Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Here is me trying to understand the self-referential impulse by direct experience.
I just noticed that this is the 307th post to this blog. That means that just a few weeks ago I published my 300th posting. That seems like kind of a lot, I guess. Especially considering that I actually wrote some of them, instead of merely posting links to other sites or embedding video clips. At any rate, is is a round number ending with 2 zeroes.
I'm not really impressed with myself. Perhaps when I get to 1000.
"There are two main kinds of investments: debt and equity. Debt is just lending money. A General Motors corporate bond is a "debt instrument." You lend GM money, and GM promises to pay you back, plus interest. Your savings account is also a debt instrument. You lend the bank money, and the bank promises to let you withdraw it, never mind that the interest is less than you'd get from keeping a sock full of buffalo nickels under your bed. And your checking account is a debt instrument, too. You lend the bank money and they...charge you for it? Plus ATM fees? This is probably why so many pistol-waving people rob banks and why so few pistol-waving people rob General Motors."
Might I also add to this list ridiculous overdraft fees on debit cards, fees on getting your past statements, fees on fee administration, and a fee creation fee (they have to pay someone to come up with all those fees).
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.
His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne'er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.
For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
'Tis found in Christ the apple tree.
I'm weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest awhile:
Under the shadow I will be,
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.
This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive;
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.
Music by Elizabeth Poston
Words by Joshua Smith of New Hampshire 1784.
Monday, November 23, 2009
So watch it already. Yes. You. Now.
Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.
H/T to Damien over at Adventure in Progress
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
This is one of a series of articles on my recent experiences burning wood to heat my home. You can read the earlier articles by clicking on the links below:
I have learned that wood must be moved several times during processing operations, and much of the effort of wood heating simply involves the act of moving it around. It seems that each chunk of wood must be moved a minimum of three times, although 4-5 times seems to be more common as I am still figuring out the best way to manage the whole process.
Actually, I am not so much managing the process just yet. I am inventing it. My mind is often taken up with figuring the most efficient layout for the various piles, scheming to find the materials to build the sheds and platforms, planning the placement and construction of each, and flowcharting it all in my head. None of it happens spontaneously. Unless I pick it up and make it happen, the wood just sits there until is sprouts mushrooms and returns back to the soil, it’s BTU’s unused. The brainpower required really is enormous. It's a good thing I have plenty to spare.
At this point, the process looks kind of like this:
Once dumped out of the truck or trailer, the large chunks must be moved to the splitting area. I usually will do this a few at a time as I need them. Once split, the logs must be moved to a drying area. For this I am using my main woodshed (actually, a platform). Since the main woodshed is still full of this year's fuel, I am preparing a secondary drying area on a group of wood pallets nearby. Once the wood in the woodshed is depleted, the pile of recently split logs on the pallets will replace it and will remain there to dry until next winter.
The main woodshed is a walk of perhaps 100 feet from the back door. Not bad in the summer, but verging on the inconvenient in 10 below January weather, with the snow hip deep. To make that trip daily to haul up the day's heat may get tedious. Therefore I have plans to stage the dried wood to a smaller intermediate woodshed near our back door. Then a load or two at a time, it will be brought inside to warm up – apparently placing cold wood in the stove is a waste of energy. Then it will finally be placed in the stove to burn.
So, my latest project is building that small woodshed on the back porch. The plan is for this woodshed to hold several weeks of split, dried wood, carried up from the main woodshed. It is about 5 steps from the back sliding door, and when finished will be covered with a modest overhanging roof and some kind of tarpaulin door to keep out blowing snow. It will be a new chore for my girls to bring up wood once or twice a week to keep this woodshed well stocked. From here it will be easy to bring it inside.
Once inside, I plan to build a small wood box that will hold one or two days worth of wood. Once placed in the box, any ice or snow can melt off, and the firewood can achieve room temperature before being placed into the firebox. I expect this box will be 3-4 feet long, perhaps 2 and a half feet front to back and about 2 and a half feet deep, with a hinged lid. It will also be the girls’ job to keep this full.
It is something to think of all those trees, growing here and there, all coming down and being cut into pieces. Then they come to my house and are broken into still smaller pieces. Then little by little they flow into my home and into my wood stove to keep my family warm. Every single piece moved by me, with the help of some good friends on occasion.
It is an amazing and gratifying thought.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This is one of a series of articles on my recent experiences burning wood to heat my home. You can read the earlier articles by clicking on the links below:
The wood arrives in my yard in large chunks that may be several feet in diameter. These won’t fit in the stove and even if they did would require a pretty hot fire to burn. So the wood must be split into smaller chunks, anywhere from 8 inches across down to 2 inches depending on:
- How much work you want to do: Bigger chunks require less work to split.
- How will be carrying it: I tend to split small so the girls can easily carry it.
- How fast you want it to burn: larger chunks will burn more slowly releasing the heat evenly over time.
Some wood splits easily along straight even grain lines. Birch is a pleasure for this reason, as are most oak and maple logs. Sometimes you will get a particular log that had a limb coming out of it, or is the crotch of two trunks. In these cases the grain goes all wavy and weird and splitting it becomes a matter of a good eye, true aim, a bit of luck and a whole lot of grunting and whacking.
There are machines to assist in splitting wood. Gas powered small engines drive a piston with a wedge on the end that can make quick work of
the nastiest piece of curly grain crotch oak you and imagine. These machines are most efficient with two people operating, one controlling the piston, the other loading and unloading the logs. For many people, owning such a machine is not a good use of capital, but renting one or borrowing one is a great way to get your wood split in a hurry.
I split my wood by hand using a crude but effective tool called the monster maul. It is a steel handle about 2.5 feet long, with a large solid steel triangle welded to the end. It weighs close to 16 pounds. With it I find that I can split pretty much anything, even though it may take multiple whacks. It take a great deal more energy and strength than many people have, but I enjoy it and find that it works just fine for my purposes.
Eventually, I will add another lighter ax to my tool chest so that I can use it to split the smaller logs without having to lift the monster maul. When it comes to a log that is 26 inches across though, the M2 dependably gets the job done.
The process involves lifting the log up onto my splitting stump. The stump is a large section of tree trunk selected for its size, weight and relatively level top. Once placed on the stump, I’ll stand a pace or two back, raise the maul over my head and swing it down. If it is the first split on a large trunk, I will swing down purposefully and with all the strength and intent to go straight through down to the stump. If it is a particularly thick log, or has uneven grain, I will often penetrate but not split it on my first swing. Some logs are so tightly grained that the first few strikes will actually bounce off. But with repeated hammering, it will eventually give way, and with a satisfying crack and thud, I will have two pieces of wood on the ground where there was once a hefty log.
Subsequent splits are easy. Rather than splitting each log down the middle, I tend to strike off slabs from the outside and work my way in. It’s less work and as I have practiced my aim has improved where I am getting pretty good at striking the wood on the right spot.
This, however, is another place where one must be always mindful. If the attention wanders at the critical moment, of even if I don’t put enough strength into the blow, the maul can deflect, and small chunks of wood and my maul go flying in unexpected directions. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I imagine that at some point it is possible that my shin or ankle might catch a fast moving 16 pound chunk of steel. I would like to avoid this occurrence and so tend to focus on what I am doing whenever splitting my logs.I enjoy the rhythm of this work. I enjoy the sounds and smells of the cracking wood. I like feeling the axe moving downward and burying itself in the log with a thunk. I like that feel of the perfrect hit that just separates the log cleanly and evenly, ready to stack. I enjoy the slight membrane of heat coming off my skin that staves off the crisp cold air I’m working in. Again, the novelty has not worn off. It’s work, but it is play too. Perhaps this is the best quality of all real work, and to find the play hiding in the work is an art in itself.
Monday, November 9, 2009
This is one of a series of articles on my recent experiences burning wood to heat my home. You can read the other articles by clicking on the links below:
In my case, I have laid up approximately 4 cord of wood (a cord being roughly 128 cubic feet). Almost all of it I have cut, hauled, split and stacked myself, with some help from neighbors and friends. My woodpile is almost all “tornado wood, remnants of trees felled in the tornado of 2008 that passed a scant 2 miles from my house on it’s way to cutting a 40 mile swath across the eastern part of the state.
I spent that week at some of my neighbors’ houses with a chain saw cutting up downed maples, oaks, birches, poplars and pines. I sawed the trunks and limbs into sections about 2 feet long, and loaded them into pickups, trailers and the back of my Subaru. I drove them to my home and dumped them into my backyard, into an area that has since been designated as the Cellulosic Heat Processing Zone (CHPZ). It consists of several platforms composed of wood pallets laid on the marshy ground to keep the firewood from rotting, and a large raised platform I constructed out of leftover construction lumber. This will eventually be my main woodshed, but as I ran out of lumber to build the sides and roof, it is still just a platform with a tarp over the woodpile.
Cutting and splitting is just hard work, but it is not mindless work. Anyone who has ever used a chainsaw, and felt it buck, or seize when your attention wandered knows this only too clearly. This is a tool that would just as easily remove a human limb as a tree limb and which one it goes to work on has everything to do with how much attention the operator is paying each second.
All in all, however, I find it pleasurable work. This could be because the experience is still novel to me. Someone who has had to do this their entire life may feel differently perhaps. It is dirty, smelly work, with it’s share of sweating, hard breathing and sore muscles involved. Yet the body adapts and I find that each chunk stored up produces a sense of emotional warmth I don’t get from fuel oil. Just knowing that I am heating my own house by my own work, not dependent upon petroleum imported from foreign nations (except for the gas to run the chain saw and drive the truck that hauls the wood) feels pretty darn good. Odd how physical ease and freedom from labor makes me ultimately FEEL more enslaved, but toil and sweat give me an ineffable sense of freedom. This is just the first part of this whole wood burning thing that seems delightfully paradoxical to me.
I have been working with borrowed chain saws, trucks and trailers. Eventually, I am going to need to buy my own tools for harvesting wood. I’m looking forward to it.
Burning wood, though, that takes thought. I have been burning wood now for almost a week. I have been preparing to burn wood for about a year and a half. I must say that heating your house by burning wood is a qualitatively different experience from any other type of heating method I have experienced. It is a mindful, and intentional in a way that separates it from other common forms of household heating. This makes it perhaps the most eccentric and philosophical method of home heating. Perhaps you would see that as an undesirable quality – why would you want to have to think about your heat?
My answer to this is “because heat is costly,” and the cost is not measurable in mere dollars and cents. The extraction, processing, transport and distribution of energy makes up an enormous sector of our economy. It employs highly paid professionals like engineers and scientists as well as skilled and hard working technicians who run the machines, often in extreme and dangerous climates. Let’s not forget the risk-taking entrepreneurs who stake enormous wealth to find and develop this energy. If they win the bet, the payoff is big. Really big.
Governments negotiate for the rights to acquire energy. Elections can swing on it. Regimes rise and fall with it. Wars are fought over it.
So I view heating my home with wood as doing energy for amateurs. I am neither engineer nor scientist, nor wildcat roughneck. I’m just some guy who wants to keep his family warm through the snowy frigid winter months. I want to do it myself, instead of paying someone to do it.Heating with wood may be cheaper in cash, but it is certainly more expensive in terms of attention, much like playing the piano yourself requires much greater attention than listening to a concert on a CD in the car. Wood heat is mindful heat. It is warmth that requires attention.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
This was taken a few years ago during a hike I took up Mt. Moosilauke in NH. I had been up north on business, and I needed a break. So I brought my gear with me and made plans to play hooky for the rest of the day. It had been raining, but that is no impediment to the truly psycho...er...I mean dedicated hiker. I changed out of my suit and into my walking clothes and headed up. I only had a few hours before dark to make 8 miles up and back, so I did not dawdle. It began to clear a bit after I reached the summit. It was a great walk. Being in mid November, I pretty much had the mountain to myself.
The poor video quality can be blamed on the fact that I shot this in 15 second clips with my 2 megapixel digital camera.
Friday, October 30, 2009
"Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles."
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
This is a live performance of one of the numbers from the new album. I love how Gabriela is so sweet, with her halting french at the beginning, but give her box with some strings on it and she is all business.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Vampires are trendy.
150 years ago, I imagine very few people had any concept of "vampire." The concept existed in folklore of many cultures, but doesn't seem to have been a strong motif. In the beginning of the 19th century, some writers began using the folkloric material continuing in fits and starts until Bram Stoker writes the quintessential vampire novel, Dracula at the end of the century. It is quite a powerful and beautiful work by the way, and one I recommend. From that point vampire is ushered into the popular imagination. From there, it was mostly the work of movies, radio and television -- mass media -- to take the vampire and defang it. In spite of Nosferatu, the Hollywood vampire soon became a symbol of camp and mockery. As the world left behind it's belief in good and evil, especially of any kind of supernatural good or evil, the mills of Hollywood mashed and rehashed the legend of the Dracul until it was more of a joke than anything else. Certainly by the time I was growing up, no one really shivered in horror at the thought of the blood drinking undead. There have been many appearances of vampires in popular entertainment, mostly using it as a convenient plot device, like time travel, to bring conflict and suspense to a story. Dark Shadows, Night Stalker, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Need I say more?
But even as the vampire seemed stalled in either black capes or mindless minions of darkness, Anne Rice reinvented the vampire completely with her group of novels that became knows as The Vampire Chronicles. First released in the early 1970's, the core of these stories dwelt in three volumes. Interview with a Vampire, The Vampire LeStat, and Queen of the Damned. I did not discover these until the late 1990's, when I was approaching 40 years of age, and they completely entranced me on several levels. I will come back to this in a bit.
Now as if out of the blue we have Twilight and True Blood, and suddenly vampires are sexier and more hip than ever. I'm not necessarily saying this is bad...I haven't really paid much attention to either one. I just find it fascinating that vampires have suddenly taken on a certain fashionability.
Now Doug Wilson weighs in on why all this hubbub about vampires is bad because it makes light of evil. If a vampire is a symbol of evil then of course we should “honor the symbol” and stop making it all sexy and stuff. Well far be it from me to dare to disagree with Mr. Wilson, who could effortlessly dismember me with his tongue alone, never mind his pen. Far be it from me indeed, but I think he is really missing some pretty big chunks of what we might call “the point.”
Symbols can certainly be enduring, but are seldom static and are constantly subject to re-imagining or even re-purposing. Witness the Christmas Tree, the Easter Egg, and even the cross itself. What is the literary purpose of the vampire as symbol? It is, I think, more complex than an initial cursory look might suggest.
I’ll be coming back to this, in particular to discuss the work of Anne Rice along these lines, and in particular to look at how her work has now transformed into a truly fascinating re-imagining of the gospel stories. She no longer writes vampire books because the process of writing them, and exploring the deeper themes suggested actually led her out of her self proclaimed atheism and back to Jesus and to His church. That’s a fascinating story.
So why am I getting all worked up about this? Mostly because I have found the work of Anne Rice, so easily dismissed because it is about vampires, to have been profoundly influential. Early on I detected in her writing a seeking and searching for truth, and discerned her direction and pointing toward Jesus. I am most gratified that I was right, and I am enjoying watching her publishing her journey, both in essay format and in her fiction.
Look here to read about it and we’ll talk more later.
Friday, September 11, 2009
- Imagine sending the bill for your brake work or your oil changes to your auto insurance company. That's not what insurance is for. Insurance is for crashes. Repair insurance is available, but we call it an extended warranty. Most financial advisors will tell you it's a bad deal. Insurance is for crashes. For repairs, you plan, save or use your credit card.
- Health insurance makes the insurance company the customer, not the patient. The money comes from the insurance company, so the medical provider is much more interested in doing things that make the insurance companies happy. This has to skew things.
- Making the government the insurer really won't help this. It doesn't matter if the government does a good job of it or not. The concept is skewed from the get go.
- Are we citizens, or are we subjects? Should this make a difference in our conduct?
- Self defense is a legal construct. Does it have any biblical basis? In what circumstances?
- On what basis could a Christian ever consider doing violence to another human? Especially since our Great Example seems to have raised victimhood to a moral imperative. Or is this a misunderstanding?
Friday, September 4, 2009
I am seldom sick. When I am, it’s more of a nuisance than anything else. Toward the end of August I got a bit of a taste of what it’s like to be really sick. I was completely knocked on my can for at least 10 days, and I’m still not quite 100%.
It all started in the beginning of the month when my youngest mysteriously came down with some cold-like thing including general misery and a barking cough. Instead of coming out of it in a few days, as is usual, it hung around for her for almost 2 weeks. So after 2 weeks of barking and spewing, it was no wonder when the oldest also was stricken. Not quite as much misery, but lots of coughing. I bugged out for 4 days, heading to Denver on a business trip. I returned home on a Thursday and kept working through Friday afternoon, although in retrospect, I could feel something coming on.
Friday afternoon it dropped on me like a ton of bricks. My fever spiked up to almost 104. I was racked with pain in every muscle in my body, and a remarkable number of places that aren’t muscles. This kept up all through the weekend, with a brief respite Sunday morning, and then slammed me to the mat again late Sunday afternoon. I was taking all the usual over the counter medicines but nothing made a dent. Then in desperation – exhausted from lack of sleep and in amazing pain, I took some hydrocodone (Tylenol with codeine) that I had left over from a minor surgical procedure some time ago. For the surgery, I didn’t really need it. Now, ironically, I most certainly did. I gotta tell you, I LOVE that stuff. When you really need it, the right medicine is the best thing in the world.
I could literally feel the pain ebbing away, and my body relaxing. Suddenly the fever broke and I started sweating profusely. I mean profusely – like running off my body in trickles. It was wonderful. I slept like a baby, only waking at midnight to pop two more pills.
I kept up this regimen for a few days. Did I mention that all through this time I was also coughing? Racking spasming coughs that at times were so bad I almost couldn’t breathe. I had to go to my knees so that I wouldn’t throw my back out from my coughing fit. Even now, my neck is stiff because I think I kinked something in there during one of my monumental hacks. Even as the fever abated, the coughing continued. I tried to work the following Tuesday, and stumbled my way through a training program, but on the way home my fever spiked again and I clearly needed some medical intervention. I was at the doctor’s office the next day and was diagnosed with pneumonia. This is the third time I have had to deal with pneumonia. I should have recognized it without the doctor’s help. Azithromycin did the trick and put me back on track, but it took a few days still before the coughing really began to fade. I’m still coughing up the occasional slug, but they aren’t the dark foreboding green the originally were, nor are they so abundant. God bless antibiotics. They get a bad rap, but as I said, when you need it the right medicine is glorious.
My wife was a beautiful angelic nurse to me through this. And then as I was coming out of it, her coughing got worse and she also was found to have pneumonia. We are such a sharing family! She skipped the flu part, thank goodness, but it even now struggling with the tiredness that comes from not being able to take full breaths. It’s a sluggish feeling from not having enough oxygen. I’m still struggling with that a little, although I can breathe deeply now without tossing up a lung.
As a result of this I lost 10 days and a solid week of income when I can least afford it. I am self-employed and if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Any opportunity to finish the summer with a nice hike in perfect weather was lost. Time I would have rather spent with my girls went down the drain. Our 23rd wedding anniversary was an afterthought, as we both just felt glad to be alive. I shed about 12 pounds in a week as I had no appetite for the first 6 days and ate very little – but I wouldn’t recommend the plan. It’s a little harsh. The feeling of helplessness and even occasionally some fear that this was more than just a passing treatable sickness is memorable. I don’t care to repeat this again anytime soon. Sickness just hollows out your life. I am more than ever grateful for good health. It’s a tough way to be reminded.
Here's what else I was reminded of...the care and concern of neighbors and friends. Our church family kept track of us, provided meals and other kinds of support. Neighbors checked in and helped how they could. We had to go through it ourselves, but it was good to know that we were not completely alone. Someone outside our house actually cared, even helping take care of our poor orphan children who pretty much had to fend for themselves for 3 or 4 days when both of us were pretty much out of commission. Community ain't now joke. It's a cliche term, but it exists and it's as real as breathing. If you ain't got it, get some.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I recently stumbled across one of the most amazing films I have ever seen. I am fascinated by it and keep going back to watch sections of it on YouTube.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
“Praise choruses?” said his wife. “What are those?”
“Oh, they’re OK. They are sort of like hymns, only different,” said the farmer.
“Well, what’s the difference?” asked his wife.
The farmer said, “Well, it’s like this – If I were to say to you “Martha, the cows are in the corn”’ – well, that would be a hymn. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:
Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black and white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, the CORN, CORN, CORN.Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well, that would be a praise chorus.”
The next weekend, his nephew, a young, new Christian from the city came to visit and attended the local church of the small town. He went home and his wife asked him how it was. “Well,” said the young man, “it was good. They did something different however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs.”
The young man said, “Well, it’s like this – If I were to say to you ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn’ – well, that would be a regular song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:
‘Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cryInclinest thine ear to the words of my mouthTurn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and byTo the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.
‘For the way of the animals who can explainThere in their heads is no shadow of senseHearkenest they in God’s sun orHis rain Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.‘Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delightHave broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewedThen goaded by minions of darkness and nightThey all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.‘So look to the bright shining day by and byWhere all foul corruptions of earth are rebornWhere no vicious animals make my soul cryAnd I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.’
Monday, August 10, 2009
10. In grizzly or polar bear territory, carry bear spray (which is a bit like mace). Frankly, the spray is unlikely to stop a 1,000-pound bear hurtling toward you, so experienced hikers respond to a menacing bear by using the spray in one of two ways. The first option is to spray yourself in the face, so you no longer care what the bear does to you. The second option is to spray your best friend beside you, and then run.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
For those of you that have been waiting anxiously for the next installment in the Icelandic Saga of Bachelor boB (that's Bavychlorskjevya in Icelandic) here is the most recent post. Apparently he lives, but only by the skin of his teeth, and perhaps a few knuckles.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
As the offering began, singing to the LORD began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel. The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played.
They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven male lambs and seven male goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary and for Judah. The king commanded the priests, the descendants of Aaron, to offer these on the altar of the LORD. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar; next they slaughtered the rams and sprinkled their blood on the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled their blood on the altar. 23 The goats for the sin offering were brought before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24 The priests then slaughtered the goats and presented their blood on the altar for a sin offering to atone for all Israel, because the king had ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I shall begin this brief keynote address summing up the actual reasons why traditional Episcopalians are opposed to the consecration of Gene Robinson and are also opposed to the blessing in the church of same-sex unions. I won’t harp on this, but feel the reasons need to be acknowledged, publicly, and theologically. It is not fair to call people on the traditional side “homophobic”. Of course homophobia is possible, but it is also a terrible slur in the contemporary context. It is like the word “anti-semitic”. It halts all discourse. Full stop. And it destroys people and careers. Homophobia and anti-semitism are real things. But as words, they are used overmuch today to tar and dismiss voices that may in fact be sincere and liberal.This is such an important point. It seems that on this topic, there is no room for reasonable disagreement. To do less than totally and unreservedly accept the position that homosexuality is normal and acceptable and healthy is "homophobic." The H word is the new N word.
The second “theological” argument traditionalists want to use is the hermeneutical one. I myself think this is second in importance to the theological “domino effect” I have just tried to spell out. The hermeneutical objection to the Robinson consecration is very important, but it is not decisive in quite the same way the argument from anthropology is. Nevertheless, we believe the plain and unexceptioned meaning of the Bible is against the practice of homosexuality in all cases. We cannot get around this. And I am grateful when folk on the other side acknowledge and do not try to weasel out of the “fact on the ground” of the Biblical voice against their idea. Yes, I realize there are wholly inclusive implications to Jesus’ and Paul’ s Gospel, but they stop at the Rubicon of homosexual practice.
I'll stop quoting here, but go and read it. It amazes me how the leadership of The Episcopal Church has set themselves so boldly in the role of teacher and scold, set to bring the rest of Christendom kicking and screaming along with it, for it's own good. The arrogance is breathtaking, all the while accusing the traditionalists (for lack of a better term) of being the arrogant ones. It all feels a little like That Hideous Strength.