Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chubbo's too good looking too

What did the Guardian editors do when they were hiring woman writers? They thought of a man, then took away reason and accountability:
... It's time to get the point, Lynne. The Hill ain't ever going to look like Joanie. Giving the British woman Joanie as a role model is never going to make her feel good. At least Kate Moss's hair sometimes stands on end. At least Cindy Crawford's got a damn mole. If we're talking about images of unattainable perfection, Joanie, with her hips, bust and stature could take home a newly-invented Nobel for the accolade. Oh sure, she looks like she could pack a few Big Macs – although I'm sure Featherstone would warn us against those – but as an ideal she is quite as unattainable as any other. Her BMI, in fact, is precariously near that of a model's – at 5 foot 8 and 140 pounds it works out as 21.3 (according to Joanie's driving licence). In other words, she's the equivalent of an old-fashioned perfect 10 ...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Take, eat; this is my Scooby Snack, which is given for you

Just taking a little break from my, well, break to draw your attention to this:

St. Peter’s Anglican Church has long been known as an open and inclusive place.

So open, it seems, they won’t turn anyone away. Not even a dog.

That’s how a blessed canine ended up receiving communion from interim priest Rev. Marguerite Rea during a morning service the last Sunday in June.

According to those in attendance at the historical church at 188 Carlton St. in downtown Toronto, it was a spontaneous gesture, one intended to make both the dog and its owner – a first timer at the church — feel welcomed. But at least one parishioner saw the act as an affront to the rules and regulations of the Anglican Church. He filed a complaint with the reverend and with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto about the incident – and has since left the church.

Telling reporting as always ... You see, the thing about giving the body of Christ to a dog is not so much that it offends any particular 'rule' or 'regulation' of the Anglican Church, as that it rather conspicuously offends what Christians believe (have to believe, if they are Christians) is the person of God himself. I won't bother explaining why this is so, as there is only one type who would feign ignorance of so obvious a fact, and they are precisely the people who would also defend the right of Muslims to keep dogs out of their buses and taxi cabs.

This line from the piece is of consequence though:
But congregants of the church say the act wasn’t meant to be controversial.
When the hell did people start believing that if a thing wasn't meant to be controversial, that it wasn't, then, controversial? She gave a dog communion!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Father Crouse on faith and pharmaceuticals

Much of modern Christianity seems to be very world-affirming. Popular preachers often recommend religion as though it were some sort of pharmaceutical preparation designed to produce health and happiness, and maybe even social and financial success. And if it doesn't produce these obvious rewards, at the very least, it should provide us with something called "peace of mind". And on a slightly more sophisticated level, some of our leaders, and the Church press in general, speak as though the real end and purpose of Christianity were the improvement of social and economic conditions: making the world a better place. For many, that is the main justification of the Church.


But consider these lessons more closely: it's a strange kind of happiness they describe, and a strange kind of prosperity they promise. "Happy are ye," says St. Peter, "if ye suffer for righteousness' sake" -- happiness in suffering. And consider the conclusion of the Gospel lesson: it appears that the miraculous draught of fishes was simply a teaching device: sort of a parable in action. The point of it was not the astonishing catch of fish -- that was rather incidental. "From henceforth thou shalt catch men". And immediately convinced of the sinful futility of their lives, they forsook their occupation, and followed Jesus.

In the end, these lessons turn out to be very anti-worldly. And I think it must be said that the Gospel is not, on the whole, very world-affirming. Certainly, the world is god's Creation; and more than that, it is the sphere of his redeeming love in Christ: "God so loved the world..." But the end and object of God's creative and redemptive power -- the salvation of the world -- is somehow beyond this world. We are solemnly warned again and again not to set our affections on earthly things; and we are certainly not promised rewards of earthly happiness and prosperity. Rather we are promised tribulation. Happy are ye if ye suffer for righteousness sake."


What we are really concerned with here is the everlasting life of the spirit, and our earthly goods are really goods only insofar as they serve that higher end. In worldly terms, their end is destruction: "moth and rust corrupt, and thieves break through and steal." Even this planet of ours must surely have an end, and our sun is, after all, a dying star. "Here we have not continuing city," "but our homeland is in heaven, and from it we await a saviour." What is saved is the harvest of the spirit -- spirits made perfect in the knowledge and love of God.


Fr. Robert Crouse, Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity