Monday, June 23, 2008


Can anyone tell me why we have a Congress, or a Supreme Court, for that matter? Either or both seem to be expendable on the grounds of efficiency and cost-cutting. Constitutional interpretation can be (is) handled by a small group within the Justice Department (sic) of recent graduates from Pat Robertson's law school. Pelosi and Reid's Congress can be replaced by a GS-9 with a rubber stamp.

No president in history comes close to Dubya in the number, frequency, and magnitude of "high crimes and misdemeanors", yet the Congressional leadership refuses to avail itself of our only remedy. Don't worry; it'll all be over soon.

This week, a "compromise" by the Democratic Congressional leadership on FISA shredded and flushed the Constitution, one which allows the Attorney General to forbid federal courts from considering questions which he/she asserts concern "national security", and which removes private entities and public officials from any future liability for their crimes. The Democratic nominee endorses it, though he claims it's not perfect. One "supplemental funding" bill after another sails through Congress to continue the war, while members of the armed forces continue to be victimized by multiple tours and the denial of appropriate services and treatment by administration officials, including "medical professionals." A suicide bomber killed more than fifty people in Iraq a day or two ago, an Iraqi government official killed a U S soldier and wounded 5 others South of Baghdad yesterday, while U S politicians talk of the "progress" we're making there, as the resurgent Taliban controls more of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, reporters in the war zone such as CBS's Lara Logan complain they can't get these stories on TV. She did, on the Comedy Channel, thanks to Jon Stewart.

For some time, perhaps years, most Americans despise Congress even more than the rest of the damned guvmint; the numbers I saw this week are between 70 & 80% for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. In 2006, we voted for a new set of rascals with the demand they do something about all of this; again, why do we bother electing them?

With so few signs of hope from the princes of this world, what from the princes of the church: specifically, from the Anglican Communion? The recent GAFCON meetings in Jordan and Jerusalem did well as farce, with Big Pete trying to enter Jordan while under suspicion of at least condoning, if not directing, a massacre of Muslims in Nigeria and pointedly ignoring the Bishop of Jerusalem's requests not to meet in the Holy Land.

All this is described, in his opening address, as a sign of God's working through "orthodox biblical Anglicans" (such as Santa Barbara's Ahramson and Virginia's Minns) to restore the "church" destroyed by teh Evil Gay Menace headquartered in the U S and Canada. The Communion leadership, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, has been so grossly negligent in punishing these miscreants, despite the patient pleas of the faithful (mostly from Nigeria through Uganda to Kenya) that outside measures, such as GAFCON, have been forced upon True Biblical Orthodox Anglican Leaders, Big Pete being first among them. Nonetheless, as one observer noted, none of them seem to be willing to leave the cesspool of depravity the Anglican Communion has become in their eyes, no matter how much so many of us long for it. In this, it seems to me, that we are not dividing or destroying the church or the Anglican Communion, but recognizing that, in their thought, word, and deed, such as are in GAFCON have already done so.

I don't often say so, but I'm really fed up.


Jane R said...

On the political front, see janinsanfran, singing that song by Howard Zinn I have posted twice.

Politicians -- eh.

No comment on GAFCON (I have no word from Her Grace Maya of North Carolina this evening, she does not wish to speak about this) but I say have some more fresh fruit and work on the herb garden and tend the house and the energy will return for the Movement. But yeah, there is cause for disgust.

Nevertheless, we live in hope. Failing that, we go and have a nap.

Jane R said...

P.S. I just wrote the Obama campaign to complain about the FISA vote.

johnieb said...

That's a mitzvot, or is that the plural? Oy.

Crimson Rambler said...

the hard part is remembering that the GAFCON'n'them...still our brothers and sisters by our baptism...which trumps everything. Everything.

Jane R said...

It's the plural. Mitzvah is the singular.

Yeah, and I don't do it often enough. Oy.

Hope you're doing all right. It's so easy to be discouraged and weary.

In which case, lament is a mitzvah too, y'know? Because it is a naming of the situation, and that is holy, and that is the beginning of change. Lament is a liturgical act. And a subversive one. Lament is protest.

And sometimes that is all we can do, for the time being.

johnieb said...

So you said before at yer place, I think; thanks for the reminder and the grammar help. I might complain more if I felt more positively about it!

Good to see ya again, Crimson. I acknowledge your point, but my compassion goes first to persons being beaten, arrested, and raped due to policies our brothers in baptism help to sustain and support. There is also the matter of "never heard of such a thing" and the failure even to nod in agreement when Jensen was pushed into condemning such atrocities. Granted, my information comes through specific cultural filters, but I will not conceal my outrage simply because I, too, am a sinner.

Crimson Rambler said...

I like the point about lamentation as an act of liturgy (remembering 9/11, and the lectionary provisions that autumn, which my people jibbed at because they were "too appropriate" -- ???)
I guess I keep hoping that the GAFCONS will remember that WE are their brothers and sisters in Christ even though they think our policies and behaviours, some of them, are abominable.
There has to be a way to rebuke a brother in Christ without saying, "Now you are my enemy, and it's open season on you."
I think the old rhetoricians used to talk about it in terms of "asperity" instead of "vehemence". There's a way to ream out equals--EFFECTUALLY, and there's a way to cuss out the dog...and we ought to be able to tell the difference. But our discourse is impoverished, in all dimensions.
Love to the grandbabies.

johnieb said...

I happily accept on their behalf. The older is in Cozumel with his Grandma (My ex) for a week's scuba diving; my, how advanced these youngsters are. The younger was annoying his mom as of last night, but is hale and hearty, from the sound of him.

Perhaps you will post some thoughts on ways we may say "Sister: what you are doing is vile"? I do feel the grief in condemning anyone, but I cannot stand this dehumanizing ...yes, blasphemy...against the weaker among us. I am sure some of my impatience is my PTSD; such actions are too close, too powerful, after forty years.

A resounding "yes" to Jane's insight about lament; I told her I found it personally very helpful.

Thanks be to Godde for you both.

johnieb said...

Oh, I meant to say I mailed my Senator (Dodd) a hearty thank you! for taking the lead, with Feingold, against this FISA obscenity.

My Rep, John Larsen, is part of the House leadership; perhaps I'll take that up when I've calmed down.

Crimson Rambler said...

OK, when in doubt read the manual eh! midweek HC this morning with my devout old ladies. We use the '59 Book of Common Prayer AND its included lections. The fewer books the better. The 'pistle this morning was 1 Pete 3:8ff, and this just says what I was trying to say:

Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous; not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For
He that will love life,
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips that they speak no guile:
Let him forsake evil, and do good;
Let him seek peace, and follow after it...
That was it, the bit about "railing for railing". We amused ourselves with the mental pic of prelates walloping each other with chunks of banister, momentarily, but fortunately my ladies knew what it meant "to rail" at somebody.
Yes, exactly, "Sister, what you are doing is vile" -- my phrase would have been, "Brother, this is not worthy of you or your high calling"...
thanks for your patience!

June Butler said...

Johnieb, I thought I had left a comment here. I know I did. I guess it didn't take. Now I find that I'd much rather look at your kitteh pictures and leave a word there, except for this: Russ and Chris rock!