Saturday, September 07, 2002

Church Architecture This is more of a note to myself -- the following is an article in today's NYTimes on church architecture in the Catholic Church.

Friday, September 06, 2002

Constitutional Crisis. The Episcopal Church is facing an interesting constitutional crisis right now in Pennsylvania. The Bishop of Pennsylvania, Charles Bennison, used an unusual procedure to defrock (officially, the term is "depose") a priest in his diocese who has been critical of his leadership. +Bennison did this despite public and private protestations from Bishops and clergy throughout the Anglican communion -- even those who side with +Bennison theologically think this was a very bad move. In taking this step, however, +Bennison has provoked a constitutional crisis, because the priest has effectively been credentialed by the Right Rev. Charles Carey, archbishop of Canterbury and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican communion, (prior to the defrocking) and subsequently by the Right Rev. Robert Duncan, bishop of Pittsburgh. As I understand it, neither one had the authority to make such a move.

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out, but right now +Bennison is coming across as a one-man inquisition.

Here are links from the statement of the priest, the Philly paper, press release from the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the statement of the Bishop of Pittsburgh, a statement from 23 ECUSA Bishops rejecting the actions of Bennison, and a report on the order of deposition.

Anti-South Party. Let's see, so far there have been three "controversial" nominees to the federal bench under Bush: Charles W. Pickering, D. Brooks Smith, and Priscilla Owen. The Judiciary Committee passed Smith (12-7), from Pennsylvania, but rejected Pickering and Owen, both from the South (both 10-9, party line). I'd say that the Leahy Lynch Mob has a thing for Southerners.

More For the record, the three Democrats who voted for Smith were Joseph Biden (Del.), John Edwards of North Carolina and Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. NY Times Story

Thursday, September 05, 2002

More on the Abortion Clinic fraud story. It seems sort of ironic today, when the 10 Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee lynched Judge Owen for upholding a state statute on parental notification, but here's an article about the Texas abortion facility that killed a baby of a girl who presented a patently false identification card so that she could get an abortion.
Third World Church. Yesterday, I tried to thank everyone for the nice comments in response to my "Heretical Church" post -- I'm not sure where my comments went :/ Anyway, in response to Jack, I did want to say that I think that the deliverance of the Anglican Communion will come from the faithful witness of believers in the third world and, in particular, Africa.
In Memoriam. The first killed was 33-year-old wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg, who, at about 5 a.m. on September 5, 1972, opened the door at 31 Connolly St. in the Munich Olympic Village.

Joseph Romano, 32, a weightlifter, was next to die, also that morning.

Killed at the airport were the following Israeli hostages:

Weightlifter David Berger, 26
Weightlifter Zeev Friedman, 28
Weightlifting instructor Yacob Springer, 51
Wrestler Eliezer Halfin, 28
Wrestler Mark Slavin, 18
Wrestling Referee Yosef Gutfreund, 41
Fencing coach Andre Spitzer, 45
Athletics coach Amitzur Shapira, 32
Marksmanship coach Kehat Schorr, 53.

Yes, one one level, you could say it was just another skirmish between the Palestinians and the Israelis. But it was one of many opening shots by the barbarians on Civilization. Why else would the barbarians choose to attack a peaceful sports festival? The path from Munich to 9/11 is clear and unrelenting. Unless these cockroaches are exterminated, it will get worse.
Today's Vote. Today is the day the Leahy gang knots the rope for Priscilla Owen. According to Byron York, who's a pretty sharp vote counter, it doesn't look hopeful. When I look at this situation -- at the downward spiral, I wonder if the Democrats ever think they'll win back the Presidency. They sure are blowing up a lot of bridges they might need in the future.

Update. The lynching is being carried live on the web by CSpan Radio link here. Leahy laid out his case against Owen, which was weak and incredibly distorted. Of course, he doesn't have the facts on his side, so he needs to make things up. Believe it or not, I've been pretty ambivalent on Owen -- I've been ticked to read the distortions and flat out lies of opponents of the written record -- but I don't know much about her. Nevertheless, Leahy's mindless repetition of these lies, like a marionette has pushed me firmly into her corner. I'm actually being charitible by describing Leahy as mindless, I'm giving him some benefit of the doubt to think that he is willfully lying.

Still More. On the other hand, Senator Feinstein is at least honest in implicitly acknowledging that she's employing a litmus test on judicial candidates based solely on what she perceives the nominees views on abortion to be. She fails to make the case that Owen is pro-life (or anti-choice as Feinstein sees it).

What's troubling about the Democratic vote on this is that this is an escalation of the judicial wars. As the Republicans keep noting even the liberal American Bar Association has given Owen the highest rating in a unanimous vote. I'm listening to the Democrats struggling to give a rationale for their vote, but they are all about as rational as the suicide bombers.

Final Update The committee has voted down Owen. Most of the members voting did not even have the decency to show up to do the hanging. Similarly, the motion to have the full Senate vote on the nomination was denied.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

20? If it doesn't happen, you can blame it on me for jinxing my team. Right now, after the first inning, the A's are ahead 6-0. I just can't believe we scored 6 earned runs on Paul Byrd in one inning. I'm going to bed confident.

Update. How can a team blow an 11-0 lead after 3 innings? Yes, they finally won the game, but, really.
My Heretical Church. I am an Anglican -- I am an Episcopalian -- something increasingly difficult to do. Some bloggers have noted my denomination's heresies and problems, see, for example, Mark Byron on the problems in Canada (among others, the denial of marriage as an image of the relationship between Christ and His church -- see, for example, this commentary) and Tony Woodlief on the "justice to Jesus" ratio.

In the US, the EC counts Buddha and Mohammad as saints -- no kidding -- see this prayer:
The Saints were not those who were perfect
They were parts of God's creation who struggled and often failed
and yet managed to raise up our faith in God and in one another.
Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Sarah, Hannah,
Joshua, David, Moses, Mary the Mother of Jesus.
Buddha and Mohammad and all the prophets of old.
They led God's people to God's Light.
Not only is it there, but it's carried over to the world-wide Anglican website, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is pissed.

The Bishop of Pennsylvania has written a long rambling essay [here, on page 2, in .pdf] where he describes God as being more like an unrepentant Darth Vader, complete with a dark side, and suggests that we blame God and not "...bin Laden, al-Queda, Saddam Hussein, Arafat, [and] Sharon" for what happened (for the record, I have yet to hear anyone link either the murderous thug Arafat or his enemy Sharon to 9/11).

Why do I stick with it? I don't know. Many of us feel like we're passengers on a good flight and we just want to get to our destination -- we feel like we've been hijacked by crazed anti-Christian religious zealots with names like Spong and Benniston. What's going to happen? I don't know.

Stay tuned, I guess.
Selah. One of those words -- what does it mean?
Read This Awhile back I started to draft a note about the ideal candidate to head that new Department of Homeland Security -- I stopped, because I kept coming back to one person and I couldn't decide if I was building the office around my candidate or not. My candidate was Jim Webb, former combat Marine (Vietnam), former Sec.Nav. (Reagan) former Emmy winning newsman (PBS), attorney, and best-selling writer. He recently wrote a very nuanced book (The Emperor's General) about General Douglas MacArthur and the occupation of Japan and the war-crime trials in Japan. Doing so, he demonstrated he understands the difficulties of occupying a nation, changing a nation and culture, and bringing people to justice. For example, while his novel comes down slightly favorable toward MacArthur, he lays into the unjust hanging of the Tiger of Malaya, Tomoyuki Yamashita.

All this background is really just a long prelude to his op-ed in today's WaPo opposing a strike on Iraq. He presents a very impressive brief that you should read.
Picks. On the eve of the NFL Season, I can at last unveil my picks for the season. I’ll give you the breakdown by Division and a guess at the final record for each team. Disclaimer: the record is a rough figure and I’m sure does not total up to an even number of wins and losses across the league. [Inspiration by the Spudmeister.]

AFC West
1. Denver 13-3
Denver opens with tough games against the Rams and the 49ers, then has an excellent schedule with a bye week smack in the middle, followed by a Monday night game at home against the Raiders. Denver should go 5-1 against the West, but could lose two – I have no doubt that Shanahan will sweep Oakland. Griese may start the season at QB, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see 37 year-old Steve Beuerlein finish it.

2. San Diego 10-6
The Chargers will open 3-0 (Bengals/Texans/Cardinals) and Schottenheimer will ensure a sweep of KC and Oakland.

3. Oakland 8-8
As I’ve indicated previously, Oakland looks like they’re forgotten the discipline it took to get them to the top of the Division the past two years.

4. Kansas City 6-10
Priest Holmes, Willie Roaf, Tony Gonzalez, what more could you want? Defense, for starters.

AFC South
1. Tennessee Titans 10-6
Eddie George will be back.

2. Indianapolis Colts 10-6
Tony Dungy will keep this team at the top. (As an aside, why is this team in the South?)

3. Jacksonville 5-11
The Jags could open 0-6 before they play the Texans

4. Houston 3-13
The opening game in Dallas is a very key game because if they lose it could be a long time before they have another soft spot.

AFC North
1. Pittsburgh 15-1
Actually, this team could go undefeated – not because they’re that great, but because they have a wonderful schedule. The two toughest games are their first, where they go to NE with a lot of incentive to play a team they should have beat in the AFC Championship Game last year. Then the open at home against their historic enemy Raiders. The AFC North plays the AFC and NFC creampuff, err South Division. In the long run however, the schedule works against the Steelers, because they won’t be as battle tested as the other playoff teams.

2. Baltimore 8-8
Ray Lewis and what team?

3. Cleveland 7-9
Obviously, Couch carries the team.

4. Cincinnati 5-11
Another rebuilding year in Cincy.

AFC East

1. Miami 11-5
Dave Wannstedt and Norv Turner – haven’t these guys worked together before? See Ricky run plus Jay Fiedler is a winner.

2. Jets 9-7
This team isn’t quite there, as the Raiders showed in last year’s playoffs. But they’re close. The end of season schedule for the Jets is a killer – December is in Oakland, then home against the Broncos, games in Chicago and NE (at night), closing with the Packers at home in the NY twilight on the 29th – brrr.

3. New England 9-7
You win the Super Bowl, you get a killer schedule – made even tougher when your own division is a killer division. Plus, no one will let you forget that the offense scored only three touchdowns in its three playoff games. The tuck rule won’t save this team this year baby.

4. Buffalo 8-8
Drew will lead the offense. Who leads the Defense?

NFC West
1. San Francisco 12-4
This team has the potential to go 12-4, but a lot of it depends on whether players like Terrell Owens can grow up and serve the good of the team. By predicting that they will finally overtake the Rams, I think they will.

2. St. Louis 11-5
The Rams should’ve/could’ve won the last two Super Bowls; nevertheless, they’re on the wane.

3. Seattle 7-9
Matt Hasselbeck? Knight Rider, Baywatch and now the Seahawks? Listen, I think the world of Shaun Alexander (266 yards rushing against the Raiders on 11/11/01), but in this division, you’re going to need a pass rush and a strong QB.

4. Arizona 4-12
At least it’s a nice climate and playing so many games in the West Coast time zone, no one will notice, unlike playing in the NFC East.

NFC South
1. Tampa Bay 11-5
Jon Gruden has the luxury of moving from an aging playoff team to a younger playoff team in a weak division.

2. Atlanta 8-8
Michael Vick and Warrick Dunn will make this a fun team to watch.

3. New Orleans 6-10
Back to the ‘Aints.

4. Carolina 2-14
And I’m being generous.

NFC North
1. Green Bay 12-4
Everyone should be able to open with a continuation of the pre-season – the Packers get Atlanta, NO, Detroit and Carolina before moving on to Chicago, NE and the ‘skins.

2. Chicago 10-6
Last year was a dream – this year is reality.

3. Minnesota 9-7
Last year was a nightmare – this year will be an improvement. Culpepper to Moss, how could it not?

4. Detroit 2-14
Sorry Lions – you burned me last year – I expected a lot more out of you.

NFC East
1. Philadelphia 12-4
What’s more, they could be hosting the NFC Championship game.

2. Washington 10-6
Finally, this team will get what Snyder’s looking for – plus it will sweep the Cowboys. But the main addition to the team will be Coach Lewis, not Coach Spurrier. The Redskins have the best linebackers since the Giants LT, Harry Carson and Carl Banks.

3. Giants 7-9
A rerun season is the best this depleted team can hope for.

4. Dallas 5-11
The good news is that they’ve got Houston, Detroit, and Carolina on their schedule. Maybe next year they can add Duke and Rice.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

On the Run. A few quick notes:

*I used to detest cathedral and large churches, but have come around and now see how they can be built to the glory of God. Nevertheless, the new LA Cathedral, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, described by Cardinal Mahony as an 'anchor for the ages' looks more like a prison building. [link to picture] Basically, there's too much concrete -- and not enough windows or natural stone. The LA Times critic likes it however "Moneo's cathedral echoes the great works of earlier church architects"

*I'm also not fond of the new statue of Mary -- too butch for me. The modern image of Mary that stays with me is Olivia Hussey, but for my wife Hussy will always be Juliet. [link to picture]

*Speaking of LA -- what's with all the [mini-]earthquakes? This after the trio of medium earthquakes off the Oregon coast.

*Spent yesterday building shelves -- built-in -- for our carport. I love Robertson screws.

*The day before we went to Kings Dominion with some old friends -- had a great time discussing Iraq and Just War. See also, Dave Trowbridge's discussion.

*Good note on the Marines OCS.

*Speaking of good notes, please see Stuart Buck's critique of the claim, by Michele Dauber, that it's the Supreme Court, not the Ninth Circuit, that's out of step with the law.

*Finally, "Finding God in Signs."

Monday, September 02, 2002

Refuse to Lose. The Oakland Athletics, again led by Miguel Tejada in the ninth, win their 19th game in a row.
Win Tejada
Cover Watch. It's September, a year later. Newsweek goes with a special report on 9/11 a year later -- featuring the three men who raised the flag. Time magazine has a very disjointed cover also promising a special report on 9/11. Due to the clarity of the cover, the advantage clearly goes to Newsweek.