Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gubernatrix Abominor Me: She Hate Me

A few years back the Carolina Panthers had a running back who sported the nickname, "He Hate Me." At the time the local sportscasters said that he acquired that moniker after he made that comment about his last coach. Another legend says that he wanted "They Hate Me" to be put on his jersey, but there was not enough room for that many letters so "They" (who must have really disliked him) shortened it to "He".

In the aftermath of the Presiding Bishop's recent incursion into our sovereign state (link to article), I was left wondering if her insinuations of tyrant, petty dictator, and wolf in the sheepfold aimed at certain South Carolinians might be worn with honor (given the source).

How do you think Bishop Mark Lawrence would look in new vestments with "She Hate Me" splashed all over it?

Maybe a little Latin look would work? How about "Gubernatrix Abominor Me"?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

TEcSC, DSC, EDUSC, Degrees of Separation

In today's reading from 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, St. Paul delivers his classic exposition on the various parts of the body and how they must all work together in their different functions.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot were to say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body’, that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear were to say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body’, that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. (1 Corinthians 12:12-18)

Alas, such has not been the case for Episcopalians in South Carolina recently. We pewsters have watched as events unfolded resulting in a separation between left and right, between brother and sister, and between North and South.

Yesterday I returned home feeling refreshed and reinvigorated after a visit to Charleston, SC during which I was able to visit some old friends, meet some new ones, eat some great food, tour the remains of the H.L. Hunley, worship the Lord Jesus, hear some great preaching, sing some great old hymns, and deepen my understanding of our Faith by attending the annual "Mere Anglicanism" conference at the historic St. Philips Church in that fair city.

This year's theme, "Behold the Man: The Person and Work of Jesus Christ" was more than adequately addressed by the various speakers. While much of the conference should be available on the web soon, there is no substitute for being there in person and having the opportunity to meet the speakers as well as being able to discuss their presentations with fellow Christians in pleasant surroundings.

The weather in Charleston was 20-30 degrees warmer than the icy conditions found at home although we are only separated from Charleston by a mere 2.1483° of latitude.

The degrees of separation between my Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina might be as far apart as the temperature readings on the thermometer indicated this weekend. In fact, I felt a bit like a blockade runner today as I unpacked my smuggled papers, my benne wafers, and gathered my thoughts on the events of the day.

While Bishop Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina was attending "Mere Anglicanism" and studying up on the Person and Work of Jesus, my Bishop Waldo of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina was demonstrating his support for The Episcopal church by participating in a convention called by the remnant TEcers in Charleston to elect a new Bishop for a new entity called "The Episcopal church in South Carolina" (henceforth to be known as TEcSC). By sitting silently by as the Presiding Bishop of TEc spewed forth insults such as those reported by David Virtue below, Bishop Waldo, who forever wants to be known as a reconciler, shows us all where his loyalties fall.

"The local tyrant is not the judge," said Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori about Bishop Mark Lawrence, in a sermon to members of the newly formed Episcopal Church in South Carolina. She was referencing Bishop Lawrence calling the Diocese of South Carolina a "sovereign diocese".
"What about the sheep who aren't in the fold, who don't know there is a feast to be found, rest for the body and soul, and partners who are willing to wrestle with the dictates of petty Deciders or wolves who masquerade as sheep? (Link to VoL article)
I am afraid that my Bishop Waldo, through his participation in this weekend's charade produced by the Presiding Bishop, has shown that he would rather dance with wolves than stand up and use his crook to chase the wolves from amongst us. His separation from his sheep is widening.

For those of you who are not sure as to where an honest sheep should graze, consider the following questions.

Which side is working to better understand and communicate to others the Person and Work of Christ?

Which side's strategy might undermine or even torpedo the Person and Work of Christ leading to the loss of all hands?

Which side would, in the words of one rector overheard at the Presiding Bishop's meeting,  "prefer heresy over schism"?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Revisionist Dictionary: Revised and Re-visioned Edition

The Revisionist Dictionary first appeared in a series of posts at StandFirm in Faith a few years back as a creation of a certain Irenaeus. Pursuant to a promise made in my  post of 01/13/2013, I compiled the Revisionist Dictionary into one posting and highlighted the key words in bold face type.

Any suggested revisions of the Revisionist Dictionary are added to this post in red as I get around to them. For examples, see the recently added CONCILIATION, DIVERSITY, DIVORCE, HOLY WOMEN, HOLY MENJESUS THINGLAWRENCEITES, MARRIAGE EQUALITYMISSIONPRESIDING BISHOP, SAME SEX BLESSINGSSBTEc TEOUNWELCOMINGand WELCOMING
Further suggestions are requested and can be entered into the comment box (I warn you, this can be habit forming).

Links to the original posts are included at the bottom of this post.

A SarcMark is assumed to be present if not otherwise indicated.

The Revisionist Dictionary
By Irenaeus
First Edition—August 2007
This dictionary seeks to shed light on current debates in the U.S. Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion by exploring the foibles of Anglican Progressives (also known as reappraisers, revisionists, and theological liberals). Progressives’ Orthodox opponents (also known as reasserters and theological conservatives) have many foibles of their own. But Progressives’ foibles need attention more urgently. Progressives have long been better organized than the Orthodox, are ascendant in most rich-country Anglican churches, and now control most levers of power in the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. Progressives have largely set the terms of current debates, often in ways that mask their agenda and keep the Orthodox on the defensive.
In satirizing Progressive language and Progressives’ putative view of Anglican concepts and institutions, this dictionary seeks to illuminate the Progressive ethos and to suggest the possible consequences of Progressive terminology, tactics, and thinking. Fortunately, real-life Progressives don’t necessarily hold the extreme views caricatured here. Many, for example, disapprove of Progressive bishops’ harsh treatment of Orthodox clergy and congregations. Yet both sides need to pay closer attention to what Progressive terminology denotes and connotes. Such is human frailty that yesterday’s parody can become tomorrow’s reality. Better to satirize it than simply let it happen.
This dictionary uses the capitalized words “Orthodox” and “Progressive” in a specialized sense:
—- ORTHODOX denotes theologically conservative persons and views in the context of the U.S. Episcopal Church and the broader world of Anglican Christianity; it does not refer to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Synonym: Reasserter. When uncapitalized, “orthodox” denotes conforming to established Christian doctrine.
—- PROGRESSIVE denotes theologically liberal persons and views in the context of the U.S. Episcopal Church and the broader Anglican world. Synonyms: Reappraiser; Revisionist.
Asterisks denote words defined elsewhere in this dictionary, as do cross-references like “See” and “See also.”
* Words marked with an asterix should have their definitions as separate entries in this dictionary.
20/20 VISION: Plan adopted in 2000 to double the Episcopal Church’s average Sunday attendance by 2020. As of 2005, attendance had fallen 8% from its 2000 level. At this rate of decline, attendance is predicted to fall 28% by 2020. In fact, nationwide, average Sunday attendance fell by 23 percent from 2000-2010, from 857,000 to 658,000.
815: Affectionate nickname for the Episcopal Church Center, 815 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017. Mainspring and heart of the church. Efficient cornucopia of resources for apologetics*, parish ministry, evangelism, and litigation. Located one block from United Nations Headquarters to facilitate sharing the Episcopal Church’s insights with world governments. Has New Age bookstore and penthouse apartment for presiding bishop. “815 has spoken; the case is closed.”
ABANDON COMMUNION: Short for “abandoning the communion of this Church.” An Orthodox priest abandons the communion of the Episcopal Church if he takes a long-planned sabbatical without notifying his Progressive bishop. A Progressive priest does not abandon communion by converting to Islam. Such deep* and sagacious distinctions illustrate why Progressive bishops are bishops and you are not.
ABRAHAM: Husband of Sarah.
ACCEPTING: Approving; welcoming. “Unless you become more accepting, we cannot accept your presence.”
ACTION PLAN: Plan already doomed to inaction.
ADOPTIONISM: More bother than reproductive rights.
AFFIRMING: Accepting*; displaying cheerful tolerance*.
AFFIRMING CATHOLICISM: Progressive theology in High Church garb; smells, bells, and birettas untainted by catholic theology.
ALPHA COURSE: Orthodox recruiting device. “Alpha lets you explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting.”
ALTERNATIVE EPISCOPAL OVERSIGHT: Arrangement by which a congregation claiming it cannot in good conscience accept the authority of its own diocesan bishop comes under the authority of another bishop; subversive alternative to DEPO*; step towards local schism. See also Donatism (2).
ALTERNATIVE PRIMATIAL OVERSIGHT: Step towards regional schism. “The Diocese of Pittsburgh, dismayed by the theology of Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, has requested alternative primatial oversight.”
AMENDMENT OF LIFE: Forsaking “sin” (1)*; reforming your ways. “Having repented of my sin, I firmly intend amendment of life.” Superseded by baptismal covenant (2)*.
AMERICAN ANGLICAN COUNCIL: Nexus of Orthodox Conspiracy.
ANALYZE: To “think about anything for more than a few minutes” (Tony Proscio).
ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA: Second most enlightened member church of the Anglican Communion.
ANGLICAN COMMUNION NETWORK: Schismatic cult allied with Orthodox Conspiracy; synod of discontent.
ANGLICAN COVENANT, PROPOSED: Hurtful* exclusion* device sought by Orthodox Conspiracy and its Global South* allies to subvert the autonomy* and polity* of the Episcopal Church; yoke of bondage. See also Curia; Inquisition.
ANGLICAN SECRETARIAT: Facilitates inter-Anglican cooperation: e.g., by providing staff support for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Anglican Consultative Council, Primates’* Meeting, and Lambeth Consultation. Administered by a secretary general who reports to the Archbishop of Canterbury and always comes from among well-connected Progressive clergy in wealthy, enlightened English-speaking countries. Priceless resource for Progressive Anglicanism.
ANGLO-CATHOLIC (increasingly rare): High Church reactionary.
APOLOGETICS: Apologizing for all that is wrong with Christianity. “Bishop Grobble has taken apologetics to a new level: begging Al-Qaida’s forgiveness for the Catholic Reconquest of Spain.”
(1) Traditionally, “the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ” (Merriam Webster).
(2) For radical progressives, a pernicious doctrine of “cosmic child abuse,” in which “God murder[s] his son for the salvation of the world” (Giles Fraser).
AUTHENTIC: In the case of women, persons of non-European ancestry, and sexual minorities, fidelity to the outlooks and ideologies prescribed for their group: respectively, militant feminism, militant separatism, and militant militancy. “In shouting ‘Coitus is punishment!’ Andrea Dworkin offers an authentic voice* of feminist rage. See also Identity.
AUTONOMY: Freedom from any non-P.C.* constraint. “To preserve its integrity, the Episcopal Church must zealously maintain its autonomy.”
(1) Traditionally, the covenant made at baptism by which we repent, renounce sin, accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and become members of Christ, redeemed by his atoning sacrifice. “Obdurate sin grieves the Holy Spirit and violates our baptismal covenant.”
(2) For Progressives, two related ideas: that baptism irrevocably confers good standing in the church so neither “sinful” conduct nor heterodox belief disqualifies any baptized person from holding church office; and that baptized persons need little trouble themselves about “sin”*, repentance*, or amendment of life*. “A moratorium on ordaining noncelibate homosexuals would betray our baptismal covenant.”
BARGAIN WITH GOD: To balance God’s will with our own needs.
(1) “To strike with a heavy, crushing blow” (American Heritage Dictionary); “to injure or damage by striking” (Merriam-Webster).
(2) To criticize. “Orthodox bloggers bashed the new Presiding Bishop for her ‘Mother Jesus’ sermon.” See also Demonize; Hurtful; Insensitive; Offensive; Pejorative Labeling; Safe Place, Tolerate; Verbal Violence.
(3) Expenses-paid trip to church convention.
BEYOND INCLUSION: Quotas; speech codes. “We must now go beyond inclusion to give the pyromaniac community* a truly warm welcome*.”
BIBLE: Collection of ancient patriarchal texts available for reinterpretation, contextualization, deconstruction, ridicule, and selective use. Subordinate to canons (2)*.
BIBLIOLATRY: Worship of the Bible*; believing that the Bible has greater authority than the Constitution and Canons (2)* of the Episcopal Church. “If we exalt scripture as the supreme, preemptive authority, we may well be guilty of bibliolatry” (D.C.).
(1) If Orthodox, kindly figurehead; pastor to diocesan clergy; first among clerical equals.
(2) If Progressive, God’s Vice-Regent; S/he Who Must Be Obeyed.
BOUNDARY CROSSING: Performing episcopal acts, such as confirmations and ordinations, in the territory of another bishop without that bishop’s permission; unpardonable sin. “According to Bishop Howard, the Ugandan bishop improperly crossed diocesan boundaries by confirming 15 persons at a new Anglican church in Jacksonville.”
BOX: Container into which the Orthodox put God. “If you stake the gospel on Christ’s bodily Resurrection*, you put God in a very small box.” Because Progressive reason is liberating*, Progressive beliefs do not similarly confine God.
BOY: Small, disruptive, potentially patriarchal human in need of domestication (Editor's note: and education in all of his potential sexualities).
(1) Set of ancient writings traditionally referred to as the Bible*: “the canon of scripture.”
(2) Corporate bylaws of the Episcopal Church; living scripture. “The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church are the supreme authority for our common faith and life.”
(3) In reference to Progressive clergy, priests affiliated with a cathedral and freed from the tedium of parish ministry. “The Reverend Mercedes Moonbeam-McGillicuddy is Canon Missioner for Diversity Curriculum Coordination and New Age Awareness.”
CHANCELLOR: Chief legal officer of the Episcopal Church or its dioceses. (David Booth Beers is Chancellor of the Episcopal Church, and don’t you forget it.) The Chancellor provides the legal interpretations needed by Progressive church leaders and makes examples of clergy and vestries who attempt to make off with parish property. See also Parliamentarian.
CHARITY: Money or property given to others so as to make them feel bad. “We don’t take charity.”
CHEAP GRACE: Grace* without repentance*. Derogatory term borrowed from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a well-known citizen of Nazi Germany, and now used to deride the theology and practice of the baptismal covenant (2)*. In his book, The Cost of Discipleship (1937), Bonhoeffer defined cheap grace as “the grace we bestow on ourselves,” manifested in “the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance” and “baptism without church discipline.” Bonhoeffer claims that cheap grace “amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sins departs.”
CHICKEN DINNER: Cheap, reduced-fat form of bribery, alleged to work magic on poor-country clerics. “According to well-placed Progressive sources, the American Anglican Council plans to woo Global South primates* with bounteous chicken dinners.”
CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION: Assigning a seminarian to an emergency room, nursing home, hospice, or other place of acute human need to provide value-neutral, answer-free spiritual counsel. “My clinical pastoral education taught me not to offer easy comfort to bereaved families but to give them space to discover for themselves the meaning of their suffering.”
COMMUNITY: “Any group of people with anything in common” (Proscio), particularly an oppressed minority group: “the pedestrian community”; “the pyromaniac community.”
COMPREHENSIVENESS: A gift from God, a feeling that once excluded ideas are not only included but promoted.
CONCILIATION: A process under the Title IV Disciplinary Canons whereby reasserter* Bishops can be reprogrammed by a reappraiser* "Conciliator" appointed by 815* and forced to sign a document of submission to the Presiding Bishop*.  
CONFESSION: Superseded by baptismal covenant (2)*.
CONSULT: To ask for others’ opinions as a mark of inclusion and respect, without necessarily planning to listen.
CONTEXT: Background facts we invoke to neutralize or liberate* unhelpful* parts of the Bible. “We must take Christ’s rejection of ‘immorality’ in the context of first century cult prostitution.” See also Lectionary.
COVENENTAL RELATIONSHIP: A covenantal relationship between two people is on a more intimate level than an ordinary friendship.
CONVERSATION: Playing the Progressives’ game by the Progressives’ rules. If you are Orthodox, you cannot have a satisfactory “conversation” with Progressives unless you discuss their agenda on their terms, using their language and working towards their conclusions. Come, let us reason together!
COUNCIL OF NICEA, FIRST: Church council held in 325 C.E. Prohibited boundary-crossing*.
CREED: What we say after the sermon.
CHURCH GROWTH CONSULTANT: Explains why your congregation does well by shrinking more slowly than others.
CURIA: Possible result of Anglican Covenant*.
DECALOGUE: also known as the Ten Commandments: Primitive list of “good” and “bad” conduct. Exodus 20:1-17. Now augmented by Pentalogue*.
DEEP: Transcending Orthodox doctrine and conventional reasoning. “To discern the vegetarian subtext of Romans 1:22-23, we must employ deeper insight.”
DEMONIZE: To blame or sternly criticize. “Don’t demonize the Presiding Bishop by listing another dozen of her alleged heresies.” (Editor's note: When properly used, this labels the demonizer as the demon)
DENIAL: Others’ failure to admit we are right and they are wrong. “The rigorous scholarship of the Jesus Seminar leaves Bishop Wright in denial.”
DENNIS CANON: Rule adopted (or so we hope) to prevent the Orthodox from stealing church property. Clarifies that a congregation holds title to its property merely as trustee for the diocese and the Episcopal Church.
DEPO: Abbreviation for “Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight.” Orthodox congregation facing a hostile Progressive bishop may beg her to let some other bishop temporarily perform some of her episcopal functions.
(1) For Progressives, generous pastoral provision for the reconciliation* of the Orthodox, available whenever and wherever the Orthodox have behaved themselves.
(2) For the Orthodox, a tortuous process giving an Orthodox congregation no rights whatever. “DEPO is like (1) letting mice ask the hungry local cat for ‘reconciliation’; (2) if the cat remains hungry, asking three other cats to review the situation and make recommendations to the local cat; and (3) letting the cat eat the mice at any time before, during, or after the process.”
(1) Saving truth handed down from the Apostles. “The apostles entrusted the sacred deposit of the faith contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church).
(2) Putting parish property in trust for David Booth Beers.
DEVIL: Mythical entity invented by primitive people to explain why bad things happen to good people. (see also Satan). 
devils: (no caps) literary device used by the uneducated people who wrote the Bible to explain what we now know to be schizophrenia.  
(1) Living under Islamic rule as a subject people (“dhimmi”) liable to punitive taxation and other discriminatory laws. “Dhimmitude precluded Christians from building new churches.” Uppity dhimmis were dead dhimmis.
(2) Orthodox believers’ subordinate status in the Episcopal Church, where they can retain their clerical licenses, parish property, and some limited autonomy only as long as they pay tribute and render due obedience to their Progressive rulers. “Dhimmitude will ultimately preclude Orthodox dioceses from electing Orthodox bishops.”
DIALECTIC: Like conversation* but initially more two-sided. “The Presiding Bishop’s reeducation program will engage the Orthodox in a mind-broadening dialectic.”
DIALOGUE: See Conversation.
DISCERN: To come up with reasons for doing what we’re going to do anyway. “I’m not yet convinced I should marry my niece but I’m in a discernment process.”
DISGRUNTLED EPISCOPALIANS: Reactionaries lacking gruntlement, as they invariably do.
DIVERSITY: A positive attribute of the progressive church. i.e. "We value diversity," or "We have a diversity of opinion," or "We are a diverse parish." Not to be confused with actual diversity of racial, political, doctrinal, or socioeconomic make up.   
DIVISIVE: Contagiously unhelpful*. “The AAC’s recent conference exercised a divisive influence over many otherwise well-behaved Episcopalians.”
DIVORCE: Important pastoral work of the Church often heralded as something the Episcopal Church did right. As evidenced in a stunningly bad sermon where an Episcopal priest said, "People were never meant to stay married for 60 years." (see this post)
DOCTRINE: What we choose to teach and believe. “That “consubstantial with the Father” stuff may be your doctrine, but it’s not mine.”
(1) Traditionally, a fourth century heresy asserting that clergy who had apostatized under Roman persecution could not, even after repenting, validly administer the sacraments.
 (2) For Progressives, Orthodox resistance to the authority and teaching of a Progressive bishop—-as though alleged heresy could disqualify a baptized person from serving as a bishop. “Orthodox demands for alternative episcopal oversight* reek of Donatism.”
ECUSA: Former abbreviation for the Episcopal Church*; now passé.
EDIFY: To put parish buildings in trust for David Booth Beers.
EDUCATION FOR MINISTRY: Program by which lay people can learn the sophisticated unbelief taught in seminaries. “In his Education for Ministry lecture, Professor Monti explained that Jesus is ‘a bag of bones rotting outside Jerusalem.’”
EISIGESIS: Reading into a text the meaning it should have included. See also Exegesis.
EPISCOPAL CHURCH, THE: Short name for the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, the Only True Expression of Anglicanism in the United States®. Omitting “Protestant” from the short name precludes confusing the Episcopal Church with Mainline Protestant churches. Omitting “in the United States of America” avoids excluding* Episcopalians who live in nonimperialistic countries. For reasons we have forgotten, the short name does not impugn the episcopate of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.
EPISCOPAL NEWS SERVICE: Authentic voice of Anglicanism in the United States; authoritative reference source. See also Pravda.
EPISTEMOLOGY: How we know Paul of Tarsus was wrong.
EUGENICS, ECCLESIASTICAL: Studies negative correlation between church growth and church members’ intelligence. See also Church Growth Consultant; Mormons; 20/20 Vision.
EVANGELICAL: Low Church reactionary.
EVANGELISM: To get arrested in a political demonstration.
EVANGELIZE: To propagate triumphalism*.
EXCLUDED MIDDLE, LAW OF: “There cannot be an intermediate between contradictories, but of one subject we must either affirm or deny any one predicate” (Aristotle); why 2006 was a bad year for Bishops Lee, Jenkins, and Henderson. “By rejecting compromise and ambiguity, ECUSA’s radical Progressives leave moderates and institutionalists feeling excluded.” Cf. Noncontradiction.
EXCLUDING: Not fully including* everyone, particularly women and members of oppressed minority groups, (Ed: and especially LGBTQ people).
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL: Manages the Episcopal Church during the three-year intervals between general conventions; Progressive Politburo.
EXEGESIS: Drawing from a text the meaning it should include. “To discern the Sophia* subtext of Colossians 1:15-20, we must employ a deeper*, more rigorous exegesis.” See also Eisigesis.
EXPIATE: To spit out a window.
EXTREME UNCTION: Televangelist running short of cash. “Times are so tight that this week the Farting Preacher twice resorted to extreme unction.”

FEMINIST SACRAMENTS: abortion; consciousness-raising; divorce; labyrinth*; rage; re-visioning*; sacred circle.
FEMINIST THEOLOGY: What feminists do to theology.
FIDUCIARY DUTY: Bishops’ legal and moral obligation to fight seceding congregations to the last crayon. “I’m sorry to throw them out in the street, particularly before a blizzard, but I have my fiduciary duty.”
FREE WILL: Making an unrestricted bequest of property to David Booth Beers.
(1) Traditionally, completeness; perfection; containing as much as possible. “Let us seek, through prayer and obedience, to grow into the fullness of Christ’s love.”
(2) For radical Progressives, rhetorical device by which one invokes the “fullness” of something to demonstrate that the whole contradicts the sum of its known parts. “Scripture in its fullness demonstrates that Jesus rejected any notion of hell.”
FUNDAMENTALIST: Inflexible Low Church reactionary.
GAIA: Earthy niece of Sophia*.
GEHENNA: Hebrew root of “Ahmanson.” (Editor's note: I need an explanation here).
GLOBAL SOUTH: Developing countries, commonly situated south of 30 degrees north latitude; Anglican churches in benighted countries.
GNOSIS: Higher knowledge that Progressives receive through progressive revelation*, re-visioning*, or reading the Nag Hammadi Scriptures*. “You need our gnosis to grasp Greg’s psychosis.”
GNOSTICISM: Pejorative term for authentic early Christianity before it was hijacked by dour, rejecting*, repressive, patriarchal Eurocentric control freaks.
GOOD NEWS: The Episcopal Church won another church-property lawsuit.
(1) Traditionally, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
(2) For Progressives, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Thomas, and Mary Magdalene.
(3) For the Orthodox, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Leviticus.
GRACE: God accepts us as we are no matter what we have done or how soon we plan to do it again. See also Cheap Grace.
GRACEFUL CONVERSATION: Orthodox gracefully submit to Progressives. “David Booth Beers reported on his graceful conversation with Bishop Howe.”
HALO: Traditional Christian term for an aura or chakra.
HARMATIOLOGY: The academic study of “sin” (1)*. Superseded by baptismal covenant (2)* and now of interest only to antiquarians and that nice Kendall Harmon. (Editor's note: Kendall is not considered nice even in polite revisionist circles)
(1) Intense hostility; antipathy; malevolence; loathing. (Editors note: Never found in progressive circles)
(2) For Progressives, moral disapproval. “By encouraging homosexuals to ‘reorient themselves,’ the Bishop of Chester amply demonstrated his hate.”
HEAR: Progressives “hear” by imbibing gnosis*. The Orthodox “hear” when they obey or defer to Progressives. “‘Irenaeus, do you have a hearing problem?’ ‘No, sir. Now I know you were right all along.’”
HERESY: Term of opprobrium implying that your learnings* beat mine. Sometimes better than schism.
HIJACK: What the Orthodox want to do to the Episcopal Church. What the Orthodox assert that Progressives have done to the Episcopal Church.
HOLY WOMEN, HOLY MEN: A list of what the Episcopal General Convention considers to be saints of the Church. Modern aspirants must follow the progressive agenda, i.e. "When can I submit the name of Bishop Gene Robinson for inclusion* in Holy Women, Holy Men?"
HOMOPHOBIC: Opposing Gay Liberation agenda; withholding approval of homosexual conduct. “Opposing gay marriage is homophobic no matter how nicely you think you treat your gay friends.”
HOOKER, Richard (1554-1600): English theologian who defended Anglican polity against Puritan criticism. Validated using reason to conform orthodox doctrine to enlightened secular culture. Patron saint of stools. See also Stool, Three-Legged.
HURTFUL: Unhelpful*; contrary to Progressive values and sensibilities; not P.C.* “Multiculturalists denounced Pope Benedict’s revival of the Latin Mass as hurtful.”
IDENTITY: In the case of women and members of oppressed minority groups, psychological identification with that group and adoption of the consciousness, values, and politics correct for members of the group; aggrieved solidarity. “Schmitz embraced his pyromaniac identity: voting red, wearing red, founding the Pyromaniac Liberation Organization, and playing Ghost Rider video games next to a bust of Nero.”
INCLUSIVE: Welcoming*; accepting*; validating; taking in. “We are an inclusive parish. Butt out until you become inclusive.”
INCLUSIVE PLURALS: Making things plurals to make sure we don’t leave anythings out (or anyones feeling excluded): e.g., arithmetics; cyberspaces; forces of gravities; informations; learnings; knowledges; outer spaces; realities; emptinesses; nothingnesses.
INDULGENCE: Letting seceding congregation use its former property for another three weeks. “Bishop Howard granted Christ Church a partial indulgence allowing it to use the landmark 1880 building until Tuesday.”
INQUISITION: Possible result of Anglican Covenant*.
INSTITUTIONALIST: Stodgy Progressive. “Bishop Radisch is a classic institutionalist: he calls himself Orthodox, dissents feebly, and serves 815* meticulously.”
(1) For the Orthodox, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Consultation, Anglican Consultative Council, and Primates’ Meeting. “The Anglican Communion has four Instruments of Unity.”
(2) For Progressives, the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, President of the House of Deputies, Executive Council*, and David Booth Beers. “We too have four Instruments of Unity, and ours are smarter.”
ISLAM: The religion of peace.
ITCHING EARS: (tinea auris; cf. tinea pedis and tinea cruris): Orthodox taunt implying that Progressives incline towards self-serving trendiness. From 2 Timothy 4:13.
JESUS SEMINAR: Scoffing for fun, fame, profit, and the instruction of the laity*.
JESUS THING: The thing to do. When an idea comes along that irritates the reasserter*, the new thing can be described as the "Jesus thing to do" thus ending all debate and effectively labeling your adversary as a Jesus hater*. (Example: "So this may be the Jesus thing to do in our age because Jesus forced the issue that no one is rejected by God and that all people are loved. And if you have two responsible people, whether heterosexual or gay, who love in a Christian way -- which is responsibly and exclusively monogamous* and help each other and forgive each other -- what more can we ask for?-Bishop Michael Vono of the Diocese of the Rio Grande" (found here)
JOYFUL: Experiencing or manifesting cheerful enthusiasm for, or because of, a P.C.* person, object, or event. “How joyful it was to see Bishop Badcat bless the loving quintuple.”
JUSTICE: A justification of P.C.* outcomes, by any process. “The 1959 revolution did much to establish justice in Cuba.” Or, "Marriage* equality is a matter of justice."
LABYRINTH: Symbolic pilgrimage having “one pathway that leads inexorably from the entrance to the goal, albeit by the most complex and winding of routes” (Lauren Artress). The pilgrim experiences purgation, illumination, and union with “God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world” (Artress).
LAITY: Pew-sitting, bill-paying sheep in need of enlightenment and firm leadership.
LAWRENCEITES: Members of the Diocese of South Carolina after October 2012. As used in "This is another move in the Lawrenceites increasingly manic quest for legitimacy that has been going on since Lawrence was delegitimized in the Episcopal Church." (quote found at the Episcopal News Service)
LEARNINGS: Knowledges; informations; anythings you learn. “We have shared many important learnings this morning.” See also Inclusive Plurals*.
LECTIONARY: System by which we avoid reading unhelpful* parts of the Bible*.
LIBERATE: To overthrow structures of ageism, androcentrism, anthropocentrism, brutalism, chromaticism, colonialism, elitism [editor, please omit], ethnocentrism, Eurocentrism, heterosexism, imperialism, linguicism, militarism, monetarism, neocolonialism, racism, sexism, and speciesism—-all to make room for P.C.* structures that will help every person achieve her potentiality.
LISTENING PROCESS: The Orthodox listen to Progressives and ultimately do as they are told. “The diocese will sponsor a listening process to clarify our acceptance of pyromania.”
LITURGY: Our common faith; what keeps us together. See also Table.
LIVE INTO: We “live into” a problem when we deal with it by disregarding traditional Christian norms. For example, if a Christian man and woman have qualms about premarital sexual intercourse, they “live into” this so-called problem by having sex anyway (and “wrestling with God” about any feelings of guilt). Thus we “live into” something by doing what we want and getting used to any negative feelings that ensue.
LIVE THE QUESTIONS: To persist in unbelief; to blame God; to explore Christianity by rejecting orthodox doctrine. See also Live Into. “Christianity surely has some good in it, so we urge Christians to search for that good by Living the Questions.”
MAGISTERIUM: Teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
MAKEBELIEVIUM: See Re-Visioning.
MARRIAGE: Social institution for the oppression of women and the liberation of LGBTQA persons.
MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Goal of freeing LGBTQA persons from the oppression of traditionally married persons.
(1) Jesus initially revealed his Messiahship to his disciples but not to others. See, e.g., Mark 8:29-30.
(2) You don’t really have to repent*. See Baptismal Covenant (2).
MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: (also known as “Mini-Rec”), from 2 Corinthians 5:18: Bishop Samuel Howard’s plan for giving the Diocese of Florida the intimacy of a house church. “Bishop Howard’s Mini-Rec progresses apace, with two more congregations leaving this month.”
MISSION: Any acceptable* community activity. Not to be confused with spreading the Gospel. 
MISSIONARY: Agent of colonialism and cultural imperialism. “English Baptist missionaries, though known for their piety and humility, functioned mainly as spies for the Ministry of Imperial Aggrandisement.”
MODERATE: Progressive without knowing it. “Bishop Howard burnished his moderate credentials with a glowing pastoral letter about the 2006 General Convention.”
MONOGAMY: Ancient belief that one man and one woman marry for life. (see Serial Monogamy*)
MONOTHEISM: System of patriarchal repression and cultural imperialism. Needs sensitive re-visioning*.
MORMONS: Their numbers grow while ours shrink because we are smarter.
NAG HAMMADI SCRIPTURES: Set of Christian Gnostic texts, including the “Gnostic gospels,” found buried in Nag Hammadi, Egypt; prime depository of gnosis*. “The Nag Hammadi Scriptures have turned orthodox theology on its head.”
NATIONAL CATHEDRAL: also known as Washington National Cathedral and more fully known as the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul: Picture-perfect venue for concerts, weddings, state funerals, sacred circles, architectural history tours, labyrinthing*, Vedic chant, and visiting ayatollahs (Editor's note: effective 2013, gay weddings) Has blockbuster museum shop.
NEO-PAGAN: Derogatory term for nontraditional spirituality resembling or purportedly resembling that of Pagans. “We gathered in a sacred circle to celebrate the Queen of Heaven with raisin cakes and honey wine. Now some male busybody brands us ‘neo-Pagan.’”
NETWORK: Short name for the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, a schismatic conspiracy. See Anglican Communion Network.
(1) The rule of logic under which “one cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time” (Aristotle). “Anyone who denies the Law of Noncontradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned” (Avicenna, Medieval Persian scholar).
(2) Orthodox clergy and congregations must not contradict their Progressive bishops; zero-tolerance no-sassing zone. “Anyone who violates the Law of Noncontradiction should be beaten and burned.”
NUANCED PROGRESS: Movement from traditional Christianity undertaken in a manner designed to reduce awareness, so that not everyone notices right away; a sensibility to being called a heretic, or otherwise causing alarm.
OBEDIENCE: Type of bondage long prescribed for women, children, and slaves.
OFFENSIVE: Robustly insensitive*. “Your snide remarks about the baptismal covenant* are not only unhelpful but offensive.”
OLD TESTAMENT: Christians’ former name for the Hebrew Bible; in disfavor for implying possible inferiority to New Testament.
OPEN: accepting*; honest; relativistic.
OPEN COMMUNION: Anything goes, anyone comes.
OPPRESSION SICKNESS: Why members of an oppressed group make non- P.C.* choices and voice hostility to P.C. thinking (e.g., why a woman with graduate degrees would denounce radical feminism and become a stay-at-home mom). See also Psychologize.
ORTHODOX: What Anglican reactionaries call themselves.
OTHER: Marginalized persons, particularly poor or P.C.* persons as contrasted with oppressor-group persons. “We must seek Christ in the Other: in the demonized and stigmatized.”
P.C.: Abbreviation for “politically correct,” a snide term for the political and cultural views held by most enlightened persons.
PAGAN: Derogatory term for persons who remain faithful to nonimperialistic, culturally appropriate heritage-deities.
PANEL OF DEFERENCE: Derogatory, ungrateful name for Panel of Reference*.
PANEL OF REFERENCE: Committee appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to review whether dissenting congregations are receiving alternative episcopal oversight* and dissenting dioceses are receiving alternative primatial oversight*. The panel has no powers. Upon taking office, its chair implicitly endorsed DEPO*.
PARLIAMENTARIAN: Expert who explains to diocesan and general conventions why unhelpful* Orthodox resolutions are always out of order.
PASTORAL: Politically correct but inconsistent with church teaching. Progressives act “pastorally” when they break rules to commit quiet acts of inclusion. “Bishop Badcat has made pastoral provision for polyamory.” Pastoral action never includes alternative episcopal oversight* or alternative primatial oversight,* both of which would transgress the polity* of the Episcopal Church and abet exclusion* by the Orthodox.
PAUL OF TARSUS: Self-hating first-century demon; arch-villain of Christian history. “St. Paul turned a liberating gospel of love into stern, repressive, patriarchal authoritarianism.”
PECUSA: Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of American; official but very outdated name of the Episcopal Church*, no longer used by Episcopalians in good standing. Beware of anyone who uses this term.
(1) When used against Progressives, a form of verbal violence*. “If you ever again subject me to a pejorative label like ‘Modalistic mumble-news,’ I’ll tell my mommy and file a presentment* against you.”
(2) When used by radical Progressives, a concise way to keep Orthodox blatherings in perspective. “Bishop Sweetwater, despite his reputation for gentleness, is a rejecting*, heterosexist, fascist reactionary*, a babbling brook of bibliolatry*.”
PENANCE: Making yourself feel even sorrier. Superseded by baptismal covenant (2)*. “I used to go to confession and do whatever penance the priest prescribed, but now I know God accepts me as I am.” See also Repentance.
PENTALOGUE, also known as the “Five More Commandments”:
I.  The Episcopal Church is the Only True Expression of Anglicanism in the United States, purified from subservience to any foreign prelate or potentate. You shall put no other church before It.
II.  You shall cross no diocesan boundaries nor abet any boundary-crosser.
III. You shall make no unhelpful* remarks.
IV. Remember the Episcopal Church’s autonomy,* to keep It sacrosanct, for It is the heart of our life together.
V.  You shall put your property in trust for David Booth Beers, to keep it holy.
Unrelated to pentagrams or dialogue. See also Decalogue; Polity in Excelsis.
PITY: Means of humiliating a poor, sick, or grieving person; scorn. “‘I don’t want your pity’ ‘But I pity you anyway.’”
POLITY, CHURCH: Form of church government. For Progressives, the genius (i.e., tutelary spirit) of the Episcopal Church and the source of the inestimably valuable insights its offers to Anglicans worldwide, particularly to those in the Global South*. “Instead of discussing the merits of Global South leaders’ concerns, Episcopal Church representatives spoke at length about TEC’s polity.”
POLITY IN EXCELSIS: Said or sung after the Pentalogue*.
POLYGAMY: We know they do it even though no one sees them do it.
PRAVDA: Means “The Truth” in Russian; Orthodox nickname for the Episcopal News Service*.
(1) Traditionally, the doctrine that Christ existed as Son of God (“eternally begotten of the Father”) before His Incarnation*.
(2) For Progressives, the indisputable fact that the Episcopal Church predates the Anglican Communion.
PRESENTMENT: Formal accusation filed in a church court; Progressive gift to Orthodox clergy. “Bishop Badcat celebrated Fr. Pribble’s birthday by helping him unwrap his presentment.”
PRESIDING BISHOP: The current resident of 815, the Supreme Metropolitan of the hierarchy of the Church, the mouthpiece of the Church, and Chief Litigator. 
PRIDE: "Colloquially the word “pride” can refer to an excessive level of self-esteem that keeps people from engaging other people. It can also refer to a determined, isolating self-sufficiency: someone can be “too proud” to receive assistance from someone else. But queer Pride isn’t like that. Queer Pride demands and depends upon relationship—which is to say, an individual’s Pride is bolstered by immersion in community. It involves a reciprocal dynamic in which one’s sense of self-worth feeds and is fed by relationships with others." (Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman -
(1) Leader of a geographic province of the Anglican Communion. Provinces correspond to countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, Nigeria), parts of countries (e.g., North and South India), or groups of countries (e.g., Central Africa, Southern Cone, West Indies).
(2) Radical Progressives say “primate” with awed satisfaction when referring to Progressive bishops who lead the Anglican churches of rich, English-speaking countries and South Africa but with marked disdain when referring to Orthodox bishops from Global South* provinces. Researchers theorize that for these Progressives, “primate” actually constitutes two words with the same spelling and sound but different meanings (in linguistic terms, homographic, homophonic homonyms). “Primate” as applied to rich-country bishops evidently has the same meaning as in paragraph (1). Experts disagree about the meaning applied to Orthodox, Global South bishops. Although some radical Progressive blogs have carried simian cartoons, the bloggers become uncharacteristically mute when asked about those cartoons. Firm conclusions about the second meaning must await further research.
PROBLEM OF EVIL: Another reason to blame God.
PROCESS: Anything that takes longer than a few hours (e.g., a “negotiation process” or “peace process”); how patient, generous Progressives get their way. “Don’t you go calling our Re-Bible® some ‘hasty’ rewrite. We sensitively* re-visioned* the ancient texts through an open*, inclusive* process of conversation* and consultation* at diocesan headquarters across the country.”
PROGRESSIVE REVELATION: God telling Progressives what they want to hear.
PROPHETIC ACTS: How impatient Progressives get their way. Progressives act “prophetically” when they break rules to commit noisy acts of inclusion.
(1) For the Orthodox, encouraging others to become Christians, in keeping with the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20.
 (2) For radical Progressives, coercing others to forsake their spiritual and cultural heritage; akin to browbeating destitute mothers to bottle-feed their babies commercial infant-formula. As if to underscore the shame of it all, forcefully pronouncing “Pro-Se-li-TiZe” gives you at least three good opportunities to spit.
PSEUDEPIGRAPHA: Texts claiming authorship by someone other than their real author: e.g., Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, 2 Peter, 3 John, and Jude.
PSYCHOLOGIZE: To ascribe disagreement to mental illness. When used against the Orthodox, psychologizing constitutes a jolly good intimidation technique. “Lizabeth psychologized his socks off, didn’t she?” When used against Progressives, psychologizing constitutes verbal violence*. “If you try to psychologize me, I’ll file a presentment* against you tomorrow.” Do not even think of ascribing the Orthodox Conspiracy to paranoia, Progressive bishops’ tactics to authoritarianism or antisocial personality, or 20/20 Vision* progress reports to generalized delusional disorder.
RADICAL WELCOME: Anti-Alpha* course proclaiming the good news that the Episcopal Church accepts* anyone and anything—-except evangelicals, foreign bishops, Nashotah House, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, uppity Orthodox clergy and congregations, and unhelpful* parts of the Bible. See also Welcome.
RAPTURE: To reclaim a seceding congregation’s buildings and other property. “Another day, another rapture, another set of schismatics lamenting what they ‘left behind.’”
RE-VISIONING: Replacing oppressive attitudes, doctrines, ideas, stereotypes, stories, structures, systems, values, and visions with their liberating* P.C.* counterparts or whatever else feels best.
REACTIONARY: Objective term for radical conservatives who seek—-in the name of orthodox Christian doctrine—-to subvert the Episcopal Church, its Constitution and Canons*, and its splendid polity*. Polite reactionaries call themselves “reasserters”; coarse reactionaries call themselves “Orthodox.”
REAPPRAISER: Synonym for Progressive.
REASSERTER: See Reactionary*.
RECONCILIATION: Process by which the Orthodox accommodate themselves to progress. “The House of Bishops today reiterated the need for reconciliation.”
RECOVER: To recreate a belief, event, story, or text that should have existed and must have been lost. “My dissertation will recover the Sophia* hymn missing from the prologue to the Gospel of John.” See also Re-Vision*.
(1) Primitive notion that Christ died for the “sins” of the world. “We bless thee for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(2) Process by which Christians enhance secular society; liberation. “We will redeem television from militaristic advertising.”
REIMAGINE: See Re-Vision; Recover.
REJECTING: Not accepting*. “Could the real Jesus have been so rejecting as to say, “You must be born again?”
RELEVANT: Trendy; interesting to me where I am right now; in worship, entertaining.
REPENTANCE: Making yourself feel bad because of your so-called “sins” and resolving not to “sin” again. Superseded by baptismal covenant (2)*.
RESURRECTION: Feeling that Christ is alive. Formerly, the crude notion that Christ rose bodily from the dead.
REVISIONIST: Derogatory term for Progressive.
SACRED: Anything anyone regards as holy or spiritual.
SAFE PLACE: Environment in which reactionaries cannot say anything that might upset feminists, sexual minorities, or other oppressed groups. “We provide a Safe Place for pyromaniacs to discover their full potentiality.”
SAME SEX BLESSING: The Episcopal Church's totally inadequate answer to the problem of marriage equality* . i.e "Bishop Miller argues the provision as adopted creates a two-tier system in the Episcopal Church and does nothing to advance marriage equality." (found here)
SATAN: Mythical entity invented by primitive people to explain why bad things happen to good people. (see also Devil).
SEEK: To look for answers you don’t intend to find. “Listen, my friend, I’ve been seeking God since before you were born, and I’m no closer now than when I started.”
SELF-HATING: Thinking, speaking, or acting contrary to one’s proper identity* or inclination. “Only self-hating women oppose abortion.”
SEMINARY: Educational institution that affirms Progressives and reeducates the Orthodox.
SENSITIVE: Deferential to political correctness. “We have sensitively revised the hymnal to omit all masculine references to God.”
SERIAL MONOGAMY: Derisive term used by reasserters when discussing divorce* and re-marriage in the Church.
(1) Why the Orthodox say they feel guilty; metaphorical etiology of not-OKness.
(2) Failing to realize our full potential.
(3) Systemic social evils.
SLIPPERY SLOPE: See Alternative Episcopal Oversight; Alternative Primatial Oversight; Anglican Covenant. “If you allow that, you will have planted both feet on a slippery slope.”
SOCIAL JUSTICE: "Social justice" differs from "Justice" in that collateral damage and disproportionate retribution are expected, condoned, and approved means to an end.
SOLSTICE: Deeper meaning of Christmas.
SOPHIA: Radical feminist name for the Second Person of the Trinity. Formerly, a Gnostic deity.
SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT: Figuring out which spirits are right for you. “Oakwyse is guiding me in my process* of spiritual discernment.” See also Discern.
SPIRITUAL GIFTS: Divinely imparted gifts to build up God’s church for God’s service and enhance life for all people everywhere: e.g., crystal healing, channeling ascended masters, labyrinth interpretation, and environmentally responsible dowsing.
SSB: Same sex blessing*, not to be confused with "Ship, Submersible, Ballistic".
STOOL, THREE-LEGGED: Affirms primacy of Progressive reason in formulating church Doctrine. “Anglicans view the Bible as only one leg of a three-legged stool that also includes reason and tradition.  See also Hooker, Richard. (Editor's note, not exactly what Hooker meant).
STORY: Biblical myth. “The story of Jesus walking on the water.”
SUPPORTIVE: Promoting the liberation* and empowerment of women and members of sexual minorities. “We are a supportive congregation, so get your mind right before you whine to me about your failing kidneys.”
SYMPATHY: Condescending empathy.
TABLE: What unites us. “As Anglicans it matters not what we believe as long as we come together at the table.” See also Liturgy.
TEALEOLOGY: Theology of teacup evangelism.
TEc: Derogatory abbreviation used by reasserters for TEC*.
TEC: Abbreviation for the Episcopal Church. No “High TEC” or “Low TEC” witticisms, please.
TEO: The Episcopal Organization, derogatory abbreviation used by reasserters for TEC*.
TEMPTATION: Our first awareness of wanting to do what we’re going to do anyway.
THORN IN THE FLESH: Paul of Tarsus*. “St. Paul’s writings rankle like a thorn in the flesh.” See also 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.
(1) Traditionally, to respect others’ freedom (e.g., of speech, belief, and conscience) even when one disagrees with their views: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” These words, attributed to Voltaire, underscore the traditional distinction between upholding someone’s freedom to speak (a process value) and agreeing with the substance of what the speaker says.
(2) For Progressives, to accept the substantive validity of others’ views, consistent with a worldview of moral relativism. To be “tolerant” of others’ views, one must regard those views as valid—-indeed, regard all views as equally valid. If you believe Jesus is uniquely the Way, the Truth, and the Life, you are “intolerant” regardless of your willingness to defend others’ freedom to believe otherwise.
TRINITY: Parent, Child, and Spirit; Mother, Child, and Womb; Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier; Rock, Redeemer, and Friend; Scissors, Stone, and Paper. Formerly, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
TRIUMPHALISM: Believing that Jesus is uniquely the Way, the Truth, and the Life. “Just read Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible to get a sense of the effects of Christian triumphalism” (Elizabeth Kaeton).
TRUTH: What is truth? There are many truths: yours, mine, and everyone else’s. We have long outgrown the oppressive notion that one size fits all. See also Doctrine; Inclusive Plurals.
UNHELPFUL: Not furthering Progressive values and sensibilities; being part of the problem, not part of the solution. “Continuing to discuss Dr. Ann Holmes Redding’s conversion to Islam would be unhelpful.”
UNWELCOMING: The opposite of welcoming*. 
VERBAL VIOLENCE: Judging and criticizing; telling tasteless jokes; refuting my arguments so soundly that you hurt my feelings; making insensitive assertions that I can’t refute. See also Bash (2).
(1) Anglicanism as a middle way between Roman Catholicism and Calvinism.
(2) Anglicanism as a middle way between Christian faith and secular humanism.
(3) Network of Progressive Episcopalians.
VIA SINISTRA: Disrespectful term for Via Media (3).
VIAGRA CENTRAL: Radical Progressives’ affectionate nickname for Stand Firm. “Over at Viagra Central, the cannibals are firing up their cauldron.”
VOICES: Views and experiences of feminists and members of oppressed minority groups. “The Episcopal Church is finally beginning to hear new voices.”
(1) “To greet hospitably and with courtesy or cordiality” (Merriam-Webster).
(2) To accept* with warmth and enthusiasm.
WELCOMING: To accept* the blessing of homosexual practices. i.e. "We are a welcoming community."
WRESTLE WITH GOD: To defy or blame God while engaging God in a dialogue of equals. The Orthodox wrestle with challenges or problems “before God” (i.e., while prayerfully aware of God’s presence). Progressives dare to wrestle with Godself.
YAHWEH: 1960s name for God.
YOGA: What we learn on our parish retreat, along with astral projection, values clarification, and Tantric dishwashing.

Here are the original links:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Inauguration, Inschmauguration, How About the March For Life?

Forget all the media hype over today's incredible waste of taxpayer's money. The real event this week in Washington D.C. is the March for Life scheduled for this Friday. I don't expect much of a media frenzy over the march, but what else is new? The Daily Kos has labelled the marchers as "pro-life terrorists," and tells anyone opposed to President Obama's agenda (which is pro-abortion) to "suck it."

Don't look for the annoited one to suck it up and make an appearance at the March for Life.

Per Drudge: In the USA, there will be over 3500 killed today from abortion.
No flags lowered.

No Presidents crying.

No media hyperventilating.

Just a normal day.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weddings, Marriage, Same Sex Blessings, Confusion Reigns

Today's readings at church seemed to point to the "M" word.

1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
   and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,
   and her salvation like a burning torch.
2 The nations shall see your vindication,
   and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
   that the mouth of the Lord will give.
3 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
   and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
   and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
   and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
   and your land shall be married.
5 For as a young man marries a young woman,
   so shall your builder (your sons) marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
   so shall your God rejoice over you.
Isaiah 62:1-5

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-1
Raising the subject of weddings in an Episcopal church tends to lead to the inevitable discussion on homosexual blessing or weddings.

In today's sermon we were treated to a straight-forward homily focusing on weddings, making something out of nothing (lemonade out of wine), but we were spared any mention of same-sex blessings. Of course, we were also spared any mention of our Creator's intentions, and any mention of what Jesus and the Bible might have said about the subject of same-sex weddings.

Ah well, such is the homilist's dilemna: whether to duck and run or whether to let em know how you really feel.

I wonder how Bishop Steven Miller of the Diocese of Milwaukee handled it? He is one amongst a large crowd of confused Episcopal clergymen on the subject of marriage (okay there I went and used the "M" word). This article in the Milwuakee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel demonstrates Bishop Miller's unusual take on blessing homosexual practice in the church,

Bishop Steven Miller has yet to decide whether he'll allow the provisional rite approved by the church to be used in its parishes. And the lack of a decision is frustrating many in a diocese that strongly supported the change. 
Miller argues the provision as adopted creates a two-tier system in the Episcopal Church and does nothing to advance marriage equality.
He has proposed eliminating the church's civil function in conducting marriages, returning that to the state, and rewriting the Book of Common Prayer to define marriage as between two people, regardless of gender.

"There is a difference between Christian marriage and civil legality," Miller said.

"The blessing rite, while trying to achieve justice for one group of people, creates an injustice for another," he said, pointing to, for example, elderly heterosexual couples who cannot marry for financial reasons.
"We don't have the authority to bless those unions," he said. 

The Rev. Kevin Carroll, dean of All Saints Cathedral in Milwaukee, said he believes the rite will eventually be adopted in some form in the diocese.

"I think what we're working on is how to honor people . . . who still hold up a traditional view of marriage, but still more forward with the intent and spirit of the general convention's vote last summer," said Carroll.

"My guess is, by this time next year, we'll have a better idea what we're doing."

Which means to say that right now they haven't got a clue as to what they are doing. The reason for their cluelessness is simply that they have walked apart from the Apostolic Faith and the wisdom they are supposed to be teaching (the wisdom that been delivered to us as it is found in Scripture). They are on their own.
"In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 21: 25

Not every Episcopal Bishop is twisting their undies in knots about same sex blessings, and they don't see this as "doing nothing to advance marriage equality" as Bishop Miller complains. Instead, other bishops see this as just the kind of blessing that Jesus would endorse. Read (in the El Paso Times) the words of Bishop Michael Vono of the rapidly declining Diocese of the Rio Grande,

"I'm very positive about it," he said. "We live in an age where there is still a lot of judgment, still a lot of discrimination that happens within Christianity. We exclude people that are not like ourselves.

"So this may be the Jesus thing to do in our age because Jesus forced the issue that no one is rejected by God and that all people are loved. And if you have two responsible people, whether heterosexual or gay, who love in a Christian way -- which is responsibly and exclusively monogamous and help each other and forgive each other -- what more can we ask for?"

 All people are loved, but not all the things we do are loved. We are loved so much that Jesus blesses us by forgiving those unloving things we have done and by commanding us to "go and sin no more."

I am afraid that Bishop Vono and Bishop Miller have mis-read that last line and are quite prepared to tell their flock to "Go and sin some more."

Pray for the sheep of these confused shepherds.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pope Benedict on Gender Identity and Gender Manipulation

Here is an excellent description of the problem of modern gender identity from Pope Benedict's 2012 "state of the Church" address. h/t Opinionated Catholic.

"The words of the creation account: 'male and female he created them' (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female – hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned."
And if you think the Pontifex is just another out of touch, twittering celibate male, I cite the following example from the news to show how prescient his 2012 remarks were:
"An undergraduate student at a small women’s college in North Carolina is seeking permission to stay at the school — and live on campus — after she undergoes gender reassignment surgery in February, which will finalize her transformation into a man."

"Officials at the school, Salem College, are now considering the thorny issue, reports the Winston-Salem Journal."

Read more:
I guess that would be considered a case of somebody wanting to have it both ways.

In a world where Christ's rule is rejected, "now we decide for ourselves" applies not only to matters of human sexuality, but to all manner of things (think abortion).
"In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 21: 25
Time and time again we choose "our will be done" over "Thy will be done."
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19 KJV
 Consider these things the next time a politician or religious leader describes themselves as "pro-choice".

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Death of Languages: Episcospeak and Episcobabble

In her sermon today, our priest attempted to convey the need for those of us in the congo to participate in our "Strategic Visioning Process," and in particular, to attend today's meeting that was to focus on "Faith Formation" (AKA Christian Education). The message in her sermon was to imagine a future where the words "Baptism" or "Resurrection" lose their deeper meaning. To illustrate this, she suggested that one half of the world's languages will die by the year 2100 (she may have been referring to the National Geographic Society's Enduring Voices Project which can be found here).

Our priest told us that languages tend to die once a population shrinks to less than one million people who speak that language. Given the fact that the average Sunday attendance in the Episcopal church has been below that threshold for more than a decade and is dropping like a stone (TEc research shows that the average Sunday attendance across the church in 2010 was 657,831 in the United States. That compares to 856,579 in 2000), could it be possible that Episcospeak and its related tongue, Episcobabble, are in the process of going extinct?

Anyone familiar with the rambling letters of our bishops, and the sometimes difficult to comprehend social activist rants of our priests, will see that this extinction business might not be a bad thing. Lest they protest that I am hoping that their revisionist language go the way of the dodo, I should remind them that they themselves sought to eliminate another language, and that was the language of my parents and my youth when they came out with the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

I might also remind them that the very words that our priest fears might die have already been hijacked and have seen their meanings revised. The following are taken from the "Revisionist Dictionary By Irenaeus First Edition—August 2007" published in five parts on-line at StandFirm in Faith. I will post the entire thing later this month and put up a link when it is done.

(1) Traditionally, the covenant made at baptism by which we repent, renounce sin, accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and become members of Christ, redeemed by his atoning sacrifice. “Obdurate sin grieves the Holy Spirit and violates our baptismal covenant.”
(2) For Progressives, two related ideas: that baptism irrevocably confers good standing in the church so neither “sinful” conduct nor heterodox belief disqualifies any baptized person from holding church office; and that baptized persons need little trouble themselves about “sin”*, repentance*, or amendment of life*. “A moratorium on ordaining noncelibate homosexuals would betray our baptismal covenant.”

RESURRECTION: Feeling that Christ is alive. Formerly, the crude notion that Christ rose bodily from the dead.

And don't forget the biggie that we recite every time we say the 1979 Baptismal Covenant and the one that shows up in any argument about human sexuality and the Church,

JUSTICE: P.C.* outcomes, by any process. “The 1959 revolution did much to establish justice in Cuba.”
"Justice," in Episcospeak, also has the deeper meaning: "My will be done, not Thine." The Revisionist Dictionary may need a second edition.

In an earlier post I quoted CS Lewis on the "Death of Words," and it bears repeating in this context,

"What is the good of deepening a word's connotation if you deprive the word of all practicable denotation? Words, as well as women, can be 'killed with kindness'. And when, however reverently, you have killed a word you have also, as far as in you lay, blotted from the human mind the thing that word originally stood for. Men do not long continue to think what they have forgotten to say."

C.S. Lewis, "The Death of Words" From (C.S. Lewis On Stories, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1982, p. 107)
We should not pass on to our children through any "Faith Formation" process words that have been "killed with kindness," or words that have been so perverted that they have not only lost their ancient meanings but have taken on new and more dangerous ones.

Whether or not Episcospeak and Episcobabble deserve to die, they will (if the statistics are accurate and are predictive of extinction). The attempt by Episcopal revisionists to change the meaning of words in order to foster and justify the social and moral changes popular amongst the majority of clery of the Church was doomed from the get go as it went against the very Word passed down to us through Holy Scripture.

When Epsicospeak goes extinct, don't blame people for not teaching it to their children.

Instead, blame "The Word" for the death of "those words".

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

"Spiritual but not Religious" and Mental Health

If the thought of hearing one more person tell you that they are spiritual but not religious is enough to drive you crazy, you thought wrong.

In the U.K., researchers have concluded that "People who have a spiritual understanding of life in the absence of a religious framework are vulnerable to mental disorder." This survey was reported in "CROSSROADS" a "Newsletter of the Center for Spirituality, Theology & Health" from Duke University. Here are some of the findings,

  1. 35% had a religious understanding of life,
  2. 19% had a spiritual understanding (but not religious),
  3. 46% said they were neither spiritual nor religious.
  4. Religious persons were 27% less likely to have ever used drugs.
  5. Religious persons were 19% less likely to be a hazardous drinker.  
  6. Those with a "spiritual" view of life (but not religious) were more likely to have ever used drugs, be dependent on drugs, have abnormal eating attitudes, experience generalized anxiety disorder, a phobia, or a neurotic disorder, and were 40% more likely to be taking psychiatric medication.  
Researchers concluded that "People who have a spiritual understanding of life in the absence of a religious framework are vulnerable to mental disorder." 

Citation: King MB, Marston L, McManus S, Brugha T, Metzer H, Bebbington P (2012). Religion, spirituality and mental health: Results from a national study of English households. British Journal of Psychiatry, November 22 [E-pub ahead of print]
Comment: This is the largest study to date reporting that those who describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious" (a growing category of people in the U.S. and Europe) have worse mental health. The authors did not explain why those who are spiritual but not religious have worse mental health, although admitted that the study was cross-sectional, so direction of causation could not be determined (i.e., the findings don't tell us whether being spiritual but not religious causes mental illness, or whether mental illness causes people to describe themselves as spiritual but not religious). 
My personal observations of the "spiritual but not religious" crowd cannot be quantified, but I have noted a tendency towards what I call, "flakiness." I don't know if there is a diagnostic code for that or not. "Flakes," when presented with a menu, tend to choose the spiritual fad du jour over traditional Christianity. Spiritual instability therefore might be a marker for psychological instability.   

I wonder if the guidance of right doctrine by established religion helps provide some of the effects on mental stability suggested by this survey. Of course, these surveys alway lead to more speculative questions than they answer. The problem with any kind of survey like this is the problem of definitions, in this case the definitions of "religious" or "spiritual" as well as the problem of what constitutes a mental disorder come to mind.

In addition to the authors' conclusions, the results seem to point to an overall decrease in "religiosity" in the U.K. Other attempts to measure this were highlighted in the "Religion in Great Britain" study (contemporary with the British Journal of Psychiatry report) which concluded that the numbers of people with no religion, while increasing, would not reach the 65% level until 2020 (65% figure obtained by adding the 19% "spiritual but not religious" plus the 46% "neither spiritual but not religious" reported in the British Journal of Psychiatry study cited above).
‘Between the fourth quarter of 2004 and the fourth quarter of 2010, the Christian  population fell from 78.0 per cent of the population to 69.4 per cent, while the group of people with no religion grew from 15.7 per cent to 22.4 per cent. ‘If these populations continue to shrink and grow by the same number of people each year, the number of people with no religion will overtake the number of Christians in Great Britain in 20 years, on this measure of religious affiliation.’ The Labour Force Survey asks people what religion they belong to, ‘even if you are not currently practising’ – a form of question which tends actually to underestimate the number who say they are non-believers.
Quite likely a great underestimation of the number of non-believers even though I wonder how one would quantify the actual number of non-believers. While applicable only to Christians, the surveyors might ask "Do you believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour?" I don't think that will ever happen in the current climate of "political correctness."  I guess that is a job for the guy guarding the pearly gates.
Stickmen from BeckySaysThings

Sunday, January 06, 2013

A Bishop's Particular Responsibility

The Church of England’s House of Bishops recently announced that clergy in civil partnerships can become bishops, but they must remain celibate.

As if...

The Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya, released a statement on the matter that can be found at T19,

"However, the heart of the matter is not enforceability, but that bishops have a particular responsibility to be examples of godly living.
The Archbishop doesn't agree with what the revisionist church has defined as "godly living," and to me this is the heart of the matter: convinced that when they see loving homosexual relationships that these are examples of godly living, it then becomes a requirement of the revisionist leader to force it down everybody else's throats.
It cannot be right that they are able to enter into legally recognised relationships which institutionalise and condone behaviour that is completely contrary to the clear and historic teaching of Scripture, as reaffirmed for Anglicans by the 1998 Lambeth Conference in its Resolution 1.10."
According to the revisionist, the only thing clear about the historic teaching of Scripture is that it is clearly homophobic and clearly wrong.
"The weight of this moral teaching cannot be supported by a flimsy proviso. In his teaching about marriage, Jesus reaffirms that marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman in accordance with the pattern of creation itself when he says ‘from the beginning of creation God made them male and female’ (Mark 10:6). For the health and well being of both church and society we must promote this great God given gift of marriage without compromise and ambiguity."
Here in the U.S., many would agree that our society is unhealthy. Many also would say that certain Churches are unhealthy. The statistics seem to show that TEc is in decline, and this I consider to be a sign of illness.  Perhaps only future historians will be able to properly assess the effects of the loss of the strength of the moral teachings of Jesus on our society. As far as today's moral wasteland goes, someday it too will cry for the blessed rain of Jesus' words to wash us so that we might return to the health that He desires for us.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Diachronic Koinonia and "Local Options" in the Church

2013 will likely bring to many Episcopalians the new tension of living in a church where one parish may bless sin in the form of same sex relationships while a neighboring parish will not deviate from the apostolic faith. We may wind up with same sex blessings as a "local option," and as long as the money keeps rolling in, most Bishops will consider this a "unity" of sorts. Of course, this is a false unity, and a destructive one as the Pope pointed out back in 2008 when he said,

"Too often those who are not Christians, as they observe the splintering of Christian communities, are understandably confused about the Gospel message itself. Fundamental Christian beliefs and practices are sometimes changed within communities by so-called 'prophetic actions' that are based on a hermeneutic not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition. Communities consequently give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of 'local options'. Somewhere in this process the need for diachronic koinonia – communion with the Church in every age – is lost, just at the time when the world is losing its bearings and needs a persuasive common witness to the saving power of the Gospel" (cf. Rom 1:18-23). 
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI, St. Joseph's Parish, New York, Friday, 18 April 2008

(H/t James H. at Opinionated Catholic )

Too many local options dilute the Faith and confuse the seeker. The Gospel's clear voice is lost in the din of  the competing messages.

I get the sensus that the Pope is right about those "prophetic actions" too.