Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Music

Yes, this is a repeat, but you just can't loose with a clip that has lines like "God's trying to tell you something" and "See daddy, sinners got soul, too!"

I'm thankful today for many things, and I hope you are, too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tip of the hat to James for this little nugget.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Senior Bishops of the communion "significantly excluding ++Orambi and ++Anis" (don't you just love the language of R. Gledhill) may discipline  Archbishop Venables for his continuing unrepentant plundering of the Episcopal Church of The United States and the Church of Canada.  Now here is the punishment -- do not blink because  it is going to go by in an instant: 

Here is an holy person who has not only encouraged the removal of funds and both real and personal property but also shared in the booty.  I suppose if we add it all up it comes to millions of dollars.  Who continues to invade both the US and the Canadian churches with impunity and not remorse.  He flaunts the valid and factual deposition of bishops that have broken their vows and receives into "his" province clergy that have been inhibited by valid bishops in TEC.   

So what do you think he is going to get?  20 years to life? Nope! How about 5 - 10 with a possibility of parole in 4 years?  Nope!  How about 18 months in a county jail?  Nope!  How about house arrest with a GPS collar so he cannot go anywhere for a while?  Nope!  Here is what he "gets":

"The penalty being considered against the Southern Cone, which has 22,000 members in Argentina and surrounding nations, includes the removal of voting rights at the forthcoming meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, the central governing body of the Anglican Communion, in Jamaica next May."

The senior bishops are going to send the Archbishop, who has taken a substantial portion of 4 American diocese and their assets,  to bed without any supper!  And THEY say that crime doesn't pay!  No wonder we have so many bishops (real, deposed, inhibited, pretend) all wanting a piece of the action.  For those who have read any detail on the ENRON debacle maybe GAFCON is the new spelling for ENRON.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Music - Out of the Deep

A piece from Rutter's Requiem needs little introduction...enjoy the cello's rich tones on this chilly morning.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Time For Dramatic Action

The Diocese of Forth Worth was the fourth diocese to vote to "transfer" to the Province of the Southern Cone.  There are a number of parishes that have realigned with the AMiA and other provinces.  

Since we are  all engaging in wishful thinking, let's try this one on.  These provinces have by now all received  funds from the various parishes and diocese.  At a minimum, the property that is currently occupied by the various Southern Cone and AMiA have transferred their property to these interlopers.  They are at a minimum the receiver of stolen goods. (BTW, I am not an attorney and this is JUST WISHFUL thinking).  These provinces may have received some cash that the former diocese took with them and have sent on as their assessments to the newly minted provinces.  TEC has deposed a couple of bishops for abandonment and we are suing the Mr. John David Schofield for property and cash.  So what is keeping us from naming at least ++Venables and ++Orambi and ++Nzimbi and ++Akinola in each and everyone one of these suits?  In addition, should any or all of these parties that would be named in the suit set foot on the soil of the United States could we not presume they are being paid by and therefore using the funds from those diocese that absconded with the funds.  Once named in the lawsuits, could we not ask the local police to detain these fellows indefinitely as alleged thieves and extreme flight risks?  If we are going to share things it seems only fitting that we share all the things that go along with the division of the spoils.  This approach would surely slow down these thugs from travelling and stirring the pot.  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunday Music - Modern Saints?

Sara Groves, When the Saints, and not at all what you will expect! Enjoy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Great Post Prop 8 Article

In a prior post, in the comments section, I indicated I was headed to my room.  While going there I ran into the following article.  Against my regular principles I am going to post the entire article but you all can go to the San Francisco Chronicle to see it in its pristine format.

Proposition 8 has passed, denying to some the right enjoyed by other citizens in California, the right to marry. Now, the central question for the courts to decide is: Are gays in California equal, or can members of certain churches declare them constitutionally inferior?The approval of a constitutional ban on gay marriage raises troubling but age-old issues concerning the lines between religion and government. Before the founders of our country separated church and state, there were hundreds of years of turmoil caused by one religion dominating the government and using it against nonbelievers.

In the aftermath of Tuesday's vote, do gays and lesbians in California have a reason to believe that they have been abused, discriminated against and relegated to a separate-but-equal status?

Yes, and that's why this fight is far from over. There will be a challenge under the U.S. Constitution. In the 1960s, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California constitutional amendment that limited fair housing on the grounds that prejudice could not be put into a state Constitution.

No one can forecast the outcome of this next fight, but there is bound to be some fallout that may harm those religions that so vehemently insisted that their beliefs be placed in the California Constitution. All religions require tolerance to flourish, but in Proposition 8 some religious groups aimed at and wounded gay people in California.

The drafters of the U.S. Constitution had a brilliant, experienced view concerning the importance of drawing the lines to protect religion on the one hand and civil government on the other. They put those lines in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Today, those lines are very relevant.

Government may not attack religion. Californians who have religious beliefs concerning the proper scope of marriage may exercise those rights as they see fit. Churches have always been able to proceed as they wish concerning marriage ceremonies. There was no mandate to suppress religious beliefs. This should be obvious to everyone in California because of our tolerance of all religions.

That the supporters of Proposition 8 were motivated by religious beliefs cannot be denied. Now the religious beliefs of some Californians are in our Constitution and, until overturned, govern us all whether we like it or not.

The other branch of the First Amendment is equally important. The state may not establish a religion. The state may not take principles of religious belief from a religion, any religion, and establish it as the law applicable to all. This line establishing the double branch of protection of religion on the one hand and no establishment on the other was arrived at after hundreds of years of turmoil.

Historically, marriage was used as a method of oppressing a despised group. These lessons of history are relevant to reflect on today. In Ireland, for 150 years, the penal laws provided that no Protestant could marry a Catholic.

Much more recent in the United States were the rules against marriage between a black person and a white person. These were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1960s and the California Supreme Court in the 1940s. Using the civil marriage ceremony as a method of expressing governmental disdain toward a particular group is as old as the Sierra Nevada. It has been an assault on tolerance.

Finally, marriage is a fundamental right in constitutional analysis. There are very few things in life more important than the ability to choose one's partner. Marriage is not just a word; it is a status, a state of mind, a way of being. Look in any direction and you will see examples of the people's respect for the institution of marriage.

A large group of Californians has now been denied that fundamental institution. These folks are our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues and our relatives. The constitutional promise of this state is, as the California Supreme Court held, that they are equally protected in the enjoyment of rights by all Californians. But the voters have spoken.

Now it will be up to the courts to explain whether equality is real - or just an illusion. I would not wish to be the one to justify this vote to a gay woman going to Afghanistan in the military, to a gay police officer who risks everything so we may be safe or any of the other thousands of gays lesbians in California who contribute so much to our culture, our advancement and our well being.

I cannot square this vote with my view that Californians are decent, accepting and tolerant. But I know that the gays and lesbians of California, like the oppressed Catholics of Ireland who lived under penal laws, will fight this visible, constitutional, embarrassing injustice until it is no more. And when that day comes, we will live in a better state.

James Brosnahan, author of the "Trial Handbook for California Lawyers," is a senior partner at the Morrison & Foerster law firm in San Francisco.

This article appeared on page G - 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Now, you can reach me in my room, apparently I need a timeout.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Don't Give Up! (Sunday Music)

This is a piece of extraordinary warmth, love and kindness. Enjoy the blessing of either tears or a smile, or laugh because it's too sentimental.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


In the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 8 the wagons have been circled and we are shooting each other!  What in the world is going on?  

To name just a couple of the areas where the "rough and tumble boogie" is being played out.  

There is a huge disappointment from the LGBT community.  In California we went from the mountain top with the Supreme Court ruling to the the depths of the valley with the passage of Proposition 8.  Now, we are beating the crap out of anyone and everyone for all sorts of reasons when in fact we should be gathering our resources and responding in ways that will support the LGBT community.  The folks at the "other sites" are having a field day with this and do not think for one minute that this nonsense going on is not going to come back and hurt the need for full rights for all people.  Peaceful protests, peaceful marching in the streets, letter writing campaigns, court action (which seems to be the most sensible/productive) are all things we should be focusing on.  Beating each other up does not strike me as really productive.  Bating up those that hurt you does not seem like a way in which to change their minds -- in fact it is counter productive.  In fact it gives the enemies of constitutional rights more ammunition to go after other persons rights.

I cannot walk in your shoes, I cannot feel your pain, and I cannot feel your despair.  I am not you.  But I do support your drive for full rights like yesterday.  Keep in mind that courts have said the LGBT person has these God-given rights.  This proposition 8 has denied them to you but they have not taken them away from you, no one and nothing can do that.  We just need the courts to once again reiterate that fact.  It will happen.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Do you remember the feeling of being at a parade after the parade has passed?  How about the feeling on Christmas day after all the packages are unwrapped and the dinner has been consumed.  It is an empty feeling, a feeling that it was great while it lasted but did I miss something. A feeling somewhere inside, I cannot quite describe where, that tugs at your stomach and feels like I ate too much but I didn't.   The feeling that while the parade was passing I was terribly excited but I missed something, what was I looking for that did not go by?  What was I expecting at Christmas but did not get?  It is not exactly sorrow, it certainly is not anger and it is not really depression though it feels like it a lot.  It is a mix of joy sadness, exuberance and melancholy, of hope and frustration.

I am grateful that after 40 years my generation had some small part to play in the election of a person of color.  After 40 years of riding the money train we hopped off long enough to remember why we are here and took action.  There is, as there should be, great joy in this nation.  We are about to embark on a journey that was somehow interrupted back in 1963 and in 1968.  Finally, praise God, we are back on task.

That being said there is still that awful feeling.  Our LGBT friends had there hopes and dreams smashed -- once again.  Here in California apparently one can vote for some to be free but not all.  We have not yet got the message that as long as one person, one group of people, one class of people suffers oppression none of us is free.  

I love what we as a country have done.  The parade was extra special this time.  My birthday party was fun but I am still missing something.  We are missing our LGBT brothers and sisters standing side by side with us as the parade passes.  We forgot to invite our LGBT brothers and sisters to our birthday party.  There is much work to be done.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The time is come and the day is here.  You owe it to yourself to get to the polls and vote.  I have said this about a billion times -- we are the government -- and it starts with the polling booth.  It is a sacred duty and the primary reason for our educational system.

I am told by a very well informed confidant that should you need help on the issues Fr. Christian Troll is offering his services (for a small fee?)

All kidding aside -  VOTE   -

Monday, November 3, 2008


The Los Angeles Times has an editorial today the clearly debunks all the myths surrounding the pro-proposition 8 arguments. Ordinarily I would simply link to that article and allow the readership to go and read it for yourself. As a gift, you do not have to do all that work, here it is:

No on Proposition 8
Debunking the myths used to promote the ban on same-sex marriage.
November 2, 2008

Clever magicians practice the art of misdirection -- distracting the eyes of the audience to something attention-grabbing but irrelevant so that no one notices what the magician is really doing. Look over at that fuchsia scarf, up this sleeve, at anything besides the actual trick.

The campaign promoting Proposition 8, which proposes to amend the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriages, has masterfully misdirected its audience, California voters. Look at the first-graders in San Francisco, attending their lesbian teacher's wedding! Look at Catholic Charities, halting its adoption services in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal! Look at the church that lost its tax exemption over gay marriage! Look at anything except what Proposition 8 is actually about: a group of people who are trying to impose on the state their belief that homosexuality is immoral and that gays and lesbians are not entitled to be treated equally under the law.

That truth would never sell in tolerant, live-and-let-live California, and so it has been hidden behind a series of misleading half-truths. Once the sleight of hand is revealed, though, the campaign's illusions fall away.

Take the story of Catholic Charities. The service arm of the Roman Catholic Church closed its adoption program in Massachusetts not because of the state's gay marriage law but because of a gay anti-discrimination law passed many years earlier. In fact, the charity had voluntarily placed older foster children in gay and lesbian households -- among those most willing to take hard-to-place children -- until the church hierarchy was alerted and demanded that adoptions conform to the church's religious teaching, which was in conflict with state law. The Proposition 8 campaign, funded in large part by Mormons who were urged to do so by their church, does not mention that the Mormon church's adoption arm in Massachusetts is still operating, even though it does not place children in gay and lesbian households.

How can this be? It's a matter of public accountability, not infringement on religion. Catholic Charities acted as a state contractor, receiving state and federal money to find homes for special-needs children who were wards of the state, and it faced the loss of public funding if it did not comply with the anti-discrimination law. In contrast, LDS (for Latter-day Saints) Family Services runs a private adoption service without public funding. Its work, and its ability to follow its religious teachings, have not been altered.

That San Francisco field trip? The children who attended the wedding had their parents' signed permission, as law requires. A year ago, with the same permission, they could have traveled to their teacher's domestic-partnership ceremony. Proposition 8 does not change the rules about what children are exposed to in school. The state Education Code does not allow schools to teach comprehensive sex education -- which includes instruction about marriage -- to children whose parents object.

Another "Yes on 8" canard is that the continuation of same-sex marriage will force churches and other religious groups to perform such marriages or face losing their tax-exempt status. Proponents point to a case in New Jersey, where a Methodist-based nonprofit owned seaside land that included a boardwalk pavilion. It obtained an exemption from state property tax for the land on the grounds that it was open for public use and access. Events such as weddings -- of any religion -- could be held in the pavilion by reservation. But when a lesbian couple sought to book the pavilion for a commitment ceremony, the nonprofit balked, saying this went against its religious beliefs.

The court ruled against the nonprofit, not because gay rights trump religious rights but because public land has to be open to everyone or it's not public. The ruling does not affect churches' religious tax exemptions or their freedom to marry whom they please on their private property, just as Catholic priests do not have to perform marriages for divorced people and Orthodox synagogues can refuse to provide space for the weddings of interfaith couples. And Proposition 8 has no bearing on the issue; note that the New Jersey case wasn't about a wedding ceremony.

Much has been made about same-sex marriage changing the traditional definition of marriage. But marriage has evolved for thousands of years, from polygamous structures in which brides were so much chattel to today's idealized love matches. In seeking to add a sentence to California's Constitution that says, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized," Proposition 8 supporters seek to enforce adherence to their own religious or personal definition. The traditional makeup of families has changed too, in ways that many religious people find immoral. Single parents raise their children; couples divorce and blend families. Yet same-sex marriage is the only departure from tradition that has been targeted for constitutional eradication.

Religions and their believers are free to define marriage as they please; they are free to consider homosexuality a sin. But they are not free to impose their definitions of morality on the state. Proposition 8 proponents know this, which is why they have misdirected the debate with highly colored illusions about homosexuals trying to take away the rights of religious Californians. Since May, when the state Supreme Court overturned a proposed ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, more than 16,000 devoted gay and lesbian couples have celebrated the creation of stable, loving households, of equal legal stature with other households. Their happiness in no way diminishes the rights or happiness of others.

Californians must cast a clear eye on Proposition 8's real intentions. It seeks to change the state Constitution in a rare and terrible way, to impose a single moral belief on everyone and to deprive a targeted group of people of civil rights that are now guaranteed. This is something that no Californian, of any religious belief, should accept. Vote no to the bigotry of Proposition 8. (my emphasis).

PS: Thanks to cany and Susan Russell for the heads up.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Music

Just your typical All Saints' Sunday music... something for you K.D. Lang fans.