2 November, 2009

Often, modernism or ecumenism is identified as the cancer that is eating away at Christianity (forgive the cancer reference, but I have it on the brain right now). I believe, however, that one of the diseases from which these other symptoms emerge is narcissism, and that it not only affects Christianity, but society as a whole.

Focusing exclusively on Christianity, however, when a woman says, “‘And all mankind’ makes me feel excluded,” she is being narcisssistic. The church and its worship is not about her, or me, or how it may make us feel. It is about worshipping God. Period. My feelings, exclusion, political correctness, all of these are substituting ourselves as the focus of worship. Further, it is narcissistic to the point of dishonesty, as she knows that “mankind” is a gender-neutral word, as is “man.” By insisting that it is not, she is placing herself at the center, and demanding that the liturgy revolve around her.

The crucial concept here is substitute. Narcissism is not merely injected into worship. It replaces God with oneself. It is the purest, most heinous blasphemy. And it goes far further than just wanting “inclusive” language.

Churches can be divided into two groups: Those who view worship as worshipping God, with God at its center; and those who view worship as affirmation of one’s essential goodness, in which God plays no real part. Liberal, mainstream Protestants fall into the second category, as do the Episcopalians. The church is there to make everybody feel good about themselves, whether it is because they are attracted to members of the same sex, or whether it is because they want to grandstand about how open-minded they are about those attracted to the same sex (or pick your favorite liberal issue). Deacon Greg has a couple of examples of narcissism, here and here, and Scelata, here. In fact, there are so many examples of how we have made ourselves God and pushed God out of worship that it’s almost ridiculous to point them out.

Because naricissm replaces God with ourselves, it is fundamentally anti-Christian. Giving in to the narcissistic demands of others is fundamentally anti-Christian. That the church for two thousand years did not confuse the roles of men and women within it is the supreme argument against confusing those roles now, whether by allowing girls access to the Holy Table or creating a deaconess — not the historical deaconess, but the functional equivalent of a deacon — for women. It is not that women have no role within the Church; it is that narcissistic women demand that the roles of men be opened unto them, an entirely different issue. These women have no theological argument other than how they feel — their own narcissism.

Were I a bit less foggy from the morphine, I would argue that the two forces most destructive to Christianity and by extension, civilization, are narcissism and the social gospel. I have dealt some with the meta-heresy of the social gospel in this article. Unfortunately, it has a far more insidious hold than narcissism, and the two will destroy what realms of Christianity eschew God for feelings.

(The particular expression of narcissism I have chosen ties in with another issue Leon J. Podles addressed in his thought provoking historical study, The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity which he has placed online here. I just discovered that he’d placed it online — I own a hardcover — and may well blog it more now that I can provide online links.)

Now, a church is certainly primarily a place for worship, but it isn’t entirely so. A church is also a social unit, a community, a network of missions, a body that has all kinds of social functions. Yet all of these are subsumed by the church as a place of worship, and although one needn’t be as mindful of narcissism in more social contexts, one should still be on guard that it doesn’t bleed over into worship. Once God has been displaced, there is no more worship, and no more church, only a social club.


Rainbow Priestess Idiocy

11 July, 2009

funnykate Katherine Jefferts-Schori, the rainbow-vested Ultra High Priestess of the Smells and Bells Unitarians, has opened her mouth again, and as always, hilarity ensues.

There’s no “I” in Ubuntu.

It is, of course, yet another call to Marxism Progressivism disgused as Christianity, when of course, neither Christ nor Christianity has anything to do with it. What is it, exactly, about these loons that they’re so attracted to a form of government that slaughtered at least 100 million of their own people in the 20th century? More to the point, though not really anything to do with the Episcopal Church of Gaia High Priestess, is how does one explain Orthodox apologists for Marxism Progressivism, given that if anyone understands the nature of socialism, surely the Orthodox do.

What, exactly, is the attraction of stealing money from people who work for it so you can give it away to people who do not? How, precisely, is that moral? Why is it they seem to be unable to grasp the concept of charity, or helping others of our own free will?

Then there are the poisonously anti-Semitic dhimmi Orthodox who do nothing but support terrorists by whining and wailing about the awful things those Joooos do. They don’t even deserve scorn.

As my priest used to say, God gave the right religion to the wrong people.


25 June, 2009

Just a couple of days ago, +Jonah spoke at the ACNA conference and severed ties with the Episcopal Church. Today, Deacon Greg points to this letter to Episcopal Life Online, which I will reproduce in its entirety just in case TEC takes it offline (as the similar “Abortion is a blessing” sermon was taken offline — see below).

Pregnancy-loss prayers, new church calendar proposed
From The Rev. Nina Churchman • Denver, Colorado, Jun 20, 2009

After reading the 3 June article, “Pregnancy-loss Prayers”, I found the text for Rachel’s Tears online and was sickened to discover that the rite for abortion is couched wholly in terms of sin and transgression. The Episcopal Church, by resolution, has long held that women have the freedom to choose an abortion. It is not considered a sin. That this new rite begins with the words, “I seek God’s forgiveness…” and includes “God rejoices that you have come seeking God’s merciful forgiveness…” is contrary to the resolution. Women should be able to mourn the loss of an aborted fetus without having to confess anything. God, unlike what the liturgy states, also rejoices that women facing unplanned pregnancies have the freedom to carefully choose the best option – birth, adoption or abortion – for themselves and their families. No woman makes this decision lightly or frivolously. But each needs the non-judgmental and non-coercive support of her faith community to make the best decision for her circumstances.

The wording of this liturgy focuses solely on guilt and sin instead of the grief and healing that may accompany a very difficult but appropriate decision to terminate a pregnancy. If anyone is paying attention at the General Convention, this rite should not be approved.

No moral compass whatsoever, and she’s a priest-ess. Course I suppose that if she did have a moral compass, she never would have sought to become a priest-ess. It’s reminiscent of the “Rev.” Katherine Ragsdale, now the President of the Episcopal Divinity School, who gave this sermon, which she removed from her site (see here and here).

Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale
July 21, 2007

Well Operation Save America came, they saw, they harassed, and they annoyed; but they did not close the clinic. The clinic stayed open, no patients were turned away, and the doors never closed. We remain victorious. And that victory is a good thing – but, make no mistake, even though OSA has gone home; our work is not done.

If we were to leave this park and discover that clinic violence had become a thing of the past, never to plague us again, that would be a very good thing, indeed; but, still, our work would not be done.

If we were to find that, while we were here, Congress had acted to insure that abortion would always be legal, that would be a very good thing; but our work would not be done.

If we were suddenly to find a host of trained providers, insuring access in every city, town, village, and military base throughout the world, that would be a very good thing; but our work would not be done.

When every woman has everything she needs to make an informed, thoughtful choice, and to act upon it, we will be very close; but, still, our work will not be done.

As long as women, acting as responsible moral agents, taking responsibility for their own lives and for those who depend on them, have to contend with guilt and shame, have judgment and contempt heaped upon them, rather than the support and respect they deserve, our work is not done.

How will we know when our work is done? I suspect we’ll know it when we see it. But let me give you some sure indicators that it isn’t done yet:

– When doctors and pharmacists try to opt out of providing medical care, claiming it’s an act of conscience, our work is not done.

Let me say a bit more about that, because the religious community has long been an advocate of taking principled stands of conscience – even when such stands require civil disobedience. We’ve supported conscientious objectors, the Underground Railroad, freedom riders, sanctuary seekers, and anti-apartheid protestors. We support people who put their freedom and safety at risk for principles they believe in.

But let’s be clear, there’s a world of difference between those who engage in such civil disobedience, and pay the price, and doctors and pharmacists who insist that the rest of the world reorder itself to protect their consciences – that others pay the price for their principles.

This isn’t particularly complicated. If your conscience forbids you to carry arms, don’t join the military or become a police officer. If you have qualms about animal experimentation, think hard before choosing to go into medical research. And, if you’re not prepared to provide the full range of reproductive health care (or prescriptions) to any woman who needs it then don’t go into obstetrics and gynecology, or internal or emergency medicine, or pharmacology. Choose another field! We’ll respect your consciences when you begin to take responsibility for them.

– Here’s another sign. Did you notice the arguments that were being shouted at us in front of the clinic? They’ve been trying for years, and seem to be pushing especially hard now, to position themselves as feminists – supporters of women. You heard them – yelling that they understand that it’s all men’s fault. That men must do better at supporting women and children so that women, presumably, won’t feel the need to abort. They yelled that they understood that the women going into the clinic had been hurt by men and were reacting to that pain and betrayal. They pledged to help men be more responsible so that women wouldn’t want abortions.

Let me tell you something. Any argument that puts men alone at the center – for good or for bad — any discussion of women’s reproductive health that ends up being all about men, is not feminism. Nor, for that matter, is it Christian, or reflective of any God I recognize. And as long as anyone can even imagine such an argument, our work is not done.

– And while we’re at it, as long as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States can argue, as Justice Kennedy recently did, that women are not capable of making our own informed moral decisions, that we need men to help us so that we won’t make mistakes that we later regret; as long as a Supreme Court Justice can deny the moral agency of women simply because we are women – and can do it without being laughed off the public stage forever – our work is not done. What has happened to us that he could even think he could get away with publishing such an opinion? Our work most certainly is not done.

– Finally, the last sign I want to identify relates to my fellow clergy. Too often even those who support us can be heard talking about abortion as a tragedy. Let’s be very clear about this:

When a woman finds herself pregnant due to violence and chooses an abortion, it is the violence that is the tragedy; the abortion is a blessing.

When a woman finds that the fetus she is carrying has anomalies incompatible with life, that it will not live and that she requires an abortion – often a late-term abortion – to protect her life, her health, or her fertility, it is the shattering of her hopes and dreams for that pregnancy that is the tragedy; the abortion is a blessing.

When a woman wants a child but can’t afford one because she hasn’t the education necessary for a sustainable job, or access to health care, or day care, or adequate food, it is the abysmal priorities of our nation, the lack of social supports, the absence of justice that are the tragedies; the abortion is a blessing.

And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight — only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.

These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing – who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes — in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You’re engaged in holy work.

Thank you for allowing me to join you in that work for a few days here in Alabama. God bless you all.

Documented here just in case NARAL removes it from their site.

That’s Funny

29 May, 2009

Deacon Greg points to this AP article about the WCC attempt to force decide upon a common date for Pascha.

Christianity’s largest ecumenical movement expressed hope Thursday that churches were moving closer to a common Easter for the world’s Christians, despite a historical debate nearly as old as the religion.

Catholic and Protestant congregations will celebrate their belief in Jesus’ resurrection on the same day as Orthodox churches in 2010 and 2011 because of a coincidence in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The common holiday has happened three times this decade.

But the World Council of Churches says consensus is emerging that these should not just be occasional occurrences.

At a recent meeting in Lviv, Ukraine, theologians representing nearly the breadth of Christianity agreed in principle on a strategy for all the faithful to continue observing their feast together.

These people are so naïve it’s almost cute:

“It’s not a problem of principle, of dogma or of doctrine,” said Juan Michel, spokesman for the council

Actually, Juan, it is.

“There are of course some fundamentalist Orthodox who say ‘The Julian calendar is our tradition and it was used in Jesus’ lifetime so we cannot change,'” Heller said, adding that some Eastern theologians might fear more breaks in their church as a result of a date change.

Well, Dagmar, I’m not quite sure what a “fundamentalist Orthodox” could possibly be, but it’s a bit more than some theologians might fear breaks. It’s more on the order of death and taxes sure.

Read the article, and get the impression that the Orthodox are ready to jump on the new Pascha date train. Note, however, that the only Orthodox mentioned are theologians, all unnamed. These ecumenical groups are utterly unaware. You don’t see a mention of a bishop, because no bishop would do anything but laugh in these idiots’ faces, and if a bishop did make some kind of positive mutterings about this new, improved Pascha date, he would be slapped soundly by his brother bishops, not to mention the laity.

These mainstream Protestant groups have completely abandoned Christianity for the social gospel heresy, and have been in a constant state of flux for so long that true ecclesial and theological conservatism — holding on to Christianity — escapes them entirely. This will go nowhere. If the Orthodox do notice, they’ll say, “Never!” quite firmly, and these post-Christian church folks will wonder why not.

They don’t get it.

They would, no doubt, be shocked to come to my parish and observe how many cross themselves at “One holy catholic and apostolic church” during the Creed (actually, they’d probably be shocked that we haven’t dropped the Creed for some sort of Gaia worship statement).

You want a common date for Pascha? We got your Pascha date right here.

Beyond Parody

19 May, 2009

This comment is obviously a parody of mainstream Christ-free Christianity.

Our non gender specific guardian,
Who art in a safe and non judgemental cocoon,
Hallowed be thy preferred choice of nomenclature.
Thy contitutional republic, come,
Thy mission statement reach fruition,
On our commune, as it is the Sustainable Ecosystem,
Give us this day our non exploitive, organic bruschetta with balsamic reduction,
And forgive us our oppresive thought crimes,
As we forgive those who oppress us with their thoughts,
And deliver us from fun and spontaneity,
For thine is the non threatening authority and the aspirational goal,
And so be it, if all of us are comfortable with that.

However, this is not a parody.

Lord of our diversity,
unite us all, we pray;
welcome us to fellowship
in your inclusive way.

It’s the opening verse of the hymn sung at the opening of the Anglican Communion’s meeting in Jamaica two weeks ago (hat tip Andrew Bolt).

Kind of reminiscent of the “Who said it: Al Gore or the Unabomber?” quiz.


27 February, 2009

The headline will suffice (but feel free to click through): “Jesus was a reformed racist, says Anglican Church of Canada

How can anyone take the Anglican Communion seriously?