What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet

I think Shakespeare may be missing something.

Many years ago when I was a schoolboy studying chemistry, we made some phenyl isocyanide, the worst smelling concoction I have ever encountered, and, at an opportune moment secreted an open beaker full of it in the masters’ common room. I cannot honestly declare “that which we call phenyl isocyanide by any other word would smell as foul” because, for me, the words themselves are so evocative of a revolting stench that they contribute an additive smell of their own to the chemical.

An onomatopoeia has a similar effect as do other words that have a sufficient emotional charge that their use provokes a reaction that is detached from or out of proportion to their meaning. “Sodomite” is such a word: although it simply describes someone who regularly – we must allow that an isolated incident could merely be accidental misplacement – engages in a particular sex act, it seems to be intrinsically offensive.

Its offensiveness is not lost on a rather strange Australian Anglican priest called Rod Bower who, although he has redefined the word to suit his and others’ contemporary liberal bias, uses it to launch an ad hominem attack against a politician with whom he disagrees. Much easier than engaging in a rational discussion.

From here:

The sin of Sodom is greatly misunderstood by those who usually choose to do so, it has nothing to do with homosexuality, it is all about hospitality, or more to the point lack there of, and particularly about the condition of the heart that leads to inhospitable behaviour.

Peter Dutton’s comments today are an astonishingly vivid example of this most grievous of sins. The lies, misinformation and blatant untruths are worthy of noting [sic] less than condemnation and ridicule.


Dutton is a true Sodomite.

Here is the church sign that proves it:

Peter Dutton is a sodomite because he is inhospitable. Insofar as most of us have exhibited some degree of inhospitality at some time or other, I suppose that makes most of us sodomites. Some are petty sodomites while the unrepentant misanthropes among us would be hardened sodomites.

Bower does not, as far as I know, house any refugees personally in his own house so he has to be, at the very least, a moderate sodomite.

We are all sodomites now.

Rev Tittle from Ponsonby steals the limelight

After Rev Glynn Cardy refused to marry a same-sex couple, another vicar has out-liberalled him by offering to perform the ceremony.

Rev Tittle from Ponsonby will officiate for the delighted winners of the ZM Fabulous Gay Wedding Competition.

No, I’m not making this up – eat your heart out, Monty Python.

From here:

A vicar has stepped in to marry a gay couple as part of a radio station competition after an Anglican parish was unable to host the ceremony.

Reverend Dr Matt Tittle of the Auckland Unitarian Church in Ponsonby will officiate at the wedding of the couple that wins ZM’s Fabulous Gay Wedding competition.

The broadcaster had hoped to hold the event – on August 19, the day legislation allowing same sex marriage comes into force – at St Matthew-in-the-City parish in central Auckland.

No Cross, no Christianity

Giles Fraser is an Anglican clergyman who doesn’t much like evangelicals or Holy Trinity Brompton or any church that is large and successful or Alpha. He thinks that people who have “a personal relationship” with Jesus are creepy.

He reserves a particular dislike, though, for those who believe that Jesus’ death on the cross was a moment of triumph:

Which is why, for the worst sort of Cheesus-loving evangelicals, the cross of Good Friday is actually celebrated as a moment of triumph. This is theologically illiterate. Next week, in the run up to Easter, Christianity goes into existential crisis. It fails.

The disciples run away, unable to cope with the impossible demands placed upon them. The hero they gave up everything to follow is exposed to public ridicule and handed over to Roman execution. And the broken man on the cross begins to fear that God is no longer present.

I suspect what is really rubbing him up the wrong way is that evangelicals believe that, in his time of suffering on the cross, Jesus took upon himself the sins of the whole world – even those of Giles Fraser. He bore the wrath of God the Father for those sins so that we wouldn’t have to, thereby reconciling us to the Father once and for all. How can such a Redemption not be a triumph?

Theological liberals like Giles Fraser don’t like to think about the wrath of God, the innate sinfulness of man and the fact that a holy, just God must punish sin. Theirs is a sub-Christian faith, empty, meaningless, incoherent and worthy of derision.

Without the triumph of the Cross, there is no Christianity.

New Zealand: Anglican priest joins atheists in calling for end to Bible study in school

Rev. Clay Nelson wants to put a stop to Bible study in schools because it violates the students’ human right to “freedom of religion”.

From here:

An Anglican leader is urging state schools to ditch the Bible in Schools programme as he believes it is trying to create a loophole around the New Zealand Bill of Rights.

St Matthew in the City Reverend Clay Nelson has joined the atheist run-Secular Education Network in a bid to get the religious education programme out of the country’s primary and secondary schools.

Nelson said the programme is an imposition on the human rights of children as it restricts the freedom of other religions which is protected under the Bill of Rights.

“The biggest reason is the issue of human rights,” Nelson told TV ONE’s Breakfast.

“We believe in freedom of religion and to have Bibles in public schools is in an imposition on the religious freedom of others. To have religious freedom you have to have freedom from the religion of others.”

In the video below Clay declares that he is a “non-theist”, doesn’t believe in the divinity of Jesus and doesn’t believe any of the historic creeds; his faith, he says, thrives on “uncertainty”.

Oddly enough, he still insists on calling himself a Christian; nevertheless, as Kierkegaard pointed out, it doesn’t matter how many times you call a cow a horse – it remains a cow.

The “sin is such fun” vicar

From here:

A priest is under investigation after posting ‘Sin is such fun’ on Facebook.

Canon Dr Paul Shackerley, Vicar of Doncaster, is also accused of swearing on the social networking site and mocking relgious events and moaning about having to go to church on a Sunday.

Senior Anglican clerics are probing the allegations after a formal complaint was lodged against Dr Shackerley, who is accused of using a string of four letter words.

He also joined a group called – “I want to get back with my ex…!”…LOL jk…I’d rather SH*T in my hands and clap!

Dr Shackerley, who as priest-in-charge at Doncaster Minster is one of Yorkshire’s most high-profile vicars, posted the comments earlier this year, apparently sparking concern among parishioners.


The posts begin at around 7pm on a Saturday and say: “I think I will put my feet up. I’ve done f**k all today other than jazz lesson and visit a friend. I hear the fizz of tonic in my gin beckoning.

The learned Dr Shackerley is correct, of course: sin is fun. If it weren’t, it wouldn’t present much of a temptation. The part that seems to elude the Canon is that the temptation to sin is something that Christians are supposed to resist. Perhaps when Dr Paul went to seminary he skipped the lessons on the heresy of antinomianism; or perhaps he is simply too trendy and relevant to bother about antiquated notions like sin.

At least we can console ourselves with the reassuring thought that, since the Vicar of Doncaster enjoys spending his days doing “f**k all”, he isn’t busy polluting Doncaster and surrounding areas with his ideas.

Here he is, complete with inserted regalia:

The Diocese of Niagara production of the Vagina Monologues, starring female clergy

No, I’m not joking; from here (Page 5):

Last spring I approached the Reverend Val Kerr, Board member of Bethlehem Housing and Support Services, with the idea of doing a V-Day Production of the Vagina Monologues as a fund raiser for Bethlehem. She liked the idea, and the plan was launched.

Our cast is made up of Women Clergy in the Niagara Diocese who are passionate about stopping violence against not only women but all people.

For those unfamiliar with the work, here is a short extract:

I call it cunt. I’ve reclaimed it, “cunt.” I really like it. “Cunt.” Listen to it. “Cunt.” C C. Ca Ca. Cavern, cackle, clit, cute, come-closed c-closed inside, inside ca-then u-then cu-then curvy, inviting sharkskin uuniform, under, up, urge, ugh, ugh, u — then n then cun — snug letters fitting perfectly together — n — nest, now, nexus, nice, nice, always depth, always round in upper case, cun, cun-n a jagged wicked electrical pulse-n (high pitched noise) then soft n-warm n — cun, cun, then t — then sharp certain tangy t — texture, take, tent, tight, tantalizing, tensing, taste, tendrils, time, tactile, tell me, tell me “Cunt cunt,” say it, tell me “Cunt.” “Cunt.”

As you can see, it’s about as edifying as the average Diocese of Niagara Synod.

And now for a completely different Annunciation

From here:

A billboard put up outside an Auckland church has been labelled “weird” and “inappropriate”.

It shows the Virgin Mary clearly shocked as she looks at a positive pregnancy test – but it’s not the first time the church has courted controversy.

It’s supposed to be the Virgin Mary’s moment of epiphany.

“I think it’s really weird,” one person told 3 News. “I don’t think it’s that appropriate to have outside a church.”

“It’s weird, but not really offensive,” said another.

“Well, I obviously don’t agree with it being weird and creepy,” says Glynn Cardy, vicar at of St Matthew-in-the-City, who came up with the idea for the billboard.

“It’s trying to make people think about Christmas and to then think compassionately and kindly about people in a similar situation.”

When Glynn Cardy tells us it should make us think “kindly about people in a similar situation “, he has a point: there are pregnant virgins popping up all over the place these days.

Back to Church Sunday, red light style

Further to the article below, an Amsterdam church has a new way to get people into the church:

Churches in Amsterdam were hoping to attract such people with a recent open evening.

At the Old Church “in the hottest part of the red light district”, the attractions included “speed-dating”.

As skimpily dressed girls began to appear in red-lit windows in the streets outside, visitors to the church moved from table to table to discuss love with a succession of strangers.

Clergyman in Netherland’s largest Protestant denomination has decided Jesus didn't exist

So obviously he wasn’t resurrected. While we’re at it, God isn’t a supernatural being, there is no life after death and the Bible describes myths.

Fittingly, his church is named the Exodus Church: that’s what his congregation should do as soon as possible.

He is not alone. According to a study by the Free University of Amsterdam, one-in-six clergy in the Protestantse Kerk in Nederland and six other smaller denominations are either agnostic or atheist.

Here he is.


More here.