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Think Your Easter Was Wild? A Church in San Diego Has You Beat, & it Involves a Nut, a Gun, a Baby & a Bra. And the Rapture.

Westlake Legal Group easter-bunny-dog-SCREENSHOT Think Your Easter Was Wild? A Church in San Diego Has You Beat, & it Involves a Nut, a Gun, a Baby & a Bra. And the Rapture. Uncategorized tsidkenu church SAN DIEGO religion rapture nbc navy mount everest academy Front Page Stories easter Culture & Faith California Bible benjamin wisan anna conkey Allow Media Exception

 

 

How wild was your Easter?

A Christian congregation in San Diego probably has you beat.

Non-denominational Tsidkenu Church — which meets at Mount Everest Academy — has had some interesting encounters with 31-year-old Anna Conkey. On April 15th, the Navy veteran’s Facebook post — accompanied by a link to an hour-long video — announced that God had given her a message for the church.

Vid from yesterday: here’s your proof the “Holy” Bible is a trap! “Listen to the wail of the shepard’s; their rich…

Posted by Anna Conkey on Monday, April 15, 2019

Upon attempting to deliver the divine directive in person, staff called the police and ordered her to leave.

Westlake Legal Group 1f641 Think Your Easter Was Wild? A Church in San Diego Has You Beat, & it Involves a Nut, a Gun, a Baby & a Bra. And the Rapture. Uncategorized tsidkenu church SAN DIEGO religion rapture nbc navy mount everest academy Front Page Stories easter Culture & Faith California Bible benjamin wisan anna conkey Allow Media Exception

On Easter, she decided to give it another shot.

Taking a different approach, this time she burst into the service sportin’ a gun and her 10-month-old baby.

Oh — and she threatened to blow the place up.

Interesting strategy; hard to imagine Noah tryin’ it. But I gotta say — it’s a real attention-getter.

She took to the stage, waved the gun around, and talked about the rapture.

Apparently, Anna’s quite the conspiracy theorist:

“She was saying craziness about the rapture not being real, and everyone going to hell,” one witness recalled.

[She] has ranted in YouTube videos and on Facebook posts that Jesus is a “liar” and the Bible is a “trap.”

Also:

Just hours before storming the church, she posted a passage from The Book of Zechariah 10:2: “For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd.”

So the chick was ready to drop some serious spiritual science.

Unfortunately:

[Pastor Benjamin Wisan] said that Conkey seemed confused and he described her as being “not in her right mind.” He said that instead of speaking, Conkey was just uttering random words, and that nobody could understand what she wanted.

Churchgoers didn’t much appreciate the firearmed, baby-endangerin’ nonsense message from the Creator of the Universe via a nut.

So they tackled her.

David Michael Miller, a military member who was one of the people reportedly subduing Conkey, told ABC 7, “After she started pointing the gun at the baby one of the older gentlemen grabbed it from her and then me and a couple of other men tackled her. We got the baby away from her. A few minutes after that, the cops came in. She was trying to run away or something so a cop tackled her through a row of chairs.”

Nicely done, everyone.

Now Anna’s in the hands of the Almighty Authorities.

Her baby and her 5-year-old daughter — who was nearby at the time of her attempt at Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai — have been taken into protective custody.

Oh, and there was this:

“[The cops] arrested her and pulled another gun out of her bra.”

Now that’s something you don’t see at church every week.

Anna Conkey is a freelance journalist who’s worked for NBC.

-Alex

 

See 3 more pieces from me: 

HILARIOUS: A Little Boy Calls 911 Because He’s Hungry. What Happens Next Will Be Your Favorite Story This Week

All Aboard The Idiot Train: Healthy Manhattan Restaurant’s Owner Gets Condemned For The Stupidest Of Reasons

YOU HAVE TO SEE IT: Data Company Creates Brown-Pinned San Francisco Poop Map In Honor Of 118,352 Piles Reported

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below. For iPhone instructions, see the bottom of this page.





 

 

If you have an iPhone and want to comment, select the box with the upward arrow at the bottom of your screen; swipe left and choose “Request Desktop Site.” If it fails to automatically refresh, manually reload the page. Scroll down to the red horizontal bar that says “Show Comments.”

The post Think Your Easter Was Wild? A Church in San Diego Has You Beat, & it Involves a Nut, a Gun, a Baby & a Bra. And the Rapture. appeared first on RedState.

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The great “Easter worshipper” controversy

Westlake Legal Group the-great-easter-worshipper-controversy The great “Easter worshipper” controversy worshipper tweets The Blog Sri Lanka Obama Hillary Clinton hillary easter Christians bombing

Westlake Legal Group h-1 The great “Easter worshipper” controversy worshipper tweets The Blog Sri Lanka Obama Hillary Clinton hillary easter Christians bombing

The worst thing you can write on the Internet is “I can see both sides of this” but oh well.

Some righties were annoyed by these tweets yesterday after the Sri Lanka bombings.

“Yeah, we’re actually called ‘Christians,’” sniffed NRO’s Alexandra DeSanctis. “The Pittsburgh shooting wasn’t ‘Shabbat celebrators’ and the New Zealand shooting wasn’t ‘Friday prayer adherents,’” added Karol Markowicz. It figures that the leaders of a secularizing party, committed fanatically to expanding abortion rights, whose taxonomy of victimhood forever places Christians in the role of persecutor despite evidence to the contrary, would choke on frankly identifying them as the victims of a terrorist atrocity. Who the hell ever heard of the term “Easter worshippers” anyway?

Answer: Uh, Fox News did.

Westlake Legal Group f-4 The great “Easter worshipper” controversy worshipper tweets The Blog Sri Lanka Obama Hillary Clinton hillary easter Christians bombing

That’s an Associated Press headline but Fox obviously had no problem rolling with it. Erick Erickson, a guy not known for looking the other way at leftist affronts to Christianity, kindly encourages everyone to chill out already:

A lot of people, including a few of the politicians who tweeted, only show up to church on Easter Sunday. And while the phrase “Easter worshipper” is not common, it is also not unheard of. Ironically, had Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama not tweeted to express concern for the dead and condemn the attacks, a great many of the people outraged now would have been outraged by their silence.

This is a silly controversy. Conservatives exhaust themselves pointing out how frequently progressives get outraged over minor things on social media and now are doing it themselves. The only people who care already noticed and do not need others to scream about it. It makes conservative complaints about social justice warrior insanity seem cheap.

“Easter worshipper” may simply have been an allusion to the fact that the bombings didn’t merely target Christians, they targeted them on the holiest day of the year, while celebrating the resurrection. If Obama and Hillary had wanted to minimize the Christian angle to the attack, specifically mentioning Easter is a funny way to do it. They could have omitted Easter entirely and just said “people” or “victims.” Which, per Reason, at least one other notable politician did:

This is the right-wing counterpart to that bogus attack last week on Ben Shapiro for acknowledging Notre Dame’s significance of “Judeo-Christian heritage,” notes Reason’s Christian Britschgi. In both cases the objection to anodyne terminology is a proxy for a grand disagreement about how much Christianity should influence western culture going forward. Shapiro’s critics see its influence as largely pernicious, Obama’s and Hillary’s critics see it as largely virtuous. Which is why it’s hard to form a hot take in this case: What do you do if you’re in camp two but wary of picking fights where there’s no evidence of ill intent by camp one? Do you pick that fight to win a point in the grand disagreement or take Erickson’s advice and “Maybe exercise some grace here”? There’s always a new dilemma for culture warriors.

The post The great “Easter worshipper” controversy appeared first on Hot Air.

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WATCH: Hunt’s Easter message – “In terms of numbers, Christians are the world’s most persecuted faith”

Westlake Legal Group watch-hunts-easter-message-in-terms-of-numbers-christians-are-the-worlds-most-persecuted-faith WATCH: Hunt’s Easter message – “In terms of numbers, Christians are the world’s most persecuted faith” Video religion Justice Jeremy Hunt MP Human Rights easter Christianity

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Easter Sunday: Love Notes

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Westlake Legal Group Rainbow2-620x465 Easter Sunday: Love Notes religion rainbow Gateway Arch Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Faith easter Culture & Faith Christianity Allow Media Exception

Given that today is Easter, I wanted to write something faithful and fitting. Several of my colleagues have done so already. (Be sure to check out Mike Ford’s Easter Sunday Inspiration, Alex Parker’s It’s Easter…But Not in America, and Sister Toldjah’s WATCH: Syrian Christians Sing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”.)

I’m a believer and my faith in Christ and His Resurrection remain strong but, truth be told, I’ve been bad about attending church of late. No excuses – I just have. Even this morning, I wasn’t certain I would go. Ultimately, I opted to watch the service online and I’m so glad I did. It reminded me just how much I miss going. I’ll be remedying that going forward.

I contemplated writing about the service itself but know I won’t be able to do it justice. For those so inclined, you can catch it here – trust me, you won’t regret it:

Then I was reminded of something I wrote several years ago — eight, to be exact — which, I believe, best captures my present state of mind. It seems particularly fitting given the rough winter we just endured and the havoc Mother Nature’s been wreaking of late. I hope you’ll enjoy it:

Rainbows are a rarity. Three in one day? Practically unheard of. A perfect, complete, end-to-end rainbow deposited squarely (elliptically?) in front of the Arch? Once in a lifetime.

Thankfully, I had my camera close at hand to capture this evening’s magic.  Or, at least the first two.  (The third one revealed itself shortly after I got home this evening, but the camera wasn’t able to capture it hiding behind the trees in my backyard.)

The first one, though, was pretty amazing. Seemingly endless days of rain were pleasantly interrupted this morning by sunshine. In fact, I could swear we were promised an entire day of sunnyness by our omniscient weather wizards.  However, as Frost long ago observed, nothing gold can stay.  Not long after lunch, the clouds rolled back in, and we were back to our usual gray and gloomy.

I had my office blinds drawn, so it didn’t really register that the sun had slyly sneaked its way back into the afternoon.  Until, the sound of needles pelting my window suddenly drew my attention back to the world outside.  “What the heck is THAT?!” I wondered aloud.

I pulled the blinds aside and was astounded by what I saw: bright sunlight mixed with pelting sleet-like rain.  I don’t suppose it really was sleet – not cold enough for that.  Small hail then?  Whatever it was, it was popping and prickling at the window even as it wrestled the sun for control of the sky.  And then I looked toward the river and saw it:  A well-defined, perfectly whole rainbow.  Though shorter than the Arch, its stance was broader.  Still, both ends were readily visible.

I yelped, snatched up my camera, and ran to the east end of the building, where I could access the balcony and take what promised to be some amazing shots of Mother Nature at her finest.

Speaking of which…it’s about damn time.  I’ve remarked to several people lately that I get the sense she’s been seriously PMSing. Or, perhaps, even menopausal.  Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, flooding.  All in a BIG way. Nothing subtle about Gaia’s latest exploits.  She is woman, hear her ROAR.

With Good Friday’s tornadic trouncing of the airport, we were stunned, but thankful – no loss of life, no serious injury.  I’ve even grown slightly accustomed to the sirens anymore.  With the flood waters rising, and threatening much of Southeastern Missouri — including farmland belonging to my dear friend, law partner and mentor — we’ve been holding our collective breath.  Will they blow the levees, and sacrifice this part of Missouri for that part of Illinois?

Then, yesterday’s monstrous beast of a tornado tore through Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, and left us all stunned at the complete and utter devestation in its wake.  I watched videos and clicked on photos much of last night and even today, shaking my head at the incomprehensibility of it.  How insignificant we and all our worldly goods are in the face of something like that.  There, but for the grace of God….

Which brings me back to the rainbows of today.  I think of them as love notes from God. For they serve to remind us of His promise.  And, in their untouchable, but undeniable beauty, to give us hope — that even in our darkest days, the sun will still find its way through.

 


Follow Susie on Twitter @SmoosieQ

 

The post Easter Sunday: Love Notes appeared first on RedState.

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WATCH: Syrian Christians Sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”

Westlake Legal Group watch-syrian-christians-sing-christ-the-lord-is-risen-today WATCH: Syrian Christians Sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” syrian christians Syria Sri Lanka bombing Sri Lanka religion North Carolina Middle East Human Rights Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Faith easter Culture & Faith Culture Christianity Allow Media Exception

Westlake Legal Group easter-1443348_1280-620x413 WATCH: Syrian Christians Sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” syrian christians Syria Sri Lanka bombing Sri Lanka religion North Carolina Middle East Human Rights Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Faith easter Culture & Faith Culture Christianity Allow Media Exception

As Christians gather together around the world today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it’s important to remember that Christians in many countries risk their lives to practice their faith openly.

Sadly, we were reminded of that just this weekend. As Red State‘s Elizabeth Vaughn wrote this morning, over 200 are dead and scores more were injured after horrific terrorist attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday in what appears to be coordinated strikes on Christians.

Another country where Christians face punishment, exile, or death for observing their faith is Syria, where Christians are around 10% of the population.

Toufic Baaklini, president of the In Defense of Christians organization, wrote last year of the persecution that Middle Eastern believers routinely face – including in Syria:

In Syria, Christian communities have dropped from a pre-war population of 2 million to around 900,000 today. Christians are regularly threatened by a myriad of Salafi-Jihadist and Islamist forces, and are in a hostage situation with a regime that exploits them. Their churches have been targets of mortar rounds, their people have been beheaded and crucified and their priests and children kidnapped.

But on Friday, Fox News reported on a bright moment captured on video in the midst of the turmoil in Syria:

Three years ago the Syrian church was all but dead. A violent civil war created a vacuum for ISIS to sweep in, threatening the very existence of Christianity.

But watchdog organization Open Doors USA told Fox News Thursday their partners on the ground report a new story.

[…]

And earlier this week, the group was able to celebrate with a group of young adults from the Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Aleppo.

Watch below as they sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”:

Syrian Believers Proclaim 'Christ the Lord Is Risen Today' from Open Doors USA on Vimeo.

A powerful reminder that in darkness there is light.

God bless them.

—————————–
Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. —

The post WATCH: Syrian Christians Sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group easter-1443348_1280-300x200 WATCH: Syrian Christians Sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” syrian christians Syria Sri Lanka bombing Sri Lanka religion North Carolina Middle East Human Rights Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Faith easter Culture & Faith Culture Christianity Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

It’s Easter…But Not in America. For This Nation, is Sunday on the Way?

Westlake Legal Group its-easterbut-not-in-america-for-this-nation-is-sunday-on-the-way It’s Easter…But Not in America. For This Nation, is Sunday on the Way? Uncategorized spirituality resurrection religion God Front Page Stories Featured Story Faith easter Culture & Faith Culture Crucifixion christmas Allow Media Exception

Westlake Legal Group crucifixion-blue-SCREENSHOT It’s Easter…But Not in America. For This Nation, is Sunday on the Way? Uncategorized spirituality resurrection religion God Front Page Stories Featured Story Faith easter Culture & Faith Culture Crucifixion christmas Allow Media Exception

 

 

Today is Easter, the Christian celebration of the Resurrection.

For over a century, our nation honored the open tomb and the words “He is Risen”:

By the late 19th century, nearly every Christian household in America was celebrating Easter and Christmas, which was regarded as a joyful holiday promoting family togetherness.

Do we still? Our entertainment degrades our founding faith. Our churches are dying. For the first time in American history, atheism is the religion of the day (here).

Is society better for it? In any way?

Anti-depressants course through one in six of us (here). The family unit has disintegrated.

Today was once a time for families: Mothers, fathers, and children put on their Sunday best to meet friends and loved ones at their local house of worship.

But not anymore.

And the nation hasn’t just bid goodbye to Easter, but Christmas, too: Schools no longer recognize that time-splitting birth (here).

So for a once-Christian nation, what is left in which for us to believe? The government? Socialism? Secularism? One’s own truth?

Those won’t satisfy the soul.

We move forward, without direction. Not only due to the culture, but our national leadership. And apart from not just Christianity, but faith in a Creator at all — a divine recognition of something higher than ourselves.

Behold our decline:



Spiritually, as a nation, we are dead.

But for those who still believe — for those who know a stone can be rolled away — we may yet live again.

Our country writhes in the valley of a black Friday, from the crucifixion of values we once held dear. We’ve given up the ghost. We’ve been engulfed by the eclipse.

And all hope seems lost, the end sure.

But for those who believe, Sunday awaits. A day of new life. A day of revival (here).

Many still mourn, many still weep

For those that they love who have fallen asleep

But we have this hope — though our hearts may still ache

Just one shout from above and they all will awake

And in the reunion of joy we will see

Death will be swallowed in sweet victory

Could that be the story of our nation? The story of a spiritual rebirth? A restoration? A return to life?

For those who believe in Easter, surely it could be.

Surely it might.

To the faithful, the grave can’t prevent our salvation — an embrace of virtue; a return to maters of the soul; a passion for freedom, as a nation under God.

It’s Friday night. But Sunday’s on the way. If we want it to be. If we hold to the miracle of the Third Day.

And for those who do — and for those who don’t — I say to you: Happy Easter; may we rise again.

-Alex

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: hereherehere, and here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

September 11th: Remembering Not Only Tragedy, But Something Greater

Slut Shaming? Study Shows A Difference In Happiness For Those Who Saved Themselves For Marriage

Veterans Day: Respect For America’s Finest Dwindles, But Hope Shines From An Unlikely Place

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below. For iPhone instructions, see the bottom of this page.



 

 

If you have an iPhone and want to comment, select the box with the upward arrow at the bottom of your screen; swipe left and choose “Request Desktop Site.” If it fails to automatically refresh, manually reload the page. Scroll down to the red horizontal bar that says “Show Comments.”

The post It’s Easter…But Not in America. For This Nation, is Sunday on the Way? appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group crucifixion-blue-SCREENSHOT-300x160 It’s Easter…But Not in America. For This Nation, is Sunday on the Way? Uncategorized spirituality resurrection religion God Front Page Stories Featured Story Faith easter Culture & Faith Culture Crucifixion christmas Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Richard Ritchie: Christianity and politics at Easter. Do the Gospels present a manifesto?

Richard Ritchie is the author of The Progress Trust (Without Hindsight: A History of the Progress Trust 1943-2005). He is Enoch Powell’s archivist and is a former Conservative Parliamentary Candidate.

Eastertide presents Christians with an obligation, as well as an excuse, to think about something other than Brexit. But it is probably no exaggeration to say that anyone interested in politics who professes also to be a Christian is bound to wonder whether the political beliefs he or she advocates meet with the approval of Jesus Christ.

This presents a problem – because while Christ has a great deal to say about morals and motivation, his words are not so easily transcribed into political practice. An obligation to feed the hungry and protect the poor, for example, is not necessarily achieved by the introduction of a wealth tax. But if a Conservative’s sole reason for opposing such a tax were the dislike of having to pay it oneself, he would be on shaky ground. And even then, it’s not simple. Can anyone be confident of the purity of one’s motives? And yet, if pressed too far, scrupulosity might easily lead towards political paralysis.

For socialists, it’s easier. Christians with left-wing views almost always tend to think that their politics are consistent with their faith, and one can see why. Literal readings of the parables all lean towards condemning the rich for having too much and for lacking compassion. Hence, the need, in the eyes of many on the Left, for redistribution – although a redistribution dictated by the state rather than freely offered by individuals which, it could be argued, is not at all what Christianity is about. It’s hard to see why simply paying taxes should help to get one into heaven. But it is not just politicians of the Left who make this mistake, and who seek to mould Christ’s teaching into a political philosophy. Margaret Thatcher, for example, used the parable of the talents to justify capitalism. But Doctors of the Church remind us that these talents represent God’s grace – not money in the bank.

This is why for a ‘literal’ reading of the parables, one might more accurately substitute ‘superficial’, because it is clear that they were never intended be interpreted from a single standpoint. Almost every parable has a deeper theological meaning, which is peculiar not only to Christian morality but also to the very nature of Christ’s Church. If anyone doubts that, they only have to read Harold Macmillan’s great friend, Monsignor Ronald Knox. His Mystery of the Kingdom interprets the parables as being primarily about Christ’s purpose in creating his Church and the characteristics which it will hold – including the presence of good and evil within it.

But this doesn’t mean that an avowedly Christian politician should expect to end up politically in the same place as, say, a Muslim or an atheist. One’s religion should make a difference – and then the question is whether a religious person has a duty to ensure that the law of the land reflects his religious values.

Most today would say not, but again it is not that simple. A recent essay by the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, has recently been published, in which he returns to his favourite theme of ‘absolute’ rather than ‘relative’ moral values. He challenges today’s central assumption that morality should be determined exclusively “by the purposes of human action that prevailed.” He concludes that the current approach to morality means there can “no longer be anything that constitutes an absolute good, any more than anything fundamentally evil.”

Any Christian whose conscience is in the same place as Pope Benedict would have found it necessary to oppose, in his words, “the unprecedented radicalism” of the 1960s. In particular, he singles out the proliferation of pornography as a serious source of evil which no Christian politician should have countenanced, however ‘libertarian’ his or her outlook. But he goes further in the following passage, which goes to the heart of the dilemma facing any Christian politician:

“After the upheaval of the Second World War, we in Germany had still expressly placed our Constitution under the responsibility to God as a guiding principle. Half a century later, it was no longer possible to include responsibility to God as a guiding principle in the European constitution. God is regarded as the party concern of a small group and can no longer stand as the guiding principle for the community as a whole. This decision reflects the situation in the West, where God has become the private affair of a minority.”

Most people today would say :“and a good thing too.” Religion should only be “the private affair of a minority.” But that is not what a Christian politician should think, whether of the ‘right’ or of the ‘left’. One doesn’t have to be a Roger Scruton to note, in Pope Benedict’s words, that “in the twenty years from 1960 to 1980, the previously normative standards regarding sexuality collapsed entirely.” Christian politicians are under an obligation to challenge a morality based entirely on private judgment and relativity, especially if they conclude that these normative standards are endangering the spiritual welfare of children.

It is because socialists in particular have liked to claim for themselves a monopoly of Christian morality – except, of course, when it comes to sexual morality – that the politics of this country has drifted into a religious ‘no man’s land’, where everyone is judged by the standards of the BBC and nobody asks difficult questions. But however important issues such as the distribution of wealth or child poverty should be to a Christian, it does not follow that the Gospels contain a political message or solution.

All we know is that ambition and material sufficiency can be barriers to holiness – and the more comfortable we are, the greater this danger. Such thoughts don’t write a manifesto: at best they only provide the moral foundations on which a manifesto is based. And Christ’s resurrection certainly doesn’t help us out on Brexit – unless it be to remind us of the Christian virtues of temperance and respect. Perhaps that should be the focus of our Easter meditation before political hostilities recommence.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Find Cadbury Creme Eggs inside croissants at Purcellville’s Petite Loulou

Growing up as a little Jewish girl whose family celebrates Passover, I didn’t get to indulge in my neighborhood friends’ Easter candy. When they shared the non-Kosher spoils of their overflowing baskets, I would dutifully bring it to my mom who would save it for me until Passover ended, and instead give me a kosher-for-Passover chocolate lollipop in the shape of a Torah, or Bazooka Joe/Jew Gum.

As an adult, I’ve shaken loose from the rigidity of eating restrictions. In college my roommate introduced me to Cadbury Creme Eggs and life as I knew it changed forever. The chocolate shell burst to reveal an unidentifiable, but also insanely delicious, filling of sugar madness. Instead of ramps and soft shells and asparagus as harbingers of spring, the arrival of Cadbury Creme Eggs at CVS signified warmer days, and the end of a school year.

In Purcellville, Petite LouLou honors the Cadbury Creme Egg by stuffing it inside of a croissant ($5). I can’t think of a more lovely reward for surviving winter.

Even as I head home to New Jersey this weekend to share a Seder with my family, I still can’t wait to walk across the street, and hope my childhood friend’s daughter will share with me her Cadbury Creme Egg. Maybe I’ll let my daughter sneak a bite, too.

News, events, etc.

Nine-year-old craft beer bar Meridian Pint, famous for its table taps, is moving from DC’s Columbia Heights to Arlington. [Popville]

Bonchon releases the first new flavor in 17 years: sweet crunch. Plus, there are plans for new locations in Gainesville and Alexandria by this summer. [Bonchon]

Sweetgreen is in the news this week: on the cover of Inc. for a story about sustainability and a hit piece about cultural appropriation and the fact that 95% of its shops are in majority white neighborhoods. [Inc., The Nation]

Neapolitan pizzeria Pupatella will open two new locations: Arlington (this summer) and Reston (next year). [Eater]

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Aitken on the meaning of Easter: “We can all have second chances, little resurrections in our lives.”

Jonathan Aitken was ordained last June as a deacon in the Church of England, and was wearing clerical dress when we met, for he had just been addressing the clergy of Guildford about prison ministry.

He was born in 1942 and served as a Conservative MP from February 1974 until May 1997, when he lost his seat. In 1999 he was convicted of perjury and sent to prison for seven months.

The downfall of this gifted, gilded, raffish figure, who had risen into the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1994-95, attracted enormous attention.

He had been involved since boyhood in the worlds of politics and journalism, through his father, Sir William Aitken, a Conservative MP, and more particularly through his uncle, Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, at whose table he met Winston Churchill.

The Aitkens are descended from the Reverend William Aitken, a Presbyterian minister in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, and Jonathan has now returned to that calling.

But although this interview starts with the Resurrection, it ends with his view of the way Parliament is dealing with Brexit:

“I would rather be back in a cell in Belmarsh than be in the House of Commons right now. They were much nicer at Belmarsh to one another.”

ConHome: “What is the meaning of Easter?”

Aitken: “Easter is of course the most important, most joyful, most extraordinary event in the whole of the Christian year, far more important than Christmas or anything else.

“And somewhere in a Pauline epistle, Paul says if we don’t believe in the Resurrection our faith is quite useless. That’s a little harsh, because some people still seeking simply can’t believe in a risen Christ instantly, but nevertheless Paul is right, it’s the centrepiece of the entire Christian faith.

“To me, Easter has a personal resonance, it’s a rather good time to talk about it. Because I think we’re all, if we’re fortunate enough and we pray for it, we can have second chances, little resurrections in our lives.

“If I think back 20 years, I was towards the end of a process I sometimes call defeat, divorce, disgrace, bankruptcy and jail, a very good royal flush of crises by anybody’s standards, and I was very unhappy.

“I actually was sentenced in June, but Easter 1999 was a very miserable period, I was sort of in the tomb more or less. And yet the joy of Christ’s love is that no one is beneath the reach of his grace.

“And I am now happier and more fulfilled than I’ve ever been in my life. And it’s nothing to do with me. I give myself zero credit for being a prison chaplain and curate, and above all for being so happy.

“So I think the Easter message is obviously predominantly about the risen Christ and all that flowed from it. But also for each and every one of us it’s gosh, there is a real chance to resurrect my miserable sin-strained life and find a new life in Christ.”

ConHome: “Did you have glimpses of this before? Did you count yourself a Christian during your political life? Or when you were very young and you were ill?”

Aitken: “At the time that I got into trouble, I was at best a half-Christian, which I now know is as valuable probably as being half-pregnant.

“At the time I thought it was perfectly OK to have a nominal, lukewarm kind of half-cock faith, and to politely go along to the odd service, and listen to the teachings of the faith, and not obey them.

“Now despite giving that state of mind a good knocking, it’s not wholly useless, because you don’t completely lose every single one of your navigation points.

“I had actually quite a good schoolboy faith.”

ConHome: “You were confirmed, and all the usual things?”

Aitken: “Yes. I remember dimly school reports [at Eton] about how seriously Aitken had taken his confirmation. But it is true, you remind me of something, I did have a rather strange youth.

“I was a TB patient aged four to seven, in the period before people had discovered antibiotics for TB.

“And TB was more frightening than cancer is today, by a long chalk. People died of TB, especially children. And I was diagnosed in wartime Britain, very late in the day.

“By the time I was diagnosed – I tell some of this in my book Pride and Perjury – I was really a goner. The optimistic diagnosis was that this child may live, but he’ll never walk, because it had gone way into my bones.

“The pessimistic diagnosis was that this child can’t live. My poor parents – my father was a fighter pilot recovering from being shot down in a Spitfire and burnt.

“I had been parked in an ambassadorial residence. It wasn’t called that, but my mother’s father was our man in Dublin during the war. He was called His Majesty the King’s Special Representative.

“So I grew up with red boxes and things. But Ireland was actually one of the TB capitals of the world. There was a lot of it around.

“There was one brilliant surgeon called MacAuley who said, ‘Actually, this child could live and could walk, but the cure is rather drastic. Three years immobilised in a plaster cast.’

“The BBC have a poor man’s Desert Island Discs programme called The House Where I Grew Up, and I said to them, I actually grew up in a TB ward.

“They took me over, two women Guardianista women, who were determined to make me say ‘Oh it was the most terrible, awful, miserable, unhappy time.’

“When I got back to the TB ward, I remembered it in the most scary way, every detail, which is apparently not uncommon in this programme.

“We were wheeled out every day, it didn’t matter if it was snowing, all the children were wheeled out onto the terraces. It was run by a nursing order which has long since vanished I think called The Little Sisters of the Poor.

“In the middle of this, there was an amazing nun, she was a very clever woman, outstanding, she was the Mother Superior, her brother was the editor of The Irish Times, she was a class act as a person and also very spiritual.

“She took fantastic trouble over me, maybe because I was the British ambassador’s grandson. My grandmother, who did not like papists,  would come along and say, ‘Have you been made to pray to Old Red Socks?’

“We had a member of the staff at the British embassy who was also designated to keep an eye over my protestantism, who was John Betjeman, who was my grandfather’s press secretary.

“Anyway, I wouldn’t overdo this, but nevertheless, the nun taught me to read on a magic lantern above my head, I can vividly remember her to this day kneeling by my bed and praying.

“Did it have some deep impact on my spiritual life? Who knows?

“Sister Mary Finbar used to say, ‘Oh you’ve been saved for some great purpose.’ I think this is all a bit mystical, probably mumbo-jumbo, but nevertheless, who knows.”

ConHome: “Should we be gloomy about the ‘the melancholy, long, withdrawing roar’ of the Sea of Faith?”

Aitken: “Well, we are in a secular, post-Christian age in the western world. There’s no question of that.

“But I actually think the death of Christianity has been hugely exaggerated. It’s very active in all kinds of places.

“Here in London, for example, the number of Christian people who are signing the electoral rolls, going to church, has been rising for about ten years – an extraordinary thing, but it is actually true.

“There are masses of good, vibrant churches. If you just play the numbers game, you have to say we’re in decline, not everywhere, but in rural ministry we’re in bad decline. In London, as it happens, we’re not.

“But does spiritual life go on, and happen quite dramatically? In the prison where I work…”

ConHome: “Which prison?”

Aitken: “Pentonville. But I go to others as well. There’s never a dull moment, for all kinds of reasons. Spiritually there are people who are longing to pray, or get angry with God.

“There’s a real ministry there. I’m rather fond of quoting a verse of doggerel from an English clergyman who was as famous as David Gower or David Sheppard or Joe Root is today, called C.T. Studd.

“He was a great cricketer who played for England and Cambridge and so on. Then he became a vicar, and he was expected – we’re talking the 1880s or something – and C.T. Studd decided to go into prison ministry.

“Then as now, it was way below the salt in ecclesiastical terms. People said, ‘Why are you doing this, Studd? There are plenty of nice vicarages, and preferment.’

“And then he came out with this verse of doggerel:

Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell;

I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.

“That’s what I do when I go to Pentonville.”

ConHome: “Where can we hear you preach?”

Aitken: “I’m a curate at St Matthew’s, Westminster. I used to be, a long time ago, churchwarden of St Margaret’s, Westminster.”

ConHome: “While you were an MP?”

Aitken: “Yes. I was the parliamentary warden. My deputy parliamentary warden was Enoch Powell. He kept on correcting the Rector for not holding the chasuble in his right hand, or something.

“Anyway, St Matthew’s is smaller and poorer. It’s a good little church, growing, it looks after mainly the Peabody housing estate. I’m preaching on Easter Day for example.”

ConHome: “What’s the state of the Tory Party?

Aitken: “Well I honestly think I would rather be back in a cell in Belmarsh than be in the House of Commons right now. They were much nicer at Belmarsh to one another.

“But no, I watch it with great sadness. We’ve lost our way as a parliamentary nation. Absolutely by chance, Rory Stewart asked me to lunch, I have a great high regard for Rory Stewart, on the day when the first meaningful vote was coming.

“And I went up in the gallery, the first time for years, and I took a great friend of mine, someone called Wafic Said, who founded the Said School of Business.

“And we sat down and we listened to this debate. And one after another, superb speeches. Kenneth Clarke opened. Hilary Benn. There was a Scot Nat who was superb. Dominic Raab was very good. Bill Cash, who can bore for the world, was superb.

“Also they were edging towards one another’s positions. And I thought that what would come out of these debates was what I vividly remember coming out of the devolution debates in ’75.

“Scotland was going to be devolved, and we went all night, regularly, with giants like Enoch and of course people have forgotten somebody called George Cunningham, the member for Islington South, there was Tam Dalyell, there were old buffers like Sir Derek Walker-Smith.

“Out of it all was hammered a compromise on Scottish devolution. I just know the House of Commons of the Seventies would have reached a deal on Brexit. Not this impossible impasse we’ve got today.”

ConHome: “Do you know Theresa May?”

Aitken: “Yes I do a bit. On the day of my ordination, as I was heading off to St Paul’s Cathedral from being buried deep in a silent retreat, some motorcyclist revved up to the silent retreat house. Message from Number Ten: ‘Dear Jonathan…’”

ConHome: “That’s very good.”

Aitken: “Sweet of her. I think it was probably the doing of Jonathan Hellewell, her faith adviser. Not a lot of people are saying nice things about Theresa, but that’s one of them.”

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