Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Part 5 - A Short Tale
Setting: Backwoods, PA

Sanctimonius pushed himself away from the keyboard. He stood and stretched.

"Take that, you bunch of pinko girly-boys," he grumbled, well-satisfied with his work this evening. "You have a new hole ripped now."

Sanctimonius had decided it was time to rid the churches of those bitchy, divorced women and pansy men, once and for all. He snorted in derision at the round table discussion he had seen on PSS earlier that evening.

"God is no mulatto hodgepodge, simpering across a stage," he had typed into his latest essay.

A bit of unease flickered in the back of the Sanctimonius brain -- what if it were true? Could God love these misbegotten creatures? Could they really have God's grace?

His own mother had betrayed him, he thought bitterly, always fussing over his sister and his effeminate brother, when it was Sanctimonius who needed her attention. Sanctimonius remembered Mommy fussing over little Larry when the little creep came home crying because the bigger kids had beaten him up. What did Larry expect, lisping around in his little shorts set that Mommy had bought him? Even a 4 year-old should know better.

Sanctimonius felt his rage boil over as he remembered how Mommy had held little Larry in her lap, murmuring words of consolation to him and rocking him. It was so unfair. Sniveling little shit.

When Sanctimonius voiced his disgust, Mommy just looked at him with her soft, sad eyes and said, "Well, dear, you and Larry are just flip sides of the same coin."

That was such a lie. Sanctimonius (well, okay, Sherman was his real name) had gone ballistic when she said that. Sanctimonius remembered vividly all the subsequent visits to the child psychiatrist. Another light-in-the-loafers type, always asking the Sherman-child how he felt about things.

Walking through the bedroom to the bathroom, Sanctimonius stopped short. He took a few steps backward to take a second look at what he had seen in passing. It was a strange creature. It looked a little like Sanctimonius, but wearing bright-red lipstick, eye shadow and mascara, a pointy bra, garter and stockings.

He heard a strange, womanish squealing sound. He realized it was coming from his own throat. Frantically, Sanctimonius grabbed a washcloth and tried to remove the makeup from his face. It looked as garish as before.

Sanctimonius threw open the closet, breathing heavily. Instead of the neatly-hung suits and shirts that he expected to see, his closet was filled with pink, frilly, fou-fou dressing gowns and more bras and garters suspended from pink, padded hangers. Little pink slippers with feathery things on them had replaced all his shoes.

Sanctimonius ran to his dresser and started yanking out the drawers. All of them were filled with yet more of the offensive lingerie.

Another high-pitched squeal erupted from Sanctimonius. In a panic, Sanctimonius ran to the back door and pulled it open. Realizing his nearly-nude state, Sanctimonius ran to the coat closet. More of the same girly-clothes. He caroomed into the spare bedroom. More of the same. Sanctimonius finally pulled one of the pink dressing-gown creations from its place and pulled it on. Pink feathers tickled his nose and made him sneeze.

"No, no, no, no, no," Sanctimonius moaned.

He hesitated at the kitchen door for a moment, then ran down the back steps and along the driveway of the country home. Trees loomed over him threateningly. Sanctimonius realized he was running like a girl, heels kicking up in the air behind him, and he shrieked like a girl. He started sobbing.

Sanctimonius ran down the highway, knees and heels and elbows flying up into the air, pink silk and boa feathers floating about him. He began to shriek, and he tried to run faster, as if to escape from...something, but he could only run like a girl, like one of the girls who always flunked P.E.

Sobbing, Sanctimonius lurched down Highway 22 toward Bethlehem.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Part 4 - See the entry of June 8 for Part 1.

The mule stands working his jaw, as if thinking, for a moment.

"My son advocates mercy."

The two levitating theologians are eased gently back to the floor.

"Let's talk turkey," says the mule, as the cameras come back on.

(A shimmering light appears around the mule as the animal is transformed into a short, dark-skinned man wearing a business suit with a stole over his shoulders. Features of every race and ethnicity seemed to be combined in him -- Asian, African, European, Indian, Islander, Aborigine. He is masculine in form, but with a delicacy of feature and manner.)

"My children, you can relate to me more easily in this form, now that I have your attention." He sighed. "It's hard to keep you focused on the truly important things.

"Handyman, I can quote you all the Bible passages that speak of love, of treating each other the way you want to be treated, of building each other up in love. You've read them all many times before, but they don't seem to get through your and your associates' fixation on 'homoerotic' love."

The man's eyes twinkle in amusement, then turn serious.

"I could go into a discussion of psychology here, but I won't. Look at the past 10 years spent keeping your congregations fixed on the things that divide instead of uniting you in love. The energy and talent put into vitriolic wrangling over real estate and tax-exempt status and being the "true" believers instead of feeding my sheep is an affront to me. All of you have been sinners in this.

"And treating my children as if they are not worthy to enter my home. I am offended. Just as it is not what goes into your mouth, but what comes out of it that makes you unclean, it is not an act of sex that makes one unclean -- it is having it without caring for your partner, having it without love, fidelity, commitment and acceptance of responsibility.

"It is lack of love that pollutes a church, not sexual orientation. I weep when I see such lack of love as I have been seeing, my children.

"Jesus came to free you from the yoke of the law. You must stop seeking to bind up my children with it anew.

"If you love me, if you love my son Jesus Christ, whom you may also know as the Word, Sephia, Wisdom, you will honor my request."

Moderator: Yes, well, aha, thank you very much, church leaders and, er..

"You may call me God, or Father or Mother or Creator or Abba or what describes me best in terms you can understand."

Handyman: But what about the Scriptures. They are your words, if you are God. You can't suddenly change the rules in midstream.

"I have never changed the rules, my child. It is your understanding of my plans for you that I have been changing over time. If you did not believe the cynics when they said 'God is dead,'then you must understand I am active in the world. I am not reduced to words written in a book, even if that book is the Bible."

Handyman: But you wrote the Bible and it said--

"No, I did not write the Bible. I breathed my inspiration into those prophets who wrote it. I spoke through fallible human beings, who couldn't help but insert some of their own thinking, a product of their times and culture, into what they wrote. That's the way I work. Do you think I turn human beings into ventriloquists' dummies?"

The little man shakes his head sadly. "Then you accuse me of being the prince of demons, who would do such a thing.

"The Bible shows you the direction you must go to find me. But the Bible is not me. You, and you also, Mr. Knowit, must quit picking the Bible to pieces to find only what suits your purposes. Look at the whole of the Bible, which even within it shows an evolution of understanding the human in relation to the divine, and what are you taught? To be hospitable to strangers, for you never know if you might be entertaining angels. To show love, mercy and compassion. To be a light to the world. To worship the Lord your God."

(Cracker, Rusett, and Ensley, who have all been sitting open-mouthed, drop to their knees and prostrate themselves before the little man. Technicians and audience members, including rabbis, a robed Hindu leader and a turbaned Muslim, approach the stage and do likewise. Snively, the moderator, looks around in bewilderment, then throws himself to the floor, too.)

Knowit: This is absurd. This is more staged parlor tricks. God doesn't just suddenly appear as a mule or a short man and start lecturing people.

"This is why I don't care to make many appearances. And you wonder why Jesus couldn't stay with you. You always demand more, bigger, flashier proof of who I am."

Handyman: But..

"No buts. You will rescind ACN-ACCCH church policy banning gays and lesbians, and open wide the doors of your churches, which are actually mine, inviting all to worship with you and asking forgiveness from them and me. Those who are to respond to the invitation are to make reciprocal efforts. You, Handyman, and also Granola, will initiate action to reconcile with the rest of my Christian church. You will delete any derogatory terminology from your creeds and start ordaining believers from those groups you have excluded. You will ask forgiveness for your words and actions of hatred. You will ask for my mercy, and mean it."

(The little man snaps his fingers. A cloud appears from nowhere. The man steps onto it and it disappears through the clutter of cables and equipment above the set, on up through the ceiling. Several people faint.)


June 12, 2014
PAINO, TEXAS (UNS - Unsaintly News Service)

The Rev. Canon David Rosencrantz issued a statement from the steps of the ACN-ACCCH Christ Church in Paino today, in response to queries about the North American Chapter of the ACCCH's reaction to the presence of God at the group's international convention in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as an appearance in the US at today's PSS taping of a roundtable discussion on religion.

"We will take under advisement these alleged statements of God. We will hold them to the light of Holy Scripture to determine if they meet our criteria of orthodoxy before we can accept them as being indeed, the word of God.

"We are baffled by some of the statements from a personage alleged to be God, statements that sound like revisionist rhetoric from apostate liberals. We just do not understand how God could let unrepentant sinners into his churches. We do not understand how God could chastise the sole traditional and orthodox church.

We will issue a statement after further deliberation."


The Right High Rev. Pete Granola, head of the Confessing Anglican Union, the ACCCH, CAPA, the Province of Nigeria and Boy Scout Troop #119, issued a call to "all the faithful" to take part in the day of confession, repentance and prayer scheduled tomorrow, in conjunction with the Rev. Billy Cracker's day of prayer in Yankee Stadium in New York.

Granola said that he was convinced to take this course of action after a phone call from Cracker in which Cracker said he had been healed of his debilitating illness after God's appearance on PSS (see the related story) today. Cracker said he could walk for the first time in seven years, unaided by life support systems.

Granola said, "That's good enough for me," and asked all Nigerian believers to pour into the streets for prayer and forgiveness tomorrow. He said he would say special prayers for God not to smite Lagos or any part of Nigeria, or anywhere else, for that matter.


The Rightly Rev. Susan B. Russett, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA, echoed Billy Cracker's call for a day of national repentance, saying she planned to join the evangelical preacher in Yankee Stadium, and asking "all who believe in God" to join them.

"This will be our opportunity to show our unity in the love of God," she said. "And if you don't believe in God, come and find out what it's all about."

Russett said she expects an outpouring of love for God, and God's love for humankind at the event.

"This is truly an exciting time to be alive," she added.


David Sanctimonius, spokesperson for the ACN/ACCCH and right-wing in general, as well as host of the blog site "Sanctimony," posted a statement saying he did not believe God could be "a pansexual promoter of association with degenerates and liberals."

He asked, "How could God possibly expect us righteous, orthodox types to mingle with such depravity? It just can't be."

Sanctimonius concluded with a request for donations to his tax-exempt fund in England.

Sources at Billy Cracker's Crusade informed UNS that Sanctimonius refused to take calls from either Granola or Cracker today to discuss recent developments. The same sources also revealed that Cracker intends to change the name of his group, realizing that the word "Crusade" is outmoded and not in the spirit of harmony to which God is calling him.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Part 3 - go to the entry of Tuesday, June 8, for Part 1.

June 12, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. (UNS - Unsaintly News Service)

Clergy of various denominations gathered today for a PSS roundtable discussion of the implications of the appearance of God in Lagos, Nigeria, June 9.

Present were Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA, the Rev. Susan Russett; president of the North American Chapter of Anglican Christian Confessing Crusading Honchos (ACCCH), the Rev. David C. Handyman; the Rev. Billy Cracker of the Billy Cracker Crusade; Archbishop T. Herman Ensley of the Catholic Diocese of Upper East New York and the Rev. Harry I. Knowit of Intellectuals in Search of the Historic Jesus. Clement Snively of PSS moderated the discussion.

The following is a transcript of today's extraordinary events, provided by PSS.

Moderator: Thank you all for coming here on such short notice. I'm sure you'll agree the circumstances warrant timely consideration.

Cracker: Yes, indeed. It was worth the effort. (He adjusts settings on life-support equipment.)

Handyman: Well, I for one, just do not accept that it was the real presence of God there in Lagos. God would never go against His, er, Her own scripture. It's simply impossible. Scripture condemns certain activities, and I'm tired of being persecuted for proclaiming the Bible as the sole, inerrant way of knowing God. It is blasphemy to interpret scripture to say that gays and heathens are going to be up there in heaven. It goes against God's law.

Russett: I'm sure you've heard this before, but the primary law that came from Jesus was, "Love each other as I have loved you."

Moderator: So, let me clarify. Rev. Handyman, you do not accept that it was God at your gather, but Rev. Russett, you do.

Handyman: No, I'm sure this is part of a liberal plot to persecute the faithful.

Russett: There was no plot. God decided she was tired of being unheard.

Moderator: Why, do you suppose, didn't she just enter the convention, anyway, if she is the Almighty, instead of asking permission at the door.

Russett: Now, here you see thousands of years of tradition. God does not usually enter where she is not welcome.

Cracker: I saw the tapes, and I'm convinced, it was God. I'm calling for a day of national and international repentance. As you know, I've booked Yankee Stadium and have called the faithful to gather together tomorrow for an outpouring of confession and prayer. We expect the stadium to be packed with people, but if you can't get in, just go to the nearest church, synangogue, mosque or place of prayer, and PRAY, brothers and sisters. Pray for the mercy of God.

Ensley: The Pope sent me a statement last night, asking me to announce his renunciation of papal infallibility. He said he was convinced of the presence of God in Lagos, and he will obey God's will. A papal bull regarding the acceptance of diversity is forthcoming.

Knowit: Surely all of you cannot accept this prank. We know that the concept of God is an anthromorphism -- there is no God who simply shows up and wants to be let into a convention, any more than Jesus actually walked on the water or fed the 5,000. These are all just stories to convince the superstitious. And it can't be proved that Jesus ever actually existed.

Handyman: All of you are heretics and apostates. (jumping up from chair) You are a bunch of twisted, lying liberals.

Cracker: Just who you calling either twisted or liberal, sonny.

Handyman: The Bible is clear about the inerrancy of Scripture! This is about correct theology. (sputters, turns red) If you can't confess to the inerrancy of scripture instead of confessing to some trumped up joke HAAACCCCKKKKKKKuh. (Suddenly, Handyman is suspended six feet in the air, as is Knowit. There is general confusion.)

(A mule saunters onto the set, looks at the two dangling gentlemen, and says, in the same feminine voice heard on the Lagos tapes, "Surely, gentlemen, there must be some way to convince you. If you are willing to ask me into your heart, you are forgiven. If you persist in the actions and attitudes so lacking in love for your fellow human beings ... well, the choice is yours. Choose life or death. After all, Rev. Handyman, I am an abomination by your definition." The mule turns to the camera, smiles broadly, and winks.)


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Part 2 (Read Part One in yesterday's entry)

June 9, 2014
LAGOS, NIGERIA (UNS - Unsaintly News Service)

M'be To'moro, head of the Nigerian state police force, issued an order to Anglican Confessing Crusading Christian Honchos (ACCH) convention delegates to leave the country within 24 hours.

To'moro refused a request for an interview, but an aide who wished to remain anonymous quoted To'moro as saying, "We don't want to get in the way of the wrath of God," a reference to a statement, alleged to have come from God, giving the ACCCH group seven days to repent from their stand excluding God from their activities.

It's unknown exactly how many have been attending the conference of the highly secretive group. Archbishop Pete Granola, head of the province of Nigeria in the Confessing Anglican Union and ACCCH leader, was unavailable for comment.

The Rev. David C. Handyman, North American Chapter President of the ACCCH, had earlier claimed more than 100,000 members, but analysts said this figure is an exaggeration and put the total at 108 worldwide members. How many of those have been at the convention is unknown.

In the United States, only one diocese remains affiliated with the conservative Union, with only 14 active members of the ACCCH, according to a University of Northsouth study completed last month. Two other dioceses earlier left the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, which they labeled "revisionist" and "heretical," but have since returned to their original affiliations, calling the newly formed group dictatorial and oppressive.

Officials at the Lagos airport indicate that the departure rate for visitors traveling on visas or passports is up 50 percent. Overall, departures from the airport are up 40 percent and outbound flights are booked solid the next five days, sources reported.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

June 9, 2014
LAGOS, NIGERIA (UNS - Unsaintly News Service)

The annual Anglican Confessing Christian Crusading Honchos (ACCCH) convention was thrown into chaos today when God was denied admittance to the gathering.

"He refused to sign the statement of faith," said North American Chapter President, the Rev. David C. Handyman."We had no alternative. Anyone who refuses to sign our Confessional Statement must be banned, in accordance with our constitution. We do this with a heavy heart and great sadness. Frankly, we are baffled by God's refusal to abide by His own Word. Not only that, He defaced our signature forms."

In a statement issued by the Archangel Michael, God explained that She has boycotted previous conventions of the group and its predecessors.

"However, I consider that now is the time for me to make a statement," God said. "I wrote on their Confessional Statement that I am still an active, living God, that I am unchanging, but I constantly seek to reveal Myself to the world and my spirit is still hard at work to bring all of you into the Kingdom. ACCCH didn't seem too interested in hearing this. They told me that everything I had done was done and was written in the Bible and I couldn't go around 'spouting new stuff.' I take issue with this. I also take issue with implications that I do not love all my children. I created them, I gave life to them; they are my own and I love them. I seek to bring them all close to Me."

Handyman responded, "We simply cannot accept this. I sorrowfully regret that we must charge God with heresy. God appeared at the convention in a feminine form, which we considered a slap in the face. And He, She, whatever, also made statements to the effect that He, uh, God, was pleased with certain gay/lesbian priests and bishops and their examples of God's love. God also claimed to love even those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as personal savior. This goes against more than 2,000 years of tradition.

"For the sake of the members of our convention, who feel they cannot meet in the atmosphere of intimidation to which we would be subjected by this kind of liberalism, we must deny admittance to all heretics, including God."

The Archangel delivered a subsequent statement from God, ominously giving the ACCCH seven days to repent.

Monday, June 07, 2004

An administration bought and paid for?

Halliburton's sphere of influence around the White House has been no secret. The corporation and its subsidiaries have been awarded a reported $18 billion in contracts related to the war in Iraq.

Last month, the Pentagon refused to pay $160 million to one Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root, for meals for the military for which the company charged, but apparently did not serve. I wonder how much they're charging per meal. I wonder what happened to the days of the military having its own cooks. No wonder Iraq is overrun with military contractors.

Now there's a flap brewing about a contract awarded to a company called Accenture, a reincarnation of Arthur Anderson Consulting, the one of Enron fame. It's a branch that split off from the parent company and is headquartered in the Bahamas, which means it pays no U.S. income taxes.

Accenture was just awarded a contract worth up to $10 billion from the Department of Homeland Security to develop a 'virtual border' for airport security. This involves digital scanning of eyes and retina for identification purposes.

It should come as no surprise Accenture is a big George W. Bush supporter and a big contributor to Bush’s re-election campaign. In 2002, Accenture also hired Charlie Black, a Bush family confidant, to lobby against proposed legislation to deny contracts to companies headquartered in offshore havens like the Bahamas.

In 2002, Accenture was also awarded a Department of Defense contract for an Internet voting program called SERVE, Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Equipment, to be used for live absentee balloting for the approximately 100,000 eligible military personnel and other U.S. citizens living overseas. These absentee voters would use online PCs to register and cast votes at a SERVE Web site, which would then transmit the vote to the appropriate county for inclusion in its tally.

Accenture coyly declined to state the dollar amount of the contract.

The system was to have been used in the 2004 election, but the Pentagon pulled the plug on it in February because of concerns about the system's security.

'It was done in view of the inability to ensure the legitimacy of votes that would be cast in SERVE,' said Defense Department spokeswoman Maj. Sandra Burr.

The plug apparently was not pulled on the contract, which runs through March 2005. Accenture will still be experimenting with the system.

Accenture was also awarded a contract by the General Services Administration for a management review of the Federal Technology Service and Federal Supply Service, in particular, in January 2002. I haven't seen the price tag for this contract, either.

Apart from monetary concerns, it strikes me we should be concerned about corporate entities, especially offshore, international business entities, having access to our Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Pentagon, voter registration, immigration and other governmental computer systems.

Thank goodness there are still people in the Pentagon and DOD who don’t just 'play ball' with these big boys. By the time we get through another four-year Bush term, I suspect they will all be replaced with yes men.

This month, the Washington Post featured a story called 'Wall Street firms funnel millions to Bush.' This story outlines how Merrill Lynch’s chief executive, E. Stanley O'Neal, 'suggested' in letters to his chief executives that they contribute to Bush’s re-election.
O’Neal's 'suggestions' are not taken lightly. The Post pointed out this is the man who eliminated 24,000 jobs, froze pay and steadily pushed out competitors for executive power, including colleagues who had championed his rise up the corporate ladder. 'Ruthless,' O'Neal has reportedly told colleagues, 'isn't always bad.'

O'Neal collected $279,750 in contributions for the Bush campaign in less than three weeks. A total of $459,050 was contributed to Bush by Merrill Lynch employees during the current election cycle, according to Dwight Morris & Associates, which studies political money.

This is part of a $12.14 million 'tidal wave of cash' to the Bush campaign from the insurance and finance sectors.


Bush has sponsored legislation producing billions of dollars in revenue on Wall Street.

Of course, influence peddlers and lobbyists have always been around. But the more I read, the more I become convinced the Bush administration is bought and paid for by 'Rangers' like O'Neal, who gather at least $200,000 in individual contributions, the legal maximum of which is $2,000 per person; by 'Pioneers,' who are only able to gather $100,000 in like funds; and by corporate 'friends' of the president and vice president.

Are we a government of the people, by the people and for the people, or a government controlled by corporate interests, for corporate profit? We're perilously close, now.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Upon reading the polls

Bushie, Bushie,
Poor little Bushie, Bushie.
Bought his shot at glory
but he blew it.
See what happens when
Yes men don't say no
to the barely mediocre suffering
delusions of grandeur.
Now the polls are in the crapper
and dreams of Bushie empire
Is he more dangerous now,
as madmen are when delusions
are exposed,
petulant at not getting their way?
Determined to win in the end,
whatever the cost
to you and me.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

The storm

Central Florida proudly proclaims itself "the lightning capital of the world." After a spring of drought, we had a derriere-kicker of a storm last night.

I was caught on the highway. It looked ready to storm as I left the church last night, so I stopped and picked up some groceries, figuring the storm would pass over while I was inside. It did, but it or its buddy waited for me out on the stretch of 10-mile highway through the middle of nowhere.

The deluge hit like a solid wall of water. The road was covered in water in seconds, disappearing into it. The only guide I had was the dim glow of reflective markers that my car's headlights captured through the water. The explosions of lightning served more to temporarily blind than to illuminate.

I didn't want to pull off to the side of the road for fear of getting stuck in mud or sliding into the wide, water retention ditches that parallel the highway. There's usually enough water in them that people fish from them, even in dry weather.

The blinkers of a car ahead of me came on, signalling that the driver intended to pull off to the side of the road, but the driver apparently thought better of it, too, and continued the journey.

It started feeling like my car was plowing through high water instead of rolling on the roadway, and I worried about my car stalling out. I could see the lights of a large truck behind me, and I was suddenly gripped by the image of it trying to pass me and swamping my car with its wake.

Now I could relate to the story of Jesus' disciples on the boat, during the storm:

Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"
(Matthew 8:24-25, NIV)

If Jesus had been sleeping on my back seat, I would have removed one hand from the steering wheel long enough to wake him, saying, "Lord? LORD?"

But my next thought was that I had no need to wake my Lord, who neither slumbers nor sleeps. He was there with me, in the front seat, keeping my hands steady on the wheel.

I am so much more fortunate than those disciples, for I know the rest of the story, and how marvelous is Jesus Christ, who can calm these storms, and who relieves our fears of life and death, for he is with us, always.

I arrived home safely.