Fred Hiltz, Jerusalem and Trump

It goes without saying that Hiltz, along with other church dignitaries, is spluttering his indignation about the U.S. recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Most importantly, it’s because he hates Trump and all he stands for with a loathing as intense as his fawning love for Justin Trudeau, Canada’s pretty boy, a bleached version of Barack Obama. There is no hatred quite so caustic as that of a liberal Anglican clergyman encountering opposition laced with disagreement that’s less than good .

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, is calling for prayers for Jerusalem after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision December 6 to recognize the city as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Hiltz, as Anglican Primate floats, as usual, blissfully above the demands that facts and reality impose on mere mortals. Thus, he declares that Trump has acted unilaterally, in spite of the fact that the U.S. congress voted to recognise Jerusalem as capital 22 years ago. Trump has done what every other president for the last 22 years has been putting off. This is very unAnglican: Anglicans have endless conversations when something comes up that they dislike.

Hiltz is also condemning Trump’s “unilateral action,” saying it has set off violence in the Holy Land.

Significantly, none of the clergy gnashing their collective teeth over this are interested in whether it is the right thing to do or not. Rather, they are motivated by pious pragmatism: will the recognition incite the usual lunatic elements to violence? After all, the Middle East has hitherto been so peaceful.

In a statement released Friday, December 8, Hiltz said he was joining a number of voices expressing “serious concerns” about Trump’s declaration. He cited a letter jointly issued by 13 heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem, including Archbishop Suheil Dawani, primate of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, voicing disapproval and worry.

“We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division,” the church leaders said in the letter, released shortly before Trump’s official announcement. “We ask from you Mr. President to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all.

“The Holy City can be shared and fully enjoyed once a political process helps liberate the hearts of all people, that live within it, from the conditions of conflict and destructiveness that they are experiencing.”

We have something to be thankful for in all this: politicians tend to ignore the opinions of effete clerics – just like everyone else:

But Trump, Hiltz said, chose “to ignore this wise and Godly counsel,” and went ahead with his declaration. “His unilateral action has unsettled the entire Middle East and plunged Jerusalem into chaos,” Hiltz continued.

Hiltz, it seems, has found a new word: “unilateral”. This is the third time he has used it. Incorrectly.

In an interview with the Anglican Journal Thursday, December 7, Hiltz said he felt Trump had acted in a characteristically “unilateral” and dangerous way in making his announcement.

What we really need are more conversations. How about a Middle East Indaba?

“There’s no sense of, you know, consultation, no sense of this having been a broader conversation. It’s Donald Trump being Donald Trump,” he said.

It gets worse: North Korea’s obsession with nuclear tipped ballistic missiles is Trump’s fault, too. Did I mention that Hiltz hates Trump?

“As with issues of concern on the Korean peninsula, his statements and his actions agitate, and they tend to stir things up in ways that, quite frankly, are not helpful,” Hiltz said. “It’s very worrisome in terms of how this could turn.”

The Anglican Church of Canada—like the government of Canada—Hiltz said, supports “a lasting peace process in which there is a state of Israel, but within which Palestinians also have a rightful place.”

Finally, we find out what is really bothering Hiltz – other than the fact that he is forced to live on the same planet as Trump. His free trip to Jerusalem might have to be cancelled.

Hiltz also said Trump’s announcement cast some doubt on whether he would still make a planned trip to Jerusalem this January to visit the Anglican primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

Predictable Anglican reaction to Trump’s Jerusalem announcement

This is an early tweet from Canada’s establishment Anglican rag, The Journal, expressing “concerns” over Trump’s announcement today that the U.S. recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and plans to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The article referenced in the tweet warns that the recognition will cause “Irreparable Damage”. Only time will tell, of course, but a few things we can predict with complete certainty.

The liberal Anglican establishment – just about all Western Anglican clergy in other words – will roundly condemn the move because: Trump did it and they all hate him; it goes against received leftist dogma, the last remaining heresy in Western Anglicanism and, most important of all, it acknowledges the existence of an objective fact – the land of Israel has been home to the Jews for 3000 years – something entirely alien to liberal Anglicans who prefer endless reality-evading conversations.

A safe space for Trumpophobics

The Diocese of New Westminster along with St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, representatives of the fastest declining denominations in North America, are banding together “to offer an antidote to the fear and despair” resulting from democracy in action in the USA.

Franklin Graham seems to have been the catalyst for this but honourable mention is given to “right-wing groups” in Europe, Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duerte. “The list goes on” as the article below notes, but it doesn’t go on to include Iran, Syria, North Korea, China, Iraq or any of the other countries that concentrate much of their national energy on persecuting Christians.

The featured speakers include an imam, a Zen Buddhist and Michael Ingham, one of the most divisive Anglican bishops of the 20th Century.  Anglicans should feel quite at home.

The event is called: Hope Amidst the Politics of Fear: Conversations for Creative Resistance. Even though Franklin Graham will be in Vancouver, he hasn’t been invited to state his side of the story; liberals generally can’t cope when both sides of an argument are presented. Their brains shut down in self-defensive panic. These days, I think it’s called “triggering”.

From here:

People have been confiding in Vancouver Rev. Gary Paterson that they’re having trouble feeling hopeful.

In a political era characterized by U.S. President Donald Trump, growing immigrant-skeptic movements in Europe and the murder of six Quebec Muslims, the minister at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church wanted to offer an antidote to the fear and despair he’s hearing from members of his church and the public.

So Paterson, past moderator of the United Church of Canada, teamed up with another downtown Vancouver clergyman, Rev. Peter Elliot of Christ Church (Anglican) Cathedral, to have a multi-faith group of speakers lead a four-part series in March titled Hope Amidst the Politics of Fear: Conversations for Creative Resistance.

“It’s partly a reaction to what’s happening in the United States. But the U.S. has such an influence on the world, especially Canada,” Paterson said, noting the city has been divided by the Vancouver crusade of American evangelist Franklin Graham, a major Trump supporter, to be held March 3-5.

“It’s also a reaction to reports from Europe about right-wing groups gaining traction … and to the aplomb with which (Russian President Vladimir) Putin seems to be acting these days and to (strongman Rodrigo) Duerte in the Philippines. The list goes on.”

Justin Welby denounces Donald Trump’s politics as fascist

Justin Welby is struggling with abuse scandals in his church, a Communion that is fracturing and a denomination which, according to Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden, is dying.

What is to be done? Launch a diversionary offensive, of course. Accusing someone of being a fascist throws anyone who is listening – admittedly, not many – into paroxysms of righteous indignation or outrage, depending on one’s political bias. The main thing is, it helps people forget about the things the Church of England’s commander-in-chief has left undone.

An added benefit is that, as George Orwell noted, “the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless” making its use consistent with most other pronouncements any self-respecting Anglican Archbishop might make.

From here:

Donald Trump is part of the same “fascist tradition of politics” as far-right European politicians such as Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested last night.

In his most outspoken comments since the American president’s ban on travellers from some Muslim-majority countries was announced, the Most Rev Justin Welby accused Mr Trump of being part of a group of leaders from a “nationalist, populist, or even fascist tradition of politics”.

Fred Hiltz invites prayer for the USA

Actually, as is so often the case, Hiltz offers his political opinions to God – who must have been waiting to hear them with bated breath – and us in this statement, thinly disguised as an invitation to prayer:

Next week, the eyes and ears of all Americans and indeed many other people around the world will be turned toward Capitol Hill in Washington as Donald Trump takes the Oath of Office as the 45th President of the United States.

Many of course will be rejoicing in his inauguration and eagerly anticipating his administration.  Many others are anxious.  Given some of the rhetoric in his campaign for election, they are wondering how tolerant he will be of the multi-racial, -cultural and -religious textures with which the fabric of the United States of America is woven.

In the face of an ever-growing gulf between Americans who are rich and Americans who are poor, there is considerable angst as to how the Trump administration will address this concern.  Many eagerly await initiatives that will be in the form of laying firm foundations ensuring equality of access to health care, education, and employment opportunities for all Americans.

Mexicans wonder about the nature of future relationships with the United States and so too do many Canadians.  World leaders will be watching to see how he takes his place in the gatherings where they take counsel together for peace and security of the world, and for the care of the earth itself.

It’s instructive to compare the scolding tone of the above with the gushing sycophancy on display in this letter to Justin Trudeau after he was elected Prime Minister:

On behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), we extend our heartfelt congratulations to you as our new Prime Minister.

You have set a bold vision for our country. The times in which we live call for visionary leadership in Canada and in the world so that we may build a truly just, healthy and peaceful world.

We welcome your approach to governance and your commitment to work closely with all levels of government on issues such as homelessness, lifting children and seniors out of poverty, improving our welcome of refugees, and refocusing development assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable. Anglicans and Lutherans from coast to coast to coast share a deep concern and profound hope for justice, peace and the well-being of creation. Your invitation to Provincial Premiers and to representatives of other political parties to participate in the Climate Change Conference in Paris is an important sign of the kind of partnership needed to address critical issues.

We support your commitment to implementing the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We share the goal to build and strengthen relationships across Canada—with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians—grounded in right relationships, compassion and justice.

We assure you that week by week, members of our churches are praying for you, for all Members of Parliament, and for the Government of Canada. May your service to this country be a blessing to many, and may God guide us in the better future we intend to foster together.

Yours in Christ,

The Most Rev. Fred J. Hiltz

The mental anguish of Bishop Melissa Skelton at Trump’s victory

Although I am not an avid fan of Donald Trump, I am very much enjoying the reaction of elitist liberals whose disdain for and aloofness from the common herd helped propel Trump to victory.

Such is the “shock, grief and confusion” of Bishop Melissa Skelton, that she felt moved to write a pastoral letter to calm the disquiet of her flock over the results of democracy in action in her homeland:

Dear People of the Diocese of New Westminster

I awoke this morning, as many of you did, in shock, grief and confusion as the elections in the US concluded. While, as a person born in the US, I could offer my own analysis of what happened, I’m more interested in saying just a few things to you in the face of these events in the life of our neighbour to the south, a neighbour who deeply influences us and the rest of the world.

Stay a while with your uncomfortable feelings and the things you may now be curious about. One piece I read this morning talked about our own urge to get past the uncomfortable feelings that many of us may be feeling today. I encourage you to stay in touch with both the feelings and the questions that are coming up for you out of what has occurred over these many months.  It may be that God is working in you as you experience your own response and as you discern how you may wish to respond.