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

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+

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Anglican Communion Bookies

Over the past year my friend Richard and I have sat down every two weeks or so to pour over the happenings in the Anglican communion. We read almost every important document that is released, we check out numerous web sites and blogs and for the most part are complete Anglican geeks. Both of us love the Episcopal Church very much and have been trying to figure out which way the wind might be blowing our beloved. Said another way, we wonder which way the Holy Spirit might be leading us as a church and communion. In an effort to work this out we have started handicapping the communion. Starting tomorrow we will provide weekly odds dealing with communion issues. For instance we will place odds on whether or not The Episcopal Church will sign the draft Anglican Covenant, which diocese are most likely and least likely to sign on, odds that a particular diocese or parish will attempt to leave the Episcopal Church, etc. You get the point. I have tried to find out what the London Bookmakers are thinking about all this but they haven't seen fit to place odds on the beloved CofE. Most everything else has odds as you can see here in the betting on which animal will become extinct. We are sure this will make some people unhappy. Honestly we really don't care. We will give people an opportunity to vote on certain odds and at other times we will make the call.

We will not be able to take actual bets but you are welcome to send us money if you like.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Moving to Africa

As many of you know my wife Penny and I are moving to Namibia Africa next summer to be missionaries from the Episcopal Church. You can find out more about our mission at www.missionnamibia.blogspot.com Namibia is part of the Southern Province of Africa. That province has had as its primates most recently Abp. Desmond Tutu and Abp. Njongonkul Ndugane. Recently the Southern Province of Africa elected a new primate. He is the 47 year old Bishop of Gramstown South Africa. He is Bishop Thabo Makgoba. When he was first elected there was quite a bit of trepidation about who he was and where he stood on issues facing the communion at this time. He is also a member of the Lambeth Steering Committee. The Living Church initially said that he was "more conservative" on issues of human sexuality. There was an article about Makgabo in the Mail and Guardian Online on October 6th that I thought was very interesting. It is worth a look if you are worried that the Episcopal Church has no friends in Africa.

Monday, October 15, 2007

1998 Labmbeth Resolutions taken less seriously

I'm just saying that it seems like some Lambeth resolutions from 1998 have been taken less seriously than others.

1998 Lambeth Resolution I.8
This Conference:
reaffirms the Biblical vision of Creation according to which:Creation is a web of inter-dependent relationships bound together in the Covenant which God, the Holy Trinity has established with the whole earth and every living being.

the divine Spirit is sacramentally present in Creation, which is therefore to be treated with reverence, respect, and gratitude;

human beings are both co-partners with the rest of Creation and living bridges between heaven and earth, with responsibility to make personal and corporate sacrifices for the common good of all Creation;

the redemptive purpose of God in Jesus Christ extends to the whole of Creation.

that unless human beings take responsibility for caring for the earth, the consequences will be catastrophic because of: overpopulation unsustainable levels of consumption by the rich poor quality and shortage of waterair pollutioneroded and impoverished soil forest destruction plant and animal extinction;

that the loss of natural habitats is a direct cause of genocide amongst millions of indigenous peoples and is causing the extinction of thousands of plant and animal species. Unbridled capitalism, selfishness and greed cannot continue to be allowed to pollute, exploit and destroy what remains of the earth's indigenous habitats;

that the future of human beings and all life on earth hangs in balance as a consequence of the present unjust economic structures, the injustice existing between the rich and the poor, the continuing exploitation of the natural environment and the threat of nuclear self-destruction;

that the servant-hood to God's creation is becoming the most important responsibility facing humankind and that we should work together with people of all faiths in the implementation of our responsibilities;

that we as Christians have a God given mandate to care for, look after and protect God's creation.

prays in the Spirit of Jesus Christ:
for widespread conversion and spiritual renewal in order that human beings will be restored to a relationship of harmony with the rest of Creation and that this relationship may be informed by the principles of justice and the integrity of every living being, so that self centred greed is overcome; and
for the recovery of the Sabbath principle, as part of the redemption of time and the restoration of the divinely intended rhythms of life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Conservative? Really?

There is, I'm sure, much interest in the new Archbishop in the Province of Southern Africa. Tonight I read that the Livinig Church is calling him a conservative on issues of human sexuality. This is from the Diocese of Gramstown paper Umbuliso August-September 2007

Bishop Thabo writes…. Amazing Grace
Dear People of God

This year marks 200 years since Wilberforce’s campaign for the abolition of slavery bore fruit. A book by Eric Metaxas, Amazing Grace, is an accessible read printed on glossy paper and bigger print. The history in it is not glossy but provides a biography of Wilberforce. In the ten hour plane from Spain I also watched the film Amazing Grace, and as I complete this article, I am humming the song, Amazing Grace, it is brilliant film.
He was a prophet who spoke into his situation, though not as radical as some would have wanted him to be in today’s context. However, speak he did to the slave masters and system that upheld the practice of slavery: “Thus says the Lord”, as in Ezekiel 37.
The laws of our global world have legislated against the practice of slavery for many years but slavery still happens in many other different forms. There is explicit slavery, for example human trafficking, conscripting children, killing those whose sexuality is different to ours as happened this month in Soweto, kidnapping and killing children. There is also systemic slavery, for example neglect of rural development or lack of intentionality in rural development so that the poorest of the poor are rendered desperate, xenophobia, dependency, consumerism, Mugabe and Sudan’s enslavement of their people, neglect of the integrity of creation, stigmatising the HIV positive, domination of other nations and people and substance abuse, the list can go on and on. . .
What does the Lord require of us, what does Leviticus 19:33-34 say about treatment of those different to us? How did Jesus deal with difference, marginalisation and those enslaved by laws, pharasaic attitudes and those caught in adultery? What does Paul say about the law and those who are in Christ? God is love, we are created in love. With this knowledge, what are we to proclaim to God’s world, enslaved by all the abovementioned and many more?
Wilberforce never kept quiet, he declared “thus says the Lord. . .” He obviously said this out of deep conviction that Christ has triumphed, that out of baptism we are made new, united with Christ, out of a deep spirituality that does not encourage interiority only but is expressed where God’s people are in pain and unable to hear God’s comfort and release boldly proclaimed.
I was privileged to be among Bishops from 51 dioceses of the USA, Canada and Africa who met in El Escorial, Spain, for a week. We broke bread together as Cleopas and his companion did on the road to Emmaus. We wrestled with the word of God as it challenged our varied contexts, and how our this wrestling has affected the Communion and muddied the water, and how we could through our partnership bring mission back to the centre of our pilgrimage and journey as the Anglican church. In a special way God’s grace filled and guided our time together.
I invite you, the people of God in this diocese to accompany me, rooted in scripture, our tradition, and deep spirituality that seek to be involved in God’s world, to walk with those who are struggling to understand the word of God (Luke 24:13-35), those who need to hear and touch God’s compassion, (Is 40:1-11) and share our faith with those in turbulence (Matt 14:22-33), and finally to pray for our Communion, that it may not seek cheap grace, but know God’s amazing grace in our times.

May God bless you all as you proclaim “thus says the Lord” in all your varied situations, especially to those that seek to enslave God’s people. May you never tire of working and praying without ceasing for all these issues.


Umbuliso August/ September 2006
Bishop Thabo writes…. The Anglican Communion
Dear People of God

Three leaders, reflecting from provincial, national and international Anglican contexts, recently wrote the following articles: our Archbishop Ndungane, “The Heartland of Anglicanism”, 10 July 2006; Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, “Challenge and Hope for the Anglican Communion”, 27 June 2006; Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria “The Road to Lambeth”, a statement by the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, 30 May 2006. They can be found on the diocesan web site, http://www.diocesegrahamstown.co.za/direction/archstatements.htm
At the heart of these articles is: What form of governance, structures and corporate identity should the global Anglican Church assume, and who should call the shots?
Archbishop Williams provides a theological rationale, and concludes by advocating a Covenant: a voluntary contractual tool for those who desire global association. Archbishop Njongo advocates a genuine return to what has traditionally served us best, and reaffirms that power should reside in Synods: We are “synodically governed and episcopally led”. Archbishop Akinola perceives a crisis that should lead to severance if Biblical teaching on homosexuality is not obeyed. All three leaders cite Scripture, and like us all believe that Scripture is the point of departure, even with varied hermeneutical approaches.
Biblical passages that are cited are: 1 Cor 10:17, “Hold together in the Lord as we are renewed by the Spirit”. Keep the tradition (1 Cor 11:23) in the spirit of charity (1 Cor 13:14). Archbishop Rowan appeals to the “unmediated authority of the Bible”. Archbishop Akinola states that in I John 1:6-7 and Jer 6:16 a choice is offered, and repentance is needed, or let’s depart.
The questions that I want to pose is, should these three views necessarily be mutually exclusive? Are they not reflecting the various stages of our journey, as we seek to define our global Anglican witness and identity currently?
Archbishop Desmond Tutu always says, “God has not finished with us”, suggesting that the structure and the form of global Anglican witness is not yet complete and final, as is God’s revelation completed. It should not be determined especially and exclusively by our current leaders only. Current leaders should know that they hold this Anglican global witness in trust for those who will follow them. We need to be asking questions: What type of world are they living in? What type of Anglican witness would they like to see, given their contextual differences, similarities and longings?
Perhaps these three articles can be placed within a broader framework: i.e. historical (distinctiveness of structures over time), structural (interrelatedness within Communion), value-laden (social justice concerns), non-dogmatic (varied perspectives) and action-oriented (responding to pressure groups)1; or these three broad areas: Traditional, liberal and radical. However, in debating framework, structure and power, we must never lose sight of the needs of our local context, the needs of the poor, the marginalised, the imprisoned, the HIV-positive, an end to war, global peace etc, for we are commissioned by God to go into that context and minister.
Pray for our fragile Anglican Communion.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Athens Klan Counter Protest on YouTube

Here is a video that was posted by a local Police dispatcher, and here is a local news story explaining a little more about it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Can New Orleans Save the Anglican Communion?

It is my firm commitment, and has been for some time that the Bishops of the Episcopal Church do not have nearly enough fun. Now it appears that they will meet in what is one of, if not THE, greatest cities in the world to talk about Church. I have little confidence that they are looking to me for help in this current situation, but, if they were this is what I would tell them. SKIP YOUR MEETINGS AND GO LISTEN TO SOME JAZZ. STOP BEING SO SERIOUS AND EAT SOME ETOUFFEE. GET OUT OF THE HOTEL AND MEET THE PEOPLE OF GOD. Ok enough yelling but I'm serious. Part of the problem with the Episcopal Church is that it takes itself so seriously all the damn time. The higher you go on the ladder of hierarchy the more serious people become. I had a professor in seminary who is now the Bishop of Southern Ohio who told our class that each order of ministry should be more subversive than the one that preceeded it. Deacons are least subversive, Priests more and Bishops the most subversive order of ministry. By the nature of their position, i.e. not having a parish, they should be able to say and do things that others would never think of doing. Here is my question, Is there anything more subversive than laughter? Is there any better way to subvert your own seriousness than to laugh at yourself? Here is a modest proposal rather than having more and more meeting to deal with our "problems" I think we should call off all meeting for about 5 years. That's right, no diocesan conventions, no General Conventions, no Executive Council, no House of Bishops, no primates, no Lambeth, no ACC, no meetings at all for 5 years. You might ask what this is meant to accomplish, and the answer is absolutley nothing. It is not meant to accomplish anything. Our world is already too worried about accomplishment and getting things done. Part of the reason we are in this state is because every time the "Big People" get together at a meeting everyone runs around and goes crazy. Every meeting is deemed a failure because to one group or another "nothing was accomplished" My question is where are we trying to go? What are we looking for, and why do we think that a group of mostly white, mostly straight men who meeet in New Orleans without enjoying the City could give it to us. If any bishops or people with connections to bishops look at this site please look at this link to find other things to do in NOLA

Monday, September 17, 2007

Southern Paradox

I have said many times that growing up and living in the South is like living in a paradox. How is in that the same part of our county that gave us Tennessee Williams and Flannery O'Connor also gave us the KKK and New Coke. We got Martin Luther King Jr. and Strom Thurman. I mean really this place can make you crazy. This past weekend was a perfect example.

About 11am I went to the 100th B'day party for a wonderful parishioner named Ms. Bebe Gish she is a lovely woman and carries herself with such style and grace. This is a photo of her and the Bishop taken Sunday during his annual visit.

It was a grand party. Jazz band on the front porch, mimosa's great food, letters from the President, Governor, and Mayor. Friends from all over the country. It was all good.

Then at 2:30pm close to 300 people met at three local Churches to go and silently protest the KKK coming to Athens. Here is the story. Yes, it was the real Klan, specifically the Church of the National Knights of the KKK from Indiana. They brought about a dozen hate filled fanatics to protest illegal immigration and various other "problems" in our country. About 200 other local residents showed up to scream and engage the Klan. Our group, for the most, part kept its vow of silence. Here are some of the photos from Saturday. I will add more when I get them. All total there were close to 500 people that showed up on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to send messages to the Klan. Some of those messages were as hate filled as anything the Klan would say. Our message was clear. Unless we begin injecting more love into the world we have no chance. We must interrupt the downward spiral of hate.
I will post more photos when Blogger decides to start working again. J

Friday, September 14, 2007

With you always

Okay I never post and then today I post twice, well I am out of work. My friend Brian who Jeremy mentioned earlier in this blog sent me this picture from a man named Larry Van Pelt who says in his website that The enclosed images are from 11x14 pencil drawings that are the result of an undertaking that began when I was 50 years old. I was awakened in the middle of the night with a clear, vivid impression that the Lord wanted me to do some special drawings -- drawings depicting ordinary people in their everyday environment . . . . with one important addition: the presence of Jesus Christ and His involvement in those routine activities.

It was also clear that the task would be allotted ten years to produce results -- an important consideration, considering the fact that I had never drawn anything before, had no training in drawing, and had never really been interested in drawing. You can read and see more here "Here"
So maybe I need to re-think my other post....or not.

Clowns as the children of God

I do not as Jeremy says, “Hate clowns.” I hate bad clowns. I do not mean evil clowns like Pennywise from the book and the movie “IT”. I am talking about clowns who do not understand what their job is, that they are not here to scare the little children, towering over them in their multicolored tallness who just want a hot dog at the hot dog stand as their older brother shoves them forward ever closer to those big red shoes, nose and mouth……….(pant, pant sigh) Okay that might be a little specific but you get what I mean which is that the clowns who are silent and looming and trying to do what?

I am not sure. Perhaps entertain us? That is not the job of clowns, clowns are here to call the question, not make it easier, I dislike clowns who play at it rather then see a real task before them.

What I do know is that I admire the clowns of Knoxville because they did what proper clowns do they point out the silly, stupid and dangerous things that we do as human beings. The ancient people had clowns to point out our failing (the Hopi and Haida Indians) and that is what a bunch of white tutued women screaming WIFE POWER and my favorite White Flour can magically expose a scary hate filled group into what they truly are, FOOLS.

So to re-cap: Bad clowns are bad.
Evil clowns (see picture) are also bad
Culturally expressive clowns (who talk) are good

I know have to go to therapy for post clown trauma posts.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How to deal with the Klan

I know that I have taken a rather serious approach to the Klan coming to Athens. But I really appreciate the creativity of people who use humor to deal with hate. This counter protest was just up the road in Knoxville TN. The story shows that there are many different ways to respond to the Klan and if I had seen this before I began planning our Silent Witness we very well may have brought on the clowns. This would have been to the great dismay of my friends Michele and Brian who HATE clowns. I have been trying to get them to reject this hate and love clowns but it may be too much for them. On occasion they may admit that clowns are beloved children of God, but only when and if they reject all make-up, stop piling into small cars and generally give up their evil ways.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CNN Klan Report

No Laughing Matter

This weekend the Klan is coming to my town of Athens, Alabama. In the past I might have ignored these crazy people and just let them get away with their hate. This time is different. Coming back to the South after three years in New York has changed my perspective. I realized while living up north that most people think Alabama is a hotbed of KKK activity, that under every bed or in every closet their is a white robe just waiting to be pulled out. I realized that most people get all of their information about the South from the TV and that most of the news from the South is bad and usually includes some type of Klan rally. With this new perspective I am now completely unwilling to let this rally go by without a response.
So we have decided to hold a Silent Witness of LOVE. Here are some articles in local papers about it from the Huntsville Times, Decatur Daily, Athens News Courier and here.
I have been reading and meditating on the words of King and Gandhi for years and each of them decided that they would not allow hate to have the last word. "“The ultimate measure for us is not where we stand in moments of comfort and convenience—but where we stand in times of challenge and controversy!” MLK Jr. These are those times. Please keep all of us in your prayers this weekend as we make our stand against hate.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Need Some Sleep?

If you are needing to get a little sleep today you could go over to Stand Firm and watch in real time the annual Anglican Communion Network meeting in Bedford, Texas. After about 5 minutes of the discussion on the 39 Articles and the 1662 Prayer Book I had to be pulled off the roof of the parish hall. I feel so sorry for these people. It is the middle of the summer for Gods sake. Go on vacation. Take a break. Really, maybe they could go on a Christian Cruise like this one that offers free room mate matching. Or they could go to Orlando to the Holy Land Experience. It would even be possible to go and vacation with the the President. Just get out of the parish hall and go somewhere, anywhere. The older people in this photo look like they are having fun. J

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shoe Savior

Today it was brought to my attention that a priest from just down the road was featured on NPR Weekend Edition Saturday. The story is about Zappos online shoe market and the fanaticism it inspires. Our friend The Rev Sarah Gaede is crazy. We will do everything in our power to get her the professional help she deserves.

Monday, July 16, 2007

We were so close!

It has come to our attention that the New York Times Story might not have been as complete as we would hope from such a renown publication. Episcope has posted Stop the Press to correct some of the errors in the article. We still believe universal domination is within our reach but I have decided to save money on lottery tickets for the time being.

We now rule the universe!

Ok it has been a long time since the last post on Anglican Underground. Sorry but I have been explaining what Kudzu is to Californians and took a long trip to Namibia, Africa in June. But what has helped push me back to the blog is realizing that I now have the gift of prophecy. I know this may sound a little strange but how else would you explain this article from the New York Times?
I think this sounds an awful lot like our March 28th post called Mitford Porn. Coincidence? No way. Either I have new abilities to see the future or there is a shadowy group reading our blog and acting accordingly. Either way Anglican Underground is now in the position to Rule the Universe. We are drunk with power and cannot wait to start changing the world.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gene Robinson, Luckiest man on Earth?

Yesterday invitations were mailed to what could be the most boring gathering in the universe. Picture this, 800 bishops, almost all old men gathered together in a Castle in England for two weeks, talking about church. Theologically I have to ask why a God of love and kindness would allow this sort of gathering.
This is why I am voting Gene Robinson, the Bishop of New Hampshire the luckiest man on the planet. Why? Because he did not get invited. As a gay man his "manner of life", whatever the hell that means, has excluded him from the invite list. Archbishop Rowan Williams for some reason thought that this was the best way to make conservatives happy. Meanwhile in the rest of the world nobody really cares about anything that Anglicans or the Episcopal Church are doing. We are quickly becoming the most irrelevant church on the planet to anyone under the age of 50.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hip Priest

Ok I know its been a while since there has been any real activity on Anglican Underground, well that is about to change. We are adding two more contributors, one from the West coast in San Francisco, Rev Jen Hornbeck. And one from the east coast in Boston the Rev Gareth Evans. These are two of the coolest priests I have met recently and I know they will add even more thrilling and hysterical content to the blog. This got me to thinking, if someone was moving to a new city and wanted to find out where to find cool, hip and progressive young priests doing exciting ministry in the Episcopal Church where would they look? How would you locate such a church? Anglican Underground has come to the rescue. We are inviting you to submit names and churches that you feel meet the criteria. We will compile the list and keep it archived under Hip Priests.
Submit your names to me at jlucas71@gmail.com we will review your submission, do some research and if we conclude the name you submitted qualifies we will post their information on Anglican Underground. This of course will give them instant notoriety and inflate their ego, and immediately disqualify them as hip. But we shall see how it goes. So here is what we want to know; 1.) Their name, Church, City, State and a description of their ministry. 2.) Convince us with your best evidence. Don't just tell us they are nice. We know lots of nice people that would not qualify. 3.) Don't call us we'll call you. Within a week or two, if we find you information compelling we will write a post about them and archive their name forever under Hip Priest at Anglican Underground.
Lastly. We are only going to say this once, DO NOT, under ANY circumstances submit your own name. No matter how hip you think you are this is a sure indication to the contrary.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

No Interest

Ok I couldn't resist this story about former N.J. Govorner McGreevey going to seminary. My favorite part is the quote from Bruce Parker, communication director at the seminary that "We have many people studying here who have no interest in becoming a priest"

Monday, April 30, 2007


Sorry for the sparse posts as of late. We are experiencing extereme technical difficulties with home computers. I hope to have it fixed and be back in the swing next week. Until then go and visit Mad Priest at his blog Of Course I Could Be Wrong. I hope you're having a blessed Easter season. Peace, Jeremy

Monday, April 16, 2007

Proof that I am not from the south, like the rest of the bad children

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

North Central
The West
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

How 'bout the rest of y'all and all y'all's accents

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why do men hate church?

Recently I have been reading a lot about men not going to Church. This article is from Christian Century is a perfect example.

Maybe they have just not seen the real Jesus. Here are two examples of Jesus Risen. The first is Pieta, c. 1530 by William Key. The second (on the left) is Ecce Homo c. 1525 by Flemish artist Maerten van Heemskerck. All I am saying is The Lord is Risen indeed, Alleluia! For more information about this topic see The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion, by art historian Leo Steinberg.

Saint Izaak Pray for Us

A little over a year ago the Saint Izaak Walton Committee submitted Izaak Walton to the Episcopal Church for consideration as an addition to its calendar of Saints for Lesser Feasts and Fasts. We hope to see Izaak on the agenda at the 2009 General Convention in Anehiem, California. Below is the full submission to the Episcopal Church. To support this proposal please call The Rev. Dr. Clayton Morris at the Episcopal Church Center. His number is listed at the end of the proposal. Here are links to magazine articles about our proposal from around the Web. This was from Boat/US Magazine September 2005, This was from Fly Rod and Reel April 2005

Izaak Walton 1683
Lay fisherman

Rationale for Proposing Izaak Walton to the
calendar of Saints in the Episcopal Church
“I have laid aside business and gone afishing” (from the Compleat Angler)

We live in a world where more is better. The more things we have seem to define who we are and how we relate to the world. More than this, our desire is never satisfied we constantly want more time and will do almost anything for more money. This is the time when we should look to the example of Izaak Walton. Izaak brings to us the value of contemplation and the hope that there are places we can go in which our time is not quantified in terms of money. What we see is the quality of the time spent in God’s wonderful creation without relating it to an economic formula. Izaak is a needed antidote to the sickness of over consumption in our culture. In his writings we can see the value of personal relationships, of giving to those who are in need and of finding beauty and joy in our world.

Rumor has it that Izaak Walton just used fishing as an excuse to do Nothing, which in and of itself should define his saintliness, it being the true contemplative state, doing Nothing.
"the very sitting by the river's side is not only the quietest and fittest place for contemplation but will invite an angler to it."
I mean, he was so saintly he didn't even know it. That's humble.
This was all back in the 16th century when he should have known better too, and become either religious ( due to his Cranmer connection by marriage) or busy ( having inherited chores at the age of five from his dead father, an innkeeper). Another thing, he managed to be happy which is pretty good for someone living in a country where the food is bad, the air chill, and comportment, stuffy, overall.
He was smart, besides. He is considered the Church's most influential
Walton's empathy for all of God's creation is best noted by his ability to think like a fish - any fish -"the hog-fish, the dog fish, the dolphin, coney fish , the parrot fish, the shark the poison fish, sword fish", etc. - though this ultimately led to his catching and eating a lot of them that he thought like.
He gave generously of his catches, particularly to milkmaids and their mothers.

He was generous with recipes as well.

"First, open your Pike at the gills, and if need be, cut also a little slit towards the belly. Out of these take his guts; and keep his liver, which you are to shred very small with thyme, sweet marjoram, and a little winter-savory; to these put some pickled oysters, and some anchovies, two or three, both these last whole, for the anchovies will melt and the oysters should not; to these you must add also a pound of sweet butter, which you are to mix with the herbs that are shred, and let them all be well salted."

I'll bet Jesus could have used somebody like Izaak on the beach that day!
Anyway, Walton reminds us that there are more rewarding channels worthy of our attention than those on TV.

Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth: accept the prayers of Blessed Izaak on our behalf, that our appreciative gaze on those of the opposite and/or same sex may not linger into excessive lechery, nor our imbibation of beverage spirits lead to the deleterious imparement of our senses and/or motor skills, that our leaders may remain unfouled. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

“Ale to the chief.
Ale Izaak, full of ale.
Blessed art thou among fisherpeople."

First Reading
Ezekiel 47:9
9Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish, once these waters reach there. It will become fresh; and everything will live where the river goes.
"Of all that live in water you may eat these: whatever has fins and scales you may eat."

Psalm 95
1 O come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

6 O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
7 For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice!
8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
9 when your ancestors tested me,
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
10 For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they do not regard my ways.’
11 Therefore in my anger I swore,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’

Psalm 8
O LORD, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals* that you care for them?

5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God,*
and crowned them with glory and honour.
6 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Second Reading
Revelation 22:1-5
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life* with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.

John 21:9-11
9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ 11So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Matthew 17:27b
[Jesus said,] "go to the sea and cast a hook."

To support this proposal please contact:
The Rev. Dr. Clayton L. Morris
Liturgical Officer
The Episcopal Church Center
815 2nd Ave. New York, New York 10017
800/334-7626 cmorris@episcopalchurch.org

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Jesus in L.A.

Thanks to Dad for sending this one. Jesus in L.A.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mitford Porn

Episcopal Church enters explosive new relationship with porn industry

The Episcopal Church announced this week that it is entering into an exciting new relationship with one of the biggest producers of pornographic films Vivid Entertainment. "It has become abundantly clear that Episcopalians are not having enough sex and it is hurting us. We had to take creative new steps to stop the loss of membership" said The Rev. Charles N. Fulton III, Director of Congregational Development.

Mainline denominations, including the Episcopal Church, have been losing members in the past few decades, and part of the decline is related to decreased birth rates. The new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church has said recently that because Episcopalians are so rich and educated we take very little time to have children. Bishop Jefferts Schori says "We hope this initiative will help us reach our goals for the 20/20 Campaign to double the membership in the Episcopal Church. We see this as a Win, Win. We will gain members and maybe everyone will relax a little."

Porn industry executives were both surprised and delighted by the new interest from The Episcopal Church and hoped it could be expanded to other denominations hurt by low birth rate."Episcopalians are not the only ones not having sex. Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, they’ve all been hurt by this trend. While Baptists and Catholics seems to be having more sex, they are surely not enjoying it. The guilt is killing them. We are looking for a way to get people to have more sex and enjoy it."

In the agreement Vivid has agreed to produce a series of films that would cater to church life styles. A spokesperson for Vivid said, "It will be the Mitford series meets Harlequin romance on DVD. Call it Mitford Porn. Everyone loves the quaint stories from Mitford, we just want to spice it up. We are sure they have plumbing problems in Mitford, if you know what I mean."

Within weeks every Episcopal church will receive a starter pack of 10 DVD and an order form for more. "We felt the Easter season was an especially appropriate time to begin this project. It is a time of celebration." Fulton went on to say that priests and lay leadership need to watch these movies and then decide what is best for their community. "This is not one size fits all. We are committed to helping each church find the best fit."

Anglican Underground salutes the Episcopal Church for this bold move. We will try to get reaction from other parts of the church and bring them to you soon.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Father Matthew and the Apocalypse


Sometimes the headline just builds you up. Like this one from the AP that begins Porn Sites and Religous Groups Unite...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Prayer for cojones answered

In a stunning moment, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church was overcome by a gift of the Spirit in their recent meeting at Camp Allen. Apparently, the Holy Spirit, in an moment as stunning as the election of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, appeared to the House of Bishops bearing gifts - cojones for many of the Bishops. In a press release, the Spirit noted that while some bishops had "retained the essential parts of their anatomy needed to live out Christ's commandment to love one another and to seek and serve Christ in all people, others seemingly had misplaced theirs." The Spirit made no comment as to why none of the female bishops received this particular gift.
Several bishops commented on the new feeling of empowerment. One, wishing to remain anonymous, stated that he was ready to "kick some ass for inclusion and equality." The Holy Spirit assured all those receiving the gifts that the cojones were theirs to keep and reminded the bishops not to lose them again.
An invitiation has been made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, as his cojones were delivered to Camp Allen. Apparently, the Spirit ran into difficulties in the Patriot Act attempting to air-mail the package to Lambeth. To aid the Archbishop's journey to receive his cojones, please click here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Gay Food Part 5: GAAGS Reaction

Is this man responsible for the conflict between the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church?

This morning our friend Rev. Amy, sent by email this article from the 1998 Lambeth Conference. It is from the July 28th edition of The Lambeth Daily and is entitled "What's Cooking?" It outlines in great detail the food preparation and menu for the 1998 Lambeth Conference meeting of Bishops. The 1998 Lambeth Conference is seen as a major move to the right in the life of the communion because of this Resolution. Anglican Underground thought this was an important lead to follow so we forwarded the article to the Chairperson of the newest organization to join the Food Fight. Gay Anglicans Against Gastronomic Strictness had this to say through their Chair, Louie Crew of New Jersey "We believe that this article is the smoking gun. It clearly shows that Africans were consulted about the menu, we were not consulted. Furthermore there was a complete lack of seafood. The head chef Jeff Stoddard was invloved with resolution 1.10"

Mr. Crew then directed us to the lead authority and biblical scholar for GAAGS, Dr. Diedre Good, New Testament Professor at General Theological Seminary in New York. "One of the first arguments in the Church was over what we should eat. Jesus is very clear in Matthew 15:11 that it is not what goes in that defiles but what comes out that defiles. In Matthew 6:25 Jesus asks 'is not life more that food?'" Scholars cannot be bothered with these petty arguments. I'm personally trying to finish my latest book"

When asked if there had been any conflict at General between GAS and GAAGS she said she had not heard of GAS and thought they were probably just a small group of zealots. "Sometimes these people, think who they are, to use a phrase from a former student. They will be gone soon enough."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gay Food Part 4: Late breaking news from NYC

We are blessed here at Anglican Underground to have corespondents from coast to coast. I received this email late this afternoon from New York.

It seems that new frontiers in the gay food conspiracy are coming to light with alarming frequency. This correspondent learned just today of a conflict that has been stewing at The General Theological Seminary in New York City for some days now. It seems that members of the Gastronomical Anglican Society recently accused the kitchen staff of serving tofu with hoopoe sauce. Said one, "When you find a large erectile crest in the garbage, you can be sure that a hoopoe sauce will show up on the menu."

Members of GAS, which seeks to reconcile what has do to with Jerusalem with what has to do with Athens will eat only legumes, respecting both Leviticus and Pythagoras. "We were reluctant to say anything right now," said their spokesperson, Prof. Mark Richardson, "because we can't figure out what is going on at the House of Bishops and were afraid of coming out for the wrong side. But Leviticus 13:19 makes it abundantly clear that consuming hoopoe is an abomination. Not to mention that it is an endangered species."

When asked to comment, Dean Ward Ewing said, "I'm fed up with all of this. I'm sure this is just a red herring in aid of some other agenda. I specifically requested boysenberry sauce, and I'm sure that's what it was."

But speaking for AFPHART, Dr. Peter Toon replied, "It makes me gag. What will they try to stuff down our throats next?"

Said Sean Wallace, a representative seminarian, "That wasn't chicken? It tasted like chicken."

One of the sacristans, who refused to give his name, quoted Richard Hooker, "Whether wee bee therefore moved vainly to eat that which seemeth hurtfull and is not: or have just cause of grief being pressed indeed with eating those things which are grievous, our Saviors lesson is, touching the one, be not troubled, nor overtroubled by the other" ("A Remedie Against Sorrow and Feare", Works, Vol. V, p. 371, ll. 17-20).

Others weren't sure what that meant.

Who knows how deep this conspiracy will go. Stay tuned.

Gay Food Part 3: EXCLUSIVE AFPHART Press Conference

This afternoon the Anglican Food Purity, Holiness And Righteousness Taskforce held a bi-coastal press conference in South Carolina and California to release even more evidence of what they are calling a "major situation in the Episcopal Church". AFPHART released startling new details of the House of Bishops menu and what they are calling a "heavy handed" reaction to one Bishop who refused to eat what was served.

About 12:30pm Saturday Bishop Marc Andrus of California was led away by HoB Security for refusing to eat shrimp cocktail or lobster. The photo released by AFPHART shows Andrus being led away as other vegetarian supporters screamed encouragement.

Those sitting at his table said he remained calm for quite some time requesting a non-meat entree. This was probably due to his many years of meditation practice, one said. After a while, however, they said he just snapped and began running toward the kitchen screaming "I just want some Tofu, I'm a vegetarian!!"

AFPHART says that no alternatives foods were allowed. Bp. Scofield of the Diocese of San Joaquin said he saw the Presiding Bishop call for security to have Bp. Andrus removed. "It's obvious she could not let Marc ruin the plan." Bp Andrus is a well known supporter of the rights of gays and lesbians but is very firm in his conviction to vegetarian principles. No one at the press conference thinks Andrus knew anything about the Gay Food plot.

Anglican Underground contacted three priests from the Diocese of California to get their reaction to news of Bp. Andrus' arrest. The Rev. Phil Brochard is Associate Rector at St. Paul's Walnut Creek, he was not surprised by the removal. "Bp. Andrus has the courage of his convictions when it come to not eating crustaceans. He recently changed the menu at our camp and conference center so that it would only include vegetables and soy products. It really gets old after a while."

The Rev. Jennifer Hornbeck Associate Rector at St. Mary the Virgin in San Francisco was also not surprised. "You know he just got back from South Africa. I heard him talking in the diocesan office before he left for Texas. He said it was time for a liberation theology of vegeratianism. He quoted a couple of obscure first century church leaders and left eating an organic mango grown by a fair wage South American Co-op"

Finally we contacted The Rev. Will Scott who has recently moved to the Diocese of California from Virginia. Will is now Associate Pastor at Grace Cathedral. His comments were slightly more guarded, but he did say that San Francisco was a lot different that McLean Virginia. "Its like a dream" he said. Will has known Bp. Andrus for many years and would only say that "something major must have happened" for him to react like that.

Anglican Underground knew that something else must have been going on. Bp. Andrus is one of the calmest bishops around. After some investigating we got in touch with him from a holding cell at Camp Allen. It was a difficult conversation with Andrus. He was floating between Taize chant and quotes from Michel Foucault saying that he had not had a vegetable for 4 days and that all they would feed him was leftover shrimp. "Foucault is clear "In the last chapter of The History of Sexuality, Volume 1, Michel Foucault notes the constitutive role played by modern food production in the rise of biopower in the West. The days of famine, food scare, and plague were over centuries ago, so he tells us, and this relaxation enabled a new, more active form of life politics. ...an increase in productivity and resources even more rapid than the demographic growth it encouraged, allowed a measure of relief from profound threats. [... T]he development of the fields of knowledge concerned with life in general, the improvement of agricultural techniques, and the observations and measures relative to man's life and survival contributed to this relaxation: a relative control over life averted some of the imminent risks of death"

Andrus went on for another 20 or 30 minutes and finally we just hung up. AFPHART says this is part of the mind control of gay food conspiracy. Canon Kendall Harmon, President of the American Anglican Network led the east coast press conference and said that although he disagrees with Bp. Andrus on almost everything he didn't want to see him caught up in this. "Andrus had no idea how powerful the forces were that he was facing. Someone needs to get him a protein shake and grilled portabello sandwich. It is the only orthodox thing to do"
Harmon went on to comment on the latest statement from the House of Bishops. "It should be clear by now that what they have been eating is effecting their decisions. Breaking God's laws, especially from Leviticus, is serious business. I bet they were getting rabbit and osprey as afternoon snacks" Referring to Leviticus 11:7 and 13 respectively.
When we asked what AFPHART's next move would be he said they are undertaking a fundraising campaign to raise awareness. "We've got to get this out." He also said there will be a new media campaign beginning with the new cable channel The Anglican Food Network. Harmon explained that the Food Network had fallen to the heretical forces of the Episcopal Church and the gay agenda and that the Anglican Food Network would only show orthodox cooking shows. "There will be no men cooking on our network, it's not the way God would have wanted it. Women will be returned to their rightful place, the kitchen."
Anglican Underground will keep you informed.

footnote: Bishop Andrus was quoting from a review of the book Sacred Cow, Mad Cow, A History of Food Fears by Peter Benson. It was reviewed in Anthropological Quarterly - Volume 79, Number 1, Winter 2006, pp. 165-169.

Gay Food Part 2: The Camp Allen Connection

Many of you know that the Episcopal House of Bishops has been meeting at Camp Allen Texas to discuss the current situation in the Anglican Communion. They have been specifically discussing the recent Communique from the Primates and the proposed Anglican Covenant. Late yesterday afternoon they released a series of three "Mind of the House" statements. The following sentences were in the third statement;

We proclaim the Gospel of what God has done and is doing in Christ, of the dignity of every human being, and of justice, compassion, and peace. We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no male or female, no slave or free. We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God's children, including women, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ's Church. We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God's children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ's Church. We proclaim the Gospel that stands against any violence, including violence done to women and children as well as those who are persecuted because of their differences, often in the name of God.
We at Anglican Underground were surprised at the directness and clarity of this statement. It was so unlike anything we had heard from the House of Bishops we knew there must be something going on. We decided to contact the caterer at Camp Allen at inquire about the Bishops menu. After a long silence the chef referred all questions to the Presiding Bishops office.

About midnight last night we received a phone call from Bp. Duncan telling us that he had proof that the gay food conspiracy was true. The Rev. Ephram Radner is a Senior Fellow at the Anglican Communion Institute, and a Board member of the Institute of Religion and Democracy. He is also a member of the Covenant Design team and presented his thoughts at the House of Bishops. But there was another reason for his time at HoB. Radner took a hidden camera into the HoB and brought back proof that the memo (see post of March 20) Bp. Duncan had intercepted was true. These photos are undeniable he told us;

This photo clearly shows one of the lobster dinners served over the weekend at the HoB. Duncan pointed out that corn on the cob was also served and arranged on the plate in a very "gay way". It was a subtle reminder of what is going on, he said.

This photo shows a shrimp cocktail at lunch during the HoB. Radner pointed out how long and straight the glass was. He said it looked like something they would serve an apple martini in at a gay bar. Although from Colorado, Radner denied any first hand knowledge of gay bars.

Today there will be many news stories about the HoB statements and their meeting. Anglican PHART has called a press conference to coincide with the official press conference. Anglican Underground knows where the real story is and we will bring you the real story later in the day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Food Pyramid and the Gay Food Conspiracy Part 1

It is important to us here at Anglican Underground to never miss important stories in the news. This may be one of the biggest stories we have seen so far. Evidence in mounting that the new Food Pyramid may be part of an elaborate gay conspiracy. I guess we should have noticed that the Pyramid was a rainbow to begin with and that if it were made into a sticker and put on the back of a car... well you get the idea. Now information is coming from many sectors that the food women eat during pregnancy may make their children gay and Soy could be a main culprit. Soy milk is featured prominately on the New Food Pyramid.

We at Anglican Underground wanted to get to the bottom of this story so we contacted a group heading the fight against gay foods. The recently formed Food Purity, Holiness And Righteousness Taskforce or Food PHART has been compiling evidence that they say proves the Gay Food connection. Pastor Ted Haggard recently involved in a massive scandal in Colorado has joined the board of PHART. "I always knew it was my mothers fault somehow" said Haggard. "The Bible is clear that women were the first to sin, now I guess we realize how deep that sin goes." Haggard says that his recent treatment for gayness included a stringent nutritional plan and recipies based on Biblical principles.

Reverend Jones Barclay is the pastor of Hardwood Assembly in Hardwood, Indiana. He is the first President of PHART and he quotes scripture to back his gay food hypothesis. "It is clear from the Bible that God hates certain foods. Just read Leviticus Chapters 11 and 12 and you will see that some food is not allowed. Now we know why." He went on to say that God knew all along that some foods could make children gay. "Just look at the list. Any mother who eats these foods is just asking for their kids to be gay."

Educational websites are being put up as quickly as possible to help families make responsible nutritional decisions regarding their unborn children’s sexuality. God Hates Shrimp.Com and God Hates Figs.Com are just the first of a series of online resources for God fearing future mothers. Landover Baptist Church has also published a resource guide for keeping kids straight.

Pastor Barclay says he knows it is going to be hard for some people to understand. "Our southern brothers and sisters are going to have a hard time giving up pork BBQ. But Leviticus 11:7 says that if a mother eats it her child will be gay." When we asked him how to determine if a child would be female and a lesbian he said that it was up to God to decide if your child would be gay or lesbian and that "future research would be needed to determine which unclean food combination would create which undesirable outcome."

Since our blog is concerned with The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion we decided to contact the American Anglican Network for their comment. Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh said this information would greatly effect the current problems in the Episcopal Church. "We recently intercepted a memo from Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori that instructed all staff to only serve shrimp and lobster at official meetings in the Episcopal Church. It was then that we realized she was part of the conspiracy. She was an Oceanographer, of course she knows what she is doing. By encouraging nubile and fertile young women to eat foods that God disdains she is leading us down the path of apostasy. More gay children is exactly what she wants" Bishop Duncan went on to say that his group has joined others involved in this struggle. Anglican PHART will be printing a pamphlet due out this summer that will describe what the orthodox and traditional Anglican diet should contain to keep kids from being gay. "All we can say at this point is read your Bibles and stay away from WholeFoods."

Anglican Underground is committed to following this story. Stay informed at http://anglicanunderground.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Thanks Dad

This morning I got the following email from my Dad;

Hey Man
I have been reading the blog and I have a couple of suggestions. I am not sure who the blog is intended to reach but it seems to be posting a lot of theological or doctrinal opinions and sermons. Pretty dry stuff. If you truly intend to be irreverent maybe you could post some highly provocative or satirical proposition on a fairly benign church issue and then invite comment. For instance, take a poll , "How many people give up sex for Lent and why? "Or, "Why not tithe 50% of you gross pay annually?" Or, "I think Priests deserve a 62% pay hike just like the Alabama legislature." You get the idea.

It could be satirical like "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift. It could be as ridiculous as the attachment to this email. See what kind of serious comments or replies you receive. It might be fun. I know that many people consider religion a deadly serious business but as Mark Twain and those idiots who create South Park have proven, humor can be very effective in creating change. Perhaps I am not giving the lay reader enough credit but I don't think most people would be patient enough to read the serious, sermons and discussions. You understand that I have a very short attention span, I can't concen..................

All I can say is that my Dad is exactly right on with his critique of this blog. It has now been scientifically proven that laughter is a powerful force for building community and relationships. Although isn't studying laughter scientifically sort of missing the point.

To quote Nietzsche "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh."

Religion can become a very serious business, but if it is the search for truth it must be accompanied by laughter. Religion is very often deadly business and it does not have to be that way. This Blog is intended to be irreverent and sometimes illogical. I will still post commentary of a serious sort from time to time, but starting today we will laugh more. I have added a Twain quote on the Blog as a start. Thanks Dad, I love you.

My Dad receive a life saving liver transplant 2 and a half years ago. If you are not an organ donor do it NOW! No, really stop what you are doing and register. If you are in Alabama, the Alabama Organ Center has all the information you need. If you are not in Alabama call or visit your local organ donation ceter. J

Saturday, March 10, 2007

How the Episcopal church can be viewed in the blog sphere

My friend Rachel had this link on her blog and I really wanted you all to see it

I thought it was a really wonderful description of what Eucharist and church can be.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Leave it to the women

Perhaps because women have been marginalized by mainstream religion, perhaps because somehow, someway, despite our different cultures and ethnicities and stories, or maybe because of those differences, we find our instruments of unity not in dogma or lengthy narratives full of sound and fury, but in serving the needs of the poor and outcast, of the children and other women in need, and of all those in the world reaching out for love.

Thank God for the women of the Anglican communion, who have clearly stated that they "do not accept that there is any one issue of difference or contention which can, or indeed would, every cause us to break the unity as represented by our common baptism. Neither would we ever consider severing the deep and abiding bonds of affection which characterize our relationships as Anglican women."

Well done, good and faithful servants.

To read the full article at Episcopal News, click here.
To read the statement of the women of the Anglican Communion, click here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Healing the Sick and Walking the Dog

I finally decided a spouse can be of use, after an entire day of the stomach virus. As I lay wilted in tortured pile of humanity on my couch after no eating or drinking because everying got returned to sender express, I began the long process of convincing myself that yes, I could sit up and yes, I could stand, and yes, I could put one foot in front of the other to walk to my bed where, yes, I could collapse into sleep.
But first Sophie, my dog, needed to go outside.
She didn't have a virus. She just wanted to go outside.
This is when I wondered why I didn't have a husband to walk her.
Being in no condition to get a husband, I went for door number two: a neighbor, who was happy to walk Sophie.
Fortunately, after a day, my physical body began to recover. I'm sure the five pounds I lost from my illness will reappear, and my strength is almost back to standard issue. Some viral infections do their damage and pass quickly. Others don't, and their exhaustion, weakness, and desecration of our incarnate selves lingers. But sick is sick, and when you feel rotten, you just feel rotten.
News articles recently announced that more and more Americans are living single, which, like any other state of living, has its strengths and weaknesses. How is the community of faith comforting the sick, however sick they may be, particularly the ones who are alone? What do we do for their dogs who need walks, their selves who need soothed by offering a ride to the doctor's office, or their lives who need comforted?
Humans are great complicators of life. We read about Christ's healing and shift into "let's conquer every disease" mode. The bad news: we probably won't ever find a cure for every disease ever known. The good news: healing the sick is quite easy at times, especially when that healing is a ride to the doctor, a trip to the pharmacist or grocery, a phone call to see if there are any needs, or even a temporary dog walker.
Opportunities to love and healing abound. Sometimes the easiest ways to respond with holy love are often the most obvious and most overlooked.

Krispy Kreme and Episcopal Evangelism

Ok, so the Episcopal Church gets a bad rap about evangelism. Jenn sends along this from the Diocese of Mississippi. You can't beat Krispy Kreme. Just like the Episcopal Church they are HOT NOW!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Our Friend Amy

Our friend Rev. Amy Coultas is in South Africa at the TEAM conference. You can read about her trip here. Or you can learn more about the TEAM conference here. J

Monday, March 5, 2007

Father Matthew Rules

Father Matthew was a classmate and friend at General Seminary. He's cool show him love. J

How good do we have to be?

A few years ago the Jewish writer Harold Kushner wrote a book called "How good do we have to be?" The first chapter is headed God Loves you Anyway. He writes that much of the unhappiness people feel burdened by much of the guilt, much of the sense of having been cheated by life stems from one of two related causes: either somewhere along the way, somebody- a parent, a teacher, a religious leader- gave them the message that they were not good enough, and they believed it. Or else they came to expect and need more from the people around them-their parents, children, husbands or wives- than those people could realistically deliver. It is the notion that we were supposed to be perfect, and that we could expect others to be perfect because we needed them to be, that leaves us feeling constantly guilty and perpetually disappointed.
It is funny as I was thinking about this it seems that the older we get the more we believe that the younger generations fit into the second category, while our generation fell into the first. Just this past week I read an article that seems to back this up. Five psychologists examined the responses of over 16,000 college students nationwide to the Narcissistic Personality Inventory between 1982 and 2006. Scores on this narcissism inventory have risen steadily since 1982. In 2006, two-thirds had above-average scores, 30 percent more than in 1982. The study’s authors say that "some of the rise in narcissistic attitudes was probably caused by the self-esteem programs that many elementary schools adopted 20 years ago. It noted that nursery schools began to have children sing songs that proclaimed, "I am special, I am special. Look at me." Those youngsters are now adolescents obsessed with websites such as MySpace and YouTube that "permit self-promotion far beyond that allowed by traditional media," the report stated.
I can hear many of you now mumbling to yourself, "I’ve been trying to tell somebody this for the past 20 years, I didn’t need a study to tell me this, just look around. When I was young..." The stories go on from there. The issue isn’t exactly who is more self centered, or which generation is more perfect. I bring it up to illustrate the point that whether people are told they are not good enough or whether they are told they are better and more deserving than they really are, the result is the same, either constant guilt over not being good enough or perpetual disappointment when others don’t live up to our expectations. Or maybe a little of both at times.
Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few be saved?" He said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. He goes on to say that "When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’
Just as all hope is about to be lost Jesus says "Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."
Wait a minute Jesus we thought we had you figured out we thought we saw the directions you were going with the whole narrow door thing. We were pretty sure that if we were just good enough and did everything just right that was the way of the narrow door. But then all of the sudden you come up with this last/first, first/ last thing, now how are we supposed to figure anything out? How indeed. In just this short story Jesus has said "forget all you know about getting into heaven, its not nearly as complicated as you make it out to be." In this gospel there is hope for everyone. There is hope for those who don’t think they are good enough and there is hope for those who think they can do no wrong. The problem is that each group focuses on the part of the story that supports their own way of seeing the world.
Those who already feel guilty about not being good enough focus on the first half of the story and say, see I told you so, we need to be trying harder to be perfect. So when they fail it just perpetuates their own self image. The people who think they are perfect point to the second half of the story and say, "see I told you so people come from all corners of the globe to get into heaven. I’m sure I’m in, but I’m not so sure about you" Neither side seems to understand that we are not in control of who God is and the grace that Jesus brings.
At the end of the first chapter of his book Kushner quotes a section from Elaine Pagles book Adam, Eve and the Serpent, she says "There is a human tendency to accept personal blame for suffering, people would rather feel guilty than helpless. If the reason for misfortune is moral rather than natural, we can persuade ourselves that we can control it. If guilt is the price to be paid for the illusion of control over nature, many have seemed willing to pay it"
I would add that the desire to control nature is also why so many people are disappointed by other people. Just as some people would rather feel guilty than helpless other people would also rather blame than feel helpless. It’s got to be someone’s fault and its certainly not mine.
The point I am trying to make is that Jesus brings a challenge to our way of understanding the world. It is not a test for getting into heaven, it is the mystery of grace in a world we don’t always understand. Think about it, every day we go to our jobs or live with our families and we are told to be in control. Figure this out, make this or that work the right way. It is a world filled with pressure and anxiety about things going wrong and we feel like we are in charge. So when we come to Church on Sunday we bring those control needs with us.
The question asked by the person to Jesus today "Will only a few be saved?" Was a question born of anxiety and the need to try and control as much as possible about life. Jesus says, in essence, live a good life, strive to enter the narrow door, but don’t think you’ve ever got it totally figured out. Don’t think that you are on the inside and others will be left out, you can never know. This answer is meant to free us from the crippling guilt that we are never good enough and have to be perfect, and to cure us of our pride in thinking we know what only God knows and are perfect. In the end when we know perfection is not possible and controlling God is not possible we are free to live without fear and in the grace of our saviour.