Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Worse

From The Guardian (UK):

A Dutch reality television show in which a terminally ill woman is to select one of three contestants to receive her kidneys when she dies is to air this week despite criticism that it pushes the boundaries of the format too far.

The government has called for De Grote Donorshow (The Big Donor show) to be dropped because it is "unethical" and "wretched" but the broadcaster BNN said it would go ahead to highlight the difficulties of searching for kidney donors.

In the show, due to be broadcast on Friday, a woman identified only as Lisa, 37, will select a recipient based on their history, profile and conversations with their families and friends. Throughout the 80-minute show, viewers will be invited to send Lisa text messages to advise her.

The ruling coalition parties the Christian Democrats and the Christian Union have condemned the show.

But BNN's chairman, Laurens Drillich, said the show would increase by a third the participants' chances of getting a new kidney. "The chance for a kidney for the contestants is 33%," he said. "This is much higher than that for people on a waiting list. You would expect it to be better, but it is worse."

BNN said it wanted to focus on the plight of kidney sufferers as a tribute to its founder, Bart de Graaff, who died of kidney failure five years ago in spite of several transplants.

There is evidence that an increasing number of Dutch viewers have been turning away from reality TV, of which the Netherlands is a pioneer, because they believe the subject matter too risque. One show to come under the spotlight is Spuiten en Slikken (Shooting and Swallowing) in which the presenters experiment with drugs and a range of sexual exploits.

Patty's Fort celebrated colonic irrigation, with the scatological remains shown in full on screen.
But attempts in 2005 to launch a sperm donor show, in which a woman was to select a father for her baby in front of the cameras, collapsed following a huge public outcry.

"Highlighting the difficulties of searching for kidney donors." Of course; silly me. It's not a brutal exploitation of dying people, it's a public service announcement! Next season, to highlight the problems of violent crime, perhaps we'll be treated to Who Gets Whacked?, where contestants compete to see who gets to meet the torso killer.

Signs of the Times

From the "Weddings / Celebrations" section of the New York Times Society pages for May 27, 2007:

The Rev. Mark Alan Lewis and the Rev. K. Dennis Winslow, Episcopal priests, were joined in civil union on Tuesday. The Rev. Tim S. Hall, also an Episcopal priest, officiated at the couple’s home in Union City, N.J., assisted by his wife, the Rev. Jacqueline Schmidt.

Mr. Lewis (above, left), 47, is the vicar at the Episcopal Church of our Saviour in Secaucus, N.J. Mr. Winslow, 57, is the rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in New York. They both have master’s degrees in divinity, Mr. Lewis from the Virginia Theological Seminary and Mr. Winslow from Nashotah House in Wisconsin.

I am rather surprised to find a Nashotah House graduate participating in this sort of action. It is a pity, and demonstrates that nowhere is immune to the influences of the Spirit of this Age, or the Prince of This World.

Mr. Lewis graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. He is the son of Willie Mae Bell and Gary L. Lewis, both of West Plains, Mo., and the stepson of Phyllis D. Lewis and of James H. Bell.

Mr. Winslow graduated from Emerson College. He is a son of Ada J. Winslow of Yarmouth Port, Mass., and the late Mr. Winslow Sr.

The couple met 15 years ago this week, shortly after Mr. Lewis moved to New Jersey.

Mr. Lewis didn’t find the idea of dating another priest unusual or enticing, so when a friend in New York volunteered to introduce him to Mr. Winslow, he had little interest. “It wasn’t, ‘Oh, what a rare bird, I must see it,’ ” Mr. Lewis said. He added, “I was assuming he would be pious and narrow-minded.

I presume "Pious and narrow-minded" would mean believing in the faith once delivered to the saints, but that is hard to reconcile with being willing to "date" another male. Maybe "pious" just means taking religion seriously enough to want to avoid public scandal.

But six months later, he happened to drop by the same friend’s home in New York when Mr. Winslow was visiting. “I did a complete thunderbolt thing,” Mr. Winslow said.

Our eyes met from across the apartment,” Mr. Lewis said. “We have been together since that day.”

In 2002, they became the lead plaintiffs in the Lambda Legal lawsuit challenging the marriage laws in New Jersey. The case resulted in the 2006 New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that led to the legalization of civil unions by the state legislature.

Mr. Lewis compared joining the lawsuit to his decision to become a priest. “I heard the same voice in my head saying here’s a job that needs to be done, and I can do it,” he said.

I have no doubt he did hear the same voice. I can only wonder just whose voice that happened to be.

And this week they reaped the benefit of that effort. Mr. Winslow, referring to the many marriage ceremonies he has performed, said: “I say over and over again to couples, ‘Please don’t let us down. You’ve made these promises to us in public. Keep those promises.’ And that’s what we intend to do.”

Let us all pray for these men's conversion and salvation, and for God's undeserved mercy on all of us. How dark is it going to get before the Light comes back? I am reminded of the Roman Empire in the times of Caligula. It started out really bad, and, for the most part, just got worse for the next 270 years.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Universal Protestants?

From Catholic World News for May 22:
The Lutheran and Reformed churches in France have announced their decision to unite in a new body to be called the Universal Protestant Church.

The union - announced on May 20 in the town of Sochaux - will create one church composed of two regions: one Lutheran and another Reformed. The union is to become fully effective by 2013.

The Reformed Church counts around 300,000 faithful in France and the Lutheran Church 36,000.

I don’t know anything about the theological and legal discussions that went into this merger; I wish them well. But am I the only one suffering cognitive disturbances from the new name, “Universal Protestant?”

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jesus the Extraterrestrial Time Traveller

The following article from The Canadian for Monday, May 21, 2007, may force me to retire the Barking Moonbat Award

Researchers suggest that Jesus may have been a descendant of Black human being-looking Extraterrestrial time-travellers. Indeed, Jesus had been depicted as being black by Christians, until the Church Establishment was seized by latent racist ideology. Jesus was essentially "whitened" to match the skin pigmentation of the elite cliques of Europe who sought to enslave peoples of African ancestry. By whitening Jesus, elites cliques of Europe sought to manipulate African peoples into worshipping the conquerors.

But you may ask, what does it really matter if Jesus was black, white, or Filipino for the matter? It matters, because researchers suggest that the whole apparent image and purpose of Jesus, including pivotally his skin pigmentation, was re-constructed, as a basis for a broader context of mass-deception.

Indeed, the way in which Jesus is appreciated could be viewed to be an axiomatic mass-deception context in human history. It was socially engineered to mislead humanity into its prevailing course self-destruction. The image of Jesus was used to create an organized religion, which was then used to create Western governments with historical links to modern Christianity.

The power of these institutions was then used to spread oppressive Empires, which led to the birth and development of Big Business interests, that now operate as part of a globalized military-religious-political-industrial complex.

The dissembled image of Jesus, (as a white "saviour" and "son of God", that in turn supposedly created human beings in "God's own image"), was used to construct the global capitalist system. The elites of Christianity used accompanying notions of "sin" and dogma to help corral people like sheep, into worshipping what Gnostic disciples of Jesus referred to as the "false God", which is associated with a demonic consciousness.

Research suggests that alleged Extraterrestrial ancestors of Jesus, were aware of destructive course of Earth, which continued during the Old Testament era, allegedly travelled back in time, as an attempt to spiritually inspire Earth humanity as "teachers", out of its course of self-destruction.

This meta-historical allegation, claims that Jesus who was cited by Gnostics as claiming that he "came from the sky", is an Extraterrestrial from the Sirian star system, approximately 1,000 years from now (3,000 years ahead of his linear time documented in the Bible). His alleged mission was to spiritually inspire Earthbound humans in a manner which would awaken their human psycho-kinetic healing, and other related spiritual abilities. As this occurred, it is further alleged that Manipulative Extraterrestrials also travelled through time to exploit and oppress humanity. This was apparently executed by genetic manipulations and otherwise.

The alleged mission of Jesus, as indicated by alleged contacts with Ethical Extraterrestrial messengers, was to attempt to heal their own time lines by redressing the attempts by Manipulative Extraterrestrials to manipulate and exploit time-space and consciousness in our universe.

Humans who claim to have had contact with Ethical Extraterrestrials further allege that "In the future, there are populations of human beings which are on the same level of spiritual awakening as Jesus is, or even higher. These human contactees allege that "what is even going on now is considered real galactic history, events that have and will happen, since all we are talking about is time travel."

Alleged ethical Extraterrestrial testimony, suggests that as a "Sirian, Jesus is not white in body but of an Extraterrestrial blue race, which on Earth today is known as the black race." These alleged Extraterrestrial contacts further claim that the "black human race are the supreme guardian races of all known star systems in our realm and even on Earth."

Furthermore, "the black race is known as the elder spiritual race or caretaker of the universe and planets. Every other human race are called the younger sibling human caretaker race of universe and planets."

"The Sirians are the elder human race and species and every other human race or star system is called the sibling race besides the Vegan Star system, the origin of the human species and civilization," Ethical Extraterrestrial contactees further allege.

I stand in awe. Any comment I might make would only detract from the sheer majesty of the original post. I don't even know which parts to highlight.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Go Back to the Jungle??

From an editorial by Michael Gerson in The Washington Post:
An epoch-dividing event recently took place in the religion that brought us B.C. and A.D. Too bad hardly anyone noticed.

For years, a dispute has boiled between the American Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion it belongs to, with many in the global south convinced that Episcopalians are following their liberalism into heresy. This month, Archbishop Peter Akinola, shepherd of 18 million fervent Nigerian Anglicans, reached the end of his patience and installed a missionary bishop to America. The installation ceremony included boisterous hymns and Africans dressed in bright robes dancing before the altar - an Anglican worship style more common in Kampala, Uganda, than in Woodbridge.

The American presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, condemned this poaching of souls on her turf as a violation of the "ancient customs of the church." To which the archbishop replied, in essence: Since when have you American liberals given a fig about the ancient customs of the church?

[…] Some American religious conservatives have embraced ties with this emerging Christianity, including the church I attend. But there are adjustments in becoming a junior partner. The ideological package of the global south includes not only moral conservatism but also an emphasis on social justice, an openness to state intervention in markets, and a suspicion of American economic and military power. The emerging Christian majority is not the Moral Majority.

But the largest adjustments are coming on the religious left. For decades it has preached multiculturalism, but now, on further acquaintance, it doesn't seem to like other cultures very much. Episcopal leaders complain of the threat of "foreign prelates," echoing anti-Catholic rhetoric of the 19th century. An activist at one Episcopal meeting urged the African bishops to "go back to the jungle where you came from." Not since Victorians hunted tigers on elephants has the condescension been this raw.

History is filled with uncomfortable turnabouts, and we are witnessing one of them. Serious missionary work began in Nigeria in 1842, conducted by a Church Mission Society dedicated to promoting "the knowledge of the Gospel among the heathen." In 2007, the Nigerian outreach to America officially began, on the fertile mission fields of Northern Virginia. And the natives here are restless.

The Religious Left is, I believe, coming to the sad realization that its days are numbered – not because its view of the world isn’t popular in the West. It is. Unfortunately for them, however, it is the sort of popularity that causes people to wake up on Sunday morning, think “Jesus loves me just the way I am,” roll over, and go back to sleep.

The popularity of leftist religion is, in its effects, rather like a viral disease process. As more and more host cells are transformed, the patient comes closer and closer to death. When the whole church believes what the left believes, no one will bother to show up anymore.

In the meantime, orthodox congregations of all stripes keep finding new converts walking through the doors. And the new missionaries from the Southern half of the world are helping to decouple orthodox Christianity from a culture to which - like the Left - it has become far too attached.

“Woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” Evil is ultimately self-defeating because, once it wins, there is nothing else for it to do. It can put up a heck of a fight, but in victory it finds only emptiness.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Outrage of the Day / Week / Month / Year

Also from LifeSite:
A campaign video released yesterday by the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign includes an image of Mother Teresa with then-First Lady Mrs. Clinton. The national Catholic-based advocacy group Fidelis called on the campaign to remove the image from the video. "It is wholly inappropriate, disrespectful and disturbing that Hillary Clinton is using an image of Blessed Mother Teresa as a political tool, especially given their radically different views on abortion," said Fidelis President Joseph Cella.

"Mother Teresa tirelessly fought to protect unborn children, while Hillary Clinton staunchly supports abortion on demand in all nine months of pregnancy, including partial birth abortion and taxpayer funding of abortion," he said. "Out of respect to Mother Teresa, and the Missionaries of Charity strict guidelines for the use of Mother's image, we call on the Hillary Clinton campaign to immediately remove her image from their campaign video."

This is what happens when a society loses all concept of shame. I can't help wondering whether Mrs. Clinton is waving to us, or just holding up her middle digit. How long before we have images of Jesus or the Blessed Mother morphed into photographs to endorse bathroom cleaners?

Chicago Sued for Showing Brokeback Mountain to 12-Year-Olds

From LifeSite News:
The Chicago Board of Education is being sued after a 12-year-old school girl was shown the movie Brokeback Mountain in class - the film depicts a homosexual affair between two cowboys and contains graphic scenes of homosexual sex.

The lawsuit was brought against the board by Jessica Turner and her grandparents, Kenneth and LaVerne Richardson, claiming the child suffered psychological distress after viewing the R-rated movie in her class at Ashburn Community Elementary School last year. The film received the rating for language, nudity and drug use shown in the content. The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges the video was shown in class without permission from the students' parents and guardians.

A substitute teacher, identified only as Ms. Buford, was reportedly the one responsible for showing the film. "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," she told her students according to the lawsuit.

One can only hope that, in the future, what happens in Ms. Buford’s cell stays in Ms. Buford’s cell. Isn’t this, like, a crime? Don’t we have anything left in the statute books about “contributing to the delinquency of a minor?”

For crying out loud, the Motion Picture Association of America rated the movie as R, meaning “no one under 17 admitted without parent or guardian.” As a priest once pointed out to me, the Motion Picture Association wants you to go see movies; if they voluntarily rate it R, doesn’t that tell you something? What is wrong with these people?

I will offer a prayer for Ms. Buford, but I have come to accept the fact that, in the Great War between God and Satan, there are large numbers of people in this world who have voluntarily enlisted on the other side.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Let's Keep This Church a Lord-Free Zone!

From The Arizona Star
God has no gender. And the Lord? There's not much Lord in this church service.

At Tucson's largest Episcopal church, St. Philip's in the Hills, the creators of an alternative worship service called Come & See are bucking tradition by rewriting what have become prescribed ways of worship.

For the faithful, that means God isn't referred to as "him," and references to "the Lord" are rare.

"Lord" has become a loaded word conveying hierarchical power over things, "which in what we have recorded in our sacred texts, is not who Jesus understood himself to be," St. Philip's associate rector Susan Anderson-Smith said.

"The way our service reads, the theology is that God is love, period," St. Philip's deacon Thomas Lindell added. "Our service has done everything it can to get rid of power imagery. We do not pray as though we expect the big guy in the sky to come and fix everything."

When they say that God is love, period, what I think they really mean is that love is God. That sounds, well, nice, but as a clergy friend once said, “I suspect that hell is chock full of very nice people.” Besides, If God is just love, what happens to justice, or purity, or wisdom, or sovereignty, or holiness?

[…] "Jesus was for an egalitarian community. He did not have room for titles or status. And it is recorded that many of the disciples called him Lord. But they had a different idea about worshipping him," she said. "Jesus was a rabbi and teacher. It was a relationship of mentoring, looking up to him for that kind of companionship."

Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Midtown has kept references to "Lord" minimal for years. Rector Gordon McBride said he personally — in writing, preaching and spontaneous prayer — has not used the word in more than a decade. He associates the word with a God that is powerful, separate, and perhaps brooding over creation.

[…] The most recent version of the Book of Common Prayer, published in 1979, is what's used in American Episcopal churches. But the book was published just prior to a consciousness of patriarchy in linguistics, said McBride, a history professor before he became a cleric.

"There are lots of problems in that prayer book that are just so patriarchal it's laughable — language loaded with 'Lord' and power references that owe their existence to the Coverdale 16th century translation, the time of the Tudors, Henry VIII," McBride said.

These people think the '79 BCP is too conservative????

And there's no question "Lord" has patriarchal connotations, he noted.

"I'm sorry, but if there is a Lord, by implication there is a Lady," he said.
Of course there is! And the Blessed Mother will be glad to carry your prayers to the throne of her Son. But I guess that's not what they meant.

[…] A lifelong Episcopalian, retired middle school teacher Jane Chilcott calls the reduction of "Lord" usage she's heard at the Come & See service "refreshing." She also likes the references to a genderless God, because that's how she's always viewed the divine.

"I'm a great advocate of change, but not just for change's sake," said Chilcott, 78. "A lot of people are turned off by traditional liturgy because it sounds like they have to literally believe these credal statements. I don't think that's necessarily true. Faith is very personal."

God forbid that anyone take that "I believe" nonsense seriously! And, if I may be so impolite as to ask, what exactly is the difference between a "personal faith" and a personal opinion?

[…] Rewriting liturgy is not only about gender and power balance, noted Lindell, the St. Philip's deacon.

"We don't stress the blood and gore of the crucifixion and the so-called sacrifice of the Mass," he said. "I think that calls attention to Jesus' death but it doesn't call attention to why we are Christians. It seems to me, being a Christian isn't just about the birth and death of Jesus. It's about living in the world with his life as an example."

Where do they think that love they talk about comes from? It is expressed precisely in that “blood and gore of the crucifixion.” Remove that blood from Christianity, and what you have left is Confucianism with fancy costumes.

[…] "If God is understood and viewed as within creation, acting inside of it, loving, compassionate, hopeful, creative — all of those produce a very different way of imagining the Christian life and living it out," he said. "If you are always calling God 'Lord,' you are sticking him into that outside place. It seems to me, in order to avoid doing that, one of the first things you do is call God something different."

I ought to be outraged, but I’ve pretty much run out of rage to out. This is just sad; I feel sorry for these people, who seem to find their god in a mirror instead of in the uncreated light. There are so many things to fisk in here that it’s like shooting deer at a salt lick.

The problem with the reconceptualized god that these folks embrace is that he/she/it isn’t really a big enough god to be of much value to anyone. Maybe nice people only require a nice little god that doesn’t demand much of them except niceness. I need the sort of God that sends fire down from the sky and whacks people with cosmic 2 x 4’s to get their attention. Only a God that is big and strong enough to do that is big and strong enough to fix a guy like me. Keep the quiche and sprouts, thank you; I’ll stick with the Body and the Blood.