Archive for the ‘Episcopaganism’ Category

So much for "all are welcome"

November 16th, 2009 No comments

Former clinic director: Church chilly to my pro-life turn

Whereas clergy and parishioners welcomed her as a Planned Parenthood employee, now they are buttonholing her after Sunday services.

“Now that I have taken this stand, some of the people there are not accepting of that,” she told The Washington Times. “People have told me they disagree with my choice. One of the things I’ve been told is that as Episcopalians, we embrace our differences and disagreements. While I agree with that, I am not sure I can go to a place where I don’t feel I am welcome.”

The couple made St. Francis their home. They were confirmed Episcopalians, and their daughter, now 3, was baptized there. A photo on the front page of the church’s Web site,, shows her seated at the right end of the front row, holding a girl dressed in pink. Her husband, dressed in an orange shirt, is to her right.

“Chief among our values,” says a statement below the photo, “are service, tolerance and understanding of the people and events that God has put into our lives.”

Now the Johnsons are “reconsidering” their membership. Another Planned Parenthood staffer who was a member of St. Francis has not attended since Mrs. Johnson made her new views public a month ago.

I wish I could say I’m surprised. But “we embrace our differences and disagreements” actually means “you will be assimilated.” Since Mr. Johnson has rejected the Borg programming, she now needs to be expelled from the collective.

Because, after all, one can’t tolerate the “intolerant.”

Categories: Episcopaganism, Molech Tags:

Compare and Contrast

February 16th, 2008 No comments

Compare this:

LOS ANGELES – The Bishop of the Epsicopal diocese of Los Angeles has issued an apology to Hindus worldwide for what he called “centuries-old acts of religious discrimination by Christians, including attempts to convert them” reports India Abroad. The apology was given in a statement read to over 100 Hindu spiritual leaders at a mass from Right Reverend J John Bruno. The ceremony started with a Hindu priestess blowing a conch shell three times and included sacred chants.

This meeting was the result of a dialogue, started three years ago, between Hindu leaders and Rev. Karen MacQueen, who was deeply influenced by Hindu Vedanta philosophy and opposes cultivating conversions. “There are enough Christians in the world,” she said.

With this:


Each Sunday morning, Kumar sits in a folding chair, waiting for the rock band to start up, and the preacher to give a seeker-sensitve sermon. The chairs are partly filled, in a school gymnasium, just outside Washington, D.C.

He’s a small man, from Chennai, India, and here, in the rows for the audience, he’s part of someone’s Big Vision. Like many others, the church start-up has a visionary, who hopes it becomes the next Willow Creek, even hoping to buy 40 acres in suburban D.C. (Anyone got a half-bil for that?)

And Kumar, who’s 36, drives each day to his office job at Sun Microsystems, where he spends a lot of time checking urgent email from very far away.

Friday night, I walked with Kumar, and our mutual friend, Woody, to a crowded Whole Foods Market in Alexandria. I made a salad about four times bigger than his, but when we got back to the hotel room, it took him a couple hours to finish. I kept asking questions. He kept answering.


Kumar was on a crowded bus in Chennai, India. He heard God’s voice. “Unmistakably,” he says. I heard God say, twice, ‘Seek Me.’ That was it. Twice.”

Just “Seek Me”?

“Just ‘Seek Me’. And I knew it was God, but which God? I was Hindu. Was it Vishnu? Calli…? No idea. I just knew it was God. Somehow, I knew it. Unmistakable.”

And Kumar isn’t the gullible type. He has multiple advanced degrees in Aero Engineering and Physics, for starters, from the M.I.T.-equivalent in India.

He studied and researched, but just wasn’t satisfied that it was one of his familiar gods, and eventually found a friend with a Bible — a “good luck charm” — and traded a textbook for it. He started reading, got confused, but eventually was pointed to Jesus.

He became a Jesus-follower. Costly decision.


His parents weren’t happy. They scheduled an arranged marriage. Kumar met his wife-to-be on Friday, told her and his parents on Saturday about his Jesus decision, and got married on Sunday. “They thought it would blow over,” he says. It didn’t.

Six months later, there was an intervention. Her family, his family, neighbors, friends — 150 people strong — all telling him to repudiate his faith. He refused. His parents, fearing for their reputation, said he should leave the area immediately. They would tell everyone that he was dead.

A few years later, he went back to India. Kumar took his vacation from Sun, and headed over with no plan. He just went door-to-door, and told people about Jesus.

The first day, 45 people decided to become Jesus-followers. How’d THAT happen?

“I don’t know. I just went door to door, and neighbors would introduce me to others, and I was amazed.”


Kumar still takes his vacations, two weeks a year, and heads to India. But things have grown. From those first 45, and from his trips over the past seven years…

More than 100,000 conversions. 139 communities. More than 100 pastors. Model orphanages for children suffering from AIDS Schools for Dalit children, the lowest-of-the-low in India. Shelters for little girls, now rescued from prostitution. Food. Medicine. Jesus.

Read the whole thing. Seeing both of these stories on the same day, well …

“To be sane in a mad time is bad for the brain, worse for the heart.” — Wendell Berry.

What could be more mad than to be a Christian who doesn’t want to tell people about Jesus?

And yet … in the grand scheme of things, I’m far more like +Bruno than like Kumar.

Mea culpa. Kyrie eleison.

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; prayer therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
— Luke 10:2

Divining what's wrong with the Episcopal Church today

September 28th, 2005 No comments

Seen in the October, 2005 Ann Arbor Observer calendar of events:

spiritsisters Women’s Circle.
All women invited to discuss spirituality, relationships, empowerment, metaphysics, and healing. Short meditation session. Bring divination tools, if you like. Temple Beth Emeth/St. Clare’s Episcopal Church, 2309 Packard. $3. 741-0478.

At least they’re not hosting a group whose practices are are really offensive to what the Episcopal Church stands for — you know, like those nasty knuckle-dragging Boy Scouts.

When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
Isaiah 8:19 (NIV)

God have mercy.

Categories: Episcopaganism Tags:

The Episcopal Church of Michigan: Spending Your Offering on Neo-Pagan Queer Activism

May 16th, 2004 No comments

Chris Johnson alerted me to this bit of nonsense about to happen in my own backyard:

Hosted by the Faith Action Network, a project of the Michigan office of The American Friends Service Committee Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Issues Program, Together in Faith will bring together LGBT and Ally people of all ages, races, religions and spiritualities from around the country for skill-enhancing workshops led by nationally renowned activists and community-building activities with like-minded progressive People of Faith/Spirit/Conscience. Attendees will leave with new information, tools and networks to help them create LGBT-affirming cities and faith communities.

Together in Faith will begin with a multifaith service and reception on the evening of Friday, May 21, 2004. Presentations and workshops will begin Saturday morning and the conference will conclude Saturday night. All events will take place at or near Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Here are some of the workshops offered:

For your inner neo-pagan:

Speaker: Macha Nightmare

“Sex & Spells: Gender and Political Activism in the Witchen Community”

We will sit in circle for focused discussion about gender, power, and the many ways that people change culture. We will address our values and the ethics of spellwork, after which we will plan, create and empower our own collaborative spell for change in harmony with our values and in accordance with our wills.

For those of you who didn’t get enough of the “Christianity is inherently anti-Semitic” meme during the run-up to The Passion of the Christ, you can get some more with a Queer Power/Jews Rule! twist:

Speaker: Debra Kolodny

“Challenging Christian Hegemony in Interfaith Organizing”

Interfaith activists usually share the powerful, transformative and holy call to ensure that justice and respect flow to all people, regardless of race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, economic class or other identity variable. What obligation do those on this journey have to understand and stand in solidarity with those whom Christianity has negated or diminished? Come explore how Christian scripture, theology and practice can and does diminish if not dismiss the holiness of Judaism. Discover how failure to address this can create an insidious, often subtle, and frequently unconscious anti-Jewish climate, even in the most progressive of circles. Finally, work together to unlearn this harmful dynamic and stand as an ally and appreciator of Jews and Judaism.

And, of particular interest to Michigan Episcopalians, here’s this little gem:

Speaker: Jim Toy

“Advocating vs. Trans/Bi/Homophobic Harassment, Discrimination, and Assault”

A discussion of the characteristics of initiative politics and issues of ethics and morality.
Jim teaches us how to spot an Anti-LGBT argument and fallacy. He discusses helpful pro-LGBT tactics. Learn to teach others how to tolerate, support and advocate for LGBT concerns.

So who is Jim Toy? I hadn’t heard of him before, but his bio according to “Together in Faith” shows that he’s kept busy:

Jim Toy, MSW, Interpersonal Practice, University of Michigan, 1981. First homosexual person publicly out in Michigan (1970). Co-founder of first staff office for queer concerns in a U.S. institution of higher learning (University of Michigan, 1971). Co-author, City of Ann Arbor nondiscrimination ordinances on sexual oriention (1972) and gender identity (1999) Advocate for queer concerns, Episcopal Diocese of Michigan (1970 – present) [emphasis mine] Co-Founder, various HIV/AIDS agencies and groups (1983 – present) Founding Member, ASFC LGBT Issues Program “Towards Understanding” Committee. Founding Member, AFSC Faith Action Network.

Now, I suppose that could just mean that Mr. Toy is a crank who’s been harrassing Michigan bishops for 34 years — “Advocate for Queer Concerns” doesn’t really sound like the title of a diocisan position (yet). Let’s see what else is out there about Jim Toy

Oh look. An old version of the American Friend’s Service Comittee page lists Jim Toy as the contact for “Committee on Lesbian and Gay Concerns, Diocese of Michigan.” Maybe that job title isn’t too far off.

[Sidebar: I tried looking up that committee’s membership, just to verify whether Mr. Toy is still on it. No luck there — but I did find Church and Society Committee: A Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. This would be the committee which boasts of funding both Planned Parenthood and the Triangle Foundation. More of your offering dollars at work.]

Not to mention, Mr. Toy’s name appears as a member of the editorial board of The Record (the diocisan newsletter) as recently as last year. I assume his term expired then, since he’s not listed as a current board member. I am thinking this may explain some things about the editorial tone of the paper regarding all things “human sexuality”-related.

Jim Toy even managed to get himself quoted in the Detroit New’s coverage of the controversy prior to GC2003:

“It sends a message to the entire Christian community that God is a God of everyone. If God is all accepting, can we be less?” asked Jim Toy, a member of St. Matthew and St. Joseph Episcopal Church in Detroit.

Either there are two Jim Toy’s in the diocese, or the Detroit News’ religion page writer simply fails to note that her random parishioner quoted “just happens” to be a longtime gay activist with a committee position and and editorial board position within the diocese. I’m so glad we can leave this kind of journalistic integrity to the professionals.

Greg Griffith claims to have verified that diocesan funds are being directed toward this conference. I suppose that leaves it ambiguous at best whether Jim Toy’s workshop there is supposed to simply represent himself or if he is there as a reprentative of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

Remember, Michigan Episcopalians: these are your offering dollars at work. And remember that Bishop Gibbs has asked Episcopalians lay aside the “issues over which we disagree” and to “further our commitment to improving our relationships with one another.” Just keep those checks coming, folks, and don’t question the program. That wouldn’t be good “dialogue”, you know.

Son of "White Boys"

March 16th, 2004 No comments

Over at Chris Johnson’s, somebody asked if I’d be reposting my “White Boys” riff in response to Bp. William Swing’s slander on the NACDC.

So here is the link to the original “Who you callin’ ‘white boy’?” riff.

Based on Bishop Swing’s little tirade, it looks like I have at least one mugshot to add:

Not A White Boy

Bishop Wiliam Swing of California


I can only assume that Bishop Swing is campaigning to be known as the second black Episcopalian bishop of California …

Categories: Episcopaganism, Episcopal Church Tags:

"What you mean ‘we’, white man?"

November 8th, 2003 No comments

It is a solemn duty to fisk Bp. Barbara Harris and her “white boys” comments:

Domenico Bettinelli reports that Bishop Barbara Harris thinks the Freedom Rides are back in town:

“This is a power struggle as to who is going to run the church, the white boys who have always run it, or some different kinds of people. White men see their church being changed and they don’t like it.”

(reported in the Guardian)

Let’s reality check this:

Barbara Harris (Assisting Bishop of Washington)

Nope, definately not a white boy.

Let’s see about those “different kinds of people” challenging the “white boys”:


Vicki Gene Robinson (new Bishop of New Hampshire)

Not a white boy:

Frank Griswold (Presiding Bishop of the ECUSA)

Not a white boy:

Douglas Theuner (retiring bishop of New Hampshire)

Not a white boy:

Um, whatever … now that we’ve taken a look at those challenging the dread grip of White Boys™ on the life of the Anglican communion, let’s take a look at those who “see their church being changed and they don’t like it.”

Peter Akinola (Archbishop and Primate of Nigeria)

White boy:

Drexel Gomez (Lord Archbishop of the West Indies, Primate and Metropolitan)

White boy:


Moses Tay (Primate of South East Asia, Bishop of Singapore)

White boy:

Does anyone know a good opthamologist in the Washington, D.C. area? It would appear that Bishop Harris needs to have her eyes examined. She’s clearly not color-blind, but suffering from some odd inversion of color perception.

Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.

— Colossians 3:11 (RSV)

But never mind what that old homophobe St. Paul had to say. According to Barbara Harris, we can still have white and non-white. You go, sister! Don’t let those white boys in America push your brothers in Africa and the rest of the Third World around! “Different kinds of people” Power!

Categories: Episcopaganism, Episcopal Church Tags:

God have mercy

August 12th, 2003 No comments

Well, they did it. General Convention confirmed the election of Canon Gene “New Easter” Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. Along with approval of the development of rites for blessing same-sex “unions” and urging more embryonic stem-cell research. About the only thing that didn’t happen was the appointment of our first openly-Muslim bishop. (Give it time, give it time …)

Whoever granted Wendy Griffith her press pass to anything remotely Episcopalian must be kicking themselves right now. She’s hit two grand slams in the last week. First, she gets Frank Griswold to do his best deer in the headlights impression:

Wendy Griffith, a reporter with the Christian Broadcasting Network, asked presiding Episcopal Bishop Frank Griswold about Bishop-elect V. Gene Robinson, who was confirmed Tuesday as the first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop. He is divorced and lives with his male partner.

If, the reporter asked, a divorced male bishop could live with a man to whom he was not married, what about a divorced heterosexual male bishop living with a female lover?

“Or,” she added, “is being outside marriage only OK if you are gay?”

“The Episcopal Church honors holy matrimony,” Bishop Griswold said, “and certainly if a male were elected bishop and was living with a woman without benefit of clergy, that would be a significant problem.”

“So there’s a double standard, then?” Miss Griffith asked, at which point church spokesman Jim Solheim abruptly ended the press conference.

I’ll just bet he did.

Then, she gets to do her special reporter jujutsu on V. Gene himself (via MCJ):

CBN reporter Wendy Griffith asked Robinson how he reconciles the gay lifestyle with the Bible.

Griffith asked, “How would you interpret Romans 1:26-‘For even the women exchange the natural use for what is against nature, likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the women, burn in their lust for one another; man with man committing what is shameful.’ How do you reconcile that?”

Robinson suggested that the Scriptures are out of date.

“Uh, when those Scriptures were written in both the Old and New Testaments, everyone was presumed to be heterosexual, so to act in any other manner would be against one’s natural inclinations. The whole notion of sexual orientation is only about a hundred years old. So to take the concept of homosexuality as a sexual orientation and to read it back into an ancient text, uh-is very shaky ground to be on.”

Proving that not only is V. Gene ignorant of Scripture, he doesn’t care to know squat about history, either.

But Griffith isn’t done with V. Gene just yet —

Reporter Wendy Griffith asked him,

“Is Jesus Christ the only way, as Jesus says, ‘I am the Way, the Truth
and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except by me?'”

Robinson’s reply: “I would be the last person in the world to try to put God in some kind of a box.”

I don’t care if V. Gene was laser-beam straight. If he can’t answer that question with a simple “yes”, he has no business as a bishop. Or priest. Or Sunday-school teacher. Janitor or mechanic, maybe. At least then he’d be doing some honest work.

Categories: Episcopaganism Tags:

“Definate Views”

November 5th, 2002 No comments
Roy Jacobsen points out a bit of wisdom in today’s Pibgorn comic.

Which led me to this gem from All Hallow’s Eve:

Repress the urge to sprout wings or self-ignite! … This man is an Episcopalian! … They have definate views.

(sigh) If only.

(see Spong, John Shelby, Borg, Marcus, and Williams, Abp. Rowan)

Categories: Episcopaganism Tags:

Weird Juxtaposition

June 10th, 2002 No comments

Following a link from Doug’s blog, I find RazorMouth and the essay Victory by Infiltration or Isolation? (“Why the impulse to split is wrong and why staying the course is right”) by P. Andrew Sandlin. I would normally take this as encouragement to stay and fight the good fight within the Episcopal church regarding our current struggles with the “human sexuality” question and (even more profoundly) the wholesale abandonment of the faith in any recognizable form in exchange for Spongian/Jesus Seminar secularist mushiness.

On the other hand, I’m also reading Steve Ray’s book, Upon this Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church. And it occurs to me: Sandlin’s essay is practically a Catholic apologetic tract. I mean, if it’s a Bad Thing™ to leave and start a new church rather than stay and fight for reform, shouldn’t we apply that same logic to the efforts of Martin Luther and John Calvin?

Meeting Marcus Borg Again for the First Time

May 31st, 2002 No comments

I never thought I’d read Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time again, but my church is using it as a study guide for new adult confirmands(!).

So I guess it’s time to read it again, and prepare to defend the apparantly controversial view that Jesus Seminar material is probably not what we want to use to strengthen the faith of the newly confirmed …

While they say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, sometime all you should need to know are the reviews on the inside front page:

“He … invites us to look with fresh eyes at the Jesus that the church has distorted in the service of its doctrine and its creeds… I loved this book.
— Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong, Bishop of Newark

What more should one need to know?

Categories: Episcopaganism, Episcopal Church Tags: