Tag Archives: Episcopal Church

More Episcopal Betrayals of the the Southern Anglo-Saxon People, their Heritage & Heroes

As I have written many times, I am a “cradle to the grave” Episcopalian, but I am constantly shocked and scandalized by the treachery my Church’s clergy and leadership.  Ours was the first “National Church” ever established, and it should respect those of us whose lives and whose parents, grandparents, and ancestors’ lives created it.

DEAR ALL:
ATTACHED IS AN ARTICLE FROM THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL REMOVING THE THE WINDOWS THAT HONORS CONFEDERATE HISTORY. THE PHONE # FOR THE CATHEDRAL IS (202)537-6200. I CALLED THEM THIS MORNING AND GOT AN ANSWER. I DID NOT MENTION MY NAME OR SCV (EXCEPT I WAS A FORMER EPISCOPALIAN) THIS ALLOWED ME MORE FREEDOM TO GET A NON RELATED POINT. THIS SAME CHURCH HAD A MUSLIM PRAYER SERVICE A FEW MONTHS A GO. BEING AFFILIATED WITH THE NATION EPISCOPAL CHURCH IS ALSO A SODOMITE CHURCH. TOLD THEM THE FOLLOWING’\, THE NATIONAL CATHEDRAL CLAIMS TO BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE PEOPLE? THE LADY SAID YES. THEN I SAID FOR EXCEPT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SOUTHERN AND ADMIRE ROBERT E LEE & STONEWALL JACKSON. I TOLD THEM IF YOU STUDIED YOUR HISTORY YOU WOULD OF FOUND THAT ROBERT E. LEE AND STONEWALL JACKSON WERE SOME OF THE FINEST CHRISTIANS ON THE EARTH. LEE & JACKSON BOTH OPPOSED SLAVERY AND STONEWALL FOUNDED A MISSION FOR SLAVES AND FREE PERSONS OF COLOR AND IN SOME FORM THAT IS EXISTENCE TODAY. THIS THING TO REMOVE EVERYTHING CONFEDERATE IS MISGUIDED. WITH FREEDOM I LOST IT BEING A FORMER EPISCOPALIAN IT MAYBE NOT SUCH A BAD THING THAT THESE FINE CHRISTIAN MEN DO NOT HAVE TO BE HONORED IN A CHURCH THAT NOW EMBRACES SODOMY. BUT THIS IS WRONG WHEN YOU ALSO HAVE A BUST OF ADOLPH HITLER WITH A SNAKE. I APOLOGIZE FOR SOUNDING ANGRY BUT I AM BECAUSE THIS ISIS STYLE HATRED TO REMOVE EVERYTHING CONFEDERATE WHILE YOUR CHURCH ALLOWS MUSLIM PRAYER SERVICES WHILE TURNING ITS BACK ON CHRIST.
IF YOU WANT TO HELP FLOOD THIS CHURCH WITH CALLS AT LEAST CALL THEM ON IT. IF YOU PLAN TO SAY YOU ARE A SON OF CONFEDERATE VETERAN FOR GOD’S SAKE USE THE GENTLEMAN AND PROFESSIONAL APPROACH.

THE BEST,

JOHN B WARING

NATIONAL CATHEDRAL PHONE # (202) 537-6200

WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 25, 2015
Washington National Cathedral Dean Gary Hall: It’s Time to Remove Stained Glass Windows That Honor Confederate History

“We do not seek to eliminate reminders of a painful past. Rather, we seek to represent that past honestly in a manner that matches our shared aspirations for a diverse, just, and compassionate nation.” – The Very Rev. Gary Hall
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 25, 2015) Following is a statement from the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral:
“In 1953, Washington National Cathedral installed stained glass windows honoring the lives and legacies of Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. Both windows display the image of the Confederate battle flag.
“The Cathedral installed these windows, in part, because its leadership at the time hoped they would foster reconciliation between parts of the nation that had been divided by the Civil War. Because this Cathedral is the “national” cathedral, it sought to depict America’s history in a way that promoted healing and reconciliation.
“It is time to take those windows out. Here, in 2015, we know that celebrating the lives of these two men, and the flag under which they fought, promotes neither healing nor reconciliation, especially for our African-American sisters and brothers.
“While the impetus behind the windows’ installation was a good and noble one at the time, the Cathedral has changed, and so has the America it seeks to represent. There is no place for the Confederate battle flag in the iconography of the nation’s most visible faith community. We cannot in good conscience justify the presence of the Confederate flag in this house of prayer for all people, nor can we honor the systematic oppression of African-Americans for which these two men fought and died.
“In the aftermath of a year of racial tensions and violence—from killings of unarmed black men by police to the shootings of nine members of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston—the Confederate battle flag has emerged as the primary symbol of a culture of white supremacy that we and all Americans of good will must repudiate.
“That’s why I’m calling on the Cathedral’s governing bodies to remove these windows, and to initiate a process by which we may discern what kind of contemporary stained glass windows could adequately represent the history of race, slavery, and division in America.
“Let me be clear: We do not seek to eliminate reminders of a painful past. Rather, we seek to represent that past honestly in a manner that matches our shared aspirations for a diverse, just and compassionate nation.
“Because changing windows in a Gothic building takes time, energy and money, the Cathedral will begin by mounting a display adjacent to the windows to explain them in their historical context. We will gather a representative group to work with us to imagine how new windows can best represent our shared history of war and peace, racial division and reconciliation. We will also discuss the future of the Jackson and Lee windows.
“I express my own personal sorrow at learning of the existence of windows that I and so many others find offensive. And I pledge our willingness to examine our own history in a way that helps our nation come to terms with its own history in healing and reconciling ways.”
Editors: High-resolution images of the two windows are available upon request. Video of Dean Hall addressing the stained glass windows in his sermon at the Cathedral on Sunday, June 28, 2015 is available via the Cathedral’s YouTube Channel.

See also my own previous post:

https://charleslincoln3.com/2015/04/02/episcopal-judases-betray-church-heritage/

Was Judas’ Betrayal of Jesus any worse than the U.S. Episcopal Church’s Betrayal of its own English Heritage?

Today, April 2, marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Confederate States of America as a viable political entity.  There were no memorials or eulogies.  The world, even the South, lives largely in a state of amnesia induced by foreign occupation and subjugated defeat.  We have betrayed our ancestors ideals of constitutional government and genuine freedom by tolerating the most corrupt and perverse government, and a culture filled with lies, that is humanly imaginable.

While serving as President of the CSA, Jefferson Davis once commented on the comparisons to be made between the war of 1861-65 between the Northern and Southern United States and the English Civil War between “Roundhead” Protestant Radicals, led by Oliver Cromwell, and the Church of England and its Constitutional Monarchy, led by the two Kings Charles Edward Stuart, I and II.

Davis commented that the South had inherited the noble Cavalier mantle of King Charles the Martyr and that it was at war with a nation of self-righteous meddlesome bigots.  Davis never understood the close relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx, or the historically decisive nature of that alliance.   

But the fact remains that there is a close relationship between the Episcopal Church/Church of England, and the South and its heritage.  Almost all the leaders of the Confederate South, including Jefferson Davis, Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Braxton Bragg, Jubal Early, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, Joseph E. Johnston, and John Bell Hood, and Patrick Cleburne were Episcopalians.  Major exceptions were Judah P. Benjamin (Jewish) and P.T.G. Beauregard (Roman Catholic).

On this day a hundred and fifty years ago, April 2, 1865, General Robert E. Lee and President Jefferson Davis evacuated the Confederate Capital at Richmond. It had been a terrible mistake to move the Capital from inaccessible Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond, too close to Washington.

But today, on this sad sesquicentennial, I attended Maundy Thursday services at Christ Church Cathedral in the 2900 block of St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, where Confederate General Leonidas Polk was First Bishop of Louisiana, and where that Southern hero’s remains are buried.

Yesterday, Canon Steve Roberts in his Holy Week Wednesday Homily had spoken of betrayal—Judas’ “betrayal of Jesus, of course, being one of the key events of Holy Week. Canon Roberts had spoken of the experience of betrayal in everyday life—“there has to be a relationship of trust, for betrayal to happen…..we cannot be betrayed by strangers who hardly know us.”

I charge again that the Diocese of Louisiana has betrayed the Memory of General Polk by condemning the freedom Polk (and a million other southerners) fought for, and for which so many hundreds of thousands gave their lives.

Polk is a gigantic figure in the history of this place. Even today his name has a visible relationship to this Diocese and to many a parish in this state. His picture is on the walls of Christ Church. His tombstone is the largest single monument to any North American personage at the right hand of the Great Christ Church Altar.

Trinity Episcopal on Jackson Avenue still has “Bishop Polk Hall” as its central and largest meeting place. I do not think it should ever rename that Hall…. because the name of Leonidas Polk is hallowed from Natchitoches Trinity Church where my grandmother Helen was baptized on South.

I ask today, as I have asked before—how can we be true to ourselves if we distain, if we dishonor our heritage?

Could Rome ever disown Saints Peter and Paul? Could Jerusalem ever forget James, the Brother of Jesus, and that City’s own first Bishop? Should England, Greece, Russia, and Scotland ever forget Saints Andrew and Saint George?

No more should Louisiana forget Bishop Leonidas Polk and the Constitutional Government of the Confederate States of America for which His Grace, General Leonidas Polk, fought and died.

When is a Pastor Embezzling from a Church? As the Feast of All Saints Approaches—is it time to Open the Barry Taylor Case to real inquiry as to all sides?

http://blogs.christianpost.com/time-for-everything/how-to-spot-a-pastor-or-priest-stealing-church-funds-16556/

I have not written on the Barry Taylor fiasco at All Saints Church in Beverly Hills for several weeks now.  It is not because my opinion has changed but just because… I have too much else going on in my life (LAME, LAME excuse, I know).  

Typically, the Feast of All Saints is the highlight of my own personal Church year.  Like so many modern (and historical) Christo-pagans, I love Halloween and Samhain, All Saints, and Day of the Dead/All Souls Day for their syncretic qualities, in both Europe and Mexico (translated to America), crossing the boundaries between ancient and contemporary religious worship and social customs.  One of my local chauffeurs (or more properly, in Spanish, “choferes”, Alberto Felipe, a hative Zapotec from Oaxaca), needed extra money for his mother to prepare the family altar in East L.A. for the Día de los Difuntos.  But, also I was confirmed at All Saints in Beverly Hills when I had just turned 14, in April 1974, and my parents’ Oxford Movement “home away from home” Church in London was All Saints on Margaret Street in London W1W, City of Westminster, in Fitzrovia, but near the triangulation point of that neighbourhood with Marylebone, and Soho.  So All Saints seems very important in my life.

And so I remain outraged that I found there one block from the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica the first Episcopal Priest who ever really and truly moved me and inspired me to think, even to change my thinking, and he has been fired, forced to resign, on the flimsiest of charges, and this all just hits WAY too close to home.

Barry’s new home in Brentwood is a small “liberal” Lutheran Church in Brentwood on Church Street which looks every bit of the marginal suburban Church that it is.                                                 (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Village-Church-of-Westwood-Lutheran/116610431697541).  The Village Church is just not one of Walter Christaller’s “Central Place” the way All Saints Beverly Hills, in the heart of Los Angeles really and truly is.                                      (http://geography.about.com/od/urbaneconomicgeography/a/centralplace.htm).    So the presentation of “the Gospel according to Barry Taylor” (a book which I told him he should write on more than one occasion during the past two years), will be marginalized and pushed to the side.  This cannot be coincidence.

As the Feast of All Saints Approaches, the magnitude of the Tragedy and Travesty just keeps getting bigger. 

The question of the mere propriety of the charges against Barry which led to his forced resignation continues to grate at me: is it really “embezzlment” (in the sense of a misappropriation of funds or a breach of trust with the Congregation) for a priest to use funds from his own sermon’s collection plates for any expenses related to his role as a priest?

One June 13 2013 article I found on-line, “How to Spot a Pastor or Priest Stealing Church Funds,” the web-address I cited above at the outset of this note, suggested: 

“Here are four possible signs that money is being embezzled by religious leaders.

  1. The pastor or priest lives an extravagant lifestyle.
  2. The church leader regularly fails to turn in receipts when using the church or ministry credit card.
  3. The church sends you a receipt for donations and the amount listed doesn’t match your own records of what you have given. (Anonymously given cash offerings will not be tracked.)
  4. The church suddenly starts showing large unexplained debts.”

NONE of these factors were alleged to have manifested themselves at All Saints, Beverly Hills.  NO NOT ONE. 

Except that every one of Barry’s friends to whom I have spoken have affirmed that he NEVER USED a Church Credit Card or Charge Account and NEVER PRESENTED RECEIPTS for reimbursement from his expenditures.  And it is undeniably true that the ONLY member of the Clergy at All Saints housed in a somewhat extravagant manner is the Rector, Reverend Stephen Huber himself, complete with servants and a nearly unlimited entertainment budget—as is totally befitting of the neighborhood.  But Barry Taylor did not partake of such luxuries….not perhaps by choice, but because of internal Church Policies.

Churches are now regulated by the IRS under 501(c)(3).  This is the provision by which they maintain their Tax-Exempt Status.  The IRS is one of the major symptoms of alien domination and domestic slavery in the United States (of Untied Constitutional constraints) today.  There are those who believe that Churches who seek IRS protection are voluntarily serving Caesar rather than God—and yes, that was part of Barry’s Second Sermon at Westwood Village Lutheran Church two weeks ago.

A couple of years ago, Glenn Beck, one of whose “Reclaim America” Rallies I attended in Orlando back in the Spring of 2010, had asked Pastors to defy 501(c)(3) and preach on religion for at least one Sunday.(http://www.glennbeck.com/2012/09/27/pulpit-freedom-sunday/) I believe it was Stephen Huber’s First or Second Year as Rector of All Saints, when Barry’s alternative service was consigned to the small All Saints Chapel, before it was given full AS2 Status in the main Church, but Steve made it clear that All Saints WOULD NOT participate in “Pulpit Freedom” Sunday and that it planned on obeying all IRS regulations and that all IRS agents, officers, and tax collectors were welcome at All Saints.  The Gospel Truth and Christian validity of admitting Tax Collectors and (all other) Prostitutes to Church is unquestionable in light of the “WWJD?” formulaic question.  Jesus would invite the Publicans, and possibly even some Republicans (say I, speaking as both a former President of Tulane College Republicans,and one of the few Confessing Harvard graduate school Republicans known ever to have lived, a supporter of both the Buckley brothers and Ronald Reagan, both as California Governor and President of the USA, and of Pat Buchanan, and of Texas Representative Ron Paul both as congressman and presidential candidate, but also as one who has become strangely intolerant of and uninterested in Senator Rand Paul, whose emails have become very “spammy” rather than welcome information in my inbox).

But in spite of the Reverend Huber’s Gospel accuracy that we should tolerate tax collectors and IRS officials in our midst, I thought his message AGAINST Pulpit Freedom was something of a cop out. (and compare also: http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/pulpitfreedom). And I think that Huber’s and the Bishop’s “paper pushing” attack on Barry Taylor was wrong, untrustworthy, and generally, MORALLY unworthy.  

Great men like the Reverend Barry Taylor need to be preaching at “Central Places” to reshape and reform the Episcopal Church, and to guarantee the transformation and survival of the Christian Faith into the current millennium.  Things cannot be forever as they have been.  They must Change.  Barry Taylor Represents Change.  Barry Taylor needs a Centrally Placed Pulpit from which to Preach.  If All Saints and the Episcopal Church cannot accept the indictment of hypocrisy which the dismissal of Barry Taylor has leveled upon them, the members of the Church need to revolt, and to demand a “new birth of freedom” in the Episcopal Church—a new birth of Christian life and authenticity.  

Strange indeed that Barry reminds me more than anyone of the Irish Catholic John Dominic Crossan, with whose work I first became familiar when he visited for a fortnight at Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach (also in the Spring of 2010).  But unlike the highly academic Crossan, Taylor takes his message to the people.  And it seems that All Saints has ERASED all of Barry’s Recorded Sermons and DELETED all of his contributions over the years at All Saints, and this is one of the greatest tragedies in the English Church, comparable on a small scale to the monstrous destruction and abolition of the monasteries and the confiscation of their property under King Henry VIII.

Reflections on Love and Pride in Lent

To all my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, a Blessed and Deeply Reflective and Repentant Lent.Above all we should reflect on God’s love for us, and the nature and extent of all love here on earth among us mortals in the course of our Salvation.Without the three species of love, the world is a desolate place indeed. But Agape, Philios, and Eros are not and have never been equal or easy to understand and relate to one another.

During Lent we should all reflect deeply on the things inside us that destroy and build up love of all types, but especially Agape, the love and charity of God Himself towards us all.

Pride is considered one of the seven deadly sins, for example, but is loving Pride sinful or Godly? 

And how can parental pride in their children or a child’s or a group.of children’s pride in his or her parents be considered as anything other than an expression of love?

Pride is love, but it is obviously neither eros nor philios, although it is certainly in some contexts similar to and compatible with brotherly love, and the pride of a man in his beautiful wife or of a woman in her successful husband is equally compatible with eros, and seems virtuous in all ways rather than sinful.

I simply cannot accept that all pride is sinful.  In her song, the Magnigicat, the Blessed Virgin Mary articulates a series of emotions which can only be called pride, pride in the Glory of God, pride in God’s justice, pride in her own inheritance as a daughter of Abraham, and pride above all in her unique and special relationship with God and her unique and special role in His plans for the salvation of the world.  I think it is fair to say that Mary’s expresdions of pride are filled with Agape, the love and charity of God. 

Pride is an issue for many of us in America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa as we confront the demands of the Church of England and its Anglican Commmunion and Episcopal affiliates abroad that we apologize for our own Christian parents, grandparents, and ancestors for their sins, real and imaginary, such as Slavery, Segregation, or belief in the righteousness of White Supremacy.

I, for one, refuse to believe that family pride is sinful, or that the extended family pride we might call pride in our bilogical, constitutional, cultural, ethnic, legal, national, political, racial, or social heritage is sinful either.

I suggest that deeper study and understanding of history are critical to the analysis and comprehension of all the elements of our heritage.  Historical study and reflection seems like a good appropriately reflective and potentially penitential activity which might constitute a good sacrifice of time for Lent.

Bishop Morris K. Thompson in his Ash Wednesday homily yesterday (March 5, 2014) suggested that such a sacrifice of reflective time was a much more appropriate item to dedicate one’s demonstration of commitment to Lent than giving up chocolates or candy bonbons.  

I believe that there is room for both Godly love and Godly pride in Lent, and that we can and should love our families, both near and far. It was with great happiness and pride, for example, that I followed the example of Saint Paul in addressing this letter to my “Brothers and Sisters in Christ.” 

Saint Andrew’s Day in Wailea, Wailuku, and Lahaina on Maui

Although as an Episcopalian, Baptized on the Feast of the Epiphany in 1993, my son Charlie was dedicated to Saint Andrew under whose sign and flag he was born on August 23, 1992, I am told after his mother and I separated, Charlie was rebaptized in the Orthodox Church behind my back as Constantine so that he could celebrate the same Saint’s Day as his mother Elena (“Emperor Constantine and Queen Mother Helen”.  [Sidebar#1: Constantine & Helen were a son & mother pair apparently an important as portents of the future from the 4th century indicating or mandating the future of mother-son relations in post-Classical Greece….[Sidebar#2: In Classical Greece it will be remembered that the Goddess Athena, at least in Aeschylus’ Eumenides, part 3 of the Orestian Trilogy judged Orestes either unworthy of capital punishment or in the alternative without mortal sin of the murder of him mother Clytemnestra while avenging Clytemnestra’s murder of his father Agamemnon.  Athena’s judgment relied at least in part on the extreme patriarchal notion that “a son is not closely related to his mother as he is to his father.”  I think that Athena’s solution may have been formulated radically—taking the need for an antidote to the Oedipus Complex a bit far perhaps…..]

All that notwithstanding, I have always loved Saint Andrew’s Day at the beginning of Advent and as the Patron Saint’s Day of Scotland and Greece (marking the opposite ends of Europe) as well as Barbados.  Saint Andrews’ day also indirectly celebrates the flags of Alabama, Florida, and not coincidentally, the famous (or infamous, depending on your views of mid-19th century politics) Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America.

This year I spent Saint Andrew’s Day between three spots on Maui: (1) starting off from the beautiful Villa Kalista at the border of Keawakapu and Wailea where I am spending these two weeks: Villa Kalista by Night and Looking South by Southwest from Villa Kalista, (2) to the Maui County seat and Courthouse at Wailuku (and finding out that there is really no such thing as a 9-5 day in Maui), and (3) finally ending up, for the third night in a row now, in King Kamehameha III’s beautiful home town of Lahaina.  Kamehameha III, who reigned 1825-1854, is said to have been the last “traditional” King of the Hawaiian Islands, and his royal compound was the island of Moku’ula at Lahaina.

The memory of the Hawaiian Kings and Nobility is strong here.  On my first full day here, Tuesday 11-27, I stopped into the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and discovered that I had just missed “Ali’i Sunday” wherein the local Anglicans were celebrating 150 years since 1862 when King Kamehameha IV and his “Beloved Queen Emma” (née Emma Rooke) became converts to the Church of England (Anglican Communion), having been confirmed on November 28, 1862 as communicants of the one true Church and instituted a period of intense Anglophilia on the Island which is to this day commemorated in the inclusion of the Union Jack in the state (formerly Royal, and afterwards Republican) flag of Hawaii.   It is noted that this years is the sesquicentennial of the Anglican Church of the Sandwich Islands, that Queen Emma decreed that the Episcopal Seat/Cathedral should be named Saint Andrew in part because her husband, Kamehameha IV, died on Saint Andrew’s day, November 30, 1864, having reigned only eleven years since the death of Kamehameha III at Lahaina.  The Episcopal Church in Lahaina is called Holy Innocents and it was apparently there, on that site in December 14, 1862, that the Right Reverend Thomas Nettleship Staley (sent by Queen Victoria) conducted the first Anglican services in Lahaina.  This was commemorated this year as “Feast of the Holy Sovereigns”—a name which sounds positively Orthodox-Eastern (Byzantine or Russian Imperial) rather than Church of England-Protestant Episcopal.

But the Church of England had lagged behind among missionary activity in Hawaii.  A few blocks away from the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, also in Wailuku is a Church at 103 South High Street, founded in 1832, in a building dating to 1875, called the Ka’ahumanu (Congregational/Hawaiian Evangelical) Church (affiliated with the United Church of Christ).   This Church was founded, however, much earlier, and endowed in 1832 by a predecessor of “Beloved Queen Emma”, namely Queen Ka’ahumanu, the “Kuhina Nui of the Hawaiian Kingdom, who was an “ardent convert to Christianity.”

The relationship between the Hawaiian Royal Family and Nobility, on the one hand, and the Anglo-Christian missionary/colonization of Hawaii on the other, are the sources of major disputes in Hawaiian cultural, political, and racial identity and affiliation to this day.  It was precisely during the 1850s-1860s that Great Britain had politically perfected the first “World System” economy ever actually to encompass the entire world, ushering in the “Pax Brittanica” which lasted for barely 50 years until the start of “the Great War” (aka World War I).  The British did this by suppressing the Sepoy Mutiny in India and winning the first Opium Wars in China (forcing the Chinese to buy British India’s poppy and opium products, against the Chinese Emperor’s strong resistance), as well as by carefully staying out of the American War Between the States despite Queen Victoria’s strong sympathies for the Confederate States of America.

Today, Lahaina’s mile long boardwalk (called “Front Street”) displays an interesting stylistic combination/mixture of higher-end Santa Fe and Key West type art boutiques mixed together with cheesier New Orleans (and Key West) bars and souvenir shops—heavy on the toe rings and t-shirts.   The historical architecture is probably closer to Key West and Magazine Street New Orleans than to the French Quarter, and the prices are more akin to those in Santa Fe, but the overall effect is delightful and the soft sea air is better than any of those three (Key West, New Orleans, or Santa Fe) can ever manage.

My hostess at the Villa Kalista took me to the Baldwin House Museum (a New England Missionary’s House built in 1834, now the oldest standing structure in Lahaina; anything with original walls and foundation dating back to 1834 is of very respectable antiquity by the standards of someone just arrived from West Los Angeles, where the oldest standing structures were built not much before 1934, even on the UCLA campus and in downtown Santa Monica).

At the Baldwin House we took a slightly over-hyped “Candlelit Tour” (available only after 6 only on Fridays) from a woman who knew that the Baldwin Missionary couple had eight children two of whom died….and where these children slept in the house…..and that was about it.   It seems that Mark Twain visited in the late 1860s and Thomas Edison visited in the 1890s.  But nobody could tell us much about the relationship between these earliest Baldwins and the real estate company of that name “Alexander & Baldwin”) which seems to own most of the island on Maui, much as the Bishop family owns most of the land on Oahu.  Our tour guide knew much less than my hostess about the Baldwin Family and how they run Maui, or at least she admitted to knowing next to nothing.

We had a magnificent dinner with a corner balcony table overlooking the Pacific, looking west at Lahaina Fish Company, which I recommend to anyone who ever visits this town, and then spent an hour or so looking over vintage european posters at Christopher Dudley’s excellent shop of that same name.  The highlights for me were an early 20th century French poster with a Centaur and an even earlier poster with a rare text in the now almost extinct Langue D’Or of Provençal in Southeastern France, although seeing an early edition Toulouse Lautrec Poster that seemed to have been stolen from my mother’s bedroom (not really, just identical) was the eerie beginning of my tour at 744 Front Street.

No place could be less reminiscent of Scotland than Lahaina on Maui—on Saint Andrew’s Day or any other day, I feel reasonably sure.   The transition from Barbados to Maui would not be such an amazing cultural shock I suppose.  But then I think of Heilige Andreasnacht in rural Austria….and that would even be greater.  There are stone field walls and rough stone masonry in the historical buildings of Maui just as there are in Patras, the city in Western Peloponnesos in Greece where Saint Andrew was martyred—crucified on a saltire cross….which became his emblem, both during Hurricanes of his Name and otherwise, and on several flags of Dixie….

The conversation here in Maui almost inevitably returns, over and over again, to the interrelationship between race and politics here on Maui in particular and Hawaii in general.  The consensus seems to be that non-White Hawaiians constitute the “establishment” here on the Island, and that they are pro-corporate and anti-Environmental in their political affiliations, even though the state has a resolutely democratic voting record.

There are lessons here for the whole country: Whites are the agitators for environmental protection and ecological/historical conservation.   People with Anglo-names but non-white constituencies (like the Baldwins on Maui and the Bishops on Oahu) constitute the local core elite controlling the large corporate real-estate holdings and all aspects of local land-use regulation, apparently, but the local elite does not share the immigrant White “Howlie” fondness for environmental conservation—even as an obstacle to “growth and development.” Supposedly “Howlie” in local parlance refers to whites whose “uptight” customs include avoiding excessively close “nose-to-nose” proxemic contact with non-relatives….

Visions Hawaii from Dinesh D’Souza’s Obama 2016 keep coming back to me.  The “minorities” have become the ruling class—Hawaii has travelled even further down this road than Los Angeles—a LOT further.

Every single day in Hawaii is a major step of learning, as well as an overwhelming process of sensual satisfaction with the feel of the air, the taste of the food, the smell of the flowers, and the sound of the ocean or even of the garden around the villa at night.

I wish my son could be here with me on this adventure—I haven’t been to Hawaii in several decades, and never to Maui before.   I am grateful that God and Kalista gave me the chance and invited me here.   Somehow I feel I will never be quite the same again—and when you’ve travelled as much as I have, it’s a very rare new experience that makes you feel that way.  I should have come to Maui before….

Bastille Day 2012: Civilized Memories of the Moonrise Kingdom in a Savage Land

No day on the calendar more appropriately juxtaposes civilization and savagery than July 14, Bastille Day.  If any nation in the world epitomizes the height of human civilization, well, I suppose that would be England until Tony Blair became PM, but both before the insertion of “Great” in the title of the United Kingdom of England & Scotland was added to “Britain” by the Act of Union in 1707 and since that word is no longer really warranted, especially since the House of Lords no longer has any hereditary peers or judicial functions, there has been and still remains “La France.”  

Much moreso than the American Revolution which preceded it barely by 24 years, hardly a generation, the French Revolution really marked the beginning of the Modern World, of truly modern history in all its blood and gore relating to ideological warfare.   The great ideals of the scientific and philosophical enlightenment coupled with the barbaric rejection of Christianity; the concepts of liberté, egalité, fraternité, however unrealistic they are, coupled with massive official murder and senseless bloodshed—all of those things are commemorated on July 14—the greatest of all the remaining Midsummer Fires that Sir James G. Frazer described as the Aryan heritage of Europe in the Golden Bough (whose brilliant Third and final original Edition Celebrates its centennial this year).

So last weekend and this, I listened to my gendarme and lieutenant (both appropriately Francophone titles) Peyton Yates Freiman, who told me that I had to see Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom with Bill Murray because it was the most “relevant” film of the year.  Last weekend I had the misfortune to see the movie paired with Oliver Stone’s Savages and the contrast was almost too great.

Savages—set in Southern California where I now spend most of my time and in Orange County in particular, which I associate with the Savagery of Orly Taitz and her husband Yosef, not to mention Steven D. Silverstein, among many others—is so “relevant” to the modern world as to be deeply depressing.  Oliver Stone artfully created a dual ending to blunt the nightmarish effect of the plot in its most obvious line—which led directly into bloody death and destruction of all the major characters—into a pro-establishment (if hardly credible) pean to the weak-minded DEA Agent credibly played by John Travolta.  Savages was a “Brave New World” movie, regardless of which ending you choose to believe as the most realistic—it is amoral, devoid of decency of any kind on the part of any person—it does not exactly “glorify” the drug traffic but it doesn’t raise any standards of—anything.  Savages belongs to the “Reign of Terror” aspect of the quatorze juillet.   

Yesterday, I reproduced on these pages Guillaume Faye’s depressing commentary on the role of the sexual revolution in the death and decay of modern Western Civilization.  Savages was an extraordinary movie (in some significant part) about the end product of the sexual revolution: total sexual liberation, specifically a romantic threesome which might pass as “polyamory” in Huxley’s Brave New World and modern 1980s and afterward sense.

By contrast, Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom pledges allegiance to a world that is all but gone, vanished, which has essentially been murdered by the sexual revolution and liberation epitomized in Savages.  The first time I saw Moonrise, last week, was in the company of my rather sentimental and deeply feminine friend Min, who passed out/knocked herself out (intentionally fainted?) during Savages (because it “came to close to home” for her comfort) and she focused on the warming and endearing feel of Moonrise Kingdom.

This week, for a second viewing, I was alone and finally I realized what Peyton meant by “relevance”: Unlike Oliver Stone’s work Moonrise Kingdom is TOTALLY SUBVERSIVE.

Now there was a time when Oliver Stone made people think and challenged the status quo, but I think that phase of his life ended in 1991 with his magnificent JFK.  The transformation of Stone into a supporter of the establishment and status quo was already apparent in the final entry of his Vietnam Trilogy Heaven and Earth (1993) but his W. kowtowed so cravenly to the 43rd President that it made me ill and I had to leave the theatre when I saw it.

No such worry about Moonrise Kingdom—it brilliantly pits the vitality of youth and young love against the wooden and legalistic stupidity of elders.  Yet the young love in this kingdom is as moral and Christian as Romeo and Juliet. Love comes first and foremost and all hints of sexuality are wonderfully awkward and childishly mishandled in very credible, realistic ways.  Min appreciated this innocence the first time round but I didn’t realize just how deeply ethical, romantic, and moral it all was until seeing it alone on Friday the 13th.

I’m just overwhelmed now that I realize how well this movie really did show the brilliance and triumph of true love over law in a manner that Richard Wagner would have appreciated and congratulated.  The marriage ceremony is patently and admittedly ILLEGAL—but the fact that it takes place at all—in front of a cross in a camp chapel no less—for a pre-teen couple who met during a Church production of “Noah’s Flood” is in this day and age counter-revolutionary for sure. (The Church called “St. Jack” is a major setting of critical moments in the movie.  It is operated in part by white-robed nuns who might be Episcopalian [e.g. in the Anglican Order of Saint Helena] or RC, albeit they operate a whitewashed wood-framed “Puritan” Church with a bell tower of the type so typical of the fictionalized New England setting—a mythic Island of “New Penzance” whose map ever so slightly resembles the layout of Nantucket).

One need only compare and contrast this with the apparently, at least architecturally, authentic Gothic Church which played a key part at the beginning and end of Snow White and the Huntsman.  This Church not only lacked even a single cross but did not allow to its (again, classically dressed) Christian Clergy the utterance any prayers which made any mention of the people I admire most (the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, who had apparently taken the last train to the coast).  I would have to examine the film frame-by-frame but I think there was even something resembling a menorah in the Church—slightly horrifying considering there was no cross.  (In all fairness, Kirsten Stewart is allowed to recite the “short version” of the Lord’s Prayer and Thor, I mean Chris Hemsworth, as the Huntsman all but expressly compares Snow White (while he believes her dead) to the Virgin Mary when he predicts that she will “be a Queen in Heaven and sit among the Angels”—but overall, overt Christianity is shockingly suppressed EVEN in portrayals of obviously Christian Churches!).

But Moonrise Kingdom was all about real moral optimism and virtuous rebellion against stifling legality and convention.  It is a movie which I think could be shown for young teen viewers and discussed for its ethical stance everywhere that White American Christians still live and cherish the values of….well, an America that increasingly seems not to exist anymore.

It remains to be seen whether Moonrise Kingdom is an epitaph on a world that is as “Gone with the Wind” as the Confederate world of the Old South or whether it symbolizes the existence of a real resistance to the Brave New World with a live heartbeat in America.

Either way—directly contrary to Mark Anthony—I stand here to praise the values embodied in Wes Anderson’s film, not to bury them.   The young Kara Hayward actually IS a brilliant new actress, from Massachusetts, and a member of Mensa they say.   The credits also indicate that this is her, and her “Romeo” Jared Gilman’s, first appearance on what they used to call the “celluloid screen” but is now apparently just pixels like everything else.  Even the music of Moonrise Kingdom starting and ending with Henry Purcell, reminds us that “restoration” of a moral and constitutional regime is possible even after the disastrous dislocations of civil war politically motivated ideological  savagery.   Only a very small amount of 1960s music (French at that) insinuates its way into the world of Suzy Bishop and Sam Shakusky—most of it is Classical and reminiscent of everything that I grew up with—a bizarre bipolarity of Restoration Baroque and Hank Williams which I thought was oddly out of place in New England—but then my parents loved the Kingston Trio and brought Northern “Folk” from Massachusetts to New Orleans for their wedding.

The reality of the world on this July 14, 2012, is that it IS a savage place. The English Civil War (prior to the Restoration of Charles II and the “Cavalier” music and poetry of Henry Purcell and those who came with it) was certainly savage, although not as bad as the French Revolution.  The American Revolution was strangely quiet and conservative, certainly there were a few martyrs and senseless killings on both sides, but in a muted way, nothing as extravagantly awful as the Show Trial of Charles I and his execution, nor anything even remotely like the French Revolutionary bloodbath.

 La Marseillaise celebrates both the beauty of the dreams of the French Revolutionary Patriots and the gore of the war and terror of 1789-1799, when Napoleon Bonaparte took charge as First Consul and thus ended both the revolution and the terror.   The pair of movies, Savages and Moonrise Kingdom portrays the same dichotomy in the world—the real world and the ideal world, and their joint appearance in theaters this summer reminds us of the short time from 1965-2012—a mere 47 years, and how much can go wrong in the world in such a short time.

May the Fourth be with You (and with thy Spirit)…. May 3rd was Day of the Holy Cross (in the Old BCP anyhow); Warnings from History about the Coming Dark Age: May 3 is also Polish Constitution of 1791 Day, and the 60th Anniversary of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company Petition for Certiorari

Yes, May the Fourth is international Star Wars Day (“May the Fourth be with You”—but watch out for the “Revenge of the Fifth”), and yesterday, all over Western Christendom, is or at least used to be called “the Day of the Holy Cross” (this construction of the Calendar is sometimes said to be a “Gallican” custom, involving the mixture of Celtic rites of Beltane [May Day] with Christianity, in the time of Saint Gregory of Tours and other such French sources predating the time of Charlamagne*, but even as a 20th century Anglican/Episcopalian, I grew up thinking that Constantine’s Mother the Empress Helen**  went to Jerusalem and found the “true Cross” fragments on May 3, and when I started traveling to and living in Mexico I found that the Mexicans [in “Veracruz” and elsewhere] still celebrate the 3rd, notwithstanding anything Pope John XXIII did the year I was born [1960], and the Maya of Yucatán—see my birthday greetings for Pedro Un Cen on May 1—still celebrate May 3 as the day that the Chaacs (the Ancient Maya Raingods) return to the land from the East to start the beginning of the rainy season, but Last things first:

POLISH CONSTITUTION OF 1791 Day: A Warning for our Time

Most Americans have heard of American Revolutionary War hero General  Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko (at least by the shorter version of his name: Tadeusz Kosciuszko).  He came to the United States to assist in the War of Independence for no reason other than he thought it was the right thing to do.  He was a volunteer Patriot in Founding a country 1/3 of the way around the world from his homeland.  

I have the feeling that Kosciuszko lived to feel even more defeated than John W. Davis….(see my adjoining post on the 60th Anniversary of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Petition for Writ of Certiorari) possibly more like Jefferson Davis must have felt…..  

Kosciuszko lived long enough after the American Revolution to see first the French Revolution, then the final partition of his own homeland by three of the major powers OPPOSED to the French Revolution, the restoration of the core of his homeland (briefly) between 1807 and 1815, and then the final re-annexation of Poland by Russia after the Congress of Vienna in 1815—a situation which would endure for another 104 years….

After helping launch the American nation, with a career comparable and in some ways parallel to the actions of the Marquis de Lafayette in France, Kosciuszko went back to his native Poland where he tried to rebuild and save his own nation, and modernize its constitution in light of what he had learned and seen in America. I have previously, on this blog, mentioned the wonderful Polish Professor Wiktor Osiatynski under whom I was privileged to study at the University of Chicago 1990-1991 and my fascination with the Polish nation and constitutional history has never ceased since then.  Poland is a Phoenix-like nation having been consumed by fire into ashes and portioned by its neighbors Germany and Russia at least twice (and Austria once).  The metaphoric image of the mythical Phoenix arising from its flames parallels takes on added and appropriate meaning given Poland’s association with the City and University of Chicago, not least since Chicago is the largest Polish-speaking urban area anywhere outside of Poland and the City itself has at least once or twice in history arisen from the flames (after the Great Fire of 1871, but arguably again after the riots of 1968 also…).  

On May 3, Poland celebrated the 221st anniversary of the Constitution of 1791, the last Constitution before the two final (18th century) partitions of Poland 1793-1795.   The Twentieth Century Partition of Poland, between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia was in a thousand ways much worse, more brutal, more destructive, but also much shorter in duration.  The 18th Century Partitions of Poland were reversed by the Emperor Napoleon I Bonaparte in 1807 as he vainly tried to restrict and limit the power of Prussia.  The Von Ribbentrop-Molotov (aka “Stalin-Hitler”) Pact of 1941 was reversed a mere four years later, but not before Poland had not only been savaged by Nazi occupation but by the Stalinist reprisal which, in terms of meaningful reality, involved much vaster forced migrations than any that history had ever seen, and comparable only to the forced internal migrations (poorly documented though they are) which took place in Maoist China during the “Cultural Revolution”.  

Now you might ask, why should an American care about learning the details of Polish Constitutional History?  As Professor Wiktor Osiatynski made us all aware in the two courses he taught that year at the University of Chicago, Poland’s constitutional history was a major source of its downfall.  Prior to meeting and studying with Wiktor, my primary familiarity with recent modern Poland had been a vague knowledge of the partitions of the late 18th century, the fact that Napoleon I had created the Duchy of Warsaw, and that Chopin and many other 19th century artists had gained fame for the culture of Poland and quietly advocated the restoration of Polish Sovereignty and Nationality.

Of course, I had also been very generally aware from a lifetime obsession with historical cartography, I was aware that Poland had once been the largest nation in Europe—a fact, again, which probably very few Americans must know.***  Yes, the combination of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland once not merely “dominated” but in effect “was” all of Eastern Europe—controlling during most of the 15th-early 18th Centuries all of the territory from the Baltic to the Black Seas, dwarfing “barbarous” Russian during most of that time, although Russia started climbing out of an inferior position in the 16th century, though it did not achieve “world nation” status until the 18th under Peter and Catherine the Great.  

But indeed, the Constitutional History of Poland and Lithuania together is very interesting, and historically relevant for Americans, especially in this day and age.  Lithuania, so it was forced to ally more closely with Poland, uniting with its western neighbor as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Commonwealth of Two Nations) in the Union of Lublin of 1569. According to the Union many of the territories formerly controlled by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were transferred to the Crown of the Polish Kingdom, while the gradual process of Polonization slowly drew Lithuania itself under Polish domination. The Grand Duchy retained many rights in the federation (including a separate government, treasury and army) until the May 3 Constitution of Poland was passed in 1791. 

I submit to you, “my fellow Americans” that we today are much like Poland—because of the abrogation of our traditional Federal Union into a centralized dictatorship, we are weak and face extinction, division, and perhaps even partition between, say, China, Mexico, and a resurgent Europe.  

* Pope Adrian I between 784 and 791 sent Charlemagne, at the King of the Franks’ personal request, a copy of what was considered to be the Sacramentary of Saint Gregory, which certainly represented the Western Roman “Early Dark Ages” use of the end of the eighth century.  This book, far from complete, was edited and supplemented by the addition of a large amount of matter derived from the Gallican books and from the Roman book known as the Gelasian Sacramentary, which had been gradually supplanting the Gallican. The editor may well have been Charlemagne’s principal liturgical advisor, the  Englishman Alcuin. Copies were distributed throughout Charlemagne’s empire, and this “composite liturgy”, as Duchesne says, “from its source in the Imperial chapel spread throughout all the churches of the Frankish Empire and at length, finding its way to Rome gradually supplanted there the ancient use”. More than half a century later, when Charles the Bald wished to see what the ancient Gallican Rite had been like, it was necessary to import Hispanic priests to celebrate it in his presence, because the Gallican rite took root firmly in Toledo, Viscaya, Aragon, Catalunia, and elsewhere in the land of the Christian Visigoths of Hispania before the arrival of the Moors (and survived there ever after, even during the Caliphate of Cordoba—which resilience explains why May 3 remains the Day of the Holy Cross everywhere in Latin America).

The Luxeuil Lectionary, the Gothicum and Gallicum Missals, and the Gallican adaptations of the Hieronymian Martyrology are the chief authorities on this point, and to these may be added some information to be gathered from the regulations of the Councils of Agde (506), Orléans (541),Tours (567), and Mâcon (581), and from the “Historia Francorum” of St. Gregory of Tours, as to the Gallican practice in the sixth century.

** Constantine’s Mother the Empress Helen did a lot of traveling and established a lot of Churches.  Named after Helen of Troy, Empress Helen kept the name alive and popular among the Christians, and it was the Empress Helen, I am told, after whom were named both my Louisiana-born grandmother who raised me with love and my Greek-born wife who razed me with something else.

***For my lifelong obsession with maps, I have mostly my mother to blame, because she bought me so many Atlases–Shepard’s Historical Atlas, Oxford Historical Atlas, just for starters–when I was very small and for some reason decorated my boyhood room with a collection historical individually framed maps of almost every county in England, Wales, & Scotland—this led to my grandparents, somewhat later, always putting me in charge of studying the maps when we traveled and making reports on local geography as we did—Baedeker was almost like a family friend, and sometimes AAA and National Geographic.