Nasty, Brutish & Short

Religion Archives

Friday Fun: "Family of Faggot Fans Fly the Flag."

June 27, 2008 08:31 AM

People in the old country shur do talk funny.  The BBC reports:

The Doody family

The Doody family hopes to raise profile of faggots.

Apparently it's a culinary delight made from pork liver and pork.  Yum!  Mr. Doody says:

"The great British faggot is full of flavour and a great belly warmer at this time of year."

He must be so proud of his family, winning a "competition organised by faggot producer Mr Brain's Faggots."  Who wouldn't be?

Oooo, here's an idea... Mr. Brain's Faggots should see if they can't get their product to be the official food of the Church of England.  Think of the cross-marketing potential!

Scientists Peeved They Don't Have All the Answers

June 3, 2008 10:06 AM

From the NYT:

A decade ago, astronomers discovered that what is true for your car keys is not true for the galaxies. Having been impelled apart by the force of the Big Bang, the galaxies, in defiance of cosmic gravity, are picking up speed on a dash toward eternity. If they were keys, they would be shooting for the ceiling.

“That is how shocking this was,” Dr. Livio said.

It is still shocking. Although cosmologists have adopted a cute name, dark energy, for whatever is driving this apparently antigravitational behavior on the part of the universe, nobody claims to understand why it is happening, or its implications for the future of the universe and of the life within it, despite thousands of learned papers, scores of conferences and millions of dollars’ worth of telescope time. It has led some cosmologists to the verge of abandoning their fondest dream: a theory that can account for the universe and everything about it in a single breath.

What a bunch of idiots.  Fools on fools' errands.  And such arrogance!  They want a theory that can account for no less than "the universe and everything about it."  And they're looking in telescopes to try to find it. 

Amusing though that they call this b.s. "dark energy."  Wonder who had a hand in that? 

"Expelled"--The Art House Film no Art House is Going to Show

April 2, 2008 10:30 PM

But it sure sounds interesting.

In fact, I wonder who, if anyone, is going to show this film. It obviously isn't typical indie film fare. And those who like indie films aren't open-minded enough to see it. We shall see if the independent film theaters in town--the Esquire in Clifton and the Mariemont--are actually brave enough to show it. My guess is no.

For one intellect's thoughts on the film, check out this learned prof:

He seems smart.

McCain Refused to Condem Supporter for Calling Hillary Clinton a B****

February 28, 2008 03:27 PM

Let's go back in history, shall we?  Waaaaaay back to November of last year.  The scene?  Hilton Head, South Carolina, and a woman at a Q&A who asked John McCain:

"How do we defeat the bitch?"

And what did Senator McCain say in response?  Here was the take of his frenemies at The New York Times:

Mr. McCain was obviously uncomfortable, trying to deflect the vitriol with humor and offering to give a translation. But he did not condemn the questioner, instead calling it an “excellent question.”

Here's what I think is an excellent question:  Why the hell should I help John McCain get elected President this November?

From the "I wish I wrote it department..."

February 14, 2008 09:33 AM

...Iowahawk chimes in with:

Heere Bigynneth the Tale of the Asse-Hatte.

An Archbishop of Canterbury Tale


1  Whan in Februar, withe hise global warmynge

2  Midst unseasonabyl rain and stormynge

3  Gaia in hyr heat encourages

4  Englande folke to goon pilgrimages.

5  Frome everiches farme and shire

6  Frome London Towne and Lancanshire

7  The pilgryms toward Canterbury wended

8  Wyth fyve weke holiday leave extended

9  In hybryd Prius and Subaru

10  Off the Boughton Bypasse, east on M2.

11  Fouer and Twyntie theye came to seke

12  The Arche-Bishop, wyse and meke

13  Labouryte and hippye, Gaye and Greene

14  Anti-warre and libertyne

15  All sondry folke urbayne and progressyve

16  Vexed by Musselmans aggressyve.

17  Hie and thither to the Arche-Bishop's manse

18  The pilgryms ryde and fynde perchance

19  The hooly Bishop takynge tea

20  Whilste watching himselfe on BBC.

Read the whole thing.

Yale Med Students Celebrate 35 Years of Roe v. Wade

January 23, 2008 09:22 AM


Evans and Rasha Khoury MED ’08, another member of Medical Students for Choice, who said she plans to become a gynecologist and expects to perform abortions, went on to describe one of the most common abortion procedures, manual vacuum aspiration, which “creates suction to evacuate pregnancy,” Evans said. The technique is a good option because the device involved is reusable and relatively cheap, she said.

“It’s not as scary as it seems. It’s just blood and mucus,” Khoury said, referring to the fetus remains in the device. She added, “You’ll be able to see arms and stuff, but still just miniscule.”

Evans and Khoury also explained the finer points of abortion-clinic etiquette, including some potentially sensitive terminology. Khoury said physicians performing abortions generally refer to the aborted fetus remains as “POC,” an acronym for “product of conception,” and refer to fetus’ hearts as “FH.”

The most complicated part of the procedure can be the emotional fallout some patients experience, she said.

“Often times, women are crying and cursing and saying they’re going to hell,” Khoury said. “It may be a quick and easy medical procedure, but it definitely is a very involved social-medical procedure.”

The presenters also urged the crowd to become involved in the abortion-rights movement by joining Reproductive Health Externships, a campaign in which volunteers are taught how to conduct abortions.

“It’s fun because you meet people from all over the country who do them,” Khoury said. “It’s pretty inspiring.”

So which is more disturbing, the quote about how you can see "arms and legs and stuff," or the guy who says "It's fun because you meet people from all over the country who do them.  It's pretty inspiring"?

UPDATE: Hmmm.  The article has been pulled from the website of the Yale Daily News.  I can't imagine why.

Speaking of religion...

January 16, 2008 11:33 PM

Here we have the deposition testimony of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, being questioned under oath by attorneys for the 11 churches in Virginia who chose to decamp for more hospitable climes last year--and who were promptly sued by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and the national Episcopal Church, at the instruction of the deponent you see before you. In this clip, the Presiding Bishop is being asked about the Dar es Salaam Communique, which was the document in which the leaders of the Anglican Communion ordered the Episcopal Church into a form of ecclesiastical bankruptcy receivership. And in particular, here the Presiding Bishop is being asked about this language from the Communique (which she assented to, before she returned to the U.S. and promptly rejected it): We are deeply concerned that so great has been the estrangement between some of the faithful and The Episcopal Church that this has led to recrimination, hostility and even to disputes in the civil courts.

The reason this is important is because in the Virginia litigation, the 11 parishes have a strong upper hand if they can show that there was a division in the Church, because Virginia state law comes down in favor of local congregations retaining ownership of their property if there has been a "division". So she doesn't want to admit to the language that she agreed to, because "estrangement" strongly suggests division. Which as anyone can see, there clearly has been. But she doesn't want to admit it. And, she doesn't want to admit that she agreed with what she said, at the time she said it:

It's a study in evasive dishonesty. My kudos go out to the lawyer for the parishes, who kept pressing. It is very typical for deponents to give a long winded response when they don't want to answer the question before them, and it is really, really hard to remember the exact question that was asked, and make sure you ask it again exactly the same way. Here the attorney keeps pushing. There's a minute there when I thought "uh oh, they're about to let her get away with it." But he brought it back home. And got the answer he wanted. Remember, she had agreed with the statement that they are asking her about--and told everyone present, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and all the other Anglican primates that she agreed with the statement. And here, she admits that she did not agree with what she agreed to in Dar es Salaam. It's rather astounding to be able to confront a clerical witness with a "so were you lying then, or are you lying now?" kind of question. I mean really, was she lying to the Archbishop of Canterbury and all the other Anglican primates? Or is she lying now, under oath in civil litigation in the United States. It's one or the other. Lying then, or lying now?

It reminds me of my first trial, where I got to ask the "so were you lying then, or are you lying now" question to great effect, and much to the appreciation of the reporter from the Dayton Daily News, who was bored to tears. During the next break, the witness who I had been questioning resigned from his position as C.E.O. for the opposing party.

Would that Presiding Bishop Schori have the integrity to do the same.

More video exerpts from the Presiding Bishop's deposition are available here. She looks more and more dishonest in each one.

So much better than slogging through "We Three Kings of Orient Are"

December 23, 2007 10:44 AM

The text:

Three kings from Persian lands afar To Jordan follow the pointing star: And this the quest of the travellers three, Where the new-born King of the Jews may be. Full royal gifts they bear for the King; Gold, incense, myrrh are their offering. The star shines out with a steadfast ray; The kings to Bethlehem make their way, And there in worship they bend the knee, As Mary's child in her lap they see; Their royal gifts they show to the King; Gold, incense, myrrh are their offering. Thou child of man, lo, to Bethlehem The kings are travelling, travel with them! The star of mercy, the star of grace, Shall lead thy heart to its resting-place. Gold, incense, myrrh thou canst not bring; Offer thy heart to the infant King.

While the choir sings:

How brightly shines the morning star With grace and truth from heav'n afar The Jesse tree now bloweth Of Jacobs stem and David's line For thee, my Bridegroom, King divine My soul with love o'er floweth Thy word, Thy word, Jesu, Jesu Inly feeds us, rightly leads us, life bestowing. Praise, O praise such love o'er flowing.


If dogs don't get to go...

December 19, 2007 06:07 PM

... I don't want to either.  From the Enquirer:

With almost all the pomp and circumstance befitting an officer’s funeral, Alec, Monroe’s police dog was buried this afternoon at the Pines Pet Cemetery near Lebanon.

Alec, a 9-year-old black German Shepherd, died unexpectedly a week ago after suffering a seizure and a stroke after finishing his shift with Officer Gregg Myers....

Police officers and 19 dogs from at least 14 departments in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton looked on as poems about the bravery and loyalty of police dogs were read graveside where Alec’s dark-stained pine casket was draped with the American flag.

Another flag flew at half-staff in the special section for service dogs where Alec will be buried later today.

Stories were shared about some of Alec’s best qualities before Mason Police Honor Guard fired a 21-gun salute.

The Rev. Brad Olson, pastor of Monroe United Methodist Church, finished the service with a prayer that Alec would make it to heaven.

“We pray you will welcome him into your eternal kingdom,” he said.

Video, here.

Wait till Barbara Walters gets the Christmas Card from the Huckabee White House

December 18, 2007 09:33 AM

She's going to hate it. It's almost worth voting for him just for that reason alone.

Apparently Barbara Walters is keeping the Christ in Christmas by making normal people sit back and yell "Oh, CHRIST!"

December 14, 2007 12:20 AM

Can you believe? Does she even know the Old Testament isn't just a Christian thing? And doesn't she remember the card she got last year? The White House Christmas cards since the Bushes have been in have always quoted the OT, at least in the ones we've gotten (do not be impressed by this, they send out a blue billion).

HT: Today's Laura Ingraham Show, and Stand Firm.

Camille Paglia in Romney's Religion Speech

December 12, 2007 07:20 PM

The atheist was not offended:

Romney's move may have been tactically necessary to counter evangelical Protestants' rejection of Mormonism as a cult, but the speech wasn't as conceptually developed as it should have been. As an atheist, I wasn't offended by Romney's omission of nonbelievers from his narrative of American history. On the contrary, I agree with him that the founders of the U.S. social experiment were Christians (even if many were intellectual deists) and that our separation of church and state entails the rejection of an official, government-sanctioned creed rather than the obligatory erasure of references to God in civic life.

But what does Romney mean by the ongoing threat of a new "religion of secularism"? The latter term needs amplification and qualification. In my lecture on religion and the arts in America earlier this year at Colorado College, I argued that secular humanism has failed, that the avant-garde is dead, and that liberals must start acknowledging the impoverished culture that my 1960s generation has left to the young. Atheism alone is a rotting corpse. I substitute art and nature for God -- the grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe.

Amen, Amen.  Or something like that.  If you can't believe in God, at least believe in art and nature.*  This sixties secular humanism crap has got to go.

*How's that for pathetically typical Anglo-Episcopal evangelism?

The Weekly Standard has Romney's notes from his religion speech

December 11, 2007 10:33 AM

Hilarious.  Here.

Romney's Speech

December 6, 2007 11:15 AM


See what happens with the elitists don't know jack about religion?

November 27, 2007 09:19 AM

They are forced to run newspaper corrections, like this one:

A headline last Sunday about a Muslim man and an Orthodox Jewish woman who are partners in two Dunkin’ Donuts stores described their religions incorrectly. The two faiths worship the same God — not different ones.

--From the New York Times "Corrections" section on November 25th.  Christians worship the same one too.  I wonder if they know that? 

HT: Titusonenine

And in the "telling things to the papers that won't help the Church's reputation" department...

October 16, 2007 08:33 AM

... we have this article about infertility treatments from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  They are talking about "options" for infertile Catholic couples:

Catholic ethicists are divided over whether it's permissible to artificially inseminate a wife with her husband's sperm, she said. Although conservative theologians once rejected the practice, some now say it can be done if the semen is collected during intercourse using a condom with a tiny hole that makes it open to the possibility of conception.

Can you imagine?  I'm usually a big defender of the Catholic Church's position on medical ethics.  But this one is just ridiculous! 

Notable Quotable: Albert Einstein on Freedom

October 4, 2007 08:52 AM

Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. …
Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.

Albert Einstein, TIME, 23 September 1940

HT: Andrew Cusack

As bad as the Episcopal/Anglican break down has been, at least it hasn't been THIS bad.

September 30, 2007 10:11 PM

New York Times: "Episcopal Bishops Reject Anglican Church's Orders"

September 25, 2007 10:46 PM

I haven't written much about the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up in recent months, because most of my readers just aren't interested.  But they should be, because this has implications for all Protestant and Catholic denominations.  This is, really and truly, a big deal.  So listen up!

Shockingly,  New York Times has the big news of the day.  If you want context, it follows up on my earlier post about how the Episcopal Church in the US has been ordered into receivership by the rest of the Anglican Communion.  The Anglican Communion made certain demands of the Episcopal Church, and, well, per the NYT:

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 25 — Bishops of the Episcopal Church on Tuesday rejected demands by leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion to roll back the church’s liberal stance on homosexuality, increasing the possibility of fracture within the communion and the Episcopal Church itself.

After nearly a week of talks at their semiannual meeting in New Orleans, the House of Bishops adopted a resolution that defied a directive by the Anglican Communion’s regional leaders, or primates, to change several church policies regarding the place of gay men and lesbians in their church.

That's all you need to hear, really.  That the Episcopal Church defied a directive from the Anglican Communion to bring its theology back into the fold of mainstream Christianity.  I'm sure the fact that a prominent liberal Episcopal Bishop blatantly lied to the NYT reporter covering this meeting did not help matters much.  It seems the mainstream media is not always fooled, not when they are surrounded by bloggers pointing them to actual facts.  If you're at all interested in the power of the Internet, the way things have played out in the past few days have been extremely interesting.  Bloggers have changed politics, now they are changing how religious news is covered, in major, major ways.  When a Bishop lies to the media, it only takes a few thousand googling monkeys to prove him a liar.

But anyway, the Episcopal Church has refused to go along with what the rest of the Anglican Church has demanded.  So what's next?  Honestly, I don't know.  I just know that I am done with the Episcopal Church in its current form, and I am hopeful that an authentic Anglican presence will soon arrive on these shores.  The conservative Bishops are gathering at this moment in a Common Cause partnership meeting.  Whether they will be recognized as the legitimate Anglican presence in the U.S. remains to be seen.  One can only hope.

First they came for the Methodists, but I did not say anything, because I was not a Methodist

September 19, 2007 07:42 PM

So I'm paraphrasing Pastor Niemoeller, and posting something here.  From the Garden State we have this news: The State of New Jersey has revoked a church camp's tax except status because they refused to allow a same sex civil union ceremony to take place at a pavilion on the premises:

The pavilion, said Scott Hoffman, the camp's chief administrative officer to LifeSiteNews, "is a facility we have used exclusively for our camp meeting mission and worship celebrations since 1869."

Until recently the camp held tax-exempt status on its entire boardwalk property under a New Jersey program that gives tax-breaks to organizations that open up their property to the general public....

"It is clear that the pavilion is not open to all persons on an equal basis," DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson, wrote to the camp on Monday, in announcing the DEP's decision to revoke the camp's tax-exempt status.

"When people hear the words 'open space,' we want them to think not just of open air and land, but that it is open to all people," Jackson continued. "And when the public subsidizes it with tax breaks, it goes with the expectation that it is not going to be parsed out, whether it be by activity or any particular beliefs."

And if you're thinking that New Jersey's same logic would allow them to tax almost every other Church in the State, you'd be right.  Very, very alarming.

Image:Martin Niemoeller.jpg

HT: Stand Firm

Idiots Delight, Wednesday Edition: The ladies of The View discuss--in all seriousness--whether the earth is round. And at the very end, Barbara Walters is EXTREMELY confused about the internet and where babies come from.

Wherein I have a rare moment, and am actually proud to be an Episcopalian

September 18, 2007 03:13 PM

Because no Episcopalian would EVER have one of these.  They are Inspirational Catholic Jesus Sports Statues, and they are available for $22.95 from








 describes them as "a wonderful way to reinforce Jesus "as friend" in everyday activities."  But I don't think Jesus should be helping that little girl with her golf swing. 

Nor do I think he should be teaching these little boys to play football in flip-flops.













"What a friend we have in Jesus.  Tackle him!" 

Oh sure, my Church may be run by hippies and heretics, but at least we don't have Inspirational Jesus Sports Statues.  What happened to the idea that you built things like this to remind people about Jesus?

West end of Chartres

HT the Llama Butchers.

Question for the Catholics*

August 24, 2007 10:33 AM

From NBS's sister (also a perpetually irked Episcopalian), who was dropping her son off for his first day of kindergarten at Catholic school.  During the big first-day-of-school-drop-off, this little episode occurred in the parking lot.  It involves my two-year old niece:

...This part of the parking lot included a small rock garden with a statue of Mary.  Mary had been decorated with a wilted and ancient daisy chain and gold pipe cleaner wreath.  After redirecting Gracie from the construction trailer, she and I were discussing the merits of putting the shiny white rocks carefully down on the ground rather than practicing her forearm when she spotted Mary.  Mary and Gracie were pretty much eyeball to eyeball, and Gracie wanted that beautiful crown.

When Gracie realized that Mary was neither going to hand it over nor attempt to stop her, Gracie grabbed for the crown.  Then Gracie started either hugging Mary or tugging her up out of the ground so that she could carry the big dolly.  (You can make your own assumptions about Gracie's plans).  All this seemed like fairly normal behaviour, but deferring to unknown Catholic sensibilities I ran interference.

So does it offend Catholics for toddlers to play with/manhandle/attempt to carry around Mary or is it more offensive to hear a hot, tired, cranky mother saying "Stop that"?

Readers, what say you?  It is okay to maul Mary?

*By which of course I mean Roman Catholics.  As Anglicans, we are, of course, catholic.

Tony Snow on Cancer's Unexpected Blessings

July 26, 2007 01:46 PM

And writing like American leaders used to write, in Christianity Today:

Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

When our faith flags, he throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it.

It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up—to speak of us!

This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.

The whole thing is an excellent read.  It's like a nice mix of C.S. Lewis and Peggy Noonan. 

And, how come Tony's day job doesn't keep him from writing?  I can barely get in a handful of blog posts per day, and I'm not the White House Press Secretary.

For those of you who think NBS is too conservative...

July 8, 2007 10:45 PM

... you really need to check out Andrew Cusack's blog.  He's young, extremely intelligent, a great writer, and an American who doesn't even believe in the Declaration of Independence.  Yes, he's a monarchist.  Talk about diversity of opinion!  You don't run into many monarchists these days.

It takes a special kind of person to post on the Fourth of July the following words: "Two hundred and thirty-one years ago today, the tragedy of our people commenced."  He then has a picture of George III alongside a picture of George W. Bush, and says he prefers the former.  Misguided, I know, but a fascinating perspective.

And he has some great things to say about Sewanee.  Check out his feature "Maces of America," a "series of post covering the history, design, and use of ceremonial maces in the United States."  In it, he writes of Sewanee:

The University of the South, which sits on a 10,000-acre domain in Sewanee, Tennesee, is in my opinion the St Andrews of America. To my knowledge it is the only university on this side of the Atlantic which comes close to, and in many regards exceeds, the Universitas Sancti Andrea apud Scotus in the maintenance of tradition.

High praise, my friends.  High praise.  Do check out his blog.  It's so well-written that you may find the comment sections too intimidating.  But go there and lurk.

The Episcopal Bishop of Bethlehem is a troll

July 7, 2007 09:23 PM

I'm using internet lingo, of course, which defines "troll" as follows:

Troll.  One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of ad hominem attacks with no substance or relevance to back them up as well as straw man arguments, which he uses to simply avoid addressing the essence of the issue.

Over at my friend Brad Drell's blog, Paul Marshall has started speaking up in the comments.  He's the Episcopal Bishop of Bethlehem, PA.  Brad's a fellow attorney, was a fraternity brother of mine at Sewanee, and on the conservative side of things in the Episcopal-Anglican crack-up.  Bishop Marshall is not in the same camp. 

So guess what Bishop Marshall is saying in Brad's comments section?  He accuses Brad of being crazy.  He says that there are meds available to cure Brad's condition (conservatism, I guess), and that he hopes Brad's "symptoms are being managed."

And yes, we do know that is THE Bishop of Bethlehem who is posting the comments, not someone doing so under an assumed name.  Can you imagine?  Granted, Bishop Marshall is best known for recently launching an unhinged attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury, accusing him of coddling conservatives (would that were so!) and destroying the church.  So at least Brad's in good company.  He's right there on Bishop Marshall's shit list, along with the The Most Rev. Rowan D. Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England, and heir to the throne of St. Augustine.  Not bad for a guy from a small town in Louisiana.

But good company aside...  isn't it a little bizarre for a Bishop to be accusing members of the laity of being crazy via blog comments?  It certainly does makes one wonder who is off their meds.  And it doesn't seem to me like it's Brad.

Update: Episcopalians Boot Priest Who Says She's Also Muslim

July 6, 2007 09:09 PM

I really need to do a better job updating stories that I have previously posted on, when the story changes.  I just assume everyone is as well read as I.  Obviously, that is a mistake, as I was out this evening with a reader of this blog who loudly condemned Episcopalians for having a Muslim priest.  Remember that Priestess?  Well, the news this week is that she's been collared by her Bishop.  Per the Seattle Times:

The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, a local Episcopal priest who announced she is both Muslim and Christian, will not be able to serve as a priest for a year, according to her bishop.

During that year, Redding is expected to "reflect on the doctrines of the Christian faith, her vocation as a priest, and what I see as the conflicts inherent in professing both Christianity and Islam," the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, bishop of the Diocese of Rhode Island, wrote in an e-mail to Episcopal Church leaders.

At the end of the year, the two are going to revisit the issue, and it's clear what the Bishop's position is going to be: "You have a year to return to the faith, or you're out."  I think there's plenty of reason to boot her now, but I understand the Bishop's position.  It is better to try to return people to the fold than tell them to take a hike.

So there, reader.  Now there's nothing wrong with the Episcopal Church.  We're perfect! 

All in the Family

June 4, 2007 04:04 PM

Captain Yips explains the Episcopal Church's role in the Anglican Communion:

TEC is the Anglican Communion’s crazy Aunt Melinda, the aging hippy who comes to family reunions in a floaty tie-dyed mumu, carrying an immense, daisy-appliqued straw handbag.  In that bag she has a ziploc of grass and a S & W Model 10 (“for when the pigs come for me”), asks everyone if they want a toke, and then talks loudly about her sex life in explicit detail.  Melinda, though, is rich with money left by generations, and money has bought her tolerance - up to a point.  Recently, some members of the family have wondered if she’s past it, have begun refusing to come to parties and events if she shows up, and some are even muttering that maybe Melinda needs a trustee. 

It's a pretty apt description.  If you want further evidence, go here (page 9), and read about the Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of Olympia who is also a practicing Muslim.

A little more than a year ago, the Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding found herself at the doorway of a new world, Islam, and wasn’t quite sure how she got there. As she reflected on her journey, she realized Jesus was her guide. Now both a practicing Muslim and an Episcopal priest, Redding shares her thoughts on how the two faiths inform each other.

“The way I understand Jesus is compatible with Islam,” Redding explains, “and although there are Christians and Muslims who think I must convert from one to the other, the more I go down this path the more excited I am about both Christianity and Islam.”

Did we mention that Aunt Melinda is bi-polar, too?

Susan Jacoby thinks Memorial Day is Disgusting

May 31, 2007 03:44 PM

This is how she answers the question "How do you keep your faith during times of war?" in the Washington Post-Newsweek blog "On Faith."  At first, she says that she doesn't want to answer the question, because she rejects the premise.  And then:

The reason I changed my mind and decided to comment, however, has nothing to do with the unanswerable theodicy question and everything to do with my disgust at the annual American celebration of a melding of patriotism and religion so often used to justify war. I was at home working on Memorial Day and wanted to take a break to watch a movie on television. Fat chance. Nonstop movies glorifying war were the only movies being shown. Iwo Jima. Custer's last stand. The Civil War, including the "glorious" lost southern cause as well as the cause of ending slavery. Alvin York overcoming his pacifism. General George Patton, as certifiable a military lunatic as America has ever produced, quoting scripture and slapping a soldier with what would today be called post-traumatic stress disorder.

The endless references in these movies to the Bible, and to God keeping watch over soldiers, are as nauseating as the endless television news stories about the "miracle" of a slain U.S. soldier's family finding an Iraqi puppy who was, apparently, the last creature the doomed young soldier had a chance to cuddle.

And Newsweek and the Wa-Po think this kind of commentary constitutes "intelligent, informed, eclectic, respectful conversation" about religion?  It's none of those things, not when one of your panelists thinks Memorial Day is disgusting, and Biblical references are "nauseating."

HT: Amy Alkon, who thinks Susan Jacoby is marvelous.


May 17, 2007 10:45 AM

The Westboro Baptist Church--you know, the people who go to soldier's funerals and scream "God Hates Fags" at the attendees--has announced they are going to picket another funeral.

Guess whose?


At least this shows just how nutty the Westboro Baptist Church crowd is. 

Has anyone noticed the world doesn't hate us anymore?

May 11, 2007 09:17 AM

Ann Coulter makes a great point.  Despite George W. Bush being a supposed "cowboy president" who has made the rest of the world despise us, it isn't looking that way lately.  France just elected a very pro-American President.  Germany did the same thing in 2005, Canada elected a conservative Prime Minister in 2006, and the pro-American Prime Minister of Australia was re-elected to an historic third term in 2004.  And even Tony Blair, who was our ally when few else were, is about to be replaced by a pro-American conservative.

Ann also gets in a sectarian attack:

I'm off to Paris! I hereby revoke every churlish remark I've ever made about those lovely Gallic people. (But in light of former New Jersey governor and current "gay American" Jim McGreevey's latest career move, I redouble everything I've ever said about the Episcopalians.)

I'd be offended by that, if she weren't absolutely right.

HT: Bizzy Blog.

"It was very creamy and had a graham cracker crust," Crippen said. "It splattered all across the floor, crumbs all the way to the communion rail."

May 8, 2007 08:53 AM

The Episcopal/Anglican crack-up hits a new low, as a conservative rector in Colorado gets pied.  I love the eyewitnesses description though.  "It was very creamy, with a graham cracker crust!"

From the Anglican/Episcopal Rumor Mill...

April 30, 2007 10:06 AM

...we get this report from Gawker:

We hear that former New Jersey gov Jim McGreevey has a new career planned—and that he'll enter the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan next year. (We know—this is the second-craziest rumor we've heard this week! Please tell us we're wrong?) A religious-type person says that the Episcopal Diocese of Newark will sponsor his training for the priesthood. McGreevey, a former altar boy and a graduate of the Catholic University of America, broke with the Catholic church circa 2005; his daughter is being raised a Catholic.

Do I find this rumor credible?  Sadly, yes.  It would be very typical of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark to take on Governor McGreevey as a seminarian.  He's just their type.

The Living Stones: The Anglican Church in the Holy Land... making the Episcopal left look like spoiled brats

April 10, 2007 09:58 PM

"There were about 20 different things that irritated me about that service"

April 9, 2007 11:00 AM

That's what I said to Mrs. NBS, on the way to the car after the Easter Sunday service at the Church of the Redeemer in Hyde Park.  Was I exaggerating?  Could there really have been 20?  Let's make a list:

1.  The service was at 11:00, a special Easter Sunday time that is an hour later than the 10:00 service we usually go to.  We arrive at the customary time, and learn we are an hour early.  So, we go home, and sit around in our church clothes, because it's not like you can get anything done at that point.  [We do feel sorrier for the family with young kids that we saw running to make it in time a few minutes before ten.  You know they went through hell to get the kids ready for church and out the door.  For nothing!  Also, they prove that we aren't the only ones who didn't get the memo].

2.  An hour later, we return to church.  There is no place to sit.

3.  They didn't copy enough service leaflets.

4.  One of the associate priests, a male who is well in to his forties, is sporting a ponytail.  It looks ridiculous.  But the more annoying thing is that you just know he thinks it makes him look cool.  Good Lord, deliver us.

5.  The rector mentions Iraq in his Easter sermon.  Whatever his point was, it was lost on me, because I was bored out of my skull, gazing at the stained glass.  I perked up when I heard the word "Iraq," though.  And then I waited for his point.  I'm still waiting.

6.  Then, the rector mentions the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up during his sermon.  He doesn't understand why we can't learn to live with our differences.  Funny thing is, he earnestly seems to believe this is the middle of the road position.  It's not.

7.  I can't listen to the rest of the sermon, because I am so annoyed that the rector mentioned Iraq and the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up.  But, it's not like I listed to the first half of the sermon, so I guess I didn't really miss anything.  I had actually thought on Easter Sunday we'd be safe from this kind of thing, and the rector's sermon would be on point, appropriate and resurrection-focused.  How naive!

8.  The offertory anthem is by Bruce Neswick.  He's very well regarded in the church music world, and I don't hate all present-day composers.  But I've never heard anything that he has done that is particularly good, or which will stand the test of time.  Selecting one of his works for Easter Sunday is just a completely strange decision.

9.  And then: Oh, no it's Eucharistic Prayer C!  This is the flaky as hell one, about "the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home."  It's the "2001 A Space Odyssey" version of the Holy Eucharist.  Most parishes know this, and avoid it like the plague.  What they hell are they thinking?  Isn't Easter Sunday the day for the best of the best, and not the worst of the worst?

10.  The Easter Floral Array.  You contribute for dead people, people.  Not out of thanksgiving for the lives of your own children.  Especially the ones that are hopped up on candy, climbing the walls, sliding under the pews, and trying to play peek-a-boo with me the entire time.  Come on!

Well that's it, I guess.  Only 10!  But, I am generously not blaming the clergy for the weather (colder on Easter than Christmas) or for the some of the appalling clothing choices of our fellow parishioners, etc. etc..  But that's the kind of guy I am.  Generous!

UPDATE:  How could I forget?  There were two more things:

11.  The rector commencing his sermon with "In the name of God, Creator, Redeemer & Sanctifier."  Those words are only partially discriptive of the three members of the Trinity.  They are not to be used to identify the members of the Trinity.  For further details, see the comments on this thread.

12.  Everybody got a pansy on their way out.  Irony of ironies!

Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio Implicated in Controversal AIDS Research Program

April 6, 2007 08:52 AM

Well!  Here's something to chew on this Good Friday morning.  The Cincinnati Beacon, which is itself a somewhat controversal publication here in Cincinnati, has published a story implicating the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio in an extraordinarily controversal AIDS treatment program in Africa.

I do not have time this morning to get in to all the details, but the gist is this.  Non-locals may not realize this, but in recent years, Cincinnati medical hero Dr. Henry Heimlich has turned his attention away from rescuing chocking victims, and has instead focused on curing AIDs.  As I understand it, his research has not passed bio-ethical muster here in the U.S., so he's had to turn to sources overseas.  In layman's terms, his medical theory is this: AIDs can be cured by "frying" the virus at extremely high temperatures.  The malaria causes the immune system to go into overdrive, and attack not just the malaria, but HIV.  To achieve these temperatures, Dr. Heimlich introduces malaria to Third World AIDs victims, and allows their body temperature to soar to extraordinarly high levels.  The results are not pretty.

The World Health Organization has described this research as a modern medical monstrosity.  The FDA and the CDC are strongly opposed to it.  I, frankly, think it could be worth it if an AIDs cure can be found.  But it is hard not to have extremely serious reservations about performing this kind of medical research on humans.

Apparently, our late Bishop, Herbert Thompson, did not share those reservations.  It appears he was actively involved in soliciting patients for Heimlich Institute malariotherapy research.  Those patients came from Anglican parishes in Africa.

A Day in the Life of NBS...

March 21, 2007 01:16 PM I've got a sister up at Christ giving birth and a 95 year-old great aunt 'round the corner at Deaconess in her waning days (hours?).  Both hospitalizations happened within moments of the other.  The life and death imagery is pretty hard to ignore when it all occurs on the same day.  The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.  Etc. Etc.  "I am the resurrection and the life."  Etc. Etc. 

And yes, I know there's big news today in the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up.  Someone else has already said what I think about it, so if you're looking for that, go here

Animal Rights Group Says Baby Polar Bear Must Die

March 20, 2007 02:15 PM

Meet Knut:

Yes, he's a real live baby polar bear, even though he looks stuffed.  He was born three months ago in the Berlin Zoo.  His mother rejected him, and the zoo keepers have been feeding him by hand.

At three months old, however, the playful 19lb bundle of fur is at the centre of an impassioned debate over whether he should live or die.

Animal rights activists argue that he should be given a lethal injection rather than brought up suffering the humiliation of being treated as a domestic pet.

"The zoo must kill the bear," said spokesman Frank Albrecht. "Feeding by hand is not species-appropriate but a gross violation of animal protection laws."

Yes, you read that right.  The animal rights activists say that to save Knut, he must be killed.  This way, he won't be "humiliated."  It makes perfect sense!

King of the Hill on Church Shopping

March 8, 2007 11:27 PM

In case you missed it...

February 25, 2007 10:32 PM

...on December 11, 2006, NBS published a post entitled "All of Episcopal Church's Problems Helpfully Summarized on Back of Hybrid Vehicle."

People are still commenting.  To review the action, go here.

Episcopal Church Ordered into Receivership

February 19, 2007 10:42 PM

For those of you wanting an update on the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up, today brought very, very good news.  Today was the last day of the Primates' meeting in Tanzania, and after a long, tense day of meetings that went past midnight, the Primates produced a Communique that gives the American Church until September 30, 2007 to shape up or ship out.  From a reliable source, the word is that the Presiding Bishop was in tears as she reluctantly signed on.  I don't celebrate tears, but given the stakes, I am glad they were not mine.  Everything was in play the past few days, and they could well have been.

The Primates have set up what basically amounts to a governing board that will monitor the Episcopal Church's compliance with the Anglican Communion's mandates.  There are various other provisions, (including a call to halt lawsuits against conservative parishes) but the bottom line is clear.  No more going it alone with theological "innovations" that are inconsistent with 2,000 years of basic Christian doctrine.  Given some of the statements the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has made about salvation through Christ alone, this is no small matter.  It is incredible that she (and the Episcopal Church) has strayed so far from its Christian moorings so that would even be an issue, but it has.

And for those who care about the sex aspect of things (most conservatives such as myself have always said that sex is not what this is all really about) the document produced by the Primates means no gay bishops and no gay marriage, period.  Again, it's pretty basic Christian doctrine, and literally the only argument the Episcopal Church had in favor of their innovations was that the "spirit" moved them to be so innovative, and modern times call for modern rules.  It's not a particularly strong argument theologically, but it's one I see all the time in my legal practice with constitutional interpretative theory.  Usually the innovators wind up losing those arguments, too.

And so we're left with a pretty astounding judgment from the Primates: Give in to our demands, our you're out.  It could well be that the liberal leaders of the Episcopal Church will find that the demands are simply too onerous, and refuse to comply.  If that's the case, though, the Primates have made it clear that the Episcopal Church will be kicked out, which would be fine by me.  Conservatives would still have the Church of England, and the Episcopal Church is nothing but a national branch of that.  We can, and do, have other branches of the Anglican Church here, as the Primates' Communique explicitly recognizes.

As one might expect, the liberals are furious.*  And of course, that means there will not be smooth sailing between now and September 30.  Look for them to claim that the Primates' requirements are not actually what they are.  Or plead for more time.  Or take some vague steps at compliance, not actually comply, and then complain indignantly that they've done everything that has been asked. 

In the meantime, I think receivership is the most apt metaphor.  For the non-lawyers, receivership is what happens when a court orders that a bankrupt corporation's property is to be placed under the control of an outside group, so that it may be preserved for the benefit of the affected parties. The business usually continues, but it is subject to the receiver's control.  Though the liberals would howl and a lot of conservatives would say I am overly optimistic, I think it receivership is an apt metaphor for what has transpired.  For now, it is a perfect solution for a perfectly bankrupt organization.  But the final verdict will depend on the entity that emerges from bankruptcy.

For now, though, a very good day.

*Still don't believe me?  The liberal Mad Priest has blasting at his blog the Violent Femmes REM's "It's the end of the world as we know it." 

UPDATE:  The mainstream media has it fairly right... but of course play up the sex parts.

The Guardian (liberal U.K. paper)

The New York Times (" U.S. ")

Episcopal Presiding Bishop: And So I'm Telling You I'm Not Going

February 13, 2007 08:53 AM

For those of you wondering where NBS is, I've been swamped with real work (the kind that actually pays) and apologize for the slower posting. 

I've also been obsessively following the goings on in the Anglican Communion at other blogs which are on top of that story 24-7.  So I've been doing more reading than writing.  For those who are unaware, the leaders of the Anglican Church are meeting in Tanzania this week, and topic A is whether the Episcopal Church will be kicked out for being too liberal.  I very much hope that they will be, so that a foothold for the Anglican Church can be reestablished in the United States.

This is an extremely important moment for Christianity and the culture of the Western World, because what happens in this denomination has repercussions for both the Catholic and Protestant churches.  If you're not up to speed, you should be, and I would direct your attention to the following websites.


Stand Firm

I would also urge you to exercise caution when news reports start circulating later this week in the mainstream press.  The news media has absolutely no idea how to cover religion, and there is a very good possibility that whatever they report on will be wrong, or will only tell half of the story.

An even better preacher than football coach? Tony Dungy talks about his son's suicide, and much more...

February 7, 2007 10:38 PM

For those wanting to get up to speed on the Anglican crack-up...

February 6, 2007 11:19 PM

...Ruth Gledhill's Times of London interview with N.T. Wright is a very good place to start.  N.T. Wright is the Bishop of Durham, and one of the leading figures in the Church of England.  If his perspective is to be believed, the liberals who have taken over the Episcopal Church in the United States are on very, very thin ice.  Ms. Gledhill writes of Bishop Wright:

He quoted Romans 11:11-26, about the pruning of the olive tree, and John 15: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit." Dr Wright continued: "I rather hope that anything that needs pruning will not be lost, but grafted back on sooner or later." It is significant I think that  he does not think TEC will be cut away, merely pruned back a bit. He said: "There are some people in The Episcopal Church who dig themselves very firmly in and talk about rights and justice in the gay lobby. I do not see any way they can be reconciled with those in the Windsor position firmly committed to the truth by which Anglicanism lives today...."

He ends by quoting the last paragraph of Windsor. "If we finally discover we cannot walk together, we may have to learn to walk part. None of us wants that."

He's right, none of us does. Outside my front door in Kew is a cherry tree, budding unseasonally in the January sunshine. Soon it will need pruning. I cannot bear to do it, and will ask a gardener to do it for me while I hide inside. But it will have to be done, if it is to flower as beautifully again next year. I guess, from what Tom Wright is saying, that Rowan Williams will be taking a pretty fine set of shears with him to Tanzania next week, newly sharpened, nice and polished. I wonder who, or what, the shears will be, and who will be the gardener he gets to wield them. And whether either, or both, will be of this world, or the next.

For more specifics, I strongly recommend reading the whole thing.  Though I largely agree with Bishop Wright, and the Times of London, I don't share their reluctance to get out the pruning shears.  The Episcopal Church is in serious need of pruning, if it is to grow again.  Hopefully the shears will be wielded by someone who is very, very wise. 

It is something to contemplate.  Or, simply enjoy this: a fantastic photo of Durham Cathedral in winter.



January 1, 2007 01:36 PM

Over at The Kraalspace, NBS fave Dr. Mabuse has a post up about the new Episcopal Presiding Bishop's repeated use of the word "shalom," even though she ain't Jewish:

I must be the only one who really hates all this "shalom" stuff. I must be, because I haven't read anyone else complain about it. And yet it gets right up my nose every time I read it. It's not that I don't like Judaism - on the contrary, I love it. I love it so much, I regard it as a free-standing religion with its own dignity and coherence, just like my own. I do NOT regard it as Christianity's storage basement, into which we can burrow to drag up sparkly little nuggets to ornament our own tradition whenever we get bored with it.

Indeed.  "Shalom" has become the new P.B.'s favorite word, for inexplicable reasons.  You'd think she'd be trying to shore up her Christian credentials, but instead it's shalom this, shalom that.  It's practically in every sermon, asinine op-ed piece about defeating global poverty, or war-denouncing missive she sends out.  Shalom is a wonderful word, but it's not one that should be co-opted by an entirely different religion.  Enough with the Epishaloms!