February 28, 2017

March 9, 2012

[Highly Political & Highly Applicable to The Episcopal Church]: Re: Obama & the Crits

An interesting part of an exchange over on NRO concerning a “taxonomy” of American political liberals . . . which beautifully also describes the taxonomies of revisionist activists in TEC.  I’ve excerpted a portion that ought to be, for any informed and aware conservative Episcopalian, entirely haunting and cause instant recognition—but the entire short essay is worth reading:

In the taxonomy David offers, the modern Left is made up of “pure activists” and “moderates.” I think he’s leaving out a third category, especially important because it is the one into which Obama falls: Alinsky radicals. In Bill Ayers’s terrorist incarnation, he was, I guess, what David refers to as a “pure activist.” But Alinsky looked down on him and the other Weathermen, just as much as he looked down on progressive “moderates.” On goals, Alinsky and Ayers, were on the same page, but Alinsky dismissed him as a clown because Ayers’s methods were counterproductive.

In Alinsky’s view, the only radicalism that had a chance to succeed was the one that could bore inside bourgeois institutions, co-opt the language, and move the mainstream in the radical direction — but only as fast as political conditions would allow. Remaining radical but being coldly pragmatic kept the Alinskyite both effective and viable, allowing him to keep coming back for more. Ayers eventually learned this lesson — the lesson that you can do more for the cause by running the classroom than by blowing up the classroom or occupying the campus. As Ayers himself says, he’s just as radical today as he ever was — he is no moderate progressive. But now he’s actually accomplishing things, affecting thousands of minds. To borrow the words of Van Jones, another radical Leftist turned Alinskyite, he decided “to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.”

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...also describes the taxonomies of revisionist activists in TEC.

They are one in the same, Sarah.  The Left has made the long march through TEc and it now belongs to them.  Don’t ever expect it back…they know their own tactics quite well.  They burrow into an organization to feed on and destroy it from inside.  They are political ichneumon wasps:

The ichneumon, like most wasps, generally live freely as adults but pass their larva life as parasites feeding on the bodies of other animals, almost invariably members of their own phylum, the Arthropoda. The most common victims are caterpillars (butterfly and moth larvae), but some ichneumons prefer aphids and other attack spiders. Most host are parasitized as larvae, but some adults are attacked, and many tiny ichneumons inject their brood directly into the eggs of their host.

The free-flying females locate an appropriate host and then convert it into a food factory for their own young. Parasitologists speak of ectoparasitism when the uninvited guest lives on the surface of its host, and endoparasitism when the parasite dwells within. Among endoparasitic ichneumons, adult females pierce the host with their ovipositor and deposit eggs within. (The ovipositor, a thin tube extending backward from the wasp’s rear end, may be many times as long as the body itself.) Usually, the host is not otherwise inconvenienced for the moment, at least until the eggs hatch and the ichneumon larvae begin their grim work of interior excavation.

Among ectoparasites, however, many females lay their eggs directly upon the host’s body. Since an active host would easily dislodge the egg, the ichneumon mother often simultaneously injects a toxin that paralyzes the caterpillar or other victim. The paralyzes may be permanent, and the caterpillar lies, alive but immobile, with the agent of its future destruction secure on its belly. The egg hatches, the helpless caterpillar twitches, the wasp larvae pierces and begins its grisly feast.

Since a dead and decaying caterpillar will do the wasp larvae no good, it eats in a pattern that cannot help but recall, in our inappropriate anthropocentric interpretation, the ancient English penalty for treason — drawing and quartering, with its explicit object of extracting as much torment as possible by keeping the victim alive and sentient. As the king’s executioner drew out and burned his client’s entrails, so does the ichneumon larvae eat fat bodies and digestive organs first, keeping the caterpillar alive by preserving intact the essential heart and central nervous system. Finally, the larvae completes its work and kills its victim, leaving behind the caterpillar’s empty shell. Is it any wonder that ichneumons, not snakes or lions, stood as the paramount challenge to God’s benevolence during the heyday of natural theology?

[1] Posted by Jeffersonian on 3-9-2012 at 07:46 PM · [top]

Okay jeffersonian you got me on that one. Just how do you pronounce ichneumon?

Wikipedia describes some other features that are similar to the institutional reappraiser ichneumon,

1) In medieval literature, the ichneumon or echinemon was the enemy of the dragon. When it sees a dragon, the ichneumon covers itself with mud, and closing its nostrils with its tail, attacks and kills the dragon.
2) The ichneumon was also considered by some to be the enemy of the crocodile and the asp, and attack them in the same way.
3) The name was used for the “pharaoh’s rat”, mongoose, or Egyptian mongoose, which attacks snakes;
4) Ichneumon means “tracker” in Greek. 
5) “That which is produced from the smell of this beast is both healthful and poisonous in food.” -Isidore of Seville (Etymologies, Book 12, 2:37)

[2] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 3-9-2012 at 09:24 PM · [top]

RE: “Don’t ever expect it back.”

I’m hoping people will notice that I’ve been saying since 2003 that TEC as an institution is irreformable.

But I wonder if I should say it one more time in case somebody missed it? 

; > )

[3] Posted by Sarah on 3-10-2012 at 12:53 AM · [top]

I have recently begun to ponder the frustration many feel about the seeming inability of conservatives to combat the liberal/progressive juggernaut these days.  While conservatives want to engage them at every point, many conservatives are troubled by the thought of having to “sink to their level” in order to repel the onslaught.  This feeling can be even more acute among religious conservatives, as they reflect on Christ’s command to love your enemies and the fact that all of humanity is born into sin.

The liberal/progressive on the other hand believes that humanity is essentially good, and if the liberal/progressive elite, be they secular, religious or a witches brew of both, can but force the masses into the correct behaviors and actions, then everything will “progress” towards utopia.  This helps the liberal/progressive justify the ends no matter the means.

My hypothesis, and I would love to see a psychological study done of it, is that liberal/progressives tend to attract and cultivate a significant number of psychopaths within their fold.  In the TEC orbit, the presiding bishop and Charles Bennison come to mind as prime examples.  In liberal/progressive politics, the examples are numerous.

What do you all think?  Is there a tenured faculty member out their in the psychological sciences willing to do this study?  I am not familiar with the literature, but perhaps it has already been done.  If so, I would love to know the results.

[4] Posted by Daniel on 3-10-2012 at 08:17 AM · [top]

I’m not involved in psychology, Daniel, but I do think you’re right in your analysis. I think that the liberals take no prisoners, and understand compromise to mean “do it my way.” They don’t understand that on some things, like abortion, there can be no compromise - murder is murder. On the other hand, conservatives do tend to be more “civilized,” much to their detriment when dealing with the pack of wolves on the left. I’m afraid that, unfortunately, conservatives have to “sink to their level” in order to combat them. And as yoyu say, that’s somewhat against the nature of especially Christian conservatives. But I think we’d better overcome our qualms - and fast.

[5] Posted by Nellie on 3-10-2012 at 10:37 AM · [top]

Daniel and Nellie, your points brought to mind the scary words of Revelation 13:5-8.  There are times in God’s plan where we “lose,” and badly.  Doesn’t mean we don’t engage the battle in fidelity to our Lord.  But there can be times, in being conformed to his likeness (John 19:10-11), that we get “handed over.”

Kendall Harmon is probably the best expositor of the notion that we are “under judgment,” like Jerusalem given over to the Babylonians and to exile.  And he’s certainly not disengaged from the fight.

I say this not to refute any of what you’ve written in your comments, but to remind us (me?) that the fight against manifest evil can undo us if we lose sight of the victory - Christ’s victory - in which we already stand:

    And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:11-14 ESV)

[6] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 3-10-2012 at 11:17 AM · [top]

Just how do you pronounce ichneumon?

Not 100% sure, myself, but I’ve always said “ick-noy-mun” when I’ve used it.

I agree, Sarah, the best strategy now is to hasten its welcome demise in any way possible, though it really does seem to be doing a bang-up job of it on its own, no?  There’s no doubt that a rump gaggle of revisionists will linger for some time, feeding off the patrimony the faithful have left them, but substantial organizational death can be hurried along nonetheless.

[7] Posted by Jeffersonian on 3-10-2012 at 01:36 PM · [top]

First, it’s not just being told to love our enemies that instructs us.  It is also being taught to walk away from those who do not listen to the teachings of God (sand/sandals).

Second, how can any institution be written off as irreformable?  The church, historically, has always been in need of reform.  What about the church in Russia that went down to nothing?  We must always keep God’s grace before us.

And, third, I’m impressed by the suggestion that these leaders should be studied psychologically.  Impressed, but not in a good way.  I tend to view psychology, perhaps misapplied, as that which has gotten us into this very mess: no one’s ever wrong, just misunderstood.  There is no black and white in psychology: there is only one large pot of gray paint that we all get to swim in.  And most of all, the teaching that the solution to all pain is to give a person what he wants.

But, here’s the deal.  Jesus was white. (I am not referring to race.)  He was innocent.  And he gives us the ability to take on that cloak ourselves.  Martyrs can be put to death without any stink of guilt or “wrongness” or complicity in their own downfall being thrown into the fire that burns them.

What about looking very carefully at Schori in terms of evil?  You know, that concept that defines how a person can bring harm to another, consciously, intentionally, and with a clear head and heart?  How else is the act of putting a known pedophile into a parish to be qualified?  And driving observant Christians OUT of the church just because she is so obsessed with them?  I imagine that deep down she is overwhelmed with envy of those who still have the ability to love God and to experience God’s love for them.

She may not be Satan, but she most certainly qualifies to be deemed a snake charmer, keeping those slithering snakes around her most busy.

[8] Posted by JuliaMarks on 3-10-2012 at 08:18 PM · [top]

ik’n(y)oomen, where that last “e” should be the upside-down “e” which sounds like “uh.”

[9] Posted by Katherine on 3-10-2012 at 08:26 PM · [top]

RE: “The church, historically, has always been in need of reform.”

I don’t see the organizational entity known as “TEC” as a “church.”

I recognize all organizations—Stalinist’s Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, for instance—as “reformable” through miraculous intervention.  God might have performed the equivalent of pouring down fire on the soaked altars of Baal with the Politburo, converting its five members in a mighty sweep of the fire of the Holy Spirit and causing them to repent of the millions slaughtered and turn towards, say, a Constitutional Republic for Mother Russia, before then turning themselves in to the courts of such a Republic for trial and eventual execution for their crimes.

But . . . it would not have been the actions of human beings engaged in “reformation activities” that caused such a thing.

So again, strictly speaking, I agree. 

No organizational entity is “irreformable” by that standard

Nevertheless, judging from political and organizational methods that human beings would enact to reform an organization, TEC is irreformable.  At all levels of the organization, from its highest, down through its national governing entities—the HOB, HOD, and Executive Committee, to its seminaries, to its governing commissions, down to the local leaders of the franchises known as dioceses, it is some 95% owned by radical revisionist activists who have “bored inside bourgeois institutions, co-opted the language, and [attempted to] move the mainstream in the radical direction.”

Personally I believe that they didn’t succeed at moving the mainstream amongst the masses of TECans, who are largely content to chew the cud and pledge [or not!] to their local parishes—had they succeeded in such a hope, there is *no way* that TEC would be in the seriously BAD shape it is.  Even cud-chewing Jersey cows will obstinately refuse to be led into the barn if they know there is no food, fresh hay, or warm quarters waiting for them.  It is the obstinate refusal of the masses to fund or be in anyway enthusiastic for the charming activities of the Alinskyites in TEC that will basically grind the organization into a coarse ground powder over time; these are not “dramatic” actions of marching or protest, but simply family by family refusing, for instance, to send their kids to the Diocesan camp, or be a part of diocesan youth activities.  All of this reminds me of the Republican primaries—you can outspend rivals 10 to one state by state, and have the entire “machine” behind one, from the establishment Republican media, to the endorsers and party leaders.  But “the nominee” cannot make the Jersey cows cease chewing the cud in the pasture and unenthusiastically observing from afar come election time.

The lack of “buy-in” from the cud chewers will simply kill organizations, whether its businesses with their “customers,” or families with children, or political parties, or organizational entities titling themselves “churches.”  Not all the flogging in the world can keep an audience or market from eventually lying down and refusing to move.  That’s what’s happening with TEC, with its segments of conservatives, and now “moderates and independents.”

[10] Posted by Sarah on 3-11-2012 at 08:21 AM · [top]

#10 Sarah - It’s the religious equivalent of “going Galt”, based on the idea in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” of the productive class going on strike.  Most people remember that as a retreat to a hidden mountain location, out of reach of the corrupt world, but that was really the final resort during the “End Times”.  For the most part, people still hung around, but they steadfastly refused to contribute anything to keep the crooked show going.  So a brilliant scientist works as a short-order cook for minimum wage; in the same way, the people who haven’t outright left for another destination are just sitting there with their hands in their laps, letting the clever-clogs who engineered this takeover try to run it without their help.  And the clever-clogs are failing.

[11] Posted by Dr. Mabuse on 3-11-2012 at 01:25 PM · [top]

Ephesians 5:3
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; etc.

It’s a story as old as the church itself.

TEC is a church.  It may be a church whose leaders are doing their best to destroy it from the inside out, sort of like a unstoppable cancer, but it is a church.  It contains the buildings in which altars dedicated to God exist.  They may have no real meaning to those people fussing about them, but they are real, no matter what these people think, feel, or do.  And it is something that we must remain respectful of.

If the misuse of the church is a nullification of the church itself, then the Roman Catholic Church would have gone up in flames a long, long time ago.  And would have done so on a regular basis for all these years.

But, fortunately, the church is not the people inside it.  It is the quiet and constant presence of God on Earth. 

I think it is ironic that the current bumper-car riders who call themselves the leaders of TEC think they are going to grow the church by showing people how much they hate the church.  You know, like, it’s cool to hate God and think pedophilia is, you know, like why cool.  But here’s the thing: appealing to people who hate God to come to church and celebrate a shared hatred can never work.

People who hate God and the church and think pedophilia is way cool don’t go to church.  At least not much.

[12] Posted by JuliaMarks on 3-11-2012 at 01:31 PM · [top]

I can’t remember where I read it (The Dark Knight graphic novel?), Sarah #10, but it fits here:  It’s hard to clean up a city that likes being dirty.  TEC likes being dirty.  Unless and until it regains a sense of revulsion at the filth in which it wallows, it will be irreformable.

[13] Posted by Jeffersonian on 3-11-2012 at 01:44 PM · [top]

I quite agree, Dr. Mabuse, but it’s not completely a passive process.  Remember that Galt also made personal visitss to leaders of productive companies to encourage them to stop supporting a corrupt and immoral system with their labors.  In the same vein, it is imperative that faithful Anglicans encourage those left within TEc to speak out, withhold support and generally cause the organization to collapse of its own dead weight.

[14] Posted by Jeffersonian on 3-11-2012 at 01:49 PM · [top]

Yes, Jeffersonian; and remember what Dagny called him?  “The Destroyer”.  Because that’s the end game: not just to stand aside so that OUR hands aren’t dirtied by participation in this corrupt enterprise, but to crash it so completely that nothing can be salvaged to benefit the crooks.  They’re to be starved out completely, and then something new and healthy can be built to replace the old structure.

[15] Posted by Dr. Mabuse on 3-11-2012 at 03:16 PM · [top]

Hi JuliaMarks . . . looks as if we disagree on the definition of a Christian church.

Cults and other organizations may “contain buildings in which altars dedicated to God exist” so I can’t buy that as a good mark of a “church.”

RE: “If the misuse of the church is a nullification of the church itself . . . But, fortunately, the church is not the people inside it.  It is the quiet and constant presence of God on Earth. “

This is probably the core of our disagreement.  I’m a Reformation woman myself, and the marks of a true church are groups of believing Christians where the word of God truly preached and taught, the sacraments rightly administered, and church discipline faithfully enacted.  Otherwise, you’ll have the Rosicrucians and the Herbert W Armstrong folks being “church”—as with any other organization or cult out there that wishes to claim it’s a church.  Plus if we define “the quiet and constant presence of God on Earth” as “church” than that makes all sorts of places and things “churches”—like the woods where I like to sit alone and muse.  While I know that God is present with me there, I don’t define that as “church.”

Now—the cool thing is that I do believe there are plenty of “churches” *within* TEC, the organizational entity claiming to be a “church.”  There are plenty of believing Christians within TEC who preach the gospel, duly administer the sacraments, and enact church discipline.

But I don’t believe the organizational entity known as TEC is anything remotely connected with “church.”  It’s simply an entity that features a bureaucracy and structure and leaders swanning around in their vision of authoritative clothes, trying to acquire more power and control over others.

I guess we’ll just continue to disagree about the definition of a church and that’s fine by me.  I sure don’t mind if people want to define church in different ways.

It reminds me, though, of a conversation I had with a friend yesterday about cults and sects.  He asked me something about our Dear Leader, Katherine Jefferts Schori, and I said—spontaneously—that KJS was basically the equivalent of Herbert W. Armstrong only taking the opposite side of the heretical coin.  On the surface, KJS and Herbert W. Armstrong have little in common in their specific beliefs.  But at core and in general, they’re essentially the same type of person—cheap hucksters and cons propagating a false gospel for fun, power, and profit.

[16] Posted by Sarah on 3-11-2012 at 06:00 PM · [top]

The buildings and the altars and the candles and the altar linens don’t constitute a church. The Black Mass uses those things, too. They’re things, that may be used for good or for evil. You cna have a church in a storefront with very few amenities.

[17] Posted by Nellie on 3-11-2012 at 06:21 PM · [top]

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