Author: J. Arthur Bloom

J. Arthur Bloom is the blog's editor, opinion editor of the Daily Caller, and an occasional contributor to the Umlaut. He was formerly associate editor of the American Conservative and a music reviewer at Tiny Mix Tapes, and graduated from William and Mary in 2011. He lives in Washington, DC, and can be found, far too often, on Twitter.

Fun with Jim and Gene: Get ready for sacramental gay marriage, Episcopalians!

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church convenes in about two weeks, where they will consider an amendment to the canons smoothing out a discrepancy between the Book of Common Prayer and the canons and the “pastoral response” to gay couples; a liturgy in use since 2012 which clearly violated them. The Anglican Curmudgeon has a useful post on the problem. Others include a BDS resolution, fossil fuels divestment, and a quasi-presbyterian restructuring,

With this in mind, I was doing my normal blog reading yesterday afternoon, between publishing Daily Caller op-eds, and came across this post at Anglican Samizdat, claiming that the gay marriage blessing was more for the benefit of clergy than the laity, which tracks with how it passed in the U.S.; overwhelmingly supported by the bishops, opposed by much of the laity. Never expecting him to respond, I asked what the Center for American Progress’s resident gay “bishop” Gene Robinson thought of it.

To my great surprise, he hit me back:

I asked whether the current blessing goes far enough:

What I should have said at that point is that all sacraments are for everyone, but that the Church has no right to redefine them. Alas: (more…)

Sacred Harp 175: ‘Highlands of Heaven’

Sinner, go, will you go,
To the highlands of heaven;
Where the storms never blow,
And the long summer’s given?
Where the bright blooming flow’rs
Are their odors emitting;
And the leaves of the bow’rs
On the breezes are flitting.

Where the saints robed in white,
Cleansed in life’s flowing fountain,
Shining, beauteous, and bright,
Shall inhabit the mountain.
Where no sin, nor dismay,
Neither trouble, nor sorrow,
Will be felt for today,
Nor be feared for the morrow.

Pete Davis on the Soul of Facebook Venting

Over at the porch:

“Perhaps we see in those upsetting anecdotes a post-Protestant demon — social sin peeking out from behind the social order. Perhaps the tension that must be vented is our uncertainty in the presence of such sin: Am I going to be tricked by this evil or am I going to be aware enough to see it at work? Am I going to become part of it or am I going to reject it? Am I on its side of the great divide or am I on the side of the redeemed?

Facebook venting resolves this uncertainty. By pasting a link to a news story and properly identifying the social evil at work – “This is racism!” “This is bigotry!” “This is evil!” – you stand at the digital altar and testify to your awareness of social sin. By ranting against the news story, you validate that you have rejected this sin, broadcasting that you belong among the redeemed. When you click submit, your uncertainty about your moral goodness is temporarily washed away: you can proceed with confidence that you are one of the elect. …

Of course, the reality is that we cannot be deeply involved in addressing every social ill that bothers us and we are still going to be tempted to rant on Facebook when we see upsetting news. For such moments, here’s an idea for an alternative form of Facebook venting: the next time we want to release the tension from an upsetting news story, we should (1) take time to find and research a person or organization actively working to heal the underlying social ill about which we are upset, (2) donate $5-10 to them and then (3) post about their work and our donation to them.”