Something that Anglican bishops don’t protest

Six of the seven countries in Trump’s executive order restricting immigration to the US ban Israelis from entering their country. Has any Anglican bishop anywhere even mentioned this, let alone complained about it? If so, do let me know.

From here:

Today, Arab states don’t ban Jews as such. They do ban Israelis. In fact, six of the seven states featured in Trump’s executive order ban entry of Israeli passport-holders: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. (So, too, do another ten Muslim-majority states.) Those same six states also won’t admit anyone whose non-Israeli passport includes an Israeli visa. I’m not aware that the international community regards this as a particularly egregious affront to international norms.

Trump induced Anglican hand-wringing

From here:

A coalition of seven mission agencies within the Church of England said:  “We understand President Trump’s desire to protect America from extremism but we do not accept that it is ever right to discriminate against people simply on the basis of their ethnicity, religion or country of origin. We call on the British and other governments not only to seek exceptions for its own citizens but justice for all. We call on the US Government to reverse its current policy and to renew its commitment to freedom for all.”

The statement follows criticism of the immigration measures from  church leaders.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, issued a statement expressing shock at the new restrictions:  “It is extraordinary that any civilised country should stigmatise and ban citizens of other nations in the matter of providing humanitarian protection. In Christ, we are called to welcome the stranger especially when in desperate need,” he said.

In the United States there have been statements from a number of Episcopal dioceses. In Massachusetts, a joint letter from 17 church leaders, opposing the executive action, received the backing of three Episcopal Bishops :  “We grieve this decision to limit refugees, as it will cause further suffering, not just to our fellow Christians escaping persecution, but all refugees fleeing violence.”

In a statement, Bishop Marc Handley Andrus of California said: “We must honour the contributions of immigrants who are here to seek peace and stability for their families. Please join me in praying for our nation and for a change of heart for President Trump and his administration.”

Bishop James Mathes of San Diego wrote : “the last nine days have been a disquieting and dizzying display of presidential action in Mr Trump’s first days in office. The executive order is an affront to our sense of fairness and equity…President Trump’s actions are unacceptable and un-American. They do not represent who we are as a people. We must recover our senses. It is time to speak out in the name of all faiths and our national identity as a people united in our diversity. That is our gift to the world.”

In Washington, Bishop Mariann Budde wrote: “The list of alarming actions and statements from President Trump’s first week in office takes our collective breath away.”

Bishop Robert Hirschfeld of the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire said: “The Executive Order tightly restricting immigration and refugee resettlement based on religious identity has done very little but intensify global tensions while worsening human suffering among those who honour and admire this nation. What is called for is competent diplomacy, informed statesmanship and a clear commitment to the biblically informed ideals of hospitality to the stranger and the oppressed. That these values are being so cavalierly rejected in favour of rash and fear-based edicts not only violates the dignity of those immediately affected, but also damages our own reputation.”

In contrast, here is another view from Franklin Graham:

There have been a lot of protests and discussion about President Donald J. Trump’s executive action on immigration. Some people seem to have forgotten that the priority of the president of the United States is protecting the Constitution and the safety of Americans. That’s exactly what President Trump is trying to do. Taking action to secure our borders had to start somewhere. Is it perfect? Maybe not, but it is a first step. As they work on solutions during this 90-day travel ban, unfortunately there are some innocent families caught in this time of transition.

I think that a thorough vetting process really needs to apply to people coming into the U.S. from all countries—not just 7. We have to be sure that the philosophies of those entering our country are compatible with our Constitution. If a person does not agree with our principles of freedom, democracy, and liberty, which we cherish, they should not be allowed to come. Without question, Sharia law is not compatible.

Some are also criticizing Christians who support the president’s position on immigration—and I’m one of those being criticized. But we have to realize that the president’s job is not the same as the job of the church. As Christians we are clearly taught in the Bible to care for the poor and oppressed. At Samaritan’s Purse we have been working in the Middle East for over 30 years. We’ve provided things like food, heaters, blankets, coats, shelter plastic, and more for tens of thousands of refugees there and in other places around the world. We just opened a 55-bed field trauma hospital in northern Iraq where we’re treating Muslims who are being wounded by other Muslims in the fight over Mosul. As Christians we are commanded to help all, regardless of religious background or ethnicity, like the Good Samaritan Jesus shared about in the Bible. Our job is to show God’s love and compassion. I believe the best way to help is to reach out and help these people in their own countries. I support the establishment of safe zones inside Syria and Iraq that would be protected by the international community until a political solution is found. We need to pray for political solutions that would bring peace and allow them to return to their homes as they desire.

It strikes me that, as is so often the case these days, the Anglican church, having parted ways from the Gospel of Jesus sometime ago, has nothing left to occupy its time and dwindling resources but political agitation; leftist political agitation.

Consequently, Anglican bishops when dealing with their own organisation engage in endless conversations and indabas which are rarely, if ever, punctuated by any action at all; but when giving the state the benefit of their collective wisdom, howl stridently for – action.

Anglicans take note: Franklin Graham is correct, God has different purposes for church and state. That, of course, presumes Western Anglicanism is still a church.

Torturous times

I must admit, I have been listening to the news more in the last few weeks than I have for the last 8 years. Whatever one’s opinion of Donald Trump’s numerous and conspicuous character flaws, no-one can accuse him of being boring.

Now he has again brought up the fact that he condones torture in some circumstances. Below, there is a characteristically apologetic admission by a British MP that he not only agrees that torture is permissible but he, himself, used to be a torturer.

One of the arguments against torture is that it doesn’t work. Well, does it?

I can personally attest that it does. In 2009 someone whom I had regarded as a friend deliberately lured me into an Anglican church where Fred Hiltz was to deliver an address. At the half-way point, I was ready to confess all my sins of commission and omission to make it stop. Mercifully, before the end I had passed out.

I had secretly smuggled in a voice recorder; you can listen to Hiltz’s attempt to explain what he understands by the word “gospel” here. No-one will blame you if you can’t listen to it all.

Churches were open for prayer on Inauguration Day

When I saw the sign “Church open for quiet prayer”, I thought at first it was merely a safe space where the Episcopal faithful could curl up in foetal positions, cry and suck their thumbs.

But there was more to it than that, as is evidenced by this church which has not quite grasped the concept of democracy, let alone the idea of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s or upholding one’s rulers in prayer. For All Saints Church in Pasadena, opening the church for the weekend was an opportunity to indulge in Sacred Resistance.

I expect the individuals who removed the rainbow fish from the Port Perry church thought they were engaged in Sacred Resistance, too.

A Weekend of Prayer & Sacred Resistance

January 20-22, 2017

At All Saints Church we will enter this new era in our nation’s history with prayers for our country and a recommitment to sacred resistance. We will stand in resistance to the systemic evils that oppress and marginalize any member of our human family – including but not limited to racism, sexism, nativism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Grounded in our baptismal promises, our resistance to public policies that perpetuate those evils is how we put our faith into action in the world.

TEC spokeswoman says Trump’s election is a betrayal of Christian values

From here:

The election of Donald Trump has caused pain and uncertainty in The Episcopal Church (TEC), says Canon (lay) Noreen Duncan, TEC’s representative to Council of General Synod (CoGS).

Addressing CoGS on November 19, Duncan spoke of the sense of “betrayal” she feels as someone who immigrated to the United States and now sees the values she had always associated with her new home “slipping out from under us.”

In nearly a year of campaigning, Trump was frequently criticized for stirring up animosity toward immigrants, Muslims, and religious and ethnic minorities, as well as for his derogatory comments toward women.

Duncan said Trump’s victory was made more difficult for her by the fact that so many of his supporters identified as Christians. According to the Pew Research Centre, 58% of Protestants, 60% of white Catholics and 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump.

“As part of the Jesus Movement, we are not just people of faith: we are Christians; and the people who apparently seem to have chosen [to vote for Trump], also identify as Christians,” said Duncan. “[But] the values of Christianity are not the values that have been espoused in this election, and that is part of the reason I feel so betrayed.”

Other than the visceral pleasure afforded by watching liberals squirm over Trump’s election, there are several interesting things to be gleaned from this article.

Firstly, we can see that it is possible, after what I can only assume are hours of practice in front of a mirror and a rigorous regimen of Raja Yoga, for a spokeswoman for the ecclesiastical organisation that has gained a worldwide reputation for betraying Christian values to maintain a straight face while denouncing a secular organisation for betraying Christian values.

Secondly, Duncan cannot bring herself to countenance the thought that the 81% of evangelicals who voted for Trump are bona fide Christians. Hence, she refers to them as people who “identified as Christians” in much the same way as a man, self-identifying as a woman while inconveniently sporting Y chromosomes, isn’t quite what he claims to be.

Thirdly, Duncan appears to be very much a part of the elite liberal establishment – the counterfeit church division – whose hypocrisy, condescension, self-deception and arrogance has been their undoing.

Fourthly, anything that causes “pain and uncertainty in The Episcopal Church” can’t be all bad, can it?

Let’s all blame Donald Trump for everything

I am anticipating a deluge of liberal blame, a tsunami of censure to be launched at Donald Trump when he takes office in January. We can expect him to be the cause of everything from the weather being too hot – or too cold – to rising sea levels – or falling sea levels – to plagues of locusts, frogs, flies, boils…. and so on.

Canada, in the shape of Senator Murray Sinclair, is getting an early start by blaming Trump for holding up reconciliation efforts with Aboriginals in Canada. The Anglican Journal, exercising its prophetic voice with suppressed glee, reports on it here:

Senator Murray Sinclair, who was chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), praised the Anglican Church of Canada for it efforts to further reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, but says more needs to be done.

There are “forces at play” in the world that are pushing back against such efforts, Sinclair told guests at the Cathedral Arts Dinner Lecture Series, held at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa November 14. He referred to the recent election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, the June 23 vote by Britain to leave the European Union and to “other places that have elected similar kinds of leaders.”