Dec 6, 2006
Nov 20, 2006
How many members of the Episcopal Church are there in this country?
About 2.2 million. It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children.
Episcopalians aren’t interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?
No. It’s probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion.
Well, I would respond to this but I'm afraid I'm going to occupied for the next few hours practicing reading the next Henry and Mudge book before I attempt to read it to my 5-year old. 'Cause it's really hard, you know. Oh, and then I'm going to go out and throw my 5th child's dirty diapers in the St. Joseph River. 'Cause I'm a Catholic.
Nov 19, 2006
First Things ^ | 10/25/2006 | Jordan Hylden
Jordan Hylden writes:
Seeing as how I am a new Episcopalian and still learning about my
church, I attended a public address given a couple weeks back by
Bishop Gene Robinson at General Theological Seminary, in the Chelsea
district of Manhattan. There was a pleasant reception before his
remarks, supplied nicely with wine and hors d'oeuvres platters and
attended by a quietly chattering crowd of 60-year-olds outfitted by
L.L. Bean. Sad to say, I did not know a soul there, and mostly stood
off to one side, listening to people talk about things like the new
art galleries over in Williamsburg. One gentleman politely asked me
if I was there because of my "orientation," to which I responded
that I was in fact simply there out of curiosity. Later on I
reflected that my response could have been taken several ways, but,
as it happened, there was not much time for reflection, and I along
with the L.L. Bean folks soon went inside the chapel for the
The chapel of course is a beautiful structure, built one hundred and
twenty years ago in the English Gothic Revival mode with donations
from the Morgans, Pierponts, and Vanderbilts, and featuring a
magnificent reredos behind the altar that tastefully reflects the
gender equality that subsists among the saints in glory. It did not
take long for the nave to fill up, although, unfortunately, it took
longer for the event to get started, which gave me ample time to
flip through the pewbooks. (The African-American hymnal looked to be
quite good; the feminist hymnal, however, seemed filled with titles
like "In Praise of Hildegard We Sing.") I had nearly gotten to the
point of thumbing through the BCP church calendar when the Very Rev.
Ward B. Ewing, dean of the seminary, rose to give the welcome, which
of course was quite warm. Following him was Christine Quinn, the
first openly gay speaker of New York's city council, who reminded us
all that "If you believe in yourself, if you define yourself, if you
love yourself, you can overcome any odds that anybody puts in front
of you." This met with loud applause, after which we all sat quietly
in our seats to consider how the glorious company of the saints had
believed in themselves.
The bishop himself was next. He began by thanking Ms. Quinn for her
wise words and reminded us that most places in America—like Iowa,
Georgia, or New Mexico—were not like the Chelsea district of
Manhattan. Indeed, I thought. But that should not deter us, he said,
from going out into the rest of the country to take back religion.
For years, he said, the Church had been the world's greatest
oppressor, until finally, in the 1960s, people began to wake up and
set things straight. People started to realize that what the Church
had taught all along about lots of things just wasn't true, and so
they started acting prophetically as a voice for change. That, he
said, is the true mission of today's Church: To find out where God
is already at work outside the Church and to join God there. Because
I did not grow up in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, this
required a bit of sorting out in my mind, but eventually it all
seemed to fit. "The Church is the world's greatest oppressor," I
reasoned, "but God is at work outside the Church, so our mission as
Christians is to work to change the Church until it becomes like,
you know, those places outside the Church." It still seemed like I
was missing something, but I figured I could think about it later.
Bishop Robinson's talk was, on its surface, all about LGBT
inclusion, but he said it actually was about much more than that. At
its most basic level, it was about the end of patriarchy, which to
him explained why he met with such opposition. The audience nodded
approvingly—civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, and the sexual
revolution were all part of a single struggle for liberation, from
the Man, or something like that. Freedom, justice, and sex were all
the same thing! I liked this idea. Being an Episcopalian, I thought,
was going to be fun.
But if that was the good news, then what came next was the bad news.
Many people, he warned, will be hurt and confused by our prophetic
struggle against patriarchy. Some of them will probably even leave
the Church. And, what's more, we won't even have the same
relationship to something called the "Anglican Communion" anymore..
This all sounded worrying. But, the bishop said, that was just the
price we would have to pay for doing the right thing. If people were
hurt and confused, or if they left the Church, then we would just
have to deal with it later. He reminded us that Jesus was the
ultimate example of someone who did the right thing and paid a price
for it. He told us how, when he was made bishop, he had to wear a
bulletproof vest and have an armed guard standing by, and how they
had made special plans if he had been shot to take him into another
room and make him a bishop before he died. He was being modest, of
course, but we all thought he had been very brave. And although I
had been worried at first, I started to feel sort of tough and
rebellious. Maybe, I thought, I could be as brave as Gene Robinson
some day. I stopped thinking about those people who would be hurt or
confused. They would just have to get with the program.
Next, it was time for the question-and-answer session, and I was
lucky enough to ask the bishop about something that had been
bothering me. "Do you think," I asked, "that conservatives from
places like South Carolina and progressives from places like New
Hampshire should stay together in the same church?" Bishop Robinson
gave a surprising answer—yes, he said, they should stay together,
because part of the genius of Anglicanism is keeping everybody
together no matter what. The audience members puzzled over this. On
the one hand, being tolerant and inclusive people, we didn't want to
tell people what to do or push anybody away. But on the other hand,
wasn't taking back religion from the conservatives the whole point
of all this? Aren't the conservatives in the Church the world's
greatest oppressors—just the people we're fighting against? This
seemed strange to me, but I supposed that maybe it would be all
right so long as the conservatives stayed in far-off places like
South Carolina, where they belonged. Although, I didn't think that
everyone in the audience liked the bishop's answer, and I wasn't
sure that I did, either.
Finally, it was time for one last question. A gentleman in the back
stood up and asked, "What do you think we need to do to save General
Theological Seminary?" This came as quite a surprise to me—how could
such a nice seminary need to be saved? But apparently it was true.
Bishop Robinson, who was on the board of the seminary, said that the
building plans would have to go forward if the seminary were to be
saved. I wasn't quite sure what that all meant, but later on I found
out that the seminary was almost bankrupt and wanted to knock down
its library and put an apartment building there instead. It seemed
to make sense, although it was very sad—it explained why there was
so much old scaffolding on the buildings (sort of like the Cathedral
of St. John the Divine up on Morningside Heights), and why there
were plastic sheets on the library books to keep them from getting
wet when the roof leaked. But that wasn't even the saddest part. It
turned out that the seminary's neighbors in Chelsea weren't letting
them put up the apartment building. They thought it would be too
noisy and ugly, and they wanted things to stay just the way they
were. The neighbors, it turned out, didn't much like the seminary at
all. They had even organized petition drives and protests to tell
the seminary so.
I didn't understand any of this. Before I had felt all tough and
cool, fired up and ready to take religion back from the
conservatives, but now it seemed like even our friends in the
Chelsea district of Manhattan didn't want us anymore. "How could
they do this?" I thought. Many of them were gay, and we were
sticking up for them! We were doing the right thing! Acting
prophetically, no matter what! It was all very sad, and I started to
wonder if anyone cared about the Episcopal Church anymore. People
had started to file out of the chapel by this point, and I started
to follow them. As I did, I overheard a young man about my age say
to his friend, "You know, I agree with his politics and everything,
but I'm not religious, so this wasn't all that interesting to me. I
bet my dad would have liked it, though."
I was pretty depressed, and I started walking glumly back to my
apartment. On my way home, I passed by an old Episcopal church that
seemed sort of different from normal churches—it didn't say anything
about services, but there was a back door open, with loud music
playing inside and a bunch of kids standing out front. I looked
closer, and realized what had happened. Why, it had been turned into
a nightclub! Loud and exciting music thrummed from inside the
sanctuary, where young people like me were dancing and drinking and
having a good time. I thought back to what I had learned earlier
that night, about how freedom and justice and sex were all the same
thing, and how being the Church meant joining the world in the
struggle against patriarchy. Finally, I started to feel good again.
It was going to be a tough fight, but there would be lots of fun
along the way. I smiled, looking up at the nightclub-church, and
thought that maybe we were starting to get it right after all.
Jordan Hylden is a junior fellow at First Things.
Canada Church website recently. If it was not so sad it would be really funny. At first I thought it was a spoof site. Then I discovered it it actually genuine and cost the Church of Canada a bundle of dollars.
Check out the forums, they are absolutely hilarious. There are 'real' people actually discussing 'hot topics' such as 'should children have talking Jesus dolls'.
This is cutting edge discussion on the important issues.
Nov 17, 2006
So as Dell slowly sink into the West we say farewell for ever.
Nov 8, 2006
Israeli shelling kills 18 in Gaza
This is one of the headlines on BBC News today. I am not disputing the truth of this statement, though the report goes on to say it is from 'Palestinian sources'. What suddenly struck me about these reports I cannot remember any that say something like 'Palestinian rocket attack on Israel'. Israel is always mentioned first and then somewhere in the article Palestinian attacks get a mention. Even when they are mentioned the implication is that the Israeli response is over the top as the missiles 'rarely kill anyone'. I wondered if the Israeli response should be to fire unguided rockets back, and whenever there is a suicide bomb on say a bus, the Israel bombs a Palestinian bus. From the way the BBC report what is happening this might be quite acceptable to them.
Nov 6, 2006
On 16th October I tried to purchase a Dell laptop over the telephone. What a disasterous joke this has become.
I had not heard anything from Dell after 14 days, I decided to ring the number I had been given, this number included a extension number to use where I would get in immediate touch with the actual person I originally spoke to if anything goes wrong. Now this is good sales service I thought. Well you know what thought did?. Unfortunately the first time I rang the nice Indian gentleman Kumar is his name by the way, said on his answerphone he is out of the Office, too bad I think I will ring again, so I rang the next day and the next day, and the next day. O dear Kumar must be ill I think, but he has very kindly given me another number to ring. This time a nice Indian lady, sadly she is out of the office, well she has got to have her dinner sometime I think, so I ring again, and again.... Now I am getting a little concerned, maybe some epidemic has struck, I have read that in India there are some strange tropical diseases. So I search the Dell site for a number to ring, find one 'Customer Care' it is called. So I ring atlast someone still alive another Indian gentleman, very nicely, who assures me Kumar is alive and well. He will put a message in 'his box', his words, and Kumar will get back to me. Three days later Kumar must still be sick, or maybe the person I spoke to recently has also been struck down. I now decide to email the complaints department, actually called 'Customer Assistance' I email my concerns one being that Kumar has taken my credit card details and I am worried that in his feverish state he may divulge them to others. The form I fill in is headed " If somehow we have not delivered the quality of service you deserve as a Dell customer, please complete this form"
I am now really concerned, maybe I have done something terrible and I 'deserve' this treatment. Also I am concerned that my case number is as follows 20061104134853362. Is this the number of other who people have 'deserved' this 'quality of service'. Three days later no reply to my email. I decide to ring again,(I must be mad). I try Kumar for one last time, he is still 'sick', though his answer machine message has been updated. I ring 'Customer Care' I now realise this name is just part of the evil sense of humour they have at Dell. I get another charming Indian lady called I think 'Sunny'. She asks me lots of questions and assures me she can help, I am feeling quite relaxed. She says hold the line and she will put me through to the person who can really help me. The phone rings my saviour is about to answer. 'You have reached the mail box of Kumar, I am out of the office..........aargh.
Nov 5, 2006
Nov 4, 2006
"The Crown Prosecution Service defended its actions today after two London Underground workers were cleared of racial harassment following allegations that they taunted a colleague over black Jelly Babies.
A jury found Victor Cooney, 47, and Carlos Rozza, 44, not guilty after an eight-day trial at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court.
It was alleged that the two men teased Daniel Jean Marie, who is black, by discussing black Jelly Babies and biting the heads off the sweets.
But the pair were cleared after just one hour of deliberation by the jury.
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said today: "This was an allegation of serious racial abuse and we have to take such allegations seriously.
"We believe there was a clear case to answer and the case did run its full course. We respect the jury's decision."
The spokesman said that the CPS were not able to provide costs on individual cases.
Estimates are for around £250,000
"If the Crown Prosecution Service had reviewed this case properly at the initial stages then this case would never have been brought before the Crown Court."
Conservative MP Mike Penning said the trial was a waste of money and police time.
He said: "We are desperate for police on our streets. But if taxpayers' cash is wasted on ridiculous cases like this, how can we afford it?" The two men were cleared on Wednesday at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court.
A spokeswoman for Transport for London (TfL) said today: "All allegations of harassment and racist behaviour are investigated. Whether or not to prosecute is a decision for the CPS.""
No more comment needed!!
Nov 1, 2006
On Friday 13th Oct 2006 - Farepak Hampers went into administration. Over 100,000 customers were told that no food hampers or vouchers or other goods will be supplied this Christmas as promised, and no refunds!
The story going the rounds is that, money was being collected not for hampers but to pay of the Companies overdraft at Halifax Bank of Scotland. Read more about this at www.unfarepak.co.uk
Oct 26, 2006
Oct 25, 2006
Oct 15, 2006
British Airways has asked a Christian member of staff to conceal her cross necklace because it contravenes the company's uniform policy.
It appears that religious symbols are OK at British Airways unless they are Christian. You can wear a turban or a Jewish skull cap as they cannot be hidden, but not a cross because they can.
I have noticed that British Airways has what appears to be double standards. Doesn't the the flag that they fly conceal not only one cross, but two including the Crusader cross of St George. Possibly this was why a number of years ago they tried to ditch the Flag, because of their dislike of all things Christian. What Christinans need now is a symbol that cannot be hidden or a secret one rather like the fish sign used in the past by persecuted Christians. Meanwhile Christians should avoid using these anti Christian companies.
Miss Eweida, a Coptic Christian whose father is Egyptian and mother English, was ordered to remove her cross or hide it beneath a company cravat by a duty manager at Heathrow's Terminal 4 last month.
She then sought permission from management to wear the chain - but was turned down.
When Miss Eweida, who is unmarried, refused to remove the necklace she was offered the choice of suspension with pay or unpaid leave, pending a disciplinary hearing.
Following a meeting with her managers on 22 September 2006, Customer Service Manager Caroline Girling told Miss Eweida in a letter: "You have been sent home because you have failed to comply with a reasonable request.
"You were asked to cover up or remove your cross and chain which you refused to do.
"British Airways uniform standards stipulate that adornments of any kind are not to be worn with the uniform."
In a letter to Miss Eweida's MP, Vince Cable, last week, BA chief executive Willie Walsh insisted his employee had not yet been disciplined but said she was off work for failing to comply with "uniform regulations".
He added: "We have previously made changes to our uniform policy to accommodate requests, after a detailed evaluation process including Health and Safety assessment to incorporate the wearing of Sikh bangles."
But Miss Eweida said: "BA refuses to recognise the wearing of a cross as a manifestation of the Christian faith, but rather defines it as a piece of decorative jewellery.
Sep 27, 2006
The BBC has become a complete turn off, all they appear to be interested in is so called 'human interest' stories. BBC one news has become so down market that they even advertise if yoy want to watch the real news press the 'red button'. I am more inclined to press the off button!!
"Carolin Lotter, a producer with Bloomberg, told BBC News she had been "not more than a metre or two" away from Mrs Blair and that she "literally had to step out of the way".
"Everybody was watching, everybody could listen to it, and she was just walking by one of the screens when I heard her say 'Well, that's a lie'," Ms Lotter said.
The fact is that no version of this story is true and Bloomberg should withdraw it immediately
Downing Street spokeswoman
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "This story is totally untrue.
"Bloomberg first claimed Mrs Blair stormed out of the hall and flashed that story on their screens.
"When the story was totally denied on Mrs Blair's behalf and it was pointed out that she had not at any time been in the hall, Bloomberg conveniently changed their story.
"The fact is that no version of this story is true and Bloomberg should withdraw it immediately.
"Mrs Blair was accompanied by four people, two of whom were protection officers, none of whom heard her say anything."
Sep 21, 2006
A quote from Paula R Stern
First it was a cartoon in Denmark that showed a caricature of Mohammed's face. Poor taste, ill-advised. But justification for murder? Not in the western world. But in the Arab world, it was enough to cause rioting, and lead to several deaths and a $1 million dollar death threat against the cartoonist. Interestingly enough, when an entire "art" show of cartoons against Israel and ridiculing the Holocaust was officially sanctioned in Iran recently, there were no riots in the world, no burned buildings, no death threats. Go figure.
When the President of Iran calls for the destruction of Israel, and presumably the nearly 6 million Jews within its borders, there were no riots, no death threats, no burned mosques or kidnapped journalists. When Jews were beaten in Russia, France, Yugoslavia, England, and Belgium, there were no violent demonstrations, no riots and death threats.
Now the Pope has spoken a few words, perhaps ill-timed, perhaps badly phrased, but the result is the same. The Arab world is alight. Despite the calming words of Jakarta rally organizer that, "we Muslims have no violent character," violence seems to prevail. Several churches in Palestinian areas have been fire-bombed.
Deputy leader to the Turkish Prime Minister said the Pope was "going down in history in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini." Hitler was responsible for the murder of at least 10 million people, by conservative estimates. His close ally, Mussolini established a fascist dictatorship in Italy.
To have an Islamic leader compare the Pope to these men of evil may help shed light on the ongoing propaganda war to paint Moslems as victims rather than aggressors. But the truth is in the flames that burned the churches, the bullets that were shot in the air, and the firebombs thrown in Gaza. Last year, the world was silent to the atrocity of synagogues being burned. Just one year later, the lesson returns.
Where synagogues burn, so too do churches.
Sep 17, 2006
It appears the Pope's words are being seen to be true
Earlier Sunday in the West Bank, two churches were set on fire as anger over the pope's comments grew throughout the Palestinian territories.
In the town of Tulkarem, a 170-year-old stone church was torched before dawn and its interior was destroyed, Christian officials said. In the village of Tubas, a small church was attacked with firebombs and partially burned, Christians said. Neither church is Catholic, the officials said.
Palestinian Muslims hurled firebombs and opened fire at five churches in the West Bank and Gaza Strip Saturday to protest the Pope's comments, sparking concerns of a rift between Palestinian Muslims and Christians.
Sep 16, 2006
The quote from the Pope has touch a raw nerve in the Muslim world.
"Stressing that they were not his own words, he quoted Emperor Manuel II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire, the Orthodox Christian empire which had its capital in what is now the Turkish city of Istanbul.
The emperor's words were, he said: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
Benedict said "I quote" twice to stress the words were not his and added that violence was "incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul"."
We now wait and see if their reactions prove him right in his assesment of much of the Muslim world.
Aug 3, 2006
More about Kana(Qana) the mystery deepens, who is 'white tee shirt'
Here is another unknown 'hero' of the massacre
Below is a quote from Irsaeli insider, who makes some interesting points about the pictures and reporting of this awful incedent.
Lebanese rescue teams did not start evacuating the building until the morning and only after the camera crews came. The absence of a real rescue effort was explained by saying that equipment was lacking. There were no scenes of live or injured people being extracted. There was little blood, CNN's Wedeman noted: all the victims, he concluded, appeared to have died while as they were sleeping -- sleeping, apparently, through thunderous Israeli air attacks. Rescue workers equipped with cameras were removing the bodies from the same opening in the collapsed structure. Journalists were not allowed near the collapsed building. Rescue workers filmed as they went carried the victims on the stretchers, occasionally flipping up the blankets so that cameras could show the faces and bodies of the dead. But Israelis steeled to scenes of carnage from Palestinian suicide bombings and Hezbollah rocket attack could not help but notice that these victims did not look like our victims. Their faces were ashen gray. While medical examination clearly is called for to arrive at a definitive dating and cause of their deaths, they do not appear to have died hours before. The bodies looked like they had been dead for days. Viewers can judge for themselves. But the accumulating evidence suggests another explanation for what happened at Kana. The scenario would be a setup in which the time between the initial Israeli bombing near the building and morning reports of its collapse would have been used to "plant" bodies killed in previous fighting -- reports in previous days indicated that nearby Tyre was used as a temporary morgue -- place them in the basement, and then engineer a "controlled demolition" to fake another Israeli attack. The well-documented use by Palestinians of this kind of faked footage -- from the alleged shooting of Mohammed Dura in Gaza, scenes from Jenin of "dead" victims falling off gurneys and then climbing back on -- have merited the creation of a new film genre called "Palliwood." There is increasing evidence that the Kana sequel is another episode in this genre, a variety which might be called Hezbollywood. The Hezbollah have evidently learned their craft well.
Aug 2, 2006
Check out this interesting site and views on the "massacre at Qana"
How genuine are these pictures and reports of what happened there?
A number of pictures I have seen elsewhere on the TV News have seems staged.
So who is this man?
Jul 21, 2006
The BBC and the British media have become quiet hysterical about the evacuation of about 4000 people from Lebanon and compared it to Dunkirks 470,000 people not much difference?.
Whilst a few hundred die in Lebanon,deplorable as it is, thousands die in Darfur, Somalia etc. without even a mention. Is it because they are black?. Hundreds die in Mumbai bombing, not a mention on the TV, or radio this week.
Jul 9, 2006
John Prescott is hanging on to his job by the skin of his teeth, he may have banned fox hunting, but the media pack are baying for his blood. The latest so called revelations of his involvement with 'a Cowboy' is laughable. I can't wait to see the cartoons of 'Cowboy John' running the country.
Jul 2, 2006
The BBC on its website has reported that the EU is responsible for the increase in rape in the Palestinian territories, because of their cut in funding development.
Jul 1, 2006
Jun 28, 2006
I picked this grovelling piece up from the BBC news sight....
"News has been to Zambia as part of a special series looking at how
Africa is faring one year on after the promises of increased aid made at the
G8 summit in Gleneagles.
Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia's first president, talks
to Jon Cronin about life in office, his hopes and fears for Africa, and his
one-time dancing partner Margaret Thatcher.
"Although my voice is croaky
because I'm having a slight cold, I will sing you a song."
With that Kenneth Kaunda,
Zambia's founding president and the man who played a crucial
part in southern Africa's liberation struggle, takes up his guitar and
begins to sing.
The former leader lives a quieter life now than when he
led Zambia through 27 years
of one-party rule.
These days he devotes
much of his time to the battle
against the spread of Aids, one of the
biggest threats facing the region. "
Jun 25, 2006
Jun 17, 2006
I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead,
and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat.
I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
Reflect on this and be at peace.
Above from amusing conservative blog
Jun 16, 2006
Jun 15, 2006
But in an impassioned speech, Bishop Robinson argued that the question was whether the church recognised the life of Christ in its gay and lesbian members.
It was not primarily about the future of the worldwide Anglican communion, he said.
"I am not an abomination before God," he said. "Please, I beg you, let's say our prayers and stand up for right."
He told the BBC that resolutions proposed by the convention were part of a conversation - one that he would not shy away from.
"I won't walk away. I will stay here and I will talk with anyone who is willing to talk. I will be as faithfully true as I can be with people who can be equally as faithful," he said."
This quote was taken from the BBCnews site. What does the last sentence by Roinson mean? It sounds like 'Spong speak'