The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Adventures of Reaction Man: Episode I

The Origin

Evelyn Disraeli Dryden Bonald Burke Carey Filmer Eliot Hyde Maistre Salisbury Johnson was known as Eddy to his family and his friends. His parents, disgusted at how Canada’s public schools had degenerated into left-wing indoctrination camps, had sent him to a private, church-run, school instead, and so unlike most young Canadians his age, he could read and write proper English and was capable of formulating a logical argument. His love and appreciation for his country, reinforced by his having been taught her history without either a Marxist or a Liberal Party interpretive lens, further set him apart from the majority of his generation. He was also a huge fan of superhero comic books and motion pictures based on the same but in this he was not so different from his peers.

Eddy liked to enter contests and occasionally even won a prize. His favourite contest was the annual snap-back-the-spoon contest at the frozen yogurt chain founded by legendary sports figure Jim Morton. Not that this has anything to do with our story, but for the sake of clarity, the Jim Morton in question is neither the Scottish soccer player nor the Australian football player but the Canadian star of the mixed-sport basket hockey, who still holds the all-time world’s record for the longest uninterrupted period spent dribbling the puck. Every summer, his frozen yogurt franchise holds a contest. Every frozen yogurt, ice cream, or gelato they serve comes with a special, contest, plastic spoon. When the customer has finished his frosty treat, he snaps back the handle of the spoon to discover whether he has won a prize or not. Eddy would play every day while the contest was on, although usually he won nothing more than another frozen yogurt.

One hot summer’s day, however, after he had enjoyed a particularly refreshing dessert, he snapped back the handle of his spoon and saw the words “mystery prize.” “Oh boy”, he thought, “this is going to be something really good.” So he took his prize-winning spoon to the counter, and his server congratulated him and took his contact information, telling him that he would receive an e-mail within the next couple of days telling him what his prize was and how he could claim it.

The next morning Eddy checked his e-mail and, sure enough, there was a message from Jim Morton’s corporate headquarters. He opened it and read that he had won a free tour of the Clock Museum. This dampened his spirits somewhat, as a tour of the Clock Museum ranked fairly low on the list of prizes he was hoping to win. To be precise, it was 97, 832nd on the list, right below an ear-wax removal and above a roll of non-stick masking tape. Like Priam of Troy, however, for whom the policy did not work out so well, he was not one to look a gift horse in the mouth and, besides, he had nothing better to do on the date of the tour, which was the twenty-seventh of July.

“The twenty-seventh of July”, he noted, “is the ninth of Thermidor, the day of the Great Reaction, when the Reign of Terror of the French Cromwell, Maximilien Robespierre finally came to an end and he was condemned to the same bloody fate to which he had assigned so many others. It ought to be a day of celebration, and I am going to be spending it looking at clocks.”

He, nevertheless, marked it on his calendar, and when the day arrived, showed up at the museum to claim his prize. He was less than thrilled to find that his tour guide was Mona Monotone, widely considered to be the most boring tour guide in the entire Dominion, if not the Commonwealth. According to legend, she had led a group of hyperactive, twelve year old boys, who had just loaded up on sugar, on a tour of Video Game World, and had put them all to sleep within the first five minutes. The legend, Eddy was about to learn, was not exaggerated in the slightest.

When he woke up, hours later, curled up beneath a display of watches that had been made by Thomas Tompion, the famous seventeenth century English horologist he discovered that night had fallen, the museum was closed, and he had been locked inside.

“When it rains it pours” he said to himself.

All at once a flash of lightning could be seen in the sky which was followed by a loud boom of thunder.

“I didn’t mean it quite that literally.”

Eddy walked around the museum looking for a way out but could find none. He then tried to find a way of entertaining himself until the morning when somebody would come by to open the museum and let him out. All he could find was a radio, which he turned on. The only channel that was coming through was playing a marathon of Cher’s post-Sonny break-up-themed hits. “Believe” had just ended and “I Found Someone” was starting to play. Eddy sighed and tried to turn the radio off but found that the power button was jammed. Eddy tried jiggling the button for most of the duration of the song to no avail. He then got up and headed towards the workshop in hope of finding a pair of plyers. As he did, the Cher marathon segued into “If I Could Turn Back Time”

“Well”, Eddy thought, “At least it is fittingly ironic, considering that I am trapped in here among all these time pieces.”

As Eddy passed before the largest window of the museum, he tripped over something and fell into the giant grandfather clock which faced the window. He struggled to extract himself from the clock, but before he succeeded he looked up through the window and saw a shooting star. At that exact moment the song reached the chorus and the title line was running through his head as he saw the star. Also at that exact same moment a bolt of lightning came through the window and struck the grandfather clock in which Eddy was trapped. He immediately fell into unconsciousness again.

When he awoke again, he finally managed to crawl his way out of the clock. He felt strange, but that did not surprise him considering he had just survived a lightning strike. What did surprise him, was that he did not feel injured. He felt stronger, faster, and more clear-headed than before.

All of a sudden the front door to the museum swung wide open. Standing in the doorway, however, was not the museum curator, any of the other museum staff, the local police, or anyone else whom he might have expected to come by at that time of night. Rather it was a figure dressed in a monk’s robe, with the cowl pulled up over his face.

“Eddy Johnson, I presume?” the monk asked.

“Well, it isn’t Dr. Livingstone” Eddy joked. “Who are you and how do you know my name?”

“I am called Brother Whippet, and I have been sent from the ancient and holy Order of the Marshmallownians to find you.” (1)

“I’ve heard of you. You guys are the monks who make the Benedictines and the Franciscans look like the epitome of worldliness in comparison. You came all the way from Romania to find me? Alve-Say et-ay Ave-ay.”

“Etay ibi-tay. I’m impressed. Few outside of our order speak our tongue. Brother Moonpie and Brother Wagonwheel told me that you were an unusual young man.”

“How on earth do you guys know anything about me?”

“An ancient prophecy. Long ago, Christendom – Christian civilization – was defended by the brave knights who served its kings and defended the Church. It was foretold that on the anniversary of the Great Reaction a new knight would arise to fight for Christendom in her darkest hour. Today is that day, and you are that knight.”

“Me, a knight? Are you serious?”

“Very serious. Tell me, did anything unusual happen to you today?”

“I got trapped in the Clock Museum. That does not happen to me every day.”

“I meant apart from that. Did anything else unusual happen to you while you were trapped in this museum?”

“You mean like getting stuck in a clock that got struck by lightning?”

“Yes. The circumstances that converged around that event have given you the powers that you will need in your fight.”

“What sort of powers?”

“All of the usual superhero stuff – super strength, super speed, and flight, plus one power that is unique to yourself.”

“What is that?”

“Look at your wristwatch.”

Eddy looked at his watch and to his astonishment he saw that it was going backwards.

“What does this mean?” he asked.

“It means that your special power is the ability to turn back the clock. It is the most essential power of all for the hero who will champion Christendom against the evil forces of progress.”

“Who or what are these evil forces that you say I will have to fight?”

“Lucy the gender-confused devil has recently gone on a supervillain creating streak. We don’t have a complete list of who all he has bestowed the diabolical powers of progress on, but the ones we know of so far are Social Justice Warlord, Madame Diversity, Bleeding Heart, Egalitron, The Secularizer, Abortion Lady, Lezbo the Feminist Fatale, The Woke Millennial and his Aunty Fa, Veganator, small-r republican, Treehugger the Ecofreak, The Mad Democrat, The Forward Thinker and the Globalizer. You will have to face these and many other foes. Since you are a Canadian, it is almost inevitable that your crusade for Christendom will also bring you into direct conflict with Captain Airhead and it is not unlikely that you may have to face Lucy himself.”

“That is a lot of enemies – but I am ready to fight in this noble cause!”

“Then allow me to formally swear you in to your knighthood. Do you swear to loyally serve your Queen, country and Commonwealth?”

“I do so swear.”

“Do you swear to faithfully practice the Christian religion and to defend and protect Christ’s Holy Church against all its enemies?”

“I do so swear.”

“Do you swear to defend the weak, especially those who are picked on and bullied by anti-racists, feminists, vegans, the alphabet soup gang, and politically correct thugs and goons in general?”

“I do so swear.”

“Do you promise to fight Lucy the devil and the Liberal Party of Canada to your dying breath?”


“Then, as a brother of the Order of St. Michael of Marshmallow, I dub thee knight, and bestow upon thee thy superhero name of Reaction Man.”

So it was that Christendom gained a new champion and a new superhero was born.

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode in the Adventures of Reaction Man.

(1) For more of the Order of Marshmallownians see Brother Moonpie and the Devil’s Apocalypse.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Brother Moonpie and the Devil’s Apocalypse

Hidden away in the mountains, in a forgotten branch of the Carpathian mountain range somewhere on the border between Transylvania and Cisylvania, is the last remaining monastery of the ancient and holy Order of Marshmallownians. It is also the Order’s first monastery, founded over a thousand years ago by St. Michael of Marshmallow himself, shortly before he was captured by Count S’more of Cisylvania, who sent him to his martyrdom by burning him at the stake. The Marshmallownians are a very devout Order, who fast three days a week, and slow on the others. They never miss their daily recital of the seven hours of prayer, and often stick an eighth and even a ninth one in to boot. The prayers are never said in the vernacular, nor is ordinary Church Latin good enough for them. Only Double Dog Latin will do for the Marshmallownians and each member of the Order is expected to be fluent in this lamentably neglected sacred tongue. If you ever get a chance to visit them, be sure to do so and to join them for prayer, for you will never hear anything like it anywhere else.

The current head of the Order is a man whose family name is Cracker and who at birth was given the name Graham after a distant relative who was a famous evangelical preacher. His parents gave him this name because they hoped that he too would become a preacher but he opted to become a monk instead. To his fellow Marshmallownians he is known affectionately as Brother Moonpie, and they rightly esteem him to be the holiest and most devout of them all.

You can imagine the surprise, therefore, when one morning, during Matins, before they had even gotten to the ibi-tay erubim-Chay et-ay eraphim-Say in the Te-ay, eum-Day audamus-Lay, he up and walked out of the chapel.

Brother Wagonwheel, worried that something was wrong, followed him out. Brother Moonpie, not seeming to notice that he was being shadowed, walked down the corridor to the monastic library, where he went to a neglected shelf in the back and pulled a dusty tome forward. A wall swung open to reveal a hidden chamber. It too was lined with books, older and dustier, for the most part, than the ones in the main part of the library, and contained a study desk upon which what looked to be the oldest and dustiest book of them, lay open. Brother Moonpie sat down in front of the book, turned a page, and then said:

“If you ever wish to moonlight as a detective, Brother Wagonwheel, you will need to learn how to trail people in a much less noticeable manner. I have a DVD that might help you in this. It is a very rare copy of the film version of the only known collaborative work between Ian Fleming and Erle Stanley Gardner, a James Bond/Perry Mason teamup which was published under the alternate titles The Defense Never Rests and The Case of the Debonair Assassin when the manuscript was discovered after both of its authors had passed on. Someone managed to talk Sean Connery and Raymond Burr into reprising their most famous roles for the film. I really do recommend it and you could pick up some marvelous tips.”

“Um, thanks, I think. I’ll try to keep that in mind.”

Brother Wagonwheel really didn’t know what else to say.

“So, you must have followed me, to the ultra-secret reserved section of the library that up until now only I knew about for a reason. Is there anything I can help you with?”

“I followed you because I was concerned. It is not like you to slip out of Matins before it is even half sung. I was worried that something was wrong.”

“Well, you were right to be worried. Something is wrong, very wrong, but not with me. At least, not in the sense you were thinking.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Something is very wrong in the world outside the walls of this, our safe haven, my friend. I have observed the signs for years and they have been increasing. I have been unable to concentrate on anything else and so have come here to meditate upon the situation.”

“Signs? Of the Apocalypse you mean?”

“Yes and no. As you know, both Testaments of our Holy Scriptures, contain Apocalyptic writings, vivid prophesies of a climactic final battle, in which our Lord and Saviour shall return, defeat the forces of darkness, judge the living and the dead, and reign forevermore. Signs of this Apocalypse would not disturb me at all, for it is the blessed hope for which we are commanded to watch and wait.”

“What other Apocalypse is there?”

“There is nothing pertaining to our Lord that Lucy has not attempted to counterfeit.”

“Lucy? You mean the daughter of the innkeeper in the village down the mountain?”

“No, I mean Lucifer, the enemy of men’s souls.”

“Oh, right, that Lucy.”

“This foul tome that lies open before me is Lucy’s Apocalypse. We keep it here for reference, but in this strictly restricted section, because it is more wicked than the Necronomicon, the Satanic Bible, the Communist Manifesto, the Feminine Mystique, Locke’s Two Treatises and all other such works put together. As you might expect there are both similarities to the Apocalypse in our Holy Scriptures and significant differences. Like our Apocalypse it tells of a final decisive battle between God and the devil. In Lucy’s version the devil wins.”

“But there is not the slightest chance of that happening.”

“Of course not. But that will not stop Lucy from trying to make it happen. Indeed, Lucy has attempted to make it happen several times throughout history. In your studies you have probably encountered the fact that several historical figures have been identified by Christians in their day as the Antichrist, the Man of Sin who will arise to lead the devil’s forces in the final battle. In one sense this identification was a mistake, for none of these figures turned out to be the final Antichrist who features in our Apocalypse and will be defeated directly by Christ at the Second Coming. They were, however, previous attempts by Lucy to bring his own version of the Apocalypse to pass.”

His version? With a name like Lucy shouldn’t it be her version?”

“The fact that someone is confused about his gender does not give him the right to impose his confusion on the rest of us. Professor Peterson has some excellent videos on this subject, I’ll send you a link.”

“So the Apocalypse of St. John the Divine, if I understand correctly, tells us what will happen at the end of time because it has been foreordained by God to happen at a time that He has also determined but not revealed, whereas Lucy’s counterfeit Apocalypse gives the outcome the devil wants to make happen. God’s version will inevitably play out in history but only once, whereas Lucy’s version will periodically recur because he lacks the power to bring about his desired outcome and will keep trying until his final defeat in the real Apocalypse.”


“And you think we are living in one of those periods now?”

“The signs first became evident a decade or so ago when the first of the Four Justins of the devil’s Apocalypse appeared on the scene.”

“Don’t you mean the Four Horsemen?”

“No. Remember, Lucy’s Apocalypse counterfeits the true Apocalypse. It is in St. John’s Apocalypse that the Four Horsemen are described as being unleashed upon the earth when the first seals on the seven-sealed scroll are broken. In Lucy’s version, the Four Justins are beings that Lucy sends to wreak his wicked will through the means of popular entertainment. We have seen three of the four make their appearance.”

Brother Moonpie indicated with his hand an envelope on the desk next to the book and Brother Wagonwheel opened it and looked at the three glossy pictures inside. He then objected:

“I thought you said they would be popular entertainers. This one is a Canadian political leader.”

“Evidently, you are not familiar with Canadian politics. It is a form of popular entertainment, a subgenre of ordinary clowning. The individual you have indicated is well known to be a clown. Many people have a hard time distinguishing between clowns and the bogeyman. There is a reason for that.”

“Are you saying that he is like Pennywise?”

“It is hard to tell exactly where on the scale of clownish evil he falls – perhaps he is closer to the Joker, maybe he is closer to that guy who sells hamburgers – but either way he is a definitely a clown and like the other two Justins has all the signs of having come straight from Lucy himself.”

“Two of the three are Canadians, the other is an American. Does that mean that the fourth one when he appears will be an American?”

“It is possible. We know that Lucy’s most recent attempt to raise up the Antichrist involved an American. Three years ago one of Lucy’s American daughters, a member of the sisters of the night, the most sinister witches’ coven of all, was poised to take control of the American military-industrial complex and start World War III. Lucy’s scheme was defeated, however, by the triumphant rise to power of Donald the Orange.” (1)

“Wait, would that not mean that this round of the devil’s Apocalypse is over?”

“I wish it were as simple as that. But Lucy is not admitting defeat and, indeed, seems, if you will pardon the expression, hell-bent on bringing down the man who thwarted his designs and is more determined than ever to bring his version of the Apocalypse about.”


“I don’t have all of the facts, but this much I can tell you, that Lucy’s relationship with Mick and Keith has been under a lot of stress in recent years and the Orange Caesar’s defeat of Lucy’s daughter happened to follow immediately on the heels of the latest and ugliest quarrel. Illogical as it seems, Lucy appears to blame Donald for the fight.”

“How do you know this?”

“Do you remember how a year or so ago we granted sanctuary to a man named Cesare Salad?”

“Yes, he was a sort of a rough looking character.”

“He had been an enforcer for the Fettuccini crime syndicate in Ontario, Canada. His godfather, Don Alfredo, the head of the syndicate, is a good friend of Lucy’s. (2) One day he happened to overhear Lucy discussing his plans with Don Alfredo and some Ontario judge (3) and it frightened him so bad he ran away, all the way to us.”

“What kind of plans?”

“Apparently Lucy has been using the findings of stem-cell research, of which he has plenty to make use of for every aborted foetus is a sacrifice to Satan, to conduct experiments in the genetic engineering of demons and has found a way of crossing the harpies from the seventh circle of his infernal domain with the Malebranche from the eighth to produce a kind of super-harpy. He has made four of these fiends so far, which he calls his “squad”, and they are supposed to be so terrible and horrifying as to make the Justins look tame in comparison. He has sent them to wreak his vengeance on Donald the Orange.”

“Surely he will just send them back where they came from.”

“Most likely. In the meantime, however, the signs are continuing to increase.”

“What is the latest one?”

“The disturbing increase in veganism. Everywhere you look, these days, you find these new plant-based meat substitutes being advertised and sold.”

“I know that veganism is disgusting and silly and wrong but is it really a sign of the devil’s Apocalypse?”

“Of course it is! It is central to Lucy’s entire plan. Have you forgotten that is was by persuading Adam and Eve to eat a piece of fruit that he brought sin into our world long ago? Or that he caused the first murder by inspiring the plant-eater Cain to be envious of his carnivorous herdsman brother Abel? Lucy knows that even with Original Sin working in his favour the only way he will ever be able to deceive enough people to follow his Antichrist will be if he can starve their brain cells of essential nutrients and that the easiest way of doing so is to persuade them to voluntarily reject the most delicious source of nutrition that God in His grace has given to man.”

“So what you are saying is…”

“That to foil this part of Lucy’s scheme we must get beyond vegetarianism.”

At this point Brother Moonpie glanced at his watch and exclaimed “Look at the time! We have been discussing this all day. Vespers will have started already. Come with Brother Wagonwheel. With any luck we will still be in time for the agnifcat-May.”

The two monks left the secret room, carefully concealing the entrance again, and walked back to the chapel to resume their prayers.

(1) See The Witches Sabbat.

(2) Don Alfredo and the Fettuccini crime family feature in Justice for Minnie?

(3) Justice Bob Baddecision of the Ontario Inferior Court first appears in Lucy’s Day in Court.

Friday, July 19, 2019

A Cause Neither Lost nor Gained

“If we take the widest and wisest view of a Cause, there is no such thing as a Lost Cause because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause. We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that anything will triumph” – T. S. Eliot

Has that strange sound from beneath the high altar of St. James’ Anglican Cathedral in Toronto finally ceased?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

The forty-second General Synod of the Canadian branch of the Ecclesia Anglicana convened in Vancouver, British Columbia on the tenth of July. Prominent on the agenda was a motion to alter the canon governing holy matrimony to allow for the performance of same-sex marriages. Canon law requires that such a motion pass two consecutive General Synods. At each of these Synods it must receive a two-thirds supermajority from the lay delegates, from the clergy, and from the episcopal college. It received this, albeit through some questionable shenanigans, at the last General Synod in Richmond Hill, Upper Canada, three years ago. This year, however, while it received 80.9 percent of the lay vote, and 73.2 percent of the clerical vote, it was defeated in the House of Bishops who gave it only 62.2 percent, with fourteen bishops voting against the motion, and two abstaining.

It was this motion to which I alluded when I suggested in the concluding paragraph of my Dominion Day essay that John Strachan, first Bishop of Toronto, was probably spinning in his grave. While it is good that the motion was defeated it is important that we recognize that although this was a defeat, of sorts, for liberalism it was not a triumph for orthodoxy. Had orthodoxy triumphed we would be talking about a liberal motion that never made it past its first round through Synod because it was voted down by lay, clerical, and episcopal supermajorities larger than those required to pass it. The reason it is important to recognize this is because the temptation for the orthodox faithful in the Anglican Church of Canada will be to look upon this as the end of a decades long battle of which they are already weary. This is not the end, but rather the beginning. The liberals may not have had the numbers to overcome the constitutional roadblocks that were wisely placed in the way of quick and easy changes to canon law but they clearly outnumber the orthodox and they are not giving up. Indeed, it is quite apparent that they came to Synod with their Plan B already in place in the event they lost the vote. Their Plan B is basically to treat canon law in the same way in which they have long treated the Holy Scriptures, the Creeds, and the traditions of the Church – as texts that can mean anything, which is another way of saying they mean nothing, and therefore mean whatever they want them to mean. It is this sort of thinking, rather than the mere symptom which is their desire to redefine marriage to suit the alphabet soup crowd, that is the essence of the cancer of liberalism that has been eating away at the Church.

Indeed, the breakdown of the vote reveals that the path that lies ahead for the orthodox faithful will not be an easy one. The duty of the orthodox, when a portion of the Church has fallen into grievous error, is to win those who have strayed back to the truth. This is never easy, but it is much more difficult when those who have fallen away have the larger numbers, and especially when they are a majority even among the bishops, those to whom the specific duty of safeguarding the faith had been passed on by the Apostles. It is interesting that the motion received a larger percentage of the lay vote than the clerical vote. Twenty-one years ago Rev. George R. Eves in a book which addressed the growing divide between liberalism and orthodoxy in the Anglican Church of Canada at a time when the battle over same-sex affirmation/blessing/marriage was in its early stages (1) observed that the clergy were a lot more liberal, both theologically and politically, than the laity. If the vote at General Synod accurately reflects the thinking of clergy and laity today – and this is a big if, since it may simply suggest that liberals had control of the lay delegate selection process – then this would appear no longer to be the case. The laity are the largest segment of the Church and if they are also now the most liberal it will be that much harder to reclaim the Church for orthodoxy.

In light of this, the orthodox faithful would do well to remember the words of our Lord and Saviour as recorded in Luke 18:27 “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

The fight for orthodox Christian truth has being going on since the very founding of the Church – the Apostles first encounter with Simon Magus, to whom the Fathers of the second and third centuries traced the origin of the heresy of Gnosticism, (2) is recorded in the eighth chapter of the Book of Acts – and will continue, according to prophesies made by both Jesus Christ and His Apostles, until the Second Coming. Explicit warnings against false doctrines and/or exhortations to remain true to the Apostolic faith are found in almost every book of the New Testament. With regards to the outcome of this ongoing war and the battles within it the faithful have both the assurance of the Lord Jesus Christ that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church built upon the Apostolic faith (Matt. 16:15-19) and the warnings given to particular Churches about the judgment that will come if they fall away from the faith. The letters to the angels – which in this somewhat singular use of the term means bishops – of the seven Churches of Asia Minor in the second and third chapters of Revelation are a particularly good example of this. Note the warning to the bishop of Ephesus: (3)

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent (Rev. 2:5)

The falling away that is addressed here was less than the abandonment of the faith for which the term apostasy is usually reserved. Had the Ephesians been guilty of apostasy the warning would hardly have been lesser.

The assurance of Matthew 16 and the warnings of Revelation 2-3 do not contradict each other. The former is made to the catholic Church, the latter to particular Churches. The gates of hell, of which heresy and apostasy are weapons, shall never prevail against the catholic Church, that is to say, the entire or whole Church, but particular Churches within the catholic Church - and, sadly, Church history demonstrates that this is as true of entire dioceses and provinces as it is of individual parishes – can fall to heresy or apostasy. Fortunately, the same history also provides examples of particular Churches that have been recovered from heresy. (4) The orthodox must be ever vigilant for the “faith once delivered unto the saints” but must not succumb to despair when error appears to be in the ascendancy. The present situation in the worldwide Anglican Communion is a particular smaller-scale illustration of this point. However much the Church of England, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Episcopal Church in the United States have been permeated by the leaven of liberalism, orthodoxy prevails in most of the other provinces of the wider Anglican Communion.

There are those who would object to depicting the marriage debate as one between orthodoxy and heresy. The grounds for this objection, when it is based on something more than mere squeamishness over the use of strong language, have only the most superficial sort of validity. That same-sex marriage has never been formally condemned as a heresy by an ecumenical Council is due entirely to the fact that up until the last twenty to thirty years or so nobody would have ever dreamed that the need for such an anathema might arise. That the Creeds do not contain a line to the effect of “and I believe in one holy, sacred, matrimony between man and woman” is not because this is something about which there has been no “quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus” consensus among the faithful, but because like many other truths about which the Scriptures are clear this one would be out of place there. Creeds, as the formal affirmations of the Church’s faith, are not intended to be comprehensive lists of all the truths she adheres to but of those upon which she rests her confidence in God’s grace. (5)

There is, however, a sense in which the objectors are right, but to the opposite effect of what they intend. The ancient heresies were affirmations of the Christian faith that deviated from orthodoxy on some essential point because of an overemphasis upon another. Sabellianism emphasized the unity of God to the point of denying the Trinity, whereas Tritheism was the reverse of this. Arianism denied the full deity of Jesus Christ, whereas Docetism and Apollinarism denied His full humanity. If this is what heresy is, liberalism is something much worse. Keep in mind the point made earlier about the push for same-sex marriage being merely a symptom. (6) The disease to which it points is a way of thinking in which individual wish-fulfilment is the highest good, truth can be discovered or created by majority vote, and every affirmation of the Creed, every tradition of the Church, and every statement of Scripture is open to an infinite number of re-interpretations to bring it in accordance with these ideas. Heresy affirms the Christian faith while distorting its truths, liberalism denies the Christian faith under the guise of an affirmation. It is far more dangerous than any mere heresy.

This does not make our duty to contend for the orthodox faith against liberalism any less than against heresy. If anything, the duty is greater. The same Scriptural warnings apply – but mercifully, so do the Scriptural promises.

(1) The book entitled Two Religions – One Church: Division and Destiny in the Anglican Church of Canada was self-published by Rev. Eves in 1998 and has just been revised and updated for this year’s General Synod. The updated version is available here:

(2) St. Justin Martyr, Apologia Prima, 26, St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, I.23. St. Hippolytus of Rome, Refutatio Omnium Haeresium, IV.51 and VI.2, 4-15.

(3) At the time the Book of Revelation was written, this would have been St. Timothy, the same St. Timothy whom St. Paul recruited to join his evangelistic mission from the Church in Lystra in Acts 16 and to whom he later wrote two canonical epistles. Since St. Timothy was bishop of Ephesus until his death in 97 AD, he would have been the one addressed regardless of whether St. John’s exile to Patmos took place under Nero or Domitian.

(4) Take the history of the orthodox Church’s struggle with Arianism in the third and fourth centuries, for example. Several provinces which accepted or leaned towards the heresy condemned by the first ecumenical Council in 325 AD were later brought back into communion with the orthodox Church. There was a period, however, not long after the Nicene Council, when the Arians very much appeared to have the upper hand.

(5) Peter Toon made this point with regards to other truths. “Neither the Apostles’ nor the Nicene Creeds mention hell or Satan. To add to either of these the words, “and in one devil, tempter and enemy of souls; and in damnation to hell everlasting,” would sound odd; belief in Satan and hell is of a different nature than belief in God and heaven. The contents of the creeds point to realities which are to lay hold upon us and grip us in faith and love: Satan and hell are to be avoided, not greeted.” Austin Farrer said something that was very similar in Saving Belief: A Discussion of Essentials, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1964.

(6) An even more serious symptom is evident in the apology retiring primate Fred Hiltz made on behalf of the Church to Canadian aboriginals at General Synod and in some of the articles regarding dialogue with the Jewish community that have appeared in recent issues of the Anglican Journal. While dialogue and better relations between these communities can hardly be viewed as a bad thing per se, liberalism is willing to sacrifice the truths of the Christian faith to achieve these goals. One such truth is that there is only one true and living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The idols of pagans – whether we are talking about the gods such as Zeus and Odin that European peoples worshipped prior to converting to Christianity, the gods that North American aboriginals worshipped before being evangelized, or other pagan deities of other peoples – are demons. Another such truth is that the saving grace of the one true God is only available through the Redeemer He has provided for the fallen race of mankind, His Son Jesus Christ. Liberals appear to be willing to sacrifice both of these truths to achieve “reconciliation” with the aboriginals, and the second of these truths to achieve dialogue with the Jews. Stephen Roney, who is a member of the Roman Church, has pointed out how a denial of these truths is latent in Hiltz’s apology. For why the second truth should not sacrificed to the goal of better dialogue with the Jews see the chapter on evangelizing the Jews in Suicide - The Decline and Fall of the Anglican Church of Canada?, written by the “Anglican Billy Graham” Dr. Marney Patterson and published by Cambridge Publishing House in Cambridge, Ontario in 1999.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Bishop Strachan and the Soul of Canada

On July 1st, 1867, the British North America Act went into effect and the Dominion of Canada was born, consisting, at the time, of the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, but which would eventually grow to include all the provinces and territories under the sovereignty of the British Crown in continental North America. Four months later, on the Feast of All Saints, a man who had called for the confederation of British North America decades before the political realities of the 1860s spurred our statesmen into action on the matter, went to his eternal reward. That man was the Right Reverend John Strachan, the first Anglican Bishop of Toronto. For much of the half century prior to Confederation Strachan had been the spiritual and intellectual leader of Upper Canada. He was also the very embodiment of Toryism in its pure, undiluted form. A much watered-down version of this same Toryism inspired and drove the Fathers of Confederation, a fact that the Liberal Party has always resented, which resentment has been behind their relentless efforts to undo Confederation and re-make the country into their own, warped, image. In these efforts, they have been all too lamentably successful.

John Strachan was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1778, while the American Revolution was underway. (1) When he was fourteen, his father died in an accident at the local granite quarry of which he was the overseer, and the support of his mother and sisters fell upon him. He was able, through tutoring and teaching, to both provide that support and to fund his own studies in divinity at the University of Aberdeen. After a number of disappointments in his efforts to improve his situation in Scotland, he was told that an academy had been founded in Kingston, Upper Canada with the intention that it would grow into a college, and that the principalship of the school was offered to him. He accepted the offer and crossed the Atlantic only to discover that the school was just theoretical. Nevertheless, he found a patron in the Hon. Richard Cartwright, the United Empire Loyalist from Albany, New York who had rebuilt his family’s fortune as a businessman in Kingston, and served as a judge and legislator in the province. Cartwright made Strachan the tutor of his eldest sons, and soon other leading Loyalist families put their sons under his tutelage as well.

One of the Loyalists who sent his sons to study under Strachan was Dr. John Stuart, the founding rector of the Anglican parish in Kingston that would eventually evolve into St. George’s Cathedral (the basis of the fictional St. Nicholas’ Cathedral that features in Robertson Davies’ Salterton trilogy). It was Dr. Stuart who persuaded Strachan to seek ordination in the Church of England. Strachan had come from a family that was mixed religiously, and while the theology he had been taught in Aberdeen was that of his mother’s Presbyterianism, he was more drawn to the non-juring, Scottish Episcopal Church of his father, and would become a staunch advocate of the beliefs, practices, and rights of that Church’s English counterpart. In 1803 he was ordained a deacon in the Church of England, by Dr. Jacob Mountain, the first bishop of the diocese of Quebec, which at the time included all of the Anglican Churches in what is now Quebec and Ontario. The following year he was ordained a priest. His first assignment was to the mission church in Cornwall.

His entering into Holy Orders ought not to be considered a change in careers. He certainly did not see it that way himself and, if anything, his educational efforts increased after his ordination. This is entirely in keeping with his philosophy of education, in which the Church was the institution best suited to provide a sound education on a solid religious foundation. Accordingly, one of the first things he did upon taking up the ministry in Cornwall was to establish a grammar school which quickly achieved distinction. His student roster resembles a Who’s Who of the next generation of judicial, executive, legislative, and ecclesiastical leadership of Upper Canada. The school was basically a traditional, British, parochial grammar school – a classics based curriculum, daily prayer services, and an emphasis on character formation, especially the instillation of a sense of civic and religious duty – but with a larger role for what we would today call STEM classes. The non-existent academy that had lured him to Canada he thus ended up creating himself.

It was during his ministry in Cornwall that he met and married Ann, the daughter of the local physician, and the young widow of Montreal businessman Andrew McGill. He also became a close friend of his wife’s brother-in-law from her first marriage, James McGill, and convinced him to bequeath his large estate for the purpose of founding of a college. This, of course, is how McGill University came to be. Strachan was named a trustee of the college in McGill’s will and was intended by McGill to be the school’s first principal, although his commitments in Upper Canada ultimately prevented him from taking this position in Lower Canada.

In 1812 Strachan accepted the post of rector of the Anglican parish in York. At the time the future city of Toronto was just a small town, but an important one, being the capital of Upper Canada. Sir Isaac Brock, the Lieutenant Governor of the province, appointed him the chaplain to the military garrison stationed at York at the same time that he assumed the rectorship. This was immediately prior to the outbreak of war. The grasping and covetous Yankees, believing that all of North America was destined to belong to their republic, declared war on the British Empire on the assumption that her preoccupation with the Napoleonic war in Europe, would render British North America vulnerable to their plans of conquest. At the cost of much bloodshed, they were proven to be mistaken as the Canadians took up arms and fought alongside the Imperial army and such Indian allies as the Ojibwas and the Iroquois Confederacy to repel the invaders who arrogantly saw themselves as liberators. In all of this, Strachan played a major role, not only through his role as military chaplain and by using his pulpit to promote patriotic Loyalism, but as the main organizer of the “Loyal and Patriotic Society of Upper Canada”, to raise support for the relief of the wounded, widows, and orphans. He also had the unfortunate task of having to negotiate terms in 1813 when American forces overwhelmed the defenders of York and forced the Imperial troops to retreat to Kingston. He was able to secure the release of the starving, sick, and wounded militia men who had been taken prisoner, but was unable, due to the inability of the American general to control his men, to completely prevent the burning and looting of York. (2) Had he not already been a man of strong Loyalist, royalist, and Tory principles, firmly and fundamentally opposed to liberalism, republicanism, and everything else the United States stood for, this experience would have made him one, and it steeled him in these convictions.

After the war Strachan found himself fighting the forces of liberal, secular, American republicanism in the domestic form of the subversive Reform movement – the movement from which the Liberal Party of Canada, eventually sprung. The Reform movement, created by pamphleteers and yellow journalists, had as its initial goal the transformation of Canada into a Yankee style republic, but when they found that this would not sell – the republican revolution attempted by William Lyon Mackenzie in 1837 received little support and was easily defeated (3) – they moderated this into a demand for “responsible government.” This consisted of a two-fold transfer of power – first, from the Imperial to the provincial government, second from the executive branch of the provincial government to the legislative assembly. Even in this modified version, the Reformers, like the American Revolutionaries before them, followed in the footsteps of the seventeenth century Puritan Whigs, who had usurped the authority, rights, and privileges of the Crown because they saw the concentration of power in the elected assembly which they were able to control as the easiest path to shoving their radical agenda down everyone else’s throats. “Responsible government” is a nonsensical phrase – unfettered democracy is, and always has been, the least responsible form of government, and the well-spring of all tyranny. (4)

Strachan had been appointed to the Executive and Legislative Councils of Upper Canada in 1815 and 1820 respectively. He was not the first or only clergyman to serve in this capacity, but his presence there was regarded as intolerable by the Reformers. Nor did the fact that many of his former pupils also served on these Councils reconcile the Reformers to his presence.

When Upper Canada had been separated from Lower Canada in the late eighteenth century, the Crown had set aside land for the support of “Protestant clergy” with the obvious intent of establishing the English parochial system in the former. Strachan was a strong believer and defender of the original intent of the Clergy Reserves, whereas the Reform Movement took the position that the legislature should confiscate the land, sell it off, and use the proceeds to support – secular – education. Others did not go as far as this, but wanted the Reserves divided between the Church of England and the Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland. Still others wished to divide the Reserves further, including the non-conformist and enthusiastic sects as well.

Strachan, as we have seen, was a pioneer in the development of Upper Canadian education. This was related to his support for the re-creation of the parochial system because he believed firmly that schools administered by the Church, with a sound, orthodox, religious foundation for learning, were the best way to elevate and refine a culture, and civilize a society. He held this to be true of higher education as well and in 1827 around the time that he was made Archdeacon of York he obtained a Royal Charter along with an endowment of land for King’s College, an Anglican university of which he would serve as the president. The Reformers demanded that the university be confiscated and secularized.

The Reformers won in each these battles and it is worth noting that similar struggles were taking place in the United Kingdom at the same time. The Warden, the first of Anthony Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire, tells the story of a saintly clergyman, whose income as warden of an almhouse supported by a land bequest dating back centuries, comes under attack by a newspaper editor bent on reform, who makes up for what he lacks in the way of brains and information with an overabundance of self-important ideals. While the story is fictional, Trollope drew from real situations and people in writing his novels, and there are obvious parallels between this and the Clergy Reserves fight in Upper Canada. Not long after the battle for King’s College in Canada, liberal reformers in Britain successfully used their strength in Parliament to force secularizing reforms on Oxford University, diverting much of its endowments from their intended purposes in theological education, and weakening the school’s ties to the Church by making religious services and subscription to the Thirty-Nine Articles optional. (5) This helps to illustrate the sad point that George Grant made in Lament for a Nation that our vulnerability to Americanization despite our Tory Fathers best efforts to shield us against it is largely due to liberal rot having already set in throughout the British Empire, including the mother country herself.

At the heart of each of these three conflicts can be seen the same basic clash of ideals. The Reformers were motivated by a liberal ideal that had first been enunciated by the Anabaptists and one extreme branch of the Puritans and which later was enshrined in the Constitution of the American republic, the doctrine of separation of Church and State. This is a false ideal from the perspective of both sound theology and sound politics. The reasons why it is bad theology are too long to get into here. (6) Politically it is unsound because it reduces religion to a matter of personal choice and hinders if not outright prevents its being the force for social and civil good that it is supposed to be. Strachan understood this and fought for Church establishment on sound, orthodox, principles. He lost each of these battles – he resigned his positions on the Executive and Legislative Councils, was forced by the legislative assembly to sell the Clergy Reserves, and saw King’s College confiscated by the legislative assembly and secularized into the University of Toronto. In both cases the legislative assembly grossly exceeded their authority thus illustrating what I said earlier about democracy being the well-spring of tyranny for the confiscation of endowed property and the perversion of educational institutions into the opposite of what their founder intended constitutes a form of tyranny. They got away with it because the Imperial government, not wanting to risk another American revolution so soon after the first one, was unwilling to check the provincial legislature when it stepped out of bounds. Nevertheless, while the Reformers defeated Strachan’s vision of Church establishment, they fell short of achieving their own goal of separation of Church and State which goes beyond mere non-establishment. (7)

Strachan’s response to these losses is most admirable and shows tremendous character. After the legislative robbery of King’s College, he raised the funds to create a new Anglican university, Trinity College, for which he obtained a second Royal Charter! In 1839 the Church of England in the Canadas had grown sufficiently that is was deemed appropriate to divide the Diocese of Quebec and form the Diocese of Toronto of which he was consecrated the first Bishop. He continued to promote the growth of the ministry of the English Church, and despite the loss of the Clergy Reserves was successful enough to warrant the formation of two more Dioceses out of his own, the Diocese of Huron in 1857 and the Diocese of Ontario in 1862. Even before his efforts to create an established, parochial, system failed, he had the foresight to plan for a day when the Church would have to govern and support itself apart from Royal patronage, and in 1851 formed the first Diocesan Synod, setting the precedent that would be followed by the Anglican Church throughout the Dominion of Canada.

If Bishop Strachan, the orthodox Churchman who stood for “Apostolic Order and Evangelical Truth” can see the huge leap away from both that the Anglican Church of Canada is planning on taking in its next General Synod, he is undoubtedly spinning in his tomb, beneath the High Altar of St. James, the parish he pastored in Toronto the building of which, having to be rebuilt due to fire, re-opened as his Cathedral upon his return from his consecration at Lambeth Palace in 1839. This is all the more true if he can also see how Papa Doc and Baby Doc Trudeau have done their worst to turn the Dominion of Canada that had just come into being prior to his departure from this life into a crummy, Communist, Third World, dunghole and how the educational system of Canada, that he put so much thought and effort into, and which at its height produced such minds as Marshall McLuhan, George Grant, Harold Innis, Robertson Davies, Northrop Frye, Donald Creighton and Eugene Forsey has so decayed that it is now churning out unreflective morons who buy wholly in to the militant “wokeness” that has come to infest our country and fail to recognize it for what it is, a cruel totalitarianism that is far closer in spirit than anything else in Canada today to the regime against which we and the rest of the British family of nations bravely went to war in 1939. Whereas Bishop Strachan fought for Canada’s soul, today’s progressives have sold it.

Happy Dominion Day
God Save the Queen!

(1) For the biographical details included in this essay I consulted Alexander Neil Bethune, Memoir of the Right Reverend John Strachan, D. D., L.L.D., First Bishop of Toronto, Toronto, Henry Rowsell, 1870. The author had attended Strachan’s Grammar School in Cornwall, later became a divinity student under him, was appointed chaplain by Strachan upon his elevation to the episcopacy, then later archdeacon, and was chosen and consecrated by Strachan as coadjutor bishop in his final days, and thus ultimately succeeded him as bishop of Toronto.

(2) The following year, the Yanks experienced payback when the Imperial forces burned the city they had built on the marshy territory between the Potomac River and Tiber Creek. However, since most Americans rightly consider the swamp gas that is still emitted from the goings on in that city to be the source of a major part of their woes, perhaps we should think of this not so much in terms of payback but as doing them a favour.

(3) Mackenzie went into exile but later returned and was elected to the legislative assembly. His attempt at violent revolution ought to have barred him from even running for public office. Ideally, the ban would have extended to his descendants as well. His grandson and namesake, became Canada’s longest-serving Prime Minister and was also Canada’s third or fourth worst Prime Minister after the two Trudeaus, and possibly Pearson, depending upon which you consider to be worst, the treasonous betrayal of your country to both the Americans and the Soviets simultaneously (Pearson) or sabotaging our system of king/queen-in-Parliament and granting near dictatorial power to the Prime Minister’s Office (Mackenzie King). Any one of the notorious Black Donnellys of Kingston, even if they had been guilty of ten times the crimes of which their neighbours accused them before lynching them in 1880, would have made a better Prime Minister than any of these contemptible, lowlife, creeps.

(4) The most responsible form of government, is the traditional mixed king/queen-in-Parliament system, which still survives in Britain and Canada although badly damaged by the efforts towards democratic absolutism of liberals in both countries in the seventeenth and twentieth centuries respectively. The Whig Interpretation of History maintains that this system emerged from the triumph of the Puritans over the Stuarts in the seventeenth century, but this is nonsense. It is the Stuarts who were the champions of the balanced, responsible, Westminster system against the Puritans and the Whigs who sought to subvert it. Also nonsense is the Liberal “Authorized Version” of Canadian history which re-writes our story from one of noble Loyalism into a version of the American struggle for independence. That the majority of Canadian historians teach the Liberal version lends it no credibility. It is merely more evidence that the Liberal Party of Canada operates like the Communist Party of North Korea, where only the Kim-approved official version of Korean history is allowed to be taught. Which is one reason why aspersions cast by the Canadian Historical Association on the “academic merit” of the work of others ought to be treated as nothing more than a laughable joke. For real Canadian history the best writers were Donald Creighton and W. L. Morton.

(5) See the second volume of Edward Meyrick Goulburn’s extensive biography of John William Burgon, for an account of how Burgon, later the Dean of Chichester Cathedral but at the time the vicar of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin – the position held by John Henry Newman before his defection across the Tiber – fought, heroically but unsuccessfully, against these reforms. The biography was published by John Murray of London in 1892.

(6) I shall, Deus Vult, address this issue in full in a later essay. The orthodox view of the matter is that the Church and State are distinct kingdoms, under God, with their own sphere of authority. As members of the Church, baptized kings like other Christians, are subject to the authority of the Apostolic ministry, as members of the State, Bishops, like other subject-citizens, are subject to the authority of the king. Bishops govern the Church through the ministry of the keys, kings govern the State through the ministry of the sword. Church and State are complementary and distinct, but not separate. See George Hickes, The Constitution of the Catholick Church and the Nature and Consequences of Schism, 1716, especially the 42 propositions in the section found on pages 62 to 129, as well as the section on Church and State, Part V, found in the second volume of William Palmer’s A Treatise on the Church of Christ Designed Chiefly for the Use of Students of Theology, London, J. G. & F. Rivington, 1838.

(7) Liberal writers such as Michael Harris and Warren Kinsella have sometimes claimed that separation of Church and State is a Canadian value. If this is not just a simple matter of confusing our history and tradition with that of the United States, then they presumably have the outcome of the battles over the Church Reserves and King’s College in mind. Let us say, for the sake of argument, that non-establishment is the full equivalent of separation of Church and State, which it is not. This still would not make the separation of Church and State a Canadian value. By Canada, the Liberal writers mean the Dominion of Canada, the country founded by the Confederation of British North America. The above battles affected only Upper Canada – Ontario. They did not affect the other provinces of British North America, not even Lower Canada – Quebec – in which the Roman Catholic Church was firmly established and remained so until the Quiet Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s. Quebec’s controversial Bill 21, just passed, does indeed seem to have created a separation of Church and State, but only in the province of Quebec. Warren Kinsella in a recent column condemned it as fascist. Whether he is right or wrong is a subject for another time, although I will say that in my opinion Quebec would have been better off going the route of undoing the Quiet Revolution and re-establishing the Roman Church than taking the path of complete secularization. I merely wish to point out the extremely amusing irony of the self-contradictory position Kinsella has taken.