Saturday, August 30, 2008

A New Declaration of Independence

The Common Cause Partnership has signaled its intent to petition, and the FCA (GAFCON) Primates' Council has declared it will give priority to the petition, for the recognition of a new North American province within the historical tradition of the Anglican Communion. This marks a watershed in the history of the Communion---a time when the forces resisting the heterodoxy rampant within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada can no longer be contained within the walls of endless talk erected and maintained by the so-called "Instruments of Unity."

A similar watershed was reached in times past, at a momentous point in the history of our country, and a document was created to memorialize the irrevocable resolve of its founders. That document---the Declaration of Independence---chronicled the abuses and misrule that led to the decision to throw off the King's yoke, and declared to all the world why George III had, by his actions, forfeited his exclusive franchise over the thirteen colonies.

There is no reason why a similar Declaration cannot be drafted now. In just the same way as King George's insults and abuses led our forefathers to declare themselves forever free of his polity, so the members of the Common Cause Partnership, with confidence in the FCA, and with its support, can declare themselves free of the polity of The Episcopal Church (TEC) and of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC).

(Some of the members of Common Cause, like the Reformed Episcopal Church, declared themselves free more than a century ago, while others, like CANA and Forward in Faith North America, have from their beginnings been free of TEC and the ACoC. However, because of their exclusive Anglican franchises in North America, TEC and ACoC have been able to date to keep these organizations from being recognized as constituent members of the Anglican Communion. Thus the chief purpose of a modern Declaration would be to state the reasons why those franchises can now no longer remain exclusive, and to lay the foundation for a claim to be independent, co-equal members of the Communion.)   

In putting together the following exercise, I was constantly surprised at how Thomas Jefferson's words could be applied with very little change (once the document had been adapted as a religious, rather than a secular, declaration) to the offenses committed by the leadership of The Episcopal Church. (ACoC readers can easily substitute their own indictments.) Not all of the links below are serious, but most are, and as a whole they bear out the fact that the time has now come to begin the separation that must inevitably occur as we head into the meeting of the House of Bishops in September, the Pittsburgh diocesan convention in October, and the diocesan conventions in Ft. Worth and Quincy in November. Accordingly, with Mr. Jefferson's classic text as a model, here is what such a contemporary "Declaration of Independence" might look like:

The unanimous Declaration of the Common Cause Partners

WHEN in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the religious bands which have connected them with another, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these religious truths to be self-evident, that all baptized Christians are equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, which is Salvation by Grace through Faith.—That to secure these rights, Churches and their Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from God and from the consent of the governed.—That whenever any Form of Church Polity becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it; and to institute a new Church, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Salvation and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Churches long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a Church, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these who are now united as Common Cause Partners; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Church Polity. The history of the present Presiding Bishop and General Convention of The Episcopal Church is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these Partners. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

They have refused their Assent to Resolutions affirming the basic Tenets of the Christian Faith, the most wholesome and necessary for the good of the body religious.

They have forbidden their Dioceses to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till their Assent should be obtained.

They intend other Laws demanding the payment of assessments by the Dioceses, unless those Dioceses would relinquish the right of Representation in the General Convention, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

They have called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant, so that the requisite majority needed for action could not attend, for the sole purpose of fatiguing the members into compliance with their measures, adopted without the required number of assents.

They have deposed Bishops and Priests repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness their invasions on the rights of the Dioceses and Congregations.

They have obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing their Assent to Presentments for violation of the Church Canons.

They have made Bishops dependent on their Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

They have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

They have established among us, in times of peace, Standing Committees without the Consent of any duly noticed Diocesan Convention.

They have affected to render the Presiding Bishop independent of and superior to the Canons that embody the Discipline of the Church.

They have combined with others to subject us to a theology foreign to our tradition, and unacknowledged by our scriptures; giving their Assent to the teaching of false doctrine.

For Quartering large bodies of clergy preaching and celebrating open sin among us:

For protecting them, by unscriptural enactments, from being excluded from ordination, or from deposition once ordained:

For cutting off our bonds with all parts of the Anglican Communion:

For imposing Immorality on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury through the abuse of the "Abandonment of Communion" Canons, and through new canons proposed for adoption:

For forcing us to look beyond the Seas for adequate pastoral oversight, and for denouncing and hindering our every attempt to do so:

For abolishing the free System of Canon law in the Diocese of San Joaquin, and establishing therein an Arbitrary Church government, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into other Dioceses:

For taking away the right freely to amend our Diocesan Constitutions, falsely construing our most valuable Canons, and thereby altering fundamentally the Forms of our Church Governments:

For suspending our own elected Ecclesiastical Authorities, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate and execute for us in all cases whatsoever:

They have forfeited and abdicated their exclusive Anglican franchise here, by declaring us out of their Protection and waging War against us.

They have squandered our reserves on wasteful proceedings at law, laid claim to our properties, seized our bank accounts, and destroyed the Lives of our people.

They are at this time plotting new resolutions and legislation for the next General Convention, to complete the works of desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a Christian religion.

They have constrained our fellow Bishops to bring charges against their Will, to become the deposers of their friends and Brethren, or to be deposed themselves by their Hands.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Primate, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free Church.

Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren, from whose Church we were born. We have warned them from time to time of the attempts by The Episcopal Church to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too---especially their Archbishop of Canterbury---have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in Oppression, in Faith Friends.—

WE, THEREFORE, the REPRESENTATIVES of the Common Cause Partners, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of our Churches, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Churches, Dioceses and their Members are, and of Right ought to be FREE AND INDEPENDENT of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to or Dependence upon the said Churches, and that all political and canonical connection between them and those Churches, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent members of the Anglican Communion, they have full Power to organize themselves as they deem fit, conclude Covenants, recognize and bestow Orders, establish Relationships in Communion, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent Churches may of right do.—And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Wonderful World of Rose-Colored Spin

The Episcopal "Diocese" of San Joaquin (which is not yet an official diocese of the Episcopal Church, for reasons explained here) has put out a press release concerning a recent Stipulation approved in an Order issued by the Fresno County Superior Court in the pending litigation between TEC, Bishop Lamb, and Bishop Schofield. The press release, as most such one-sided documents are intended to do, tries to put a positive spin on what was actually a refreshingly pragmatic solution arrived at between the parties, but only after a good deal of initial resistance from the TEC side.

Before I deal with what the release says, let me give some background to the unusual situation which this Stipulation and Order address. As noted in earlier posts, the Episcopal "Diocese", Bishop Lamb, and TEC joined in a lawsuit filed in April 2008 against Bishop Schofield (whom the plaintiffs refused to title as a "bishop" in their pleadings) and various diocesan trust fund entities, who, they alleged, had absconded with buildings, properties and bank accounts which belonged to them, the plaintiffs. In a tactic designed solely to turn up the heat on the defendants, the plaintiffs amended their lawsuit in May to name as an additional defendant the brokerage firm of Merrill Lynch, with whom Bishop Schofield and the trust entities had invested their funds. In response to being sued, Merrill Lynch placed a hold, or "freeze", on some 33 different investment accounts maintained with it by the defendants (and others who were not defendants).

In describing the assets they were claiming title to in their amended complaint, Bishop Lamb and his co-plaintiffs named four accounts maintained with Merrill Lynch by individual congregations and organizations whom they had not named as defendants: St. John's in Tulare, St. John's in Porterville, St. James's Cathedral in Fresno, and the Episcopal Conference Center in Oakhurst ("ECCO"). Normal legal procedure would have required the plaintiffs first to name these parties in the action, then to give them prior notice that they would be applying to the Court for an order attaching their Merrill Lynch accounts, and thus to give them an opportunity to be heard as to why such an attachment order should not issue.

But this is The Episcopal Church of which we are speaking. Ordinary laws and rules simply do not apply to it. The details are shrouded for the time being, but the facts are that TEC had but to name Merrill Lynch in its complaint, and Merrill Lynch immediately cooperated by freezing its clients' accounts---even the accounts of those whom TEC had not named as defendants.

The consequences of Merrill Lynch's unilateral action for innocent bystanders like ECCO was disastrous. As you can see from the ECCO Budget which is attached to the Stipulation, the summer months are precisely the time when ECCO realizes its greatest revenues. But the freeze imposed by Merrill Lynch at the instigation of TEC meant that ECCO could not write a single check to pay expenses on its Merrill Lynch account---and expect that check to be honored. The Conference Center, as I stress, is an innocent bystander in all of the brouhaha. Until recently, the dispute between TEC and Bishop Schofield had not affected its operations in the slightest. Moreover, ECCO offers its facilities on an equal basis, first come first serve, to those in TEC and without. As Bishop Lamb acknowledges in the press release, its ministry is "critical." So why should the Episcopal "Diocese" of San Joaquin threaten to shut it down? Indeed---please read on.

Now, suitably informed, we may take up the "Diocese's" press release. Here starts a fisking, by way of rebuttal to the "spin" it tries to apply to the facts. (Think of this as an "annotated version", such as Harper's Magazine regularly provides to its readers.) The first thing to note is the outrageously slanted headline:

Court maintains freeze on Episcopal Diocesan accounts pending litigation

To suggest, as this headline does, that the Court was "maintaining" a freeze is to engage in sophistry for the sole purpose gaining a PR advantage. The freeze, as I said above, was unilaterally imposed by the pusillanimous Merrill Lynch in response to being sued by one of its major clients, The Episcopal Church. [UPDATE 08/27/2008: This article and this article attest to the fact that TEC maintained accounts at Merrill Lynch when its former treasurer, Ellen Cooke, managed to embezzle $2.2 million in Church funds by transferring them, in part, into her own personal account at Merrill Lynch. Whether that is still the case remains to be seen, but certainly the brokerage house's conduct in this instance supports that assumption.] To avoid the risk of offending a major client, as I suspect, Merrill Lynch chose to inconvenience what it regarded as pipsqueak investors who could not mount a meaningful counteroffensive. This would include clients like St. John's in Tulare, who was trying its level best to remain within TEC while discerning the proper path for it to tread amidst all the minefields being laid for it. Merrill Lynch, however, could not even be bothered to inquire into the view of St. John's. It was enough to take TEC's unsworn word that its account must be frozen. By such a cowardly act, Merrill Lynch spared TEC and Bishop Lamb the bother of applying to the court for an attachment order---which would have required TEC to post a bond to cover the amount of the funds being frozen. So make no mistake---given what TEC had impelled Merrill Lynch to do on its own, the parties simply sorted out what was practical under the circumstances. They looked at what would be required during the pendency of the litigation, and decided what they could accept. Rather than ordering on its own initiative that the freeze be maintained, the Court simply approved the terms on which the parties stipulated they would allow it to continue, pending the outcome of the lawsuit. (And because neither TEC nor Merrill Lynch included them in the discussions, the Stipulation does not cover four of the 33 accounts held in the names of the non-defendant St. John's Tulare, St. John's Porterville, and St. James's Fresno.)

Next, the release brags:
In April the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin filed a lawsuit to recover the property and the assets of the Diocese from its former bishop, John-David Schofield. As a result of this lawsuit several of the disputed investment accounts and related funds belonging to the Diocese were frozen.
As we have seen, the phrase "as a result" covers up a multitude of sins. The funds were not frozen in accordance with the procedures called for by statute, but solely because Merrill Lynch felt impelled by TEC's lawsuit to take an adverse stance against its small-fry investors. Oh, yes---that is certainly something to crow about, all right! And as we have also seen, it is not just the "accounts and related funds belonging to the Diocese" that were frozen: TEC deliberately attacked the funds of one of its own---St. John's in Tulare---as well, and sought by its allegations to halt the operations of the independent Conference Center at Oakhurst. Inexcusably, it failed to name those entities as parties to the lawsuit, but it still managed to tie up all their accounts with Merrill Lynch. (Welcome to the current world of TEC: if you're not with us, you're against us, and even if you're with us, we reserve the right to say you're against us.)

The press release continues its one-sided account:
In a hearing yesterday, the Court adopted a stipulation and ordered that these accounts may only be accessed with the consent of the Episcopal Diocese and/or by further order of the Court. Several of the affected accounts included those critical to the operations of the Evergreen Conference Center in Oakhurst (ECCO).
This is a gross oversimplification of the terms of the Stipulation, as anyone will discover who will take the trouble to follow the link and read. The fact is that the Stipulation allows the appropriate officers at ECCO to continue to write checks as they have in the past, and to pay expenses in accordance with the annual budget that ECCO adopted, without any further input, or "consent", by the "Episcopal Diocese."

The hypocrisy of the press release mounts when it claims (emphasis added):
Bishop Jerry Lamb called the continuation of ECCO’s ministry “critical.” At the direction of the Episcopal Diocesan Council, the Chancellor for the Diocese and attorneys for the Episcopal Church contacted Mr. Schofield’s attorneys to negotiate terms for interim access to funds to support camp operations, including staff salaries, daily operations and certain capital improvements. . . .
Bishop Lamb must not have communicated his concerns about the continued operation of ECCO to his attorneys very well. For the facts are these:
  1. With the ECCO accounts frozen along with all the others, TEC and Bishop Lamb were prepared to let that situation continue while TEC decided just how it would amend again its already amended complaint. The defendants had noticed demurrers to the amended complaint (which tested its legal sufficiency), which the Court had set for hearing on August 25. But rather than get a ruling from the Court that their complaint was insufficient, TEC and Bishop Lamb stipulated that they would file a second amended complaint by September 15. (Their press release says nothing about that stipulation.)
  2. The Court, in a minute order entered on July 15, had ordered the parties to "meet and confer regarding the treatment of the Merrill Lynch accounts pending litigation and to discuss proxy/joinder of necessary parties." So far from TEC/Bishop Lamb's attorneys "contacting" Bishop Schofield's attorneys, the discussions---especially regarding ECCO, whose needs were indeed "critical," as Bishop Lamb admits---were initiated by the Chancellor for Bishop Schofield's Diocese, who put forward to TEC's and Bishop Lamb's attorneys concrete and specific proposals to deal with the ECCO accounts, as well as all of the other ones pertaining to the named defendants. (Notice again how TEC persists in referring to the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, a duly accepted member of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, as "Mr. Schofield"---as though it could thereby legitimize its illegal deposition of him.)
  3. To ensure that there would be some kind of court ruling allowing ECCO to operate, Bishop Schofield's Chancellor filed with the Court on August 6, 2008 a "Request for Instructions" to Merrill Lynch, which consisted largely of the same terms eventually agreed to in the Stipulation, and which was noticed for hearing on August 25, when the parties would be in Court for the Case Management Conference, at which the Court would set the case for trial.
  4. Instead of agreeing at once to the proposed terms for the ECCO accounts, TEC and Bishop Lamb filed with the Court on August 19 their opposition to the Request for Instructions, in which they argued (among other things) that the Request was filed too late and should not be heard, that there was no urgency about ECCO (+Jerry Lamb had not issued his statement yet), and that the defendants were not the appropriate people to speak on ECCO's behalf anyway. (Given that TEC and Bishop Lamb had not seen fit to name or join ECCO in the lawsuit, one can only wonder as to who should speak for ECCO, in their view---certainly they were not doing so. As of August 19, TEC and Bishop Lamb, according to their attorneys, at any rate, were content to see ECCO shut down altogether.)
  5. The Stipulation was worked out only on the day of the hearing itself, on August 25, after Bishop Schofield and his attorneys had pointed out the hypocrisy in the position that TEC and Bishop Lamb were taking before the Court. Far from being a suggestion that originated with the latter, it was something that they agreed to only when faced with the prospect that the Court might be presented with ECCO's collapse as a consequence of their refusal to negotiate.
The one statement in the TEC/Bishop Lamb press release that is the unvarnished truth is this last, at the very end:
The Court has set a tentative date of August 24, 2009 to hear the lawsuit.
By that time, of course, TEC and Bishop Lamb will have had to demonstrate to the Court that they are legitimate parties to present a complaint against Bishop Schofield's and his diocese's departure from TEC. For all the reasons explained in my earlier posts on this subject (see the Guide to This Site; Topic: The Situation in San Joaquin), they face, in my view, an uphill battle on that score. But you will not learn that from reading their press releases.

Miscellaneous Posts

On this page are collected the posts that do not easily fit into any of the other categories. Just as hash is the sign of a clean kitchen, so a good "Miscellany" page is the sign of a well-varied blog. A lot of the following posts are humor or parody, and maybe I will make that a category by itself some day.

Evidence for the Accuracy of the Bible

As an attorney, I am constantly engaged in the presentation and evaluation of evidence, particularly evidence tending to show that a given event did or did not happen. On this page are collected the posts evaluating historical and other kinds of evidence which supports various accounts of events (miraculous and otherwise) as given in the Bible.

The Nativity and the Star of Bethlehem

On the Last Supper and the Crucifixion

Evidence for the Shroud of Turin

Playing Back the Resurrection

TED Conference Talks

The TED Conference is an annual event held (now) at Long Beach; others are held around the world. The letters of the acronym stand for Technology, Entertainment and Design. The TED website contains videos of over 300 talks from past conferences. Each Friday morning, I put one of them up for viewers of this blog to watch and to leave comments on, if they so desire. The speakers are given usually just eighteen minutes (or less) in which to tell us about an "idea worth spreading", or to unveil a new invention or project on which they have been working which promises to make a change in the world. The talks are always intriguing and thought-provoking. Here are links to the ones I have published thus far:

Friday TED Talks

Juan Enriquez (the economy and the future)

Ed Ulbrich (technology used in the Story of Benjamin Button)

Nalini Nadkarni (the ecology of canopies in the rainforest)

Tim Berners-Lee (the new Internet)

Elizabeth Gilbert (creativity)

John Wooden (the difference between winning and success)

David Merrill (mini-computer "Siftables")

Dan Ariely (the bugs in our moral code)

Willie Smits (regrowing a rain forest)

Laurie Garrett (how flu spreads)

José Antonio Abreu (inspiration through music/2009 TED Prize Wish)

Sarah Jones (acting in character)

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (predicting what Iran will do)

Bonnie Bassler (how bacteria communicate)

Hans Rosling (world AIDS statistics)

John La Grou (SmartPlugs for safer homes)

Richard St. John (Eight Keys to Success)

Al Seckel (Our crossed visual circuitry)

Gever Tulley (Teaching kids dangerously)

Kary Mullis (hunting for a molecular tag to awake immune reactions)

Karen Armstrong (the proper goal for religion/2009 TED Prize Wish)

Nina Jablonski (the science of skin color)

Alain de Botton (contrasting success and failure)

Michael Pritchard (making any water drinkable)

Emmanuel Jal (the redemption of a war child)

Elaine Morgan (the aquatic ape hypothesis)

Eric Giler (wireless electricity)

Cary Fowler (world seed bank)

JoAnn Kuchera-Morin (the Amazing AlloSphere)

Willard Wigan (incredible micro-sculptures)

Taryn Simon (photographs of hidden things)

Oliver Sacks (Charles Bonnet Syndrome)

Rory Sutherland (the perception of value)

Itay Talgam (melding an orchestra without words)

Bjarke Ingels (transformative architecture)

Ian Goldin (what the world will be like in 2030)

Hans Rosling (datasets vs. mindsets)

Jonathan Haidt (the moral roots of social conflict)

Magnus Larsson (turning dunes into architecture)

Carolyn Porco (Cassini mission to Saturn)

John Lloyd (the humor of the invisible)

Jonathan Zittrain (what makes the Internet work)

Loretta Napoleoni (economics of terrorism)

Chimamanda Adichie (avoiding the single-story trap)

Anthony Atala, M.D. (body's ability to regenerate)

Barry Schwartz (the problem of choices)

Michael Pollan (the plant's-eye view)

Jamie Oliver (the food that is killing us/2010 TED Prize Wish)

Peter Eigen (exposing corruption)

Eric Topol (medicine's wireless future)

Philip Howard (the law run amuck)

Daniel Kahneman (happiness as a tricky concept)

Dan Barber (a love affair with a fish)

Alan Siegel (ending legal jargon)

Temple Grandin (the autistic mind)

David Gallo (undersea wonders; cephalopods)

Hans Rosling (the power of TED talks)

Stephen Wolfram (the computable world)

Jeremy Jackson (destroying the oceans) and Eric Whitacre (virtual choir)

William Li (uses of angiogenesis)

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (recruiting children as suicide bombers)

Natalie Merchant (singing her settings of old poems)

David Byrne (how environment shapes music)

Michael Sandel (concepts of justice; public discourse)

Kevin Bales (ending present-day slavery)

Carter Emmart (a video atlas of the universe)

Charles Leadbeater (on true innovation)

Dimitar Sasselov (life elsewhere in the universe)

Elif Shafrak (reaching out through stories)

Ben Dunlap (passionate engagement with the world)

Love and Marriage

Collected on this page are the posts I have put up about the issue of same-sex marriages, both from a secular and a religious point of view. As a California attorney, I have taken a special interest in the issues surrounding the Supreme Court's rulings and Proposition 8, passed in November 2008, which added the following fourteen words as section 7.5 of article I of the California Constitution:

Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

Just as I contend that gay-rights activists have gone down the wrong path when they argue that gays and lesbians have an "equal right" to be consecrated bishops in the Church, so do I demonstrate in the first few posts below how it is a mistake to speak of a "right to marry". Other posts deal with the Biblical arguments relating to marriage, and with the accumulating arguments and evidence against the soundness of the proposition that marriage as traditionally defined discriminates against those who claim it does.

Love and Marriage
The Church of Enablers

Science and Religion

During high school and my first two years of college, I planned to become a theoretical physicist, and studied a lot of math and science. My lifelong interest in religion has also nourished those interests; the intersections of science and religion continually fascinate me. The posts on this page, however, are the ones that take me the longest to research and assemble; that is why they are so few and far between. In particular, I plan a number of additional posts on the book The Physics of Christianity by Professor Frank Tipler of Tulane University, because I believe it is such an important synthesis.

Also collected (on a separate page) are the posts in which I discuss historical and other evidence corroborating various accounts in the Bible, such as the Nativity, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

A Special Series: Did Adam and Eve Exist?

(Includes my posts on the Virgin Birth of Jesus, the date of the Nativity and Herod's death, and the Star of Bethlehem.)

Politics and Economics: The People's Money

Collected here are all the posts which explain our money system -- how it got where it is, what money is, how bankers make it out of thin air, how politicians abuse it to our detriment, and last but not least, how to fix the whole jerry-rigged contraption.

The People's Money (a Series on What Money Is, and How It Is Misused)

Politics, Economics and the Media

This is not just a blog about religion and canon law. My interest in law spills over to issues in politics, economics, and the media, and posting on those topics sometimes provides a welcome relief from the desultory task of chronicling and commenting on canon-law abuses in the Episcopal Church (USA). On this page you will find links to those posts, as well as to a series of posts dealing with the issues in the 2008 elections---some of which are still relevant.


The Lesson We Never Seem to Learn

Various and Sundry Disruptions to Peace of Mind

Quo Vadimus?

Does Obamacare Negate Its Own Insurance?

The Gulf Widens -- and Neither Side Wants to See It Narrow

Obamacare Goes Before Supreme Court This Week

Our Smartest Leader Ever - a Triple Play

Seven Charts That Tell the Truth

Rotten to the Core

A Presidency of Historic Firsts

Not as We Say, but as We Do

Supreme Court Healthcare Decision This Thursday

Unfortunately, not by the Anglican Curmudgeon

Supreme Court Does the Unexpected

On God's Truth, and Man's Hypocrisy

Readings from the Book of Barack (Iowahawk)

"I'm from the Government -- I'm Here to Help You"

Signs and Portents

Obamacare Described in One (Rather Long) Sentence

Obamacare Could Come Before SCOTUS Again

Important Facts Emerging about Libya

Scripture for a Saturday with Ominous Forebodings

On Greed and Ignorance, i.e., Fiscal Cliffs

Fiddling While Rome Burns

End Times: Inaudible Whimpering

So Let Me Get This Straight ...

Americans, Pray for Your Country

Nailing It

Eerie Parallels

El Gringo Viejo Is the Only One Making Sense of the Immigration Issue

How to Screw Up the World (Again)

Unbelievable Incompetence in Washington

Finally - a Clear Explanation of What's Unfixable about Obamacare

The Coming Bailout of Obamacare

The Simply Stunning Illogic of Sen. Boxer

Obama's Foreign Policy in a Nutshell

From the President on down, the Left Doesn't Understand the Hobby Lobby Case

Cicero and Buckley to the Rescue

Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Thanks to Obamacare, America Will Soon Implode

A Rule of Law, or of One Man?

Obama and "Affordable Plumbing": a Parable

Tyranny in Vestments

The Rout (not Rule) of Law

Standing up to the Obergefellers

Standing up to the Obergefellers (2) -- Responding to a Comment

Standing up to the Obergefellers (3)

Life Now Has a Price Tag

Has America Sold Her Christian Soul?

No Need to Drown in a Sea of PC

Money and Banking

The People's Money (a Series on What Money Is, and How It Is Misused)

Where All Our Money Has Gone

Thoughts on Listening to Peter Schiff


Crucify Him! (Do We Care?)