Sunday, September 30, 2007

Whose spirit is this?

Some things one simply does not joke about: suicide, murder, rape etc. We agree that contemplating certain things--even in jest--is just reprehensible, if not plain sick.

It was something of a surprise to see the following discussion thread at a site, StandFirm, frequented by relatively powerful Anglican intellectuals like Radner, Seitz, Witt, et al. They seem to have kept curious company--just how representative of the Anglican right's "mentality" are comments I-XXV below?

One might pause at the causal, and curiously stubborn, contemplation of extreme violence as humor. Is it all that funny really? I suppose to a certain kind of radical right winger it is all simply hilarious. At least one of the writers below, a priest in post XXV, seems to disagree with Griffith's profession of humor. He writes:

Preserving and defending many things is our way of life and the liberals do not realize that not only are we defending the ‘Faith once received’ but also our way of life, for the joke’s about brown shirts are not that far from the truth.


It is sad that we have to feel the need to defend ourselves, almost to the point of doing that one thing most of us who have done it, pray we never have; to take up arms to defend our way of life. That is what the reference to Small band of paratroppers was. I doubt that Jake knows that all airborne troopers are taught to form small groups upon landing till they all link up then ulitmately form small groups again to do what they are trained to do and that is distupt enemy operation behind the lines by taking and holding things away from them to deny them the use of such.

He seems almost--but thankfully not quite--ready to don a brown shirt and take up arms to defend his way of life. That from--apparently--a priest! Hopefully he speaks for nobody, and all his tough talk is just empty bluster--more "humor" from the radical fringe.

And one might flinch as well at the caricature of manhood, the caricature of Christ, and the way Griffith gestures at women when he needs an insult, calling his critics at Jake's girls. What a monstrous witness to the power of darkness. Those who, like Archbishop Williams, have played at appeasing this crowd should not be under any illusions as to its nature.

To return to the question of how far the Eliminationist mentality (will the Moderator sell women out when push comes to shove over ordination?) at least has spread on the right, one need go no further than the words of Bishop Duncan, who extolls us to take the point of view of one contemplating who is worthy of being killed--"murdered" I think he means, inasmuch as the martyrdom he wishes to call down would fall on innocents:

"My prayer for us who have gathered here is that...we will be such a threat to the present order that we will be found worth killing, if only Columba's white martyrdom, but, if it be so, let it be the red martyrdom," Duncan said, contrasting the "martyrdom" of asceticism with that of death.

And from David Virtue:

During his sermon in the cathedral, Duncan said that there hasn't been an Archbishop of Canterbury worth killing since 1645, citing Anglican historian Philip Jenkins.

That is just the kind of point of view taken--in jest one hopes--at post X below. A truly extraordinary confluence of violence merely contemplated and attributed to the will of God.

I've extracted some relevant posts from the thread and numbered them with Roman numerals for future reference, highlighting Griffith's posts in boldface. Thanks Jake for bringing this to our attention. I'm sure Mother Mary--one of the gals--would thank you too.

We were quite angry on hearing this and wondered if they realized they were talking to a NM – TX bishop. Their cities may have a lot of urban gang problems; but, they don’t realize most of us have guns, know how to use them and nobody’s gonna mess with our bishops!
Bob Maxwell+

I’m already reaching for my pistol…
Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-28-2007 at 05:15 PM

Threatening in a blog to shoot people is serious. Just sayin’.
Posted by Anthony on 09-28-2007 at 05:31 PM

Agreed. However, “reachin’ for my pistol” is an old expression I use around here. No threat is being made.
Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-28-2007 at 05:38 PM

Little tin goddess- I would hope that Benedict hears about this and boxes her ears IN PUBLIC ,bunch of carpetbagging tinhorns.
Posted by paddy c on 09-28-2007 at 05:54 PM

Those Christians—see how they love one another!
I don’t think all of this talk of shooting helps the cause of Christianity or of orthodox Anglicans.
But let the truth be proclaimed on the blogs. They hate that! (Besides, death by blogging isn’t criminal. )
Posted by Ken Peck on 09-28-2007 at 06:25 PM

Alisdair+ : Perhaps it’s time for the “Small band of former paratroopers” to mobilize and deploy!
Posted by Charles Nightingale on 09-28-2007 at 07:00 PM

they don’t realize most of us have guns, know how to use them and nobody’s gonna mess with our bishops!...”
At last… a perfect solution to all this bickering going on in the church. We’ll just kill the sobs. God help any dissenters on Fr. Maxwell’s vestry.
Posted by Virg on 09-29-2007 at 08:48 AM

I’m already reaching for my pistol…
Hey, what gives with this? The Commenatrix (Blessed be her name) got on my case for saying a lot less than that.
It should be quite evident to all by now that our Presiding Marine Biologist and all the 815 gang are not liken to a school of angelfish. They are sharks, pure and simple.
the snarkster
Posted by the snarkster on 09-29-2007 at 08:59 AM

Frankly, Fr. Maxwell, I wouldn’t waste a bullet on her.
Posted by Frances Scott on 09-29-2007 at 10:32 AM

Frankly, Fr. Maxwell, I wouldn’t waste a bullet on her.
Can we get back to humor,intellectual discourse and walking as the Lord would have us do? Let hatred be their prison not ours. Intercessor
Posted by Intercessor on 09-29-2007 at 10:53 AM

I will just point out that the talk of guns will be used to confirm the idea that we are a bunch of thugs. I would have thought that after the first person posted a caution, it would have stopped. Greg, I understand that it may mean something else to you and a few others, but it will be perceived as a threatening statement, and the original statement is not even a thinly veiled threat. The only possible reading is, “If you mess with Bishop Steenson, you risk facing our guns.” This cannot possibly have a Christian interpretation. It’s a bit like Peter carrying his sword into the Garden of Gethsemane.
Aren’t the people who blog and comment here above this. Someone important, at least He is important to me, once said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” In context, it could easily be taken to mean, “Pray even for the Roman soldiers, who extort money from you.” Someone else, much less important, said, “Never hate your enemy. It clouds your judgment.”
I would love to hear what Sarah has to say about the strategic implications of posting comments like, “Most of us have guns and know how to use them.” I can just imagine how ENS would use this. “PB threatened by radicals on StandFirm.” In any case, the remarks reflect and error in judgment at best, and at worst, they reflect hearts that are filled with rage.
Posted by revrj on 09-29-2007 at 12:32 PM

they reflect hearts that are filled with rage.
in other news, grass is green, water is wet, and politicians are liars.
of course we’re filled with RAGE (some of us, anyhow). given the galling actions taken against an institution that we care(d) for, what else do you expect?
Posted by Clay From Dallas on 09-29-2007 at 01:14 PM

Of course, no one is threatening anyone with anything here. I’ll caution anyone pondering a real threat to read our comment policy, but I’ll also remind those who think we’re under orders to keep everything here cupcakes and bunny rabbits not to fall for the caricature of Jesus that our Worthy Opponents have tried to sell us… how was it put the other day? - A sort of zoned-out hippie pacifist, wandering from town to town, spouting Zen koans and harmless parables?
Let’s not forget that the people in these churches have in many cases put their life’s work into them; that their parents and grandparents are buried in the graveyard; it’s where their children were baptized, confirmed and married; and that the people we’re up against are nasty - there’s no other way to say it - and they’re playing for keeps.
I won’t criticize those who think the best course is to play the pacifist, but they shouldn’t find fault with those who want to pick up their sword along with their trowel.
Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-29-2007 at 01:33 PM

“Mess with” is a Texas term as someone pointed out earlier
“Don’t mess with Texas” is an award winning anti-litter advertising campaign. The penalty for messing with Texas doesn’t have anything to do with firearms, but is a hefty fine.
While the talk of guns may be merely an expression of righteous indignation, I still think it is a disservice to the Christian and orthodox causes. And certainly the Opposition will cite it as an example of “homophobia” or whatever.
Speak the truth in love.
Or as Jesus reminded us, “Love your enemies...” (And has someone has added, “...and drive them nuts.")
Lovingly blog the Way, the Truth and the Life. It will drive The Enemy up the wall! They hate it when we do that.
Posted by Ken Peck on 09-29-2007 at 01:57 PM

In Ken Burns’s WAR last night, there was an interview with a Ranger or maybe a Marine who was in a crack unit that was being disatched in secret to face the Japs. The sargent, when asked by reporters what was their missin replied,"We just take care of people. When we meet a Jap we just take care of him.” He was probably from Texas.
Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 09-29-2007 at 08:37 PM

Just for your info, this thread is being followed on Jake’s site, with comments about how violent and bullying we orthodox are. (It also includes some notes on Bp Duncan’s address at the Common Cause meeting, where he speaks about those who held to orthodoxy in the face of persecution.)
Just as one should be careful in the type of jokes one makes while waiting to go through security at an airport, it would be wise to watch our humorous comments—we may be “just joshing” among ourselves, but we are not alone—and reappraisers are not known for their light-hearted sense of humor.
Posted by AnglicanXn on 09-29-2007 at 08:58 P

I saw that thread at Jake’s place. It consists mainly of the same little gaggle of shrieking schoolgirls that always posts over there, plus TaoMikael calling me (for the eleventy-billionth time) a propagandist interested only in pumping up the traffic stats for the site. (True fact: Ever since we ditched SiteMeter some months ago, I have looked at our stats once, and was so distressed by the difficulty of using our web host’s stats package I’ve never done it again).
While I appreciate your advice about watching our p’s and q’s, I refuse to conform my posts to the delicate sensibilities of Jake and his gals. This will always be a place where men can feel free to be men… the kind of place our church used to be, once upon a time.
Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-29-2007 at 09:16 PM

Greg, Yo da maiin!
Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 09-29-2007 at 10:06 PM

To all those who are concerned about Fr. Jake Stop’s the World (yeah right) posting this thread and any other from Stand Frim in Faith and its posters I say this: I would suspect that Fr. Jake’s website hits were extremely low and comments barely there because his musings lack depth. So to spice things up and get some things rolling for his numbers he has decided that picking and plucking postings & comments from the favorite targeted website there is for liberal revisionists is of course, Stand Firm in Faith. Fr. Jake lacks the skills in being able to write his own postings that would invite good debate or conversation and thus must continue to stir the pot, if you will, in taking comments from another website (SFiF) and then build a post from it to allow those who seem to want to swim in the sewer and partake of droppings that are out of context. Most, not all but most, of those that post on Fr. Jake’s site do not post here. Why? Are they afraid of not being able to answer the hard questions? It certainly cannot be fear of their postings not getting posted since SFiF is not like all other liberal sites that weed through postings and decide who is and who is not acceptable in their eyes to have their comments posted & read. To me Fr. Jake and others like him do not have the character it takes to stand on their own without standing on others.
Posted by One Day Closer on 09-30-2007 at 09:59 AM

I shoulda known better, but I had to take a peek at Fr. Jake. He is into this thread like (fill in with favorite simile). What morbid fascination in a little conservative levity! It is real spiritual (fill in with favorite metaphore). I am a lady and won’t stoop to some of their more biological word pictures, I guess that is all Jake’s gals have to offer. Potty language!
Posted by Crabby in MD on 09-30-2007 at 09:59 AM

Right on ODC..I am more concerned about SpongeBob guarding the Crabby Patty recipe than the rant and reflection of Mother Jake. Intercessor
Posted by Intercessor on 09-30-2007 at 10:30 AM

Greg, You are such a cliche: such a man you are, all testosterone blazing, guns and swords out. And such a guys-only club, too! Is this really how you see yourself as a Christian? Very, very sad…
Posted by michael cudney on 09-30-2007 at 12:17 PM

michael cudney,
You’re over-analyzing things. The only way you can visit SF and come away thinking “all testosterone blazing,” is to have spent WAY too much time in the extreme, hyper-feminine wing of the Episcopal church. You and Jake’s girls need to get out into the real world more often. You know… experience more diversity.
Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-30-2007 at 01:05 PM

I have to admit I have followed this debate with interest, mostly as the second the topic of defence is raised our not so Worthy Opponents scream blue blazes.
So here is my first question to those at Jake’s site. How many of you have served as a Chaplain in the Military or Police Force? I am willing to bet nor many. I think the answer from my ordained friends here would be somewhat different, combined with the fact that probably more than one used the GI Bill to pay for seminary. Why does this matter? It matters becasue we tend to understand our flock becasue many of them come from a similar background. It is no accident I think that the Left is scared of the conservatives becasue we have so much background in the military and law enforcement. We have all taken a vow to “defend’ either the Consititution of the USA of for me and probably a few other “the Sovereign’s Majesty.” Preserving and defending many things is our way of life and the liberals do not realize that not only are we defending the ‘Faith once received’ but also our way of life, for the joke’s about brown shirts are not that far from the truth.
Already we are having less and less say what our children are taught in schools. They are even taught that homosexuality is ok despite Biblical proscription not withstanding the medical facts that it will kill you or lessen your life by 50%. I used to smoke but the second the doctor proved to me it was killing me I quit. The Primates told the HoB this was killing the communion. The HoB is back to being school children smoking behind the bicyle sheds bullying those who aren’t in the ‘cool group.’ I would suggest they are the bullies. What a bully fears most is when the bullied has ultimatley had enough, and our joking was an expression of that.
Mostly because since the HoB Meeting and what most view as the dismal faliure of their responce the ante has most certainly been upped with the Common Cause Patners saying enough is enough. By indications of what we have on record from Bob+ all methods honorable and dishonorable are going to be added to 815’s arsenal, and that is very, very sad for all.
It is sad that we have to feel the need to defend ourselves, almost to the point of doing that one thing most of us who have done it, pray we never have; to take up arms to defend our way of life. That is what the reference to Small band of paratroppers was. I doubt that Jake knows that all airborne troopers are taught to form small groups upon landing till they all link up then ulitmately form small groups again to do what they are trained to do and that is distupt enemy operation behind the lines by taking and holding things away from them to deny them the use of such. It is called attacking being the best form of defence:)
I do feel sorry for those over at ‘that other site’ really don’t get it that we will not allow false teaching to be rammed down our throat. Since TGCC has declined to participate as a Bible believing province they are scared stiff that we will seek protection from a true bishop who does not threaten his flock but nutures them as he vowed to do.
I’ve said my peace (deliberate pun). I escaped TGCC’s clutches in 2000 and want to see a separate province so we can all be at peace. It is obvious we are never going to agree and neither side wishes to have the others point of view rammed down their throat, so peace may best be allowed for he by letting those who wish to leave, leave and with property if the majority so chose, they paid for it, and paid the clergy salaries, so it is theirs despite what some dubious internal rule says.
“O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget Thee, do not forget me”
The Prayer of Sir. Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley of Reading.
Posted by Alasdair+ on 09-30-2007 at 01:15 PM


At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of bluster about things military, but my guess is most of Greg's Girls have never spent a day on active duty (the chaplain's corps doesn't count). The whole SF thread sounds like the pathetic clucking of the chicken hawk.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Still, it's not just the SF crowd harboring pathetic fantasies about shooting people up. That would be disturbing enough

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Raspberry Rabbit said...

Bad craziness! It's all the internet's fault. You can no longer tell the difference between those worth listening to and schoolboys given to hyperbole sitting in front of their computers with the Ramen Noodles in a bowl and wearing their underpants on their heads.

At 12:28 PM, Blogger trueanglican said...

Scotist, thanks for your patience in plowing through this garbage. I tried, but finally gave up. It was too depressing to contemplate supposedly Christian people bloviating this way. As a result I missed the truly shocking interventions of Greg Griffith.

That kind of contempt for women is reminiscent of the kind of chatter that went on in gatherings of deeply closeted high church clergy a generation or two ago. I thought the coming of women's ordination had led us into better times.

At 9:18 PM, Blogger taomikael said...


The Griffster was correct in one thing, for I have indeed accused him of being a propagandist many times. He tried to spin it that I thought he was interested in his traffic stats, but that's just spin. He and I both know what he's interested in: power and money. Junkets to New Orleans don't come cheap.

By their works, you will know them. Griffin, and Slither Further, have a consistent track record of deliberate distortion, outright lies, smears and anything else that will energize his sheeple and keep them clicking the PayPal button on his site.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Bob Schneider said...

These are people (except for a very few who asked the others to think about what they were saying and got "girlied" in the process), these people have totally lost perspective. I think they would have to come off their testosterone highs and sit back and read this set of comments with some distance to see how utterly disgusting and really frightening these comments are, as is the mentality they reveal. If they are not able to see them for what they are, then I think that they are dangerous persons.

There's much in what you say, Scotist, about right-wingers and a propensity to cheer for violent means to settle conflict. I regularly read and contribute to T19, and I am struck at how often those who take very "conservative" positions on Church issues are also right-wing in their politics, anti-evolutionists, and the whole host of right-wing political positions.

I don't bother with Stand Firm, because the leadership there encourages the worst kind of venom and libel. Still, there are days on T19, if I bother to read a whole thread of comments, when I have to go back and take another shower; but this thread from SF is the kind that sends me to the toilet to vomit.

Bob from Boone

At 11:07 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

I admit that I missed the financial side to all this.

Can people actually support themselves blogging? "Yikes" is all I can say. That $$ stuff might lend itself, as you seem to suggest, to a poisoned discourse: a constant need for more and more inflammatory stuff, a built-in tendency against reconciliation.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...


I agree: in terms of civility, SF is a cut below T19, though both can get pretty heated. But heat and polemic, even outright dirt is tolerable. Maybe a shower, or a double shot of cuervo, or some such, is required to come down.

This stuff about violence is in another league though. Even if these guys are just chickenhawks, which is by no means clear on its face, their rhetoric is in its contemplation of violence and murder--can we agree?--an instance of sheer immorality masked as Christian witness.

There are some outside the church who will remember Christian Hate speech, who will recall our perversion of what we profess to be the Gospel, and who rightly see how it betrays anything noble or pious or meek or good.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger taomikael said...

When Griffin first put up his call for financial support to send himself to New Orleans, he quoted a need for about $2,500 -- and got it pledged within a day. I suspect he got a great deal more, for he took his crew there too.

Virtue has had his PayPal link up, plus site advertising, for quite some time, and has steadily gotten more vicious in his rhetoric. It works. The sheeple equate harshness with strength, and want to be on the side they think will dominate.

Of the two, Griffith is the more focused. When he launched his lynch-mob attack on Rev Kaeton, he smoothly aimed and released a bunch of his sheeple in a letter-writing and phone calling campaign, telling them what to say and who to contact. The ostensible goal was to get Rev. Kaeton in as much trouble as possible with her diocese. It didn't succeed, but that didn't really matter. The real goal was to rally and unify his team, to further train and condition the SFiF sheeple to do what the Griffster told them without question.

The reference to arms and troops is not accidental, nor is the undercurrent of persecution that he keeps injecting. That's the image that works, to portray the Slither Further people as a small, dedicated and pure group being oppressed by a corrupt majority. "Support SFiF" is the quiet theme -- "We'll protect you" from the evil, help you to oppose the looming force of 815/TEC / The General Convention church. It's a classic propaganda ploy. Unfortunately, it works, especially with those ignorant and impassioned people who want desperately to believe what is being peddled to them.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Wow--thanks for that background info. I did not realize the extent or nature of this corruption in our discourse.

I do not know what to say. It appears we have a Cleon, a mini-demagogue with a mob ready to hand. No wonder Radner, Seitz and others flit around the mob like so many flies around manure: there's power in it, and money too.

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Malt Viquor said...

I read SF sometimes (it's like watching a horror movie--can't watch, but can't turn away) and I have to wonder:

Who is taking care of their parishes and families? Who is visiting people in the hospital? Who is actually meeting their real-world responsibilities?

I guess it's OK to jet off to New Orleans and neglect your wife, kids, and parish. So long as you have enough anti-815, anti-woman, anti-gay rhetoric, you can do whatever you want and those with "itching ears" will adore you.

Anglican Scotist: good move posting Greg's true feelings. I am working on doing the same. These words need to be brought to light; maybe the people typing them will repent.

At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks, let's not get carried away with speculation about Greg Griffith's motives, responsibilities, etc. If we've got facts, fine. But conjuring "facts" out of thin air is something we see a lot on their side of the aisle; we don't need to go imitating them.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...


Thanks--we do not actually know what money there may or may not be in the site, or what any money coming in has to do with convictions displayed: we cannot read minds or discern motives.

Any money that might be in it likely Follows on, and does not merely Create, the convictions there on display.

That is, it is only charitable, and fits better with the little evidence at hand, to say the Conviction precedes any renumeration, and is to that extent (ceteris paribus) perfectly sincere.

That does not make me feel much better about teh convictions displayed, however. If it were after all just money feeding the echo chamber, then in a sense it would be mostly a really bad joke.

We are left obliged to believe they really mean just what they say.

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's been a serious deterioration of the level of discourse among ultraconservatives in the past four years.

First, the slander against +Gene Robinson concocted by Davids Anderson and Virtue, but condoned, according to George Conger, by just one Network bishop.

Then, the revival of that slander by Sarah Hey on the TitusOneNine blog.

Then, the post on T19 just before the Nottingham ACC meeting, fantasizing about African Bishops mowing down "Team ECUSA." Kendall Harmon was livid about that one, and removed it as soon as he could.

Then, the "Choose This Day" video, with its wild-eyed accusations against TEC. By then, no one seemed disturbed by this sort of thing. Raving had become acceptable.

Then, the coarse and violent language from certain African archbishops -- TEC the "cancerous lump," and so on. The dehumanizing, eliminationist rhetoric from ultraconservatives on both sides of the ocean. The lynch mob against Elizabeth Kaeton.

And now this.

Whatever the causes, the ultraconservatives are clearly sinking deeper and deeper into a hellish state. God bring them to their senses.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Maybe the radical right fringe of Anglicanism here is caught up in a much more general deterioration of right-wing discourse, visible outside the church in the rise of Minuteman border groups and accusations of treason against opponents of the Iraq War.

My hope is not so much that the Church can keep this from happening--it cannot and has not. It's just that the Church can help at least stand up against such hatred and violence with a clear eye and a clear, loud voice when the time comes. One hopes it never quite comes to that, but such incidents as this show that it could, and we must have our lamps trimmed, our oil ready.


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