March 15, 2009

Anglican Maladies

being a compendium of certain illnesses afflicting many sectors of the Anglican world, and, of course, intended completely as satire.

Akinolism A bipolar condition marked by alternating bouts of bravado and sullenness, with periodic eruptions separated by longer quiescent periods. Patients exhibit inflated but easily damaged egos. (see “Peter’s Pout” and Abujamania.)

Benign apostate enlargement An inflammation of the apostate gland, caused by an aggravated sensitivity to differences of opinion. Passing the “stone of dispute” can lead to significant pain but causes no real damage.

Cancerburioma An invasive and metastatic form of anglicancer, which overtakes healthy tissue and produces numbness and rigidity after initial rapid growth. Seldom fatal, but leaves disfiguring scar tissue that impedes further growth. (see Nigerianoma, Acna Rosacrucia)

Covenant dermatitis Obsessive compulsive disorder in which the patient collects a number of similar but otherwise unconnected things and attempts to assemble a single new entity. Often treated by simply putting all of the objects into a single drawer with a neat label, which appears to relieve all but the most extreme cases. Popularly known as “The Itch.”

Griffith’s standfirmity A condition characterized by rigor and pallor, often mistaken for catalepsy or death; can be treated by application of cardiac warming and softening. Physical therapy is often useful in a full recovery of arm motion enabling a larger embrace.

Haller’s Complaint Condition first characterized by Griffith in 2009; a delusion in which the patient continues to believe himself to be part of a Christian church, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Incurable but not fatal. Best treatment is to ignore; will eventually go away whether treated or not.

Huntington’s Schoria A loss of balance induced by trying to be everything to everybody, leading to an inability to frame sentences capable of being understood in only one possible and acceptable way. Previously thought to be genetic, it now appears to be an occupational hazard. (See Rowanitis)

Loopus episcopaliensis Malady in which the patient thinks he can believe anything he wants. Condition becomes critical in bishops, causing them to turn purple and burst, spreading the infection further. (See Benign Spongiform Episcopalitis)

Myopinia Inability to see beyond ones own opinions. Condition has reached pandemic level in recent years; spread by the internet. Often produces unsightly growths known popularly as “blogs.” Efforts to produce a vaccine have so far been unsuccessful, as the virus mutates quickly or migrates to facebook or twitter. Seldom fatal but very irritating.

Pluralsy Condition characterized by bloating and loss of muscle tone, with fluid buildup due to inability to separate truth from error. (see Pluriforminoma, Griswoldism.)

Primatism Condition in which patient imagines himself to be an Archbishop even though he has no province. A number of cases have been cited in the past; at present isolated to the Pittsburgh area. CDC warns it may spread if encouraged, or even if not.

Rowanalgia State of restive dissatisfaction with unclear or vacillating leadership.

Rowanitis Rare (seldom striking more than one person at a time); a form of aphasia in which the patient appears to be speaking rationally but on reflection no one can tell what the discourse means. Unusual in that it produces irritation only in others.

Wright’s Tic Condition in which an otherwise completely sane and healthy person is given to occasional irrational outbursts of short duration but great intensity, in which he appears to forget everything he knows in his field of expertise.

— Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

UPDATE: A number of additional maladies have been reported.

Evangelicoids: varicose veins in the neck, usually on both sides. May be caused by straining at gnats, kicking at goads, or extended speaking engagements combined with air travel. Best treated with double radical inclusivity.

Hepatitus-1,9: mild form of jaundice caused by overexposure to multiple internet partners. Moving to a dry climate without wireless access appears to offer best prognosis.

Juvenile diatribetes: compulsive repetition of any reassertion, usually involving redundancy; a form of repetitive emotion disorder. Condition is exacerbated by contact with exposed blogs.

Ortheoporosis: a condition in which the patient is theologically debilitated. May result from a diet lacking in chalcedon and nicene. Not unusual in new age.

Pantheismia: psychosocial disorder characterized by disorientation and confusion, loss of theological rigor, and weakened evangelism. May be contracted everywhere, by all, at any time.

Whiteheads: unsightly, oily skin eruption thought to be caused by overexposure to process theology.

Finally, reported by Dr. Slope in the comments:

Tranverse blogitis: crippling desire to post on blogs which have an opposite point of view to your own.


R said...

And having suffered a number of these maladies from time to time myself, I am reminded of the conventional wisdom that Jesus once remarked upon:

"Physician, heal thyself!"

P. S. Another brilliant, albeit scathing piece, friend Tobias!

Anonymous said...

Tranverse blogitis: crippling desire to post on blogs which have an opposite point of view to your own.


Kirkepiscatoid said...

All EXCELLENT! Is there a possibility of me getting any Continuing Medical Education credit for this?

Frank Remkiewicz aka “Tree” said...

This is nothing short of brilliant. There must be more but I cannot seem to turn the page.

IT said...

Oh that is soooooo funny

And worthy riposte, Obadiah!

susan s. said...

Thank you, Fr. Haller. Even taking a poke at yourself, I see. I did laugh out loud at Primatism and Rowanitis. Does that make me Middle of the Road?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for restoring proper Blogger thread configuration, Tobias!

JCF, who never, ever, EVER contracted "Myopinia". ;-p

Lynn said...

Thanks, Tobias! I see a few of these blemishes in my mirror, and it gave me a nice little laugh. Obadiah, I enjoyed your comment, too. Wishing a blessed week to all who visit here -

Erika Baker said...

Loopus escopaliensis is a also secondary symptom often found in Haller's Complaint patients.
A live dose of Covenant dermatitis, intraveneously given, is sometimes said to help, but can kill the patient.

JP said...


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Brilliant, Tobias. Simply brilliant.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I am so looking forward to you new book, dear Tobias!

WSJM said...

This is truly wonderful, Tobias!

June Butler said...

Tobias! Wicked!

Shame on you. Whenever I read about various diseases, I tend to worry that I have the diseases. I'm pretty sure that I have the two following:

Haller’s Complaint

Myopinia (with blog growths)

And I'm about to leave on a trip! No thanks to you, my friend.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Note to those following the cases: I've just updated with some other serious conditions that have come to my attention, including Hepatitus-1,9, Evengelicoids, and Ortheoporosis.

Mimi, travel safely!

Anonymous said...

Positively BRILLIANT! Can't think of a better way to express it.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

What about Hallertosis? Bad breath speech?

There is a worse condition, which is SupercallousfrigilisticXPHallertosis which is severe bad breath harsh speech that can crumble at any time as delivered through a PC.

Michael Cudney said...

This is an internet hypochondriac's dream. So many maladies to choose from. Where to begin?

Andrew Gerns said...

I believe Primatism is also known as "Acnaduncanitis." No known cure but reverse isolation is required.

JimB said...

Thank you for this! I think a tee shirt with them on the back would be a best seller at GC!


Muthah+ said...

Laughed so hard that my roommate had to come in from the yard to know what was happening. Much needed.

Anonymous said...

Tobias, this is most excellent. The addendum too. A true classic, sure to achieve urban legend status as people send it around their email lists. I personally suffer from an advanced case of Myopinia.

Rory said...

Utterly brilliant. Finally those of us who suffer from Rowanalgia secondary to chronic Haller's Complaint are getting some acknowledgment of our infirmities.

motheramelia said...

Haven't developed so many illnesses since I took epidemiology.

Lisa Fox said...

I stand aptly diagnosed. But in accordance with HIPPA, I claim the right not to disclose the diagnoses.

This is brilliant, Tobias. Best thing since Clumber's Anglican Elements. Thanks!

R said...

Episcocitis - the inflammation of a bishop, diocese or both. Researchers dispute the effectiveness of an experimental treatment: episcodectomy - the removal of a bishop, diocese, or both to another Province.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Forgot to say: Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Look's like "Griffith's Standfirmity" may be close to finding its own cure:

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Yes, Billcat -- I saw that. Somehow I don't think he's going to be able to make a living by blogging, unless he has a few well-heeled patrons or sponsors. Maybe a nice little bit of pocket money; but unless he starts a not-for-profit it is probably not going to be a payoff for contributors. Most of his readership has already given up on TEC -- so what are they paying for, other than the adrenaline rush of the backward glance towards a burning Babylon? Which, unless he closes the site, they can get for free.

Brother David said...

In the post he says that Viagraville is a 501 C 3 registered charity, and that donations are tax deductible. That is what it takes in the US, right?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

That's right, Dahveed. I missed that imporatant data byte. (I admit I don't spend too much time at SF, and probably should read more carefully when I do. Myopinia sometimes prevents my more careful attention... ;-) )

Even given that, though, I wonder how much of an income stream it could generate. Many of the initial comments don't sound too encouraging. At a few $$ a month it would take quite a few subscribers to amount to a living wage, I would think. A nice supplemental income, I suppose, but as I say, absent a bigger donor I'm not sure this is day-job-quitting time.

Ron Reed said...

Tobias, wonderful, funny and makes the medicine go down! Thanks, Ron Reed, fellow 815 survivor.

Anonymous said...

Of course, maybe we should all chip in and fund a headline ad for "In a Godward Direciton" over at SFIF, an idea that appeals to my sense of ironical humor!

BTW, Tobias, just wanted to send along my thanks for your website. It's been one of the places that helped lead to my decision to move forward with confirmation this year(my wife - we were married about 18 months ago - is a lifelong Episcopalian, while I was a dedicated, unchurched Kiwanian.) Perhaps we'll get up early some Sunday, traverse I-80 and the GWB, and come visit your church.

Anonymous said...

How about "Nervous TEC Disorder?" A malady whose symptoms mimic Tourette's Syndrome and which is triggered whenever a reappraiser gets nearer than 20 feet to a Holy Bible?

Anonymous said...

Tinea Crucis An itching disorder, primarily of the knees. Traditionally treated on Sundays, both in the pews and at the communion rail.

gonconeorrhea An psychologicla malady, resulting in an irrational desire to assicate with foreign cultures. First diagnosed in the San Joaquin Valley of California in 2007.

Frair John said...

Presbyopic Emergantism: Occasionally referred to as a Relevancy Tickle, it manifests as a fixation on one set of phenomena to the exclusion of others. Other symptoms may include denim clergy shirts, guitars and an unusual ability to talk about mystics and religious one has never read. (See also: Dermatological Fadism and Spastic Demographitus.)

Anonymous said...


Thank you for this! Sometimes God's best healing comes in the form of humor and the gift of being able to laugh at our situation and (most importantly) at ourselves.