Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Humour a saving grace

My Tuesday night meeting is something I really look forward to. The camaraderie, the support, the honesty - and the laughter. Yes, the humour (of a somewhat gallows nature often) is a real joy. Try these two beauties from last night.

"You got sectioned in Tokyo? I only got as far far as Newcastle before I got sectioned."

"First time I came, I thought I'd joined a cult. Some f**in cult! You don't pay for your cup of tea and nobody's interested in your second name! "

Looking back, Christmas wasn't really a problem for me. But back at Emmaus afterwards, it was the unexpected that tested me. Open whisky bottles from the night before calling to me when I was tidying up after breakfast. And I nearly got felled by brandy butter! (Well, I thought it was brandy flavoured, not loaded and the taste kinda gave me the inclination) Sneaky, devious and powerful? Totally! "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance". I seem to have survived. Laus deo!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Wur back!

It was good to demolish a big pile of turkey and all the trimmings with ra biological family. A pity tho about the Siberian snow and temperatures which meant that my festive religious observance was limited to listening to Lessons and Carols from King's Cambridge and tuning into the Midnight Mass from Leeds Cathedral on Radio 4. Well, I did the Office of Readings on the day itself as the patristic passage was well worth it. Today has been simply vegetation with much slurping of hot chocolate. Hope it was a peaceful nativity for youse all. And here's a thought on the secular nature of the Festival.


Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A Parable for this time.

A rather brilliant re-rendering of the Parable of the Good Samaritan pointed at Uganda:

Uganda: the Authorised Version (or who my neighbour isn't)

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

He said unto him, “What is written in the law? How readest thou?”

And he answering said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”

And he said unto him, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.”

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”

And Jesus answering said, “A certain man went down from Kampala to Entebbe, and fell among the police and law makers, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and held him, pending the arrival of the hurry-up wagon so that they might cast him into prison, and hang him; for he had dared to love another man. And by chance there came down a certain Archbishop of Canterbury that way: and when he saw him, he said ‘attempts to publicly influence either the local church or political opinion in Uganda would be divisive and counter productive, yea it would be seen as white colonialism’ and he passed by on the other side.

“And likewise a Pastor named Rick Warren and his friends, who had counselled the law makers of that land against homosexuals, when they were at the place, came and looked on him. Pastor Rick was deeply moved and said, ‘It is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations’, and they passed by on the other side.

“And on the morrow when he was hanged, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Archbishop and the pastors, though they had known that this would come to pass.

“Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the police and the law makers?”

And the lawyer said, “Not one of them.”

Then said Jesus unto him, “Well done, even you can spot a hypocrite.”
Jesus wept.

(Thanks to God knows I believe)

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Let's just see if I can do this!

Venerating Relics?

And a surprise news snippet on my favourite artist Caravaggio:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8426166.stm

I really dislike/find distasteful the exhibiting of human relics, be they religious or not. When I went on holiday to Rome, I really did not take to the forearm of St Francis Xavier over his altar in the Gesu (no probs with St Ignatius being under and altar in the same Church). Perhaps it's a matter of cultural temperament, but I honestly fail to see any benefit to anyone by this sort of exhibition.

Christmas cheer!

We all need a wee laugh now and then to take our minds off the nutty and nasty world in which we live. This did it for me: the Anglican Communion Snowball Fight!

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/anglican_communion/anglican_communion_snowball_fi_1.html

With special guest, Benny Ratzinger!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Anglican Covenant - at least we know what we're going to be voting on.

No comment from me on the actual text at this time, but it is worth reading what Rowan Williams said in his video message that came with it. My own comments are in bold!

"The covenant text sets out the basis on which the Anglican family works and prays and lives and hopes. The bulk of the text identifies what we hold in common, the ground on which we stand as Anglicans. It’s about the gift we’ve been given as a Church and the gift we’ve been given specifically as the Anglican Communion. All those things we give thanks for, we affirm together, and we resolve together to safeguard and to honour. (it's bland and unexceptionable, so no problems with sections 1-3)

The last bit of the Covenant text is the one that's perhaps been the most controversial, because that’s where we spell out what happens if relationships fail or break down. It doesn’t set out, as I’ve already said, a procedure for punishments and sanctions. (Really?) It does try and sort out how we will discern the nature of our disagreement, how important is it? How divisive does it have to be? Is it a Communion breaking issue that’s in question - or is it something we can learn to live with? And so in these sections of the covenant what we’re trying to do is simply to give a practical, sensible and Christian way of dealing with our conflicts, recognising that they’re always going to be there. (If it doesn't actually DO anything, WTF have we been wasting the last few years drafting? And why bother signing up to it?)

So what happens next? This Covenant is being sent to all the member Churches of the Anglican Communion. Each church will, within its own processes, decide how to handle it, and by the next meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in three years time (ANOTHER 3 YEARS OF ANGST! NOOOOO!!) we hope that many provinces will already have said yes to this and adopted it into their own understanding and identity. Clearly the process won’t all be over by then, but we’re hoping to see some enthusiasm, (dream on!) some general adoption of the principles. We hope to see a new kind of relationship emerging. (Oh, it already is!!) We hope to see people agreeing to these ways of resolving our conflicts .(I rather doubt it mush!)

Beyond that, what’s going to happen? It’s hard to say as yet, but the Covenant text itself does make it clear that at some point it’ll be open to other bodies, other Ecclesial bodies as they’re called, other Churches and communities to adopt this Covenant, and be considered for incorporation into the Anglican Communion. (So we can reabsorb all those Conservative Yanks and their pals who legged it in Continuing Anglicanism over women in Orders, the Prayer Book and gays - why am I ever so slightly underwhelmed by this idea?) Meanwhile, it’s open to anybody that wishes to affirm the principles of the Covenant - to say that this is what they wish to live with.

So in the next few years we expect to see quite a bit of activity around this. (No s**t Sherlock?) We hope, as I’ve said, that many provinces will feel able to adopt this. We hope that many other bodies will affirm the vision that’s set out here, and that in the long run this will actually help us to become more of a communion - more responsible for each other, presenting to the world a face of mutual understanding, patience, charity and gratitude for one another. In other words, we hope and pray that the Covenant for the Anglican Communion will be a truly effective tool for witness and mission in our world."

I really wonder if anyone with half a brain is actually going to vote for this. Of course some will, especially if they're told it's the only show in town for keeping in Communion with the Global South (liberal guilt is a serious motivator). I'm not impressed. The SEC had strong and historic links with the US, India and South Africa before the 1st Lambeth Conference. Those can and will be maintained. I suspect it won't fly in Scotland because we let a wider proportion of the laity discuss and debate these issues than in the C of E. The threat of an effect on our relationship with the English Church might sway some. But the question is this: if we don't sign ,will the free traffic of clergy between Scotland and England be affected? If not, then it has zero practical impact and ought to be ignored. If it does, then we face a tricky problem about recruiting clergy to staff charges and that might be a factor to consider. But personally I suspect we 'll find plenty of Yanks and Cannucks to replace the English, so we could live with that in an age of global communication.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

The Brazilians ain't impressed!

This statement from the Anglican Church in Brazil on the Ugandan Legislation is, to my mind, exemplary.

“Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves.” (Blaise Pascal)

International society has, throughout its long history, adopted new levels of conscience and freedom and gradually overcome several ways of excluding human beings because of their race, economic status, culture, beliefs and sexuality. We understand this process as a consequence of God’s love for humankind. The Church, as part of this process, has the responsibility of courageously defending the advancement of respect for all peoples, based in the law of love.

The Church itself accepted discrimination in the past, and in many cases helped promote people’s exclusion, revealing its incapacity of responding to its own time’s demands. God’s spirit, however, has challenged the Church to understand that nobody has the right to act, or consent to actions, against any innocent person. This process of gradual spiritual enlightenment has allowed the Church to integrate those who, until very recently, were discriminated because of their ethnicity, opinion, gender and sexuality.

We express, in the light of the Gospel, our deep opposition to legal measures currently being studied in Uganda in order to implement an unacceptable persecution to homosexual people. First of all, such measures take us back to a time of ignorance and barbarity. They are gravely against human rights, and an unacceptable measure in our times. Also, no Christian is allowed to persecute or even threaten other human beings because of the way they live their sexuality. It is acceptable not to agree with someone, but it is an abomination to exert prejudice towards anybody.

An eventual approval of such measures demands a clear and eloquent witness against the imposition of a de facto police state, and for the defense that every person is able to live fully (including their sexual orientation) within the principles of love, mutual respect and commitment to life. In a world where poverty and hunger kill more than wars, governments should be more concerned about fostering a society where there are no excluded people for any reason. Laws that end up promoting discrimination and exclusion, despite being abominable and contrary to human rights, end up masking unsolved problems that Uganda needs to face.

As a final word, we remember that God’s main wish is that we live in love. Our faith tells us that “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gl 3:28). The Law was already fulfilled by Jesus and we are entitled to manifest the Divine Grace in the world by ardently and compassionately loving all human beings.

“He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.” (Psalm 33:5)

The Most Rev. Maura­cio Andrade

Primate of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil

Meditations on a Brussels Sprout.

Christmas is a-coming! Wet snow is falling (and even lying) and yes, I caught myself tra-la-laaing "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" at the sink after breakfast (and wondering if it was the Spanish Inquisition's favourite Christmas ditty?). Tonight is the Emmaus House "feed the Benedictine groupies" night and turkey and stuff are on the menu. Due to one of the gang of 3 being yukky with some foul lurgie gained whilst visiting the sick in hospital, I am senior veg peeler and shopper for the day and found myself peeling a pile of fiddly little green things (sprouts) just after 9am.

Look at a Brussels sprout sometime: it's wonderfully intricate, even if you don't understand all the marvellous biological workings and stuff about chlorophyll (I am no scientist). Why biblical literalists want to believe that God made the world in 6 days rather than through the wonderful mechanism of evolution I have not a clue. Surely God is more honoured by acknowledging the process of divine creativity than simply having the Almighty plonk down the Creation in a "Here's one I made earlier" fashion?

I also thought about the nature of the Community in which I am living: "inspired by the rule of St Benedict" is the official line. But actually in practice, it's rather more of the "Arminian nunnery" of Little Gidding and Nicholas Ferrar. Thoroughly Anglican in it's Office but without the clutter of habits et al. Actually thoroughly domesticated, in that homely way that is the hallmark of classical Anglican Prayer Book spirituality. It's far from incompatible with a Benedictine inspiration: read Martin Thornton's "English Spirituality" and see what I mean.

Now back to inspect the plum puddings! How Dickensian!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Lambeth gets back to us!

This little nugget tickled my fancy when I saw it on an American Episcopal priest's blog site:

V - "I hear that the ++ABofC will speak on Human Rights at the Tutu center in NYC Jan 26th."

R - "I would as soon listen to Tiger Woods speaking on Family Values."

Oh dear, one fears the ABC's voice on matters of human rights might be rather ignored across the Communion for the rest of his tenure. The email sent in reply to those of us who contacted Lambeth Palace is so-so.

Thank you for your message and for taking the trouble to write about this deeply painful issue.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is very clear that the Private Member’s Bill being discussed in Uganda as drafted is entirely unacceptable from a pastoral, moral and legal point of view. It is a cause of deep concern, fear and, to many, outrage. The Archbishop has publicly stated that “the proposed legislation is of shocking severity and I can’t see how it can be supported by any Anglican who is committed to what the Communion has said in recent decades”.

For its part the Church of Uganda has clearly restated its opposition to the death penalty. As the Ugandan Church continues to formulate its position on the bill as a whole, the Archbishop has been working intensively behind the scenes (over the past weeks) to ensure that there is clarity on how the proposed bill is contrary to Anglican teaching.


Comments I think are due: "this deeply painful issue" - actually, there were two - did my email get read by anyone?

Para 1: He is indeed very clear- but it took him weeks to say anything and when he did, it wasn't a statement, it was an indirect comment via a favoured journalist. It's not the lack of clarity that was the problem, it was the delay.

Para 2: "continues to formulate it's position" This Bill has been extant for 3 months. Just exactly how long does it take the CoU to work out its position? Their official spokesman spoke out in favour of the bill if the death penalty was withdrawn. It's position is pretty clear - or was until they back pedalled to a "still studying" position (which quite possibly came about due to pressure from the ABC). And that position, my dear Archbishop, was never jumped on within 12 hours as the American election was. This e-mail is a politicians reply - answering half the question and ignoring the bit that bites. Not really satisfactory.

It looks to me as if the Covenant is kaput because the very Instruments that will decide who is good and who is bad (Lambeth Conference, Primates, ACC and ABC) are inherently skewed to favour the Global South and its Bishops over anything that smacks of liberalism. And that I do not think should rule the SEC. As far as the Covenant goes, Include Me Out.

Grub n' stuff

Dougalthinkists will be aware that I rather enjoy my grub. Mercifully, I am blessed with a metabolism that burns calories faster than an Olympic sprinter on amphetamines, so I can do so with impunity. Today was a case in point. I was taken for lunch to Bar Roma and indulged my inner fat Opera singer with a plate of delightful Onion soup (lashings of Parmesan) followed by a really rather tasty artichoke risotto. Last week I discovered the local Thai place had changed hands and had seriously improved. Nice sea bass starter. Ah, the joys of good food! And tonight's sausage and Murphy's casserole was just as yummy. And the poached pears!! (Dougal tip: poaching in apple juice, with a mulled wine spice sachet and a good slug of Drambuie works very well!)

I also treated myself a little by nipping into the Edinburgh University Library to have a shuftie at their current exhibition: a very fine 11th century Psalter (probably illustrated on Iona) which is the old book produced in Scotland still in the country, a wonderfully preserved copy of our 1st printed book Bp Elphinstone's Aberdeen Breviary of 1509. A 1599 text of Romeo and Juliet in splendid nick, a copy of the the 1st printed book in Gaelic (Knox's Book of Common Order). But the prettiest of them all was a lovely book of designs of the medallions in the Choir School of St Mary's Cathedral by Phoebe Ann Traquair. Just gorgeous! Do pop in if you get the chance.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Cast down? No, actually

Well, my wish came true and there was resolution of the result of my interview for the care home job. "Nope". Actually, I don't feel too bad about it, as I rather thought my lack of experience might count against me. Not that I had any time to feel grim about it. The letter arrived at 12.30pm and I was out the door en route to the analyst for my appointment, followed by another job interview at 4.15. Which again I felt went OK. It's for a support worker post working with people with Autism. This I hope comes off as I really enjoyed being interviewed by the 2 team leaders. That and the high totty quotient of the interviewees!! (And no, there wasn't a mirror in the waiting area!).

So we keep on smiling (yes, really) and looking forward. Tomorrow, the medics assess!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Notes on the week ending

Worthy and heavy posts, a little humour - all rather masking a pervasive sense of anxiety about job interviews, responses to them et al. I've been trying to keep balanced, rather than out and out positive (forcing a smiley mask would be dangerous I suspect). I hope there is some resolution in the next day or two, as my sleep patterns have slid a wee bit out of kilter which is a bit of a warning to me. Ora pro nobis.

That said, Saturday had me participating in a quiet day led by one of the most prolific and influential spiritual writers of the latter quarter of the 20th century - Gerard W Hughes SJ. A genuinely delightful man who left me with handful of spiritual nuggets I can go back and chew at leisure.

"Where your heart is, let your brain be also" - Baron Von Hugel

"At the final judgement, God will ask you one question and one question only: did you enjoy my creation?"

"Nothing so masks the face of God as religion" Martin Buber

"The centre of me is always and forever a pain, a curious, wild pain" Bertrand Russell.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Light Entertainment

It's all been very heavy and worthy of late, so here's a little light entertainment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgbNymZ7vqY

The Muppet's do Bohemian Rhapsody! Bliss!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Ugandan bill is being toned down

There is news that the Ugandan bill is being toned down. This is from Andrew Sullivan in "The Atlantic" http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/12/the-latest-on-uganda.html

"the death penalty and life imprisonment may be stripped from the Ugandan bill in favor of forcing gays into "counseling." Jim Burroway keeps in mind the other sections of the bill. It would:

* Criminalize all speech and peaceful assembly for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda with fines and imprisonment of between five and seven years.

* Criminalize the act of obtaining a same-sex marriage abroad with lifetime imprisonment. This penalty may be reduced in the new version, but the act still appears to be criminalized to some extent.

* Add a clause which forces friends or family members to report LGBT persons to police within 24-hours of learning about that individual’s homosexuality or face fines or imprisonment of up to three years.

* Add an extra-territorial and extradition provisions, allowing Uganda to prosecute LGBT Ugandans living abroad.

* Void all international treaties, agreements and human rights obligations which conflict with this bill.

One of his readers asks:

I wonder if they didn’t initially include the death penalty in this bill as a ploy, knowing they would bargain it away so that once it was gone the rest of the bill wouldn’t seem so extreme."

So, the death penalty and life imprisonment are off the agenda - good. This may be the result of ++Rowan's "quiet diplomacy" (at least in part). What is still highly disturbing is the current role of Ugandan religious leaders (including the Anglican bishops) in supporting what's left. http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/news/Church_leaders_back_govt_on_anti-gay_Bill_95758.shtml

A sort of very limited victory - but still the pressure needs to be applied.

A late addition: the Media office attached to the Office of the President seems to be suggesting that this bill ought to be dropped!!! Check out

http://www.mediacentre.go.ug/details.php?catId=1&item=718

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

An e-mail to Rowan Williams

Dear Archbishop

I am contacting you to express my deep dismay and disappointment with regard to your public position on the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 currently under consideration in the Ugandan Parliament and the election of the Suffragan Bishop of Los Angeles.

The former, one of the most vile and inhumane pieces of legislation to see the light of day since the happy demise of Adolf Hitler, has been in the public domain for several weeks if not months, was initially offered very slightly qualified support by the Anglican Church in Uganda and has been the subject only of an indirect comment by your office through the medium of Ruth Gledhill's column in the Times. The latter, an action which threatens no lives with judicial termination, was condemned with 12 hours by a Press release from Lambeth Palace. A combination of rectitude and alacrity that leaves me stunned and angry.

This, Your Grace, to me smacks either of the most remarkably twisted logic in establishing moral priorities or of ecclesiastical politics at their most craven and venal. Neither reflects well on either your person or your office. I wish to urge you to make some public statement condemning unequivocally the Ugandan legislation and pointing out to the Ugandan Church that their collusion with this murderous act is a far more serious threat to the Unity of the Communion than the offer of a mitre to a middle aged women in California, no matter who she lives with.

Prior to leaving parish ministry, I had close links with a parish in Uganda and value that relationship of Communion highly. However, no ecclesiatical unity is worth the sacrifice of thousands to a life lived under the shadow of terror and even death. I cannot in all conscience see how anyone would believe differently.

Archbishop, I am currently a serving member of the General Synod of the Scotish Episcopal Church. These events have changed my mind with regard to the proposed Anglican Covenant. No unity is worth the terrible cost that silent collusion with Uganda would require. You may take it that I will vote against the Covenant as a direct result of your action and inaction.

Yours is an uneviable and indeed impossible task Your Grace, so whilst I must express my views with regard to your position, I also assure you of my continuing prayers for God's guidance and wisdom. We are all human and all need that daily.

Yours sincerely,

John Penman
(Priest of the Diocese of Edinburgh)

Here's what Rowan Should have said

A friend has suggested that this is what the ABC ought to be asked to say to Uganda, rather than the suggested draft from the irate of LA diocese on Facebook:

"Unless the Metropolitan Archbishop and House of Bishops (this may, of course, be the wrong form of address) of the Church of Uganda openly repudiate the proposed bill, in terms both of its condemnation of homosexuality and the extreme and un-Christian penalties sought, as well as in its interference with the obligations to their congregation of ordained and lay ministers, I will immediately call a special meeting of the Lambeth Conference to suspend the Church of Uganda, and its affiliated bishops and parishes from membership of the Anglican Communion."

Quite right! Just goes to prove that, in his case, Military Intelligence is not an oxymoron!

Monday, 7 December 2009

A case of misplaced priorities

From Ruth Gledhill's blog, commenting on the Archbishop's response to the episcopal election in Los Angeles.

"Critics are understandably questioning why speak out on this so forcefully, while showing such restraint on Uganda. It is probably in vain to point out that one concerns a matter of national governance, in which the Archbishop of Canterbury has no authority to speak, and the other a matter of Anglican ecclesial polity, in which he is perfectly justified in taking a stand.

The fact is, whatever the ecclesiological jurisprudence, it looks bad. Very bad indeed. Changing Attitude does a good job of explaining why.

I wish I could do something, write something, to help the Archbishop get out of this mess.

But it feels impossible. His difficulties I fear are truly manifold. "

RG is one of Britain's best and most highly regarded Religious Affairs correspondents and is pretty friendly towards Rowan Williams on the whole. She is trying (gamely) to offer some sort of defence of his Sunday morning Press statement. Her use of the words"in vain" reveal her understanding that this is a pretty feeble defence, but it's the best she can do with the scanty material she has. The idea that the ABC cannot comment on issues of National Governance is simply not credible. The "Faith in the City" report made clear comment on such issues many years ago.

No, Rowan has erred hugely in reacting so swiftly and clearly: the horrid contrast with with his silence towards the Bahati Bill and the Church of Uganda's early support of it is dreadful. Nothing in the American actions threatens hundreds, thousands of lives, yet it is promptly condemned. When even your friends, who are happy to pop friendly articles into the public domain reassuring everyone that you really are appalled (courtesy of a good but unattributable source), feel that you have put yourself publicly into a position that looks utterly compromised, then truly you are in deep doo-doo. The current occupant of Lambeth Palace has, I fear fatally, lost all moral credibility in Anglican Communion matters. The Covenant is dead in the water. If one of the key instruments of Communion (the ABC) cannot be trusted to be impartial, but will always been seen as siding with one grouping even when it is manifestly utterly morally wrong, then no Province from the other side of the debate will sensibly submit themselves to a issue resolution process that is intrinsically skewed against their freedom and viewpoint.

In trying to save the Communion, Rowan has lost it. Which is tragic, given that he is, without doubt, a good and holy man.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Somebody should have told Dubya!

I came across this fascinating snippet of info about the Treaty of Tripoli:
Passed by the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and signed by President John Adams on June 10, 1797.

Article 11 reads:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity ... against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

If only we'd known sooner...

I don't BELIEEVE it!

The Diocese of Los Angeles elect a lesbian suffragan Bishop and the ABC has a press statement out in time for the Sunday papers. And still thunderous silence on the Ugandan Bill.

I will not swear; I will not curse. I will state candidly that, in my personal opinion, Rowan Williams is morally bankrupt and repugnant and I would neither give nor receive communion to him or from him. I am no longer in Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. I am a Scottish Episcopalian and remain in Communion with God, as our predecessors were before the Synod of Laurencekirk.

(Which in real terms, makes hee-haw difference to anything, but makes me feel better).

B****r it, I'm off to the pictures.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Oh, come ON Rowan!

http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/

Here we have the normally excellent Ruth Gledhill (and a work experience lassie on placement at the Times) acting as an apologist for Rowan "I think Cosmo Gordon Lang's way of handling the Nazi's was quite sensible" Williams. Mercifully, there is a decent bit of sanity in a comment from a Bishop Alan Wilson. Uganda has been independent since 1962: us telling them the Bahati bill is immoral, inhumane, fascist and vile is not colonialism (neo or otherwise). The claim that we ought not to intervene critically in human rights issues in sub-Saharan Africa is an arrogant nonsense. Is fascist and genocidal behaviour OK if you are black and live in Africa, but only wrong if you are, say, Serbian? No, rubbish of the 1st order. It is high time the furry holy one got off the fence and laid into the Ugandan Church. Michael Ramsey hammered the Rhodesians for UDI and it was below the Sahara. Oh, hang on - Ian Smith was a pale ex-Spitfire pilot, not a vicious demagogue who has a lot of melatonin in his skin! Come on Rowan, you're supposed to be left wing!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Quote of the day.

"Homosexuality does not need the "approval"
of the state: nor does photosynthesis, gravity
or the speed of light." Anon.


Wouldn't it be marvellous if the hyper-pious realised that quote was true and then ceased to do what the cartoon shows them doing? Then they might stop campaigning against legal rights for GLBT people!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Changing your hat.



biretta


Well, I think the job interview went well this morning. I think I came over as enthuiastic, with relevant experience. I think I managed to sidestep the pitfall of seeming to appear a know it all by responding to the training question by pointing out that I had previously organised and participated in training for those visiting old folks because I knew my skills needed refreshing. And I hope I gave a clear impression that my focus was on respecting and valuing the person and giving them dignity and ownership of their care plan even when they were disempowered by physical frailty. So I feel rather hopeful that in a day or two a letter will appear saying "come and join us". Only hope the other candidates get cold feet or blank out mentally!!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A busy day.


I started early by celebrating the Holy mysteries at our neighbourhood Anglo-Catholic shrine at 0800, then it was some house duties before popping out to view an art gallery and gaze at some beautiful altar pieces from the late medieval period. A haircut in preparation for the job interview tomorrow and trying to phone the agency that does my health assessment for the work and pensions dept (see call centres!!). Tonight I am down to service my Tuesday night meeting by chairing it which is a 1st for me, so it's been a busy but enjoyable day. I feel much more mentally alert and my old self, so I must have climbed some distance up the walls of the pit of despair I was in earlier in the year. Which feels good.

Remembering those who suffer isn't something exclusively for World AIDS Day: rather ,it's what we do as Christians whenever we celebrate or participate in the Eucharist. We remember the suffering Christ and those whose suffering he shares today. But we also see the Resurrection in that sacramental mystery and feel its power at work within us. I pray for those who suffer from HIV today with the hope that they will experience deeply Christ's healing love wherever and whoever and whatever they may be.