Monday, November 01, 2004

*Thump* (That's the sound of my jaw dropping...)

Kudos (as usual) to the Pontificator for two excellent posts :Tone-deaf and the Tragedy of the Open Episcopal Mind and Imprisoned in Modernity, wherein he takes on Father Jake's more liberal approach to the recent 'Episcopalian Druid Liturgy' kerfuffle. (It's more than just controversy, though, the Pontifcator manages to fit in some solid stuff on Tradition and the Grammar of the Faith)
Anyway, the controversy inspired me to explore Father Jake's 'blog - the modestly titled Father Jake Stops the World, self-described as 'the musings of an eccentric and sometimes heretical Episcopal priest'. Quite.
Anyway, from a commentator in Father Jake's comment box, I was led to the most incredibly synchretistic web-site which must be a joke... The Society of Saints Barlaam and Josaphat. They explain thusly,
The Society of Saints Barlaam and Josaphat is dedicated to the practice of "Pure Land Christianity" - a Christian (or if you prefer, Buddhist) school of thought holding that Amitabha Buddha and Kuan Yin manifested themselves in the first century as Jesus and Mary. We believe that anyone who has faith in Amitabha or Kuan Yin and the power of their Vow will be reborn in the Pure Land and attain Enlightenment.
The Society's FAQ some gems:
7.0 What liturgical texts do you use in your worship services?
We're not currently satisfied with our liturgical choices - we should work at creating more options. Presently, we use the Tridentine Roman Catholic Mass, the Christian rosary, assorted spells and mantras, and a handful of "pre-packaged" Christian and Buddhist materials (Catholic litanies from Saint Augustine's Prayerbook and the Handbook of Indulgences, the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, and a collection of Soto Zen prayers in Gregorian drag courtesy of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives).
8.0 Whom do you worship?
Virtually anyone/anything a member wishes to worship, but we especially honor Jesus and Mary, both of whom we believe are Bodhisattvas. We encourage worshipping trees, rocks, animals, elves, fairies, spirits, teachers, ancestors, lovers, friends, abstract concepts - even figments of one's imagination. We find that our stuffed animals appreciate reverence too, so they're by no means off-limits.
8.1 You worship stuffed animals?!
Our official mascot is a stuffed hippo named Augustine, and he has a companion called Billingsworth the Duck. We shamelessly worship and adore our stuffed animals. But any stuffed animal deserves your love and attention as much as these two - give one a fair shake (maybe a stick of incense from time to time as propitiation), and you've got a friend and protector for life.
There's also an appeal to find a bishop 'in a verifiable line of apostolic succession' (got to do these things by the book..) to consecrate their chaplain so that she(!) could then consecrate everyone in her 'core group'.
Seems to be the syncretist counterpart to the Shrine of the Holy Whapping.

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