Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pretender To The Throne

I am pretty close to being way out of my league, from a literature perspective, but as a junior league political scientist I am pretty sure I understand the following statement:

Singling out the Lambeth Conference, Bishop Nazir-Ali said the Windsor Report specifically asked that those who participated in the ordination and consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson not be present at the Anglican gathering. "Despite this, they were invited to the Anglican Consultative Council meeting and they were the dominant presence. They were then invited to the Lambeth Conference."

Anyone hazard a guess as to who said that little gem?  Yep, you get three guesses and the first two do not count.  It comes from the one and only Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali.

In a recent article from (you know where) he goes on to say:

I asked why were they invited. I have not ever been given a satisfactory response. My concern is about those who laid hands on him. I am being responsible in asking that question. Of course I am willing to sit with people who differ. The Lambeth Conference is the closest thing we have to a Magisterium. I could not gather Eucharistically to teach the common faith. I have attended two Lambeth conferences, 1988 and 1998. It would have been my third conference. However (in conscience) I could not be present."
Now, I thought that the Archbishop of Canterbury was appointed by the Queen (or King) of England.  I have studied politics most of my life and I have got to say, these two statements are clearly made by this nifty Bishop with the idea that he is better than the current incumbent; smarter than the current incumbent and in all probability ought to be the incumbent.  The problem is that insulting in public the current Crown's choice cannot possibly engender warm and fuzzy feelings for +Nazir-Ali by Queen Elizabeth.  He goes on to endear himself with this quote:

The bishop ripped the present state of affairs in England saying, "Religion has stopped being a force in popular culture it had nothing to do with the elites. Politicians do not command enough respect to withstand the enormous challenges in the world."

And finally, as if John Locke came from some alien planet:
"What we need in the business of law making is increasing respect for conscience. Britain has a long respect for conscience. In recent legislation this has been neglected and denied and provision not been made for Christian believers. If we are going to have a strong tradition of public law we must respect conscience.

"Secularization and secularity are a reality, but we can see that in conducting the life of the nation today we still need the Judeo-Christian tradition to guide the nation. To be absolutely clear without it we have a serious threat of totalitarianism on one side or the other."


Now, I am not even remotely royal nor am I a successful politician but I would hazard  a guess that the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali is on someone's short list, just not the Crown's.

PS: See hubris below.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lynn's Football Food - Part 2 and Part 1 UPDATED

Okay now,  time is growing short.  You have all contributed before and now is the time to drag all those foods and recipes out from the back of the refrigerator and share them one last time.  The troll pies, and the sticky buns and the dips and the ribs and give us everything you got!!!

Football food doesn't have to be healthy - the season is short, at least compared to hockey. Heeding Fred's call for Super Bowl party recipes, I start you with something even the kitchen-challenged can make. Warning: this is a little addictive and it contains too much fat and sodium.

You can probably use reduced-fat sour cream to lighten it up. But why?

Mikey's Salsa Dip

This recipe isn't from a guy named Mikey - it's named for a young boy who ate huge amounts of it when I brought it to neighborhood football gatherings (Hail to the Redskins!) Mikey called it "Lynn Dip," so feel free to name it after anyone or anything that suits the occasion.

1 - 16 oz. container sour cream
1/2 of a 1 oz. package Ranch dip mix (I use Hidden Valley original)
1 cup chunky salsa (I use medium heat)
Optional garnish: diced tomatoes and green chiles
Corn or tortilla chips for dipping (oh, use any type of chip you like)

Blend sour cream and Ranch dip mix until smooth. Stir in salsa and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours - overnight is probably better. Dust off your chip'n dip set, fill bowl section with dip and put corn chips on the plate part. Impress your guests with the optional garnish of tomatoes and chilies. If you don't have a chip'n dip server, a regular bowl and plate will work just fine - but it might look a little tacky to serve it from the sour cream container

The original recipe for this dip calls for an entire package of Ranch dip mix and 1/2 cup of salsa, so feel free to play with this to suit your taste. It would probably be good with RO*TEL tomatoes replacing the salsa. This particular version is just the result of my faulty memory, because I forgot to write down the directions when a friend told me how to make it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Music - Amazing, uhm, well...

Alright, fellow Boomers, if this doesn't make you shake your head then smile, I've really missed something about Aerosmith. Good stuff!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Robert Duncan and Hubris

Hubris  is a term used in modern English to indicate overweening pride, self-confidence, superciliousness, or arrogance, often resulting in fatal retribution. Hubris was most evident in the public and private actions of the powerful and rich. The word was also used to describe actions of those who challenged the gods or their laws, especially in Greek tragedy, resulting in the protagonist's downfall.

While we were all watching the world change Bobby Duncan was busy trying to change the world.  Did you know that one may now apply for recognition by the Anglican Church in North America.  Here is how the first of several article begins:
The process for applying to be recognized as a diocese, cluster or network of the Anglican Church in North America is now available.

“This is an exciting time for those who have worked and prayed for so many years that we might have a united Anglican home in North America. May God guide all of us as we begin this work,” said Bishop Robert Duncan, archbishop-designate of the Anglican Church in North America.

Mr. Duncan has declared open season on joining a province that does not exist. Or rather, exists in the minds of  a few supercilious folks who are most assuredly arrogant.  Keep in mind that the official response from the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury is that "we will let everyone know when the process for application for a new province is received." 

The website to view all the documents is :

The final paragraph provides the finishing touch for Mr. Duncan:
The Anglican Church in North America is being born at an extraordinary moment in Anglican history. Pray with me that all of the complexities of this birth will be characterized by grace and charity among us, met with wide recognition and favor among our local and global partners, and be to the greater glory of God, the significant extension of the kingdom of Christ Jesus and all in the mighty power of the Holy Spirit.

Faithfully and Expectantly in Christ,
The Rt Revd Robert Duncan
Anglican Church in North America


Stick a fork in Mr. Duncan 'cause I believe he is done.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Worst Nightmare EVER!

The Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori has been sentenced to three years in a Nigerian jail for insulting the Primates Council.   ++Schori wrote a novel four years ago, which contained a passage referring to the unnamed sitting primates of the GAFCON primates Council. It sold just seven copies. She admitted the charge of insulting the Primates Council, but said she was unaware she was committing an offence.

Her self-published book, called "Up Your Nose With a Rubber Hose," was hardly well-received; in fact the only copy which is still known to exist sits on the shelf of the Nigerian National Library, freely available to the public.

Shackled in leg irons, and wearing standard-issue prison pajamas, Bishop Schori was quickly found guilty, with the Archbishop of Canterbury as the spokeswoman of the three bishop panel telling the court: "She has written a book that slandered the Primates, especially Mr. Duncan and Mr. Akinola, the Archbishop of the Southern Cone  and the bishop of San Joaquin and the entire Global South."

The court initially sentenced her to six years in jail, but reduced the term because of her guilty plea.

Before the trial Bishop Katherine had seemed stunned by what was happening to her, describing it is like a ''bad dream''. But she is just one of a growing number of people being investigated and charged under GAFCON's draconian "lese-majeste" law, as the police and army try to suppress what they fear is a rising tide of anti-conealoneialist sentiment. More than 3,000 websites have now been blocked, and one New Hampshire Bishop was jailed for six years in November for an anti-GAFCONIAN speech he made just a stone's throw from the old Lagos Cathedral last July. Several other people including Fr. Mark Harris and Fr. Jake are now awaiting trial.

As a repentant primate, ++Katherine Jefferts Schori does at least have a good chance of being pardoned by the Moderator, according to the BBC correspondent in Lagos, +Michael Nazir-Ali. The Moderator did the same for a Fort Worth man given a 10-year sentence two years ago for defacing his portrait.

As our own Madpriest was heard to say:  "Phew! That's alright, then."

Check it out -- see "Of Course I Could Be Wrong"    

Lo sentimos, pero este era demasiado bueno para pasar. (Hope that gets it.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

An Open Letter To Archbishop Rowan Williams

To the Most Reverend Rowan Williams Archbishop of Canterbury,

I am member in good standing of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America.  I am writing to you to ask for consideration for our church.  I know that the last many years have not been easy ones for any of us.  We here in the United States have with prayer and serious consideration taken actions against several senior members of our church.  After many years of discussions and much poor behavior on the part of several of our bishops, the Episcopal Church has taken the rather unusual step of deposing several bishops including John David Mercer Schofield, Robert Duncan and most recently Leo Jack Iker.  In Mr. Iker's case, he actually renounced his vows and thereby removed himself from the episcopate and his clerical status.  We ask that you now honor those actions by no longer recognizing, discussing, or otherwise entertaining any discourse with these persons.  Please understand these actions did not come lightly and without a great deal of prayer.  The actions taken were taken only after behavior became so egregious and so transparent as to leave no other alternative. 

These actions are done by our presiding bishop and in accordance with The Episcopal Church of The United States constitution and canons.  As such we believe you really have no choice but to honor these actions.  Apparently you had a meeting a few weeks ago with Mr. Duncan.  We hope that will not happen again.  While it is your prerogative to meet and talk with anyone you choose the meeting with this person, without some clarification, gives the appearance you do not care what a member province does and we know that is not true. 

We know that there is a meeting in Egypt over the next few days and one or more of these deposed bishops  may try to drag you into a discussion.  We ask that you do no such a thing.  It is one thing to recognize and work with constituents within the communion.  There is much to be done.  It is another thing to entertain those who step outside the communion and then ask you to do the same.  

Thank you for listening.  Peace to you and your family.  May God bless the Anglican Communion.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inauguration Week - Sunday Music

"...I know that tonight is the beginning of a new age of understanding and hope for all of us... The incomparable Whitney Houston belts out the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Roberts Rules of Order

You may think, what has gotten into them over at Off Topic.  They are now writing about rules of what?  And what significance has that to, well, to anything?  Good question.  Let me entertain you.  As we all know Roberts Rules of Order is the parliamentary process we all follow for all our conventions.  Maybe sightly modified for some but the fact is that WE ALL follow them.  So, I would hazard a guess that John David Mercer Schofield, Leo Jack Iker, Bobby Duncan, Et al have seen and used Roberts Rules of Order repeatedly, ad nauseam.  Would everyone agree?  Certainly  one needs to be familiar with these rules if you are going to get a word in edgewise.  Well for those of you who have a copy, and I am referring to the 2nd Edition, my version is penguin putnam books copyrighted 1989 and 1998, turn to page 246, and read section 68.  For those who do not have a copy handy here is what it states:

68.   Rights of Ecclesiastical Tribunals. Many of our deliberative assemblies
are ecclesiastical bodies, and it is important to know how much respect
will be paid to their decisions by the civil courts.

A church became divided and each party
claimed to be the church, and therefore entitled to the church property.
The case was taken into the civil courts, and finally, on appeal to the
U. S. Supreme Court, which held the case under advisement for one year,
and then reversed the decision of the State Court, because it conflicted
with the decision of the highest ecclesiastical court that had acted
upon the case. The Supreme Court, in rendering its decision, laid down
the broad principle that, when a local church is but a part of a larger
and more general organization or denomination, it will accept the
decision of the highest ecclesiastical tribunal to which the case has
been carried within that general church organization, as final, and will
not inquire into the justice or injustice of its decree as between the
parties before it. The officers, the ministers, the members, or the
church body which the highest judiciary of the denomination recognizes,
the court will recognize. Whom that body expels or cuts off, the court
will hold to be no longer members of that church.

These (then bishops now just regular folk) knew then what would become of their fate should they try and steal land and property and they went ahead anyway.  They intentionally inflicted untold misery on a wide number of people realizing that the only thing to come out of it was the expenditure of resources that could have been spent on the needy and the intentional infliction of as much pain as could be mustered on those left behind.  

On another blog, actually several blogs, there is the admonition to be kind and gentle as the thugs plans slowly come unwound.  We are told, do not gloat, do not be gleeful.  Can someone once again explain why?  I mean I understand what is being said, but, these folks intentionally, with malice and forethought set out to not only crush the church but the people in it as well!

Another Rutter Sunday

John Rutter, Magnificat: Esurientes. And a lovely rendition it is, by the Schönhausen-Chor Krefeld (Sabine Schneider, Soprano).

Thursday, January 8, 2009



Ladies and Gentlemen:  Where or where have your recipes gone?

Inauguration Day is January 20th and many, many, many of us have been looking forward to this quadrennial day for at least 8 years.  Those "lucky" enough to live in the District of Columbia metropolitan area will have a free holiday.  In addition, Super Bowl Sunday is coming to a local NBC station on February 1, 2009.  All of America will have that day off and for both occasions there will most likely be cooking galore.  I also know we here at Off Topic have not requested ANY recipes in a very long time.  Well, what better time than for the inauguration and the greatest football day of the year. 

Break into Nana's recipe file, Dad's BBQ files, Aunt Tillie's hidden papers and give us your very best shot.  Drinks, pastries, breads, meats, donuts, coffees, mixed drinks, snacks, dips, rolls, and anything you wish to have published on line.  Should we get enough recipes to create and share an online "cookbook" we will do so.  That will allow everyone to download a copy and have it courtesy of OFF TOPIC.  Now, the only rules to this whole thing are that you ought (Leonardo, you know what that means) to contribute at least two (2) recipes, they should be your favorites and each recipe should come equipped with a brief story on the recipe (not required but nice).  Do Not let the story thing slow you down!  You may contribute as many as you like and we will try and remember to get each one credited correctly.  

To top this off we are going to at least sub-title the on-line cookbook something like "With A Little Help from Jake's Friends".

Thanks for your help!  You may begin now and continue until we run out.  If you need time to look something up, go for it.  We will not "publish" until after the Super Bowl so please add as many different recipes as you like.

PS: If you don't happen to have recipes for either day but would still like to contribute by all means please do so!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sunday Music from John Gardner

A new twist on an old text, performed by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Research Time

As we all know there are several organizations in the "real world" bent on continuing the exclusion and marginalizing of segments of our society. Organizations like the Institute on Religion and Democracy. James stumbled into another and I have tried to figure out where the group is coming from but have been unable to do so. My curiosity has been aroused. The group is called the Becket Fund (supposedly named after Thomas à Becket) and here is just a little of their cause:

"Religious people and institutions are entitled to participate in public life on an equal basis with everyone else, and should not be excluded for professing their faith."
Now, if you go to The Three Legged Stool, James has referenced an advertisement that ran in the NY Times. (James, can you leave the URL for us?) If you look them up the information is interesting. For example, on the issue of gay marriage they talk about religious freedom and they use some sophisticated language BUT they repeat old saws like to one about Catholic Charities closing down in Boston. They talk about guaranteed religious liberty and defend public school vouchers. This group is very difficult to pin down because of the apparent sophistry but it sounds very much like the IRD. If you have any information (one way of the other) please leave it here. It might appear in another writing -- please leave your retrievable citation.

Thanks, Fred.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year with - ABBA?

I promise this will be the only ABBA song in 2009.