Sunday, July 25, 2021
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Sunday, July 18, 2021
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Saturday, July 03, 2021
Monday, June 28, 2021
Following the 2020 election in the United States a number of supporters of the incumbent President were dissatisfied with the results. Two courses of action were followed. One course was by a team of lawyers representing the reelection campaign of Donald Trump. They filed sixty-four lawsuits in various states. The suits alleged massive voter fraud and sought the overturning of official certifications in those states. Court records are a matter of public record, so one can research the data without relying on the news media. This is what I found. Of those sixty-four court cases three were dismissed for Lack of Standing. Four were dismissed for Lack of Cause (not alleging enough instances of voter fraud to justify the sought remedy). The overwhelming number of cases, all of the remaining fifty-seven, were dismissed or withdrawn by the reelection campaign’s own lawyers for Lack of Evidence. Very well. The reelection campaign exercised their legal rights. One could say that their method, going to court, was in keeping with respect for the United States and the Rule of Law.
But the other course of action was the very opposite of patriotism. It was, in fact, treasonous; not against a political entity as such, but against the Rule of Law. The Rule of Law and Democracy share reciprocal protection. And in the United States the highest law of the land is the Constitution. Attackers broke into the Capitol Building at almost two o’clock in the afternoon of January 6, 2021 (hereafter to be called the Epiphany Putsch), having walked across the Washington D.C. Mall from a rally held by the defeated President. They chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” and had actually constructed a gallows with a hangman’s noose on a dangling rope. He was presiding over the Senate at that moment. They also voiced an intention to kill the Speaker of the House. Both houses of Congress were in session, not to decide anything, but to carry out the Constitutionally required duty of certifying the votes already presented by the Electors.
If indeed the President of the Senate (i.e., the Vice President of the United States) and the Speaker of the House of Representatives had died in that attack, a Constitutional crisis unlike anything in history could have created a legal loophole that had the potential to work as a coup against the Constitution of the United States, against the Rule of Law and its reciprocal protection of Democracy. An incumbent who had lost by the Rule of Law might have held onto power against everything the Founding Fathers clearly intended for the country. The actual box containing the physical votes of the Electors was spirited away to safety along with all the members of both houses. No one can say that the attackers acted in keeping with respect for the United States and the Rule of Law. They were certainly not patriots. Just the opposite.
NO AMERICAN REVOLUTION
The tragedy is that the most outspoken insurrectionists among them had been so terribly deceived that they wrongly imagined themselves to be patriots. Some thought they were acting in the same spirit as the Founders of the country. This is partly due to a seriously flawed education. What happened in the United States is called the Revolutionary War or the American Revolution, a war that lasted from April 19, 1775 to September 3, 1783, and that birthed the independence of the United States in July 1776. We have always called it a revolution. Even the greatest Founding Father of them all (in my humble opinion), John Adams, called it a revolution. But was it? The Americans did not overthrow the King and Parliament of Great Britain. It was a war of Independence; but it was not a revolution by dictionary definition. It was not a coup either. The problem with calling it a revolution is that this habit has produced a complete misunderstanding that is having dangerous consequences in our own time.
When the British colonies were founded, with their thirteen respective royal charters, they were fully empowered by the Crown and The Parliament to establish colonial legislatures. This they did, each and every one. Theirs was the binding legal authority recognized by the Parliament and commanded by the Crown. When, for example, the Boston Massacre occurred (March 5, 1770), the soldiers who killed the colonists were tried for murder. Their defense counsel, John Adams, obtained an acquittal by convincing the jury that the soldiers were young men who acted out of fear for their lives. The real point is this: That recognition of the laws of the colonies, established by their own legislatures, was respected by Great Britain.
Later, by 1775, things had changed. So it was that when war broke out because the British had become increasingly heavy-handed, it was not, as the much later 2021 Epiphany Putsch attackers of the Capitol Building wrongly believed about American history, a sudden uprising of rebels. Not at all. The mislabeled American “Revolution” was a perfectly legal act, carried out within the Rule of Law to preserve the Rule of Law. Each Colonial Legislature, the actual legal authority in each colony by Royal Charter, agreed to appoint the Continental Congress, and each legislature sent their delegates to Philadelphia. It was in that lawfully constituted Congress that Independence from Great Britain was voted on quite properly, and in which it passed on July 2, 1776. It was publicly announced two days later on July 4, which we celebrate as Independence Day. In short, Parliament back in London, with the aid of the King, was guilty of violating the Rule of Law, all thirteen Colonial Charters, and empowering their soldiers to come to these shores and break those laws in any manner they chose. They usurped power over the properly established legal authorities, and therefore exercised tyranny.
But the Epiphany Putsch insurrectionists (and by definition that is the correct word to use for them) were nothing like the Founding Fathers. They acted in complete disregard for the Rule of Law. They had nothing in common with the people who fought in the war for American Independence. And they were the very opposite of patriots because they rejected the Rule of Law, even after the courts had properly ruled sixty-four times. They were actually terrorists at that point. And they were just as pathetic as those ridiculous organizations that proclaim themselves to be state militias despite the fact that no state has ever authorized any of them, and so they are not regulated, let alone “well regulated,” and so not really militias at all.
WHY ON THIS CHRISTIAN BLOG?
Some may ask why I am making this point about secular history on a blog about Continuing Anglicanism. What has it to do with our specific concerns? I will begin to answer by saying that nothing in life is, for us, entirely secular. If we are believers, God is always involved in our lives, the decisions we make, the values we hold, and especially in matters that touch on issues of morality and on peace among ourselves. Currently, in the United States, we face a new danger. In place of what was once an intellectually rigorous form of Conservative thought, possessing a willingness to hold debates, to express different opinions, and accept the outcome of elections within the Rule of Law with its reciprocal protection of Democracy, there is in this time a new brand of anti-intellectual Right-wing violence that dares to masquerade as “Patriotism.” But true patriotism for Americans is nothing if not respect for the Constitution and the order it maintains.
Far too many of our own people are being deceived by these efforts, efforts that consist of insane, and I say demonic, Conspiracy Theories, with calls for violence and a “new civil war.” Everyone who is too sane to be lulled into the mass hysteria of this paranoia is accused of being unpatriotic. The whole movement is largely fueled by a desire to throw away our cherished Rule of Law in favor of the rule of men, specifically of one man. A very real problem exists among us even in our own churches: People advocating violence against their fellow citizens.
“Then said Jesus unto him, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword (Matt. 26:52).’”
It is demonic voices that call for blood and rage. Those who follow the Son of Man are forbidden to even entertain the thought of such things. Conservative thought has been replaced, on all the major outlets, by the “Chicken Little” New Right. Its message of a falling sky, with the evil bogeymen of socialism, gays, Muslims, immigrants (shudder), CRT, and “Jewish space-lasers,” etc., has created even within Christian circles the worst kind of fear, the kind that turns to hate.
“Perfect love casteth out fear (I John 4:18).”
“Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold (Matt. 24:12).”
Unbelievers will do what unbelievers do. You are not called to fear the world, nor to take up arms for the Kingdom of God (John 18:36). You are called to be salt and light. Do not be one of those who hide their light, and among the salt that has lost its savor.
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Saturday, June 05, 2021
Saturday, May 29, 2021
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Saturday, May 08, 2021
Tuesday, May 04, 2021
Saturday, May 01, 2021
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Sunday, April 04, 2021
Saturday, April 03, 2021
Thursday, April 01, 2021
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Saturday, March 06, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Saturday, February 06, 2021
Friday, February 05, 2021
Unless you have been on the frontlines, outside of abortion mills, trying to save women from doing themselves great spiritual harm, and trying to save the lives of the innocent children in their wombs, facing the police, being “fingered” and jeered, and threatened and insulted for obeying your conscience, I am not impressed by your voting record. I will stack up my record of pro-life activism, with the saving of real lives (some of whom are as old as thirty-two at the time of this writing) against the claims of anybody to be pro-life. Were the demands of your conscience easily satisfied by supporting a political candidate based solely on words alone? Well, I have put myself out there.
I am tired of people defending all of Trump’s evils based on only one issue. I have been on the frontlines, sometimes able to save lives. For decades I have been active in pro-life work. I know this: When women are deciding whether or not to have an abortion there are many factors that can influence them in either direction. Who sits in the Oval Office is not among those factors.
The only real way to prevent abortions is to provide things, such as moral guidance to the young, moral support for pregnant women, material support from our pockets, etc. Those who want it to be a political and legislative issue are simply trying to put a hypocritical band-aid on their basic indifference to the poor, and to asylum seekers, and to foreign victims of our Military Industrial Complex. They are lost in Chicken-Little “Conservation” because they are irrationally afraid of losing some precious privilege that makes them feel safe. Such are not the kind who actually have done what I have done: Save lives on the frontlines out of love for Jesus and for my neighbor.
If the Republicans are actually pro-life, then answer me this: Why, when they had all the power, between 2001 and 2006, and again in 2017 and 2018, did they not even attempt to bring pro-life legislation to the floor for a vote? Why did they not even propose to end, or to even merely reduce, funding to Planned Parenthood? In 2015 they passed the elimination of funding to Planned Parenthood in both houses. That was when they could count on President Obama to veto it. Later, throughout the twenty-four months of power in Trump’s first term, why did they never, having the same majority that passed it before, even propose it again?
The answer is obvious to anyone with even as little as half a brain: If they proposed it at that time, with the majority they had, and brought it to the floor for a vote, they would have won in both houses of Congress. President Trump would have had to sign the legislation. They would have won, and all your years, as a dedicated Republican voter, expecting pro-life legislation from those folks we put in Congress every two and six years, respectively, would have paid off. But, our continued support, with money and votes, could no longer be taken for granted.
So, I do not want to hear any more crap, especially after the failed Epiphany Putsch, from anybody, that any of us owed some loyalty to the Republicans in November, or that not to vote for them was a “mortal sin,” or that Donald Trump, of all the unworthy perverted sinners out there (a pal of Jefferey Epstein) was the only morally acceptable choice demanded by God of Christians. After Trump’s attempt to overthrow the Rule of Law, via the Constitution, with the reciprocal protection of democracy, which would have resulted in the loss of all of our liberties as Americans, how can any of you fail to see the evil of the man? Why did even the violence and evil of what happened at the Capitol on January 6 fail to awake you from your slumber?
Whatever it is that blinds you to the truth, it is not anything pro-life.
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Friday, January 29, 2021
STATE OF THE PARISH
For the Annual Meeting of St. Benedict’s ACC in 2021.
Fr. Hart, Rector.
speak of the State of
However, when it comes to the effect of the pandemic on the parish, we have to take into account perception. Perception affects us as much as reality. Therefore, whatever opinions individuals may hold, including the rather absurd conflation of scientific reality with politics (a very real indicator of how much some people revel in fantasy), the reaction to what is going on has come at a very annoying time. It is annoying to me personally. I have watched the ups and downs of both membership and attendance for almost twelve years here. I have seen many people join our parish, but usually just enough to replace those who have departed this mortal life, or have moved away. In 2019, and early in 2020, we saw growth in the ways that matter. Our active membership had been growing, and it was reflected not only in more predictable and regular attendance, but also in the parish income. People were joining us, in general, because they loved what they experienced at our services. This was not, as in times past, mostly disaffected Episcopalians, as a good percentage of new members expressed delight in finding traditional and liturgical worship for the first time.
As things stand now, however, we must all hope and pray that people are not happy with staying home on Sunday morning. It is not that I want our people to be generally unhappy. But, for their spiritual health, I hope and pray that they are getting quite tired of missing church. Perhaps some of you think they are wrong to stay home, and others think they are doing what is right. Again, the perception prevails that being among several people in a church service is neither safe nor wise until the pandemic is over. I respect their decision, and I have made the repeated offer to visit them with the Reserve Sacrament (which some have responded to positively, and others by saying they will be back in church soon – something I prefer not to hear when I would rather go to them now). I continue to feed them as much as I can, with the help of James Lazenby, by making videos for every Sunday, and for special Feast Days.
Due to the pandemic our ministry at the Startford Senior Care Facility has been suspended since March of last year. I am ready to resume it again when they allow us back in. Our hope to have a new Sunday School program has also been put on the back burner. We have a good number of children in the parish, but several of them are at a pre-school age (including our newest member, whom I baptized last month).
A new ACC church is forming in
We have a Postulant in our parish, who
is also studying at
I had a dream back just before Easter, and I woke up laughing. It was a splendid Sunday morning, and people were suddenly attending in good number. We had just completed our Sunday Mass. But one thing, that made sense only during the dream, was what made me laugh upon waking up. As a postlude, James was playing “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” from Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins. I thought about it, and considered that I dreamed that, quite likely, because the song was featured during the very happy ending of the story in the movie. We know that, because of vaccines, people will soon feel safe gathering in church again. I will not expect our organist to play that selection. But we can expect a happy ending. Let us be ready to rebuild and restore, and go forward.