Another quotidian baby part vendor lunch

In this video, StemExpress, baby part merchant, suggests cutting off the hands and feet of the aborted babies so that lab technicians can’t easily identify what they are looking at and have a meltdown.

Even baby part trafficking ghouls know that the “tissue” is really a baby.

Anglican Church of Canada marriage canon report almost complete

Read the entire article here:

The largest section of the roughly 50-page report will be devoted to biblical and theological reflection on the feasibility of Anglican same-sex marriage. The report will also address other components spelled out in General Synod 2013’s original mandating resolution on the marriage of same-sex couples. These include the wording of any amendment to Canon 21 permitting same-sex marriage, the terms of reference of the Solemn Declaration of 1893, which created the Anglican Church of Canada, and legal aspects of a conscience clause protecting bishops, dioceses, clergy and congregations from being constrained to authorize or participate in such marriages against the dictates of conscience.

[……]

It also set additional criteria contained in amendments introduced by diocese of Algoma Bishop Stephen Andrews and Dean Peter Elliott, diocese of New Westminster. The amendments, approved by a vote, stated that the 2016 motion should include supporting documentation that:

  • “demonstrates broad consultation in its preparation;

  • explains how this motion does not contravene the Solemn Declaration;

  • confirms immunity under civil law and the Human Rights Code for those bishops, dioceses and priests who refuse to participate in or authorize the marriage of same-sex couples on the basis of conscience; and

  • provides a biblical and theological rationale for this change in teaching on the nature of Christian marriage.”

I can’t help noticing that the wording of this article is always on the positive side of changing the marriage canon. For example, considering same-sex marriage has not existed in the church for two millennia, I might expect to see a theological reflection on the infeasibility of Anglican same-sex marriage. Instead, we read that the reflection will be upon the feasibility of Anglican same-sex marriage. Similarly, rather than explain how this motion does contravene the Solemn Declaration, we find the opposite. The bias is obvious, surely.

I wonder how this could possibly work:

confirms immunity under civil law and the Human Rights Code for those bishops, dioceses and priests who refuse to participate in or authorize the marriage of same-sex couples on the basis of conscience

How can a group of clerics expect any pronouncement they make about what may or may not occur under civil law to be taken seriously? Have they all taken a break from their studies of global warming to become civil rights lawyers?

How to be a cool bishop

Western bishops, having cast off the shackles of musty dogma that have been accumulating around the church for the last couple of millennia, are searching earnestly for something that will make people pay attention to them. Something to make them relevant. Something to show the world that they are cool.

National Lutheran Bishop Susan Johnson has the answer. It doesn’t get much cooler than her jitterbug at the Anglican sacred phlogiston shindig:

dancing bishop

Lighting a sacred fire under the Anglican Church of Canada

I’m all for the metaphorical application of such an idea, but it seems that the ACoC has been invaded by a tribe of literalists, so the fire in question is the result of rubbing a few pieces of wood together. Why not use a match, you may wonder: that would be cheating and cheating would hardly be sacred would it?

From here:

Gathered outside in the early morning hours, a circle of onlookers watched as volunteers rubbed spindles into fireboards, trying to produce enough friction to create an ember.

For young men in the Diné tradition, building a fire from scratch remains a rite of passage. The hard work of sparking a blaze without the aid of matches, lighters, etc. teaches virtues such as patience, forbearance, and perseverance.

The fire will be kept running all week, even during the obligatory fulmination against global warming by Bishop Mark MacDonald. The CO2 emitted must be sacred CO2.

Ironically, a persistent fear is that the Arctic might be getting warmer; isn’t there anyone in the Arctic who would like it to get warmer? As this study points out, cold weather is 20 times as deadly as hot weather.

For the evening presentation, Bishop MacDonald discussed the issue of climate change from a biblical and Indigenous perspective.

Early on, he noted his preference for the term “climate injustice” as the people who stand to suffer the most from the effects of climate change—the poor, the dispossessed, people of the land—are those who had the least to do with creating the problem, as is the case with residents in the Arctic.

Primate Fred Hiltz lamented that the church has turned away

from its evangelical call to follow “other gods” such as imperialism, the institutionalizing of racism and policies of assimilation. And lighting sacred fires.

Inexplicably, he omitted that last sentence.

Why we believe what we do

In his book Rage Against God, Peter Hitchens makes the point that both atheists and theists believe as they do simply because they choose to do so. In the case of atheism, it is generally a choice made from self-interest: if we admit that God exists we must also admit he might very well require something of us, something we may not wish to give.

Mainline churches have incorporated and refined this whole process, especially when dealing with the gay issue. The Anglican Church has produced endless papers, theological reflections and conversations on why, for 2000 years, the church had it wrong. All a learned smokescreen designed to conceal the real reason: compared to the general population, there is a disproportionately high number of gay clergy who wish not only to continue living with their same-sex partners, but to have their employer’s approval of the arrangement.

The same principle applies vicariously: people like Tony Campolo and Michael Coren who used to oppose gay marriage are now all for it. Not because the arguments have changed, but because condoning the lifestyle of their gay friends affords them feelings of fuzzy comfort – our contemporary substitute for love – whereas disagreement, however truly loving, can be so….. well, unpleasant, intolerant and hurtful.

None of this is new, of course: Peter Hitchens wrote about Aldous Huxley’s view of it here:

The  interesting bit , for this part of the argument, begins at the bottom of page 269, where Huxley is discussing the reality of the ‘meaning’ which we like to give to the world and our actions within it.

‘This is a question’, says Huxley, ‘which, a few years ago, I should not even have posed. For, like so many of my contemporaries, I took it for granted that there was no meaning’…

‘…I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption…

‘Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know *because we don’t want to know*(my emphasis). It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence. Those who detect no meaning in the world generally do so because, for one reason or another, it suits their books that the world should be meaningless…’

[…..]

‘No philosophy is completely disinterested. The pure love of truth is always mingled to some extent with the need, consciously or unconsciously felt by even the noblest and the most intelligent philosophers, to justify a given form of personal or social behaviour, to rationalize the traditional prejudices of a given class or community.’

Anglican bishop likens global warming to atomic bombing of Hiroshima

Canadian bishop Mark MacDonald reckons the same forces that were responsible for bombing Hiroshima are now at work wreaking climatic havoc.

To the best of my knowledge, MacDonald is not an expert on the Second World War, a nuclear scientist or a climatologist. Nevertheless, he is a bishop so we can expect – even forgive, perhaps – an unending stream of advice on matters of which he is entirely ignorant; since he is an Anglican bishop that would usually include theology.

From here:

The nuclear attack on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 revealed the brutality and dangerous logic of war, money and power, according to an Indigenous Anglican bishop from Canada.

“That such a thing can make sense in any universe gives insight into what is happening in the world today,” says Bishop Mark MacDonald of the Anglican Church in Canada. “The forces that led to the bombing of Hiroshima are at work now in the destruction of the climate.”

[…..]

“The role of the church today is to confront the destructive gods of greed and power. We Christians need to return to our roots, proclaim the truth of God and challenge these powers,” the bishop states.

I was under the impression that the role of the church is to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

I disbelieve; help thou mine belief.

The disbelief in which United Church minister, Rev. Gretta Vosper, revels puts to shame the sincerely cherished uncertainties harboured by most the devoutly doubting Anglican cleric. Sad to say, her pious dubieties have become too much for even the United Church of Canada: they may defrock her. Never fear Rev. Gretta; frocked or not, you could almost certainly find employment plying your insights of incertitude on one of the many Anglican facilitated conversation circuits.

grettaFrom here:

TORONTO — An ordained United Church of Canada minister who believes in neither God nor the Bible said Wednesday she is prepared to fight an unprecedented attempt to boot her from the pulpit for her beliefs.

In an interview at her church in the Toronto suburb of West Hill, Rev. Gretta Vosper said congregants support her view that how you live is more important than what you believe in.

“I don’t believe in … the god called God,” she said. “Using the word gets in the way of sharing what I want to share.”

Vosper, 57, who was ordained in 1993 and joined her east-end church in 1997, said the idea of an interventionist, supernatural being on which so much church doctrine is based belongs to an outdated world view.

What’s important, she says, is that her views hearken to Christianity’s beginnings, before the focus shifted from how one lived to doctrinal belief in God, Jesus and the Bible.

“Is the Bible really the word of God? Was Jesus a person?” she said.

“It’s mythology. We build a faith tradition upon it which shifted to find belief more important than how we lived.”

Replacing the Gospel with Interfaith Collaboration

If Jesus is God incarnate, the second person of the Trinity, the only way to the Father, the propitiation for our sins, God’s only Son, the Logos who is eternally pre-existent, begotten not made – if he is who he claims to be – then all religions other than Christianity fall disastrously short of being true.

The Anglican Church of Canada, an organisation that has been uncomfortable with undiluted truth for decades, is offering $10,000 grants to anyone willing to water down the Gospel with just about anything so long as it bears no resemblance to Christianity.

PicFrom here:

Echoing principles laid out in the Marks of Mission, the Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) is offering five one-time grants of $10,000 each for new community service or outreach projects that involve interfaith collaboration. Requests for proposals are due Sept. 1, 2015.

The grants are part of a new tradition for the Foundation, which beginning in 2014 pledged to set aside $50,000 each year to encourage and fund innovative ministry-related projects through a request-for-proposals process.

This year’s interfaith focus is designed to meet human need through loving service. Projects eligible for the grant will be new initiatives undertaken in 2016 that involve collaboration between Anglicans and individuals or groups from at least one religion other than Christianity.

Canadian Council of Churches publishes a Federal Election Resource

The Canadian Council of Churches, of which the Anglican Church of Canada is a member, has published a resource to gently guide church members to vote for the right party in the forthcoming elections. Make that the left party. Actually, there is no major Canadian party that is far enough to the left to satisfy the nudging of this resource.

For example, to deal with ISIS, what is needed, we are told, is less military intervention and more diplomatic effort; after all, ISIS has responded to diplomacy so positively in the past:

Informed by deeply rooted beliefs in the sanctity of human life and dignity, the need to protect vulnerable people from atrocities, and concerned about the ineffectiveness of international military interventions in the region in the past, church leaders have urged the Prime Minister to strengthen diplomatic efforts, increase further humanitarian assistance, provide robust support for refugees, support civil society organizations, reduce the flow of arms and focus on the protection of the rule of law and respect for human rights.

It goes without saying that the deeply rooted beliefs in the sanctity of human life” do not run deeply enough to recognise the sanctity of human life in the womb: there is no mention of that anywhere in the document.