Category Archives: Elizabeth I

Confessions of a Lifelong-Heroine Addict….(oh well, since I was 6 or 8 I guess, probably not so much before that…)…from Dorothy Gale to Katniss Everdeen

The California Secretary of State having quite literally locked the doors to my running for Senate this year (at least in Tulare and Fresno Counties)—and the California Courts not seeming to offer a sufficient or accessible remedy—I now have time to indulge other (if related) obsessions my life, such as my sufferings from a lifetime of heroine addiction….  

Like almost every other aspect of my life, I blame my mother Alice and grandmother Helen almost equally….

It was my mother and father who, when I was very small, used to take me down by the Thames in Westminster near the Houses of Parliament and show me the statue of Boadicea (aka “Budica”), the last independent Iceni Queen of East Anglia who rebelled and died trying to evict the Roman Conquerors, in whose memory it was said and sung that “Britons never shall be slaves.”  We also took one trip out to Norwich to visit one of the woods where the Iceni supposedly worshipped their own goddess of Victory….called “Budika” in the Ancient British language of the Druids….(my parents were both heavily into historical and comparative linguistics).  Budika/Boadicea in A.D. 60-61 apparently burned Roman Londinium to the ground along with several other cities before being defeated and poisoning herself by the long Roman Road called “Watling Street” which we also visited…. She was a heroine and supposedly a great archer….  

Of course my parents also tried, as heart as their own agitated and addled lives would permit them, to make me aware of a very different heroine, regarding whom they required me to memorize “the Magnificat” from a very early age….”My soul doth magnify the Lord….Abraham and his seed forever…” And yes, the Virgin Mary was indeed a rebellious heroine… and she has remained a heroine to hundreds of millions of people up to the present time….  Later on, I learned to sing the Magnificat and other pieces of Anglo-Catholic “Maryolatry” as a choirboy in the junior Choir at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, under the tutelage of the late, Great Russell J. Brydon (who died just a few months after this post was originally written, in September 2012 at the age of 88:

http://www.dallasnews.com/obituary-headlines/20120906-russell-j.-brydon-jr.-longtime-dallas-church-and-temple-organist-dies-at-88.ece

But it was my grandmother Helen who was something of a heroine in my young eyes herself, and it was Helen who introduced me to the very first literary  (as distinct from Historical or Biblical) heroines of whose stories I ever learned in detail: namely Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and the Roman Goddess Diana and her Sacred Temple by Lake Nemi  near Ariccia (Diana was also an archer…)

The path of fictional heroines from Dorothy Gale’s grey home in Kansas to Katniss* Everdeen’s equally grey home in District 12 of Panem took 108 years….from the first publication of the Wizard of Oz in 1900 through the appearance of archer Katniss Everdeen  Hunger Games in 2008**….is really the history of the idealistic dreams and ultimate failure of the 20th century (idealist dreams in Baum’s time giving way to a more cynical realism by 1939, passing through the somewhat confused “liberation” of the 1960s, sinking into the dark, pessimistic world of Buffy and Angel and finally coming to rest in the despair of District 12 in Panem in 2008—the year Barack Hussein Obama took over from George W. Bush…two different faces for the heartless, soulless, President Snow….)

But the difference in spirit between those two places traces indeed the tragic story of the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization (and of the American Dream) in the 20th Century. Major stopping points along the way (for me at least) include 1939 with the Dorothy Gale’s transformation in the person of Judy Garland and Scarlett O’Hara’s complete redefinition of the concept of “progress” in the late 19th century, Jane Fonda’s comic Cat Ballou and Barbarella in the 1960s, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in movie and television from 1992-2003.  

At each of these intervals, the world is more cynical and darker, and the heroines more complex.  Many critics have observed that the “head injury/dream sequence” aspects of the 1939 Movie Wizard of Oz and the metathesis of real individuals to “dreamtime” residents of the Land of Oz (which was COMPLETELY absent from L. Frank Baum’s book) resulted directly from Freudian psychoanalysis and the early popularity of psychology.  The general effect is to radically weaken the power of Oz as metaphor or lesson—but the movie was a wonderful hit—a lightly comic Wagnerian gesammtkunstwerk of acting, visual art, and music, so nobody really cared.  

A lot of the verbal banter and humor in the movie likewise showed a certain “worldly” sophistication with which I think Frank Baum would only have been somewhat congenial. E.G. the Cowardly Lion’s song “there’s just no use denyin’, I’m just a DANDYlion…” and the Wizard’s closing comment to the Scarecrow:

Back where I come from we have universities, 
seats of great learning 
-- where men go to become great thinkers. 
And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more brains than you have .... 
But! They have one thing you haven't got! 
A diploma!

As a former denizen of the great academic halls of Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 and Chicago, Illinois 60637 (from various halls of which august institutions I did, for all the good that it’s done me or the world, get diplomas), and a regular visitor to many other such places, I can tell you that the Wizard here is absolutely right: 

And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more  brains than you have.... 

But such cynicism simply was not part of the original vision of Oz, and although Baum occasionally did occasionally turn such comments to ridicule life back in North America in later books, he did not at all in his first installment in which he remade European folk mythology and archetypes and reshaped them in a very idealized panorama of a world where death was rare if non-existent and even the most evil of men and creatures did not kill for sport or pleasure.

For all of L. Frank Baum’s futuristic visions, I do not think he could have foreseen the transition from the naïve and hardworking life of Kansas to the nightmarish dreamworld of Suzanne Collins’ grim opera—neither a soap opera nor a very lyric, although even in the written version (which I finally got around to reading), music plays an immensely important part in the methathesis of metaphor and character, from Katniss’ Father to Peeta, from Prim to Rue… as between the unnatural National Anthem of the Conquering Capitol and the free world of nature and the poor of the “outlying districts.”

L. Frank Baum’s Oz books in so many was shaped and defined the culture of early-to-mid 20th Century of a predominantly White Christian America, especially after the release of Judy Garland’s movie….***  The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Kansas was stiflingly dull and harsh—the American dream had already, at that point, apparently kind of run aground and needed new life— The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Oz was half atavistic throwback to the Middle Ages, half filled with futuristic wonders (such as Glinda the Good’s Magic Picture, which permitted her what we would now call “live video access” to whatever was going on in Oz or elsewhere earth she was interested.

Dorothy Gale was a simple, pre-teenage girl (Judy Garland was at least ten years older than the original character was portrayed as being in the First Oz Book, but Dorothy Gale remained essentially a-sexual throughout the series, never had a boyfriend or a beau…. perhaps recapitulating some archaic notion of “the Virgin Goddess”,  e.g. Diana Nemorensis or the Virgin Mary or the “Virgin Queen”, Mary again or Queen Elizabeth I) whose strength derived from common sense, great courage, love, and determination.  Dorothy Gale was a generalist who never specialized in anything or focused on any particular trade, profession, or way of earning a living (all throughout the long series of Oz books, in fact).  She was just flexible, imaginative, and practical—kind of a “Renaissance girl” in a very low tech way.

Being a non-specialized generalist seems to be the primary role of all feminine heroes.  Of the earliest three I knew (Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and Diana Nemorensis), if Dorothy Gale had the purest and most asexual identity, Scarlett O’Hara surely had the most impure and sexual.  

It was perhaps for that reason that I was never really taken with her until I was a teenager, even though with my grandparents I religiously had watched Gone with the Wind at every possible opportunity and my grandmother compared the mythic South with the real South over and over again.   Scarlett O’Hara was beautiful, flirtations, and OWNED men in a way that is both fairly realistic and quite cynical.  But the book and movie Gone with the Wind were brilliantly timed between the First and Second World Wars to show that the American War Between the States of 1861-1865 was the first really and truly modern war of total destruction.  

Throughout history, up until Abraham Lincoln loosed Sherman on Georgia and Grant on Virginia, the goal of Conquest Warfare had been to preserve as much of a conquered land’s wealth as possible—so that it could be stolen and appropriated for the victors.  There might have been a lot of talk in Ancient Rome about how “Carthage must be destroyed” and about Salting the Earth once it was vanquished, but Carthage was not only not burnt to the ground and left to rot by the Roman Conquest, it became one of the Great Cities of the Roman Empire, as 20-30 years of Harvard Archaeological excavations in Tunisia have so clearly shown.  Gone with the Wind showed something else when Sherman’s “wind blew through Georgia.”  The purpose was indeed, as the opening lines of both the movie and the book suggested, to wipe out an entire civilization, a way of life—to replace what Marxists call one “mode of production” with another.   NONE of Baum’s villains in Oz were as bad as that, although the movie version of the Wicked Witch of the West was pretty murderous in her general attitude….

One major innovation of Jane Fonda’s heroines Cat Ballou and especially Barbarella in the 1960s was the advent of “free love”, which never appeared even once in any of Baum’s pre-1920 writings, which was only very obliquely alluded to in Gone with the Wind, but which by the 1960s was all anyone really cared about.  

Like Dorothy Gale and Scarlett O’Hara before her, Cat Ballou and Barbarella were unspecialized generalists who could adapt to almost any situation.  They were strong, intelligent, sexy, deadly in a good cause, and then Jane Fonda went to Hanoi….  In retrospect she may have been right to do it because the Vietnam War was totally wrong, a seriously failed experiment in 1984-type “perpetual war”….but Jane Fonda’s actions did not seem positive at the time.  

In this defiance of the outward semblance of world order sense, Jane Fonda’s characters of both Cat Ballou and Barbarella somehow came to life as defiant outlaws….crossing boundaries that no one else would cross, and doing so with both impunity and (what seemed most shocking at the time) complete immunity from real official sanction.  Like the righteous killer Catherine Ballou who avenged her father’s death in the Wild West—Jane Fonda first enacted herself as a mythic reality and then, by going to Hanoi, remade herself as a historic metaphor—walking through the image of a treacherous act, unscathed, in essence to show that Vietnam was all a staged event….. a dramatic diversion to keep the masses simultaneously afraid, amused and absorbed….  

Fast forward 24 years from Jane Fonda as Barbarella and you arrive the first incarnation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a completely modern LA County San Fernando Valley girl with no hints of modesty or virginity about her…. followed by the much more intriguing evolution of Buffy Summers in the TV Series from virginal high school freshman to intensely sexual college freshman, in a world which is increasingly dark and where reality is increasingly concealed….. Buffy’s Sunnydale was a mythic place, a lot like Los Angeles, while her first boyfriend and lover Angel eventually goes to the real Los Angeles and sets up shop as first as a private detective and then director of a large law firm—two professions which, in Los Angeles at least, possibly in the movies generally, have almost acquired the status of modern Jungian archetypes….  

The increasingly dark and brooding, sad and depressed Buffy Summers never lost her general adaptability—she could never specialize in any profession or line of work any more than Dorothy Gale or Scarlett O’Hara or Catherine Ballou… but the realization that the dark forces of the world were effectively unbeatable and had pre-existed anything good in the world—these were major transformations of the American Dream from the Early 20th Century.  And it was during the 7 televised seasons of Buffy that the 20th Century, which came in with a little girl magically transported by a tornado from dull grey Kansas to a bright and beautiful alternative universe which knew no death, went out during Buffy’s Freshman year at UCLA with a young adult barely out of her teens who was alone in the world, with her small circle of more specialized friends, fighting vampires and the forces of darkness.

And five years after Buffy ended, Katniss Everdeen picked up the bow from her archetypal ancestors the Goddesses Inanna and Diana and Queen Boadicea, and began to hunt for meagre food in the desperately hunger fringes of District 12 (in what was once called Appalachia in what was once called North America).  

The gruesomeness of the Hunger Games apparently shocks some people—I would have thought that Americans had long since forgotten how to be shocked about or by anything.  Children murdering children for sport isn’t the most pleasant of ideas, to be sure. But in that 17-19 year olds have gone off to fight in every war America has ever seen….along with a few 16 year olds here and there, and since the History Channel periodically shows authentic news clips of 15-16 year old resistance “werewolves” in 1945 Post-World War II Germany being shot by firing squads of American Troops, and countless tens of thousands of teenagers have been silently snuffed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam, it is hard to believe that the idea of children fighting and dying is really such a big deal to our ever hypocritically squeamish population.

The Hunger Games resonate with so much in our history and culture—with the original Victor Hugo version of Les Miserables (hopelessly buried and lost in the Broadway Musical of the same name), and in Suzanne Collins’ own account with the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.  

But above all the Hunger Games resonates with the year 2012 in which America has taken so many steps towards being a brutal, repressive dictatorship like Panem, already—with idiot fake and fraudulent “Conservatives” like Lindsey Graham and Newt Gingrich competing with idiot truly fraudulent “Liberals” like Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama competing with one another to see who can shred the Constitution fastest.  

Interesting to me, given that I based my own doctoral dissertation at Harvard in large part on revisiting Frazer’s the Golden Bough and with it Diana’s Temple by Lake Nemi near Ariccia, are the parallels between the Hunger Games and the myths and rituals of Divine Kingship.  There is nothing in the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, however, about games or about Tributes being well-fed and allowed every luxury leading up to their deaths.  But precisely this treatment is common in the rites of Divine Kingship, where sacrificial victims, like the individual selected for sacrifice during the rites of Toxcatl among the Aztec, are equated with the God Tezcatlipoca (“Smoking Mirror”) during the last year of their lives, given wonderful food and drink, and then sacrificed.  Similar paradigms of sacrifice are found throughout the world—

And the sacrifice of children, likewise, is extremely common: to the rain gods in Mesoamerica, relic traces of this existed even among the modern Yucatec Maya who tie small children to the legs of the altar during the cha-chaac or rain ceremony—although the children have to do nothing more that happily chirp like rainy season frogs (but woe to the boy who croaks like a dry season Toad—he will be beaten, not sacrificed, but beaten).  The Hebrew Bible itself is filled with child sacrifice (all through the Books of Kings and Chronicles, in particular, are Kings who make their children “walk through the fire”—perhaps most famously the daughter of Jeptha…), and by way of archaeological parallel—the excavations at Carthage have revealed hundreds and thousands of child sacrifices…. Among the Natchez of Mississippi, families sacrificed their children in order to rise in social status from commoners (“Stinkards”) to “Honored” Nobility according to the French records by Dupratz and recounted by John R. Swanton….

And in this sense it is perplexing: sacrifice almost always lead either to elevation in status or to outright deification: why the elite of Panem would not have recognized the risk embodied in Golden Bough-Divine Kingship type of analysis: the sacrificial victim—like the Rex Nemorensis at Ariccia who becomes King by killing the old one in combat, will always become the next king.  

At the end of the first book of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, Katniss Everdeen is poised to become (with Peeta), Queen and King of Panem.  This was not only foreseeable, it was in comparative mythological terms inevitable—and yet Suzanne Collins’ trilogy does not allow this drama to evolve that way.  In part, this may be because technology and traditions of oppression have obliterated the natural succession of Divine Kingship….

But Sir James G. Frazer’s point in writing the Golden Bough was to show that Divine Kingship involving the deification of sacrificial victims and their elevation as Kings is a nearly world-wide phenomenon.  I sit here puzzling at the significance of all the trappings of Divine Kingship and the Golden Bough in the Hunger Games.  

Frank Baum had either borrowed or unconsciously recreated so many motifs from ancient mythology—the Four World Quarters with colors Winkie-yellow Quadlin-red Munchkin-blue and Gillikin-purple with Green for the Center of the Emerald City are like nothing so much as the mythological and symbolic organization of (1) Ancient Mesopotamia, “Land of the Four Quarters” centered on Uruk, (2) Celtic Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Connaught, Leinster, and centered on Midhe (Meath) at Tara, and (3) pre-Hispanic Yucatan which, at several Classic sites, is divided into quarters dominated (as recorded on Stelae A & H at Copan) by Tikal, Calakmul, Palenque, and Copan and which even now is divided into four quarters (Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Petén, with Belize claimed by Guatemala and Geographically appearing to be a southern extension of Quintana Roo).

But in Frank Baum’s Oz, kingship is never strong and is always frowned upon, as are all attempts at centralization or standardization of culture, customs, or laws among the four/five regions of Oz.  For that reason, I would assume, there are no hints or traces of divine kingship in Oz—it is a Federal egalitarian Democracy of sorts (even though no one ever votes).  

But by the time of Buffy, as the 20th century closes, the need for a leader has brought forward the Slayer—“one girl in all the world” who fights the Demons.  Now Joss Whedon optimistically ended his series with a devolution of power and prowess from Buffy through the magic of Willow to Millions of “potential” slayers—-but it didn’t quite ring true, in a Television series where even the most outrageous vampiric and magic witchcraft was somehow made to feel “emotionally authentic.”

In the Hunger Games, Dictatorship is the reality and the two victors of the Hunger Games, Katniss & Peeta, are set to become the Divine Kings and possibly the real sovereigns of their land.  Perhaps the need for leadership, the need for someone to save the population, is not yet great enough, but in terms of the political and emotional significance of our story-telling, I think that the journey from Dorothy Gale’s Grey Kansas to Katniss Everdeen’s Grey District 12 tells us the story of the loss of hope and impending doom and despair which was the 20th Century.

*  Katniss is named after a plant called Sagittaria, and my grandmother was born under the sign of Sagittarius—it could be that Katniss reminds me a great deal of my grandmother Helen—similar complexions and faces…. Actress Jennifer Lawrence certainly fits very precisely the image in Suzanne Collins’ book…. and the younger pictures I’ve seen of my grandmother with long hair as a teenager in the time before the U.S. entered WWI….growing up in a place very much like the defeated districts of Panem in the Southern USA.

** In some New Age texts, 108 years is said to be a Venus Cycle, the more ordinary astrological cycle is one of 104 years.  108 is used, but oddly enough, is four years longer than longest calendrical cycle and planetary identity of the Ancient Goddess of Love, namely Inanna/ Ishtar/Aphrodite/Venus.  The calendrical cycles of Venus and the sun are said to “bind” (i.e coincide) every 2920 days, but the ultimate binding of 5 Heliacal Cycles of Venus with 8 Calendar years …. (365 x 8 = 5 x 584 = 2920 x 13 = 37,960 = 2 x 52 years (my current age) = 104 calendar years/105 “tuns” or 360 day periods—the root of the Maya and Aztec Calendars).  Like her Roman Counterpart Diana, Aphrodite and Inanna were both archers—it seems to be the feminine weapon of choice, possibly for purely sexual Freudian reasons, possibly for some mixture of Freudian sexual and Jungian archetypal causation.

*** In the 1970s, Broadway Musical and 1978 movie “the Wiz” the just recently departed Diana Ross and the late Michael Jackson did their best to reframe and appropriate the Baum story for African-America in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement (or Fraudulent Civil Rights Fiasco) of the 1950s-60s…. I have never been comfortable Easing on Down the Road with them in that direction…. although my grandfather was a great supporter of alternative all black productions (now almost extinct) because they upheld and even developed, really and truly, the old segregationist’s doctrine of Separate but Equal (we actually attended the Wiz at the Majestic Theater on Broadway as well as an all black revival of Guys & Dolls in my one major summer with him (ever in my life) in 1976.

State-Licensed Marriage is a CRIME AGAINST GOD, HUMANITY, and NATURE!

My Dear Friend Dr. Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson of Palm Beach Continues her Crusade against the forces of Secular Humanism as they fight against Constitutional Freedom, Liberty and Individual Integrity and Autonomy.  04-16-2012 KAGL Edited Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending Determination back in 15th Judicial Circuit Court.  We a complete reversal in the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals!  Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson’s divorce decree was vacated and nullified (on February 15, 2012) as having been entered in the Complete Absence of Jurisdiction, by Judge Richard L. Oftedal (now off the case).  The 4th DCA returned its mandate to the Florida Circuit Court in North Palm Beach County on Friday 13 April, and so here we are, back in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court in and for Palm Beach County.  Hurray, Kathy! 

Notice of Respondent’s Constitutional Objections to Personal Jurisdiction,

Motion for Leave to Amend Answer & Counterclaim,

Motion for Scheduling Order and New Trial, and

MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS PENDING DETERMINATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL JURISDICTION

COMES NOW the Respondent Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson, pro se, giving notice of her constitutional objections to the exercise of personal and subject matter jurisdiction over her by and under the Family and Domestic Relations Code and Courts of Florida. The fundamental question which Respondent submits is this:

Where there is no express constitutional authorization, how can there be any legitimate constitutional exercise of control over any subject matter or personal question defined as a matter of fundamental right, such as marriage, privacy, and child-rearing? If neither the constitutions of the United States of America nor the State of Florida authorize the licensing or dissolution of marriages, nor to regulate domestic relations in any way except with regard to public safety, how can the State of Florida erect and maintain courts to adjudicate cases relating to such matters?

The Fourth District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida has expressly decided in its order of February 15, 2012, that the Judge Richard L. Oftedal had no power whatsoever to enter a final judgment on April 29, 2010 for the dissolution of marriage.  In other words, the Fourth District Court found that Judge Richard L. Oftedal acted in the complete absence of jurisdiction in entering that “Final Decree of Dissolution” dated April 29, 2010, and that his actions were a nullity.  Implicitly, Judge Oftedal must also have acted unlawfully when he refused to set aside his April 29, 2010, order upon Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson’s post-trial Motion.  As the Fourth DCA correctly noted, Respondent Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson had not one, but two appeals of non-final orders filed (pursuant to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, 9.130).

The two interlocutory appeals both concerned constitutional challenges to the Florida Family Code and Florida Domestic Relations jurisdiction. Since the Fourth DCA denied Respondent’s motion for clarification or rehearing on these subjects, the appellate justices essentially declined to decide and/or found it unnecessary or improper to reach these issues, since they had already reversed and vacated Judge Oftedal’s final judgment in full in Respondent’s favor[1].

Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson now returns to this Circuit Court and asks for leave to amend her pleadings, and for a new scheduling order, a new opportunity to conduct discovery (which she never did) and for a New Trial in this Court to find and/or determine, after sufficient hearing and inquiry into the underlying facts and law of the case all of the Constitutional Issues which Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawon has sought to bring to bear in this case, as a matter of law.

The essential point is that neither the United States Constitution nor the Constitution of the State of Florida authorize the State to Issue Marriage Licenses or to impose jurisdiction by statute to resolve cases or controversies involving or arising from private domestic relations or religious questions of any kind (so long as no breaches of the public safety or peace are involved or implicated).

Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson now demands that, in the interests of judicial economy, this Court rule (after seven long years of waiting) how the Florida Florida Family Code (in particular as dealing with dissolution, division of property, and child custody) derives any legitimate power or constitutional authority in light of Article I: §§1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 12, 21, 22, 23, 27, including but not limited to Basic Rights, Religious Freedom and Non-impairment of contract provisions of Article I: §§3 & 10 (including the proposed amendment of Article I: §3 submitted to the people for popular mandate on the ballot this November 2012) of the Florida Constitution, as well as the First, Fifth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, as a whole, and her rights to Due Process of Law (Art. I: §9), Trial-by-Jury (Art. I: §22), and protection from wrongful intrusion into her privacy (Art. I: §23) by the Courts as a precondition of preserving those rights in dissolution proceedings.

The only mentions of “marriage” in the entire constitution of Florida appear in the recently adopted negative definition in I: §27 and in Article X, §5.  Neither section neither authorizes nor implies state authority to license marriage.  Article I, §27 mandates that Florida will respect only heterosexual unions as marriages as a matter of law, for whatever legitimate purposes there might be in so doing.  Article X, §5 likewise makes no reference to state regulation of marriage, but addresses (somewhat mysteriously, and perhaps redundantly with Article I, §2 above) another issue of “respect” under law:

There shall be no distinction between married women and married men in the holding, control, disposition, or encumbering of their property, both real and personal; except that dower or curtesy may be established and regulated by law.

Accordingly, Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson now asks this Court finally to rule, resolve, and clarify, upon new trial after amendments, discovery, and full-briefing herein requested to resolve Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson’s constitutional questions and affirm her challenges both to this court’s exercise of personal and subject matter jurisdiction.

Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson is the respondent to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage brought by her husband, Jeffrey P. Lawson, originally in February of 2005.

Contending from the beginning that there was a defect in the subject matter jurisdiction of this Court, Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson has never consented to the jurisdiction of this Court.  It is a time honored principle in this state, affirmed steadily by our Supreme Court since at least Lovett v. Lovett, 93 Fla. 611, 112 So. 768 (Florida March 29, 1927) that any:

Party proceeding without objection with hearing in equity court of controversy, jurisdiction of which may be given by consent, may not thereafter complain as to jurisdiction.

            But the record will show that Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson has continually objected to the jurisdiction of this Court and never waived her rights to challenge the personal or subject matter jurisdiction of any Florida Court to adjudicate any aspect of her marriage, her domestic relationship with her husband, or her domestic relationship with their daughter, or to dispose of any of their property except that her husband or the Court show positive constitutional authority to do so, and not merely acquiescence by silence as to this point of most sacred and fundamental rights.

Nor has Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson ever been afforded the right to amend her pleadings in accordance with her constitutional objections and challenges to the personal and subject matter jurisdiction of this Court.  Accordingly, Respondent here and now further requests that this Court acknowledge, affirm, and enforce her right under Article I, §§1, 2, 3, but especially §5 (Right to Instruct Representatives and to Petition for Redress of Grievances), §9 (Due Process of Law) and §21 (the “Open Courts” provision) of the Florida Constitution to amend her pleadings, conduct discovery (Art. I, §24), file pre-trial (and, unlike under Judge Oftedal, have a full and fair hearing on all) motions (including but not limited to Constitutional questions of both substance and procedure[2]), and otherwise to prepare try her constitutional and jurisdictional challenges related to the current Florida Statutory Scheme for the Dissolution of Marriage.  Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson submits that seven years is too long already, and that she should no longer have to wait to challenge and deny the power of the State of Florida so to intrude upon her fundamental rights as to design and enforce upon her a Family Law Jurisdiction and application of judicial process without consent to deny her (1) right to petition, (2) right to privately contract, (3) right to due process of law, (4) right to a trial-by-jury, (5) rights and powers reserved to her as one of the American people under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson has already collected statistical and documentary evidence which she would have plead and presented by and through expert witnesses and testimony (long ago) to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, had she been allowed to do so by Judge Richard L. Oftedal, which shows that Florida Courts automatically grant 100% petitions for divorce without regard to any principal or standard other than that to allege that a marriage is irretrievably broken is taken as sufficient proof of the same as a matter of both fact and law.  Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson would also have argued that such a system was enacted by the Florida Legislature without legitimate or even colorable constitutional authority, then enforced by the State Judges and “officers of the Court,” and applied to her in defiance of all constitutional and statutory law, and in violation of her rights guaranteed under the Federal and Florida Constitutions to rights to due process, equal protection, and freedom from both state impairment of the obligations of contract and takings of liberty and process in violation of the First, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.


[1]           Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson abandoned these two interlocutory appeals once Judge Oftedal entered his final judgment on April 29, 2010, but the issues were not waived firstly because by operation of law the issues raised by the interlocutory merged, and secondly because these issues were fully briefed, as part of Kathy Ann-Garcia-Lawson’s Initial Appellate Brief, of which the Florida Fourth D.C.A. reached only the 9.130 jurisdictional issue and refused, even on her March 1, 2012, motion for clarification or re-argument, to address, decide, or resolve in any manner.

[2]           This Court should be aware that Judge Oftedal, on the record, refused to hear or rule upon any constitutional issues in his court, which is surely a denial of Kathy Ann Garcia’s rights under both the State and Federal Constitutions of Florida and the United States.

In the full version of this Motion, attached above, Kathy quotes in her conclusion of Chief Justice John Marshall’s stirring words in Cohens v. Virginia (March 3, 1821):

The judiciary cannot, as the legislature may, avoid a measure because it approaches the confines of the constitution. We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. With whatever doubts, with whatever difficulties, a case may be attended, we must decide it, if it be brought before us. We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the constitution. Questions may occur which we would gladly avoid; but we cannot avoid them. All we can do is, to exercise our best judgment, and conscientiously to perform our duty.

The Full text of Cohens v. Virginia is attached here: Cohens v State of Virginia 19 US 284 5 LEd 257 6 Wheat 264 Chief Justice Marshall March 3 1821

For the Second Sunday in Easter, Ponder the Words of the Former Archbishop of Canterbury

‘Vilified’ Christians ‘fear arrest’ in the United Kingdom—where is the Queen, still the Fidei Defensor?

Press AssociationRELATED CONTENT

  • Lord Carey said Christians were excluded from many sectors of employment because of their beliefsView Photo

    Lord Carey said Christians were excluded from many sectors of employment because of their beliefs

Christians are being “persecuted” and “driven underground” while the courts fail to protect their religious values, a former Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed.

Lord Carey said Christians were excluded from many sectors of employment because of their beliefs, “vilified by state bodies” and feared arrest for expressing their views.

The former archbishop’s claims are part of a written submission to the European Court of Human Rights, seen by the Daily Telegraph, ahead of a landmark case on religious freedom.

The hearing will deal with the case of two workers forced out of their jobs after visibly wearing crosses, the case of a Relate therapist sacked for saying he may not be comfortable giving sex counselling to homosexual couples, and a Christian registrar who wishes not to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.

In the submission, Lord Carey said the outward expression of traditional conservative Christian values has effectively been “banned” under a new “secular conformity of belief and conduct”.

The former archbishop argued that in “case after case” British courts have failed to protect Christian values and urged European judges to correct the balance. He said there was a “drive to remove Judeo-Christian values from the public square” and argued UK courts have “consistently applied equality law to discriminate against Christians” as they show a “crude” misunderstanding of the faith by treating some worshippers as “bigots”.

In his submission, Lord Carey, who was archbishop from 1991 to 2002, wrote: “In a country where Christians can be sacked for manifesting their faith, are vilified by state bodies, are in fear of reprisal or even arrest for expressing their views on sexual ethics, something is very wrong. It affects the moral and ethical compass of the United Kingdom. Christians are excluded from many sectors of employment simply because of their beliefs; beliefs which are not contrary to the public good.”

He added: “It is now Christians who are persecuted; often sought out and framed by homosexual activists. Christians are driven underground. There appears to be a clear animus to the Christian faith and to Judaeo-Christian values. Clearly the courts of the United Kingdom need guidance.”

He argued British judges have used a strict reading of the equality law to strip the legal right to freedom of religion of “any substantive effect.”

Keith Porteous-Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, told the Telegraph: “The idea that there is any kind of suppression of religion in Britain is ridiculous. Even in the European Court of Human Rights, the right to religious freedom is not absolute – it is not a licence to trample on the rights of others. That seems to be what Lord Carey wants to do.”

I say, for my part: God Save the Queen and May She Yet Live to Appoint Nick Griffin as Prime Minister someday of a BNP Led Government to restore the national values of Winston Churchill! (She wouldn’t have him to tea as I recall, but I presume that would change if he were elected—we’ll see how Marine Le Pen does in France—that will be a key test!  I mean, I like Nick and the BNP just fine, but I’d rather have Marine ANY DAY as my President…. if only there were anybody like her AT ALL in the USA….)

St. Stephen, the First Martyr, and my own personal favorite Carol….about the Martyred Saint Wenceslaus of Bohemia

LIFE OF ST. STEPHEN THE PROTOMARTYR OF ALL CHRISTENDOM

St. Stephen was martyred in Jerusalem about the year 35. Tradition calls him both the first Christian martyr (or “protomartyr”) and the first “deacon” of the Christian Church.

All that we know of the life, trial, and death of St. Stephen, derives from the Book of Acts, Chapters 6 and 7.  In the long chronicle of Christian martyrs, the story of Stephen stands out as one of the most moving and memorable.

Although his name is Greek (from Stephanos, meaning crown), Stephen was a Jew, probably among those who had been born or who had lived beyond the borders of Palestine, and therefore had come under the influence of the prevailing Hellenistic culture. The New Testament does not give us the circumstances of his conversion. It would seem, however, that soon after the death of the Messiah he rose to a position of prominence among the Christians of Jerusalem and used his talents especially to win over the Greek-speaking residents of the city.

The earliest mention of Stephen is when he is listed among the seven men chosen to supervise the public tables. We recall that these first Christians held their property in common, the well-to-do sharing what they possessed with the poor; and at this time, as always in the wake of war, there were many “displaced persons” in need of charity. We read in Acts that the Hellenists, as the Greek-speaking Christians were called, thought that they, particularly the widows among them, were being discriminated against at the public tables. The Apostles were informed of these complaints, but they were too busy to deal with the problem. Therefore seven good and prudent men were selected to administer and supervise the tables. The seven, on being presented to the Apostles, were prayed over and ordained by the imposition of hands. Associated in these charitable tasks with Stephen, whose name heads the list as “a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit,” were Philip, known as “the Evangelist,” Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas-all Greek names. The title of deacon, which came to be linked with their function, derives from the Greek verb meaning “to minister.” These men served the Christian community in temporal and charitable affairs; later on they were to assume minor religious offices.

Stephen, already a leader, now began to speak in public with more vigor and, “full of grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people.”  By this time a number of Jewish priests had been converted to the new faith, but they still held to the old traditions and rules as laid down in Mosaic law.  Stephen was prepared to engage in controversy with them, eager to point out that, according to the Master, the old law had been superseded.  He was continually quoting Jesus and the prophets to the effect that external usages and all the ancient holy rites were of less importance than the spirit; that even the Temple might be destroyed, as it had been in the past, without damage to the true and eternal religion. It was talk of this sort, carried by hearsay and rumor about the city, and often misquoted, intentionally or not, that was to draw down upon Stephen the wrath of the Jewish priestly class.

It was in a certain synagogue of Jews “called that of the Freedmen, and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of those from Cilicia and the province of Asia” that Stephen chiefly disputed.  Perhaps they did not understand him; at all events, they could not make effective answer, and so fell to abusing him. They bribed men to say that Stephen was speaking blasphemous words against Moses and against God. The elders and the scribes were stirred up and brought him before the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish tribunal, which had authority in both civil and religious matters. False witnesses made their accusations; Stephen defended himself ably, reviewing the long spiritual history of his people; finally his defense turned into a bitter accusation. He concluded thus:

“Yet not in houses made by hands does the Most High dwell, even as the prophet says…. Stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ear, you always oppose the Holy Spirit; as your father did, so do you also. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you have now been the betrayers and murderers, you who received the Law as an ordinance of angels and did not keep it.”

Thus castigated, the account is that the crowd could contain their anger no longer. They rushed upon Stephen, drove him outside the city to the place appointed, and stoned him. At this time Jewish law permitted the death penalty by stoning for blasphemy. Stephen, full of “grace and fortitude” to the very end, met the great test without flinching, praying the Lord to receive his spirit and not to lay this sin against the people. So perished the first martyr, his dying breath spent in prayer for those who killed him. Among those present at the scene and approving of the penalty meted out to Stephen was a young Jew named Saul, the future Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles: his own conversion to Christianity was to take place within a few short months.

The celebration of the Feast Day of St. Stephen is December 26, the day after Christmas, aka “Boxing Day” “Two Turtle Doves” in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  Despite the close association between Saint Stephen and Saint Wenceslaus of Bohemia in the Anglo-American mind, owing to a 19th century hymn, Saint Stephen the Protomartyr is NOT the Patron Saint of Hungary, who was in fact another King/Martyr who lived in the eleventh century after Saint Wenceslaus of Bohemia died in the tenth.

GOOD KING WENCESLAS (King/Duke “Herzog” of Bohemia, reigned 924-935)  To the tune of the well-known 19th Century Carol, it is possible to sing an older verse:

“Christian friends, your voices raise.

Wake the day with gladness.

God Himself to joy and praise

turns our human sadness:

Joy that martyrs won their crown,

opened heaven’s bright portal,

when they laid the mortal down

for the life immortal.”

[Words: Saint Joseph the Hymnographer, 9th Century, translated from the Greek. Music: “Tempus Adest Floridum” (“Spring has unwrapped her flowers”), a 13th Century spring carol; first published in the Swedish Piae Cantiones, 1582.]

Saint Wenceslaus’ Day:  September 28, Patron Saint of Bohemia, Czech Republic, Prague, lived approximately 907-935, canonized around 985.

Patron saint of Bohemia, parts of Czech Republic, and duke of Bohemia frorn 924-929. Also called Wenceslas, he was born near Prague and raised by his grandmother, St. Ludmilla, until her murder by his mother, the pagan Drahomira. Wenceslaus’s mother assumed the regency over Bohemia about 920 after her husband’s death, but her rule was so arbitrary and cruel in Wenceslaus’ name that he was compelled on behalf of his subjects to overthrow her and assume power for himself in 924 or 925. A devout Christian, he proved a gifted ruler and a genuine friend of the Church. German missionaries were encouraged, churches were built, and Wenceslaus perhaps took a personal vow of poverty  Unfortunately, domestic events proved fatal, for in 929 the German king Heinrich I the Fowler (Heinrich der Voegler, reigned 919-936, immortalized as Der Deutschen Konig, the just king who sets the trial-by-combat over accusations against Duchess Ilsa von Brabant in Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin”, tomb recently archaeologically discovered) invaded Bohemia and forced Wenceslaus to make an act of submission.

This defeat, combined with his pro-Christian policies, led a group of non-Christian nobles to conspire against him. On September 28, 935, a group of knights under the leadership of Wenceslaus’ brother Boreslav assassinated the saint on the doorstep of a church. Virtually from the moment of his death, Wenceslaus was considered a martyr and venerated as a saint. Miracles were reported at his tomb, and his remains were translated to the church of St. Vitus in Prague which became a major pilgrimage site. The feast has been celebrated at least since 985 in Bohemia, and he is best known from the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas” (Anglicized spelling of Wenceslaus).

Though it was an Anglican priest, scholar, and hymnist John Mason Neale (24 January 1818 – 6 August 1866), chaplain of Downing College, Cambridge, and member of the Anglo-Catholic “Oxford Movement” and “Society of Saint Margaret” (to both of which both my parents were great adherents) wrote the words to the carol “Good King Wenceslas” which he published published in 1853, the music published in Sweden at least 300 years earlier (and possibly, as noted above, much more ancient still, dating back perhaps to the 13th century).

This unique “Christmas carol” makes no reference in the lyrics to the nativity or, really, to Christ or Christmas at all in its modern, popular form.  “Good King” (i.s. Saint) Wenceslas reigned as King of Bohemia in the 10th century, long before Prague became the second or third city of the Habsburg-Austrian Empire.  Good King Wenceslas was a Catholic and was martyred following his assassination by his brother Boleslaw and his supporters, his Saint’s Day is September 28th, and he is the Patron Saint of the Czech Republic. St. Stephen’s feast day was celebrated on 26th December which is why this song is sung as a Christmas carol.

The carol, and legacy of Saint Wenceslaus, owes its popularity to the concept of giving in meaningful ways at Christmastime, especially to the poor, especially by the rich.  Whether its mid-Nineteenth Century composition is in any way related to the movement sometimes called “Christian Socialism” is a different topic.

1. Good King Wenceslas look’d out,
On the Feast of Stephen;
When the snow lay round about,
Deep, and crisp, and even:
Brightly shone the moon that night,
Though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight,
Gath’ring winter fuel.

2. “Hither page and stand by me,
If thou know’st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence.
Underneath the mountain;
Right against the forest fence,
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

3. “Bring me flesh, and bring me wine,
Bring me pine-logs hither:
Thou and I will see him dine,
When we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went,
Forth they went together;
Through the rude winds wild lament,
And the bitter weather.

4. “Sire, the night is darker now,
And the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know now how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, good my page;

    Tread thou in them boldly;
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
    Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

5. In his master’s steps he trod,
Where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod
Which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Alternative last four lines supposedly by author Neale. although I have never heard it sung this way .

Therefore, Christian men rejoice,
Who my lay are hearing,
He who cheers another’s woe
Shall himself find cheering.


Why should we not celebrate both Advent and the Twelve Days of Christmas? Revisiting one of my favorite questions: what is a “law respecting an establishment of religion” under the First Amendment?

This month we have been celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the original Publication of the King James Bible, Sponsored by King James I of England and VI of Scotland, son of Mary Queen of Scots, “executed” (effectively murdered “under color of law”) by Queen Elizabeth I.  In spite of the sometimes unjust and bloody history of the Christian Church and religion, there are times when I really do think that we would be better off in the United States of America if we had a solemn four weeks of “Advent” preceding Christmas followed by a joyous 12 days of Christmas, a major holiday possibly beginning as early as December 21 and running through the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6.  Why not?  Is it because the State has usurped all the forms and functions of religion and sells them to us under the fraudulent guise of “Non-Religion” when in fact the State has merely imposed the “Secular Humanist” religion on us in place of Christianity?  I originally published this post on August 3, 2011, at 4:30 pm during one of the coolest summers in California history, but one week before Christmas seems like a good time to revisit these issues!

12-16-2011 What is a Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion under the First Amendment_

The 1559 Book of Common Prayer, adopted by Parliament under the leadership of Queen Elizabeth I, established Moderate “Middle Way” Protestant Anglo-Catholicism as the State Religion of England & Wales.  Everything contained in that Book of Common Prayer is an ASPECT of Religion and hence its adoption by Parliament, or Congress, or any State is a “law respecting an establishment of religion.”

[I have a modest proposal and it involves answering this question: how much behavioral content do the words “religion” and establishment “cover”?  Could we now accurately interpret and meaningfully paraphrase the establishment clause “Neither Congress nor the states shall make any law regarding any of the behavior covered in the Administration of the Sacraments or other Rites and Ceremonies of the Christian Church?”  or even “Neither Congress nor the states shall make any law regarding lifestyle choices or philosophy?”  Could it be that the entire Regulatory-Welfare State was and remains expressly forbidden and unconstitutional?”]

The First Amendment is without any doubt the most powerful of all the Amendments, indeed, quite possibly, all the clauses of any part, of the constitution.  The U.S. Supreme Court, it seems to me, has focused an inordinate amount of time focused on “School Prayer” and “Teaching Evolution vs. the Bible” and similar subjects in its “Establishment” and “Free Exercise” jurisprudence over the past 50-70 years.  It is almost as if “Religion” is only relevant as an academic exercise, and for that reason, only the “teaching” of religion—the transmission of certain “epiphenomenal” beliefs about the creation of the world or how to commemorate the mechanisms of creation, is in any sense relevant to the constitutional question.

I have been thinking a lot about it, and it seems to me that the word “establishment” should be taken in what—to the Framers of the U.S. Constitution in 1787-1792 at least, must have seemed the most relevant historical context of this word “establishment”—and I have never seen the U.S. Supreme Court discuss this issue at all.

At the Accession of Elizabeth I, in 1558-1559, the Queen of England and her Parliament agreed on a Book of Common Prayer and an Act of Uniformity which, without any doubt at all, “Established” the Church of England and made non-conformity a crime, albeit a very minor misdemeanor.  (Failure to attend the Bishop-Governed, i.e. “Episcopal” Church every SUnday was then and there made subject to a fine of 11 pence.)****

THOSE LAWS, my friends, the 1558-1559 adoption by Parliament of the Book of Common Prayer and the enactment of the requirement of Church Attendance punishable by a fine were LAWS RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION.  See inter alia:  http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1559/BCP_1559.htm

As with so many books, it is the subtitle that gives the critical information we need to know:  the full Title and subtitle of Queen Elizabeth I’s “Coronation” BCP together read “The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England.”

I want to make a radical proposal here: any subject, repeat ANY SUBJECT, which was treated under the “Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England” is a “Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion.”  The teaching of the Bible is covered by the Book of Common Prayer. Accordingly, one supposes, teaching of the Bible in Public School, if authorized by statute, might well be the result of a “Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion.”

But what of the actual “Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies” of the Church of England?  The subject of the sacraments is the orderly cradle-to-grave organization of life.  Each of the sacraments is what anthropologists call “Rites des Passages” marking certain boundaries or “limnal moments” in life: birth = baptism, coming of age as an adult= communion + confirmation, marriage, major decisions about how to live life (= assumption of Holy Orders), reconciliation with one’s self and society after “sin” (= confession/reconciliation), and extreme unction (= death, last rites).

Could it be that the Founding Fathers actually meant and intended, in 1792, to forbid the United States Federal Government from involving itself in ANY “cradle-to-grave” programs involving the orderly structuring of life from cradle-to-grave?  Was this the true meaning of “religion” and/or any “law respecting an establishment of religion”?  “Re-ligio” in Latin means something like “rebinding” or “binding-well”—“ligare” is a verb etymologically related to “lis” or “litis” as in “binding litigation” and “lis pendens“—a “lis” was a string or rope.   I.E., “Religion” is something obliging people to do certain things in certain ways.  Perhaps what “religion” really means is “life style” or in particular, an ordered, well bounded, life-style….”walking the straight and narrow path” or words to that effect.

If so, if “religion” meant (and still means) “life-style choices”, then the First Amendment in effect forbids the social welfare state—and I don’t believe anyone has ever raised this point before, either as an historical truth or even an hypothesis to be tested linguistically or by comparison with the writings of Samuel Johnson, David Hume, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, William Hazlitt, or any other English Philosophers and writers of the late 18th Century, much less any of the Founding Fathers of the USA—but I propose that this is a meritorious hypothesis which ought to be explored.

Equating the word “religion” with “lifestyle” and translating any “law respecting an establishment of religion” as “any law concerning the ordering or structured command of lifestyle” would be and in fact is a very radical, radical idea, by which I mean it cuts to the very root of things (going back to Latin again “radix = root”).   Defining “religion” as “life-style” might explain, for example, why I always (analytically but also somewhat instinctually) tell friends of mine in the “Landmark” program that “Landmark” is really their “Religion”—Landmark is one of those “secular” philosophies or “life-style choices” which orders its adherents’ lives completely.   Did the Founding Fathers wish to PREVENT the Federal Government from Ordering peoples’ lives completely?  I think, in the context of the First Amendment, this makes a GREAT deal of sense.

So, if the phrase “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” could be paraphrased “Congress shall make no law respecting an ordering or structuring of individual personal lifestyles or philosophies”, or even more narrowly “Congress shall make no law respecting any kind of behavior described by or relevant to the limnal moments in life or rites des passages described or constrained in the phrase “administration of the sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England”, then most of what government does is illegal under the First Amendment, because the “nanny state” has become horribly intrusive into every American’s everyday life.

After the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment was passed to abolish slavery or involuntary servitude “except as punishment for crime” and the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, at least in part, to apply (or, as the Supreme Court and legal scholars like to say, “incorporate”) the Bill of Rights to the States.  NOTHING in 20th Century Jurisprudence at the Supreme Court of the United States has been more clear or consistent than the proposition that ALL clauses of the First Amendment were forcibly “incorporated” to apply to the States in or by the Fourteenth Amendment.   For inexplicable reasons, the Seventh Amendment has perhaps faired the worst of all the amendments, in that the Supreme Court has ruled more than once that the states need not “incorporate” trials-by-jury into every civil proceeding, but the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments have all been held as “incorporated” to the States by the Fourteenth, though sometimes with less vim and vigor than the First.  The Status of the Second Amendment remains ambiguous, as does the continuing vitality of the ninth and tenth amendments, which are showing slightly renewed “life” in recent years, albeit a little bit too little too late to save either state or individual sovereignty in any meaningful way from….of all things…..the vast encroachment of the Welfare State.

Earlier this year, there was a minor and very temporary explosion of discussion and major news coverage concerning whether School Prayer at a Public High School Graduation in south Texas near San Antonio constituted “State Action” or not.  An arrogant United States District Judge for the Western District of Texas (the first jurisdiction ever to disbar me….) threatened Jail for Contempt of Court to any student or school administrator who led the student body in prayer.  Very briefly, I had wished I were back in Texas.  If I had been there, I would have advocated and recommended absolutely informed defiance of this Judge.  This not so very honorable U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, should have been placed squarely in the position of deciding whether to jail something close to the entire student body/faculty/and audience of the graduation ceremonies.  Now THAT  would have been a true “Tea Party” moment in the spirit of the original Boston Tea Party, and of civil disobedience of the finest kind.   I strongly suspect that Rick Perry and all the other  wee sleekit cowerin’ tim’rous beasties of the Texas Republican “Tea Party” movement would never have had the nerve to do anything quite this “revolutionary”.

And oddly and ironically enough, the May 2011 Texas Graduation Day Prayer Showdown was averted precisely when Texas State Governor Rick Perry and Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbott championed the “prayers” of that particular South Texas High School.  Perry and Abbott came down on the side of praying, and they all together “prayed” to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Then and there a panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit, sitting in the John Minor Wisdom Courthouse on the river (south) side of Lafayette Square on Camp Street in New Orleans (just opposite a building where Lee Harvey Oswald used to live, back before 11-22-63) determined that the U.S. District Judge was wrong.   The Fifth Circuit decided, once Governor Perry and Attorney General Abbott had intervened, that no “State Action” was involved in the School Prayer at Graduation.  This outcome makes sense, in context, to anyone with advanced alzheimer’s or dementia, but only if you think about it, so everyone in Texas breathed a sigh of relief.

During even that brief time, who knows how many Texas Child Protective Service workers invaded homes and recommended families for highly intrusive “governmental service plans”.   The number might be countable, but who knows how many Temporary Orders by Texas District Judges or “Baby Judges” (as the Honorable Laura Livingston once described herself before she became a District Judge in Travis County) in Family Courts were issued in how many new divorce or dissolution cases, awarding temporary custody of children and splitting families irrevocably apart.

I propose that, in particular, the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits both the Federal Government and (through the Fourteenth Amendment) the States, from “establishing” any regulations relating to any of the subjects covered by the Book of Common Prayer in England in 1558-9 or 1662 (http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/england.htm and  http://www.eskimo.com/~lhowell/bcp1662/index.html) or even 1789 in the new United States (http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1789/BCP_1789.htm).

I further propose that the true meaning of the First Amendment is absolutely to guarantee both freedom of conscience and freedom of personal individual lifestyle choices and behavior, to the extent that the Modern Regulatory-Welfare State is incompatible with the First Amendment to the Constitution, above all else which may be said about the Unconstitutionality of the various statutes and regulations which have brought this Regulatory-Welfare State into existence.

****(In Elizabeth’s time there were 12 pence [“pennies”] in every old English Shilling, 24 pence in a Florin, 30 pence in a Half-Crown, 60 pence in a Crown, and 240 pence [20 shillings, 10 florins, or 4 crowns] in the Pound Sterling until A.D. 1969.  Although I was by then only a summer visitor with my grandparents in England, rather than a resident with my parents, I remember that summer and the transition to the new currency vividly. For that reason [and inspite of the inspirational moon landing] 1969 is accordingly a year which shall live in infamy in my own mind and memory and the memory of many Patriotic and Sentimental Brits and people of British heritage and descent—the adoption of the decimal system was a much more cowardly precursor to the U.K.’s entry into the Common Market/European Community than anyone at the time ever realized).  

Above all, I challenge Governor Rick Perry and everyone else who pretends to care about Religion in the United States to address this question, and to admit that the prohibition against any “law respecting an establishment of religion” means that the debate must expand FAR, FAR beyond the boundaries of education, public prayer, private prayer, or the teaching of evolution, or even the school lunch consumption of ham or bacon sandwiches.  

It is time to publicly debate and answer the question: must government be banned forever from ALL activities regarding the regulation or control of the human life-cycle, from cradle-to-grave?  Is this the true meaning of freedom?  

Meanwhile, in Texas, the trivial pursuit games go on unabated…..

Judge tosses attempt to stop Texas prayer rally

APBy APRIL CASTRO – Associated Press | AP – Thu, Jul 28, 2011

  • FILE- In this June 23, 2011 file photo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the 28th annual National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference in San Antonio. A federal judge on Thursday, July 28, 2011 dismissed a lawsuit that sought to stop Perry from sponsoring a national day of Christian prayer and fasting, ruling that the group of atheists and agnostics did not have legal standing to sue. (AP Photo/Darren Abate, File)FILE- In this June 23, 2011 file photo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the 28th …

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that sought to stop Gov. Rick Perry from sponsoring a national day of Christian prayer and fasting, ruling Thursday that the group of atheists and agnostics did not have legal standin g to sue.

U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller said the Freedom From Religion Foundation argued against Perry’s involvement based merely on feelings of exclusion, but did not show sufficient harm to merit the injunction they sought.

“The governor has done nothing more than invite others who are willing to do so to pray,” Miller said.

Rich Bolton, who argued for the group, said he was considering an appeal.

“I wonder if we had a Muslim governor what would happen if the whole state was called to a Muslim prayer,” said Kay Staley, one of five Texas residents named as plaintiffs in the suit. “I think the governor needs to keep his religion out of his official duties.”

Staley said she would be at the prayer rally to protest.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation argued in the lawsuit that Perry’s involvement in the day of prayer and fasting would violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause. The event, which is called The Response, is scheduled for Aug. 6 at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

A day earlier, Perry defended the event, comparing it to President Barack Obama’s participation in theNational Day of Prayer.

“My prayer is that the courts will find that the first amendment is still applicable to the governor no matter what they might be doing and that what we’ve done in the state of Texas or what we’ve done in the governor’s office is appropriate,” he said. “It’s no different than what George Washington or Abraham Linlcoln or President Truman or President Obama have done.”

Perry, an evangelical Christian, said he didn’t yet know what his role in the rally would be.

“I’m going to be there — I may be ushering for all I know — I haven’t gotten my marching orders,” he said. “It’s not about me and it’s not about the people on the stage either, this is truly about coming together as a state lifting up this nation in prayer, having a day of prayer and fasting. That’s all it is.”

The group, which unsuccessfully sued to stop Obama’s National Day of Prayer earlier this year, filed the case on behalf of 700 members in Texas and called on the court to stop Perry from participating in the meeting or using his office to promote or recognize it.

Perry invited the Obama administration, the nation’s governors and Texas lawmakers to attend the event. The Republican governor is moving closer to jumping in the race for the White House.

The event is being sponsored by several evangelical Christian groups, including the American Family Association, which has been criticized by civil rights groups for promoting anti-homosexual and anti-Islamic positions on the roughly 200 radio stations it operates.

The foundation said it does not oppose politicians taking part in religious services, but that Perry crossed a line by initiating the event, using his position as governor to endorse and promote it and by using his official website to link to the organizer’s website. The plaintiffs also contend that Perry’s use of Texas’ official state seal to endorse the event and his plans to issue an official proclamation violate the Constitution.

An appellate court in April dismissed the group’s previous lawsuit against the Obama administration over the National Day of Prayer, on which people of all faiths were invited to take part. Like Miller, the three-judge panel in that case ruled that the group could not prove that they had suffered any harm when the president issued a proclamation observing the day.

For Family, Home, and Freedom: Abolish State Licensing of Marriage and all Federal Welfare Conditions Mandating State Domestic Relations Law

I have been saying the same thing about Britney Spears for several years, and you could say the same thing about several dozen other Hollywood Celebrities.  It remains true that nothing is more offensive to the sanctity of marriage (and to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment) than the requirement of a State Marriage License and the existence of State Family and “Domestic Relations” Courts.  

         However, the degree to which the mainstream media permits these extremely high priced hookers to serve as an inspiration to the rest of the world’s population has just got to be evidence that the media is participating in the plan to abolish the family, private property, and the “Bourgeois State.”  Together, the Family Courts and the Media do indeed make a mockery out of marriage, and these are literally the “models” for how everyone else thinks it’s “Normal” to behave. 
        In my opinion, then, the subject of marriage is one in which strict construction of the constitution leads to a victory for the conservative religious right as well as the socially liberal left:
          Conservatives can have their traditional marriages entirely governed by their Churches, with no state interference.  Liberals likewise can have their non-traditional marriages governed according to contract without any hint of Sacramental “marriage” or any involuntary imposition of anyone else’s religious standards on them.  The Courts of the State will be available to adjudicate disputes arising under partnership contracts without discrimination or religious establishment (or moral judgment) of any kind (except with regard to fundamental notions of equity).
         All sections of the United States “Public Health & Welfare Code” (Title 42) which mandate or place conditions upon Welfare based on State conformity with Federal Law be repealed and/or declared unconstitutional, and that almost every provision of every State Family Code or Domestic Relations Code likewise be declared unconstitutional as a direct infringement on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as integrated to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment.
               In short, I also propose that no court could ever again be involved in a family dispute except to construe a written marital or “domestic partnership” contract, will, or trust.   I not only do not believe that Gay Couples should not be allowed Marriage Licenses by the State, I do not believe that anyone should be allowed Marriage Licenses by the State: gay, straight, or hermaphrodite/transsexual.  The State must be BANNED from the bedrooms (and living and dining and breakfast rooms) of the people all together (we’ll leave the propriety of state regulation of attics, rec-rooms, garages and laundry rooms for another discussion).  
          Only Churches should be allowed to perform marriages and/or to judge their validity.   Traditional Roman Catholics can choose to be bound by Papal laws concerning marriage and divorce.  Traditional Anglicans can choose to be bound by the Book of Common Prayer adopted by Parliament in the time of Elizabeth I in the Four Hundred Year Old Language (whose quatuor-centennial is being celebrated this very year and month) of the Bible as published in 1611 under King James I.  But Unitarians and Universalists, as well as Pagans and Wiccans, will be free to celebrate gay marriages if they wish.   The Mormons may reestablish Polygamy if they wish (so long as no one is ever coerced into it without legal consent, and the state will still preserve the right to establish uniform ages and other tests of mental competence of contractual capacity, including the capacity to agree to sex and marriage).
          The Civil Courts will continue to adjudicate marriage and/or civil partnership agreements as they would ANY OTHER CONTRACT.  The Statute of Frauds adopted under Charles II will continue to apply to marriage and all other contracts affecting real estate or duties to be performed over more than one year in time, but this is merely and really a secular standard for the enforcement of any contract. Any couple (of any orientation) without the literacy or common sense to create a written contract will simply be left “on their own” to deal with “partnership breakup” problems.  
                This is how marriage always was historically, since the most ancient times, and it is how marriage ought to be now: a contract to which the “loving couple” and their families are parties, with friends as witnesses.  If these people cannot work out an agreement that’s fair and reasonable under the circumstances, the state should not impose “contracts of adhesion” on them.
If you would like to help the fight for “corny old values” like Truth, Justice, and the American Way, for Family, Home, and Freedom, and to add one Senator for the Bill of Rights and against Indefinite Detention, against the PATRIOT ACT, and against the use of United States Troops in this Country against its own citizens, please support Charles Edward Lincoln, III, for U.S. Senator from California.  We are fighting one of the most entrenched establishment seats in Congress—Dianne Feinstein who tried to make cosmetic changes in the “indefinite detention” provisions of Senate Bill 1867 to hide the grim and oppressive reality—and we ask you to send your check or money order to Lincoln-for-Senate 2012 to Charles Edward Lincoln, III, 952 Gayley Avenue, #143, Los Angeles, California 90024.  Call 310-773-6023 for more information.

Are the “Quick and the Dead” also with thy spirit? The latest phase in the struggle over the many prayerbooks of the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church”

There are only three books regularly easy handreach of my computer are “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderful” & “Through the Looking Glass” (Lewis Carroll, in one volume), “Siva: the Erotic Ascetic” (Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Oxford U. Press), and “The Saint Helena Psalter.”   This bizarrely unmatching trio probably reflects something more serious about my (I would submit very mild) own multiple personality disorder than anything else.  But I grew up, as I mentioned recently on my mother’s birthday, with the 1662 Church of England/1928 American Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, along with the Bible, and the History of England, among the key documents essential to my education.

At an earlier stage of my life, either the English or American BCP would have been among the three books I always kept hand, but now it regularly causes too much turmoil in my mind to think about all the changes.  I accept the radical “inclusive language” of the “Saint Helena Psalter” for its genuine linguistic excellence, but on the whole I prefer Lewis Carroll’s 19th century English and Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty’s intense structuralism and interlinear Sanskrit translations to reflect on, but there have been at least four extremely important “Helens”, “Elenas”, or “Helenas” in my life….and for them alone I keep their namesake Psalter handy…..there is no harm in any of the Psalms: whatever their sexual identification of God’s nature or power may be, they are all songs of devotion and courage in the face of terrible adversity.

And talking of “terrible adversity”, I was a teenager in the 1970s.  Generally speaking, the 1970s were probably no worse a time than any to pass through that “terribly adverse” phase of life than most others no marred by fully pitched World War or the Black Death, but the 1970s just happened to be the time when the American Episcopal Church was falling apart quite completely.  I mean, when the American Episcopal Church was going through its last and most dramatic prayerbook transformation, essentially achieving a final “Great Divorce”. The C of E, E.C. of the USA was in the 1970s divorcing itself from its Elizabethan/Jacobean-Tudor/Stuart reformation identity of the previous 450 years strong (1979, the year of the adoption of the New Episcopal Prayerbook, was exactly 450 years after the downfall of Henry VIII’s Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1529, the major break with Roman authority which ultimately led to the establishment of the Church of England (Henry VIII was declared the “Head of the Church” five years later by Parliamentary Statute in 1534, although he had been “Fidei Defensor” since 1521, when he wrote his famous anti-Lutheran tract “Defense of the Seven Sacraments”).

I went through my confirmation classes at St. Thomas the Apostle on Hollywood Boulevard in 1973-74 with Cannon Noble L. Owings (we studied the “Acts of the Apostles” in depth) and was confirmed in late April 1974 at All Saints in Beverly Hills by Los Angeles Bishop Robert Claflin Rusack, who had just been elected in January of that year.  I was thus confirmed in the language of the old prayerbook and I hated the succession of Red, Green, and “Zebra” prayerbooks leading up to final adoption of the New Prayerbook in 1979—to which I have never adjusted.

I still prefer all the old prayers and introits.  In particular I prefer (and still recite in my mind, even as I listen to the modern texts) both the old “Collect”:

ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

And then I can almost never forgive them for changing the old version of the Nicene Creed, especially the sections on Easter and Resurrection:

And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.

   And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

We acknowledge one Baptism for the Remission of Sins, and look for the Resurrection of the Dead, and the life of the World to come.”  That’s the only change I actually like: I prefer that the “Credo” be rendered as a Credemus: “We believe” instead of “I believe.”  Other than all that, I think all the changes in the text are just so much offensive folderol, “to make the Church more “Commercial” as Tom Lehrer once said in the introduction to his 1965 parady “Vatican Rag”: “Get in line in THAT processional; step into the SMALL Confessional; there that guy who’s GOT Religion will TELL you if your sin’s ORIGINAL…. if it is, try playin’ it safer, drink the wine and chew the wafer…TWO FOUR SIX EIGHT….time to TRANSUBSTANTIATE….then get down upon your knees….”

But really, the WORST of all the changes for me was not even to have to abandon the liturgy of the “QUICK AND THE DEAD” as part of the Nicene Creed, it was having to respond to the phrase, “The Lord be With you” by saying, “AND ALSO WITH YOU”, instead of “And with thy Spirit.”  I STILL say “AND WITH THY SPIRIT” under my breath and to lots of people.  And I used to have “AND WITH THY SPIRIT” as my e-mail signature—but nobody ever got the point. And then:

Answer.
Priest.
Answer. 
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up unto the Lord.
Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
It is meet and right so to do.

So it was much to my astonishment when I read what was going on the RC Church: they are RESTORING more of the “archaic language”, including “and with thy spirit” (except of course its “and with your spirit”) instead of “and also with you.

American Catholics prep for new Mass translation

APBy RACHEL ZOLL – AP Religion Writer | AP – Sun, Nov 6, 2011
RELATED CONTENT
  • In this Oct. 24, 2011 photo, Monsignor Richard Arnhols of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Bergenfield, N.J., looks through a study guide for Catholic Mass, at St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, in River Edge, N.J., during training sessions for priests of the Archdiocese of Newark, on the first new translation of the Mass liturgy in four decades. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    In this Oct. 24, 2011 photo, Monsignor Richard Arnhols of St. John the Evangelist …

  • In this Oct. 24, 2011 photo, Monsignor Richard Arnhols of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Bergenfield, N.J., looks through a study guide for Catholic Mass, at St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, in River Edge, N.J., during training sessions for priests of the Archdiocese of Newark, on the first new translation of the Mass liturgy in four decades. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    In this Oct. 24, 2011 photo, Monsignor Richard Arnhols of St. John the Evangelist …

RIVER EDGE, N.J. (AP) — Each Sunday for decades, Roman Catholic priests have offered the blessing — “Lord be with you.” And each Sunday, parishioners would respond, “And also with you.”

Until this month.

Come Nov. 27, the response will be, “And with your spirit.” And so will begin a small revolution in a tradition-rich faith.

At the end of the month, parishes in English-speaking countries will begin to use a new translation of the Roman Missal, the ritual text of prayers and instructions for celebrating Mass. International committees of specialists worked under a Vatican directive to hew close to the Latin, sparking often bitter protests by English speakers over phrasing and readability. After years of revisions negotiated by bishops’ conferences and the Holy See, dioceses are preparing anxious clergy and parishioners for the rollout, one of the biggest changes in Catholic worship in generations.

“We’re tinkering with a very intimate and personal moment,” said the Rev. Richard Hilgartner, executive director of the worship office for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It’s public worship, it’s the church’s official public prayer, but for the individual faithful, it’s one of the primary means of their encounter with the Lord.”

The biggest challenge will be for priests, who must learn intricate new speaking parts — often late in their years of service to the church. At an Archdiocese of Newark training at St. Peter the Apostle Church in River Edge, many clergy had just received a final published copy of the Missal, a thick hardcover bound in red, accompanied by an equally dense study guide. Earlier drafts had been available for orientation sessions that have been ongoing for months nationwide.

Many clergy are upset by the new language, calling it awkward and hard to understand. The Rev. Tom Iwanowski, pastor of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Oradell and New Milford, N.J., turned to the section of the new missal that calls funeral rites, “the fraternal offices of burial.”

“How can I say those words? It doesn’t make sense,” said Iwanowski, who has been a priest for 36 years. “It separates religion from real life.”

In the new translation, in the Nicene Creed, the phrase “one in Being with the Father,” will change to “consubstantial with the Father.” When a priest prays over the Holy Communion bread and wine, he will ask God for blessings “by sending down your spirit upon them like the dewfall.”

The new missal grew out of changes in liturgy that started with the Second Vatican Council, the 1960s meetings on modernizing the church that permitted Mass in local languages instead of Latin. Bishops in English-speaking countries created the International Commission on English in the Liturgy to undertake the translation. The panel produced a missal by 1973, but that version was considered temporary until better texts could be completed. As the commission worked to make the Mass more familiar in idiomatic English, some of the language strayed from the Latin. Also in some cases, the commission sought to use language that would be gender neutral.

The work took a new direction in 2001, when the Vatican office in charge of worship issued the directive Liturgiam Authenticam, or Authentic Liturgy, which required translations closer to the Latin. The Vatican also appointed another committee, Vox Clara, or Clear Voice, to oversee the English translation, drawing complaints from some clergy and liturgists that the Vatican was controlling what should be a more consultative process. (Cardinal George Pell, the Sydney, Australia, archbishop and chairman of Vox Clara, has called the complaints baseless and ideologically driven.)

The Rev. Anthony Ruff, a Benedictine monk and theology professor at St. John’s University in Minnesota, said he was removed last year as head of the music panel of the international translating commission because of criticisms he posted on his blog. In an open letter to U.S. bishops published in the Jesuit magazine America, Ruff cancelled his plans to speak on the text to diocesan priests because, “I cannot promote the new missal translation with integrity.”

In South Africa, church officials accidentally introduced much of the new text in parishes ahead of schedule in late 2008, generating similar complaints about ponderous language, although church officials now say most parishioners have adapted.

Jeffrey Tucker, a lay musician at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Auburn, Ala., said he also had concerns about how the translation was handled. Still, he said he found the new missal “extraordinary.” The text and music are truly integrated for the first time since the changes from the Second Vatican Council, Tucker said. He has been introducing the new text to lay people and church leaders in recent months, and has found the reaction to mostly be, “Oh, wow.'”

“The language is more accurate, but that is the most boring thing you can say about it. The more important thing about the language is that it’s beautiful,” said Tucker who is managing editor of Sacred Music, the journal of the Church Music Association of America. “Hardly anything ever good comes out of a committee. This time it did.”

Parishes around the United States have spent the summer trying to prepare church members for what’s ahead. Priests have been discussing the changes in homilies, in notices in parish bulletins, and in workshops and webinars. Many clergy plan to use poster-sized laminated cue cards for parishioners as the new text is introduced. The introduction of the new text comes on the first Sunday of Advent, just ahead of the Christmas season — a time when infrequent churchgoers attend services.

The Catholic Community at Pleasanton, Calif., which serves 5,000 families in the Diocese of Oakland, has been organizing ministry training sessions and town hall meetings for parishioners to ask questions and express concerns. Mark J. Sullivan, the church music director, said he has seen reactions range from people fully embracing the change to others asking, “Why now?”

“They say, ‘I’ve got everything memorized. Why are you messing with it?'” Sullivan said. “If people do get a little nervous, it because things are in a different place, and it is more content, but it’s more for great reasons. We’ve got more to work with.”

The Rev. Michael Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral in Seattle, started an online petition called, “What If We Just Said Wait,” that drew more than 22,000 signatures from clergy, lay people, liturgists and others around the world, who urged a limited, one-year introduction of the new translation followed by an evaluation before the text was adopted across the country.

Despite the protest, Ryan said he has been preparing parishioners for the change and he will be ready to recite the new text on Nov. 27.

“I’m not going to stand apart from the church,” Ryan said.