Monday, September 3, 2012


Do you remember when you worked a 10 hour day 6 and 7 days a week?  Remember when you never received shift differential and overtime meant you got home after supper?  Remember when you worked the construction industry and you had no protection against acetone and asbestos and all the other deadly chemicals everyone was exposed to?  Remember when your children worked 8 OR 10 hours a day in a sweatshop?Remember when you never had holidays, vacation or sick leave?   Remember when you received a dollar a day and you lived in company quarters and you paid the company store and the debt from that store got past on to your children and great grandchildren?  Remember when you were hurt on the job and you lost weeks and weeks of pay?  Remember when you were fired for going to your spouse's funeral and you never got unemployment? Remember when the farm workers were paid 50 or 75 cents per day, lived in "provided housing". Remember when the boss's best friend got the promotion and you got squat?

You say you don't remember these things at all?  Of course not because so many of our fathers and grandfathers literally fought and died for the rights of workers.  And Unions were formed and unions bargained for the basic necessities of life.  You say you don't remember and it could never happen again?  Review the minimum wage laws and see how many Republicans vote against it!  Review worker's compensation laws and see how many Republicans vote against it!  review the state disability laws and see how many Republicans voted against it!

If you don't think it can happen again listen to the issues in Wisconsin.  Did you know that between Governor Brown and President Pro Temp Darrel Steinburg (BOTH DEMOCRATS) the public pension system in the State of California was gutted.  The average teacher retires at about $39,000 per year in pension but they felt it was too much.  Never mind that these pensions had been bargained.  That teachers usually go their whole life and never see a distributive scheme let  alone profit from it or more to the point ruin other peoples pensions by using it. But hey, the rich get tax breaks and the teachers and other public servants get to pay for the tax breaks.

If you think it can happen again then say THANK YOU to all our union constituents for all the hard work, then, now and in the future.  Happy Labor Day. A Vote for Romney is a vote for eliminating Labor Day.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Power - That's My Speciality

Here is the latest from the diocese of South Carolina.  This is actually taken from the website of the SC Episcopalians but the beginning three paragraphs make a point I have been working over for years.
The point is that the need to create ACNA or AMIA or any other multiple lettered acronym is nothing more than a power grab by those who choose to be above the law.  Here it is:
CHARLESTON - The Cathedral of St. Luke& St. Paul is moving forward with plans to sever ties with the Episcopal Church, and shift its loyalty to something called “the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina” (PECDSC). Diocesan leaders have been quietly encourag ing parishes in the Diocese to amend their corporate documents to replace references to the Episcopal Church with similar references to the PECDSC. That is what the communicants of the Cathedral will be asked to do at a meeting of its congregation on September 9th.

Attorneys advising SC Episcopalians believe over the past two years the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina under Bishop Lawrence has re-invented itself as a "religious organization" separate from the Episcopal Church.
The PECDSC’s corporate documents do not include an all important clause that accedes to the Constitution of the Episcopal Church, or otherwise does not include provisions that that impede accession to the Constitution of the Episcopal Church. This is important because unqualified accession to the Constitution of the Church is essential for membership
Notice that South Carolina has already been spoken for by some bozo.bishop from ACNA and so Bishop Lawrence has decided to create his own diocese -- it appears that it may be his own Anglican Province.  John David Schofield taught him all he knows and is probably part of Bishop Lawrence's kitchen cabinet.  It is hard to believe but this has all been about a power grab.  These folks did not like the election of a woman to the position of Presiding Bishop, not just because she is a woman (though that has a lot to do with it) but because they think they can do a better job.  So, we have provinces and AiMa stuff and Church of Rwanda and GAFCON and all these folks trying to become bishops and those who are bishops trying to become popes. 
Someone really ought to put all these folks in a long long timeout..

Sunday, August 26, 2012

John David Schofield II

I would like to begin with a quote from South Carolina Episcopalians.  The actual story is entitled "Diocese Adrift as Bishop's Options Narrow".

Bishop Lawrence has generally surrounded himself with a cadre of admiring friends and advisors who uniformly reflect his Biblical literalism and hostility to authority. Lawrence has revamped key governing structures of the Diocese such that they are now little more than an extension of that cadre. The direction of the Diocese is generally believed to be directed by God through revelation to Bishop Lawrence, who in turn, shares it with the Standng Committee, then the clergy, then the lay people of the Diocese.
While Bishop Lawrence has used many things similar to John David Schofield in bringing his diocese to the brink the above quote is an encapsulation of the exact formula Schofield used in cutting San Joaquin out of the Episcopal Church.  But, here is (I think) the unique part: See the highlighted part of the quote, that is my emphasis.  But, before I say anything, since I am just a blogger of no repute let me provide the reader with the quote that the South Carolinians used to open their story:

“Hooker articulates for Anglicanism its answer to the question of what is our authority. Our authority is the association of scripture, tradition and reason … Scripture for the Anglican is a fundamental source of authority for the church; but apart from reason it is dangerous. It becomes the mirror for the misdirected person to project his or her own opinions and give them the authority of God. The sin of schism is the result."
– Urban T. Holmes in What Is Anglicanism? 

Bishop Lawrence came to his diocese with the promise of staying within the Episcopal Church.  On that basis he garnered sufficient votes to be ratified.  So much for truth in the church.  I suppose he had his hands behind his back and his fingers crossed.  Just like John David Schofield.

Now, in closing and perhaps my main point (after  an obligatory I told you so. Okay, got that out of my system) is that here is at least one more bishop who has done the same thing.  I will let you guess who I am talking about but his initials stand for Daniel Martins.

Will we  ever learn???!!!???

H/T Preludium

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong, The poor, and Oil Depletion

Once again the idea of  "smacking" the poor raises it's ugly head.  See, those who are less fortunate, those who lost their jobs and those who are just down on their luck receive cash payments and food stamps and WIC in order to merely keep them alive.  The operative words here are "keep them alive".  Someone has this great plan of drug testing those who receive government "handouts" prior to providing them with the necessary funds to merely subsist.  Not, live like kings, not reap huge windfall tax relief, not stock market wealth up the proverbial you know what, merely to subsist.  We all know that almost all of those people are druggies anyway using the money Uncle Sam gives them to buy heroin or crack or meth or weed.

Well, fair is fair, right?  We should have a fair and just society so here is a modest proposal.  Anyone who receives a government subsidy of any sort should be drug tested:

1, those who receive oil depletion allowances should be drug tested.  Most of the owners and CEOs probably use cocaine regularly.  We all have seen movies about it.
2, those who receive crop subsidies or payments to allow fields to lie fallow or water subsidies would be drug tested.  We all know that corporate farms grow weed on their farms to "subsidize" their income.
3, All those who receive capital gains reductions or investment credits should be tested.  They probably use illegal performance enhancement drugs that make them angry and unable to listen.
4, GM, Chrysler, and all the banks and investment firms that received handouts from the government should be drug tested.  Lord knows  their actions leading up to the economy falling apart clearly indicates drug use.  Should check those beady little eyes.
5, All the veterans who receive service related disability pensions should be tested.  After all, we all know that service people drink to excess and use those funny little things they pick up in Afghanistan and Vietnam and other places around the world.
6, then let's drug test all those on social security since they buy drugs of all kinds with their medicare and medicaid payments. 

Got everyone covered?  Hope so.  Think of the money the government will save.  Not only all the cash but we can do away with health and Human Services, Internal Revenue, Social security, Veterans Affairs, EPA, Natural Resources.  Oh, and while we are at it let's drug test EVERYONE in government -- they all receive cash handouts from the feds.  I have one better idea-- Let's not just start with congress but let's start with the Republicans in Congress who are so eager to drug test the poor and downtrodden.  Anyone who takes money from the government and then denies it to everyone else clearly is on some kind of drug!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Happy News

I suppose I can be depressing at times, Lord knows I get depressed, however, this time I wish to share some personal and happy news.

First, our daughter, after studying hard for many years, having two children and a myriad of other things happen in her life, has now completed her credential.  Not only that, but she now has a teaching position -- in California no less! 

Second, today our son begins his quest to become a Naval Officer.  He is a Petty Officer, currently, or more correctly (as of today) an Officer Candidate.  He was trained as a nuclear type and did one deployment in the gulf. Already, he has moved a number of times and will do so many more times. He has a very patient wife and two children also.

So that I can tie this into the  blog, both families are practicing Episcopalians.  Our daughter is very, very active and has done a mission to Chile.   Currently serving on a vestry as the fund raising person.  Her son has been featured with the Presiding Bishop and has never missed a convention.

I just wanted my readers, indeed anyone who stumbles across this humble blog to know that there are young families who love the Episcopal Church and are willing to make Christ the center of their lives and to make the Episcopal Church the center of their earthly attention.

We are a small family that has struggled through the trials and tribulations of the diocese of San Joaquin.  But, take heart, a new generation is coming to take over.  A generation of people willing to work for what they believe in, Christ made manifest through the Episcopal Church.

By the way, my wife and I could not be prouder of two children (and of course four grandchildren) who are on their way to success both spiritually and physically.  We love them very much and hold them up for all to see, the torch is not only passing to a new generation (thanks JFK) but the torch has been accepted.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Let The Dead bury the dead

Here is the best reason I can give for not allowing those who return from the ACNA diocese to not be allowed any voice or vote in the Episcopal Church at least for 5 years.  This quote comes from another blog whose name will remain not spoken and he comment is on the process we follow as a democratic organization, one of the few in the Anglican Communion.  This writer is ,presumably still in the Episcopal Church which makes me very very nervous:

It's not the fault of Committees 9 and 10 that those resolutions take up so much time. The resolutions come in from CCABs, dioceses, bishops and deputies and have to go somewhere - if we eliminated those committees then they would have to be taken up by others. Speaking for committee 10, we took five health-related resolutions and combined them into three; and a whopping SEVEN poverty-related resolutions were combined into ONE. So in that respect, I'd say that Committee 10 actually *saved* us all a lot of time. The only way to improve the situation would be to somehow prevent the resolves from being made in the first place.

Improve what situation?  The need for democratic process?  The need for all voices to be heard?  The desire to  not run over the weak, the minority voice, those who you feel have no real say in the matters of the church?

Please, go join the Anglican Communion of North America if you feel as strongly as you seem to.  We practice and live by the big tent theory and we have no need of "bishops" telling us what we believe especially in public and especially speaking for me.  I have my own voice and can speak when I feel it necessary.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Next Bus Has Arrived

Folks, apropos of the last posting the next bus has arrived and gone and I was not there.  Yep, the GAFCONites have demanded that they have a say in the selection of the next archbishop of Canterbury.  A letter was received last July by the Crown Nominating Committee from the "most holy" archbishops of the Global South (BTW, I now fully understand the old adage, "Things went south").

Here is the letter, not in its purist form, I  thank The Lead for the use of the letter, as is:

20 July 2012
The Rt Hon the Lord Luce KG, GCVO
Crown Nominations Commission
Appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury
The Global South of the Anglican Communion, comprising more than fifty-five million of the eighty million members of the Anglican Communion, deeply appreciate our historical relation with the See of Canterbury. We therefore commend the following to the Crown Nominations Commission for your serious consideration.
It is the reality of the Anglican Communion in the 21st Century that the majority of Anglicans are found within the Global South, especially in Africa. Resulting from the faithful witness of Western missionaries over the past two hundred years, Anglicans today stand in worship and witness amidst diverse cultures, among ancient traditions and often in inter-religious tensions.
As noted in the media release of the Church of England on the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of his responsibilities is to be "the Focus of Unity of the Anglican Communion... primus inter pares among the bishops." This role calls for the new Archbishop of Canterbury to always act in a conciliar and collegial manner with his fellow Primates because his decisions will affect the life and witness of Provinces worldwide.
The new Archbishop of Canterbury should have the experience and cross-cultural sensitivity to understand the concerns and conflicts in the worldwide Communion. He has to be able to communicate effectively with, and gain the respect and confidence of, his fellow Primates in the Global South. He has to be able, together with his fellow Primates, to more effectively restructure the Anglican Communion Office and the Anglican Consultative Council to better serve the Communion.
At a time when the Christian faith faces challenges from other religious as well as secular worldviews, the new Archbishop of Canterbury must be committed to uphold the orthodoxy of the Christian "faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3). To fulfil his calling and vow as Guardian of Faith, he must have the capacity to collectively put into effect the decisions taken at Lambeth Conferences and Primates Meetings, especially on issues that have led to the present crisis in the Communion.
To secure the future and unity of the Communion at a foundational level, the new Archbishop of Canterbury has to work with his fellow Primates to address the ecclesial deficit of the Anglican Communion highlighted in the report of the Windsor Continuation Group.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is also responsible to work with ecumenical partners for the unity of the "one holy catholic and apostolic Church". The new Archbishop of Canterbury must be able to build upon the work of his predecessors while avoiding any further actions that may widen the gap between us and these partners.
In conclusion, the Global South Primates expect to be consulted on this decision of great importance for the Communion, and look forward eagerly to the new Archbishop of Canterbury to uplift God's people in the Anglican fold worldwide in obedience to God's Word.
We wholeheartedly pray and hope that the unity of our beloved Anglican Communion will be restored and strengthened.
Faithfully in Christ,
Most Rev Dr Mouneer Anis
Primate, The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & Middle East
Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Nicholas Okoh
Primate, The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
Vice-Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Ian Ernest
Primate, The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
Honorary Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Bolly Lapok
Primate, The Church of the Province of South East Asia
Honorary Treasurer, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Stephen Than
Primate, The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma)
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Henri Isingoma
Primate, Province de l'Eglise Angicane du Congo
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Daniel Deng
Primate, The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala
Primate, The Anglican Church of Kenya
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev David Vunagi
Primate, The Church of the Province of Melanesia
Most Rev Joseph Kopapa
Primate, The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
Most Rev Onesphore Rwaje
Primate, Province de l'Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda
Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi
Primate, The Anglican Church of Burundi
Most Rev Valentino Mokiwa
Primate, The Anglican Church of Tanzania
Right Rev Dr Chad Gandiya
Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of Central Africa
Right Rev Dr Johannes Seoka
Representing the Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Right Rev Matthias Medadues-Badohu
Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of West Africa
Right Rev Peter Bartlett [not signed -ed.]
Representing the Primate of Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America
cc: Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan
Primate representing the Anglican Communion, Crown Nominations Commission

Let's begin with the logical fallacy of "we represent 50 million Anglicans", like numbers make a decision.  Do you suppose that Christ would not have died for just one?  Secondly, "they represent" is like me saying I represent all the veterans of the world.  I am a veteran therefore I represent them all?  The 50 M do not vote and do not even get an opinion.  Is a spiritual appointment (made by the Queen of England) supposed to be done on how many Anglicans want someone to be some grand poohbah?  I certainly hope not?  Kind of arrogant -- but hey, they got one vote, why not try for fifty?  Let's stack the deck because "we are great". 

Cross-cultural sensitivity is a major issue for the GSFCON bishops?  And the bishops want "defense of the faith".  Let's see, defense of the faith by waging war on Moslems in Nigeria?  Waging war on women in Central Africa?  Cross cultural sensitivity to the Hutus that were slaughtered in Rwanda?  Cross-cultural sensitivity to the thousands of children kidnapped and pressed into military service in Uganda?  I strongly believe in a faith that accepts all, the big tent concept if you will, including our LGBT brethren.  Opps, I don't think the bishops signing this letter mean that!

What we have here, is a thinly veiled  attempt  to put certain segments of the Worldwide Anglican Communion out of the Communion.  They want, need to be, find it their sacred duty to become the magesterium of the Anglican Communion. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

That bus is gone but the next one is on it's way!

Why does it now "feel" like the Anglican Covenant has become irrelevant?  Because, IMHO it has.  The real question(s) is/are who made it so?  Was it father time that made it irrelevant?  That is, things in motion tend to stay in motion while things at rest tend to stay at rest.  So, perhaps time has just past the Anglican Covenant by.  In essence they don't care and we don't care.

Or, did the Episcopal church, in some clever and well hidden way, make it irrelevant?  The general conventions have managed to sidestep the issue in such a way as to finesse the program right into oblivion.  Dodging the bullet, while not very stalwart, does have it's advantages.  It does simply make one wonder if there is anything that the Episcopal Church will address head on.

Or, did the fellows from the Anglican Church in North America set this whole thing up as an exercise in distraction so that other things could be accomplished?  If this is the case then ACNA has made progress of sorts in formation and implementation without so much as a by your leave, sir.  While the world passed the hot potato around the horn the ACNA folks did all sorts of things in both England and in the United States. One has to give them credit for their plan, at least according to the Chapman Memo (as amended) they have followed the plan and not a thing of importance has happened.  They have made the Episcopal Church almost impotent.  If you disagree please explain why not a single soul in Canterbury did anything to stop the plan from unfolding and for allowing the United States to fall into a state of disarray? 

Well,, choose one or all, I do believe that that bus has passed us by and probably most everyone else in the world.  But hey, wait, just like a bus, the next ACNA move will be along in a few minutes.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Shadow Knows!

This post will be short, brief and I will standfirm in it's moral. 

There is an old joke that goes something like this: What do you call 1,000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea?  A good start."

I have no idea why that popped into my head today but it did.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How Is San Joaquin Doing?

How is the Diocese of San Joaquin doing now?  I have no idea if this is a burning question in any one's mind outside of this diocese (except for the Executive Council and a few others in god ole NY -- I explain in a moment or two).  Also, let me say this, this is a person in the pew review with no special knowledge.  I stopped having whatever "special knowledge" sometime ago due to "issues".

Litigation: Have you ever witnessed grass grow?  Well, litigation is slower than that (I'd like to think that is a joke but it is not!)  All the bad guys who gave in early, precious few as they may be, did so and the rest are in a continuing litigious mood.  By and large we do okay but I expect that most people directly involved in the illegal split may be forgotten by the time it all ends.  True, we make progress but ever so slowly.

Returning Anglicans:  you know the ones I mean.  Much to my chagrin they return and like the prodigal son are welcomed with open arms.  The diocese believes that for those returning no harm no foul.  Grates on me personally since the Anglicans are neither repented or sorry or anything but slightly arrogant.  I fear we may have part two here in the Central Valley, but o well.

Liturgy and Worship:  Wow! we are good!

Outreach:  While we are better, it appears to be backsliding into "same o same o".  Too bad because there is so much need in the world.  But hope springs eternal and we may reach out to the many downtrodden.

Doctrine:  We are modern for the first time since Noah floated a boat. We are the "Big Tent". 

Finances:  The potential for the life of the diocese lies squarely on the shoulders of financial affairs.  We have received help from lots of places and continue to do so.  But the lack of a full complement of Episcopalians is the issue.  EVERYONE is working on this because it is so crucial.

There is great joy in this diocese.  Two great bishops! A revitalized clergy and laity stepping up to the plate,  For the most part the pall is gone.  But, we begin to slip back into the old ways.  Let the clergy do it.  From the clergy, you can trust us.  This is the second abyss.  Laity have stepped up but clergy have begun to flex again.

There you have it -- everything fit to print.  Any questions?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Anglican Covenant: Much Ado About Nothing

I know this is probably passe by now, none the less.

I have waited patiently for the convention to act on the Anglican Covenant.  Each and every diocese and each and every parish/mission was requested to review and comment on the Covenant.  With all the "to do" about the Covenant I thought that something substantive would come out of the discussions.  Well folks, here it is in all it's glory and with all the decisive power we have in our great church.



Ongoing Commitment to The Anglican Covenant Process
Douglas, The Rt. Rev. Ian
Doyle, The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew; Curry, The Rt. Rev. Michael


Blue Book: p. N/A; Constitution & Canons: p. N/A

HD / World Mission

not yet reviewed; N/A; N/A
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 77th General Convention
express its gratitude to those who so faithfully worked at producing and responding to the proposed Anglican Covenant (; and be it

Resolved,  That the 77th General Convention acknowledge that following extensive study and prayerful consideration of the Anglican Covenant there remain a wide variety of opinions and ecclesiological positions in The Episcopal Church; and be it further

 Resolved, that as a pastoral response to The Episcopal Church, the General Convention decline to take a position on the Anglican Covenant at this convention; and be it further

 Resolved, that the General Convention ask the Presiding Officers to appoint a task force of Executive Council (Blue Book, 637) to continue to monitor the ongoing developments with respect to the Anglican Covenant and how this church might continue its participation; and be it further

 Resolved, that the Executive Council task force on the Anglican Covenant report its findings and recommendations to the 78th General Convention.


The first three resolves are the same as those offered by the Executive Council and the D020 Task Force. The fourth resolve substitutes “an embrace” of the Preamble and first three Sections of The Anglican Covenant for the Executive Council’s resolve that The Episcopal Church “is unable to adopt The Anglican Covenant in its present form.” The final two resolves call for a task force of Executive Council, as outlined in the Executive Council’s August 2011 report on The Anglican Covenant, to study and report back to the 78th General Convention with respect to The Episcopal Church’s ongoing participation in The Anglican Covenant process. The resolution affirms that The Episcopal Church is still in the process of adopting The Anglican Covenant and thus maintains our “participation in the decision making of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion or of the Instruments of Communion.” (The Anglican Covenant 4.2.8)

  Printed: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 06:10 PM. Page 1 of 1

(NOTE: This is not quite the format the resolution is in but the verbiage is correct.)

One of two things happened here.  First, the convention/delegates decided skip the heavy lifting since several of the resolutions passed  and already being acted on are already hot and so lets not piss off the rest of the world.  Or, two, let's hope this whole thing blows over before we have to really reject this silly and redundant document created by silly people for silly people who think that this is now the Ministry of Silly People (apologies to Monty Python).  At any rate, you all pick what you think happened.

Why did all our laity put so much heart and soul, blood, sweat and  tears into "let's think it over".  I do know our parish worked hard to read, digest and come up with our decision and now we realize that everyone was just kidding.  That is a good way to keep us all on  the same page.
BTW, Bishop Douglas is an expert on the Anglican Communion.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I have borrowed this from a friend, I hope that friend agrees with this post.

Who are our warriors?  Where are our warriors?

 Have we been abandoned?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Religion and the Current Political Landscape

The republican party has been hijacked by the "Christian Right", this we all know.  I would like to add my voice to some of the "diatribes" in which "it is God's will to prohibit abortion, that the US is a Christian Nation, that women have no need of equal rights, equal pay or equal anything.
that the ten commandments needs to be posted in all courthouses, that full health care for all Americans in a violation and that we NEED to reduce taxes, reduce unions, reduce government spending and require that the poor have babies and then end food stamps, health care, free and reduced lunches, etc. and just let them fend for themselves."

So let's begin with a couple of quotes from Thomas Jefferson to show his opinion of religion and politics.

"Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination. "

-Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

I have intentionally belabored this point because there are so many right-wingers that believe the nation was founded under Christian beliefs and principles that one needs to "hammer" this point.  The fact is the man who wrote much of the nation's cornerstone documents has much to say about the issue of this nation and what principles were used.  And for you scholarly types, much of Jefferson's work comes right out of John Locke and some can be found in On Liberty.

Here is my corollary.  The bedrock of Christian principles can be found in two places.
The Beatitudes
He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

(Matthew 25:31-40 ESV)

If you, the Christian Right (or for that matter any Christian) are interested in "bringing Christ into this world let's start with these two statements.  Use these two sayings to live your life by and the rest will be taken care of -- trust me.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The "New GOP"

Father Jake wrote a little ditty a couple of days ago talking about the large number of extremists in the GOP.  Well, I believe that the GOP has been taken over from the  Rockefeller style republican by the Christian (use this term loosely) right.  There are little to no "old fashioned republicans" left. What do I mean by that?  This was the party of fiscal conservancy but social liberal.  It was the first party to push for the Equal Rights Amendment.  It was the party that believed in taking care of the poor and downtrodden.  Yes, government should be limited but it never suggested non-existent and yes, it did believe that "taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society". Rather than shrink government to nothing, then they simply wanted government stay out of their lives as much as possible.

 Now, they have been taken over by right wing extremists that pose as Christians.  They would rather spy on you and your bedroom rather than control spending.  The new republican party needs to control the lives of everyone but especially women.  The new Republican party would prefer to enrichen the already obscenely rich and would rather deny anyone due wages and benefits than spent the energy to gain them themselves.

Knowing all of this, and most of you do, think about this.  Why is president Obama a middle of the road democrat?  Why did Bill Clinton cut welfare and other programs?  Well, where do you suppose all those republicans that could no longer remain in the republican party went to?  Yep, you guessed it, straight into the Democratic party.  Why?  because all they know is party politics and they want to have a say.  So, the democrats moved from the left to the center in order to hold as many democrats as possible.  In effect, there are only those of us that long for social justice for women, and gays, and poor, and underprivileged, and ethnic and racial minorities.  And we have been pushed to the brink of the field.  I can conceive of a time when no one stands up for the Bill of Rights and for universal public education and unions, and intellectual freedom and for the common man.

My goal is not to supercede what Jake has said, but ratherr further the argument. My hope is that I have done that.  A point of personal privilege, I have not voted for a Republican since Huston Flornoy ran for governor in California.  As it stands now, I will vote for a republican when hell freezes over, and that is as far as my religion will take me in politics.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A (One) Story of San Joaquin

There is a new book out by Jane Lamb (spouse of bishop Lamb) entitled Hurt, Joy, and the Grace of God. It is a collection of stories about the trials and tribulations of the Diocese of San Joaquin.  Does everyone remember when everyone voted for George McGovern? Hope so.  It is a fascinating set of stories that clearly demonstrates that the ugliness of Mr. Schofield emanated from Fresno out in an ever increasing concentric circle.  Please know that I walk a very fine line here because I know and like everyone of the people that contributed to the book.  In point of fact, I enjoyed the book very much.  And we (I) here in the diocese will always be indebted to Bishop Lamb for everything he accomplished in our diocese to return it from the brink.

Let me also say that I have only been in the diocese since 1994 - by most standards about three blinks.  But the book tends to gloss over much of what occurred from about 1998 through the final convention in which the diocese went "over the moon".  It does not mention the complicity of the Standing Committee right down to one member of the "deposed" standing committee coming to the convention in which Bishop Lamb was elected and made  a statement somewhat akin to  "the body before him was a sham and we needed to turn the reins of the diocese over to the original standing committee".  Much of both the standing committee and the diocesan council went over to the dark side though some realized the error of their ways (losing significant power) and came back.  It did not explain how one priest (now Bishop) set up most of the diocese and then took of for the hinterlands when the going got tough.  Please understand that from the cheap seats events looked way different.  The maneuvers that JDS went through with Mr. Wantland to rename to PECUSA (actually stealing). 

We may not have received much in the way of solid news and facts but it was through the power of Father Jake, Friends of Jake, Leonardo - Eruptions . . ., The Three Legged Stool (James), Preludium to some extent and a bunch more that pressure built such that some form of action had to be taken.  It does not speak  to the fact that some priests stayed and some priests left based solely on self-preservation or lack of stamina or something in that area of the soul.  Is Madera the only church to be sold, I think not.  The same thing happened to several but the one I am most familiar with is St. Dunstan. 

JDS did not plan this in 2003 or 2004 or even 2002. This was probably planned from his arrival as  bishop.  JDS once told a group of women that "Even women have a place in the church." 

At any rate,  the book is a good and a very engrossing read.  It is but one set of stories. It certainly is only close to what we experienced, at least from the nosebleed section of the diocese.
(Modified since this sentence was muddled to say the least.  My apologies to all that said, "Huh?'. F)
Let me finish by saying, buy this book and read it and you will be enlightened. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Old Ways Are Dying!

The school in which I am most closely associated has an incredibly diverse attendance that is something like 41% Filipino, 50% Hispanic (mostly Mexican-American) about 7% Black/African American, 2% multi-racial and 1% Caucasian.  I believe we are but one typical school in a sea of about 10 or 11,000 schools in California.  We revel in our diversity and celebrate the many cultures in which we are so richly blessed. 

The  current backlash, of which the ACNE church is but a part, longs for the old days.  The days when their church parishioners blindly followed their bishops.  Who long for the all white singular culture that they enjoyed as children.  They long for the days of the 50's when everything lead to "Happy Days".  Education was simply white children learning to be good factory workers and did not have to, heaven forbid) think about issues that were ten and are today more relevant.  Why does the Episcopal church have to cater to the whims of every person that walks through the doors? Why do they not just partake of the offertory and enjoy the cultural ties that are the "standard"? The ACNE followers are perplexed why a whole bunch of Episcopalians want to understand a culture that does not belong here anyway?  Love God and Love your neighbor are not the real issues for them; the real issues for them are illegal immigration, homosexuality, subservient behavior and control of everything that happens. 

That is played upon by those who have tried to become bishops and failed in the Episcopal church so they made up their own and everybody now gets purple shirts and their own diocese to play with. Why? Because they believe they can revert back to the "good old days". 

Do not let the ACNE church fool you.  It is NOT about God or Jesus or the Spirit.  It is about power and control of everything cultural and economic and worker.  The rich get richer and the poor get Mitt Romney and George W. Bush and Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage.

Those days are numbered my friends.  One cannot stop the wave of diversity and multi-culturalism that is sweeping our church and the nation.  Love thy neighbor and the new testament are growing in strength everyday.  I do not wish anyone ill-will but the old days are gone and the old people will die and the new (all though the principles are as old as Jesus) are slowly taking over and there is nothing one can do but help create  this new and loving church.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Where Are We Going?

Here is a thought -- much as I love the Episcopal Church and all it stands for and everything it does I fear we are dying a slow death.  Not because of John David or Peter Akinola or any of those buffoons who are generally pilferers, charlatans and slight of hand magicians.  At least not in the direct sense. 

Go over to the Friends of Jake blog and take the liberal/conservative quiz and see where you land?  I will tell you right now I scored a 342 -- well passed liberal democrat and out into the progressive stratosphere.  Those that took the time to post their scores were in many cases similar to my score.  Now, here is the grabber, most of us, No offense to anyone, were raised in the sixties.  We saw what segregation does to peoples souls, we saw the seamy side of politics, we saw war first hand in all its horrific glory and we saw what poverty can do to children.  We saw the affects of children having children.  Many of us, in our lives, met the devil firsthand and became incredible advocates for the gospel according to Jesus Christ -- as opposed to the gospel according to Mitt Romney or the gospel according to the IRD or the gospel according to Newt Gingrich.  After all of that and a few years of greed and high rolling and boats and motor homes and huge homes and growing elitism many of my  generation became enamoured with greenbacks and "personal growth" and many have forgotten that those one meets on the way up are the same people you will meet on the way down.  Derivatives, equity managers, MBAs with literally no ethics lead the way for those who are wannabes.  Those who look at the middle class and rather than join a union and fight for the rights of most have been sold a bill  of goods and believe that if they cannot have all the good things the union folks have then no one should have those things.  Figure that out.  The poor get poorer but think they can become rich by copying what the rich think.  You wonder if hey haven't been smoking an electrical banana. 

We, the progressives of this world, a huge portion of which are Episcopalians, may be passed over, by, through and around.  We may become the minority crying in the wilderness while unwanted babies die from hunger, neglect and mis-treatment.  While public education becomes the elite school for rich kids.  While we get bedroom police and marriage cops.  While families are laid off so that they can clip their non-existent coupons while their jobs are sent to any nation in the world who can be taken advantage of.  but hey, we will get more candy bars while we die from the common cold because no one has health insurance any more.

Our beloved TEC will no be  destroyed by those hammer heads from the far side of the spectrum but rather we stand a real chance of simply being passed by and left to watch.

One Leaves all too Soon

A few weeks ago our family pet, Leader, died of prostate cancer.  A constant companion of Mrs. Fred and a lover of all humanity.  Leader's mom and dad lived to be 13 years old and so at 10, Leader was taken from us.  I know, many folks are arbitrarily afraid of German Shepherds and that is too bad.  There is not a kinder, gentler, more  loving dog than a shepherd.  He went with us pretty much everywhere and loved it.  On one occasion, we were staying at our parents place down south and Leader, as always, got to run loose.  For some reason he became confused and lost.  We looked for him all night and into the next morning.  As one last desperate action, I called the local pound. Wow! Leader was there.  We travelled about 25 miles to go get him.  When the staff brought him out you would have thought Leader had spent the night in jail! Oh, and he never ever wanted to do that again. (BTW, chips really do work.)

We know he rests comfortably now -- but it does not change the fact we enjoy him now only in pictures and memories.