Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Obit watch: May 4, 2017.

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Tony Alamo, crazy cult leader.

At its height, his ministry claimed thousands of members nationwide, drawn to Mr. Alamo’s virulent anti-Catholicism and apocalyptic speech, in which he claimed that God had authorized polygamy, professed that homosexuals were the tools of Satan, and believed that girls were fit for marriage. “Consent is puberty,” he told The Associated Press in 2008.

He was convicted of tax evasion in the 90s and did four years for that. Then, in 2009, he was convicted of sexually abusing young girls (eight year olds, dude) and sentenced to 175 years in prison.

Former followers said Mr. Alamo had grown unhinged after his wife, Susan, died of cancer in 1982. Her body had been kept in a room at the northwest Arkansas compound, and his followers kept a vigil, praying for months for a resurrection. The body was eventually placed in a concrete crypt.

And that’s not even the weird part.

Obits and firings: March 10, 2017.

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Sweet Angel Divine, aka “Mother Divine”, passed away a week ago Saturday.

She was about 91. (One of the tenets of her religious movement was a disregard for chronological age.)

Mrs. Divine was the widow of Father Divine:

A charismatic preacher since the early 1900s, Father Divine — or the Rev. Major Jealous Divine, to give him his full title — declared in 1932 that he was God and attracted legions of devotees drawn by his message of racial equality, clean living, communal living and cash-only financial transactions.

One of the best things in the St. Clair McKelway collection Reporting at Wit’s End is his profile (with A. J. Liebling) of Father Divine at, more or less, the height of his empire. “Who Is This King of Glory?” might be available online, too, but when I went to the New Yorker website, it looked like you needed a subscription to read it there. In any case, I commend the McKelway/Liebling profile to your attention.

Scot McCloughan out as general manager of the Redskins.

And the Brockster out as quarterback in Houston. Speculation (both in the sports media and from people I know in Cleveland) is that the Browns aren’t going to keep him, either.

The Texans cut their losses with Osweiler after one season. He signed a four-year $72 million contract, including $37 million guaranteed, last year. Even though the Texans won the AFC South and advanced to the divisional round, he played poorly.

Edited to add: Well. The Browns have cut Bobby ThreeSticks now. And nobody thinks His Brockness is going to be asked to hang around. So who’s quarterbacking come fall? The season is closer than you think…,

Obit watch: October 25, 2016.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

The A/V Club is reporting (based on a Facebook post by his family) the death of Christian comics impresario Jack Chick.

A long time ago, I ordered a complete set of all the Chick comics (at the time) and some of the Alberto Rivera comics. I think I still have those in a box somewhere…

For the historical record: Tom Hayden.

Obit watch: September 21, 2016.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Curtis Hanson, noted film director. A/V Club.

“L.A. Confidential” was a swell movie. I wouldn’t mind watching that again.

D. Keith Mano. I was most familiar with him as a National Review writer, and was unfamiliar with his work as a novelist.

“Seriously, at the end of a CC class when I was fed up with all the atheism, socialism and relativism taught, I went over to St. Paul’s Chapel and said, ‘If that’s the way the world is, I’d better turn to God,’” he told The Columbia Spectator in 1976.

Obit watch: March 28, 2016.

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Mother Mary Angelica, founder of the Eternal Word Television Network.

Jim Harrison. I feel kind of bad about saying this, but: I bought a copy of The Raw and the Cooked, mostly because it gets a lot of praise from various food writers that I like. I’ve tried to read it, and found that it’s about 50% really good food and outdoor writing…and about 50% pretentious twaddle.

Those Darn Episcopalians!

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Credit on this is due to Lawrence, who sent me a link yesterday. I also mostly stole the title from him.

I’m not Episcopalian (or Anglican) and, while I don’t talk about my religion here, I am fascinated by the way various religions work (or don’t work, as the case may be). The link Lawrence sent me pushed my hot buttons, but to be honest, I had to re-read it a few times before I felt like I understood it.

So the archbishop of Canterbury apparently called a big meeting of the archbishops of the Anglican Communion. As I understand it, the Anglican Communion is sort of the governing body of the Anglican churches. This may be a poor analogy, but it seems like you can think of the archbishop of Canterbury as the Pope of the Anglican church, with the other archbishops sort of being the equivalent of their Catholic counterparts. (But there’s a lot more democracy and fellowship involved.)

In this case, the meeting was of what the church calls “primates”, which (again, if I understand correctly) are basically the archbishops who head up the regional Anglican churches in the Communion.

Results of this meeting leaked out yesterday, and the Primates were forced to issue a beautifully written statement:

Today the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ. This agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together…
This agreement demonstrates the commitment of all the Primates to continue the life of the Communion with neither victor nor vanquished.

But what did they actually decide?

It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.

The Episcopal Church is basically the branch of the Anglicans in the United States. The Communion is stripping them of their ability to participate in decision making, and seems to be saying the American church is not “in full communion”.

Why? What brought this on? Three words: same-sex marriage.

The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.

The NYT summarizes these developments.

I’m kind of torn by this, even though I don’t have a dog in the fight. On the one hand, I support same-sex marriage. On the other hand, I also support the rights of churches and individuals to make their own decisions based on their faith. I’d violently oppose any governmental effort to force the Episcopal Church to allow same-sex marriage, but if they reached that decision independently, that’s their choice.

It’s more…curious to me than anything else. I had it in my head that the Anglican Communion, and especially the archbishops of Canterbury, were extremely liberal. If anything, I would have expected the communion to go in the opposite direction and allow same-sex marriage in all the churches.

And I’m wondering if this will cause an even bigger split:

The archbishop of Canterbury permitted the participation at the gathering this week of Archbishop Foley Beach, who leads the Anglican Church in North America, a breakaway group formed in the United States and Canada to protest the moves there to ordain gay bishops and recognize same-sex marriages. The Anglican Church in North America counts just over 100,000 members.

I’d welcome discussion of this here, especially from Anglicans/Episcopalians who want to correct my misunderstandings of the church or doctrine.