Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pass the Parcel, Lambeth Style.

I’ve always said the wicked apostate liberal Archbishop of Canterbury is really a Conservative Biblical Christian. Sadly this is something many of my weaker brethren at places like Viagraville have failed to comprehend, despite my having frequently explained it in words of no more than one syllable, but little Rowan Williams has finally made the truth clear enough for even George Conger to understand. (Alright – maybe not that clear, since His Grace’s revelation wasn’t accompanied by smutty pictures, but my point stands.)

However finally, no doubt in response to my repeated urgings and advice, the Pointiest Hat in the Communion has run his flag up the pole, and not in the sense that happens in Peter Ould’s troublesome dreams either. That’s right: he’s displayed all the true attributes of a Conservative Leader, and when faced with an opportunity to give clear decisive guidance responded with cowardice and dishonesty.

Naturally I’m over the moon (and not in that sense either, Peter) with joy at His Cantaurness finally proving himself every bit as morally consistent as little Martyn Minns, whose faithful application of CANA canons concerning the ministry of confessed criminals serves as a role model for schismatics everywhere. Having said that gay bishops are "no problem" for him per se, our Lord in Lambeth then declined to explain why this absence of problems resulted in Dean John twice being blackballed (Peter! Stop It!!!).

But then, My Dearly Beloved Sinners, Rockin’ Rowan really showed us how to swing Conservative-style - anyone would've thought the man was a Republican facing questions about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. When asked if he personally wished objections against those called by God to the office of Bishop actually becoming Bishops could be in some way overcome he delivered a timeless response, one showing exactly how bright the future really is for Clergymen of my own calibre and inclinations: “Pass.”

There's only problem, however. As an answer “Pass” generally results in one eventually being declared The Weakest Link.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Say it ain't so, Don.

Beloved Sinners around the world are wailing and gnashing their teeth in shock at the news that little Don Armstrong has finally entered a no-contest plea in response to the paltry 20 counts of felony theft he’s been facing. Even though everyone knows (because David Virtue told us, so it must be true) “a separate, independent audit of the parish books, commissioned by the breakaway parish itself, found Armstrong innocent of any wrongdoing

As “John316” said at Viagraville back in August 2007: “This case cries out for justice from a civil authority.” Which we can now safely assume wasn’t quite the outcome our Donny was hoping for. Nor should we forget the sage advice offered by “Mari” in November 2008: “I believe when this is through, he should file suit based on defamation, false charges and harassment.” Now the attorney who runs that one will really be a cut above your average ambulance chaser. Perhaps here’s finally a challenge worthy of the great Allan “Perry Mason” Haley – better known to you and I as “the Anglican Curmudgeon”.

Still, you’ve got to admire the good folks of St. George’s of the Schism for doing their best to keep us all laughing at this sad, sad time. In a wonderful piece entitled “Parish Response to Father Armstrong’s Plea Agreement” (NB: little Donny's removed the original - undoubtedly for reasons of personal humility - so the link's been updated to Google's cached version. And when that goes I'll shift it again to my own saved version - you can't hide the truth that easily my schismatic friends) a faux-Nigerian called “Admin” (please tell me the author’s last name isn’t really “Armstrong” – not that I’ll believe you for a moment) delivers such gems as:

“In preparation for the now canceled (sic) trial we have become convinced even more strongly that controversies within the larger denominational church were the catalyst for the Diocese’s investigation and complaint, for the purpose of silencing our bold and successful defense of orthodoxy through our parish’s life, discipline, and teaching ministry.”
Although if a “bold and successful defense” involves losing all your property and assets, and pleading guilty in a last ditch attempt to avoid serving twenty-to-life, I’d hate to see what little Donny’s cultists call breaking even. And you’d better believe that right now you-know-who is feeling absolutely delighted to see his name dragged into their closing sentence: “We are thankful we can now move forward under our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, into a future productive for the Kingdom of God.” Just what little Martyn needs to further his already good name, I’m sure: a confessed criminal productively moving about underneath him…

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

+Arizona scares me.

Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona is someone of whom I’ve always been wary, and not just because little David Virtue doesn’t like him. After all, little David Virtue doesn’t really like anybody, and how seriously can you take a blogger whose birth was accompanied by an EPA warning?

No, I am proud to say that my mistrust of the Prelate of Phoenix is based on far firmer ground than simply the whimsical opinions of a man whose greatest ministerial accomplishments have been a dubious doctorate and tax-exempt status. Rather it rests upon incontrovertible fact - namely that it’s impossibly for any Conservative Teacher of my caliber to not feel nervous around Bishops who don’t regularly threaten to abandon the organization to which they swore loyalty. Besides, in my estimation just because Bishop Smith's studied theology and has a pointy hat doesn’t mean anything when compared with the true prestige associated with knowing all about property theft.

Consequently I’ve got to admit to being surprised when learning earlier this week of Bishop Smith having organized a trip south of the border for not only himself, but for thirty-nine of his closest purple-clad colleagues. Having engaged in numerous such short-term missionary trips myself, and being personally experienced in the rich financial blessings accompanying these journeys if one is prepared to faithfully bring back a few suitcases for some fine men who just happen to conduct their business in parking-lots, the audacity of using not just one, but forty men of god to undertake such a transaction was breathtaking. Indeed, I even found myself feeling a twinge of jealousy at having been omitted from being part of such an awesomely profitable venture, and hurt that having clearly embraced my pioneering missionary strategies the Apostate Liberal Episcopal church was now denying me due credit – or at least a cut on the profits.

Clearly my hurt at this rejection was apparent, and at our morning Ministry Team Meeting. I was asked what was the matter. Bishop Quinine immediately brought some comfort by explaining the ministry trip included women, and since I’m fortunately not as desperate for numbers as little Jack Iker there would have been no way I could have compromised Biblical injunctions against sharing ministry with anyone not equipped with a penis and a prostate. Meanwhile Brother Richthofen and his friends from Seminary began laughing, and explained the startling news that Bishop Smith’s trip had nothing to do with smuggling anything.

Stunned as I was at this revelation, I was still not so devoid of my senses as to give voice to my next suspicion: as befits her important Biblical ministry of keeping me warm at night Consuella was seated at my right hand, and I didn’t feel like having my jaw broken in return for suggesting the Bishops were simply looking for cheap domestic staff. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the truth – the Bishops had travelled to Mexico in order to understand something of the world of those who risk their lives to cross the border, and to remember those who had died in pursuit of better life for themselves and their loved ones.

Dearly Beloved Sinners! Of all that I’ve ever heard (and made-up) about Episcopalian Leaders this must surely take the cake! A Bishop showing compassion with the poor and insignificant of this world???!! Anyone would think they were trying to follow Jesus – and you’ve only got to look at the Gospels to see where that ended up: He may have been the Son of God but it’s certainly not as if His kind of carry on ever managed to get Him first-class seats and a lucrative speaking tour with Rick Warren, did it now?

No, the next thing we’ll see is +Arizona’s intelligent compassion translating into the crazy notion that foreigners have the same rights as Christians to share in the great American dream of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity. After which it’s only a matter of time before something really dangerous happens – like the Holy Spirit inspiring the Church to realize their are more important things than helping rich and powerful male heterosexuals worship a god made in their own image.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2010 - No Show Today.

Nine years ago today almost 3,000 people died because 19 gullible young men were convinced God wished them to commit an act of unspeakable evil. Today we call these murderers “fundamentalists”, but that's probably according them a degree of systematic coherence they clearly lacked. In reality they were just another teardrop in the vast ocean of post-adolescent males who’ve been seduced by a dangerously stupid cocktail of testosterone and religious idealism. A cocktail which continues to be served unimpeded, and not just in socio-theological basket cases like Iran and Afghanistan.

Sure the after-effects are rarely so obvious: the self-righteous drinkers in Pittsburgh might not execute homosexuals as their counterparts do in Tehran, and those imbibing in the ACNA Diocese of San Joaquin might not allow their revolting misogyny to express itself as blatantly as their Taliban equivalents in Quetta (although I fear it’s only a matter of time before someone emails with news of the evangelicals of Sydney stoning women caught reading the bible aloud while clad “immodestly”), but talk to any of them privately, when their guard is down, and you’ll invariably reach the frightening conclusion that their deepest hope is it’s only a matter of time…

What’s also always the same, irrespective of the place, context, or theological rhetoric, is that those serving this nasty brew are invariably older men with little or no chance of losing that which they urge their gullible young followers to abandon for the sake of the cause/gospel/jihad/faith/whatever. Whether we’re talking about anti-social young men killing at bin Laden's sociopathic behest, or sexually insecure young men throwing away their (and their family’s) security and future in pursuit of the lie that is the Anglican schism, there’s always a group of older men urging them on in the background. Men who’ve already got their pension plans and health-care schemes sorted. Men who profess to know that God wants others to waste their lives, while resolutely holding on to their own – along with all the status and luxury they’ve accumulated along the way.

This is hardly a new phenomena: for every young Saul of Tarsus risking his life by stirring up sectarianism in the face of Caesar’s determination to enforce the Pax Romana, there was at least one older Pharisee looking on approvingly, secure in the knowledge that he’d remain safe even if his protégé did push things a little too far. And despite Christ's indisputable condemnation of those who would cause the young and naïve to stumble, the tragic pattern remains entrenched: for every immature nitwit posting bile at Stand Firm you can be certain there’s at least one senior cleric grateful he doesn’t have to get his own hands dirty throwing around the mud.

So while we pause today in remembrance of those killed in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, also spare a thought for those who have died in other places and times as result of this unholy exploitation. In abhorring the mindless absolutism of Islamic extremists, let’s not lose sight of the dangerous old men in our own midst. Ridicule them, laugh at them, and use whatever democratic processes you can find to prevent them silencing the voices of wisdom, faith, and inclusion. Ignore them, and flying planes into the side of buildings, or claiming that God hates individuals on the basis of their gender or sexuality (and the even more horrific death toll ensuing), is only the beginning.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Prayers for My Beloved New Zealand Sinners

News has just reached me of the earth moving in a strictly non-reproductive sense for my Beloved Sinners in Christchurch New Zealand. In the face of this emergency you may all be assured of my prayers for you, your loved ones, and, most important of all, your parish property and assets.

Still, it would be remiss of me in my duties as the World’s Leading Biblical Expositor to not remind you all that the Archbishop of Mordor (as well as his brother, and probably his wife, son, daughter, son-in-law, and innumerable house-elves) did warn you that no good would come from appointing a woman as your Bishop. That some of the most severe damage appears to have occurred in areas where Mordor has established “white-ant” congregations should be considered absolutely irrelevant.

And now, since for reasons I can only ascribe to some oversight on our infallible Lord’s part, you have been spared widespread death and injury, I now expect you to all get busy. Undoubtedly there are unsecured liquor stores and electronic retailers throughout your trembling town, and you’ll have to move quickly if you’re going to be able to send me that container of blessings which the Spirit has clearly told me you are to prepare.

Just remember, anyone caught looting is to insist they’re Baptist (or at very least Australian, which I’m told at your end of the world is viewed even more disparagingly), although I’ll be happy to provide a fictitious character reference at your trial in return for 1st class air tickets and 5-star accommodation. Let’s face it: you’ll get be getting more for your outlay than Bobby Duncan’s backers did for his recent African soirée.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.