"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." Mark Twain

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Don't Call it a Comeback

Well friends it is about time. Don't call it a comeback!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The New and Improved Covenant

Ok so here is the deal, yesterday on Ash Wednesday the Covenant Design Group, (CDG) released their new and improved draft of an Anglican Covenant. Talking to a friend, who is also a priest yesterday we came to the decision that a covenant is a great idea, FOR BISHOPS. We feel as though Bishops should spend more of their time together and less of their time acting pastorally or exercising their "teaching" role. So long as they don't agree to anything on our behalf, the covenant should be fine. Mostly because it will keep them busy.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Quotient- Part 1

My first step in creating a manner of life quotient is to determine what criteria will be used to evaluate candidates. There are lots of criteria that could be used but this is so important that I think we may have to go old school. That's right we're gonna take it back, way back to the seven deadly sins (and their corresponding virtues). Now this may seem somewhat old fashion but we all know that everything comes around, witness the horrible 80's styles that have recently come back into vogue, talk about sinful. So for those of you who may not have kept up with the Seven lets recap with some help from Wikipedia:

LUST-The excessive desire for sexual release thereby making another person an object
GLUTTONY-Overindulgence or over consumption of anything to the point of waste
GREED-The sin of excess applied to the acquisition of wealth
SLOTH-also know as acedia or a type of spiritual apathy. Now associated with laziness
WRATH-"the love of justice perverted to rage and spite" Dante
ENVY- "Sorrow for another's goods" Aquinas
PRIDE- Top sin. "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbors" Dante

On the other side of the scale are the seven cardinal virtues:
CHASTITY- embracing moral wholesomeness
TEMPERANCE-self control and moderation
CHARITY-generosity and the willingness to give
DILIGENCE-a zealous and careful nature in one's action and work
FORGIVENESS-Patience and forbearance
KINDNESS-compassion and friendship
HUMILITY-modest behavior selflessness

So far so good. We have now created the first half of our quotient, sort of. Under each broad criteria will come a number of sub-categories with more specific indicators. What comes next is the interview process. Here is the process, once someone has decided they want to be a Bishop or in the alternative that God has called them to be a Bishop and they just following God's lead, they will be given an application form. This form will include:
1.) A Consent to a Forensic Financial Audit- This is the most thorough type of audit around. It includes everything. All bank records, credit cards and investments are included. A forensic auditor will compile a report of the candidates financial records that they will be made public. That's right PUBLIC! We cannot allow this process to become corrupt with secrecy.
2.) A List of 10 ex-romantic relationships- You see we could ever rely on peoples friends to tell us the whole truth so we want to talk to the people who may have something interesting to tell.
3.) A list of 25 people you have worked with in the past- Employees and bosses always see people in a different light. This will be especially important in a number of criteria (pride, greed...)
4.) Other forms as needed. I guess a complete criminal background check is done most of the time, but we should also look into Civil cases and bankruptcies. In fact we should probably just hire a professional investigator to do these background interviews. Who knows they might find someone that was left off the ex list.

Now this may seem like a serious amount of work. But saving the Communion is hard work, unlike destroying it which seems to be pretty easy seeing that it has been accomplished by one person. But rather than sit around and wait for a bunch of men with vested interest in their own power to write a "Covenant" we must be proactive and beat them to the punch. We are creating a foolproof system that takes subjectivity out of the equation. As I said this should be finished by next week. J
P.S. Please go check out Dave Walker's Cartoon Church it is one of the funniest sites in the whole of Christendom

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Manner of Life Quotient

The previous post has gotten me thinking about how subjective the phrase Manner of Life is and how the move toward an Anglican Covenant is a way of providing some stability to the situation. I would suggest that there is another way to take subjectivity out of the decisions around who can be a Bishop. It is the development of a Manner of Life Quotient. This is how it would work. First everyone would agree on a number of criteria upon which a candidate for the episcopacy should be judged. Second each candidate would go through a thorough investigation process and be given a numerical score on each section. Then those scores would be calculated to give you a Manner of Life score. Each section would be weighted differently based on how much importance is placed on it in scripture and our tradition. So homosexuality would be weighted very lightly, while giving and generosity would be weighted very heavily. So someone could be gay and be very generous and score higher that a stingy straight person. This should clear it all up. I hope to have the criteria and scoring worked out by sometime next week. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Manner of Life

I have decided that when the Episcopal Church speaks of certain "manners of life" which may upset the rest of the communion they have opened the door for a good bit of conversation. In an effort to engage this conversation I am proposing a list of "manners of life" that do not live up to standards that are currently being set. Let me begin with the environment.

1.) 1998 Lambeth 1.8 Creation

As you can read below the 1998 Lambeth meeting passed a resolution that takes the destruction of the environment seriously. Therefor I propose that anyone currently in the House of Bishops of in an election for Bishop should have to meet certain standards of environmental sustainability to be considered appropriate candidates. Here is a list of Manners of Life that would be unacceptable: 1.) Driving an SUV or any car that does not get at least 40MPG on the Highway. 2.)Anyone who has not switched to compact fluorescent bulbs. (yes I know that it may be intrusive to come into peoples homes and see what bulbs they are using but the communion is at stake we all have to make sacrifices.) 3.) Any one who has not switched to low flow toilets and showers. 4.)Anyone shopping at Wal Mart. The most unsustainable company on the planet. this is a manner of life I find unacceptable and that destroys the homes and lives of our brothers and sisters in the global south. Any person who does these things has a manner of life that should not be acceptable to the wider communion.

2.)1998 Lambeth 1.4 War
It is pretty clear from Resolution I.4
A Faithful Response to Aggression and War
This Conference:
(a) abhors the evil of war;
(b) repudiates and condemns the use of violence for settling religious, economic, cultural or political disputes;
(c) encourages the use of peacekeeping forces to prevent or forestall the escalation of conflicts, and to assist in their resolution;
(d) repudiates and condemns the use of terrorism;
(e) decries the production and proliferation of arms;
(f) commits its members to prayer, mediation, and any active, non-violent means we can employ to end current conflicts and wars and to prevent others; and
(g) urges the nations represented by our Churches and all those on whom we have any influence whatsoever to join us in this endeavour.
1.)Any one who does not actively work and use any, active non-violent means to end war does not have a manner of life worthy of being a bishop. 2.) Anyone who may be invested in a company that profits from the "production and proliferation of arms" is unsuitable and causes untold harm to our brothers and sisters in the global south.
3.)1998 Lambeth 1.15 International Debt and Economic Justice
This resolution has so many ways in which to disqualify someones manner of life. I will just point out that Jesus talks about money more than any other topic in his parables and so maybe we should be talking about it too. 1.) Any person who cannot show a consistent pattern of tithing (at a minimum) does not have a manner of life consistent with the episcopacy. 2.) Anyone who has is not giving .7% of their income to the MDG's is also out. 3.)In fact I think a complete financial analysis of every candidate for Bishop is in order to make sure that they are spending their money in accordance with Biblical principals and Lambeth Resolutions. This report should be made public knowledge and there should be an opportunity for the laity to respond.
In fact I think when Jesus said in Matthew "where your treasure is there your heart will be also" he gave us the best possible way to figure out what a persons "manner of life" is. We should begin to require a complete financial report of each Bishop and candidate for Bishop. Let's not allow the Episcopacy to hide their manner of life behind their checkbooks.
Anyway this should just about exclude everyone from the possibility of being a bishop and those who make it through this process obviously have not have enough life experience to be effective shepherds to the flock so they are out too. Have a great day. Jeremy+