Thursday, October 29, 2009

+Mark Lawrence gets logical.

Try as I might I still haven’t been able to get the problem of little Bishop Lawrence’s address out of my head: what exactly is the man going to do that he hasn’t already done? Permit any congregation wishing to leave for ACNA to take parish assets with them? In which case do you think he’ll let me also steal something: I’m not sure his car is suitably macho for a man of my stature, but I have heard his wife is a very good cook, and as long as his computer isn’t running Vista it’s now mine, y’all understand?

Mind you, I think I may have found some idea of what’s behind the process which might for brevity’s sake be referred to as his “thinking” – on page 7 of the address little +Mark claims homophobia is something “even the Natural Order reveals”. As Biblical Christians everywhere should know “Natural Order” (+Mark quite correctly capitalizes this proper noun) is something (someone?) to which Jesus repeatedly referred, and which he saw as even more influential than His Father, whom He depicts as a fairly minor figure by comparison.

Nor am I so spiritually tactless to mention how important appeals to “Natural Order” were in the promulgation of anti-miscegenation laws, or their part in the argument against letting those not of Martyn Minn’s ethnic persuasion be anything other than cleaners in the Nigerian Anglican Church. In fact I’ve a long history of supporting the notion of “Natural Order”: a few years ago I discovered that the Dani people of the Baliem Valley in Western New Guinea believe “Natural Order” dictates all men over the age of puberty should go about their daily business clad in nothing more than a penis-gourd, and as a result did everything within my power to see this clearly natural practice introduced to Ichabod Springs.

Sadly we had to abandon the practice once winter came; the cold resulted in things becoming humiliating for even a man of my estimable Doctrinal Dimensions. Still, there’s no denying the logical consistency of my stance, and given the climate of South Carolina is a little more temperate than that of Ichabod Springs I’m certainly hoping to see the dear Bishop and his followers abandoning synthetic fabrics in favor of honestly grown natural sheaths from the Lagenaria siceraria plant (although many of my Conservative brethren may find the smaller Nepenthes mirabilis a more comfortable fit).

Additionally we can all expect them to boycott dentists, to forgo the use of anesthetics in surgical procedures, and to rejoice in a world where even the most minor of infections can frequently prove fatal. What could be less part of the “Natural Order” than modern medicine? The Church Fathers certainly never contemplated circumventing an honest dose of gangrene with some contemporary piece of pharmacological tomfoolery: you’d better believe they could recognize the “Natural Order” when they saw it oozing out of somebody’s leg.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.


Paul (A.) said...

Clearly God made him that way, Naturally.

dr.primrose said...

As someone of your admirable encylopedic knowledge knows, there was a terrific controversy 150 years ago about whether the use of anesthesia in childbirth violated God's will. As one history of childbirth notes:

"When the anesthetic effects of ether and chloroform were discovered in the mid 1800's, many members of the British clergy argued that this human intervention in the miracle of birth was sin against the will of God. If God had wished labor to be painless, he would have created it so. ...

"After initial reports of successful pain free childbirth, an era of conflict began predominantly between two groups. One against and the other for 'adapting pain-free childbirth'. The former group believed that all manner of calamities -disease, drought, poverty, and pain - signified divine retribution inflicted as punishment for sin. According to Scripture, childbirth pain originated when God punished Eve and her descendants for Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden. They believed that it was wrong to avoid the pain of divine punishment. On the other hand, there were others believing that disease and pain are biologic processes subject to study and control by new methods of science and technology."

Lapinbizarre said...

Great link, Paul. Thanks.

Seems Queen Victoria's frequent pregnancies ("like shelling peas", as they say in the UK) did much to legitimize the use of anesthesia in childbirth. Queen V, who loved the pleasure, but hated the subsequent pain, took to chloroform like a duck to water.