Saturday, January 22, 2011

Texas Courthouse Blues.

God’s with Iker all the way,
He’ll keep the queers and women away!

It seems like just yesterday that we all were all gathered at Stand Firm round the macho-fire (on account of Melanie, Dobby and Matt’s insecurities nothing over there can be called camp, not even the fire) chanting this inspiring ditty. Yet today finds my dear little Viagravillains speechless with grief at Judge John Chupp’s astonishing ruling that theft is wrong.

Mind you, it’s not all bad news. Firstly, there’ll almost certainly be an appeal lodged, so my Beloved Sinners can all stop worrying the poor ACNA lawyers might be compelled to remove their snouts from the trough and seek more legitimate means of making the repayments on their Porches.

Secondly, and even more promisingly, Judge Chupp did agree with general principle of Layman Jack Iker’s 1994 affidavit. So it’s not as if he’s entirely opposed to everything our favorite Texan schismatic says. Although since that general principle involved Happy Jack insisting the Episcopal Church is by definition hierarchical it’d probably be better to not place too much hope in the possibility of this beautiful connection developing into something more substantial.

All of which means that while those of you who got “God Won’t Let +Iker Lose” tattoos don’t need to immediately start tracking down a good dermatologist who’s handy with the laser, it’s probably not a bad idea to start asking around. And if you’re a clergyman in Fort Worth who followed his boss into Bobby Duncan’s cult it would be wiser to get it done now, while you’ve still got a parish that can afford your stipend because it isn’t forced to sink every cent into renting meeting halls from the local Seventh Day Adventists. Remember: tattoo removal is never cheap, and getting it done now will give the scar time to fade. So you won’t feel anywhere nearly as silly when it’s finally time for you to come back into the Church which you promised God you’d serve.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.


Rick+ said...

Dear Father Christian,
      I checked your link to Stand Firm, but can see no response to this court ruling. Clearly they need to post something soon about how this is a clear victory for men… um, orthodoxy, er… their side, but I'm having trouble figuring out how they're going to spin,um… slant,er… clarify this recent event. Obviously, this is due to my lack of orthodox biblical training. As the world's foremost doctrinal warrior, can you help me understand until Stand Firm can get it up?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

It seems there have been an upswing in sales of rose-tinted spectacles so heavily tinted as to be virtually opaque. Fr. T., I've long admired your "through an eyeglass darkly" pair in your stunning and Orthodox avatar photo. Any thoughts on the new "Rose of Texas" look?

Brother David said...

I saw someone has posted this at the Lead, Rick;

"Now they go to the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, which has a reputation for reversing summary judgments."

So cute, still clinging to hope.

Paul Powers said...

"So cute, still clinging to hope."

¿Quién sabe? There's an old story that a condemned man offered to teach the king's horse to talk in one year's time in exchange for a pardon. When his cellmate asked what he was going to do when the year was up, he replied that anything can happen in a year. The king could die, or he could die, or the horse could die. Or the horse could talk. And having lived and studied in the Lone Star State, you undoubtedly know that Texans are by nature an optimistic people. This goes for both Rick Perry and Katie Sherrod (it may be the only thing they have in common). Matt Kennedy is a notable exception, but he's lived in Upstate New York so long that he's probably forfeited his Texas citizenship.

Time (and the court of appeals) will tell whether this optimism is misplaced in this particular case. And Judge Chupp has left a big opening for Bishop Iker et al. He made his ruling based on a "deference" approach, and he struck out portions of the "Local Episcopal Parties'" proposed summary judgment that said that they would also prevail under a "neutral principles" approach. If the Court of Appeals decides that he should have used a neutral principles approach, they will send the case back to him for reconsideration. It's possible that under a neutral principles analysis he'll come to the same result (that's what happened in one of the California cases). Or perhaps not. In any case, a victory dance by either side is premature.

And dear Father Troll, fret not for either side that loses the lawsuit in the end. The Local Episcopal Parties (that's their designation in the lawsuit) have done a fantastic job keeping the faith alive while meeting in places like movie theaters and clubhouses and other church's fellowship halls. The Southern Cone/ACNA group will no doubt be able to do the same thing if they have to leave (two of their church's already are). And whoever loses the lawsuit in the end can be heartened by the experience of the Antiochan Orthodox faction at Holy Apostles, who were able to build a new church within a few years after they had to leave.

Again, this is Texas, where churches are more ubiquitous than Starbucks, but there's always room for one more. So rejoice!

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

The absence of any reference to this matter at Viagraville results from the poor denizens having been struck down with a malady known to medical professionals as Paralysis of Hubris. Not uncommon in the young and self-righteous, it is, I regret to say, generally only a temporary condition.

Not unrelated is the obsessive predilection for rose-colored eye wear observed by Fr. Haller. An hysterical neurosis, those most susceptible have invariably consumed excessive quantities of Kool-Aid in preceding years. Episodes following an encounter with reality are liable to be particularly severe, and there is little which can be done for acute patients, who frequently display delusions of jurisprudential expertise.

Anonymous said...

Mr Iker should be compared to the Blessed Apostle St Paul who "appealed to Caeasar" after two years in prison. (Acts 25 vv1-12). It is time to send Mr Iker to prison immediately.

mb said...

Comment has started, though muted...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Troll,
As one who has been in priestly ministry for almost 40 years, I have never been exposed to the various machinations of Viagraville. I just thought one should do the ministry of Jesus to all who need it. But, oh, was I surprised about the complex issues of "lay presidency" and priestly ordinations. I dipped into Stand Firm recently and my soul was shaken. Can you help me out of this abyss, let alone all these lawyers who prey upon the church?

Fr. Maxwell Smart+