Friday, February 22, 2008

And now, from the "They Eat Their Own, Don't They?" Department ...

... we have this tidbit from today's weekly AAC (American Anglican Council) Newsletter -- written by David Anderson:
One of our lead stories this week centers on the agreement of the Rev. Brian Cox to cooperate with the Episcopal Church in their attempt to wrest control of the Diocese of San Joaquin back from Bishop John-David Schofield and the parishes that have chosen to realign with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

There is a particular disappointment among the orthodox that this former brother in arms would agree to such a collaboration. The American Anglican Council would urge Fr. Cox and any others who are being asked to participate in such endeavors to turn aside. History judges the collaborationists harshly, and his interests in bringing so-called reconciliation to the areas encompassing San Joaquin is ill-advised and focused on the wrong people.

The newsletter goes on -- at length -- and while I'll spare you the details, David Anderson's argumentation ends up where so many orthodox arguments do: with bestiality.


My point in posting this today is not to show how low David and his AAC cronies will sink ... I think we already know the answer to that. My point is how intensely personal this all is for them. David has been betrayed by a "former brother in arms."


Note that it's not "brother in Christ" but "brother in arms" -- as in armed warfare. And that's what this is for them -- those who have worked, prayed, schemed, fund-raised and brought into fruition this schism du jour. It is a war.

Premeditated and orchestrated with malice aforethought -- it is a war against everything that stands between them and:

  • the church they believe they are entitled to create in their own image (see also: straight/white/male)
  • the Gospel they believe they have sole authority to interpret and proclaim
  • the Absolute Truth of which they have Sole Possession.

How hard must it be for Brian Cox ... who is a nice man, a good priest and a genuine-article reconciler ... to have his erstwhile orthodox "brothers" like David Anderson turn on him as a "collaborationist." (For the record, Brian -- who is a Diocese of Los Angeles clergy colleague -- and I arguably disagree about almost everything there is to disagree about except that [1] Jesus is our Lord and Savior and [2] there is room in the Episcopal Church for both Brian Cox and Susan Russell. He deserves better than this from his former friend and I hope he's "considering the source," as my mother would have said.)

So here's my closing thoughts on this: methinks it's going to get worse before it gets better. Methinks, for all the saber rattling and "brother in arms" language, there is not a sound of exultation and victory in the "orthodox" tents but a dawning realization that the strife will soon be o'er and the battle will be won ... and not by them.

For you see, their coup d’état has failed.

It becomes increasingly clear ...
  • that Lambeth Conference will happen,
  • the the Primates have played their cards and are done calling the shots,
  • that the American Episcopal Church will NOT be voted off the Anglican Island,
  • that blessings and ordinations will continue to happen,
  • that gay and lesbian clergy will continue to courageously live into their episcopal vocations and that the church will be enriched by their witness
  • that they are not going to get to create their own "parallel jurisdiction" and call it Anglican
... then we can expect the rhetoric to become more strident, the battle language to become more harsh and the scapegoat list to become longer and longer.

When it's no longer Gene Robinson or Frank Griswold or Katharine Jefferts Schori (or Susan Russell, Elizabeth Kaeton, Michael Hopkins, Tracey Lind or fill-in-the-LGBT-blank) but Brian Cox who's the traitor to the cause and the source of the problem then, my friends, the end is near. And the end can't come soon enough, as far as I'm concerned.

Oh, there are more "battles" to come ... and, sadly, there will be more "collateral damage" (as they call it in warfare-language-land.) But at the end of the day, those who will be called to account for that collateral damage to the mission and ministry of the church, to the lives and vocations of the LGBT baptized, to the families and friends scapegoated in pursuit of the winner-take-all strategy of the Absolutist Agenda will be the architects of that Agenda.

And at the end of the day, those who will have "won" will be those who are even now working to build bridges across differences rather than brandish doctrines across divides.

Those would be the "collaborationists" -- AKA as co-creators of the Kingdom called by the Prince of Peace to beat swords into plowshares and forsake being brothers in arms for being brothers -- and sisters -- in Christ.
O come, o come, Emmanuel!


Lost in Texas said...

You forgot to mention a few things in your list of things that will happen. The Episcopal church will continue to drift into heresy and it will also continue to lose members at a truly breathtaking rate. If you publish this, please spare me and the rest of the blogosphere the "Well, our parish is growing, blah, blah". Census date fron your own leadership show a huge decline since 2003 (Gee, what happened that year?)By 2020, the Episcopal Church will consist of a few parishes on the left coast with ageing membership that will have truly become just another social clup with robes and incence for people who like the trappings of litury and religion, but are unwilling to accept that man is by nature fallen and cannot achieve Heaven except by the sacrifice of Christ true repentance for the many and manifest sins of humanity. But at least you will have a tremendous amount ofprime real estate to sell for cabarets or offices or really cool lofts.

Ann said...

Sad - very sad. David has become more and more shrill with every passing year. He may love a good fight - but the reality - life is moving on - the fighting is over and he boxing shadows of his own nightmares.

Unknown said...

[from back in my Baptist years] "And the people said: 'Amen!'" I have been searching for words to debate what Lost in Texas has stated, especially according to these "statistics." But there are no words, as the ramblings mimick the same rhetoric and diatribe of these other autocephalous organizations who so desperately desire to be "Anglican." While the "orthodox" continue in their attempt to quash the progressiveness of The Episcopal Church, it is interesting to see them scampering like rats on a sinking ship as TEC continues on in the Light of Christ. God is working God's purpose out and the inclusive love of Jesus is permeating through and extracting those who are here to endanger this mission. Come Lord Jesus!

edav38 said...

Susan, it would be nice if how you say this will end was true, but I seriously doubt it will be that Neat & Tidy.

David and the AAC are acting as nothing more or less than Pharisees, they have lost sight of their true calling, and are bogged down in "Rules & Regulations", many of which are not real rule and regulations. They are worried More about the "Letter of the Law" rather than the "Spirit of the Law."

People like "Lost in Texas", though I hate to admit it, are probably more correct. America is NOT as accepting of GLBT's as we would Like to believe. Looking at all of the "Anti-Marriage" Laws and state constitutional amendments that have passed are a Truer sign of that.

These "men", and even some "women", who want to split the Church because we GLBT's are even Allowed inside of a church, are going to become more and more the norm. It is a Sad Fact, and can be seen in almost All other Denominations and the Non-Denominationals.

We would Like to believe that the FAR Right-Radical Fringe-Religious, are not a powerful as they truely are. Don't believe they are?.....You have your count-down clock for Bush's time left in office, THEY are who put him Into office, and they are Fully 50% or more of the population. Those who support that way of thinking are another 10% of the population, if not more, and they are FULLY Behind McCain. Were this Not the case, GLBT's would have Much more Latitude in America, and the rest of the world, than they do today.

Yes, we Want to look at the Bright side, but That "bright" side is becoming dimmer and dimmer with every passing day, as we GLBT's are Demonized more and more by people like David, Focus on the Family, and organizations like them.

The "Ex-Gay" and "Exodus-Intl" facilities are being filled up more and more every day with children and adults who are being forced in by their families, and the Law, while it may not "back" them, is Sure Not doing Anything to Stop them. And more of those organizations open day-in and day-out.

As long as we GLBT's sit back and "Wait for Intelligence" to overrule those who would like to be Done with us, the More they get a foothold against us.

Yes, I sound like I am "Doom-saying", and I probably am, but people like David Anderson and the AAC have a way of getting what they want, because they Speak out Louder than we GLBT's do. Louder and More Often.

We GLBT's get ONE in-road, and we sit back and ACT as if it is a Victory, that the "War is WON", that we can Herald as the beginning of the end of the hatemongering. We sit on our Hind Ends, and get Lazy.

Those who are against us, Win One item, and Push on for the Next one.

You say:
"For you see, their coup d’état has failed.

It becomes increasingly clear ..."

Sorry, but it has Not Failed, and they Will Not Stop until they Win, and "WE" Fail. They will only Change Direction. History Shows this to be True.

We May have won a "Battle", but now the GLBT's are going to Act like that "Battle" was the War, and Susan, it was Not the "War", it was Only One "Battle" in the "War", and that "War" is FAR from over. And it will NEVER be over until CHRIST returns to take "HIS" children to Heaven with Him....and Not before.

We can SHOW that the "Sin of Sodom" was Not homosexuality, and Prove it So, all we like, but those like David will NEVER let up, and saying:
"For you see, their coup d’état has failed.

It becomes increasingly clear ..."...
Is a Bit short Sighted.


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You know, I think we all knew that David was capable of this kind of rhetoric and 'logic' when he, white, male, heterosexual, educated, and affluent was "The Very Rev'd Canon" and naming himself 'marginalized'.

Hey, 'Lost in Texas'-I fear you really are - lost in the evangelical natural default setting of the loathing of the human condition which has made that particular brand of Christianity persuasive and influential but ultimately has kept it from ever being a dominant force in the world.

Thanks be to God!

All this will pass, the Right will move to the Global South, the rest of us will move on, Jesus will be praised, God will be glorified, and the Spirit will have the last laugh. She always does.

Lindy said...

The militaristic language is disturbing. And, they use it so often...

Unknown said...

I was born in Texas. I grew up in Texas. I got my degree from The University of Texas and if you scratch me, I still bleed burnt orange. But people like "Lost in Texas" remind me why I am so glad I live in California now.


tapps said...

@lost in texas: i don't want to disagree with you just for the sake of disagreeing.. however i do want to point out an error in your theory. now, of course none of us will truly be able to predict the future, but we can see what has happened in the past, see patterns and trends, and make a good guess about the future.

now i just was in texas last weekend, and i was surprised how much hasn't changed there. but where i live, we have progressed and learned a lot in the past years. (don't take that as an insult, but i'm speaking from what i saw with my own eyes... and i just saw a small piece of the whole)

the trend is that people learn that tolerance is the only way to live with each other as GOD intended... remember slaves? well we grew past that phase of our history. remember racism and sexism? we are slowly growing out of that as well... this is just another example of something we're "stuck" in at the moment. history shows that we learn and "grow out of" our ignorance and misinformation (albeit, sometimes very slowly). and the places where there is more exposure to diversity (the beautiful VAST creation of GOD) we tend to learn faster than if we were not exposed to these beautiful children of GOD.

so while you say that the [progressive] Church will fade away and slowly become extinct... i really don't see that at all. i see the opposite. and history reveals to us that we do progress through our mistakes... slowly... but surely.

nacinla said...

I want to add my “ditto” to what John, above, said about Texas and to share my gratitude that I also live in California.
But my prayers right now are with Ed in Indianapolis. I don’t know what his personal situation is, but I feel bad that he has arrived at such a grim--and untrue--worldview. Ed, we are making inroads every minute every day in many places in this country and around the world. You don’t always hear about the joy of that progress because we don’t have the well-financed propaganda machine of the Religious Wrong, which has commandeered the mainstream media to disseminate its message of division. But it’s happening, and no matter how many setbacks or rotten elections occur, now that we have experienced the unconditional love of an inclusive Lord, we will continue to spread that Good News.
There's a lot of joy and hope for the future out there; I hope you will find it also.

Anonymous said...

Wihtout boring you with the details of how and why, I recently came across a page from the February 12, 1978 Sundat Cape Cod Times. The full page has the headling "A schism in the making: Episcopal 'rebel bishop' defends rift in his church." Under the photo which shows a bishop from the Philippines, and Bishop Chambers (being interviewed) consecrating 4 bishops for the then newly formed "Anglican Church of North America" is the following quotation in large print: "You can no more ordain a woman than you can ordain a dog."

My sisters and brothers, we are all children of God. May we persevere in helping others understand that.

Canon Ginny in Mt. Pocono, PA

edav38 said...

Stop buying into the liberal idea that the "Religious Right" controls the media, it is as far from the truth as "midnight is from Noon".
The media is so liberal that it has been said that the "Fairness Doctrine" (which has nothing to do with "Fairness")was put into place to benefit them and not benefit any who disagree with the liberal monologue. This is proven out more than not. If it was not true that the liberal view supports the "Leftists", then Huckabee and McCain (both of who i dislike their stances on anything), instead of supporting Obama and Hillary (both of whom i think would be disastrou for this country) would be "What is Right for America," according to the Media.

I came upon my views, nacinla, from Looking, Listening, Reading, and Watching what the News tells us each and every single day. And Also from Doing my Own Research.

People like David, the AAC, The Southern Cone (African Anglicanism), the Southern Baptists, about 95% of Islam,most of Buddahism, a goodly portion of Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, and most tribal religions, Do Not accept homosexuality as a viable or natural option. Those I mentioned of the Christian faith Do Not believe that GLBT's have the possibility of "Inheriting the Kingdom of God" Unless we Repent our ways.

As to what I said about the "ex-gay" movement, all you would have to do is look into it to Know that it is a Quickly growing industry.

When people's Beliefs are threatened, then they Feel threatened. David, the AAC, the Anglican Souther Cone, and Roman Catholcism ALL Feel threatened by Our Ability to Prove Our Worthiness of God's Love, and God's Promises to mankind.

Yes, I Know you Think my view is "grim" and "sad", but nacinla, you are blinding yourself with "Rose Colored Glasses" into believing that these "in-roads" you mention have any more power than they really do.

By your name I suspect you are from California. With that knowledge, Understand, that 90% of the United States live Outside of California. 80-85% of the USA lives in an area of the coutry where GLBT's HAVE to watch behind their backs at all times. (South beach, Massachusetts and Vermont are included in that). Sad, but True.

People like David and the AAC and Focus on the Family are Heralded as a sort of "Hero's" for standing up to the "Pink Mafia", as the GLBT's of America are Commonly Referred to outside of California.

I really didn't want to go here, but Remember this...The Jews of Europe Never believed "that" could happen, until it was too late. And America and most of the rest of the world Did Not want to believe it could happen, or was happening, until they could not ignore it any longer.

Are "WE" going to keep Our Heads in the Sand too long as well?

It is Better to be Vigilent against people like David, the AAC, Focus on the Family, et al., than to let our guard down.

Call me "paranoid", or my view as "sad", all you like. But the more you do, and the more that you turn a Blind eye to Reality, then another Matthew Sheppherd is more Likely to happen.

Jim Costich said...

Ummm.....another Matthew Shepard just did happen. His name is Lawrence King, a 14 year old gay Middleschool student shot to death in class by a 15 year old fellow student for being gay, and effeminate. And, it happened IN California not far from L.A.

There are no safe places in the United States for gay people, especially GLBT Youth. Matthew Shepard is one of many, many GLBT people killed, maimed, beaten, abused, fired, neglected, driven out of school, abandoned by parents, sexually assaulted by straights, pick a violence. There was and is nothing unusual or unique about Matthew Shepard. People are murdered everyday by haters. Just a few months ago it was all over gay TV - Here! and Logo that a famous elderly Gay author was beaten to death for being gay after exiting a bus in borad daylight. We could, and should be populating our prayer lists with them.

Who is the champion of all this intollerance, bigotry, and murderous hatred? Well, in a much quoted poll done this summer 80% of General population Americans thought Christianity was to blame. 70% of self-identifying Christians agreed.

What are we Episcopalians going to do to fix it?

Unknown said...

More of David Anderson's "brothers in arms" (sisters in arms, too) showed up outside St. James' Episcopal Church on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles yesterday - a few of Fred Phelps' merry band of psychopaths. No one paid them any attention and the 10:30 service was packed; probably 75% of the congregation was wearing rainbow ribbons because, as our Rector said, "today, we are all members of the gay/lesbian community at St. James'".

Anderson sure has strange tastes in brothers in arms.