Saturday, June 27, 2009

First Crass Citizens

Apparently, Hotlanta has said that if you wish to be a stripper in a club that serves alcohol, you also have to be of legal age to drink. (source) Some teen girls who've been stripping in the clubs since they were 18 are suing the city.

Here's the takeaway:
Alan Begner, an adult entertainment attorney who represents the five women, labeled it a right-to-work case. He said his clients have the right to vote, to sue, to serve in the military; but suddenly were stripped of the right to strip.

They are adults and there's no good reason to deny them a right to work, a right to be first-class citizens,” he said.
Oh...I can think of some reasons why nobody is going to regard these girls as “first-class.”

He's a Super Freak! Super Freak!

He's Superfreaky, yeah!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mismatched Anglicans

There are people who harbor significant doubts that the Catholics, Charismatics, and Calvinists that comprise the new Anglican Church in North America can make this thing work. I have to agree with them....we can't.

Mismatched as we are, we won't be able to make it work.

Jesus, on the other hand, just might...

Assuming we're all willing to 'bend the knee' to him as king. (pun intended)

Obama is an International Weenie

Besides unconditional table-talks with dictator Ahmadinijad, President Obama sent invitations to Iranian diplomats to join him at the White House for our July 4th hot dog festival. (source)

The incredible irony here is that he would have to serve them Hebrew National™ hot dogs in order to both honor and violate their religious convictions. You'd wonder what's next on his diplomatic dhimmitude:
Inviting North Korean officials to share cake at a celebration commemorating the Non-Proliferation Treaty? Perhaps inviting the Taliban to a festival celebrating International Women's Day? Maybe we can even invite Zimbabwe to party with the Department of Agriculture, or have Libyan diplomats as guests of honor at a commemoration of human rights? h/t Michael Rubin he's already reneged on his invitation.

Apparently, Iranian response to domestic disputes of non-representative government doesn't cut the mustard. Yet he sees no link with a regime suppressing peaceful protest and the fact that they aren't allowed to have guns.

Yep...according to the Iranian Constitution:
Article 27 [Freedom of Assembly]
Public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided arms are not carried and that they are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam.
Article 151 [Military Training]
In accordance with the noble Koranic verse: "Prepare against them whatever force you are able to muster, and horses ready for battle, striking fear into God's enemy and your enemy, and others beyond them unknown to you but known to God..."possession of arms, however, requires the granting of permission by the competent authorities.

I don't know about you, but that seems pretty close to what the President thinks should happen with our constitutional right to bear arms. According to the 2007 small arms survey, Iran is at the same level of gun ownership that most gun-banning countries (like China and the UK) are.

Now I'm not suggesting the Iranian intelligentsia stage a violent coup. But as we draw near the commemoration of our own violent coup, I think it wise to stop for half a moment and think about what would have happened in our country's history if men like Obama (yes, there were capitulators aplenty back then) had ruled the day instead of the men who became our Founding Fathers.

Stand up, Mr. President. Russia and North Korea are flexing their bully muscles. Only an America resolved to be strong in itself, and strong for others will be able to maintain global balance.

Crack Crock Crop Circles

Soul Coughing - Circles

Found at bee mp3 search engine

The BBC has reported that doped-up wallabies: are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said.

Maybe those crop circles weren't all they're [ahem] cracked up to be.

These farmers have [ahem] let their fields just go to pot. What dopes.

"There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles," he added.

(Uh...yeah, sometimes we call it "church" - c'mon in here, sheepy-sheepy, and walk around doing nothing!)

- - poppies

Found at bee mp3 search engine

More Iron Age than Ironic

Near the Church of the Nativity - traditional veneration point for the birth of a man, Jesus of Nazareth, whom billions believed rose from the tomb - we find an untouched, unexcavated tomb from the Early Bronze Age, between 1,900 B.C. and 2,200 B.C. The news was broken over at Discovery.

RIP Michael Jackson

This is my favorite song of his, and one of the best live performances eMpTeeVee has ever captured.

He was the Elvis of my generation, changing music over nearly four decades of active performance.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lauda Anima

This is from last night's procession to acclaim +Robert Duncan as the first Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America.

I saw lots of friends...and friends I haven't yet met!

Justice and the Christian

The following is from the Acton Institute. It really hit home for me because the seminary I attended felt it had a strong impulse for social justice. Unfortunately, it pretty much was a reiteration of the Democratic party's platform (especially its most radical elements). Don't get me wrong - the social righteousness ("family values") given by the more conservative schools are normally a reflection of the Republican party's platform (especially its most radical elements). Them's the brakes. But what made the former more odious - besides my immediate proximity - was the divorcing of justice from the wrath that God rightly has on sin, and the way that wrath was propitiated and expiated on the cross. Constantly deprecating the substitutionary atonement of Christ - as is done at most liberalized seminaries - means that we take a fundamental ethic rooted in human equality (granted - creation is a valid starting point, think imago dei, though most liberals don't hold to creation). For Christians, I think we need to start any ideas of reconciliation and right-setting in the cross of Christ and his atonement for our sin.

I'd also mention that the merciful grace and charitable love of Christ can easily be ignored at more conservative seminaries. However, having attended both Southern Seminary and Louisville Seminary, I haven't experienced direct evidence of that (SBTS was a very loving and supportive and diversity-affirming institution). Maybe if I'd gone to Bob Jones or something like that...

Just how zealous for justice ought Christians be? I admit that I’m always just a bit put off when folks describe the prime mission of Christians as pursuing justice in the world. Let’s not forget that the foundational Christian reality is forgiving love on the basis of the divine justice manifested on the cross.

Or as Luther puts it in his commentary on Romans (emphasis added),

This is the reason (if I may speak of myself) why even hearing the word “justice” nauseates me to the point that if someone robbed me, he would not bring me such grief. And yet the word is always sounding in the mouths of the lawyers. There is no race of men upon the earth who are more ignorant about this matter than the lawyers and the good-intentioners and the intellectuals. For I in myself and with many others have had the experience that when we were righteous, God laughed at us in our righteousness. And yet I have heard men who dared to say: “I know that I have righteousness, but God does not notice it.” That is true, but it is a righteousness only in one particular; but for this God cares nothing. Therefore the only complete righteousness is humility, which subjects everyone to everyone else and thus gives everything to everyone, as Christ says to John: “Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).

Thus in Dan. 3 Azariah confesses that he and his friends are at one and the same time suffering justly and yet are afflicted with evil, namely, at the hands of the wicked king. For even though he who acts does so unjustly, yet he does not do so to the person who suffers; for that person suffers justly. For by what legal right does the devil possess men? Or by what legal right does an evil hangman hang a thief? Certainly not in his own right, but by that of the judge. Thus men who glory in their own righteousness are unwilling to listen to the supreme Judge, but only to their own judgment, and because in respect to their victim they are innocent, they think that they really are innocent in every way.

Therefore since before God no one is righteous, absolutely no injustice can be done to a person by any other creature, even though he may have justice on his side. Thus all cause for contention is taken away from men. Therefore, to whomsoever an injury is done or an evil comes in return for his good actions, let him turn away his eyes from this evil and remember how great his own evil is in other respects, and then he will see how good the will of God is even in this evil which has come upon him; for this is what it means to be renewed in one’s mind and to be changed into another state of mind and to be wise in the things of God. Thus it is definite that Peter would not have glorified God if he had girded himself and gone where he wanted to go, even though he would not have walked a wicked path, but the highest road of righteousness. But after this road of his own righteousness was prohibited and he went where he did not want to go but where another wanted, then he glorified God. So also we cannot glorify God unless we do what we do not wish, even in the case of our own works of righteousness, indeed, particularly in the case of our own righteousness, our own counsels, or our own strength. And thus to hate our own life and to will against our own will, to be wise in opposition to our own wisdom, to confess sin in the face of our own righteousness, to heed foolishness spoken against our own wisdom, this is “to take our cross” (Matt. 10:38), “to be His disciples” (Luke 14:27), and “to be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”

Don’t get me wrong. I acknowledge that the ethical norm in social ethics is “justice.” But out of sheer humility let’s not be too zealous for justice, at least not without consciously, intentionally, and systematically connecting it to divine love.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Filoque Okay by Usus Antiquior

At this years SBL meeting, an ancient piece of graffiti was discussed. It was in the basement or crypt of a basilica that had been demolished in 178AD. The graffiti read: ό δεδωκως πvεύμα (“the one who has given the Spirit”—namely Kyrios, the Lord Jesus) It's evidence that a fair number of early Christians were literate (why else write a statement from the liturgy?) and that the filioque clause in the Latin version of the Nicene Creed isn't necessarily an innovation. (Even if the fact still stands that it was not synodically inserted.)

More at BAR.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Komissar Falco

In case you forgot what Der Komissar is supposed to sound like...

Falco - Der Komissar

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Can I get this signed by Joel Osteen?

h/t NakedPastor

Monday, June 22, 2009

Café Tacuba Eres

Willikers...this took me back to middle school.

My Report on the FiF-NA Missionary Diocese of All Saints

At the recent FiF-NA assembly, I was called upon to act as recording and reporting clerk for the sub-group meeting to discuss the new diocese in formation, now known as the Missionary Diocese of All Saints. Below is my report as given to the assembly on Friday morning.

The consensus of the meeting was that the name - Missionary Diocese of All Saints - aptly sums up our understanding of our calling.

We are to be missionary: overhead structures will be light. There isn't concern for building an extensive diocesan staff or headquarters. Rather, all funds and energy will be channeled into reaching the world for Christ with the unchanging truth of the catholic faith. We wish to move forward, in faith, instead of back into the bureaucratic nightmares and top-heavy structures of TEC.

We are a diocese: a Eucharistic community of clergy and laity gathered around a bishop. The bishop is to be the servus servorum Dei - servant of the servants of God. He sees his calling to be a Father to the Fathers, especially in shepherding the families of the clergy. The diocesan will be just as concerned about the spiritual life and growth of the priests as he is about the numerical and programming growth of the parish. It will be a true communio sanctorum.

We are there for All Saints: the diocese collaborates in its mission with the saints of God in ACNA, and especially with the dioceses who share our concern for integrity of sacramental orders and catholic mission. We seek to embody and pass on the catholic tradition that we have received from the saints who went before us - adding nothing, neither taking anything away from the faith once delivered. And we do this because we are convinced that this is the chief way in which Christ has chosen to sanctify his bride - washing them in the word so that we all become saints of the Lord.

The Missionary Diocese of All Saints seeks to be a truly catholic community - according to the whole church, working in the whole USA, for the wholeness of the Anglican witness to the good news in Jesus Christ.

And we need your help. We've already received startup funds, and we're likely to need more. But we also need you as saints to come to our aid with what Benedict described as ora et labora - the prayerful and practical.

Prayer: nothing we do can be effective if it is not covered in prayer. Please covenant to pray for the unity of the whole church, and the usefulness of the Missionary Diocese in specific. We've already seen what a church looks like that tries to minister on its own power and wisdom.

Practical: We also need your expertise - those areas in which you are well practiced. There are canons to write, postulants to pursue, and ministry to be done. Without your expertise in these areas, we will be forced to make our own wheels - and that's not catholic. We wish to receive from your hand the good things that God has shown you so that we may carry them forth in our missionary enterprise, for the perfecting of all saints.

A Prayer for the ACNA Convention

A Prayer to be used at the Meetings of Convention.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst preside in the Council of the blessed Apostles, and hast promised, through thy Son Jesus Christ, to be with thy Church to the end of the world; We beseech thee to be with the Council of thy Church there assembled in thy Name and Presence. Save us from all error, ignorance, pride, and prejudice; and of thy great mercy vouchsafe, we beseech thee, so to direct, sanctify, and govern us in our work, by the mighty power of the Holy Ghost, that the comfortable Gospel of Christ may be truly preached, truly received, and truly followed, in all places, to the breaking down the kingdom of sin, Satan, and death; till at length the whole of thy dispersed sheep, being gathered into one fold, shall become partakers of everlasting life; through the merits and death of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

They have the ACNA Website live, now. The website of the ACNA Assembly is here. You can also follow the proceedings on AnglicanTV.

May Christ's prayer for unity be fulfilled, and that right soon. Maranatha!