When will the Anglican Church stop discriminating against the transracial community?

According to this woman, the “idea of race is a lie”. As usual, the Anglican Church of Canada is behind the times and is still dithering about installing transgender toilets; the latest, and undoubtedly the most serious issue to assail the tattered remains of Western Civilisation is transracialism. When will those sluggards in the ACoC catch up?

In all seriousness, this is good news for most of us, since we can all self-identify as Aboriginal and claim compensation from the ACoC for decades of residential school abuse.

Rachel Dolezal – the white US woman who said she was black – says “the idea of race is a lie”.

Speaking in an interview with Emily Maitlis, she argued that the concept of “transracial” – similar to that of transgender – is useful in describing people such as herself.

Rachel Dolezal has just written a book about her experience, In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World.

Anglican Church of Canada: nothing good about Residential Schools

Read it all here:

Dear Senator Beyak:

Not only in the Red Chamber on Parliament Hill, but across the country, many people – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – were dismayed by your remarks. You said “I was disappointed in the TRC’s Report and that it didn’t focus on the good,” associated with Residential Schools. Had you, Senator, made these remarks within a discussion of the TRC’s Report, your comments might have been less shocking.

Senator Beyak, you are quite right in saying that for a small minority of survivors, their personal experiences of Residential School were “good”.  But in much greater numbers, the personal experiences of children who were housed in those schools were “bad” – very bad in fact. One only needs to have attended a local, regional or national event hosted by Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission to know this. The Commissioners listened to the personal stories of thousands of students – of survivors – all of which bore witness to the horrific experience they had.

There are hundreds of students who went to Residential Schools administered by the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). They have told their stories at our church’s National Native Convocation and at Sacred Circle Gatherings. We have been rendered speechless by what we heard. We have hung our heads in shame and raised them with remorse over the pain our church inflicted upon those children.

There was nothing good about a federal government policy of forcibly removing children “from their evil surroundings”, housing them in schools with the intent of “killing the Indian in the child…and turning them into a civilized adult”. It was an attempt at cultural genocide, an attempt whose failure bears witness to the courage and resilience of those children and their communities. As elder Barney Williams of the Survivors’ Society has so often said, “We were all brave children.”

There was nothing good about practices of taking away children, removing their traditional dress, cutting their hair, taking away their name, confiscating their personal effects and giving them a number.

The letter from Fred Hiltz, Mark MacDonald and Michael Thompson continues in the same vein with more fervent breast-beating.

While it seems beyond dispute that there was abuse in the residential schools, what really seems to be bothering the authors of this letter is the underlying assumption of the day that the Christian, Western world view held by the government, teachers and missionaries involved in the schools was superior to that of the aboriginals. That was the real evil at work, that is what was at the root of the abuse.

The church has since seen the light and now holds the opposite opinion: Western traditions, Christendom, perhaps even Christianity itself, are inferior to just about any other culture so long as the culture is not grounded in Judeo-Christian beliefs.

For another perspective, this is worth a look:

On June 11, 2008, Stephen Harper issued an apology for the residential school system in Canada. He called it a “sad chapter in our history,” noting that its primary objectives “were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture … the government of Canada sincerely apologizes and asks the forgiveness of the aboriginal peoples of this country for failing them so profoundly. Nous le regrettons. We are sorry. Nimitataynan. Niminchinowesamin. Mamiattugut.”

The National Post has carried many stories about these schools before and since that apology. And every time we do, it is interesting to see that most of the letters we receive argue that the schools have been unfairly portrayed in the media.

That phenomenon was on display again this week, following the publication of last Saturday’s story, “4,000 Children died in residential schools; Truth commission.” As that story detailed, “commission officials expect that number to rise as researchers access much more complete files from Library and Archives Canada and elsewhere.”

Letter writers commenting on that story this week complained that the article lacked important historical context.

“Nice work, National Post, as you continue to dump on the charitable work accomplished by generations of selfless missionaries, physicians, nurses and teachers of the Canadian North,” wrote C. Lutz, of Haliburton, Ont. “[This story] heavily spins out a ‘physical and sexual abuse’ [narrative] as if 150,000 Indian and Inuit children had gained nothing good from taxpayer-provided white education. At least some of them learned enough English and French to, fluently, play the system and bite the hand that had fed them.”

“By today’s standards, 4,000 deaths out of a total of 150,000 students is shocking,” wrote Russel Williams of Georgeville, Que. “But given the period covered, 1870 to 1996, it may compare quite favourably with Canada at large, or Canadian aboriginal communities specifically, for the same period. One must bear in mind that much of this period predates immunization for smallpox, whooping cough, and diphtheria. It also predates penicillin for treatment of TB. Given the above, perhaps the statistic is not as alarming as it first might seem.”

“It was undoubtedly a terrible thing to be taken from your family, but in the early days, the reserves were impoverished and 90% of First Nations people were infected with tuberculosis,” added Michelle Stirling. “It is hard to say if the students got tuberculosis at the residential schools. And until the 1950s, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death of all Canadians.

“I am aware that some people will feel that I am defending the known cases of abuse and cruelty — I do not defend these,” Ms. Stirling continued. “My own father was the victim of the same [abuse] at the hands of his own white Anglo-Saxon teachers at his British boarding school. He used to have his left hand beaten black and blue and tied behind his back because he was left-handed.”

We also heard from a non-native who attended the St. Paul’s Indian Residential School in southern Alberta (the Blood/Kainai Reserve) for six years.

“When so many Canadians rely on publications like the National Post to stay informed on important issues, it is disappointing to see an article like that,” wrote Mark DeWolf of Halifax. “How does this figure compare to the number of First Nations children who died outside of the schools? Over 126 years and out of 150,000 students, the figure is perhaps not so surprising, given the deplorable health conditions on some reserves and high rates of communicable illness. More could and should have been done to ensure the health of these students, but let’s have responsible journalism, not emotional pandering to readers.”

Order your LGBT vestments here

I don’t normally put advertisements on my blog but, for this worthy cause, I thought I’d make an exception.

EquallyAnglican, a Facebook page dedicated to individuals who “are your LGBTQ friends and family in the Anglican Church of Canada”, is promoting an LGBT priest’s vestments business.

The question is, how would the business react to an order for a vestment embroidered with this message: “I support traditional marriage between one man and one woman”? Would the order be rejected resulting in howls of “discrimination” from the would-be purchaser? Would there be complaints to the Human Rights Commission? Lawsuits? Probably not.

Friends, we are thrilled to officially announce the arrival of #equallyAnglican vestments! Thanks to the amazing Catherine Comor at “Creative Spirit” for this absolutely stunning embroidered stole!

This design would make a perfect gift for the clergyperson in your life, and just in time for Pride month! 🌈 ⛪️

Franklin Graham vs the Anglican Church of Canada

Franklin Graham’s Vancouver crusade seems to have been a great success.

Mission accomplished: 2,318 people made a commitment to Christ.

Received via email:

What an amazing weekend at the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope.

Over the three nights, 34,406 people attended in person, with 1929 people going forward to make a commitment to Christ.  On top of that, 65,429 people from seventy-six countries watched the Festival of Hope online, with 389 people making a commitment to Christ online.  We are rejoicing for lives that have been touched for eternity.  It was such a privilege to serve on the Festival of Hope Executive, led by Pastor Guilio Gabeli with the invaluable wisdom of the Festival Director David Ingram.  The Billy Graham family and the Billy Graham team are such quality people.  We are particularly grateful for Dion and Tammy Collins who served on the ground as Assistant Director and Office Manager.  An unexpected treat was to have the grandson of Billy Graham, Will Graham, join his Dad Franklin Graham for the Festival.  This was Will’s third time here, since he helped us kick off the Festival and then led 500 young people to Christ at Vancouver Missions Fest this January.

As an antidote to Franklin Graham’s blatant promotion of Christianity, Anglicans sponsored a multi-faith event to celebrate diversity.

Mission accomplished: 0 people made a commitment to Christ.

From here:

People from many faiths met twice early in March in Vancouver to show support for one another at two well-attended public meetings that celebrated diversity and took a stand against acts of hatred.

Both gatherings were in reaction to concerns about an upsurge in anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of social conflict that seem to have accompanied the inauguration of the new administration in the United States.

That American political problems have spilled into Canada was suggested by a bomb threat the previous week which resulted in the evacuation of Vancouver’s Jewish Community Centre (no bomb was found), and by controversy surrounding a three-day campaign in Vancouver led by Franklin Graham, an American evangelist who once called Islam “a very evil, a very wicked religion” and supported a ban on Muslim immigration in the U.S.

Anglicans were involved in sponsoring both gatherings. The first took place on March 7 at Vancouver’s Or Shalom Synagogue. It was sponsored by the synagogue and the diocese of New Westminster and featured talks, chants, songs, meditation, and even dancing, from a wide variety of faith traditions.

It was followed two days later by a presentation  at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church involving a rabbi, an imam, and a bishop entitled “Hope Amidst the Politics of Fear: Conversations for Creative Resistance.” This event was organized by St. Andrew’s and Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver.

The decline and fall of the Anglican Church of Canada

Anglican Church of Canada clergy remind me of Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat.

Each year as the ACoC gets a little smaller, its clergy, smiling happily in a delirium of denial, armed with nothing but a fake gospel – a malaise that precedes fake news by far charge with renewed vigour towards the precipice that augurs their employer’s extinction. Eventually all that will be left will be the silly grins on their faces.

Still, it gives us Anglican bloggers something to write about.

Read it all at VOL:

By any measurable standard, the Anglican Church of Canada is in serious decline with little hope that the numbers can or will be reversed in the foreseeable future.

In one diocese after another the third largest denomination in Canada is declining, its demise now almost certain as it focuses on a host of social justice issues to the neglect of evangelism, discipleship and church planting.

The Anglican Church of Canada which is squeamishly shy about publicizing how many people attend its churches, has published no complete statistics for membership and average Sunday attendance since 2001, although the ACoC did claim a membership of 545,957 in 2007.

Today, by all measurable standards the average Sunday attendance in the Anglican Church of Canada is around 320,000. If this is correct, in 40 years the average attendance will be 19,200 or less. As there is no wave of Millennials aching to fill Anglican pews this figure is probably exaggerated.

A recent academic study of Canadian churches revealed that conservative churches that held to the faith grew, while liberal ones that focused on social issues were dying. They surveyed some 2,200 churches and, based on their sampling found, without exception, the clergy and congregants of the growing mainline Protestant churches held more firmly to traditional Christian beliefs, such as the belief Jesus rose physically from the grave and that God answers prayer. The clergy of the growing churches were the most theologically conservative and the declining church clergy the least.

This news has not filtered down to Anglicans in Canada, who believe that brokering pansexuality into the churches as a justice issue (plus a whole host of other social issues) is more important than bums in pews vs. bums in the bed.

Several dioceses have revealed the dire straits they are in, largely we suspect because if they hadn’t told us, real estate agents would. The list is by no means complete, as most dioceses are reluctant to say or reveal their closures unless a local newspaper runs a story about a church being sold to a Muslim group or an evangelical start-up.

[…..]

Nationally, between 1961 and 2001, the Anglican Church of Canada lost 53 per cent of its membership, declining to 642,000 from 1.36 million. Between 1991 and 2001 alone, it declined by 20 per cent.

According to the report, the dioceses – “like most across Canada” – are in crisis. The report repeats, without qualification or question, the results of a controversial study presented to Anglican bishops five years ago that said that at the present rate of decline – a loss of 13,000 members per year – only one Anglican would be left in Canada by 2061.

Anglican clergy protest outside immigration detention centre

Anglican revs Andrea Budgey and Maggie Helwig are protesting Canada’s detention of “hundreds of migrants” on Rexdale Blvd. Neither Budge nor Helwig were arrested.

Meanwhile, in Sweden, a wheelchair-bound woman was gang raped by six asylum seekers, none of whom were being detained at the time.

And in California, an ACNA priest spent time praying outside an abortion mill hoping to save the lives of some of the babies entering the snuff clinic. He was arrested.

Does anyone else see anything lopsided in all this?

From here:

The Reverends Andrea Budgey and Maggie Helwig, surrounding the immigration detention centre on Rexdale Blvd with No One Is Illegal, on International Human Rights Day. Hundreds of migrants, mostly refugee claimants, are held in indefinite detention in Canada. Three people have died this year while detained by Canadian Border Services.

Women priests: it’s all about money and touching

Let me preface this by admitting that I am ambivalent about Anglican women priests: I think there are good arguments on both sides.

That being said, I find it very difficult to sympathise with a binary gender category that, having attained the status of their polar opposite binary gender category in every regard other than filthy Mammon and inappropriate touching, is still whining that they are paid less and touched more (or, perhaps, touched less?) than their polar opposite binary gender category.

I thought being an Anglican priest was a calling, a vocation, not an ecclesiastical rendering of capitalist profiteering. And I would really like to know the ratio of priestly female/male inappropriate touching incidents. Have you ever encountered a female priest you longed to touch inappropriately?  Me neither.

From here:

Four decades after the first women were ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada, much progress remains to be made, say female priests who profess to have struggled with everything from unequal pay to inappropriate touching by some parishioners. Last week (28 November to 1 December), 40 female priests from the Anglican Church of Canada gathered at St James Anglican Church in Stratford, Ontario, for “Unmasking the Feminine,” a conference marking the 40th anniversary of the ordination of women in the church. For participants, the event seemed an occasion both for celebrating the achievements made in advancing the rights of women and being mindful of the challenges many say yet remain.

Church protests oil and gas pipeline

The Anglican Church of Canada hates burning fossil fuels, preferring instead to power both its theology and thuribles from smudging smoke.

Since the ACoC believes oil pipelines are built on stolen native land, its hard to escape the conclusion that all its churches are built on stolen native land, too. That must mean the ACoC is going to give it all back to the natives from whom it was  stolen. It will be a cold day in synod – or hell – before that happens.

From here:

Church supports First Nation Canadians in battle against new oil and gas pipe

A major new oil and gas pipeline through the British Columbia region of Canada has received government backing despite protests from indigenous peoples groups. The Tsleil-Waututh First Nation described this week’s decision as “the beginning of a long battle” to stop the project. Last month, the Anglican Church of Canada’s Council of General Synod (Cogs) passed a resolution by consensus in which they expressed “their support for Indigenous peoples and their desire to grow and deepen that trust both within the church and without; in asserting and advocating their right to free, prior and informed consent concerning the stewardship of traditional Indigenous lands and water rights, and in acknowledging and responding to their calls for solidarity.”

Bogus unity is worse than honest disunity

Now that same-sex marriage is settled, the Anglican Church of Canada is concentrating on presenting a united front “as a form of witness to the world”, in contrast to this “time of political division”, a snide reference, I presume, to the US elections.

Here is a tweet showing Michael Thompson exhorting the church to indulge in a little faux-unity hypocrisy for the sake of its witness…. or should that be coffers?

unity

The only problem is, there is no unity in the ACoC: a number of bishops walked out of the last general synod after the same-sex marriage vote; later, they registered their dissent. Aboriginal Anglicans want to distance themselves from same-sex marriage. I know it falls somewhat short of rioting and property destruction but, in the Anglican world, this is disunity.

As an aside, I do hope Thompson has noticed that voting in the US elections – a slightly more ambitious exercise than the ACoC general synod – went much more smoothly than the GS2016 voting debacle run by…. you guessed it, Michael Thompson.

Still talking about same-sex marriage

The Anglican Church cannot stop talking about same-sex marriage. The more words that are spoken, the less that is said, an endless stream of fustian vacuities circling the certain knowledge that the outcome is inevitable; a gathering of CoGS clergy weaving an elaborate pretence of impartial objectivity, willing puppets, eyes blinkered and strings pulled by the spirit of our age.

It’s not unlike a description from Anthony Powell’s masterpiece, A Dance to the Music of Time:

The image of Time brought thoughts of mortality of human beings, facing outward like the Seasons, moving hand in hand in intricate measure, stepping slowly, methodically sometimes a trifle awkwardly, in evolutions that take recognisable shape: or breaking into seemingly meaningless gyrations, while partners disappear only to reappear again, once more giving pattern to the spectacle: unable to control the melody, unable, perhaps, to control the steps of the dance.

Here is a more prosaic account from the Journal:

Despite hopes expressed by some members that the Council of General Synod (CoGS) will be able to shift its focus away from same-sex marriage during the next triennium,  this did not happen just yet.

The Council spent much of the second day of its fall meeting brainstorming how it can ensure that productive discussions of the motion to amend the marriage canon will happen on the provincial and diocesan level over the next three years.

The motion passed its first reading at the July meeting of General Synod, but because same-sex marriage is a matter of doctrine, it requires a two-thirds majority vote at two consecutive General Synods. In preparation for the next General Synod in 2019, dioceses and ecclesiastical provinces have been asked to continue to study the motion in preparation for the second and final vote. CoGS has been mandated to support this work.

As several members noted over the course of the day, it might not be a straightforward task.

The church remains deeply divided on the issue. There are those who believe same-sex marriage has been put off for far too long already, those who insist that homosexuality is a serious sin and those who believe some accommodation for gay and lesbian Anglicans is necessary, but aren’t yet ready for marriage.

Some CoGS members, among them, the Rev. Lynne McNaughton, of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and Yukon, said their dioceses have already held meetings to discuss the next three years. Others, like John Rye of the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land, compared debates over same-sex marriage to the film Groundhog Day, in which the protagonist re-lives the same day over and over again.

The Rev. Vincent Solomon, of the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land, said people need to learn how to listen to each other if healthy discussions are to be had—a point that the Rev. David Burrows, a CoGS member from the ecclesiastical province of Canada, agreed with.