Saturday, June 13, 2009

Positive versus Negative

Two conventions are about to get underway: The Episcopal Church's (TEC) 2009 General Convention and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) very first convention. Despite my recent bet, I'm not one to predict the future, but I think it's safe to say that after the two conventions, Anglicanism in America will be even more divergent.

TEC's General Convention is set to consider a plethora of changes, many of which have to do with church discipline and with gay rites. I do not know what resolutions will be adopted, but given the past history, by the end of convention TEC will have moved further to the left.

As for ACNA, they are trying to achieve cohesion. There have been a fair amount of criticism of the new constitution. The authors of it apparently believe that bishops need more authority and the laity less. This is based upon some of their experience in TEC of course.

I think the main problem with ACNA is too many of its members define themselves as former Episcopalians. They need to get over that. That and the acronym sounds like a teenage skin condition.

Several things have done in the Episcopal Church. First and foremost is the inability of the leadership, whether bishops, members of Standing Committees, priests or delegate to the General Convention, to be willing to defend the faith as received. This has resulted in heretical and apostate bishops and priests, the gelding of any evangelism efforts, a break down in discipline and a loss of awareness as to what is really important (it isn't property).

The results of that has been a redefinition of what being an Episcopalian is from a positive thing (what we are and what we believe) to a negative thing (what we are not and what we don't believe). This has brought on a decline in membership. Negativity is not very attractive, and it's no accident that most new members come from other denominations instead of from the unchurched.

The ugly side of Canada has been, for me, their love of defining themselves by who they are not ("We are not the United States"). The ugly side of the Episcopal Church often begins with a similar statement ("We are not fundamentalists", "We are not papists", "We are not Baptists" and so on). Currently, the ugly side of ACNA is "We are not Episcopalians".

I'm hopeful that the ACNA in convention will produce not only a constitution, but a positive sense of what being an Anglican in North America means. I have much less confidence about the General Convention in Anaheim producing a positive meaning for being an Episcopalian.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Square Dancin'

Rage Against the Machine

At this point the only reason I would ever vote Democrat is if the Republicans do something catastrophically stupid. Which is well within the bounds of likelihood.

I have two hot button issues: The Bill of Rights together with the 13th and 14th Amendments and space exploration. The jackasses have pressed both buttons. They have been jabbing at the first since January and now they've gone for the second.

I'll give them this much, this is the worst federal government we've had since Carter. Sky-rocketing debt, a desire to expand the ever so well managed Medicare and Medicaid programs to cover all Americans (and just how exactly will that control costs?), endless bailouts for the politically well connected, active suppression of free speech, an amoral commitment to the retention of power, a desire to destroy our national economy in the name of pseudo science and a total lack of an optimistic vision for the future.

We have a hollow man for President, a gang of thieves and thugs in Congress, and a love of failed ideologies on the part of our intellectual classes.

And don't try any 'moral equivalency' on this. The Republicans were stupid. The current crop of Democrats are flat out evil.

We're going to be paying for this fat headed exercise in 'Hope and Change' for a very long time. And unfortunately the burden of this folly will fall mostly on those who are silly enough to try to be adults. The overaged children, spawns of the 60's 'me generation' will likely skate as usual.

To put my money where my mouth is, I'll bet anyone who wishes that, if the Democrats retain control of Congress through the next election, that the inflation rate plus the unemployment rate (expressed as percentages) will be as high or higher than they are today in 2012. The stakes are, fittingly enough, two pounds of Nueske's applewood bacon.

My good friend who blogs over at S S Pequod has accepted the challenge. Inflation (2%) plus unemployment (9.4%) = 11.4 as of today.

I like bacon....

For the ladies....

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Present for New Orleans

After having been hammered by Katrina, mis-management on the local, state and federal level, the Big Easy has just caught a break.

One unrelated question, why did he need to go to China and why does he need a bodyguard? All of the truly sleazy pols seem to need bodyguards. Is it a matter of 'keeping up with the Joneses' or are they really in peril for their misdoings?