Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More Goth & Gothic ...

I found several more photos in my files from the Goth & Gothic photoshoot with Ivy Blue which, as it turns out, took place in July, 2003. This was just a few weeks before The Episcopal Church (although it was still calling itself ECUSA* back then) held its General Convention in Minneapolis. Something noteworthy happened at that year's General Convention, but I cannot quite recall what it was.

Oh, yes, I forgot to say in the last entry: The church is St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit.

And the car ... The car is the original Mr. Venables, the first 1963 Mercury Meteor I owned, named after Theodore Venables, the Rector of Fenchurch St. Paul, in the Dorothy L. Sayers mystery, The Nine Tailors.

*Old enough, now, to change your name ...
When so many love you, is it the same?
-- Neil Young (Cowgirl in the Sand)

Anglican Goths?

Baby Blue blogged here regarding a parish which is holding Goth Eucharists. It reminded me of some photos I took several years ago for a "Goth & Gothic" series of paintings (which of course, I never got around to painting). Here are a few. The model is Ivy Blue (Not Safe For Work).

The Episcopal Church Welcomes You:

In Praise of Repetitive Liturgy

One sometimes hears the criticism, from fellow Christians who worship in "non-liturgical" churches, that having a set Liturgy is "vain repetition." But actually, it is the best kind of repetition there is. One might just as easily accuse a Kindergarten teacher of "vain repetition" for going through the alphabet with the students more than once!

Cindy kept very nice "baby books" for our kids, and I was browsing through Eliot's the other day when I found this entry:

Parents: Eliot, do you know why we go to church?

Eliot: Have mercy upon us!

I can hardly think of a better answer than that, and he was able to give it because the phrase appears so often in the services of the Book of Common Prayer. That was when he was two-and-a-half years old!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thank God For Enemies

One useful thing about having real and powerful enemies is that it should clarify one's thinking about one's friends. Often between friends (or those who should be friends) there is a rivalry that makes them act in unfriendly ways toward one another.

This blog entry is one of the few that is fully worthy of the title of the blog, as it will deal with both Hot Rods and Anglicanism. I mean to talk about the enemies of Hot Rods and the rival factions within hot rodding. Likewise, I mean to touch on the enemies of Anglicanism and the factions within Anglicanism.

An Enemy of Hot Rods

An Enemy of the Gospel

Within what can loosely be called Hot Rodding (and I'm having to be generous here), we have what I would call proper hot rodding (meaning old school hot rodding), but also 1960s muscle cars, custom cars, newer muscular (American) cars, and import Tuner cars. There, I've said it. In times past, I would now wash my mouth out with soap. Because Tuner cars and their drivers have always been the Enemy! They are the hated and despised rivals of the true hot rodder, with their front-wheel-drive, ugly rear deck spoilers, and diminutive scale.

But is the Tuner crowd really the enemy of hot rodding? Or should they better be seen as another stripe of hot rodder, as allies, even? Contemplation of some true enemy, like Henry Waxman (Democrat - California) brings things sharply into focus for us. Compared to Waxman, the Tuner guys are my blood brothers. I need to start treating them as such.

Likewise, in Anglicanism ... we have Anglo-Catholics, Evangelicals and Charsimatics. What about that rag-tag bunch down at the local AMiA franchise, with their happy-clappy worship, 1979 Rite II liturgy, and ridiculously good Rwandan coffee (okay, that's just jealousy talking, right there) ... are these Anglicans my enemies? God forbid ... they are brother Anglicans! But ... but ... don't some of the bishops in communion with them ordain women? (Women's Ordination is the ecclesial analog of front-wheel-drive, just as the 1979 BCP is the Anglican analog of the ugly deck spoiler.) I think so, yes. But even a cursory study of Gene Robinson (Apostate - New Hampshire) will show us the difference between an enemy and a rival (but real!) Anglican.

I think that we need to quickly adopt a more fraternal and loving manner toward our brother hot rodders on the one hand and toward our brother Anglicans on the other. My hope for the newly-formed Anglican Province of North America is just this: that we will love each other as brothers.

What can any of us do, as individuals? Here is my own plan: At the Detroit Autorama this year, when I'm crusing around the basement of Cobo Hall, I will not spend the entire time drooling over the rat rods ... I will go over to the Ricer Tuner section, look at their cars, compliment the builders, and ask real questions. I will show a real interest.

Oh, yes, and I'll visit that AMiA parish at least twice this winter, too.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

GKC on Cocktails / The Future of Hot Rods

I inherited from my grandfather, the Rev. William J. Jones, a hardcover book of G. K. Chesterton's (1932) entitled:



In it is an essay entitled, The Cowardice of Cocktails and Other Things, which contains these words:
Cocktails are perhaps the only practical product of Prohibition. They are certainly, I should imagine, the only part of Prohibition in which America will really succeed in setting a Great Example to the world ...

It was necessary that the sort of drink should be one that could be gulped down quickly; it was necessary that it should be very strong for its size; and it was natural that it should be made a sort of separate science of luxury in itself.
I hope Chesterton is correct (and he usually is) in saying that the prohibition of something results in a more potent variety of it being produced. I will leave you to draw the obvious analogies in the area of politics, where I hope that a shrinking Conservative movement will have more kick to it than this very watered-down variety of Conservatism we've all been given to drink lately.

As I say, I will leave that for you to ponder, because I have weightier matters on my mind. I mean hot rods! As with Prohibition, government constraints on auto manufacturers (I know, I work for one) have forced them more and more to produce bland, overly-safe, overly-quiet, transportation appliances ... the very opposite thing of what a hot rod has always been. As the new, draconian CAFE standards come into effect there will be, to the minds of many, no new cars worth owning or driving.

And this is where the Old School (a.k.a., Ol' Skool) rodder will begin to shine. Because the need for hot rods, the glory of hot rods ... these are things that will not be denied. If Chesterton's cocktail theory is accurate, increasing government restrictions will only make the fires of automotive love burn hotter in the hearts of customizers and hot rod fabricators. And I believe that you can already see this happening. Behold, the impractical, loud, danger-defying creature that is Aaron Grote's Atomic Punk.

As if a 1959 Plymouth Savoy wasn't badass enough to start with, Aaron totally reshaped this beast, giving it a bubble top and a 392 Chrysler Hemi engine. This is to me a thing of such beauty that I can scarcely describe the effect it has on me. God being our Helper, my son and I will work to carry on this cocktailization of the automobile.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Litany Fragments #1 and #2

Although I am not a big fan of, for instance, the guitar Mass ... there was a time when I fancied myself a sort of Anglican version of John Michael Talbot. At one time, I had hoped to write music for the entire text of The Litany. I never finished that project, but I have a few "fragments" of Litany music saved up in my head from when I wrote them back in 1996. Here are a couple of them, recorded last night ...

O GOD the Father, Creator of heaven and earth;
Have mercy upon us.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world;
Have mercy upon us.
O God the Holy Ghost, Sanctifier of the faithful;
Have mercy upon us.
O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, one God;
Have mercy upon us.

REMEMBER not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; neither take thou vengeance of our sins: Spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us for ever.

Spare us, good Lord.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yes, I'm Sitting, Happy Sailor!

I love Anglican church music, including the congregational hymn singing ... but to be perfectly honest, they all sound like this to me if I'm not looking at the Hymnal ...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The New American Anglican Province!

Thanks be to God! The new American Anglican Province will be formed, God being our helper, on December 3rd, 2008.

This video is from AnglicanTV ...

Note to Katharine Jefferts Schori: Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four dioceses playing a game can make a play-Province which licks your "real" Province hollow.

Finish Line - Slot Cars as Fine Art

Near the bottom of this post, I mentioned that Edo Bertoglio would be creating a Thingie-related (slot car) exhibition for an art gallery. The poster for the event has been released. It is to take place on November 27 at Galleria Pack Milano (Milan, Italy). Nicely done website they have, by the way. Here's the poster:

And here is Edo's Thingie collection!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another Cheer for Organized Religion ...

As a postscript to this blog entry, I would like to mention one additional benefit of Organized Religion, and that is its beautiful power to influence even the shape of our rebellions from God.

One huge benefit I obtained from growing up in Organized Religion was that when I went through my (seemingly obligatory, no?) college-age rebellion from God, it was the real, almighty, triune God of the Bible, and the truly incarnate God/man Jesus Christ against whom I rebelled, and not some 3rd-rate imaginary deity.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hot Rod Anglican T-Shirt Blowout Sale !!!

To welcome all my new readers, who may have wandered over from StandFirm or MCJ ... I am holding a special "Buy it While There's Still Such a Thing as Anglicanism" T-shirt sale!

*** Not available in stores! ***

Available in Men's Medium-Large-XL sizes (Hanes Beefy-T), and Women's Cap Sleeve T (M-L-XL - see size chart below, because they run small!) ...

If you're ready to order, please click on the convenient PayPal button below ...

Style / Size

Here is the sizing chart for the Ladies' T-shirts:

And here is the lovely Tracy, modeling one of these fine shirts!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We're Queer ... We're Here ... To Disrupt Your Worship

This attack by militiant homosexuals happened about 50 miles from my parish ...

Read about it here.

And from a sympathetic source, here.

Some of the comments at StandFirm are helpful.

As I've said before, there will be Christian martyrs made over this issue. The question is not if, but when? ...

A number of other questions occur to me, such as:

1) Would they have dared to try this in a mosque? What would have been the outcome?

2) How can we best protect against these people who wish to stop us from worshipping our God in peace? How can we make this costly enough for them that they will be forced to severely limit this sort of activity?

3) At what point would such people be satisfied? I can answer that one, at least: They will not be satisfied until every individual Christian and every church which believes homosexual sex to be sinful ... is utterly silenced.

In any case, brothers and sisters, I want you to take note of one thing: What you do on Sunday morning, kneeling in your pews, lifting your hearts up unto the Lord, adoring Christ in the Eucharist, affirming the historic Christian faith by reciting The Creed ... these are not small and insignificant things. They are actions which take place before the throne of God, in heaven. And, because Christ has taught us to pray, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven ... the earthly strongholds of God's enemies are torn down when we worship God in the beauty of holiness.

God's enemies are aware of this, I think, if only instinctively. And, thus, they attack the problem at its proper root: the public worship of God.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Lame Shall Enter First

Here, in 4 parts, is a recent video production of Flannery O'Connor's short story, The Lame Shall Enter First. It is not true to Flannery's text in every detail, but it gets enough right to make it worthwhile. If you have 37 minutes of free time or so, check it out!

It is from Chris Pierdomenico of Philagape Productions.

Part 2 is here.
Part 3 is here.
Part 4 is here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Episcopal Church Today - A Quick Status Check

(H/T: Christopher Johnson)

From the
Diocese of California website:

Saint Mary the Virgin hosts hot steamy night of Scripture

On the night before the big election, I was done with campaigning and the last thing I wanted to see was another political commercial. My pre-election tension was high, as a Facebook friend wrote in her status that she felt “the same anxiety as on Christmas Eve when I was six-years-old and I had asked Santa for a bicycle.” I completely understood the sentiment and I needed relief. What better than a night out for trashy tales of sex and smut? And in the fullness of pre-election ambiguity, where better to go for bawdy fare than St. Mary the Virgin, San Francisco?
You know, the way that the Episcopal Revisionists (i.e., Apostates) told it to me, it was only Traditional (i.e., orthodox) Anglicans who were obsessed with human sexuality. So it is (you will have to pardon the term) queer to find these folks obsessing over sex in the Bible.

It occurs to me that maybe they had better change the name of the parish, however:

In her closing to the program notes, Hansen (the Rev. Beth Hansen, Senior Associate Rector at SMV) writes:

“Scripture offers witness to a clear pattern of sneaky seductive women becoming very useful to God’s purpose. Ironic that by Eve’s seducing Adam to eat the forbidden fruit we are driven from God’s Grace, yet by many women’s sexual seduction we are given the progeny for redemption back into Grace. With such unexpected Holy results coming from these sneaky seductresses, curious that our Ultimate Redeemer was born of a virgin, or so they say.”

On the bright side, though, another entire parish has had the wisdom to leave this folly behind. THANKS be to God!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What the Obama Victory Means - One Black Man's View

Many Democrat voters (after John Kerry's 2004 loss to George W. Bush) stated that President Bush was not human, and that all who voted for him were stupid. In an effort to distance myself as much as possible from those folks, in knowledge of the full humanity of my political opponents, and in recognition of the fact that people's actions make sense to them, I have been trying to get inside of the mind of Obama voters. Here is one such attempt.

The quote below (quoted with permission) is from a friend of mine, F. A. Harper. I "met" Mr. Harper on the Internet, because we share a common hobby. Mr. Harper is an intelligent, witty, thoughtful, and well-balanced individual. And he is black. So when he wrote about the election of Barack Obama, I wanted to listen.

Here is his statement about what the Obama victory meant to him.

I just want to say that when I was in the second grade, I thought to myself I would be come the first Black President. Then I realized by the time I was old enough, someone else would already have done it.
Then when I was in Jr. High, I took a hard look at our nation and said we would never have a Black President in my life time. I thought this all the way up until last night. Hell, I said it a few months ago.

Last night I felt for the first time like I was truly an AMERICAN. Like this country was really mine. Like all the times I got followed in the mall, pulled over by the police, teachers treating me unfairly, was gone.

Does this OBAMA winning change my rent or cell bill? No, but after 35 years of seeing images of me being depowered and defeated, it was nice to see a Black man become the one thing I for so long thought I had no chance to become.
I want to thank all of you who voted for OBAMA. You voted to help/save our country but you also saved me on so many levels.

Now I want us white folks to think about this: Can you see what Mr. Harper is talking about? Can you see why, for him, Obama's election transcends details of policy? How, for him, feeling fully American for the first time might possibly trump some other kinds of concerns?

I will leave you (who, along with me, oppose President-elect Obama's plans and policies, and happen to be white) with this chilling thought: Have your own actions in the past, or the actions of your white neighbors, contributed to creating a nation in which Mr. Harper did not feel at home until Tuesday, two days ago? (If so, your actions helped elect Barack Obama.) Maybe not, but at least think about it.

Is it I, Lord?

Obama Democrats and the 8th Commandment

We can be thankful to Congressman Jim Moran of the 8th District of Virginia for finally clarifying the Democrat Party position on the 8th Commandment.

"The American worker has produced more per person than at any time. But it hasn't been shared, and that's the problem, because we have been guided by a Republican administration who believes in the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it ... and they have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth."

This is at the heart of our nation's current crisis, and it is largely why someone like Barack Obama (who has promised to "redistribute" wealth) can be elected: Democrats have decided that stealing is no longer a sin, as long we consider the people we steal from to be rich.

Thank God for every American who still believes in the simplistic notion: Thou shalt not steal.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Son, My Brother

About 6 months ago, my son Eliot (14 years old) made an interesting comment. At least my wife thought it was interesting. He said: Dad, if I could do it, I would invent a time machine, so I could go back in time and be your brother. Leaving aside the technical difficulties left unaddressed by his statement, I have to admit that it touched my heart in a powerful way.

It made me realize that in many ways, I already thought of my son as my brother. Since about the time he was three years old, our thoughts have been very congruent and in phase. Even though Eliot is adopted, he is much more like me (in many ways) than I am like my own brothers.

Another reason Eliot wants the time machine is that he feels he missed out on the best parts of the 20th Century (1950s and 1960s). He is very nostalgic for certain eras which he never lived through himself. This YouTube video shows one event that Eliot would like to go visit in his time machine: