“As the light lengthens, so the cold strengthens!”

This is a traditional piece of folk weather-wisdom that is certainly receiving confirmation this year! 2.4° – yes, that’s two-point-four degrees, less than two-and-a-half degrees on the Fahrenheit scale – at a quarter ’til eight this morning. But my new wireless digital thermometer’s low-temperature function showed an overnight low of 1.5°: I literally do not remember the last time it’s been that cold, here in central Maryland. Needless to say, I had some trouble dragging myself out of bed, to go to work!

And now it’s heading for the single-digits again, tonight: it’s dropped from 10.7 to 10.5° just in the couple of minutes it’s taken me to type this. A bit of a departure from the usual topics of this blog, but this is pretty epic. We don’t get it this cold often… fortunately. The culprit is a “polar vortex” which has broken loose from its usual arctic confines, and dropped down over North America.

As Baltimore meteorologist Justin Berk noted, a week ago,

“The Polar Vortex has become an overly used media term, but it is a legitimate weather phenomenon that us weather geeks have known about for decades. If you look back at all historic arctic outbreaks and record winter cold, it most likely had to do with the Polar Vortex dropping across the northern US. So, no fear about the planet falling apart. This is really just going to be very cold.”

And so it has! Very cold. Not too cold for me, but getting close — Northern European blood or no! If it’s going to be this cold, I want two things: a wood-stove, and a lovely young woman to cuddle with. Since I don’t have either, at the moment, this is plenty cold.

Update: no kidding about the single digits – at eight o’clock p.m., it has dropped to 9.5°.

Presiding Bishop of the UECNA on New York’s new abortion law

Image result for archbishop peter robinson

Archbishop Peter Robinson, Presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church of North America and Bishop Ordinary of the Missionary Diocese of the East (within which St. Bede’s Anglican Mission / Oratory of St. Bede the Venerable is a congregation, and I am a priest) has this to say about New York’s worship of Moloch, a.k.a., new abortion law:

This, perhaps, is not going to be the most closely reasoned of my pieces, mainly because there is a good deal of emotion involved, and also because as someone who read history at university and has a continuing interest in that field, I see the historical parallels, and fear greatly for where western society as a whole is heading.

The revised New York abortion statute which basically allows abortion up to birth throws into stark relief the difference of outlook that exists between secular mindset, and that of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The whole ethical justification for abortion involves, at some level, the tacit rejection of the notion that firstly, that God is the author of life, and secondly, man is made in the image and likeness of God. What the New York abortion law starkly states is that human beings are just another animal species whose numbers can be controlled by whatever means are deemed ‘humane,’ and inhabits the same bleakly utilitarian territory of moral relativism as the Third Reich’s Eugenics Law, though without the same explicitly Eugenicist language being employed in the drafting of the statute.

The abortion debate is not one the exists in isolation, but it also has grave implications for the elderly, the chronically ill, and the disabled. The cheapening of life in the womb will lead to cheapening of other forms of life that are not considered ‘viable’ for whatever reason, especially as the liberalisation of abortion laws inevitably leads to the consideration of euthanasia. To put the argument in extreme terms, why should the born have any more right to life than the unborn that the legislature of New York state has declared to be so expendable? If the evidence from Belgium and the Netherlands is to be believed once euthanasia is conceded, usually in the form of Physician Assisted Suicide for the terminally ill, it is rapidly expanded as an “option” for the disabled, and the mentally ill. A quick survey of Pro-Life website will furnish sufficient evidence of the steady expansion of Euthanasia once it has been legalised for ‘extreme’ cases. The idea of mercy seems to increasing merged with the notion of convenience as the criterion by which who is euthanized is determined. Also, given the way in which healthcare is regulated today, the decisions regarding abortion and euthanasia will be increasingly taken out of the hands of the medical profession, and into the hands of government. Increasingly, the ethical standards of the West are in thrall to the relativism that enslaved the Nazis, though without their pseudo-Darwinian racial theories.

As a Christian I believe firmly that because life is the gift of God, and because humanity is made in God’s image and likeness, every human life is in a very real sense sacred from its beginning at conception, to its end in natural death. I also believe that when one man makes the decision to take the life of another, especially an innocent, he is stepping out of his proper function as a steward of creation, and whilst exceptions have traditionally been allowed for the workings of justice, and in the case of a Just War, these concessions are truly exceptions to the consistent ‘option for life’ that one sees in Scripture. This means that I have to go on record as opposing not just abortion, but euthanasia, as being contraventions of our common humanity given and created by God. They are both misplaced mercies. Abortion always has two victims – the child and the mother. When I was ordained I knew about the first, but when I started in pastoral ministry I soon came to realise that in addition to obvious victim of abortion there is usually a second, thanks to the emotional and psychological trauma suffered by the mothers.

As a society we seem to have come adrift from our cultural moorings in the philosophy of the Greeks and the Revelation of the Bible, and are drifting ever closer to an ethnic, moral, and societal collapse which Western Civilisation will be extremely fortunate to survive. A culture cannot exist without basic principles, and the respect for human life is perhaps the most basic principle of all.

Source: Archbishop Peter Robinson on New York’s revised abortion law


Ryan Hunter on New York’s distressing new abortion law

My wise and perceptive friend, Ryan Hunter, comments on the State of New York’s rites of Moloch newest abortion law. A magisterial treatment of a very difficult issue, heart-felt and compassionate. Sometimes I think he’s the one who should be the priest, instead of me! Copied and pasted by permission of the author: as of this writing, it is not yet up on his site, and I am grateful for his permission to post it here. He writes:

I have lately refrained from making the slightest political commentary on the government shutdown crisis and Speaker Pelosi and Pres. Trump’s war of words, Brexit and PM May’s various crises, or the latest expansion of abortion access under the recent New York State law. I won’t comment on the first two issues now, but as regards the abortion legislation signed by my state’s “Catholic” Governor Andrew Cuomo, the law is appallingly and deliberately vague in its language. It will have the effect of making it easier for women to seek an abortion after 24 weeks’ gestation for *any* reason that they can frame as even remotely relating to their “health”, whether physical or mental. This vague term, “health”—as broadly defined and applied as possible—has always been the gate through which abortion access has progressively expanded since states began decriminalizing it in the 1960s and then the U.S. Supreme Court did so in 1973.

According to statistics provided by the nation’s leading, licensed abortion providers, well over 50 million abortions have taken place in the U.S. alone since 1973. Think about that number, and the potentiality of each of these lives which never manifested on earth. How many brilliant poets and musicians, much-needed political reformers and wise scholars, curers of cancer or inventors of brilliant new technologies, were never given the chance to live at all?

What does a fetus, a developing human in utero, look like at 24 weeks, 6 months—two-thirds of the way through normal pregnancy? To give you some sense of this reality of a developing human pregnancy, I was born at a little over 5 months’ gestation—3 months and 20 days premature. Every organ was formed, my facial features entirely defined, my toes and fingers able to move, I could make noise, laugh and cry, open my eyes, smile, etc. I was, in other words, born entirely and inescapably human, and would have been just as human had I been born a second or an hour or a day earlier, or a second or an hour or a day later. My humanity was not contingent on a magically defined numerical deadline of X amount of weeks, or whether my parents wanted me, could afford me, etc. My humanity, as with every single person’s, simply *was*, and it simply *is*.

I survived being born so early without any physical or mental handicap whatsoever. This was thanks to the grace of God, the prayers of my parents, grandparents, and so many loved ones, the dedicated care of diligent doctors and nurses, and the best medical technology in the neonatal units of Georgetown University and Northern Virginia’s Fairfax Hospital.

Weighing a pound and a half, and less than a foot long, according to my medical records, I was born 3 months and 20 days premature. I was supposed to be born on 22 October but was born on 2 July. Granted, this was 28 years ago, and my survival then was something of a medical miracle, but please reflect and realize, when we are talking about the 24 week term spelled out by the new law, that abortions are now to be conditionally permitted for the pregnant woman’s health (whatever this can and will be defined to mean) well after the gestation period I had reached at the time I was born.

This legislation is vaguely defined so as to make it immensely easy for women who are not in mortal danger to secure an abortion after their pregnancy is well-advanced, after the fetus is entirely capable of feeling pain, moving about, etc. This is why vague terms used such as “women’s reproductive health” are just that—deliberately vague, nonsensical euphemisms that serve only to obscure the reality of what is taking place in a late-term abortion.

Every woman in the world deserves so much better than to have to face—even for a moment—the desperate thought of considering abortion. Most women who do get abortions do so desperately, with a sense of last resort of despair—may God heal and forgive them, and all who pressured them, or failed to support their pregnancy, or shamed them. Any man who encourages or forces a woman to abort is committing a colossal evil.

The minority of women and men who somehow, in this mad world today, casually endorse abortion after consensual sex do not know what it means to have a fully developed, healthy conscience—something foundational is missing in their basic sense of moral ethics or intelligence, and they do not recognize personhood for what it actually is. It is telling that none of the world’s religious traditions expressed and manifested in the last 4,000 years endorse any notion of casual abortion on demand. Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu sages permit it only narrowly and exceptionally, whereas Christian ones have traditionally forbidden it entirely.

Abortion is a choice that represents a collective failure of society, not just the woman alone, and one that no woman should have to make. But this worth that every woman has, uniquely, must not be made to contrast with the equally valuable worth and right of every human being to experience life in the world itself—which, unavoidably, can only happen once one is born. Women are not gods over their bodies any more than are men; our bodies are a sacred trust to us from God, and we will return them to the Divine one day, with our bodies to answer as much as our souls.

Other than the tragic, exceptionally rare instances in which a woman’s life is actually truly endangered by continuation of pregnancy, there is always a more humane, healing, and healthy alternative to abortion. There is always a chance that the birth of the new life can be a source of good, of healing, of rejoicing, of giving something of light and beauty and truth into the world. Abortion guarantees only one thing: a life will be ended, a child not born. Choosing life allows for any possible potentialities to develop. Purely mathematically, it’s the far more positive choice, open to the possibility of good things happening to both mother and child. Abortion is a literal statistical dead-end.

Generations from now, societies will look back at our self-assured “progressive” views on abortion, and regard them as utterly barbarian, the product of little intellectual reflection and far less ethical formation. All peoples, nations, and states have degrees of good and bad, holiness and evil, in them. But in any free society, a state’s laws are ultimately a fair, relatively accurate indicator of its mores. To whatever extent New York is actually a free political society, this law is unbelievably damning.

What madness now passes for “progress” and what worship of darkness passes for “enlightenment”? God protect us from ourselves… We can, and must, do so much better. Go out, help women facing unplanned pregnancies with any means you have, donate your time and money to pro-life adoption agencies and women’s clinics that help both women and their babies, and end the atrocious stigmas against single mothers. We need to build a more humane, nobler society, one that relegates a culture of abortion to the same area as chattel slavery, legal racial segregation, forced child marriage, and human sacrifice.

Amen, and amen! Thank you again, Ryan, for your permission to share this.

Pro-life obstetrician blasts New York State’s ‘horrible’ new abortion law | LifeSite





‘To take the lives of these babies in the womb breaks my heart.’

Source: Pro-life obstetrician blasts New York’s ‘horrible’ new abortion law | News | LifeSite

I posted this excellent video, with the following commentary, on my Facebook page earlier this morning:

“If they are a patient, they are a person. And if they are a person, they deserve our protection.”

– Dr. William Lile, from the linked video (which I strongly urge you to watch)

Folks, I have so far been silent on the subject of New York’s decision to permit abortion through the third trimester and even, under certain circumstances, up to the due date of the child (and to significantly expand the number and types of practitioners who can perform abortions). That is because I have been reading up on the issue, and prayerfully pondering how to respond to it. I am not saying that this response is perfect; I am not perfect. I am aware that it may cost me friends. So be it. Not only as an individual, but as a Christian clergyman, I believe that I have to speak.

Abortion, and the right to life (the latter of which is enshrined, among other places, in our own Declaration of Independence, which states that we have been “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights” – that is, rights which cannot be taken away – and that among these are the rights to “LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”), have not, historically, been major features of my personal “platform.” I have in fact spent most of my life being mildly pro-choice; it is only in relatively recent years that I have come around to a more emphatically pro-life viewpoint.

Even so, I occupy (as I have commented on this blog previously) what I suppose some might consider a “moderate” position on the abortion issue, in that I believe abortion should be safe (to protect the life and health of women, in the event that it is medically necessary – but see below), legal (to ensure that it is safe), and rare (because the taking of a human life should always be a last resort, never ever a first option – and abortion should never be considered a form of birth control).

I am resolutely opposed to the reprehensible calls by those on the extreme left for abortion “on demand, without apology” (e.g., elective abortion) – and expecting the government (and thus, the taxpayers) to fund it.

On the subject of “my body, my choice” – frequently touted by those advocating the pro-abortion position – this is obviously false on its face: a fetus may depend on the woman’s body for its survival, prior to a certain stage of gestation, but from the moment of conception it is clearly a distinct individual, having its own individual genetic makeup (combining genes from both parents), and its own distinct, individual development.

“My body”? As one recent photo of a pro-life poster (which I wish I could find; I apparently failed to save it) put the matter, “since when do we think a woman has four legs, four arms, two heads, two hearts, and two different sets of genes?” It is not (just) a woman’s body; and therefore her sovereignty over it is a shared sovereignty: shared with the father of the child, if he is in the picture, and with the unborn child itself, who from the moment of conception is a child not only of his or her human parents, but a child of God.

And this brings me to my next point: I am a Christian, and more than that, I am an ordained Anglican priest, in a classical, traditional, and orthodox Anglican jurisdiction, the United Episcopal Church, whose Core Values clearly state, “we believe in the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.”

This is not something de novo; it is part of historic Christian teaching, emerging at least as early as the Didache (late first to early second century, A.D.), which very clearly and emphatically stated, “Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion.” The Epistle of Barnabas (contemporary with the Didache) clearly categorizes care for the unborn child as falling under the commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” In this, the still-new Church stood in opposition to late Hellenistic culture, which frequently practiced both abortion and infanticide.

That some Christian clergy and churches now “affirm” a “right” to abortion is an indication of how far away many parts of the Church have fallen from its own roots, its own wellspring of faith. I cannot do so, and remain true to the standards of both my own ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and more importantly, the historic teaching of the Christian Church as a whole. The willful killing of an innocent person is a sin as well as a crime; it is a moral as well as a social evil; it is an offense against both God and man. And who could be more innocent than an unborn child?

I have read the arguments advanced in favor of New York’s new law, and I have considered them. And I have come to the conclusion that they are either well-meaning but wrongheaded, or they are simply disingenuous. They are seeking to “solve” problems that by their own admission hardly ever exist, or they are opening the way for a great increase in elective abortions, far later in the pregnancy, than heretofore. In fact, they are doing both.

And I am hardly alone in that assessment. As Dr. Omar Hamada, OB/GYN, has stated, “I want to clear something up so that there is absolutely no doubt. I’m a Board Certified OB/GYN who has delivered over 2,500 babies. There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no.” Note that distinction. I would rather trust the word of board-certified OB/GYNs such as Dr. Hamada and Dr. Lile than that of politicians and social activists with an ideological agenda.

There may be rare occasions where the death of the unborn child is a sad but unavoidable side-effect of good-faith efforts to save the life of the mother. That is a very different thing from abortion. And with respect to those rare occasions, they should be an occasion for solemn regret and sorrow – not celebration, as we saw with the smiling politicians and cheering activists, and the illumination of major public buildings (including the World Trade Center) in pink light, that occurred in New York.

CELEBRATING a law which allows for the killing of larger numbers of babies, later in the pregnancy, by a larger number of practitioners, than ever before? What manner of evil is this?

The death of an infant – and by the third trimester, it is clearly and unequivocally an infant – should never be the occasion for celebration. That the State of New York seems to think that it is, is indicative of the mentality behind this decision. New York is hiding behind high-sounding rhetoric and admittedly rare exceptions, to justify greatly expanding the situations and circumstances in which abortions can occur. And that is, in my opinion, unconscionable.

May God help us, and have mercy on our souls.

Fr. Tom

Vicar, Oratory of St. Bede the Venerable / St. Bede’s Anglican Mission

Covington bishop apologizes to pro-life students: ‘we… allowed ourselves to be bullied’ | Lifesitenews

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Source: BREAKING: Covington bishop apologizes to pro-life students: ‘we…allowed ourselves to be bullied’ | News | Lifesitenews

Bishop Roger Joseph Foys, of the (Roman Catholic) Diocese of Covington, writes,

“We are sorry that this situation has caused such disruption in the lives of so many. We apologize to anyone who has been offended in any way by either of our statements which were made with good will based on the information we had,” Foys writes in the letter. “We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely, and we take full responsibility for it.”

“I especially apologize to Nicholas Sandmann and his family as well as to all CovCath families who have felt abandoned during this ordeal,” he continues. “Nicholas unfortunately has become the face of these allegations based on video clips. This is not fair. It is not just.”

No, it is not. This semi-apology is both overdue, and rather weak-kneed. But late is better than never, I suppose…


Update / follow-up to “Heroic ‘Wren’ wins Military Cross”


Don’t read this if you want to keep your nice, warm glow on.

Continue reading “Update / follow-up to “Heroic ‘Wren’ wins Military Cross””

Heroic “Wren” wins Military Cross (UK) for exemplary courage under fire

Source: 100 Year Challenge | Facebook

I post (rather sadly) a lot of fairly depressing stuff on here, mainly because there’s a lot of depressing stuff happening, and people need to know about it: awareness is the first step toward change.

But it’s nice to every once in a while be able to post a “feel-good” piece, and this is one:

Imagine choking on your own blood, dying in the Afghan sand, and as you glance up for what may be the last time, you suddenly seeing this 5-foot-nothin’ vision – a veritable angel in human form – sprinting through heavy machine-gun fire and exploding rockets to save your life!

As the linked post puts it,

“‘I promised my friends and comrades I’d be their medic,’ she said. ‘I promised I’d be there if they ever needed me. They needed me that day – so when the call came, that’s just what I did.’

“Kate, from Whitleigh, Plymouth, stepped into the history books as only the second woman to be awarded the MC [Military Cross], one of Britain’s highest gallantry awards, as well as becoming the only MC Wren…

“Her citation read: ‘Under fire and under pressure her commitment and courage were inspirational and made the difference between life and death.'”

[Note: “Wren” is the popular term for a member of the Women’s Royal Navy Service (WRNS —> “Wrens”), a service which dates back to 1917.]

The linked post notes that “her smile is disarmingly sweet,” which seems no exaggeration from this picture! As a female friend of mine put it, “Competent, brave, AND adorable.” Indeed: I would also say, as my mother used to say of herself, “little but mighty”!

I actually had to create a new tag – “Courage and Valor” – to give this story, and this heroic individual, the prominence she deserves!

Polish Politician Invites Covington MAGA Students to Speak Before Parliament | Dr. Steve Turley – YouTube

Source: POLISH POLITICIAN Invites Covington MAGA Students to Speak Before PARLIAMENT!!!

Dr. Steve Turley (who I wish would use slightly fewer exclamation points and all-caps in his titles… *grin*) comments on the Covington Catholic High School students who were accosted by both “Black Hebrew Israelites” and by Native American activists, and the fact that they have been invited to speak before the Polish Parliament.

He notes, in the process, that some folks abroad have shown them more respect than their own Diocese, which was quick to throw them under the bus when the first false reports started to come out – even speaking of possible expulsion – but which has been notably silent since it became all too clear that this was a textbook example of “fake news.”

He calls upon the Diocese of Covington to publicly exonerate the students, and apologize for its quickness to believe the worst, before all the facts were in. I agree with him! They should – but I’m not going to hold my breath until it happens. A shame that the Diocese seems to have so little moral courage.

What kind of example does that set, for its students?

Glories of the West: Colonial Williamsburg Homeschool Days

Source: Colonial Williamsburg Homeschool Days | Colonial Williamsburg’s Facebook Page

So much goodness in this picture! The Governor’s Mansion at Colonial Williamsburg, once the capital of 18th-century Virginia, with adorable little girls in proper Colonial attire carrying a basket of naturally-dyed wool from (perhaps) some of the Leicester Longwool heritage sheep raised there. A recreation of early America at its finest! Anyone who claims that “America was never that great” should look at this picture, and be ashamed. Yes, we were still colonies of Great Britain at that point in history. But the groundwork was already being laid…

And then we have the excellent phenomenon of homeschooling, in which parents can opt their children out of the politically-correct agendas of so much of public (and even private) schooling! So glad that Colonial Williamsburg – historically one of the flagship sites for living history, and a major influence on me, in childhood and beyond – is providing programs in support. Children need to learn about our history and heritage, and there is no better way than through experiential learning.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has come under fire (not without justification, it must be said) in recent years, for apparent financial mismanagement, and also for some of its programming decisions: replacing costumed interpreters with docents in modern attire, canceling popular events, discouraging reenactor participation, and cashiering the popular tavern Balladeers, for example. But this, at least, deserves commendation.

A response to HuffPost’s “What White, Western Audiences Don’t Understand About Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up'”

A still from Netflix's "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo."

Dilloway: “Backlash to the Netflix show ignores an essential aspect of the KonMari method: Its Shinto roots.”

Source: What White, Western Audiences Don’t Understand About Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up’ | HuffPost

Those darned white Westerners! Always screwing everything up…

Nonetheless, despite being a white Westerner, I have a great deal of admiration and appreciation for Shinto – and many aspects of Japanese culture – myself.

And although I, personally, am not likely to reduce my book collection to thirty (yes, I realize Marie Kondo only stated that she herself only kept 30 books at a time, she was not decreeing it for everyone), I definitely recognize that I could benefit – both my living space and my head-space – from some pretty substantial de-cluttering!

My problem with this essay is that its author, Margaret Dilloway, chose to racialize the issue – ironically, since that’s exactly what she was complaining about others doing to Ms Kondo – and to do so in a way that is either ignorant of certain facts, or else intentionally disingenuous. Continue reading “A response to HuffPost’s “What White, Western Audiences Don’t Understand About Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up’””