Friday, 5/29/15

  1. Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus
  2. Cowboy Church
  3. Happy Ending Guaranteed
  4. Hard Case, Bad Law
  5. If a Christian fell in a forest, …
  6. Got 3 oz. that need mailing?


Did you know that all the early reformers, including Luther and Calvin, believed Mary remained a virgin for her whole life? That veneration of the Virgin did not begin with Rome, but began in the Early Church?

I don’t know why this is such a huge blind spot for so many Protestants. It was for me. Nothing was harder for me to digest (I swallowed it, but it didn’t sit well, and gave me little nourishment) as I became Orthodox. I’ve had people angry at me for defending her “ever-virginity” (“perpetual virginity” is how I think Rome says it). They think the idea is perverted!

I think the visceral rejection probably arises from the same “worship” of sex that makes remarriage after divorce unexceptionable and now makes same-sex marriage thinkable (“How cruel to deprive anyone of life’s highest joy, ‘da big O’!”).

But set aside how this rejection arose, and whether SSM is the eventuality of the reason for its rejection. Could you, if you reject what every Christian believed for 1500 years, consider the possibility that you’re wrong and the early Church got it right? Could you entertain the Vincentian Canon,

Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all,

or will the word “Catholic” trigger a seizure? (Now that’s perverted.)


How could anyone not love Prof. Howard Friedman’s Religion Clause blog and the colorful legal turf it chronicles?

A Jewish teacher in a southern Colorado school district filed suit yesterday in federal district court alleging that the Florence, Colorado High School extensively promotes evangelical Christian activities through arrangements with a church, The Cowboy Church at Crossroads. The complaint (full text) in Basevitz v. Fremont RE-2 Schol District, (D CO, filed 5/26/2015), alleges in part:

The Cowboy Church at Crossroads is lead by Pastor Randy Pfaff, and meets every Sunday in the cafeteria of the School. The Church is advertised by two large signs that are hung on school property and are clearly visible to motorists….

The cornerstone of Pastor Pfaff and the Church’s “mission work” at the School is daily morning prayer in front of the School, at the flagpole.  Either Pastor Pfaff or another member of the Church has been present for this ceremony every day for the last three years. With the School’s support, Pastor Pfaff has led these services, ministering to the School’s students and staff while holding a bible and using a public address system to preach his evangelical Christian messages…. Numerous faculty members, in including Principal Schipper, participate in services…..

… Pastor Pfaff and the Church, with the support of the School’s administration, routinely minister to staff and students through the distribution of flyers promoting their evangelical Christian views…

Through the Fellowship’s front group, Pastor Pfaff and the Church also hold weekly lunches at the School. The students refer to this event as “Jesus Pizza.” This meeting is promoted to the School’s students and staff through the presence of a large sign in the hallway that reads “God loves you and has a plan for your life. Jeremiah 29:11.” ….  During these “Jesus Pizza” sessions, which are led by Pastor Pfaff, he preaches to and prays with Florence students….

Denver Post reports on the lawsuit.

Even if the allegations are totally bogus and delusional (which I doubt), they’re unquestionably entertaining. Too bad Flannery O’Connor didn’t live in Fremont.


More, closer to home:

In Rector, Wardens, and Vestrymen of Christ Church Cathedral of Indianapolis v. JPMorgan Chase and Company, (SD IN, May 21, 2015), an Indiana federal district court dismissed with leave to replead constructive fraud claims against Chase Bank and its parent JPMorgan brought by Christ Church Cathedral that lost some $13.5 million from trusts that had been set up to benefit it under the will of Eli Lilly.  The church alleged that the trustee bought complex structured notes and proprietary hedge funds that lost money but resulted in increased fees for the trustee. The court held that the church had not stated its claims with sufficient particularity, lumping together various defendants and failing to indicate what decisions the church made in reliance on alleged misrepresentations. The court dismissed the state securities law claim without leave to replead it. It did not dismiss a breach of trust claim against Chase Bank. Indianapolis Star, reporting on the decision, quotes the church’s attorney who says that amended pleadings will be filed.

How could this case not have a happy ending (so long as someone loses)?


[T]he defendant’s “conduct was reprehensible and defamatory.” (He had posted Craigslist postings purporting to be from his ex-girlfriend and her underage daughter, which offered to have sex with male readers, challenged women readers to a fight, and contained the ex-girlfriend’s and daughter’s cell phone numbers.) But the court concluded that the conviction had to be reversed, because the statute violates the First Amendment and is therefore void; under the First Amendment “overbreadth” doctrine, a statute that covers a substantial amount of constitutionally protected speech cannot be enforced against anyone, even someone who could have been punished under a narrower, constitutionally valid statute.

(Volokh Conspiracy, May true statements be criminal libels, if they are said with ‘bad motives’ or for ‘unjustifiable ends’?) The title may be confusing, as may the story be for untrained eyes. Sometimes, you just hate to see a creep walk away unbloodied.


Conservative Christians experienced markedly increased rates of psychiatric disorders in states where courts invalidated statutes and constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage during the 2005-2014 period. Among Conservative Christians living in states experiencing such judicial usurpations, the prevalence of general anxiety disorder increased by more than 248%, psychiatric comorbidity by over 36%, and alcohol abuse by 42%. Conservative Christians living in states without such usurpations did not experience any of these spikes in adverse health outcomes.

Okay, I doctored the story a little bit.

But what if it were true? If a Christian fell in a forest and no social scientist or psychologist was there, would it hurt?


This makes me want to find something that weighs 3 ounces just to mail it.


* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.