actually have much room to include God; in fact, just in case he shows up by mistake, to encourage his rapid departure no-one talks about him:

In order to not have any confusion about what “God” means when said at a service, it was decided not to use the word at all, because each individual sitting in the pews could have a different belief about who or what God is to them.

Ms. Vosper doesn’t have much time for “truth” preferring, instead to be “open”; after all, what is truth?

The concept of truth is an elusive one.  As we open ourselves to exploring it, we always find that, just when we think we know it, something else needs to be explored.  But one of the “truths” about the truth is that we need to be completely open to whatever it may be.

She doesn’t believe in God, but may believe in god, depending what you mean by “god”, which is a bit confusing – depending on what you mean by “is”.

Ms Vosper is the author of “With or Without God”, a title she came up with after attending a U2 concert. The book’s sub-heading proclaims that the way we live is more important that what we believe – which appears to be a statement of belief that, if true, could be disproved by living as if it were not true.

Ms. Vosper’s theology is difficult to pin down, but this sums it up adequately:

August 22, 2009

A New Creed

Filed under: United Church — David Jenkins @ 11:20 pm

The United Church of Canada has a new Moderator, Mardi Tindal. According to recent reports, “She tweets. She’s green. She’s media savvy. She’s animated.” – all laudable accomplishments which St. Peter and St. Paul sadly lacked. In addition to a new moderator, the United Church has also invented a new language where “belief is a noun and faith is a verb.”

New Moderator, new language and, new Creed –  some would say, new religion. In keeping with modern family life, the Father is absent:

We are not alone,

we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.

We are not alone.

Thanks be to God.

Indeed, we are not alone; The Truth Is Out There; I Want To Believe.

August 19, 2009

The United Church of Canada: united in leftist bias

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada,United Church — David Jenkins @ 1:01 pm
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I’m not picking particularly on the United Church; the following applies equally to other mainline denominations:

On June 16, North Korean Christian Ri Hyon-ok was publicly executed for the crime of distributing Bibles. As her parents, husband and children were forced to look on, the 33-year-old mother was shot in front of a crowd in the northwestern city of Ryongchon. Her grieving and distraught family were then packed off to a prison camp.

Curiously, the United Church of Canada (UCC) — a nominally Christian organization — failed even to mention the Pyongyang regime’s systematic persecution of its co-religionists, including the murder of Ms. Ri, during its national conference last week. Instead, the UCC devoted hours to discussing of alleged crimes by the Jewish state of Israel against Palestinians.

Last month, a Muslim mob in the northeastern Pakistan town of Gorja heard rumours that a Koran had been defaced during a Christian wedding ceremony. Officials investigating that subsequent riots could find no evidence of such a blasphemy, but that did not stop a mob of thousands of Muslims from burning more than 50 homes and a church in the Christian section of Gorja. At least 14 Christians were killed in the rampage, including one woman and three children who were burned alive in their homes.

Did the UCC pass a resolution (or even just introduce one) condemning such medieval attitudes and behaviours? After all, the Gorja riot amounted to an angry crowd branding a woman a witch and burning her at the stake in pre-Renaissance Europe — 14 times over. If Christians or Jews were alleged to have carried out such barbarism, the social justice councils of the United Church would undoubtedly have condemned them. Why then so silent when the victims are fellow Christians and their murderers Muslims?

The short answer, of course, is that the UCC is more concerned with fashionably left-wing causes such as multiculturalism than it is about ending persecution per se. It is far more concerned for advancing political correctness than spreading or even defending its own faith.

Lefty intellectual fashion is always one-sided to the point of being blind.

None of this is surprising, of course; the United Church having long ago abandoned the Gospel, lost interest in the kingdom of God in favour of the kingdom of this world and its god.

To bring this back to Anglicanism, it would be shocking if Anglican Primate, Fred Hiltz could spare a moment from criticising Israel, to condemn Christian persecution in Cuba; but he does enjoy vacationing there, so it is unlikely:

Last December, Gilianys Rodriguez, wife of a popular evangelical pastor in Cuba, was beaten in the street. Her baby miscarried as a result. The attack was believed to have been carried out with the sanction of Cuban authorities because Ms. Rodriguez’s husband had helped form a new interdenominational network of preachers and congregations dissatisfied with having to operate through the government-approved Cuban Council of Churches.

August 15, 2009

United Church of Canada: I’m so sorry

Filed under: United Church — David Jenkins @ 10:57 am

Judging by its 40th General Council, the United Church of Canada has become a concoction of self-loathing:

Apologies were offered first to aboriginals forced to attend residential schools in Canada

There was formal recognition this week of an apology made in June, for the church’s confiscation of Japanese-Canadian property during the Second World War.

We confess that the church, too, was tainted by the prejudices and fears of that era, and that even best intentions were warped by often-subtle forms of racism.

I’m sorry,” offered a church official. “If I said something that sounded like an accusation, I apologize for that.

anti-Christian – no, make that anti-God:

Gretta Vosper is the minister at West Hill United Church in Toronto and author of With or Without God: Why the way we live is more important than what we believe. She explains that she doesn’t refer to God anymore “because there is no single meaning for the word.”

lunatic-fringe, gaia worshipping, gobbledygook spouting eco-bigots bent on making David Suzuki look moderate:

The kind of old assumptions of the United Church are falling away,” answered Russell Daye, an ordained minister from the Maritimes. “New archetypes are starting to emerge,” he added. “I think we’re finding a language that is grounded in Earth and some kind of eco-feminism, in a way…I think our new paradigm, if you want to use that, is going to be ‘wholographic.’

thinly disguised anti-Semites:

Hoping to stop a fire from spreading through their ranks, delegates at a major United Church of Canada conference decided on Thursday to put on hold a proposed boycott of Israel and to side-step anti-Israel resolutions put forward by church activists.

What is truly baffling, though, is that the United Church is dwindling, having lost half its members since 1965; why is that, one wonders.

August 12, 2009

The dawning of the age of braless United Church Ladies

Filed under: United Church — David Jenkins @ 5:48 pm

The United Church, in its zeal for punishing Israel’s commitment to democracy and protecting its own people, is calling for a boycott of the following products (page 78):

Ambi Pur, AOL Time Warner, Aoste, Apax Partners & Co. Ltd., Aramis, Arsenal FC, Auchan, Bali, Ball Park, Biotherm, Banana Republic, Bryan, Buitoni, Café Pilāo, Calvin Klein, Carnation, Carrefour, Caterpillar, Champion, Clinique, CNN, Coca-Cola, Danone, Delta Galil, Dim, Disney, Donna Karan, DYNK, Estée Lauder, Express, Expo Design Center, Evian, Fruitopia, Gap, Garnier, General Electric, Georgia Lighting, Giorgio Armani, Gossard, HarperCollins, Hanes, Helen Rubinstein, Henri Bendel, Hema, Hillshire Farms, The Home Depot, Huggies, Hugo Boss, ICQ, IBM, Intel, Intimate brands, J. Crew, JC Penney, Jimmy Dean, Johnson & Johnson, Jo Malone, Just My Size, Kimberley-Clark, Kia Ora, Kiwi, Kleenex, Kotex, Lancôme, La Roche-Posay, Lea-Perrin, L’eggs, Lerner New York, Lewis Trust Group Ltd., Libby’s, Lilt, The Limited Inc., Lindex, L’Oreal, Loveable, MAC Cosmetics, Maggi, Maison Café, Marks & Spencer, MAST Industries, Inc., Matrix, Maybelline, McDonald’s, Nestlé, News Corporation, News of the World, New York & Company, New York Post, Nokia, Nur Die, Nursery World, Outerbanks, Origins, Perrier, Pickwick, Playtex, Prescriptives, Pryca, Ralph Lauren, Redken, Revlon, River Island, Santex, Sara Lee, Schweppes, Selfridges, Sky, Starbucks, Structure, The Sun, Sunkist, Superior Coffee, Tchibo, Timberland, Time, Tommy Hilfiger, Twentieth Century Fox, Vichy Laboratories, Victoria’s Secret, Villager’s Hardware, Vittel, The White Barn Candle Co., and Wonderbra.

I think this is an excellent move since United Church ladies will not only be braless, but also without computers, McDonald’s hamburgers, Starbucks and – the real crippler – Victoria’s Secret. In fact, what’s left of the entire United Church might as well move to a cave in Afghanistan, clear their consciences and leave the rest of us to enjoy our hamburgers while reading News of the World.

July 31, 2009

The United Church of Canada is even dafter than the Anglican Church

Filed under: United Church — David Jenkins @ 11:40 am

Question: is there a dafter church than the Anglican Church of Canada?

Answer: you bet – it’s the United Church of Canada.

In many ways, the United Church has paved the way for Anglicans: it has pioneered absurd political correctness by expunging “Father” from it’s hymnbooks, embraced gayness with the enthusiasm of a bear finding a jar of honey, and championed every potty left-wing ignis fatuus  known to man.

And now, out of the plethora of demonically evil nations to select from, it has, instead, chosen Israel for special approbation while ignoring models of utopian harmony such as Iran and North Korea.

The United Church of Canada is back in the news this week for having its head trapped in its fundament, as attendees of its upcoming general council will be asked to vote on a resolution boycotting Israeli academic and cultural institutions for tiresomely familiar reasons. The language of the resolution suggests that Israel stands out amongst the nations of the world as a uniquely horrible monster: it is said to operate what is described as a “regime of exclusion, violence and dehumanization directed against Palestinians.”

As if there weren’t 50 other boycottable countries that routinely and intentionally inflict these things on their citizens in a wholly undifferentiated way, without the mitigating features of Israeli rule — democratic checks and balances, a code and ethos of individual rights, rules of engagement for the military and the police, a free press, economic freedom and an independent judiciary.

It looks like Fred Hiltz has some catching up to do.

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