Monday, April 30, 2012

Ahhh - That's Better!!

To be perfectly honest with you, My Beloved Sinners, the past few weeks have seen me feeling rather flat. No, it’s not that Dr. Harrisburg’s ground-breaking Nuclear Psychiatry (literally so – a team of Russian speleologists have yet to reach the bottom of the crevice which opened up beneath his consulting rooms after the last minor incident with the reactor) has ceased to deliver it’s old familiar warming glow: the cause of my despondency was something much greater than mere radioactive molecular realignment can soothe.

That’s right: I’m talking about the Republicans’ cruel, heartless, and utterly apostate decision to dump Rick Santorum from the Presidential Race. If I hadn’t sold my dear old grandmother’s grave to developers seeking land on which to develop cheap condominiums she’d be rolling in her grave if she could see how her once-grand Old Party turned its back upon the chance to teach those liberal Democrats a thing or two with a Santorum-Bachmann ticket. Although since she – my grandmother, that is, not Michelle Bachmann - probably caused the subsidence responsible for killing several residents and a pair of Mormon missionaries when the entranceway collapsed, as well as for the cracks causing the cheap Chinese cladding to shed asbestos fiber across the childrens’ playground, it’s not as if she’s no longer doing her part to uphold Conservative Republican traditions.

Indeed, things became so glum around these parts that not even a delightful missive from little Matt Kennedy, in which our faux-Kenyan (or was he Ugandan? I can no longer keep up with the neoAfricans' latest canonical nationality-du-jour.) most creatively used little Chuck Murphy’s new Congolese best friends forever as an excuse to gossip about the private affairs of former parishioners, was able to lift my spirits. Although it did serve as refreshing reminder that few things are as effective when it comes to enforcing congregational obedience as threatening to blog about matters shared with one in confidence. And having already broken his Ordination Vows, it’s not as little Matt – or any other faux-clergy – remain bound by archaic notions of clerical confidentiality, do they?

So bad, in fact, did things become - and I’m not proud to confess this to you, My Beloved Sinners, but my repentance would be incomplete were I not to be transparent with you all – that I - yes I – the World’s Leading Doctrinal Warrior – fell into the most pernicious and shameful sin which can ever ensnare any Clergyman. That’s right - I begun spending more time ministering to the people of my parish than sitting in front of my computer screen meandering across the intertubes!

All of which just shows how any of us - even a Righteous Man of God such as myself – can in an instant be taken captive by the Prince of Darkness and seduced into sinning in ways they would normally find repugnant. Evil ways, as it brings me great embarrassment to admit, such as visiting those whom one has been called to serve; even caring for them and - please don’t let any children read this, I implore you - showing an interest in their lives. Or - it would probably be best if any ladies present left the room - helping them experience the love of Christ in every area of their lives!!!

No, My Sinners, the depravity into which I fell was beyond description. Yet - and here I urge you to join with me in rejoicing – all has not been lost, and I now stand before you even more richly cloaked in the gown of Conservative Biblical Righteousness than ever before. For my mojo is back once more, my fingers are flying across the keyboard faster than money-lenders at an evangelical prosperity seminar, and my heart is beating faster than a GAFCON primate with a business-class plane ticket.

And the reason for my deliverance, you ask? Well – aside of course, from own inherent superiority and strength when it comes to overcoming that which would destroy a lesser man's Ministry – the cause of this miracle is nothing more than a humble Jensen house-elf. Although in this case one who is not so much Dobby as Kreacher - albeit less handsome and pleasant of personality, but blessed with a breathtaking sense of his own importance, as well as a total inability to refrain from misrepresenting anyone disagreeing with him (if not just simply attributing to them phrases of his own creation). In other words, a young man who epitomizes every value today’s Conservative Christian Schismatics hold dear! But let me explain…

Listlessly trawling through my once familiar Blogospheric haunts I chanced upon a post at the gentle home of Calamity Jane; a Dreadfully Beloved Sinner who writes from beneath the very shadow of Mordor itself. Wherein I discovered the inspiration for my redemption; a young man slavishly in service of the Lords of Mordor - no, not that young man, but one almost just as dishonest, and quite possibly even more self-opinionated. He was demanding Calamity apologize for a post made some weeks previously in which she suggested an undoubtedly intelligent young woman who serves as an advocate for a delightful variant of Our Lord’s Gospel in which women are eternally consigned to a life of subservience and subjection to the obviously superior goals of men might in reality be - albeit just a little stupid. Or at least profoundly and utterly deceived.

Clicking through to Calamity’s original post brought it all back to my weary memory - I had at the time this was first published left a comment of my own. Not of course, because I will ever admit to seeing anything wrong with Jesus’ message of freedom being twisted into something which controls and subjugates others on account of their gender (or any other God-given trait), but because something in the tragedy that was unwittingly apparent in this woman’s attempt at justifying the consequences of her involvement in the cult of Jensenism touched a part of me which I regret to say has yet - much like our favorite ex-gay campaigner’s sexuality - to fully match my public rhetoric.

In short, I found the Jensenette’s cri de cœur indescribably sad, and I left a comment saying as much. Which, as I ought to have expected, incurred the wrath of some hitherto unknown young fundamentalist man. (Like others, I’ve said this before, but how can I resist noting it yet again – isn’t remarkable how the wrathful internet ejaculations of Biblical Orthodoxy nearly always come from young men??!! No Professor Freud, put your hand down please. We don’t need to hear your explanation again.)

And my goodness, what a special item has this young man – who so delights in the name of George Athas that one of his favorite rhetorical devices involves repeatedly introducing himself – proven to be. Follow our edifying exchange for yourself at Liberal Anglicanism in Sydney… Pie in the Sky if you’re so inclined, and share my wonder at the boy’s total disregard for anything not from his own unique perception of reality. It’s like engaging in dialogue with a painting by Dali. Although absolute self-certainty isn't normally associated with surrealism, and his interpersonal skills incline more towards cubism.

No, little George (who was Ordained Deacon in 2006, so naturally knows everything there is to know about parish ministry, despite never appearing to have actually served in a parish of his own, nor legally ministered his church’s Eucharistic Sacraments, is the kind of person who inspired me to establish the vital internet ministry which is GAFCON, and we are all – even me – eternally indebted for reminding me to leap once more into the mighty fray which is virtual Anglicanism. It’s lads like him who make me proud of my role as the World’s Most Biblical Doctrinal Warrior, and as long as we have them you know there’ll always be a need for me.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

P.S. My muse runs a blog of his own: The title, I believe, is intended to be ironic, so it's probably not a good idea to suggest the reference to "Meagre Powers" might in some way refer to his cult's paucity of any of the qualities normally associated with Our Lord. And should any of you get it into your heads to try and interact with him in any way more meaningful than laying prostrate at his feet in meek and complete agreement... well... just don't say your wise old Father Christian didn't warn you...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

And the race is on...

Well, well, well… the Verger's hosing down the Vestry and choir stalls, and Easter is over for another year. Christ is risen indeed, and Biblical Christians everywhere are nibbling chocolate eggs and enjoying the warm smug feeling which accompanies the certainty that there’s nothing whatsoever syncretistic about their faith.

So now that all the Holy Week sacerdotalism is concluded, I know that like me you’ll all be glad to get back to the real business of the Church: bickering about homos and – if you’re of either a lunar-evangelical or über-catholic persuasion, or just happen to be very insecure about the size of your genitals – women. Not to mention the Very Important Question facing all Anglicans at this time: who’s going be the next person to enjoy a bounce in the big bed at Lambeth?

I know that some of you have very thoughtfully suggested myself as ++Rowan’s obvious successor, and I quite agree with you that doing justice to the role of Archbishop of Canterbury requires a degree of wisdom, Biblical Learning, and modesty which I alone possess. Not to mention the ability to schmooze at the very highest levels while still pretending to care about the faith of those who can’t even spell Beaujolais nouveau, let alone enjoy a refreshing tipple in a private box at Royal Ascot – something I’ve no doubt Our Lord would Himself enjoyed had He not been so foolish to incarnate in 1st century Palestine.

Yet – and I am aware of the grief this will cause Sinners throughout the Communion – I have already felt called to decline the offer which will inevitable come. Not only does ++Rowan’s resignation coincide with a particularly strategic development in ministry here at St. Onuphrius. (we have just installed a sauna in the Rectory as part of our mission to Australian ex-gay hucksters, but as a Christian I’m really not prepared to compromise my faith by growing one of the sort of beards which appear to have become de rigueur for English Bishops of my age and ethnicity.

Which, of course, now leaves the field wide open, and as you’d expect speculation is already running rife. First favorite has been the Bishop of York, although in my opinion that’s really only because he’s the only one the bookmakers know – probably on account of him being the easiest to recognize (he doesn’t have a beard).

As anybody who knows Merrie Olde England as well as I do will tell you, however, in this particular race +John Sentamu is never going to mount the winner’s podium and spray champagne over the pretty Anglo-Catholics responsible for stage-managing the enthronement ceremony. He’s got a great deal of popular backing, I’ll admit, and Anglicans throughout Africa would be whacking each other with machetes for joy at the news of his appointment, but the plain reality is +Sentamu isn’t going to be the one.

Nor is the certainty with which I break this sad news to you just based on my own inerrant intuition. Rather it stems from my exhaustive observations of the nation and people of Great Britain. (Alright: I can’t claim to have studied the Scots in any depth, but I have rented Braveheart, and once got arrested with football hooligans on Glasgow. And before I met Consuella I would quite often on warm windy days wear a kilt.) For decades I’ve been an avid subscriber to delightful glossy magazine much cherished by the class of Englishmen responsible for appointing the Archbishop of Canterbury – no, I’m referring to Country Life, not one of those other British publications featuring either naked proletarian northern girls frolicking naked in baked beans, or middle-aged Tory politicians dressed as chorus girls.

If, as I do, you regularly perused Country Life (one can never read too many “Situations Vacant” advertisements for butlers) it would eventually dawn upon you that whether one is studying the weekly images of girls in pearls, or committing to memory a guide to the best bluebell walks in Britain, persons of Bishop Sentamu’s – I’m trying to say this as tactfully as only I can - hue don’t figure prominently. In fact, I believe I don’t ever recall seeing anyone of African, Indian, or Asian ancestry featured among the glowing portraits of British landed gentlemen and their womenfolk. Which is not to say such things don’t occur in Britain, just that, for reasons I can’t quite explain, the black youths of, for example, Bradford, or the charming young unemployed ladies with whom I once conversed outside a tattoo parlor in Hull, prefer not to actively participate in the sports of polo and fox-hunting.

No: I’ve no doubt that Lord Stickley-Polkinghorne and his delightful debutante daughter, Lucia, would have absolutely no qualms about enjoying the personal company of those of a different racial persuasion to their own, and so the absence of any pictures of them or anyone else of their class in the company of black friends should be attributed to nothing more than journalistic oversight. After all, one only has to look at any picture of William and Kate’s friends at their wedding to see how England’s upper classes have embraced British multiculturalism.

Consequently I really don’t foresee Her Majesty having any problem with someone of Ugandan ancestry presiding at future Royal events. In fact there’s just one, small, tiny, insignificant, miniscule difficulty which I fear will forever keep +Sentamu from moving south: Prince Phillip. Although given the current precarious nature of his health, and the likelihood of him having at least considered the possibility of his funeral being the next monarchical extravangza, I can’t believe he’d really have any objections to matters being presided over by +Sentamu. Would he?

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.