Thursday, October 23, 2014

In the West, a Growing List of Attacks Linked to Islamic Extremism

When I first read this article from the New York Times, my first reaction was, "Well, Duh?"  It seems that one cannot go very long these days without hearing of yet another attack by someone who has embraced militant Islam—like the attack at the Canadian Parliament building yesterday.  However, what is significant is that the New York Times is commenting on it and providing a catalog of the events that have happened in the past couple of years, in an apparent break from our "Community Organizer-in-Chief" who continues to deny that these attacks have any connection to Islam, to maintain that they are not acts of terrorism, and to describe the attacks as "workplace violence."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

ACNA Archbishop Recognized as Primate in the Anglican Communion

http://www.virtueonline.org/sites/default/files/styles/news-large/public/IMG_2701_0.jpg?itok=Vimv9y1K

Archbishop Foley Beach was proclaimed a "Primate in the Anglican Communion" at his Investiture as Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America before a congregation of more than 2,000 on Thursday night at the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Seven archbishops and primates of the Anglican Communion, representing more than 50 million Anglicans, laid hands on him and announced, "Foley Beach, we welcome you as Archbishop and Primate in the Anglican Communion."

Archbishop Beach was anointed for his office by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, the Chairman of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON).  The Oaths he undertook were administered by Abp. Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria, the Vice-Chairman of GAFCON.  Abp. Stanley Ntgali of Uganda, Abp. Onesiphore Rwaje of Rwanda, Abp. Stephen Than Myint Oo of Myanmar, Abp. Ezekiel Kondo of Sudan, Abp. Mouneer Hanna Anis Presiding Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East and Chairman of the Global South Primates, and Abp. Hector Zavala of the Southern Cone participated in laying hands on the new Archbishop.  Abp. Ben Kwashi and retired Abp. Greg Venables also took part.  The Primates of the Congo and Southeast Asia sent representatives.

The action comes amidst a controversy over who is and isn't a member of the Anglican Communion, —a controversy begun when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, recently said in an interview with The Irish Gazette that there is little hope of the Anglican Church in North America becoming part of the Anglican Communion.  "It is not part of the Anglican Communion," he said.  He described the ACNA as a "separate church" and an "ecumenical partner." 

In an apparent response to Welby's statement, the Primates from the Global South who participated in Thursday evening's Investiture have made it abundantly clear where they stand.
 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Lambeth 2018: Cancelled or Not Called?

Several news sources are keeping us abreast of the developing story of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's cancellation of the Lambeth conference of Anglican bishops in 2018.  The news of the cancellation became public after Katharine Jefferts Schori announced it in response to a bishop's question at the recent TEC House of Bishops meeting in Taiwan.

For his part, Archbishop Welby is backtracking from the perception that the conference has been cancelled.  An Anglican Communion News Service article contained this quote:
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has responded to inaccurate media reports that the Lambeth Conference had been cancelled by saying, "As it hasn’t been called, it can’t have been cancelled."
These kinds of statements defy belief.  C'mon Justin, everyone knows that the Lambeth Conference of Bishops has met in the eighth year of each decade for more than 70 years.  Not to have it in 2018 is, for all intents and purposes, to cancel it.

Cancelling it, postponing it, not calling it—whatever—given the current climate in the Communion, is probably a wise thing to do.  More than 200 bishops declined to attend in 2008, following actions by the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada to depart from historic Christian faith and morals. 

Admittedly, all the positive rhetoric around the health of the Anglican Communion is what some leaders often believe is a necessity.  While being more candid (not to say honest) might be seen as too negative and terribly un-British, the spin regarding the situation of the Communion is so unbelievable as to be preposterous.  Consider this statement by Abp. Welby regarding his contact with the Primates:
"All the indications are that they want the Communion to flourish,” he said, “that they want to have meetings to discuss the issues that face us: How do we live as a Communion in a way that demonstrates very important differences over issues of sexuality?
Writing on Stand Firm, Sarah Hey rightly observes:
Well, no.  That is not the purpose of “meetings”—to decide how to live “as a Communion” while having “very important differences over issues of sexuality.”

The repeated statement by at least the Gafcon Primates, and many of the remaining Global South Primates is that the actions of The Episcopal Church are intrinsically communion-dividing.  It’s not a question of “how will the Communion divide”—that division, albeit internal, has already occurred.  The further question is not “how can we all live together in the midst of our profound disagreements” but is rather “what is to be done with the Provinces which have engaged in intrinsically communion-dividing actions?”

That is the question, to which an appropriate answer has already been provided by Scripture, tradition, reason, and 22 of the Anglican Communion Provinces. 
[Amen.  Amen.  Amen.]

Concurrently with this spin over the cancellation of the 2018 Lambeth conference comes a statement in an interview by Archbishop Welby that the Anglican Church in North America is not a part of the Anglican Communion.  Well, technically, if membership in the Communion is dependent on an invitation to a Lambeth Conference by the Archbishop of Canterbury, then no the ACNA is not a member.  Of course, Welby could change all that by simply inviting the ACNA bishops to the next Lambeth conference. 

In any event, there are two facts on the ground that Archbishop Welby needs to recognize: 

1.  The Anglican Communion is already divided, as A.S. Haley very ably documented.
2.  Twenty-two provinces (a majority of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion) already recognize the Anglican Church in North America (just as the Diocese of Northwest Australia did this past week).  These provinces also represent the overwhelming majority of the world's active, church-going Anglicans.

Imagine a Communion that embraced the vitality and orthodoxy of GAFCON and the Global South and that disciplined the decadent and heterodox churches of the West.  This could be a moment in which the Church of the 21st century stood proudly and boldly with the communion of saints down through the ages.  Instead, Archbishop Welby's failure to recognize the situation as it truly exists (and his worthless and inconsequential attempts at reconciliation) will only prolong the Anglican Communion's malaise.
 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Hillaire Belloc on Democrats?

Could Hillaire Belloc (1870-1953) have been writing about 21st century Democrats?  You be the judge:

The Barbarian hopes — and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too.  He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being.  Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is ever marveling that civilization should have offended him with priests and soldiers ....  In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this, that he cannot make: that he can befog and destroy but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true.
 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

And you thought idol worship was dead?

More than 400,000 people turned out for the People's Climate March in New York City on Sunday, just days before many of the world's leaders are expected to debate environmental action at the United Nations climate summit.

The march began around 11:30 a.m., at New York City's Columbus Circle just off Central Park. At times, it stretched more than 4 miles as marchers carried banners, signs and entire contraptions depicting everything from Mother Earth herself to the dinosaurs that now make up fossil fuels.  Amidst all the lunacy that one person characterized on Twitter as the "biggest joke in history" came this float that people actually bowed, prostrated themselves and worshiped:


I suppose I shouldn't be surprised since things like climate change hysteria are what people turn to when they have lost their reason and are ensnared by the latest cultural fad.

Robert Kennedy Jr. was at the People's Climate March and even went so far as to suggest that those who oppose the notion of man-made global warming should be imprisoned.  (Did you ever notice how quickly and easily many liberals become fascists when you disagree with them?)  Thank God for the First Amendment!

So for Robert Kennedy Jr. and all the other false god worshipers out there, you might want to consider this:
I could go on, but you get the idea.  The disturbing thing is that people like Robert Kennedy Jr. want to put people in jail for refusing to bow to their false god of global warming.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Deportations down 20 percent, fewest since 2007

This morning I read an article that ended with the following sentence:
As of early September, only 319 of more than 59,000 immigrants who were caught traveling with their families have been returned to Central America.
Are we surprised?  No, because the government is doing what the government always does: Nothing, and then they wait until the storm blows over.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

28,000 Pro-ISIS Twitter Accounts Created Since James Foley Murder

This could fall under the heading, "Why I Despair for the World, Reason #32":

From here:

At least 28,000 Twitter accounts supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have been set up since the beheading of American journalist James Foley, according to a Web intelligence firm. Twitter vowed to suspend accounts posting graphic imagery or "calls to violent actions" after Foley's murder was filmed by the Sunni group and then spread online last month. But an analysis by Recorded Future carried out for Britain's Sky News showed 60,000 pro-jihadi profiles had been set up since May, including 28,000 since the video of Foley’s murder emerged on August 20. 

And in the 24 hours after video was released showing U.S. reporter Steven Sotloff’s murder by ISIS, 10 percent of all references to the footage were positive, the analysis showed. ISIS has employed Twitter, sophisticated videos and professional-sounding music recordings to spread its message around the world in a way not seen before in militant organizations.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

A Tale of Two Patients

I am posting this because it strongly resembles the ordeal I am having trying to get decent healthcare in Montrose, Colorado.  And I believe there are some members of my parish who have had similar experiences:

2 patients limp into two different doctors' offices with the same complaint: 

Both have trouble walking and may require hip surgery.


Patient #1 is examined within the hour, is x-ray'd the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

Patient #2 sees his family doctor after waiting 3 weeks for an appointment, then waits 8 weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn't reviewed for another week, and finally has his surgery scheduled for 6 months from then, pending the review board's decision on his age and remaining value to society.

Why the different treatment for the 2 patients?

The FIRST is a Golden Retriever taken to a vet.

The SECOND is a Senior Citizen on Obamacare.

In we don't change the party in control of the Senate in November 2014 and the White House in November 2016, we will all have to find a good vet.

The one difference is that I am not a senior citizen on Obamacare.  I am a working individual with regular health insurance trying to get healthcare in a system that has been affected (for the worse) by Obamacare.  Doctors in this town aren't taking new patients (some of them for fear of getting saddled with Obamacare patients).  Obamacare has also caused a number of doctors to stop taking Medicare patients--in a town full of retirees, most of whom are on Medicare!  Some of the doctors--three this month alone--are leaving town or quitting private practice.  Those quitting private practice are doing so to avoid the bureaucracy and headaches caused by Obamacare.  Those who are moving elsewhere are going into larger practices where there are additional staff to deal with the bureaucracy and red tape.  The shortage of physicians in Montrose is creating a mentality of scarcity with regard to healthcare, which has the effect of causing healthcare providers to treat patients as a commodity rather than as valued customers.  

Now I know what healthcare in the Soviet Union must have been like--rationed, impersonal, uncaring.  Thank you Mr. Obama.  Thank you Mr. Reid, Mrs. Pelosi.  And thank you healthcare professionals who have allowed yourselves to be turned into healthcare bureaucrats.
 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The "Heart-Shield Bible" and the Destiny of a Nation

Seventy five years ago, today, on September 3, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation with one of his famous "Fireside Chats" stating his resolve to remain a neutral nation in the war in Europe, which culminated in an American Proclamation of Neutrality declared on September 5th.

However, all of that changed with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. In his famous "date which will live in infamy" message to Congress requesting that the United States officially declare war on Japan, President Roosevelt stated, "With confidence in our armed forces—with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God."


What changed on December 7 was the realization that this war was one that the United States could not avoid.  It was a war against a totalitarian ideology that was bent on world domination if left unstopped, and the outcome would affect the course of human history.  Like another war in which we find ourselves today, it was a war for the soul of the world.

A reflection of President Roosevelt's confidence in God and our military (along with his concern for individual American soldiers) was later evident in what is now known as The Heart-Shield Bible.  These Bibles (used during World War II) were designed to fit securely into the chest pocket of a soldier’s uniform.  The Bibles contained metal plates, securely attached to the front cover of the Bible and could stop a bullet from reaching the soldier's heart.  There were several reported incidents of the Bibles indeed saving a soldier's life.  In the back is a section of psalms and hymns, including “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,”  “America the Beautiful,” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”  In the front, there is a note to the soldiers directly from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
 
"As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States.  Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration.  It is a foundation of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul."

Well before America joined World War II, on the 400th anniversary of the English Bible in 1935, President Roosevelt reminded the nation of the Bible's importance in America's formation and continuance:  

"We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a Nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. . . . Where we have been truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity; where it has been to us as the words of a book that is sealed, we have faltered in our way, lost our range finders, and found our progress checked. It is well that we observe this anniversary of the first publishing of our English Bible. The time is propitious to place a fresh emphasis upon its place and worth in the economy of our life as a people."
Can you imagine a president saying that today?   Remember the recent attempt by the Freedom from Religion Foundation to have Gideon Bibles removed from lodgings on US military facilities?  U.S. Navy staff members had already begun the removal of the Bibles when an outcry from the American public caused the military to reverse this ill-advised decision.  But the fight continues between those who would keep our nation true to its Judeo-Christian heritage and those who would destroy that heritage and turn our country into a godless, atheistic state.  It is another war for the soul of our country and the world, and the outcome will affect the course of human history.

Consider the following statements by Alexis de Tocqueville, the famous 19th century French statesman, historian and social philosopher.  He traveled to America in the 1830s to discover the reasons for the incredible success of this new nation.   He published his observations in his classic two-volume work, Democracy in America.  He was especially impressed by America's religious character.  Here are some amazingly insightful excerpts from Tocqueville's great work:
Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.

In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.

Religion in America...must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it.  Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief.

I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion—for who can search the human heart?  But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions.  This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.


In the United States, the sovereign authority is religious...there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people...

Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent...

I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors...; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.

Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts—the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.
Did you notice Tocqueville's warning?  "... if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."   Goodness requires a morality—and morality begins with God.

Some people today view the "culture wars" as not being their fight.  They think they can "sit this one out" and that the United States will somehow be okay, and that things will go on more or less as they always have.  I am here to tell you that this is not true.  The "culture wars," as we have come to call them, are a world war—a war for the hearts, minds, and souls of humankind.

There are wars in history that have been pivotal in the course of human civilization:
  • The victory of the democratic Greeks over the tyrannical Persians in the Graeco-Persians Wars (499-449 BC) 
  • The defeat of Maximian by Constantine at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in AD 312.
  • The defeat of the Muslim invaders (the Umayyad Caliphate) by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732.
  • The defeat of the British in the Revolutionary War, that marked the beginning of the United States as a "a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" (and, though Lincoln stopped his quotation from the Declaration of Independence short, that "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights")—a unique and distinctly theistic beginning, unlike any nation ever brought into being. 
  • The defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allied Forces in World War II (1940-1945).
  • The defeat of Communism in the Cold War (generally agreed by historians as 1945-1991).
There have been other important victories that have determined the course of history—I have listed only a few of the most important ones.  We do ourselves a dangerous disservice if we underestimate the importance of any of them.

But, whether we are aware of it or not, we are currently engaged in a war is every bit as important as any war that has ever been fought.  Whether those on the side of good win this war will determine the future of human civilization.

We cannot simply "sit this one out."  We must throw off apathy and press on undeterred by the forces of political correctness and worldly compromise.  We must oppose those of any religious establishment, any political party, the "cultural elites," and their allies in the media who would conspire to rob us of our heritage, our faith, and our destiny as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  So help us God!