Saturday, July 31, 2010

Run for your liiiiiiives!



It's The Mitre That Ate Manhattan!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

In the Name of the Nudge-nudge, and the Wink-wink, and the Huminah-huminah-huminah

I was hunting around on the Internet the other day, hoping to find some Bad Vestments bad enough to send to Chris Johnson's blog. (Hint: do a Google search for "rev* susan" or "linda" or "ann" or any female name you want to try, and you'll probably reel in a whole bunch of crummy pictures.) Unfortunately, his standards are pretty high. I kept finding pictures of crudely appliqued stoles, but it was like the scene in 'The Producers' where Bialystock and Bloom are hunting for the world's worst play: "'"Gregor Samsa awoke one morning to find he had been transformed into a giant cockroach."...It's too good.'"

Finally I came across the website of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto. I quickly realized that this what Dean and I call a Crazy Church. It's a "social justice" church, signed on to the whole menu of homo-marriage, homo-ordination, feminism, marxism, environmentalism...you name it.

The sermons are densely plotted excursions into the leftist wilderness, and I only looked at the most recent ones.

The sermon for the Fifth Sunday of Easter starts out "In the name of God: Lover, Beloved, and Love Between. Amen." I think this is the sort of thing the Orthodox Church is getting queasy about when it comes to recognizing the validity of Anglican baptisms.

It started off with a complaint that the higher-ups don't appreciate their wonderfully zestful sassiness:
And this week nine members of the parish met with Archbishop Johnston—planned well in advance of the ordination objection—and it would be fair to say that we were very clear in showing how the diocesan policy of discrimination affects us in so many ways and drains off so much creative energy—not only here but widely in the Church. But it would also be fair to say that the Archbishop also told us we are a parish much encumbered with what is perceived to be a rebellious history that still tells against us. We also heard that we have overstepped boundaries that we should not have transgressed—although we had earlier been told to test the limits, and we were given faint hope that there might be some movement in matters of justice and equity that we so heartily seek to have prevail.
This led into an examination of Acts 10 and 11. The story of Peter receiving a vision from God explaining the overriding of some ritual prohibitions quickly led to a present-day "Get Out Of Jail Free" card for anything we may feel like doing.
Now my parallel begins. He had broken the laws of the Jerusalem community. he was summoned before the Jerusalem believers and their community–the Jerusalem Church. They pointed out that Peter had stepped over the bounds allowed by orthodoxy. Peter retold the whole story about Cornelius. He says why he had transgressed the laws of acceptable conduct. The Jerusalem Church authorities were concerned that he had associated with Gentiles—and he admitted to the unacceptable acts, breaking the purity laws about who is pure, who impure —need I draw further the parallels to Holy Trinity before the Archbishop?

Then Peter explains his reasoning: he affirms that God has revealed to him not to call anyone profane or impure because that is that the heavenly counter-history. The story of heaven is the story of how we learn not to call anyone profane or impure or unacceptable, or unordainable, or unlicensable, or subject to any discrimination, on the basis of ethnicity and religion in Peter’s version, but on the basis of Peter’s vision, no discrimination on the basis of nation or race or colour or sexuality or age or ability or wealth or any other difference—so that a story is created in which there are, in fact, no impure or profane or discriminated-against people. The King James version reads “The Spirit bade me go with them [the men from Caesaraea, to Cornelius], nothing doubting.” But the RSV and other translations put it differently: “And the Spirit told me to go with them making no distinction—or, without discriminating, doing nothing to discriminate, between them and us.” That word “discrimination” in Peter’s argument is crucial. Diakrino Dia means through; and krino means “to separate, to judge between, to take to court over.” Peter was to go into the house of a Gentile, and by no means to separate out him from others with whom Peter could associate. He was not to discriminate against Cornelius, even though he was impure according to Jewish law —but his vision said he was not impure: so—no discrimination!
It's so wonderful to have a God who'll helpfully scrawl a faint outline, and then hand us the crayons to go on embroidering the picture with everything that takes our fancy. I don't suppose we could conclude that He actually meant something with specific with his vision of edible things descending from Heaven? I mean, he repeated it three times, and never saw fit to add little altars with human sacrifices, or people having orgies or abortions, and yet this modern twerp feels free to shovel in his own personal wish list and presume that it's all covered. And it doesn't make any difference that the traditional rules were being set aside for the sake of "A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." No, no, no indication that there might be a hierarchy of values: that obedience to God's commands is good, but it's better to bring "natural believers" into the family. And in the crudest possible way, God even gave Peter proof that he was on the right track: the Holy Spirit descended upon Cornelius and his family. I've yet to see anything comparable in the churches that have arrogantly grabbed this as an excuse to celebrate sexual and social deviancy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reciprocity

"Revenge is a dish best served cold":
Wed Jul 21, 6:03 am ET

LONDON (AFP) – US president Barack Obama was presented with matching wellies and a painting by a British graffiti artist as Prime Minister David Cameron came bearing gifts during his first official visit to Washington.
Ben Eine, a relatively unknown south London graffiti artist who has three convictions for criminal damage, could now be in illustrious company if the 44th president decides to hang the art-work in the White House.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The spice of life

I haven't written recently about the kids and their entertaining activities. Well, the other day James took a look at one of the kitchen cupboards and noticed that there were several boxes and bags of spices up there that might be useful in one of his games. I've mentioned before, he likes to dump out powders and run trains through them - a sort of re-enactment of Thomas the Tank Engine going through snowdrifts and avalanches.

He hasn't done this for a long time, so I became less vigilant, and started putting frequently-used spices in the cupboard instead of out in the fridge in the garage, which is our usual secure place. Naturally, he showed me that time has not completely smoothed out his rough edges, and he decided to play his old game again.

For some reason, he didn't take ALL the powdered spices out of the cupboard - from what I could gather after sweeping and vacuuming up later, he focussed on turmeric (loves that bright yellow color), cumin, paprika, cayenne and black pepper. As you can imagine, this produced quite a sneeze-worthy mess in the TV room, where the powders were liberally scattered over the fireplace mantle. It had one further effect on James himself...

Oh, I forgot to mention: he did all this in the nude.

So when he came up to me later complaining about "peeper hot", I guess you could say that this would be a classic case of "burning sensation while urinating", only it was self-inflicted.

Well, what could I do? After the first "Serve you right!" which naturally made no impression on him whatsoever, I located a bottle of Solarcaine gel, for the relief of sunburn and itchy mosquito bites. I told him flatly "No, I am NOT going to apply it! Here, do it yourself." And it seemed to do the trick. I don't suppose Solarcaine would want to use this as an endorsement, but there it is, for what it's worth.