Saturday, 19 December 2009

A Recent Statement from the Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles

From Here...
The Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles recently elected a partnered lesbian to the position of suffragen (assistant) bishop, spitting in the face of the worldwide Anglican communion, who had asked for, "gracious restraint" in the matter of the blessing of same-sex unions and the election of openly gay people to positions of church leadership.

The bishop of Los Angeles, J. Jon Bruno obviously approves.
As we approach the nativity of Christ, we need to remember the admonition of the angels to the shepherds: “Be not afraid.”

The Episcopal Church, a member of the Anglican Communion, for more than the past 30 years has been working on gradual, full incorporation of gay and lesbian people. We have worked to be people of gracious restraint for all these years and have now come to a place in our lives that is normal evolutionary change which compels us to move from tolerance to full inclusion.

As with racial and cultural divides, we can look to the great words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who calls us not to fall prey to the insidious drug of gradualism. Indeed, as he said in his speech titled “I Have a Dream”: “This is no time ... to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism .... Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

One of the comments decries the invoking of Christ's Nativity in connection with their actions. But it seems to me that naming Christ's name at all in the blessing of sinful behaviour is even worse. I believe that anyone who does so, invoking our Saviour's name to justify sin, heaps judgement after judgement upon his own head. Jesus, they will claim, said nothing about homosexuality. Yes, but he did have lots to say about sesxual immorality, and that, in the context of first-century Judaism, would have included every sexual berhaviour conemned in the Mosaic law, which definitely includes homosexual sexual acts.

Equally (well, maybe not equally) abhorent, is the appeal to Dr Martin Luther King's fight for racial equality. Frankly, these people insult the good doctor, if not the entire civil rights movement, by trying to equate race, over which one has no control, with sexual behavioural choices. I will not argue the point about whether homosexuality is genetic, cultural or environmental. That has not been established, nor is it relevant to the issue. It's not about orientation, it's about actions, behavioural choices. It's not about desires; it's about acting on them.

To put the most generous face on it, these people may be sincere, but they are certainly, at the very least, misguided. The least generous face would be to call them evil. But, as my blogging friend David puts it, they are killing their church for the sake of a very small minority of the population.

And, may I say, a very selfish minority, if they are so willing to see the death, or at least the decline into irrelevance, of an entire formerly great denomination so that they can engage in the sexual activity of their choice.

Take Care

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Arrogant and Evil

I have written before, in various posts, of what I call, "cultural arrogance," or "anachronistic arrogance." By it I mean the tendency, mostly of those who might label themselves as, "progressive," to consider themselves as somehow superior, in a moral or intellectual way, to those whom they would consider backwards, either in less advanced cultures of our day, or less progressive times throughout history.

This attitude manifests itself in regard, for instance, to racism for example, where a modern progressive might criticize the slavery of a couple of centuries ago as if they would have known and acted better had they been a member of that society.

It shows today in the attitude of certain western churches in matters of sexual morality. The vast majority of African Christians object to the growing western movement to normalize homosexual sexual activity and bless its unions. But more, "progressive" westerners consider these people backward savages, not nearly enlightened as they.

It showed in the eugenics movement, popular among liberals of the early twentieth century, who seemed to consider certain handicapped people as somehow less human than they, and therefore in need of elimination from our society.

It even shows more recently in the call for abortions as a means to reduce the human carbon footprint. It seems fair to me that these people, if they are so concerned about reducing population, should think about eliminating themselves from the equation as a first gesture. But no, as in much of the "green" movement, it's always others who are asked to make the sacrifice.

But now, it seems to me, this attitude of superiority has reared its ugly head in a new and particularly sinister way.

Vaginal HIV gel fails to cut risk From Here...

A major trial of a vaginal microbicide has produced no evidence that its use reduces the risk of HIV infection in women.

It was tested in a trial involving 9,385 women in four African countries.
The risk of HIV infection was not significantly different among women supplied with the gel than in women given a placebo gel.

Lead researcher Dr Sheena McCormack, of the Medical Research Council, which part-funded the study, said: "This result is disheartening.

Professor Jonathan Weber, from Imperial College London, who also took part in the study, said: "It is unfortunate that this microbicide is ineffective at preventing HIV infection, but it's still vital for us as scientists to continue to look for new ways of preventing HIV.

This raises a number of disturbing points:

  1. This test involved exposing actual human beings (yes, liberals, even Africans are as human as you are) to exposure to a fatal disease.
  2. It involved over 9000 women, presumably half of whom were given an unproven product which was hoped (!) would prevent infection from this fatal disease, the other half of whom were given a placebo, that the researchers knew would provide no protection at all!!!
  3. These women would have neccessarily been ones who the researchers knew were not yet infected. Then they were, presumably, encouraged to participate in the very practice that the researchers knew would put them at risk of contracting this disease.

  4. The only way the researchers would know that the results were, "disappointing" was that many of these previously uninfected women became infected, and that an equal number from each group suffered infection.

All of which begs the question; did Dr Sheena McCormack, of the Medical Research Council volunteer herself to be a part of this test? Did Professor Jonathan Weber, from Imperial College London volunteer his wife or daughter for the same?

Sad, of course, that this research has to be done at all.

Take Care
H/t Catholic Culture via mcj

Sunday, 13 December 2009

What's Missing From This Picture?

I happened to attend a dinner tonight, held in a church of the denomination in which I grew up. Posted prominently in the foyer is their mission statement. It reads as follows:
The mission of _____ ______ Church is to provide a nurturing environment for Children, Youth and Adults to explore their spirituality befriending, encouraging and walking with people of all ages through good times and bad.
We have a mission of Peace, Hope and Love to share.

You can see what (or Who) is missing. No mention at all of God or Jesus. It is a completely man-centered statement. In fact, notice whose names are capitalized. In place of God, whose name we generally capitalize, the terms for various people groups, Children, Youth and Adults have been given that honour.

This from the church whose Basis of Union, in 1925, boldly declared,
...we build upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. We affirm our belief in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the primary source and ultimate standard of Christian faith and life.
We believe in the one only living and true God, a Spirit infinite, eternal and unchangeable, in His being and perfections; the Lord Almighty...
We believe in and confess the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and man...

Now reduced to, "exploring (the) spirituality..." of those now worthy of being addressed in capital letters, such spirituality meaning, I assume, whatever definition any paricular individual chooses to assign to the term.

Sad and unfortunate. How the faithful are fallen.
Take Care

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Separated at Birth?

I know Tiger's been in the news lately, but I've wondered this for some time now.

Calgary Stampeders Quarterback Henry Burris and Golfer Tiger Woods

Just wonderin'
Take Care

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Getting it Backwards :)

A traveller fell among thieves who beat him, robbed him and left him for dead by the side of the road. Along came a liberal Anglican priest and his bishop who rushed to his side.

Examining his wounds, one turned to the other and said, "The person who did this needs our help!"

Take Care