Friday, June 22, 2007

Unhappy Cassandra

Wow. I went back into the archives, and stumbled upon this rant from February 2004. I was right (sigh) about pretty much everything that would unfold, except maybe the ABC's good sense. Well, maybe he will redeem himself.

This was when I'd just left my old AAC aka Network parish:

Lying liberal liar with my load of liberal lies

Now that I've calmed down, I can write the posting with this title that I started to write right away, but without writing it in the anger that I had at the time of the fight between Father Dearest and me.

To those who are curious about the article that precipitated the fight, it's called "Contending with Anglican Realignment" by the Rev. Canon Mark Harris in The Witness Magazine.

You should be able to find the article at:

or just go to "" and look for the article.

It's written by a theologian in the Episcopal Church. Harris expressed a lot of thoughts I've had about the AAC, but with a better background in theology and philosophy on which to draw than I have at the moment. Agreement with him is evidence that I have moved from a rather conservative to a more liberal position. I guess that makes me a lying liberal liar, to paraphrase Al Franken.

I wrote this in an e-mail to a friend today, trying to explain my antipathy toward the AAC, which I can view only as repressive and tending towards fascism:

"The Gene Robinson issue is only a small part of
the picture, as far as I'm concerned. I don't want to
be taken or dragged out of the Episcopal Church into
some other "province," or to have authority over it
given to foreign primates who have a lot of cultural
differences [including polygamy, slavery, child labor
exploitation and stoning]. I don't think the AAC bishops
involved in this realize how dangerous giving away
this power is. They think they'll really be controlling
things behind the scenes and have the mantle handed
to them after they've purged and purified the church.
Nor do I want to go to some Calvinistic, repressive
church where you can have only one interpretation
of scripture (theirs, fundamentalist) or you're not a
Christian. I don't want to have to sign an AAC
loyalty oath*[I see this coming. The requirements for
attending the AAC convention and the Chapman
memo and other documents clearly set the tone for this.
It won't be the first time in the history of the church
that something like this has happened.]
to be allowed to participate in the church --
that to me is blasphemy. My loyalty is to God and
I'm happy to say the Nicene or Apostle's creed, but
not sign an AAC oath. This kind of stuff is what I see
coming in the diocese if the tide is not turned.
Everyone who went to the AAC meetings/conventions
had to sign on and affirm their stance.
That's my diatribe for the day! Sorry to get on a
soap box, but I think this is a dangerous situation and
the AAC doesn't want us to even know what's going on."

Some of the AAC bishops, including the one in this diocese,
have been engaged in talks with these foreign, ultraconservative
bishops: July 15, 2003, Bishop Howe, among other AAC
affiliated bishops, signed a letter to "Concerned Primates"
to "address the crisis of Faith and Order
that is increasingly unfolding among us... In the face of these
looming departures from evangelical truth and catholic order,
and in line with our commitment to oppose all such
innovations in every Godly way, we do hereby affirm the
moral and spiritual authority of you, the 'Concerned Primates'
of the Anglican Communion, and do join in commitment with
you to address the situation under your leadership.
We desire to act in concert with you, and are ready to
take counsel from you. We pledge solidarity with you in
sharing common faith and practice within an Anglicanism
that is submitted to her sovereign Lord, true to his holy
Word, and at one with the catholic Church. We stand ready,
in concert with you, to commit to common responses to the
deteriorating situation within the Episcopal Church and

I don't respect bishops who are so willing to hand their flocks over to others. I don't want to be subjected to these primates' "moral and spiritual authority," thank you very much. They need to work on setting their own houses in order.

I feel sure the Archbishop of Canterbury wouldn't go along with such a plan. It would be lighting the fuse to a powder keg. But pushing the agenda serves to polarize, divide and cause hostilities.

The AAC is even willing to have the Archbishop become the pope of the Anglican Communion, or at least over the Episcopal Church part of the communion, with absolute authority. They think it will be to their advantage. I don't think it would; the ABC is nowhere as conservative as they want to force him to be and again, I think he has better sense than to go along with such an attempt.

It seems to me that the AAC is looking for any means possible to break the back of the Episcopal Church, then move in for the kill. These men seem to have a brew of fundamentalist theology, anger and suspicion toward anything different -- like ordained women or Gene Robinson -- lust for power and contempt for their flocks, from whom they want to conceal so many of their actions, with closed, secret meetings, secret memos and stealthy plans.

Father Dearest accused me of trying to "discredit" the Network. I don't think I have
to; they do it themselves as soon as the light is shined on their activities.

UPDATE 6/22/07 - I'm much more familiar with Mark Harris of Preludium fame now! (grin) Archbishop Peter Akinola is, of course, much better known to readers now. When I posted this, many in the Voices group weren't familiar with him. Bishop Howe seems to have pulled back from his stance, but the diocesan board and standing committee members still want to do in TEC and join CANA or AMiA, not necessarily in that order.

Five reasons Jesus rocks

Hedwyg over at Practicing Intentional Gratitude tagged me with this meme.

1. Those tagged will share 5 Things They Dig About Jesus.
2. Those tagged will tag 5 people.
3. Those tagged will leave a link to their meme in the comments section of this post so everyone can keep track of what's being posted.

Five things I dig about Jesus:

1. His ministry was to the poor and hurting. Jesus was respectful toward women, and treated them with consideration. His actions almost always involved compassion, though he did get cranky with his dunder-headed disciples at times, but that he put up with them gives me hope.

2. He's been there when I've needed him, which is always, though I havent' always been aware of it. I've experienced his protection, his love, his promise, his comforting touch. It's the reason I'm still here.

3. Jesus broke us free from the letter of the law, and put us under the spirit of the law, through grace, with love.

4. This has come up in some of my meditations: Jesus was God who literally pitched his tent among us, who came to dwell with us. Can you imagine voluntarily going to a third-world slum, living in a filthy, disease-infected shack and dedicating your life for people who would spit on you and kill you? That's a smaller scale of what he did. God and human.

5. He was and is radical in a way we don't really get most of the time. See No. 1 for part of it, but it's much more than that. We keep trying to tame him into something more comfortable, but he's a planet changer!

First off, I tagged Padre Mickey, since he always tags me! I'll come back later and tag some more. Got to get back to work now.

Here are more tags. Sorry I didn't get back to it until today - I went to the movies last night! More on that later.

Anyway, here are additional tags:

I girded my loins, took a deep breath, and climbed up Mount Olympus, where intellectual lightweights like me dare not tread. Yes, I risked lightning bolts and tsunamis, and tagged Mark Harris!

I also nabbed Clumber, who has some terrifically funny stuff posted at his blog, Episcopal crucifer and standard-bearer extraordinaire Lisa at My Manner of Life, Juanuchis at Juanuchis' Way and PJ at PJ's Pointless Blog. I was gonna get Mimi at Wounded Bird also, but she's gone to the beach.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Musings on Galatians

I didn't go to church today, because I'm having car trouble and don't want to risk going cross-county. I'm getting it into the shop first thing tomorrow morning; hopefully my poor chariot will make it into town.

So, instead of going to my usual service this morning, I watched a Catholic service on television. My ears perked up at the second reading:

Galatians 2:15-21

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law. But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

All of Americans would have been held in contempt by most first-century Jews and Christians. We're pretty much a mongrel bunch of gentiles, and the Jews are hardly better, with strains of European, Asian and other Middle-Eastern blood mixed in. Sinners, all.

The Archbishop of Nigeria and his cohorts would not fare any better. Perhaps Peter Abuja should think about this.

For, we "do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing."

So if we think we're to be elevated by the purity of our blood, our self-glorifying works and strutting about on the streets proclaiming our piety, our social status, our sexual orientation or any of those other things that shall pass away, we nullify Christ.

If we live the best life we can, holding onto the grace of God and the love of Christ, we are justified. If we live through the law, and tear down everything not of the law, then even as we proclaims ourselves protectors of the faith, we make Christ meaningless.

Remember, Satan is a legalist.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The 'random facts' meme

Padre Mickey is at it again: spreading memes. He's a carrier!

So this one's in eights. Padre Mickey sez I have to follow the rules, which are:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.

2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

I don't know if there are eight random facts or habits about me that would actually be interesting, but here goes:

1. I can cuss worse than a sailor.

2. I have seen a UFO at least once, possibly twice. Don't know if they were extra-terrestrial, just "unidentified."

The first time was when I was just a kid, and I'm guessing what I saw was some new type of military aircraft with which I was unfamiliar -- we lived naval air stations. Whatever it was, it scared me, flying low, coming toward me one evening. I was only eight or nine.

The second time, I was an adult, here in Florida, and driving home from work one evening. It was still light outside. I had a clear, unobstructed view of the sky to the north of me. I saw something that looked like a huge silver disk arc across the sky very fast, then curve down maybe 20 miles to the north of me. I lost sight of it behind a line of trees near me.

Without knowing the object's size, it was difficult to determine its distance, but on the news that night was a story about numerous UFO reports around a town 20 miles to the north. I don't know what the disk was. It looked like no aircraft I've ever seen before, and it was too perfectly shaped and polished looking to have been a meteorite. It's trajectory didn't suggest that, either. It looked huge.

3. Speaking of stuff in the skies, I have a private pilot's license. I don't fly any more -- can't afford it -- but I'm proud of the fact I got it.

4. I like to chew on the bits of unpopped left popcorn in the bottom of the microwave bag. The dentist said this contributed to a missing filling and broken tooth. Bummer.


5. I have a bit of a thing for Johnny Depp. Maybe it's time for another Pirates saga.

6. I love a weekend where I can just lay around the house, read and watch movies.

7. More on sightings -- I've seen green lightning -- cool!

8. When I was younger, I almost applied for law school. Legal stuff still interests me. On the other hand, I'm getting an angel collection, between things I've bought, and gifts of ceramic and arts-and-crafty angels. I like them.


Okay, now for the tagging:

1. Brother Causticus at titusoneten

2. Share Cropper of 23 Acres of Black Dirt

3. Pseudopiskie of Mom Said Nobody Cares.

4. Caminante (but I can't post it on her blog -- no comment section.)

5. Ann of What the Tide Brings in

6. Doxy of Wormwood's Doxy

7. Hedwyg of Practicing Intentional Gratitude

8. MadPriest (Of Course, He Could Be Wrong)

I don't care if someone else beat me to it! Nyah, nyah, you're tagged! Don't blame me, blame Padre Mickey. Anybody I missed, sorry. Anybody who'd like to play but doesn't have a blog, I'll post it for you!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

Who, me? Pick up a cross?

Jesus called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." – Mark 8:34-38

These are some of the toughest words in the New Testament.
I want to follow Jesus, but "taking up my cross" to follow him brings images of that last journey Jesus made through Jerusalem, bowed under the weight of the cross on which he would die, crucified.
Somehow, the idea isn't too appealing.
Still, the Apostles lived short, hard lives, followed by martyrdom (most of them) or exile (John). It was this refusal to budge from their witness of who Jesus was and is, even under pain of death, that convinced me of the reality of their accounts.
Is Christ calling on us to suffer crucifixion for him?
While martyrs exist even in this day, we can take up our crosses and follow Jesus in other ways. Dedicated pastors sacrifice most of their personal lives, recreational time and probably 70 hours a week in service to Christ. Medical missionaries risk disease, unfriendly local officials, hardship living conditions and any personal life at all to bring life-giving services to others.
But the sacrifice Christ demands of us each day is the hardest one to make. That sacrifice is of ego, pride, materialism, time, spiritual gifts: ourselves, every day. In some ways, that's harder to attain than martyrdom, a one-time event.
Sacrificing or subordinating all my wants and concerns to the service of Christ, every day, is something at which I fail much more than I succeed.
But, what good is it to have the world, to have things the way I, in my petty ego, want them, if in the end, I lose everything?
It is only his mercy, his grace, that saves me, for I'll never attain that kind of piety.
Because I do love him so much, each day I will strive to surrender more of myself to Christ's will, to proclaiming the Gospel.
I don't want him to be ashamed of me, the one who professes to be his follower.

Dear Lord, help me to become more like you each day. Help me put away my vanities and petty concerns so I can be a better witness to you. Help me give myself to you. Amen.

The voice from the crypt

I know. Long time no post.

I've been working at my new part-time job, so I'm working 60 hours a week. I've been sick with some type of allergy-bronchitis-whatever stuff for almost two weeks, and thought I was gonna, and woulda preferred to pass away quietly, but I'm starting to feel better.

I worked a few hours Saturday at the new job, and took Betsy into the nearly-deserted building with me.

She was impressed only with the break room.

"Look at the giant-sized treat machines," Betsy said, in awe and wonder.

Ah, well. My bank account was happy for the first time in many months today. Got two paychecks in, and the new job pays pretty decent. I even got paid for a half-day Monday (Memorial Day) that I didn't work at that job.

Sometimes I'd just like a little tenderness, though. Someone to say "I'll get you some cough syrup" in the middle of the night, or, "I'll make you a cup of tea. Are you feeling any better?"

It's the fate of a lone woman.

Nobody to even feel sorry for me but me. Phhhbbbbttttt ah, well.

I have some thoughts about the state of the Anglican Communion, but they'll have to wait until tomorrow. Or, rather, later today. I'd better go to bed.