Saturday, February 10, 2024

NOTES --- FEBRUARY 10, 2024

Let's face it, dear reader, much of the news of late has been disturbing, even worrisome. Moreover, it comes from many different sources. Of course, in a few days we will get a new wallop when we are told we are only dust and will return to the dust. In such circumstances it can be hard to keep going in good cheer. But, go we must.

First, the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina has come under a withering bombardment of criticism from the avowed misogynists of the anti-Episcopal world since the managers of the Mere Anglicanism conference last month bounced a speaker. One has only to scan over the entries in and YouTube to see the reactions, almost all against ADSC. The ADSC did the wrong thing and then the right thing and they are paying a price for it all. The wrong thing was to invite the speaker in the first place. They should have vetted him. The right thing was to cut off their losses in the middle of the conference and defend the rights of women in the life of the church. Now that the ADSC has reaffirmed the rights of women to ordination to Deacon and Priest, let's see some action on that. How about getting more women into the ordained ministry? Only a few days ago, the ADSC ordained seven new deacons, six men and one woman, and she was for another diocese. C'mon ADSC, you can do a lot better about including women in the life of the church. Considering your declining membership, I would say you need it.

Apparently, the reason the conference managers invited the speaker was to have him denounce Critical Race Theory, the body of thought that racism is deeply embedded in America and has had a negative effect on the lives of minorities, African American in particular. The counter-revolutionaries have opposed this theory from the start and insisted there is no racism in America. Thank goodness, the speaker avoided talking about the theory in the conference. This would have been a gross obscenity considering that only a few short blocks from the Charleston Music Hall stands the Mother Emanuel Church, where, in 2015, a white supremacist murdered nine people because they were blacks. He said he wanted to start a race war where whites would rise up and kill blacks. If that is not racism, nothing is. In fact, racism in America is one of the best documented subjects in all of history. The counter-revolutionaries' charge that there is no racism in America is beyond absurd and tells us more about the people who would hold such thoughts than about history.

Shifting gears, all of a sudden there is a spate of news about prostate cancer, something that a lot of men are reluctant to discuss. Actually, it is rather common among older men. When King Charles was treated for an enlarged prostate, doctors discovered the presence of cancer in nearby tissue. He is now undergoing treatment for that although the news is sketchy. The Secretary of Defense Austin was so shy about the prostate, he went to the hospital for days without telling anyone, not even the president who was not amused. We also learned that Dexter King, a son of MLKing, Jr. recently died of prostate cancer at age 62. 

There is a simple blood test that tracks a "PSA number." Every man over 60 should have the test regularly. If caught soon enough, many issues of the prostate can be resolved successfully. I do not mind telling you, dear reader, that prostate cancer runs in my family and I have inherited it. I have been having treatments for the past six years. I am still here, and, other than losing weight, I am not experiencing any debilitating effects. Thank God my doctors caught my problem early on and moved immediately. If we had delayed, the outcome could have been very different. I thank God every day for the miracles of modern medicine.

Shifting gears again, the counter-revolutionary forces on the national scene scored big victories over the democratic forces in recent days. The wannabe dictator has taken control of the Republican Party. The Republican senators scuttled their own hard-fought border bill just because Trump demanded it. Spineless cowards all. Over in the House, the Trumpistas are busy trying to impeach anyone connected to Biden while ignoring the business of the people. Most disturbingly, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court fell all over each other to keep Trump on the ballot in Colorado. The saddest of all was to see the four pro-democratic-revolution justices racing to line up with the enemies of democracy. SCOTUS is in Trump's pocket too. If Trump wins in November, he could very well have control of the Senate, the House, and the Supreme Court. That's adios to the Constitution. That's adios to democracy. That's hello to fascist America. We are not there yet even though the signs are ominous. I will not give up on the common sense of the American people. Biden may be old, but he is a sane and decent man. 

So, this has been a rather difficult week. But, let's not end it in despair. We must refuse to be vanquished by the powers of darkness. We must uphold the light. For a lift-me-up, today I watched the ordination to the diaconate of Eric Bash, at Grace, in Charleston. What a wonderful festival! First, it was good to see Bishop Ruth making her way down the aisle and up the steps. If her back was giving her pain, she never showed it.

One thing I do when I am feeling a little discouraged is to remind myself I am not alone and I am part of something much bigger than myself. The church has been around for 2,000 years. It will be around for many more years to come, and long after all of us have died. That is what ceremonies like that of today tell us and that is always good to know.