Sunday, July 25, 2010

Projection: "the operation of expelling feelings or wishes the individual finds wholly unacceptable . . .by attributing them to another"

Martyn Minns has fallen prey to an assumption common to many far right extremists. He assumes that his ecclesiastical opponents are as devoid of decency and morality as he is.

The schismatic bishop has recently accused the Episcopal Church of using Episcopal World Relief and other international mission funding to bribe African Anglicans "to embrace the TEC viewpoint."

Now, as a rule, I refuse to link to extremist websites, so instead I'll link you to Canon Mark Harris's Preludium blog, where he provides the entire delusional Minns quote, along with some helpful hermeneutic.

The thing is, I don't think Minns is actually lying. Technically, a liar must know that what s/he is saying is untrue. But I think the delusional Dr. Minns actually believes that the Episcopal Church would bribe African church leaders. After all, his gang have already done so.

Jim Naughton, formerly on staff with the Diocese of Washington, has fully documented the way that far right activists in the United States have used financial clout in precisely this sort of dishonest way as part of their campaign to marginalize the Episcopal Church.

It's classical projection, of course. Minns and his fellow travellers are prepared to buy the support of African bishops like Peter Akinola and Henry "all that money" Orombi. Minns has some residual moral understanding that bribery (if not simony) is wrong. Therefore, instead of being accountable for the misconduct of his far right allies, he projects his guilt at the object of his hatred, the Episcopal Church.

Because the Episcopal Church, through Episcopal World Relief and other mission and partnership programs, provides financial aid to assorted African dioceses, Minns delusionally claims that any TEC dollars destined for Africa are part of a scheme to bribe people. Rather like the philanderer who suspects his chaste wife of infidelity, really.

The Episcopal Church is the single wealthiest Province of the Anglican Communion, so it isn't surprising that TEC provides resources to any and all other Provinces who are prepared to accept it. (In actions which vaguely resemble integrity, both Nigeria and Uganda refuse to accept money from the American Church.) Despite Minns ravings, there is no evidence at all to suggest that TEC has ever made a single dollar of their financial aid dependent on the recipients "embracing the TEC viewpoint." But then, Minns has never let truth get in the way of his race-baiting, gay-baiting propaganda campaign.

In the delusional mind of Martyn Minns, if the Episcopal Church sends any support to other parts of the Communion, it amounts to bribery.

Of course, if TEC were to stop sending money to other Provinces of the Communion, Minns and his hatemongering allies would condemn them for that as well. So long as we are dealing with the delusional paranoia of the Anglican far right, anything TEC does or doesn't do will be twisted and deformed to be "evidence" of their perfidy. It's the CANA / ACNA / GAFCON version of "does the Honourable Member still beat his wife?"

It now becomes increasingly clear why Minns was consistently unsuccessful in four attempts to become a bishop in the Episcopal Church.

Picture taken from

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BIBLES FOR BECK: Helping Glenn Beck overcome his Biblical illiteracy

Glenn Beck is a Biblical illiterate. Actually, having watched his show from time to time (at least until I was overcome by the urge to vomit), I'm concerned his illiteracy may extend well beyond Scripture. But he is certainly illiterate there. He believes, for example, that there is nothing in the Bible about social justice.

Fortunately for Godless Glenn, the President of Union Theological Seminary has taken him to her heart, and has initiated a campaign to provide Glenn Beck with Bibles - Bibles with the many social justice passages conveniently highlighted.

Dear Mr. Beck,

Serene Jones here. I'm President of Union Theological Seminary in New York, home of James Cone, the scholar featured on your liberation theology program this week.

I write with exciting news. Bibles are en route to you, even as we speak!

Kindly let me explain. On your show, you said that social justice is not in the Bible, anywhere. Oh my, Mr. Beck. At first we were so confused. We couldn't figure out how you could possibly miss this important theme. And then it hit us: maybe you don't have a Bible to read. Let me assure you, this is nothing to be ashamed of. Many people live Bible-less lives. But we want to help out. And so, as I write this, our students are collecting Bibles from across the nation, packing them in boxes, and sending them to your offices. Grandmothers, uncles, children, co-workers -- indeed, Bible-readers from all walks of life have eagerly contributed. They should be arriving early next week, hopefully just in time for your next show. Read them with zeal!

Oh, I almost forgot: we've marked a few of the social justice passages, just in case you can't find them.

But as good as this might sound, that's not all! You express such a fervent desire to interpret the rich faith of the gospels that we have decided to offer you a substantial scholarship to Union for advanced theological studies, should you matriculate. Indeed, a fundraising campaign is already underway to offset the cost of your education. It is true that in your case you may need some remedial study before Master's level work can commence, but we are willing to work with you as you come up to speed with the rest of our student body.

In this regard, may I recommend preparatory summer readings? Have you heard of John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion or Reinhold Niebuhr's Nature and Destiny of Man? Both are Caucasian men -- not that it matters -- and they have lovely discussions of religion and politics. You'll just eat them up!

And now a final piece of good news. Your show has clearly stirred renewed interest in liberation theology and in the work of our esteemed faculty. Our own media department works tirelessly to promote their many books and articles. Somewhat embarrassingly, I have to admit that in all these years, we have never achieved a video campaign comparable to the exposure achieved by your own video segment's showing. We were astounded to see so many people hearing about the work of our seminary. In recognition of this free publicity, we want to offer you a reduced housing rate on our campus if you enroll as a student.

Do write soon so that we can discuss the terms of your application, scholarship, and housing. And let us know when you receive the Bibles -- especially if we can further assist you in any way with your reading and study.

We anxiously await your reply. In the meantime, please enjoy this video compilation of welcomes from our students:

Graciously yours,

Serene Jones
Union Theological Seminary

The students at Union are similarly concerned about the state of Glenn Beck's imperilled soul. Here is the video about their mission effort which Dr. Jones refers to in her letter.

Originally in the Huffington Post. Hat tip to an assortment of Anglican bloggers.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I haven't seen "Glee" . . .

. . . but I may need to check it out.

Friday, July 9, 2010

ISU Operational Commander decided to leave "anarchists" alone - and to arrest more than 1,000 peaceful protesters

A senior RCMP officer made a deliberate decision to allow a small number of individuals to commit acts of violence completely unmolested, and then used the actions of these few dozen individuals as an excuse for the mass arrest more than 1,000 of non-violent protesters, accredited journalists and random passers by.

In a real democracy, there would be an independent investigation.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cowardly police leave "anarchists" alone and assault amputee

This is perhaps the most revolting report coming from the police riot in Toronto.

Any public official who claims we don't need a public inquiry should be hounded from office.

The 57-year-old Thorold, Ontario resident – an employee with Revenue Canada and a part-time farmer who lost a leg above his knee following a farming accident 17 years ago – was sitting on the grass at Queen’s Park with his daughter Sarah and two other young people this June 26, during the G20 summit, where he assumed it would be safe.

As it turned out, it was a bad assumption because in came a line of armoured police, into an area the city had promised would be safe for peaceful demonstrations during the summit. They closed right in on John and his daughter and the two others and ordered them to move. Pruyn tried getting up and he fell, and it was all too slow for the police.

As Sarah began pleading with them to give her father a little time and space to get up because he is an amputee, they began kicking and hitting him. One of the police officers used his knee to press Pruyn’s head down so hard on the ground, said Pruyn in an interview this July 4 with Niagara At Large, that his head was still hurting a week later.

Accusing him of resisting arrest, they pulled his walking sticks away from him, tied his hands behind his back and ripped off his prosthetic leg. Then they told him to get up and hop, and when he said he couldn’t, they dragged him across the pavement, tearing skin off his elbows, with his hands still tied behind his back. His glasses were knocked off as they continued to accuse him of resisting arrest and of being a “spitter,” something he said he did not do. They took him to a warehouse and locked him in a steel-mesh cage where his nightmare continued for another 27 hours.

. . .

Pruyn told Niagara At Large that he never was given a reason for his arrest . When he was being kicked and hand-tied, police yelled at him that he was resisting arrest. Then a court officer approached him two hours before his release on Sunday evening, June 27, and told him he should not still be there in that steel -mesh cage. So why were Pruyn and his daughter Sarah, a University of Guelph student, who was locked up somewhere else, detained in a makeshift jails for more than 24 hours, along with many other mostly young people who, so far as he could hear and see, had nothing to do with the smashing of windows and torching of a few police cars by a few hundred so-called ‘Black Bloc’ hooligans that weekend?

Seriously. Thousands of armed and armoured police are powerless to intervene when fewer than 150 "anarchists" start vandalizing windows, harrassing passers-by and torching police cars, yet they have the cojones to beat the crap out of a 57-year old amputee?

I call that cowardice on a massive scale.

Read the entire disgusting episode here.

And then, please, do something to stand up for democracy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

I had known the line was coming, but I still wasn't ready for it when it came.

As I read the Gospel lesson last week, the day after my father had died, I had to stop and regain my composure before telling the next line in the story.
[Jesus] said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

And I did. As best as I was able.

Tomorrow, I bury my father.

I have already committed him to the fire - an educational experience. My family connections to the funeral industry meant that I got a closer look than would have been the case for many, and my brother even pushed the button.

Tomorrow at 1:00, we will praise God, proclaim the resurrection and make our final goodbyes. For me, it is goodbye to a father who was completely absent for 20 years of my younger life, but my father nonetheless.

He was about 15 years a friend of Bill W. before our relationship was tentatively restored. Around the time of my ordination, he gave me a copy of Alcoholics Anonymous, thinking that, if nothing else, it would help me to minister to Bill's friends and pending friends.

The last 44 years of his life, whatever else they may have been, were better for the grace of a power greater than himself which restored him to sanity.

Glory to God,
whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more
than we can ask or imagine.

Glory to God from generation to generation,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus,
for ever and ever. Amen.