The Anglophilic Anglican during Lent: a quick note on politics, or lack thereof.

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As my long-term readers may recall, this little blog originated to be just what its title indicates: a place for this particular Anglophilic Anglican to share posts relating to my love of England, Britain, the British Isles generally, and the classical Anglican tradition, with diversions into more-or-less related realms of nature and culture.

Unfortunately, the refugee crisis of 2015 in Europe, the sudden and vicious assault on anything Confederate (and now expanding ever-outward from that point to include even the Founding Fathers and founding documents themselves) in the U.S. in the same year, and the insane-asylum reaction of the sociopolitical Left to the election of President Trump in 2016, all of which have continued to ramify, led me to believe that I needed to do my part, however small, and however localized in this little backwater corner of the internet, to defend the West – the history, heritage, traditions, and customs of Western Civilization – from those who appear to be actively seeking its overthrow.

But this is Lent. It is the season of self-examination, of penitence and preparation, leading up to the events of Holy Week and Easter, culminating with the Feast of the Resurrection itself. And while it is important to do what we can, when we can, to hold the line for what is left of Western Christendom, and that civilization whose history is so closely interwoven with it, it is also touching upon the sin of pride to believe that on my efforts alone depends the success or failure of that mission. As my dear late mother would remind me, “God is still in charge.”

And so part of my Lenten discipline for this year is to resist the hubris of assuming that it is up to me to reverse the decline. I can’t save the world, although perhaps I can help in some minor way to advance that goal. All I can do is tend my small corner of the vineyard. And to do that effectively, I have also to tend to my own spiritual well-being.

All of which is a long-way-’round way of saying that – barring something so egregious that refraining from comment would be a worse fault than commenting, which I hope does not occur – I shall be refraining from specifically political posts in this blog for the duration of Lent (and hopefully the Octave of Easter, as well). I shall be posting cultural posts, historical posts, literary or architectural or musical posts, natural history posts, and hopefully an above-average percentage of Anglican or other posts of a religious or theological nature.

But I am on sabbatical – or “fasting,” if you prefer – from overtly political posts, for the duration of this holy season of Lent. To reflect this, I have changed the header image to a slightly less-pugilistic version of the St. George flag… albeit one whose slightly tarnished visage reflects the reality that all is not entirely well in the Realm of Merrie Olde England, or indeed, the West as a whole.

I pray God grants you a holy, blessed, and fruitful Lenten observance. And I ask you to pray for me as well. Thank you, and God bless!

— Fr. Tom (“The Anglophilic Anglican”)

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect for the First Day of Lent, commonly Called Ash-Wednesday. The Book of Common Prayer 1928.

And of course, as the “Voluntary Disclaimer” posted on my right sidebar notes:

Unless specifically stated to the contrary, the opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not represent the opinions, policies, or perspectives of any other person, religious organization, business, or other entity.

My wildest fantasy.

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As a friend of mine pointed out, when I posted this on Facebook, “The fact that this is a meme at all points to the shrinking middle class.” This is very, and sadly, true.

What is even sadder (to me) is that, with a few minor changes –  minus the dogs, to which I am allergic, but adding a wife and children, a nice big garden out back, and a few chickens for fresh eggs – this is my fantasy, as well!

Well, and a Christian West which has recovered its faith, its self-confidence, and its vision for the future, and is rebuilding both its population and its influence in the world. But I suppose these days, that is really dreaming…


Nota Bene: On Lent and Politics


Several years ago I made the decision to open the focus of this blog to include not only historical, cultural and ecclesiastical Anglicana, but also political and meta-political posts relating to the ongoing war on – and the corresponding defense of – our Western culture and civilization.

Unfortunately, such contention can be not only psycho-emotionally, but spiritual exhausting, draining, and demoralizing. The war is by no means over; the battles rage on many fronts.

[We are not at the beginning of the end of this struggle – we may not even be at the end of the beginning – but there are some encouraging signs that the worm may be beginning to turn; Dr. Steve Turley is one of the more optimistic commentators on these encouraging trends.]

But even in physical combat, troops and units are sometimes rotated out of the front lines for a period of rest and recuperation before being recommitted to the struggle.

The season of Lent seems to me a good time to undertake such a “sabbatical.”

Accordingly, and barring something so extreme that I genuinely feel that I have no principled choice but to comment on it, I shall be doing my darnedest to avoid negative or polemical political posts in this blog, at least from now – Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent begins, or Ash Wednesday – through the Octave of Easter (which falls this year on Sunday the 28th of April), inclusive.

May God grant us all a holy Lent, and a blessed Easter!

And may God save the West. Because if He doesn’t, nothing we do will make a bit of difference, anyway. We are often called to be His hands in the world, but He is the Sculptor; we are, at best, His tools. May Our Lord grant that we be worthy tools, in the hands of the Master…

“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°.