Monday, August 3, 2009

Giles Fraser on the ABC and Anglicanism

From the Church Times. Replace "CofE" with "TEC" and the point is the same.
Another kick in the teeth from the Archbishop of Canterbury comes this week in his reflections on the US General Convention. It looks as if we are heading for a two-tier Anglicanism, with the anti-gay lot being able to have “representative functions”, and the inclusive lot being edged out of any decision-making processes.

Actually, we have been something like a two-tier Church for a while, but the nature of this division is different from the one Dr Williams describes. One tier is called the Church of England; the other is called Anglicanism. Ordinary people in the pews are members of the former; those with “representative functions” — bishops and the like — are often of the latter.

.....Mrs Jones, who has always worshipped at St Agatha’s, knows that there is a wider international side to the Church...but for her, church means St Agatha’s: Sunday eucharist, the choir, the people. Her views may be more conservative or more liberal than the person praying next to her, but that doesn’t matter much. ....

[T]he genius of the Church of England has been to allow different theological temperaments to worship alongside one other, united by common prayer and community spirit. This was how we recognised each other as members of the same Church. This was our particular charism, and we were widely valued for it.

In Anglicanism, however, the joys of common prayer and community spirit are replaced by ideology. This Anglican Church is a new invention, a global piece of post-colonial hubris, driven by those who feel that a Church that is genuinely Catholic must have outposts throughout the world.

Bishops get on planes and fly to other parts of the world to sit in committees with other bishops, hammering out policy — although no one in the secular world cares two hoots about what they decide. Over time, these meetings have created a new Church with a single-issue magisterium based on an unhealthy fascination with what gay people do in their bedrooms. This, apparently, is how we are to recognise each other as Anglicans.

That is not how Mrs Jones recognises members of her church. She says hello to them in the street. They sit near her in the pews. To replace all this by ideology is the single greatest mistake my Church has ever made.

10 comments:

Counterlight said...

"The best live by legends, the average live by ideology." --Hannah Arendt

I think the church, and Christianity as a whole, have gone completely verkakte with this unhealthy obsession with what gay folk do behind bedroom doors.

In a world where an openly gay man can win 42% of the vote in the 2007 election for mayor of Dallas, Texas, these ecclesiastical obsessions are starting to look very quaint.

Brad said...

Counterlight, religion is way past its "Sell by" date. Throw it away.
It's become a plaything for fundies, nutjobs and freaks unable to get a real job on the right and the Shinto of the english-speaking world on the left.
If your only two choices are 1. weird/dangerous/stupid and 2. weird/tedious/pointless, you have a serious and fatal problem.

Counterlight said...
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seithman said...

Fortunately, Brad, many of us don't see those as our only two options. A great many of us are able to see and appreciate the much broader spectrum of religious experiences in all its diversity.

As for the article, I'd personally trade all the bishops' committees in the world for a spot of tea with Mrs. Jones. I suspect that by and large, her company is far preferable.

Counterlight said...
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IT said...

Guys, please do NOT engage the trolls. It just confuses things when I delete them.

Counterlight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JCF said...

IT, can you clarify something for me?

I thought that when you (or another mod) deleted a troll, it would say "This post has been removed by the blog administrator" (or something like that).

It's only if *I* say something dumbf*ck, and want to get rid of it (and I've signed in on Google, unlike this post!), and then press the Lil' Trashcan (icon) to delete it, that it would say "This post has been removed by the author."

Now, I'm assuming that you, not "Sad", removed Sad's posts. So why the "author" designation, not "administrator"?

Don't get me wrong: I'm all for deleting troll-spewage. I just like to understand that that is what happened...

IT said...

Hi JC
When I delete a comment, I have the option of deleting it and leaving the "removed by an administrator" message or vaporizing it entirely (leaving no trace behind). Because I believe in the power of sunlight as a disinfectant, I use the delete button relatively rarely, and the vaporize option only for the most egregious trash.

If it says, "removed by the author", then the person who signed in and made the post, deleted it themselves with the trashcan.

I suspect counterlight removed his posts where he engaged the troll, in response to my request. I leave that up to our friends if they choose to do so. It does confuse the thread a bit but I figure people are smart enough to work it out.

Hope this helps.

When are you getting a blog, anyway? ;-)

Brad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.