posted by Kaihsu Tai on January 2nd, 2019

A recent sermon on the carol Good King Wenceslas reminded me of this text of mine six years ago:

Quando dou comida aos pobres, chamam-me de santo. Quando pergunto por que eles são pobres, chamam-me de comunista.

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.

Hélder Câmara

In the carol, King Wenceslas did everything right to be called a saint. The “poor” was “gathering winter fuel” on St Stephen’s. Who would collect the fuel otherwise? When else? – What other time? What’s wrong with collecting fuel? Even if it were wrong, the king’s response was not – “Let’s reorganize the system for energy in the neighbourhood around my palace” but to call his page. All right – a feast might be had by all on St Stephen’s if the entourage made it to yonder the poor’s.

But on the festival of St John the Evangelist, on the Day of the Holy Innocents, the King remains king, the page page, the poor still poor. Only that the King now sleeps sounder on the 27th of December and will not look out. He may then commission the carol writer later in the afternoon for his hagiography. The unnamed “poor man” does not stop collecting winter fuel – even come January.

(New Year’s Day 2013)

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Christmas, Hagiography, Heresy | on January 2nd, 2019 | Permanent Link to “Václav” | No Comments »


posted by Kaihsu Tai on December 14th, 2018

Credo – uskon siihen, että: Taivas ja Maa on täynnä Jumalan kirkkautta. Hänen luomakuntansa avautuu kuin sateenkaaren värit kirkkaasta valosta. Rauhan liiton merkki on monivärinen. – Mekin kaikki saamme osallistua Jumalan ikuiseen liittoon. Kun syömme yhdessä, leipä ja viini tulevat meille lihaksi ja vereksi. Näin osallistumme Kristuksen seurakuntaan. Hoosianna! – Pyhä Henki liikkuu meissä, kun puhumme ja ymmärrämme toistemme kieliä. Näin osallistumme taivaan valtakuntaan.

Credo – I believe: Heaven and Earth are full of the glory of God. God’s creation opens up like the colours of the rainbow coming out of the bright light. The sign of the covenant of peace is multicoloured. – We too can participate in the eternal covenant of God. When we eat together, the bread and the wine become for us flesh and blood. This is how we become part of the fellowship of Christ. Hosanna! – Holy Spirit moves within us when we speak in tongues … when we understand each other’s languages. This is how we get to the realm of heaven.

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Catechism, Finland, Heresy | on December 14th, 2018 | Permanent Link to “Credo” | No Comments »

Näin sanoi Minna Canth

posted by Kaihsu Tai on June 27th, 2012

Kuinkahan kauan ihmiset sokeudessa vaeltavat ja antavat kirkon ja pappisvallan sekoittaa pois totisen puhtaan uskonnon. Jospahan tulisi, jospahan tulisi toinen Kristus raikkaamaan maailmaa taas. Ja tällä kertaa se saisi olla nainen!

Just how long will people in their blindness roam and let the church and the clergy confound true, pure religion? What if, just what if another Christ were to come and revivify the world! And this time as a woman!

Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Creative Resistance, Finland, Hagiography, Heresy | on June 27th, 2012 | Permanent Link to “Näin sanoi Minna Canth” | Comments Off on Näin sanoi Minna Canth

Lenten update

posted by Mike on April 14th, 2011

So far, so good. Sticking with about 70% of my Lent plans, which is much better than most years.

One unexpected and helpful addition to my Lenten prayer schedule has been Susan Stabile’s series of daily meditations, with a weekly podcast of her remarks to students who are doing this “Lenten retreat in daily life” as well. Worth checking out if you need to jump-start your final week of Lenten prayers.

The best thing I’ve read about Lent this year is a brief essay by Jacob Berendes in his monthly newspaper Mothers News. It’s not at all religious, but it’s funny and a great piece of writing. In exchange for being able to quote me saying “The best thing I’ve read about Lent this year,” Jacob graciously agreed to let me reprint it, below.
Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Mike in Heresy, Lent | on April 14th, 2011 | Permanent Link to “Lenten update” | No Comments »

Oel ngati kameie: I see you (Na’vi in Avatar)

posted by Kaihsu Tai on February 19th, 2010

Finally got my acts together to see Avatar (3D) yesterday evening, two months after release. My Green friends Drs Richard Lawson, Derek Wall, and Rupert Read (and those over at Two Doctors blog in Scotland) all liked it, along with many of us studying the Accra Confession at the Saint Columba’s Manse Discussion Group.

L’Osservatore Romano did not like Avatar, some suspected due to alleged pantheism. But the philosophy therein was not really pantheism, but can be more accurately described as panentheism (as my friend Dr George Zachariah of the Mar Thoma Church taught): finding God in everything; finding the image of the divine in everyone. I would have to struggle if I had to deny this as Christian.

[…] Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries […]

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The scene was indicative, where the scientist Dr Grace Augustine presented her results about the synaptic nature of the biosphere on the planet Pandora, and the businessman Parker Selfridge dismissed her thus: ‘what have you been smoking!’ Science is only accepted when it conveniently serves the imperial–rationalist exploitation: at all other times it is dismissed. As Dr Lawson pointed out (and echoed by the Reverend Dick Wolff), this has been going on in the climate-change debate: ‘If you are a committed free market fundamentalist, you will never accept the climate change facts, as they are incompatible with your ideology.’

I will be going to the Conference of the Green Party of England and Wales this Saturday; expecting Green hugs.

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Creative Resistance, Green Party, Heresy, Orthodoxy, The Papacy | on February 19th, 2010 | Permanent Link to “Oel ngati kameie: I see you (Na’vi in Avatar)” | Comments Off on Oel ngati kameie: I see you (Na’vi in Avatar)

Baseball Player to Become Priest

posted by Adam (Southern California) on January 23rd, 2010

Here’s a nice little article about Oakland A’s prospect Grant Desme leaving baseball to join a seminary.

posted by Adam (Southern California) in Heresy, Religion | on January 23rd, 2010 | Permanent Link to “Baseball Player to Become Priest” | No Comments »

Religious figures address the European Parliament

posted by Kaihsu Tai on December 7th, 2008

I mentioned in these pages that the “green” Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, His All Holiness Bartholomew I, addressed the European Parliament earlier this year. This was as part of a series during the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The other speakers were His Eminence Sheikh Ahmad Badr El Din El Hassoun, Grand Mufti of Syria; Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth; and most recently His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Thanks to the intervention by the Liberals and the Greens, Dr Asma Jahangir, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, were also invited to speak. (Sophia in ’t Veld: “I would like to know why the Conference of Presidents has chosen to interpret intercultural dialogue exclusively as an interreligious monologue and whether it feels a part-session is an appropriate platform for religious messages.” and Sarah Ludford: “it seems that you [the President(s)] have made the Grand Mufti comparable to the Pope and the UK Chief Rabbi as a European representative of his particular religion.”)

Here are some highlights from each the speakers, with links to their texts for the gentle readers’ perusal over Christmastime: Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Catechism, China, Christmas, Green Party, Heresy, New Left Review, Orthodoxy, The Papacy | on December 7th, 2008 | Permanent Link to “Religious figures address the European Parliament” | Comments Off on Religious figures address the European Parliament

The Bible, with fuzzy edges

posted by Kaihsu Tai on November 10th, 2008

The United Reformed Church has a three-year programme called Vision4Life: for this coming year, the first year, we will be looking at the Bible in the Church’s life. It made me try to articulate how I think of the Bible.

It was Mike Benedetti who got me interested in the Apocrypha. I remember that summer nearly ten years ago, sitting in a hotel room in Iqaluit, Nunavut, tired from hiking, but discussing Bel and the Dragon (and, incidentally, also Thomas Aquinas) with some enthusiasm. Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Catechism, Heresy | on November 10th, 2008 | Permanent Link to “The Bible, with fuzzy edges” | 3 Comments »

Entryism into Britain from Barack Obama’s church

posted by Kaihsu Tai on October 8th, 2008

Gentle readers will recall that about half a year ago, Barack Obama got into some trouble because of his pastor from a congregation of the United Church of Christ. (Around the same time I also visited a United Church of Christ congregation which was “more liberal than I”.)

Since then, I have attended the United Reformed Church’s General Assembly in which the Reverend Roberta Rominger was inducted as General Secretary of the Britain-wide denomination. I have also attended two induction services (on neighbouring Saturdays): of the Reverend Tanya Stormo Rasmussen to the chaplaincy of Mansfield College, Oxford, a college historically related to the United Reformed Church; and of the Reverend Carla Grosch-Miller to my own church Saint Columba’s. A pattern emerged: all three of them are from the United Church of Christ!

So, gentle readers west of the Atlantic: if in a month’s time you feel an eerie urge to move hitherward, you know where you are sure to find a welcome. But for now, work hard to make yourself comfortable at home for the next few years!

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Heresy, Itinerant Communicant, Oxford | on October 8th, 2008 | Permanent Link to “Entryism into Britain from Barack Obama’s church” | Comments Off on Entryism into Britain from Barack Obama’s church

Insular presbyterians on the financial crisis

posted by Kaihsu Tai on October 7th, 2008

Yesterday, the two most prominent presbyterians in these Isles (neither of them English) spoke out:

Ian Paisley: ‘We must all, in our own way, do what we can to help one another to get some way through this very dark hour for our nation. I know that there are many beliefs in this House; my belief in God is well known and my religious convictions are known. I trust that our whole nation will turn in repentance and cry to God for an intervention so that the calamity will not come on our children and on the babes in their cots.’

Gordon Brown: ‘And that is why we back the work ethic; we support effort and enterprise and responsible risk-taking. These are the morals markets need.’

It is well known that ‘presbyterians’ is an anagram for ‘Britney Spears’. By the way, sorry for the long hiatus from me. Let me know if you want to hear about my recent adventures – things like encountering a Georgian (as in Tbilisi, not as in Atlanta) baptist archbishop, and entryism into Britain from Barack Obama’s church – please let me know.