Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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Holy Communion For The First Sunday In Lent

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Jesus resisted the temptations of the devil alone but we do not have to. We have Christ and we have each other to support us when we meet evil face to face and we have the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to resist being defeated in our times of trial. The sacrament of holy communion reminds us of this togetherness. Our unity is our strength and we shall overcome.

At Saint Laika's everyone is welcome to take communion and be in communion, with each other and with God. There are no exceptions.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol). How you view the nature of this part of the service is completely up to you.

CLICK HERE to access the podcast via iTunes.

To stream the service direct from this page without having to use the iTunes' facility, click on the arrow on the left of the player below.

Join in with us as we worship God by CLICKING HERE for the order of service, credits and details of the music featured. The words in bold type are the ones we say together.

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The Silence Continues

According to Crux ("Covering all things Catholic") it would appear that the people in the Roman Catholic Church responsible for the training of new bishops are routinely telling their episcopal pupils that there is no need for them to inform the police when they receive allegations of sexual abuse of children. They are, instead, being advised to leave it up to the victim and, if the victim doesn't go to the police, to just forget about it.

That's enlightened, not.

Horseshoe Crab Carnage In South China Seas

In a, no doubt, sincere attempt to demonstrate their peaceful intentions towards all life forms and obtain good karma for themselves, Buddhists in Hong Kong may well be committing species genocide. According to the South China Morning Post it is the practice of some Buddhists to buy horseshoe crabs caught by fishermen and then, rather than eat them, release them back into the sea. The fishermen of Hong Kong, realising the lucrative possibilities of this ritual, are catching more and more of the prehistoric arthropods to meet the increasing demand. It is claimed by Hong Kong Release Live, a Buddhist group that organises the mass release of horseshoe crabs at sea, that one hundred and forty million crabs have been returned to the wild in the last three years alone.

The problem is that the horseshoe crab is a fussy creature that has very specific requirements when looking for a place to live. If these requirements are not met then the poor animal pops its clogs. The "releasing" of horseshoe crabs any old where in the sea means certain death for the supposedly fortunate creatures. Rather than creating good karma through their actions the Buddhists are in serious danger of creating a new addition to the endangered species list.

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Holy Communion For Ash Wednesday

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We have been forgiven by God because God is love and God is full of grace. We are so completely forgiven that we may now, in this sacrament of holy communion, sit at the high table of the Father in the presence of the Son, breaking bread together and sharing the cup of salvation.

At Saint Laika's everyone is welcome to take communion and be in communion, with each other and with God. There are no exceptions.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol). How you view the nature of this part of the service is completely up to you.

CLICK HERE to access the podcast via iTunes.

To stream the service direct from this page without having to use the iTunes' facility, click on the arrow on the left of the player below.

Join in with us as we worship God by CLICKING HERE for the order of service, credits and details of the music featured. The words in bold type are the ones we say together.

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Church Of England Is Worse Employer Than Starbucks

According to the BBC, a woman with dyslexia has won a disability discrimination case against her employer Starbucks after she was accused of falsifying documents. A tribunal found Meseret Kumulchew had been discriminated against after making mistakes due to her difficulties with reading, writing and telling the time. She was given lesser duties at her branch in London and told to retrain, which left her feeling suicidal.

Is it too much to ask that the Church of England should be subject to the law that has protected this woman from the ignorance and bigotry of her employer? When I was ready to return to work following a long period of severe mental illness, I asked for a stepped return to work and was refused it on the spot. In fact I was told I would have to resign as there is no way a person who has suffered from depression should be allowed to be a parish priest. The bishop was able to discriminate against me in such a cruel and cavalier fashion because the Church of England is exempt from much employment law to allow them to legally discriminate against gay people and (formerly) women.

In my opinion the bishops of the Church of England in their refusal to offer me an apology and my ministry back are bringing Christianity into disrepute. They are treating the disabled with less compassion than secular employers which, when you consider the love Jesus had for the disabled and his willingness to help them, is ironic and tragic.

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How The Church Of England Treats It’s Mentally Ill

There is going to be a whole load of stuff about mental health issues on the BBC for two weeks starting 15th. February.

But what is the point?

It may get people to speak differently but it won't get people to act differently in their relationships with those suffering from, or who have suffered from, mental illness. This is especially true when it comes to employment. If a person who has suffered from mental illness applies for a job the chances of that person being seriously considered is remote. A pregnant woman would stand more chance of being offered a job. This is why the British government has brought in laws to give those with mental health probems some protection at work. The following is taken from the MIND website:

You don't have to be 100% better or well to do your job, or at least some of it, and the benefits of returning to work generally outweigh the downsides.

If you already have a job that is still open for you, talk to your GP about going back to work. They can give you advice as part of your fit note. The fit note includes space for your GP to give you general advice about the impact of your illness, and to suggest ways your employer could support your return to work.

You may then like to arrange a meeting with your employer or occupational health adviser. You can discuss anything that concerns you about returning to work, including your GP's recommendations, and ask for some adjustments to make the transition back into work easier.

Under the Equality Act (2010), your employer has a legal duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' to your work.

Depending on your particular circumstances, you might like to ask about:

... flexible hours – for instance, you might like to return part-time, or start later in the day if you're sleepy from medication in the mornings

... support from a colleague in the short or long term

... a place you can go for a break when needed.

This is all well and good unless, like me, you have the misfortune of working for the Church of England, who are exempt from this legislation. This allowed the Bishop of Newcastle to demand that I retire when I asked for a stepped return to work. When I refused to go quietly, he demoted me, put me on short term contracts and insisted that I saw "counsellors" who reported back to him. Eventually, after a couple of years when I had no contract whatsoever, he sacked me and I have been unemployed for five years now. No other bishop will offer me a job or even their pastoral support. Their excuse is that I have "too much baggage" and that I'm angry which, of course, I am. Theology is the most useless degree imaginable unless you are in God-related employment and I'm too old to retrain and, in any case, I can't afford to.

Of course, all this makes my mental health situation even worse. It's like being kicked when you are down. I don't need counselling or spiritual direction, I need my job back. It is the one thing that would aid my continued recovery and make me happy. It is also the one thing the bishops refuse to contemplate even though I worked for eight years after being discharged from hospital without taking a single day off for ill health, mental or physical.

I am not making this up as this further extract from the MIND website proves:

Although work can cause stress for some people in some situations, recent research shows that for most people:

... work is beneficial to health and wellbeing

... not being in work is detrimental to health and wellbeing

... re-employment after a period of being out of work leads to an improvement in health and wellbeing

The benefits of being in work can include:

... a greater sense of identity and purpose

... an opportunity to build new friendships

... an improved financial situation and security

... a feeling that you're playing an active part in society

Going back to work after a period of ill health is usually a positive experience. This applies to people who have had severe mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder, as well as people coping with more common issues, such as anxiety.

I would have been better off working in a gas station than working for the Church of England, so I repeat...

WHAT IS THE POINT?

Superdog

Edric successfully completed the bronze level of the Kennel Club's Good Citizen
scheme on Sunday. He will start taking classes at the silver level in April.

Here he is with his rosette and certificate.

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What Bishops Should Be

Dom Hélder Câmara, the Brazilian bishop and proto-liberation theologian, was born on the 7th. February, 1909 and we commemorate his world-changing ministry in our community's prayers today. He was a keen supporter of the reforms brought in by Vatican II and when that council drew to a close in 1965, he and thirty-nine other bishops met at night in the Domitilla Catacombs outside Rome to celebrate the Eucharist and sign a document that expressed their personal commitments as bishops to the ideals of the Council under the title of the "Pact of the Catacombs."

The greatest disappointment that I have experienced in my life was the discovery, shortly I after I was ordained to the priesthood in the Church of England, that most, if not all, of the bishops of my church were careerists who viewed their office as administrative rather than pastoral. This means that the priests of my church have no shepherd to turn to when they are in need of help. I am certain that I would still have a ministry in the church if the bishops of the dioceses I have lived in had committed themselves to the following "pact."

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We, bishops assembled in the Second Vatican Council, are conscious of the deficiencies of our lifestyle in terms of evangelical poverty. Motivated by one another in an initiative in which each of us has tried avoid ambition and presumption, we unite with all our brothers in the episcopacy and rely above all on the grace and strength of Our Lord Jesus Christ and on the prayer of the faithful and the priests in our respective dioceses. Placing ourselves in thought and in prayer before the Trinity, the Church of Christ, and all the priests and faithful of our dioceses, with humility and awareness of our weakness, but also with all the determination and all the strength that God desires to grant us by his grace, we commit ourselves to the following:

• We will try to live according to the ordinary manner of our people in all that concerns housing, food, means of transport, and related matters. See Matthew 5,3; 6,33ff; 8,20.

• We renounce forever the appearance and the substance of wealth, especially in clothing (rich vestments, loud colors) and symbols made of precious metals (these signs should certainly be evangelical). See Mark 6,9; Matthew 10,9-10; Acts 3.6 (Neither silver nor gold).

• We will not possess in our own names any properties or other goods, nor will we have bank accounts or the like. If it is necessary to possess something, we will place everything in the name of the diocese or of social or charitable works. See Matthew 6,19-21; Luke 12,33-34.

• As far as possible we will entrust the financial and material running of our diocese to a commission of competent lay persons who are aware of their apostolic role, so that we can be less administrators and more pastors and apostles. See Matthew 10,8; Acts 6,1-7.

• We do not want to be addressed verbally or in writing with names and titles that express prominence and power (such as Eminence, Excellency, Lordship). We prefer to be called by the evangelical name of “Father.” See Matthew 20,25-28; 23,6-11; John 13,12-15).

• In our communications and social relations we will avoid everything that may appear as a concession of privilege, prominence, or even preference to the wealthy and the powerful (for example, in religious services or by way of banquet invitations offered or accepted). See Luke 13,12-14; 1 Corinthians 9,14-19.

• Likewise we will avoid favoring or fostering the vanity of anyone at the moment of seeking or acknowledging aid or for any other reason. We will invite our faithful to consider their donations as a normal way of participating in worship, in the apostolate, and in social action. See Matthew 6,2-4; Luke 15,9-13; 2 Corinthians 12,4.

• We will give whatever is needed in terms of our time, our reflection, our heart, our means, etc., to the apostolic and pastoral service of workers and labor groups and to those who are economically weak and disadvantaged, without allowing that to detract from the welfare of other persons or groups of the diocese. We will support lay people, religious, deacons, and priests whom the Lord calls to evangelize the poor and the workers by sharing their lives and their labors. See Luke 4,18-19; Mark 6,4; Matthew 11,4-5; Acts 18,3-4; 20,33-35; 1 Corinthians 4,12; 9,1-27.

• Conscious of the requirements of justice and charity and of their mutual relatedness, we will seek to transform our works of welfare into social works based on charity and justice, so that they take all persons into account, as a humble service to the responsible public agencies. See Matthew 25,31-46; Luke 13,12-14; 13,33-34.

• We will do everything possible so that those responsible for our governments and our public services establish and enforce the laws, social structures, and institutions that are necessary for justice, equality, and the integral, harmonious development of the whole person and of all persons, and thus for the advent of a new social order, worthy of the children of God. See Acts 2,44-45; 4;32-35; 5,4; 2 Corinthians 8 and 9; 1 Timothy 5,16.

• Since the collegiality of the bishops finds its supreme evangelical realization in jointly serving the two-thirds of humanity who live in physical, cultural, and moral misery, we commit ourselves: a) to support as far as possible the most urgent projects of the episcopacies of the poor nations; and b) to request jointly, at the level of international organisms, the adoption of economic and cultural structures which, instead of producing poor nations in an ever richer world, make it possible for the poor majorities to free themselves from their wretchedness. We will do all this even as we bear witness to the gospel, after the example of Pope Paul VI at the United Nations.

• We commit ourselves to sharing our lives in pastoral charity with our brothers and sisters in Christ, priests, religious, and laity, so that our ministry constitutes a true service. Accordingly, we will make an effort to “review our lives” with them; we will seek collaborators in ministry so that we can be animators according to the Spirit rather than dominators according to the world; we will try be make ourselves as humanly present and welcoming as possible; and we will show ourselves to be open to all, no matter what their beliefs. See Mark 8,34-35; Acts 6,1-7; 1 Timothy 3,8-10.

• When we return to our dioceses, we will make these resolutions known to our diocesan priests and ask them to assist us with their comprehension, their collaboration, and their prayers.

May God help us to be faithful.

 

Co-Wrote By God

Kanye West believes that his new album is a "dream that can't happen without God." In a recent radio interview he admitted, "I'm only doing two percent of the work, God is doing the rest of the work."

I assume then that if he can't find the address to send God's ninety-eight percent of the royalties to he will be donating them to worthy causes close to God's heart.

Full story at Mail Online.

The Forgotten Fallen

I notice I was not invited to the LGBTI Mission party. What really hurts is not so much being excluded by the establishment of the Church of England but being excluded by the so-called rebels of the Church of England. Exactly the same happened with the campaign against the Anglican Covenant. When the history of the Anglican Communion in our times is written I will not be mentioned, that's for certain. Being let down by your enemies is only to be expected, being let down by your comrades in arms is also only to be expected in the Church of England.

Blogging Bishop Berates Bad Mannered Church Of England

The Primus of the the original Episcopal Church, Bishop David Chillingsworth, is narked at the Church of England for acting as if his province of the Anglican Communion did not exist and negotiating a treaty with the presbyterian, Church of Scotland, whereby ministers of the C. of E. will be able to preside in C. of S. churches and vice versa.

It is an understandable response to the arrogance of the English hierarchy who have often in the past shown a preference for the iconoclastic Calvinists of the Church of Scotland rather than their true brothers and sisters in the Scottish Episcopal Church. However, fears that this new agreement will mean Church of England clergy choosing to take part in the Church of Scotland’s worship, rather than worshipping with Scotland’s own Anglican community are, I believe, unfounded. It is far more likely that Church of Scotland ministers will now be hammering on the doors of Kelvin Holdsworth et al's bastions of true religion hoping, at long last, to experience some worship done properly.

An Accommodation Too Far

The New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian Church has become the first church in the United Kingdom to offer (re)baptisms to transgender members.

Jean Clements, worship leader at the church in Tameside near Manchester, said the accommodation was proposed after meeting a family who has a 10-year old girl to be baptised in her new gender. Derek McAuley, the chief officer of the Unitarian General Assembly meanwhile said that it is possible that other Unitarian congregations will follow suit.

The Church of England has also disclosed plans to add a ceremony to its services for "transgender" persons who seek to be re-baptised in their new gender identity and under their new name, according to reports. Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory said he proposed the addition to the General Synod last year after being approached by a girl who identifies as a boy who wished to be baptised again under her male name.

*****

No, no, no, no, no.

A baptism is not a naming ceremony.

I would have no problem with baptising a transgender person for the first time under whatever name that person wished. I wouldn't even bother to refer it to anybody. I would be more than happy to cobble together a (re)naming ceremony for anybody of any gender for whatever reason. But baptising someone who has already been baptised is out of the question. When a transgender person transitions they do not become another person, they publicly assume the person they have always been.

Full story at Christian Today.

Wooden Messiah

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Who is this poking his head out of the scuttle?

Yes, you've guessed it, It's our old friend, Jesus Christ, this time incarnated as a lump of firewood.

He was spotted by Anita Webster, a "devout Catholic," who told the Daily Express, "When I saw his face in the log I realised that it looks as if there is a crown of thorns and blood coming down his face."

Her husband Keith, who works as a development surveyor, added: "I was in the other room when Anita called me to come and look at it. Certainly from one angle it looks exactly like Jesus but from the other I am not as convinced. We definitely can't put it in the fire now though. As it happens it has been too mild this week to need it on anyway."

Happiness Quotient

The largest proportion of happy people in England are living in Mid Sussex, the smallest in Wolverhampton, according to official statistics. I've been to Wolverhampton and I can quite understand why this should be the case.

The same report shows that the people of County Durham, where I live, are reasonably happy. Of course, that does not include me but it's nice to know that everyone else is having a good time.

Full story at THE BBC.

Holy Communion For Candlemas

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The story of the birth of Jesus Christ and the account of his presentation in the Temple are included in the Christian scriptures in part to emphasise that Jesus, the Word of God, entered into the world in the same way we all enter into it. God became human in Christ. God became flesh and blood in Christ. God became one with us in Jesus Christ. The sacrament of holy communion celebrates this human with divine togetherness and is a real reminder of Christ's presence among us and within us and the unity we share with each other because of our unity with him.

At Saint Laika's everyone is welcome to take communion and be in communion, with each other and with God. There are no exceptions.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol). How you view the nature of this part of the service is completely up to you.

CLICK HERE to access the podcast via iTunes.

To stream the service direct from this page without having to use the iTunes' facility, click on the arrow on the left of the player below.

Join in with us as we worship God by CLICKING HERE for the order of service, credits and details of the music featured. The words in bold type are the ones we say together.

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Sir Terry Wogan – May He Rest In Peace

On the TV news they are referring to Terry Wogan as a presenter, which he was, but only accidentally. In truth he was a performer who was often a lot more talented than the performers he "presented." He was an improv comedian of the highest calibre years before improv became the in thing. He could seemingly riff on any subject his listeners threw at him turning the most mundane of things (a traffic cone, a duck pond, a home for the bewildered) into delightful suburban mythology. He saw silliness everywhere, especially in bureaucracies and the entertainment industry, but he celebrated the absurd and ridiculous as much as he sardonically mocked it.

Nowadays Radio 2 plays some reasonable tunes that even a cultural style guru like myself might admit to liking. But back in the early 1980s the station played wall to wall crap. Much of the musical content was pre-rock and roll. It was dreadful. At the time I was driving over sixty miles each way in my commute to and from work and much of the journey time was spent in a twenty mile long traffic jam. To ease the stress of this daily dose of living hell I chose, during my morning journey, not to listen to Radio 1 or a cassette, but to put up with Radio 2's dire record selections just to listen to Terry Wogan talking between the tracks. And I was not alone. As you sat there in the M1 traffic jam going nowhere you could not help but notice that every few minutes or so most of the people in most of the cars that were hemming you in all laughed, out loud and joyously, at exactly the same time. We were all listening to Terry. My guess is that the number of ante meridiem road rage incidents on the roads of Great Britain increased considerably after he retired from the breakfast show.

Good old Wogan. He was a blankety blanking good geezer and we shall miss him.

Don’t Get Lippy

From “Decrees and Exhortations" by St. John the Wonderworker:

"It is the responsibility of the clergy and, in particular, of the parish rectors to insure that those who wear lipstick do not venerate icons, the Cross, or anything holy, leaving lipstick marks on them. A notice to this effect should be posted near the entrance of the church and in sermons it should repeatedly be explained that it is a great sin to defile something holy by such contact. Women should refrain from wearing lipstick to church or not venerate anything. In any case, they should not commune Christ’s Holy gifts without having thoroughly washed their lips."

Gay Envy

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Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, a heterosexual couple from London who want to have a civil partnership rather than get married have lost a legal challenge in the High Court. They said they wanted to commit to each other in a civil partnership as it "focuses on equality" and did not carry the patriarchal history and associations of marriage.

Full story at the BBC.

I think they are being very silly and wasting their time and money on a principle without real substance. I also think they are being insulting towards the LGBT community, especially those who have fought long and hard to be allowed to get married (a fight that is ongoing to gain full parity with heterosexual couples).

Marriage is what you make it as is a civil partnership or any long term relationship between two people. If this couple think that entering into a civil partnership instead of getting married is going to make them more equal, or if they think the history of patriarchy in marriage will effect their marriage one way or another, then they are deluded.

This is not a serious issue of equality, it's petty.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

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For all their talk about the end times, it is clear from their support of Donald Trump, that American evangelicals wouldn't recognise the Anti-Christ if he came up to them, introduced himself and asked them to vote him into power for the next one thousand years.

Pastor’s Wife Files For Divorce

From Christian Today:

American pastor and former prisoner in Iran, Saeed Abedini, returned to his family in Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday only to be greeted by the news that his wife Naghmeh Panahi had filed court documents to legally separate from him, citing spousal abuse as the reason for their broken marriage, reports said.

Writing on her Facebook page on Wednesday, Naghmeh said she still loves her husband, "but as some might understand, there are times when love must stop enabling something that has become a growing cancer."

In her Facebook post, Naghmeh cited one intriguing piece of information that she appeared to have deliberately left unexplained. She said three months ago, her husband demanded that she do certain things in order to promote him in the public's eye, threatening to end their marriage if she didn't.

She declined to reveal what it was that he allegedly wanted her to do.

I think Naghmeh's reaction to her husband's request is a bit extreme to say the least. Heck, if I asked Mrs MP to do certain things in order to promote me in the public's eye there is no way she would file for divorce. She would just fall off her chair laughing.

Greek MP Changes Mind But God Doesn’t

At a recent charity event, Greek member of parliament, Dimitris Konstantopoulos, asked the other attendees to pray to God for his forgiveness for having voted for a measure to legalise same-sex civil partnerships in his country.

Well, I'm sorry, Dimitris, it's too late. Your vote is cast. God has seen what you have done and you will be going to heaven no matter how much you try to wriggle out of it.

Full story at Pink News.

What A Berkeley Hunt!

According to Cardinal Raymond Burke, who was recently demoted by Pope Francis to the ceremonial post as patron of the Order of Malta, the crisis in Roman Catholicism is down to girls being allowed to serve at the altar. He says that serving mass is a “manly” job and so the participation of women and girls in the daily life of the church has had a chilling effect that has led to a drop in morale and priestly vocations.

cardinal-burke-official-portrait"Young boys don't want to do things with girls. It's just natural," Burke told a group called The New Emangelization (a conservative organisation that exists to put the “man” back in evangelisation).

"It requires a certain manly discipline to serve as an altar boy in service at the side of priest, and most priests have their first deep experiences of the liturgy as altar boys. If we are not training young men as altar boys, giving them an experience of serving God in the liturgy, we should not be surprised that vocations have fallen dramatically," he said.

“The radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalized,” said the Cardinal. “Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women. The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved."

However, the Cardinal insisted that the practice of having exclusively boys as altar servers has nothing to do with inequality of women in the Church.

Full story at Irish Central.

Latte Day Saint

From News.Mic:

Mormons haven't gotten the best rap in recent years. Mitt Romney, the first serious Mormon candidate for president, went down to defeat, pilloried as a soulless plutocrat. The church's vocal opposition to same-sex marriage set its followers at odds with a growing trend of acceptance throughout the United States. Now, however, one enterprising comic book artist is looking to flip the script on that narrative with a gay Mormon superhero. Stripling Warrior, named for the heroic figures of traditional Mormon theology, chronicles the adventures of Samuel Douglas Shepard, who is called upon by an angel to fight for justice.

The comic was created by Brian Andersen, a former Mormon — though he says he's yet to be excommunicated — who said he was inspired to create the hunky hero after his own experience with the church.

"It dawned on me that I should explore my own Mormon background in a comic book," Andersen told Mic. "Having recently gotten married to my longtime boyfriend, who is also Mormon, and having also recently welcomed our daughter into our lives, I knew the time was now to do something different and fun."

While Andersen was keen to show a gay romance between two Mormons as mainstream and not a "sin," the Stripling Warrior is himself on a hunt for sinful behavior wherever he found it. In the series' first issue, he battles two villains prominently seen smoking and drinking.

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Name It And Claim It

Just when you start believing that Americans can't get any crazier...

From Christian Today:

US prosperity preacher Creflo Dollar, who won notoriety after asking his followers for $65 million for a new top-of-the-range private jet, might get a major Atlanta road named after him. Georgia State Senator Donzella James has proposed that Dollar be honoured with a portion of the Old National Highway in South Fulton County being renamed as "Creflo Dollar Highway".

"Reverend Creflo Dollar has demonstrated his commitment to teaching the Gospel, witnessing Christ through word and deed, and addressing the physical, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual needs of others. Recognized for his cutting-edge revelation and humorous, pragmatic approach, Reverend Dollar enables thousands to experience grace, restoration, and healing as a result of applying simple biblical principles to their lives," James' resolution says.

Now his gullible devotees are going to have to stump up for a brand new Tesla so he can drive along it as befits such a fine example of Christian leadership.

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Bible Bashing And Gay – No Way !

I can't help believing that gay evangelicals and their evangelical supporters who think they can maintain a belief in the infallibility of all the Bible whilst also believing that same gender relationships are "theologically" okay, are deluding themselves. Until they cast off their bibliolatry and accept that the Bible was written by human beings who are all capable of getting things wrong, the affirming evangelical will remain a contradiction in terms.

Prove It !

Pope Francis has asked Christians of other traditions to forgive Catholics who have offended them in the past, and called on Catholics to offer the same in return.

Fine words but he should put his money where his mouth is as should we all.

Open communion now!

Full story at The Christian Post.

It’s All Been Ruined For Me

From Christian Today:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned of the dangers of caricature and prejudice, saying they can "lead to violent persecution and genocide" in a statement on Holocaust Memorial Day.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's comments will be regarded as an attack on Islamophobia as he warned against "caricature, simplistic criticism and ridicule that leads inexorably to the dehumanising and degrading treatment of others".

He urged followers to "take responsibility ourselves", particularly in speaking out "against those who would diminish others through caricature and cheap political point scoring".

I have a problem. A big one. I just can't get past the hypocrisy. I know these are sensible and righteous words but I also know that the man speaking them refused to help me when I asked for help. In fact, worse than that, he listened to those who had hurt me and believed them over me, completely ignoring indisputable facts in the process. He talks here about caricature and in response I accuse him of stereotyping those who have suffered from mental health problems.

But it doesn't stop there. Welby is not the only bishop who I have asked for help but who has refused to give it. I cannot help assuming that this is down to my mental health history as one bishop (who I drove hundreds of miles to ask for help) refused to help me because of what he called "my baggage."

So, in my mind, all bishops are hypocrites. They are career politicians in ecclesial garb who say one thing in public but don't give a damn about individual people who are not newsworthy. Of course, this makes me guilty of caricature and prejudice myself. Worse, there is nothing a Church of England bishop can say that I will not immediately respond to with cynicism. I just do not believe they are for real anymore.

There is one way out of this vale of universal distrust. An Anglican bishop in England, Scotland or Wales, could respond positively and practically to my request for help. But as I've been crying out for nearly ten years without a single, even tentative response, I doubt this will be forthcoming. So, perhaps I am right after all.

Jailhouse Rock

More than eight hundred inmates in orange and yellow shirts from the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Centre, danced in front of Papal legate Charles Maung Cardinal Bo of Yangon, Myanmar to the popular tune of Michael’s Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us.” The inmates also performed the theme song of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress.

Cardinal Bo told the prisoners, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but it is about learning to dance in the rain."

Just Like Men

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The Rt Revd Libby Lane, the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Church of England, is marking the anniversary of her landmark appointment with two portraits of her.

When women were pushing for female ordination to the priesthood we were told that they would usher in a new ethos in the church, that the pomposity and arrogance of the house of bishops would be diluted by the influx of humble women infused with Christlike attitude.

Did this happen?

Nah!

The aim of the women's movement in the Christian church appears to be to make women exactly the same as men as anything else would not be fair. What a wasted opportunity!

Is The Pope A Catholic?

I see that the "destructive" Lepanto Institute is again calling for the Roman Catholic hierarchy to condemn the National Catholic Reporter. Their main critique of the periodical is that it is not "catholic" and by claiming that it is it is duping all those (obviously) very easily duped American Roman catholics.

But hang on a minute! Surely this very same accusation could be levelled at the Roman Catholic church itself. Let's face it, any denomination that forbids all sorts of groups of Christians, including many within their own ranks, from celebrating communion in its churches, campaigns to outlaw various groups of people and arrogantly believes it is the only true church, can hardly be regarded as being catholic in its ethos. Not in the true meaning of the word (see below).

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