Saturday, 21 April 2012

Not much (2)

Kudos to Lyndsay: a clerk at my local Sweetbay supermarket.  I like her a lot.

On Thursday she was at her check-out.  I bought items which in total cost $13.23.  I tendered a $20 bill, and the register showed that my change would be $6.77
Then I remembered that I had a quarter in my pocket. “Oh”, I said, “I’ve just remembered that I have a spare quarter, but it’s probably too late for that”.

“No” said Lindsay, “I can do math”.   So I handed her the quarter and she gave me the amended change of $7.02.  She did all this in a blink of an eye.

And “they” have said that shop clerks no longer know how to make change.

Lyndsay proved “them” wrong.

Good for you Lyndsay.


My blog on March 31st was all about the funeral service for Mary Ellen Smith, the wife of the Episcopal Bishop here in South West Florida, Dabney Smith.

If you read that blog, you will have remembered that I was deeply moved by the integrity and faithfulness of that service.

It was a blog entry.  It was all words and no pictures.

Nonetheless a parishioner at St. Boniface Church in Siesta Key here in Sarasota ‘phoned me a couple of days ago to ask how he could access the video I had made at Mary Ellen’s funeral.

Video?-  I don’t own a video camera!

Just goes to show that in this information age there is a lot of mis-information.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Not much (1)

S0 I had an itchy, and sometimes bleeding “growth” on my left shoulder.

Off I went to my trusty dermatologist.

Her nurse practitioner sliced off the growth, and sent it off to be biopsied.

The biopsy revealed a Squamous cell skin cancer.

So I will be back at my Dermatologist’s surgery next Thursday at which time she will “dig deeper” in an attempt to rid my body of this scourge.

Squamous cell skin cancers are not inherently dangerous.  But they are not to be ignored.


My dog Penne gets very excited when I offer her a ride in my car. In point of fact she “sings” when a car ride is in prospect.

When we reach a new destination, Penne freaks out with excitement. She is all “nose sniffing and tail wagging” as we explore this new area. I allow her to reconnoitre this new area for a few minutes and then I say “let’s go back to Daddy’s car”.

The odd thing is that she cannot recognise my car by sight or by smell.  She is ready to jump up into any or all cars.

Does this mean that she knows the word “car”, but does not know the difference between “Daddy’s Car” and any other car?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Hurrah for President Obama

Do you remember that in the early days of the administration of President Barack the “Tea Party” and others attacked him as:

Either: A Marxist who would lead us into a socialistic totalitarian state

Or:  A fascist/n-zi who would take away our freedoms (recall those Tea Party banners with the President’s picture photo-shopped to make him look like A..H-tler).

I call this PHASE A of the opposition to the President.

In recent days there have been two more “far right” critiques of President Obama.

From Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama tells reporters the president should take responsibility for the Secret Service, GSA and energy company Solyndra scandals and insist on a government culture in which taxpayer dollars are not wasted. He said, "I don't  sense that this president has shown that kind of managerial leadership (April 19th)

And this from House Speaker John Boehner  (April 18th) who took on President Obama directly, criticizing the president for “shrinking from his responsibility to lead” on the economy and suggesting the president lacks “any courage to help tackle these problems.”

I call this PHASE B of the opposition to the President.

In the meantime arch-conservative columnist George Will wrote as follows: “Barack Obama’s intellectual sociopathy - his often breezy and sometimes loutish indifference to truth” - (George Will, April 8th)

I call this PHASE C of the opposition to the President.

Now remember your American history.

 Remember field slaves, house slaves and uppity n----rs.

In PHASE A (Tea Party et al) the President is the field slave -  never to be trusted, and always capable of engendering fear and dread to the Master.

In PHASE B ( Sessions and Boehner) the President is the house slave: - docile, servile, -  with no leadership skills. He is slave to be patronised.

In PHASE C (George Will) the President is no more than an “uppity n....r”.( i.e. “wtf  our President has advanced degrees -  he has trespassed onto white territory.”)

I do not accuse the Tea Party members, or Jeff Sessions, John Boehner and George Will of racism.

I accuse them of willful ignorance.

And I am grateful that Barack Obama is the President, even though he leads more to the centre/right than is my preference.  He has learned, and I understand that “politics is the art of the possible”.

In the face of a hostile House of Representatives, and an all too slim Democratic Party majority in the Senate, President Obama has “done good”

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

From the Archbishop of Wales - for your consideration


COMMENTS please directly to the Archbishop of Wales   NOT TO ME

The Archbishop of Wales has lent his support to gay marriage today, saying: “All life-long committed relationships deserved the welcome, pastoral care and support of the Church."

In his presidential address to members of the Church in Wales’ Governing Body in Llandudno, Dr Barry Morgan said Christians "need to show how the Gospel of Jesus is good news for gay people".

He said the church had to ask itself whether it would "protect and support pastorally, faithful, stable, lifelong relationships of whatever kind in order to encourage human values such as love and fidelity and recognise the need in Christian people for some public religious support for these".

He said he was concerned about the welfare of gay people whom he feared could feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in churches over the coming months as Government proposals for same-sex marriage are debated nationally.

The Archbishop said the issue of same-sex relationships was a moral issue facing the Church and the world, on which there was no single Christian opinion. But he said the Church should offer gay people pastoral care and support.

Dr Morgan said: “The Government’s consultation on civil marriage raises a whole host of theological questions for the church.

"My concern at the moment is that in any discussion which might ensue on this, gay people may once more gain the impression that the church is uncaring and unsympathetic.

"Things could be said in the coming months which I think could seriously damage people pastorally so it is that pastoral issue that I want to address.”

The Archbishop said that while the Bishops of the Church in Wales abided by the Christian doctrine of marriage as the union of one man with one woman freely entered into for life, they agreed that “all life-long committed relationships deserved the welcome, pastoral care and support of the Church and they were committed to further listening, prayerful reflection and discernment regarding same-sex relationships”.

But he warned: “Gays and lesbians claim they are still treated as second-class citizens, tolerated at best and vilified at worst. Very often homosexuality is talked about as if real people were not involved and gays and lesbians complain of being talked about rather than talked to in Church.”

He added: “The real question is, how do we hold together faithfulness to scripture and tradition with the wider New Testament call to love our neighbour?

"If the moral aim of the gospel is to encourage love of neighbours, how can that happen when people are made to feel unwanted, unloved, and sinful? How is the gospel good news for homosexuals?”

Dr Morgan said the Church would not be able to ignore the new legislation on civil marriage proposed by the Government, despite the fact that the legislation would not allow gay couples to marry in church. He called on the Church to discuss how it would respond.

Some very senior figures in Christian churches have made no secret of their objection to gay marriage. Last month, in a letter to Catholics in England and Wales, the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, detailed his opposition.

Co-signed by the former Archbishop of Cardiff and now Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Rev Peter Smith, the letter claimed gay marriage would strip marriage of its “distinctive nature” and fail to recognise crucial elements like having and educating children.

It argued that the roots of marriage lie in human nature and said the complementarity and fertility pattern between “male and female” in the union is affirmed by many other religious traditions.

The Archdeacon of Cardigan, Dr William Strange, echoed its sentiments at the time, saying gay marriage would “alter the definition” of matrimony".

Dr Strange, 58, a member of the Anglo-Catholic conservative alliance Anglican Mainstream, said: “[Marriage] has several important dimensions, including that it’s between one man and one woman for life.

“So if we change the man and woman requirement, we might just as well also change the 'for life' requirement.

“An arrangement which is temporary is not really marriage and similarly if we say it’s not between a man and a woman, then that’s not really marriage either.”

Today, Archbishop Barry Morgan, who has called for “full acceptance of gay and lesbian people” previously, said: “If the legislation to allow civil marriage is passed, I cannot see how we as a church, will be able to ignore the legality of the status of such partnerships and we ought not to want to do so.

“The question then, as now, is: will the church protect and support pastorally, faithful, stable, lifelong relationships of whatever kind in order to encourage human values such as love and fidelity and recognise the need in Christian people for some public religious support for these?

"As Helen says in the novel Nightwatch by Sarah Walters, a novel written in 1947, ‘What could she do to say to the world that Julia was hers?’

"She could have gone on to ask ‘What can the church do to show that this relationship is not simply something between my partner and I but that somehow God is in our midst as well and longs for our wellbeing?’ It is a discussion we need to have.”

The archbishop’s speech was welcomed by the Rev Andrew Morton, vicar of Llangybi, Monmouthshire, who recently announced his intention to resign in an effort to move forward efforts to secure the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church.

He said: “He’s always been a brave man. He’s never been someone who shied away from grasping difficult issues in the church.”

Mr Morton said it was clear there were same-sex unions that were “as full of grace as many heterosexual relationships”.

Predicting some disquiet in the denomination as a result of the speech, he said: “I don’t think he will gain universal approval and I think there are some people who will be aghast [who] will think he’s sold out to political correctness which is a nonsense. Anybody who knows Barry knows he couldn’t give a monkey’s about political correctness.”

Instead, Mr Morton said, the archbishop’s priority was identifying “truth”.

The Rev Alan Rabjohns, chairman of the traditionalist Forward in Faith Wales group, said that the archbishop’s views were so well known that his speech was unlikely to cause panic.

Commenting on the state of the church, he said: “It’s becoming more liberal day by day, almost, but there’s still a core of people who hold to traditional beliefs.”

He was not alarmed by the bench of bishops’ statement that people living in “other life-long committed relationships” deserve the “welcome, pastoral care and support of the Church”.

Mr Rabjohns said: “Clearly, everybody in our parishes deserves out pastoral care and support, whatever they are doing. Nobody is cut off from God’s grace by anything.”

The Rev Martin Reynolds, a retired priest who performs services in the dioceses of Llandaff and Monmouth and is a former spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement praised the archbishop but doubted whether liberals and traditionalists will be able to remain members of the same church.

“I suspect while the patience and tolerance we have shown will continue those who [are] not happy with us will find another home. Although we are a small church and the archbishop and bishops are struggling to maintain us in one family those of who are oppressed in a sense are the only ones who show tolerance,” he said.

Dr Strange said he was reassured by Dr Morgan’s comments on marriage.

He said: “I think it’s good that he and the bishops affirmed the traditional view of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman.”

Describing his hope that a split can be avoided, he said: “There is as broad a view of opinions in the Church in Wales as anywhere else but we are quite a small community and I think that’s a strength because we talk to each other.”

COMMENTS please directly to the Archbishop of Wales   NOT TO ME

Sunday, 15 April 2012



This three part series is about speech (however egregious) not about actions.


A British Christian based group known as “Core Issues”  paid for some banner adverts on London 'buses, viz:

The ads were in response to the gay rights group “Stonewall” which ran  banner ads on 'buses  with the words:

“Some people are gay – get over it”.

The “Core Issue” banners never ran.  London’s Mayor Boris Johnson intervened to ban their use on “his buses”.  He stated that London is a tolerant City  (ahem!) -  Evidently his own tolerance is limited.(Never mind, he is running for re-election).

The reason given for the banning of the ads is rooted in the ministry of “Core Issues” about gay people.  Here is how they state it (from their website)

“CORE is a non-profit Christian initiative seeking to support men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression. It respects the rights of individuals who identify as 'gay' who do not seek change.”

That statement has been described as homophobic, and as “distasteful and divisive”.

Hang in there a bit. “Core Issues” is not rushing into gay bars and coercing gay people in to “straight conversion”.  It is not damning them to hell.

It is simply stating “we will support you if you seek change”.

Gay people have been very fond of saying that human sexuality is experienced in a spectrum - from “entirely gay at one end to entirely straight at the other”.

1. Could it not be that there are men and women who are somewhere in the middle of this spectrum and who have decided that they wish to express their sexuality as heterosexuals?

2. Could it not be construed as an act of love to support them?

3. Are gay people so insecure that they should not be exposed to such an ad?

Those who have known me often, or have read this blog frequently know of my firm and un-equivocal support for gay rights.  I am unswerving in that.

 But I am more than weary of the extreme outrage expressed by those who are opposed to the mission of "Core Issues".

It smacks of an immature hyper-sensitivity.

It plays into the hands of people such as the inept and not very bright former Archbishop of Canterbury  (George Carey),  who falsely assert that Christians are being persecuted in England.

I am also very concerned about Boris Johnson’s decision to censor inoffensive free speech.  If this is censored now, then what could be censored next?

(P.S. I think that both Stonewall and Core Issues could do far better in presenting their cases than by using these simplistic slogans. “Sloganeering” hardly qualifies as thoughtful education).