Archive for February, 2012

Girl Scouts delenda est

February 26, 2012

According to several ancient sources the Roman statesman Cato the Elder would always end his speeches with some variation of “Carthargo delenda est.” It means “Carthage must be destroyed.” Cato invoked this curse even if he had not been discussing Carthage. That speaks to a steely determination of ill-will against a supposed enemy, unwavering opposition.

If you did not already know this already. EWTN’s daily (Mon-Fri) program “Women of Grace” has spent the past week putting the Girl Scouts through the grinder. The series, entitled “Girl Scouts, Mission Aborted” ran for five consecutive mornings.  This should tell us that the conservative war against Girl Scouts is not restricted to a obscure lawmakers from rural states. This is serious business.

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Collect for the First Sunday in Lent

February 25, 2012

O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Rick Santorum and “exceptionalism”: America under attack, all in a day’s work for the Satanic powers

February 22, 2012

Not long ago, I responded to a proposal for a piece on the role of Satan in American politics. It is a great topic, but I did not get the job. Nonetheless, I have been thinking about it. There has also been quite a bit of discussion concerning a somewhat related topic. Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum raised the possibility that the United States was under satanic attack a few years ago, and the matter has come to the surface as his candidacy continues to increase in popularity.Here is the latest from the Huffington Post.

Rick Santorum is making no effort to distance himself from his 2008 remarks about Satan attacking America.

Last week Right Wing Watch dug up a speech Santorum made while McCain and Obama were campaigning. Listen below, and here are some sound bites:

“Satan has his sights on the United States of America!”
“Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.”

“This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost 200 years, once America’s preeminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers.”

Santorum defended his comments a rally in Phoenix Tuesday evening, saying that it’s “absurd” they resurfaced on the Drudge Report earlier that day.

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Collect for the first day of Lent, commonly called Ash Wednesday

February 22, 2012

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.

Collect and readings for Quinquagesima or the next Sunday before Lent

February 18, 2012

O LORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth; Send thy Holy Ghost, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee. Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
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God’s revelation of himself and the conversion experience

February 14, 2012

Last Sunday, the third before Lent, is the time that many who follow the old lectionary (1945) have to hit “resent” and move from Epiphany season and direct our attention toward Good Friday and Easter. If you are a little bewildered, that’s OK. The schedule of readings in this system (unlike the 1662 BCP) does not follow the civil calendar but adheres to the liturgical year. Since Easter falls on a different date every year, the readings have to “click” to a new direction right before Christmas and again several weeks before Easter. Confused? Sorry.

At this time of year, we begin the scheduled Bible readings that begin in creation and take us to the first Passover. In the New Testament context, the Gospels start afresh leading to the events of Holy Week. All of this is very logical and reminds the reader of the great works of salvation and the doctrines of the church. The readings of Morning and Evening Prayer come from Genesis 1, Mark 6, Galatians, and Amos. Except for Amos, they all have something to say about how God shows himself.

Actually, that is wrong. Amos is about how God reveals his judgment. The Lord roars in displeasure because of man’s violence and fraud. God demands justice, which is also a deep yearning of the human heart. Let us begin this superficial review at the very beginning.
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Collect for the Sunday called Sexagesima, or the second Sunday before Lent

February 12, 2012

O LORD God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Septuagesima Sunday, or the Third Sunday Before Lent

February 4, 2012

O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Updated: John Piper and “masculine leadership”

February 3, 2012

One of my favorite theological bloggers, Scot McKnight of Jesus Creed, has entered the discussion of John Piper’s latest comments on the need for churches to have a “masculine” feel and a male leadership. His post is titled “John Piper, what he said.” Piper is a man of God and a serious thinker, so we are bound to approach him as a valued brother.

McKnight includes lengthy quotes, including Piper’s suggested traits of masculine leadership.
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A biblical principle: Thou shalt not pay teachers well

February 2, 2012

One part of the newspaper business I never got the hang of is writing headlines. The trick is to get the reader’s attention. Did it work?

A little story out of the Fort Payne, Alabama newspaper has caused a national stir. One state lawmaker was asked about his support for raising legislators pay despite having expressed some different opinions before the election. Now, he seemingly wants to tie lawmaker’s pay to teacher’s compensation. Mind you, teachers in Alabama are among the nation’s highest paid. Shadrack McGill is the state rep in the middle of this firestorm. You just make stuff up this good.

“He needs to make enough that he can say no, in regards to temptation. … Teachers need to make the money that they need to make. There needs to be a balance there. If you double what you’re paying education, you know what’s going to happen? I’ve heard the comment many times, ‘Well, the quality of education’s going to go up.’ That’s never proven to happen, guys.

“It’s a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach.
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