Sunday, December 28, 2008

Global Warming? Not This Globe

Christopher Booker of the UK's Daily Telegraph writes yesterday:

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

Looking back over my columns of the past 12 months, one of their major themes was neatly encapsulated by two recent items from The Daily Telegraph.

The first, on May 21, headed "Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts", reported that the entire Alpine "winter sports industry" could soon "grind to a halt for lack of snow". The second, on December 19, headed "The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation", reported that this winter's Alpine snowfalls "look set to beat all records by New Year's Day".

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the "hottest in history" and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free – as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.
Even the more cautious scientific acolytes of the official orthodoxy now admit that, thanks to "natural factors" such as ocean currents, temperatures have failed to rise as predicted (although they plaintively assure us that this cooling effect is merely "masking the underlying warming trend", and that the temperature rise will resume worse than ever by the middle of the next decade).

Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a "scientific consensus" in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world's most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that "consensus" which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.

Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades, harsh reality at last began to break in on those self-deluding dreams which have for so long possessed almost every politician in the western world. As we saw in this month's Poznan conference, when 10,000 politicians, officials and "environmentalists" gathered to plan next year's "son of Kyoto" treaty in Copenhagen, panicking politicians are waking up to the fact that the world can no longer afford all those quixotic schemes for "combating climate change" with which they were so happy to indulge themselves in more comfortable times.

Suddenly it has become rather less appealing that we should divert trillions of dollars, pounds and euros into the fantasy that we could reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 80 per cent. All those grandiose projects for "emissions trading", "carbon capture", building tens of thousands more useless wind turbines, switching vast areas of farmland from producing food to "biofuels", are being exposed as no more than enormously damaging and futile gestures, costing astronomic sums we no longer possess.

As 2009 dawns, it is time we in Britain faced up to the genuine crisis now fast approaching from the fact that – unless we get on very soon with building enough proper power stations to fill our looming "energy gap" - within a few years our lights will go out and what remains of our economy will judder to a halt. After years of infantile displacement activity, it is high time our politicians – along with those of the EU and President Obama's US – were brought back with a mighty jolt into contact with the real world....

Read the rest of Booker's column here. (Hat tip to Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor Mail.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Grand Duke's Conscience

"Amid many more apparently momentous events, very few people have been aware that a small and very lonely but brave battle for something at the core of Christian civilization has been fought and lost by, of all people, a Grand Duke, in, of all places, Luxembourg.

"The Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg has lost executive veto power on legislation for doing, quite legally, what a constitutional ruler is apparently not supposed to do -- exercise his conscience on behalf of his people."

Thus begins a fascinating article, "The Grand Duke's Conscience" by Hal G.P. Colebatch over at The American Spectator last week. The teaser on TAS's homepage today reads, "Luxembourg's head of State pays a price for upholding civilization." Indeed. Read it and weep.
Grand Duke Henri refused to sign into law a bill legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide, which would allow doctors to kill terminally people who asked repeatedly and had the consent of two doctors and a "panel of experts."

This follows the experience of neighboring Holland, where voluntary euthanasia has rapidly expanded so that involuntary euthanasia -- i.e. murder -- has been barely, if at all, punished in cases where only the barest fig leaf of rationalization has been offered and consent has been problematical at best. Victims of the Dutch euthanasia laws have reputedly included children and people suffering from transitory depression, as well as people unable to communicate their wishes on the matter.

Luxembourg's prime minister backed the bill even though his own Christian Social People's Party opposed it. It was passed with the predictable support of the Greens (who all over the world seem to have a rather favorable attitude to legalizing killing people) and the Socialists, by 30 votes to 26.

As a result of the Grand Duke's opposition, Article 34 of Luxembourg's constitution has been changed by the Parliament to strip him of veto power. When Parliament votes on the third reading of the euthanasia bill, the Grand Duke will be forced to enact it. The price of obeying his conscience and religious faith has been that he has been reduced to a pointless cipher.

Constitutional monarchs are not supposed to make waves or intervene in politics, but this is a matter on convention and prudence, rather than law. The English Constitutional commentator Walter Bagehot claimed a Constitutional Monarch had three rights: the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn. Bagehot's commentary, however, is not law, even in Britain. It is rather a description of the way things have come to work in Western constitutional monarchies. Actually, constitutional monarchs and their representatives in different countries have on occasion shown that they can be more than the ventriloquist's dummies of politicians.

In Spain in 1981 King Juan Carlos moved effectively to end an attempted anti-democratic coup.

In Australia in 1975 the Queen's representative, Governor-General Sir John Kerr, used the undefined and unjusticiable "reserve powers" to sack the shambolic and scandal-ridden Whitlam Labor Government and call an election. Although Sir John Kerr's action was controversial, it has never been seriously held by constitutional experts that he acted illegally. There is no reason for supposing that the British monarch does not have similar reserve powers to intervene as a last resort in Britain (the powers are unjusticiable and cannot be defined or limited by a court because the circumstances in which they might be used cannot be foreseen), but this has perhaps been felt too delicate a matter to explore much.

In Italy in 1943 the constitutional monarch King Victor Emmanuel finally sacked Mussolini, but had left it too late to save himself or his throne -- he had rubber-stamped Mussolini's crimes for too long when the going was good, including failing to protect his Jewish subjects from Mussolini's Nazi-aping anti-Semitism. In Denmark, on the other hand, King Christian X is widely credited with having inspired resistance to Nazi anti-Semitism during World War II, despite Denmark being occupied by a German Army.

Bagehot argued that the great benefit of a monarchial system is that it makes the ideals as well as the workings of government widely obvious. A monarch without virtue, moral strength and the courage of convictions and conscience, or -- which perhaps comes to the same thing -- the ability to exercise them, undermines the system and institution.

It would seem, as journalist Michael Cook has pointed out, that Grand Duke Henri believed that he could not decline personal responsibility for allowing fellow citizens to be killed, no matter how much political pressure was applied. Cook added: "But even a Grand Duke is a man, not a machine. Had he signed the euthanasia bill, his fellow-citizens could easily have thought euthanasia is consistent with democracy and human rights. But it is not.… It cheapens human life and corrupts the medical profession. It has immense potential for abuse."

The Grand Duke's stand appears to have achieved nothing except to have lost him and his heirs a constitutional prerogative and to have reduced him to a mannequin. It may, of course have served as an example of moral courage to inspire his country's citizens, but we will probably not know the political results for some time.

Meanwhile, I am reminded of a Punch cartoon published in the First World War, featuring Grand Duke Henri's relative, the King of the Belgians, in which, after German forces have conquered Belgium, the Kaiser tells him: "You've lost everything."

The king replies: "Not my soul."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No Mutual Joy: Response to Newsweek

The cover story for Newsweek magazine's December 15 issue is "Our Mutual Joy," or as the cover puts it, "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage," where Newsweek's religion editor Lisa Miller claims to put forth a Biblical argument. Oh, that she could have written it for the ELCA's Task Force on Human Sexuality, which was unable to do that despite having all the theological resources of the Lutheran Church at its disposal.

There have been several, uh, reviews of Ms. Miller's article in the Christian media. The quickest, most web prominent Lutheran reaction was by Mollie (Ziegler) Hemingway over at, with two articles, "Sola scriptura minus the scriptura" and "What's the Standard." Now there is an ELCA pastor's response made available by Lutheran CORE in pdf form. Pastor Jenkins acquits himself well and I highly recommend you read it.

No Mutual Joy: Response to Newsweek
by Pr. Jonathan L. Jenkins
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Lebanon, Penn.
Advent 2008

Even many religious conservatives want to be persuaded that they can believe in the Bible and support homosexual marriage. Lisa Miller (Newsweek, Dec. 15) raises their hopes in her opening sentence: "Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does." Religious conservatives would like to be taken at their word, for a change.

But the writer does not try. She says there isn't any biblical definition of marriage, and the very idea is ridiculous. "Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple... turn to the Bible as a how-to script? Of course not..." Apparently Miller hasn't heard about the countless numbers of couples around the world who benefit from doing exactly that!

"First, while the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family, neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman." The writer never explicitly defines what she means by "explicitly defines." However, the very first time the Bible speaks of human beings, the command to marry and bear children is made "explicitly." (Genesis 1:27-31): "So God created man (adam — in Hebrew) in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth...'"

Humankind is not created "male or female," nor does God first create them "male and female" only to decide later on that the man and the woman could also marry and have children. God creates marriage in the very act of creating humanity, in Genesis 1.

Genesis 2 "explicitly defines" marriage as one man and one woman — not with a "dictionary definition," but by relating a story that draws a conclusion. The LORD God made the woman from the rib of the man "and brought her to him" like the proud father of the bride (Genesis 2:18-25). "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother, and they become one flesh." "One flesh." One flesh in sexual union, one flesh in babies, one flesh in family life — the one flesh that is human history, from generation to generation. Even marriages that do not give birth to children exist in accord with, rather than in opposition to, this definition.

Another "defining" moment is Jesus' rejection of divorce as a violation of God's original intention (Mark 10:6-9): "But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.' ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'" Jesus makes "one man and one woman" a matter of principle: "So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate." A husband and wife need all the support they can get to maintain a stable marriage in which to raise the next generation. To depict gay relationships as comparable is to blur society's vision of the common good.

Does Jesus ever speak against homosexuality? "Yes" is the answer, despite repeated claims to the contrary. Jesus himself proscribed homosexual practice when he condemned not only "fornication" (porneia - in Greek) and "adultery" (moicheia - in Greek), but also the licentiousness" (aselgeia - in Greek) that elsewhere includes homosexual relations (see Mark 7:21-22 and 2 Peter 2:7).

Miller accuses religion of bigotry: "Religious objections to gay marriage are rooted not in the Bible at all, but in custom and tradition (and to talk turkey for a minute, a personal discomfort with gay sex that transcends theological argument)." If so, Jesus is included in the indictment, too. In his teaching on sex and marriage, Jesus, the Jewish rabbi, never departs from the Scriptures of Israel. The Gospels are consistent with the remainder of the New Testament, in which some of Leviticus' laws are reaffirmed and reapplied to the new life in Christ.

"No sensible person," asserts Miller, "wants marriage — theirs or anyone else's — to look in its particulars anything like what the Bible describes." On the contrary, the apostle Paul's instruction to husbands in particular, that they "should love their wives as they do their own bodies," has transformed marriages for the better (Ephesians 5:28).

The writer's gratuitous insult exposes the vast difference between the church's way of reading Scripture and her own. A helpful term for her approach is "historicize": she reads "history" in order to "relativize" its claim on the present. Miller historicizes Genesis 2, for example, when she quotes Dr. Segal: "If you believe that the Bible was written by men and not handed down in its leather bindings by God, then that verse was written by people for whom polygamy was the way of the world." ‘That was then, this is now' is how she reads the Bible.

Her approach imposes severe restrictions on the ways in which Scripture informs its hearers: "We cannot look to the Bible as a marriage manual, but we can read it for universal truths as we struggle toward a more just future." Even a casual reader of the Bible quickly recognizes, however, that "universal truths" are uncommon. The "universal truths" are tightly woven into a particular story. Indeed, the "universal truths" are specific promises and specific commands to a specific people, Israel.

Instead of timeless wisdom that applies to every time and place, the church reads Scripture for the narrative that now includes us among the people of Israel's God. To us, ancient, as well as contemporary practices are brought into focus through the lens of the whole story, from beginning to end.

Writers like Miller historicize the Bible in order mute its authority: "The Bible was written for a world so unlike our own, it's impossible to apply its rules, at face value, to ours." "Rules" are not the main subject of the Bible, as Miller ought to know, and their "face value" depends on their location in the narrative. The degree to which the ancient world is unlike our own must not be underestimated — or overstated, either. Miller's helter-skelter selection of examples is devoid of context and begs the question of continuity and discontinuity.

From the first page of Scripture to the last, marriage is the "gold standard" — the reality principle by which all sexuality is evaluated. Biblical prohibitions against fornication, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, adultery, lust, divorce, and homosexuality are made from the standpoint of marriage. The fact that monogamy did not become the norm in the Christian world in the 6th century is no more to the point than the fact that Christians regularly fall short of the norm. The "one man and one woman" norm must be received anew in every generation, and in our generation is under intense assault from several directions.

The most important question to ask writers like Miller concerns Jesus. Is Jesus alive or dead? The answer is decisive to the reading of Scripture. It is difficult, if not impossible to receive "inspiration" from a rabbi who has been dead for 2,000 years. But the church believes that Jesus is alive and is coming to complete his Father's kingdom on earth as it already is in heaven: therefore Scripture inspires us to know and to live for the world's true and ultimate good. Is Jesus alive, or does Miller historicize Easter, too? It's hard to tell what Miller believes, in view of her remark about what Jesus "would" do "if Jesus were alive today." The church believes the future belongs to Jesus: that makes Scripture relevant, no matter how old it is.

Miller correctly points out that Jesus "preaches a new kind of community, a caring community of believers, whose bond in God superseded all blood ties." So, too, she draws attention to the promise that in the resurrection there is no need for marriage, because life will be eternal and death will be no more (Matthew 22:30). But it is a spurious argument to defend homosexuality on this basis.

Marriage is a living image of the one-body-and-Spirit union of Christ and his bride, the church. St. Paul explains, "‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church." Marriage prefigures the final consummation — "I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven as a bride prepared for her husband" (Revelation 21:2).

The strongest consideration is one the writer never considers: human frailty. We live in a world divided by sin and death, as well as circumstance. There might be social value in civil unions — independent of gender — that would extend practical benefits to unmarried friends who desire to form a legal association. Domestic partnerships could grant rights having to do with visitation, taxes, inheritance, and insurance benefits. Such voluntary associations could be beneficial to groups of widows, celibate clergy, or single persons in the absence of family — relationships that do not depend on sexual desire. At least it is worth some discussion. Domestic partnerships are friendships, not marriage and would not endorse behavior that many Americans deem wrong. It's true, as she says, Jesus "does not want people to be lonely and sad" — but Jesus does not want people to sin, either.

All of us know that this response to Newsweek will be dismissed as "homophobia," but such dismissals are unpersuasive and have lost their power to intimidate — as a majority of the citizens of California recently demonstrated.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Throwing Shoes

I may be off base here. Nevertheless, when I heard the news report of the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush and the -- initially unbeknownst to us -- terrible insult that action conveyed, what came to mind was Jesus' sending of the apostles in the first part of Matthew 10. In particular, this:
As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it shall be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
Might not throwing a show be symbolic of shaking off the dust from one's feet? I do know that Pr. Harry Wendt's excellent Crossways courses teach us to read Jesus' parables and other Biblical stories being attentive to Middle Eastern customs and attitudes, which have not changed all that much since Bible times. Seems to me that we can read this the other way, too--look in the Scriptures to get a better idea of a Middle Eastern culture about which even our nation's "experts" seem to be clueless.

I know of pastors who, having been terribly abused by their congregations (that happens way too often) who finally leave that parish under awful circumstances, leave a pair of shoes in the parsonage as their final message to that community.

Anyway, given that this reporter is being raised up in Iraq as a folk hero of some sort, one way the United States could respond to this grave insult would be to bring our soldiers home, packing everything with them -- leaving all their shoes in that land as they depart.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Francis Beckwith, writing "Same-Sex Marriage and the Failure of Justificatory Liberalism" last Wednesday at First Things On the Square, the context being the passage of California's Proposition 8 and the rage and anger in response:
But then the initial argument, offered to the general public several decades ago—the call for the wider society to be tolerant of homosexuality—was something of a ruse. Many of us were under the impression that the requirement of tolerance entailed that citizens were in fact permitted to offer negative or positive judgments about the objects of their toleration, and in some instances shape policy consistent with those judgments. After all, one does not tolerate that with which one agrees; one embraces it. One can only tolerate that with which one disagrees. This is why the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles is misnamed. One ought not to be merely tolerant of one’s fellow human beings; one ought to embrace them as persons with intrinsic dignity made in the image of God. Of course, what these persons believe and practice for a variety of subjects—including religion and human sexuality—are the proper objects of tolerance.
Read it all here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Question No One Wants Asked

How do I counsel a celibate homosexual pastor who asks me to explain how the Word of God can be changed by an ELCA convention when he or she has spent a life time struggling with this issue and has resolved it in a different way than has the church?
The question was voiced publicly by Bishop Thomas A. Skrenes of the ELCA's Northern Great Lakes Synod at the Conference on Sexuality held October 24-26, 2002, in Kansas City, sponsored by the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau and can be found published on page 44 of the book of that conference, Christian Sexuality.

Six years later, the question remains ignored.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lutheran History Lesson

Following is a fuller version of a post of mine over at ALPB Forum Online last August.

The Organization of the Synod in California

The Organizers of Synod
Five missionary pastors, widely scattered in communities far separated from one another, felt the need of conference and mutual encouragement. Accordingly two days after Easter, on March 31, 1891, they assembled in the First English Lutheran Church in Los Angeles, which had been dedicated just one year previously. These five faithful and efficient men were Rev. O. C. Miller of San Francisco, Rev. C. W. Heisler of Los Angeles, Rev. W. S. Hoskinson of Sacramento, Rev. Philip Graif of Oakland, and Rev. E. R. Wagner of San Diego. In addition, the Rev. M. W. Hamma, D.D., temporarily living in Los Angeles; Rev. A. C. Wedekind, D.D., for many years pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church of New York City, residing in National City, Calif.; and the Rev. Wm. Uhl, a pioneer pastor in the middle west, were present at this initial meeting and added dignity and valued assistance in effecting the organization.

Laymen Present
The following laymen were present as representative of the congregations: John Everding, a prominent manufacturer from San Francisco; William Bosbyshell, a retired business man of Los Angeles; Frank P. Davidson, principal of the San Diego high school; and William Moller, a merchant from Oakland.

At this first convention, seven sessions were held. Two of these meetings were in the evening when discourses were delivered by the visiting ministers. During the business sessions, a constitution was adopted, committees were appointed on Home Missions, Church Extension, Education, Examination and Apportionment. The following officers were elected: President, Rev. O. C. Miller; Secretary, Rev. W. S. Hoskinson; Treasurer, Mr. John Everding. Dr. Hamma was elected delegate to the next meeting of the General Synod. and F. P. Davidson, lay delegate.

This Synodical convention must have created a favorable impression upon the community for the "Evening Express" of that period contained the following comment: "The proceedings of the Synod are very harmonious, and all present are actuated by a zealous Christian spirit, together with a loyalty to the progressive denomination which they represent."
From The Fruitage of Fifty Years in California, a history of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of California, Rev. John Edward Hoick, D.D. (published c. 1942 "by the Authority of the Synod") pp. 40-41

Friday, December 05, 2008

ELCA at Chaos Manor

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America hit Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor Mail (scroll to the end of the day) yesterday when a ELCA layman from Southern California cc'd a letter he'd sent to someone at the ELCA headquarters in Chicago. Exactly what set off Col. Haynes I cannot tell. Perhaps it is the plea released earlier this week for us to sign on to this letter to President-elect Obama "calling for climate justice" (whatever the hell that is). That's the best I can do via Google for something new, though ELCA voices have been parroting the "climate change" mantra for some time. (See the Shellfish blog's articles Hanson: "Spiritual Blasphemy" from last summer and "Call Me Ishmael" or "Gore-d Again" from over a year ago for examples.)

Anyway, read the reaction of an ELCA layman to his church's enthusiasms, as it appears on "the original blog."


The ELCA is once more meddling in an issue that is far above your pay grade as ecclesiastics. Clearly, you have to be accepting a premise that you and all ELCA staffers can not evaluate the truth of yourselves ... namely that "Global Warming" is human induced ... if it is, indeed even happening at all. Contrary to what you are basing your latest excursion into non-ecclesiastic issues on, there is ample and well founded scientific evidence in support of a view contrary to the IPCC ... the International Panel on Climate Change of the UN. The most straightforward way to expose yourselves to a scientifically sound source of contrary information is to Google "NIPCC", to reach the Non-Governmental IPCC, here:

How can this be possible? How can a prestigious UN authorized scientific inquiry be in error?

Well, go and see at NIPCC.

Before you do that, permit me to point out an example of a similar mass misapprehension that has now apparently slunk off the public stage without even a polite goodbye.

I speak of the so-called "Hydrogen Economy",,, remember that one?

Not more than a year or so ago that was going to solve all our air pollution problems, make us independent of foreign oil, in fact, make us independent of hydrocarbon fuels, basta, period!

Our esteemed governator here in CA was going to install a number of hydrogen filling stations on our freeways to help the "HE" along.

What happened?

An "inconvenient truth" rose up and smote the HE right out of the nation's awareness.

It would require far more energy from non-hydrogen energy generation to produce the hydrogen than the hydrogen could ever produce by being burned in turn. Now that's a law of physics that you will not find in the Bible, but that is woven into the reality that is God's Universe.

And where was all that energy going to have to come from?

Why by conventional power generation, including coal, petroleum and of course, a vast new investment in nuclear power plants. But did the once so enthused media sources formally announce the "Death of the HE"?

Of course not. That would be too embarrassing, and would generally undermine their credibility.

So, please, before our ELCA is once again led down a dead end garden path by a new array of enthusiastic dunderheads, at least expose yourselves to the hard facts available on the Internet that counter the dominant but false propaganda that has persuaded you and so many other well meaning, scientifically under-educated, enthusiastic would-be do-gooders that they will contribute to saving our precious world by ceasing what they are not doing: causing Global Warming. Please note:

Even if there is Global Warming (and that is also unproven) it does not automatically follow that it is human induced. Realize that in the '60s of the last century the threat was global cooling, and we were regaled with a flood of articles predicting an imminent "little ice age", and about the same time the "Club of Rome" was predicting world wide famine if the world population rose above 5 billion souls... it is now estimated at 6.5 billion.

One interesting example of an argument against the HIGW claim is this: When the same computer simulations used to support the claims of coming HIGW are applied to conditions say, 100 years ago, they fail to properly predict the actual global weather that was subsequently recorded.

Do yourselves, the ELCA as an organization and all of us parishioners a favor and open yourselves to the possibility, just the possibility that we are all being deceived.... yet again. Well, almost all!

And when you have confirmed that, think about concentrating in the future on the proper business of the church, and avoiding a vain search after virtue by climbing aboard the bandwagons pursuing solutions to every purported, claimed catastrophe that looms up in our so-gullible media.

Very sincerely yours,
William E. Haynes
St Paul's Lutheran Church
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Thanks, Col. Haynes. Though be prepared to be ignored. Any dissident minds at 8765 W. Higgins Road or have been pretty much sent to places where they can have no influence on the ELCA's public voice.

And for the rest of you, Chaos Manor is linked on my other blog and is highly recommended by Pastor Zip. And for Earth's sake and yours, don't sign this letter; its science is worse than its theology.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Follow-up: +Ackerman in Springfield

Posted yesterday on VirtueOnline is a brief report from comments by Bishop Ackerman to VOL regarding his call in Springfield.
"I am an assisting bishop and I have no intention of performing any canonical or sacramental acts in the Diocese of Springfield.... I will do spiritual retreats for clergy but nothing that would interfere with the fact that I have retired from The Episcopal Church. This position does not require consents from the House of Bishops."

Bishop Ackerman told VOL that he and his wife are selling their home and will shortly move to Texas where he plans a ministry revolving around Dove Tracts, writing and spiritual direction.
Doing what he enjoys... His "retirement" will be a blessing to many, though I will very much miss his presence in Peoria.

A Year Later

It was a year ago that my urologist gave me the news. The biopsy of my prostate gland -- I'd had a PSA of 11.3 -- showed cancer. My "Gleason score" was 3+3, or 6, and it showed on both sides of the gland. Dr. B. gave me a lot of information to read, for I was going to have some decisions to make about my treatment. But given my relative youth, he thought my best choice was to remove the prostate -- that clearly removes the source of the cancer and, unless it had already spread beyond the gland (which didn't appear to be the case), and offers the best chance of no re-occurrence.

I looked at all the options, but surgery was my ultimate choice and that was done shortly after Easter. So far, the cancer is gone. My strength and endurance are getting closer to where they were before the surgery.

I'm still overwhelmed by the offerings of prayers on my behalf during this last year. Thank you. And thank God.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

+Ackerman to Springfield

The Living Church is reporting that Bishop Keith Ackerman, who retired as Bishop of Quincy last month, has been called to serve as an assisting Bishop in the Springfield Diocese.
The Rt. Rev. Peter H. Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield, said the Presiding Bishop’s office had been notified that the new position would become effective Dec. 1....

Appointments to assistant bishop positions require consent from the annual synod of the diocese and a majority of the House of Bishops, but the position of assisting bishop, which is not defined in the canons and constitution of The Episcopal Church, is at the discretion of individual diocesan bishops unless otherwise constrained by local diocesan bylaws.
I'm guessing that this call can be something like my mother's 20-some years of service as a teacher's aide. The holder of a lifetime teaching credential from her teaching days before I was born, the principal at Hamlin St. School several times sought to bring her on staff as a full teacher. Mom wasn't interested. As an aide she got to teach children -- which she loved doing -- while not having to worry about all the other things teachers have become responsible for.

Now Bishop Ackerman can be a Bishop -- preaching, teaching, administering the sacraments, dwelling in the word and prayer -- and leave the administrative minutiae to others. May the Lord bless his new ministry.