08 November 2010

reporting, lies and other things in conservative land

Dr. David Virtue runs an attack blog where he specializes in ad hominem and straw man attacks on those he considers unholy. This week his comments included this:
The coalition is made up of one Anglican in Canada, England, New Zealand and the United States. It has launched a website, called "No Anglican Covenant" providing resources "for Anglicans around the world to learn about the potential risks of the proposed Anglican Covenant."

It takes a certain talent or a reckless disregard for the truth to get things this wrong. For openers the group launched the "http://noanglicancovenant.org/" internet site last week listed its twenty-three (23) founding members on the "About" page clearly available to Dr. Virtue. For another, seven of us are laity, four Americans, and three others. This is not a coalition of a few liberal clerics no matter how much Dr. Virtue wants to make you think it is.

We made a point of identifying all 23 of us for a reason. We are female, liberal, moderate, evangelical, Anglo-catholic, American, British, Colombian, Scott, Australian, Canadian, New Zealander and otherwise diverse. We do not agree on many things. Some of us object to any covenant (I do) others only to this one and still others to one section of this one. What we agree on is the single point that this document should not stand. This covenant, the one on offer is deeply flawed, and is being offered on a take it or leave it but do not amend it basis.

One other thing we agree on is that what is now going on in England, the attempt to push this through without telling the people what it does cannot be permitted. So, we are not going away. Even when a bishop in Wales resorts to name calling, tacitly admitting he cannot win the argument, we will continue. He is correct about one thing, given access to the draft and understanding of what he is about, he cannot win. So ad hominem attacks aimed at us are about all he has in his quiver. It appears to me that Dr. Virtue agrees with him.

FWIW
jimB

6 comments:

Phil Snider said...

Oh, I don't know, Jim, I've heard a lot of dismissive comments from the liberal side about the Anglican Communion Institute being two guys and a computer when it is patently not so. You know I have no love of David Virtue, but this kind of slanging one's opposition isn't unique to one side or the other.

It isn't that you're wrong, but I wonder if this means that the next time that you see a similar initiative on the conservative side that you'll resist the temptation to do the same as David Virtue just did.

Peace,
Phil

Jim said...

Phil,

You are right: the ACI is four guys not two. ;-) That is based on what they say not on what I say. :-)

Sometime ago I pulled a post from this blog because a couple of my conservative friends thought I was too sharp in my critique of that group and I have publicly agreed with some of their stuff (not something that helps one's street cred in progressive circles!)

I think the "well your did it too" defense is a bit weak. But yes, other people can also do bad things.

I guess I posted this piece for three reasons:

First I think the contrast between this group that can unite on this single topic without agreeing on everything else is instructive. In fact if as I think you should, you oppose the covenant we welcome your joining our facebook page, tweeter thread and signing onto the pages.

Second we were deliberately open about our membership. One of the reasons for the "Four guys and a blog? comments ACI has drawn is its secretive response to queries. Whatever else we are; we t'aint secretive!

Finally, I am one of the many progressives banned on Dr. Vitue's pages. So I cannot respond there. This blog on the other had does not ban people. So I can respond here. I cannot respond on VOL.

We are a very loose group, sort of a communion(?) so that there is no central response organ. We individually decide to speak up. I have taken the trouble to respond to some comments on Midwest Conservative Journal (not progressive friendly!) and here. In doing that I speak entirely for myself. In my view we need to respond at least to set records straight. You are published here and in fact your blog is on my recommended list. If I had that same opportunity on VOL, this post would not appear.

FWIW
jimB

Phil Snider said...

Jim;

The criticism intended was mild. Personally, I don't bother to read David Virtue because a. I don't have enough time in the day to bother with his particular blogging style (shock-jock is a word I think can be applied here) and b. I don't want to give him air time- he annoys me that much.
I much rather silence as the appropriate answer to such extremism.

So, I wasn't attempting a defence of David Virtue and, to be fair, I'm a little protective of the ACI, since I admire some of the principals. In that sense, my post could have been better thought out.

As for the Covenant, I have to admit that I haven't reviewed the proposal carefully. I've always been more willing to accept the idea more than you have, so I wouldn't assume anything about my position. Really, my interest in the whole topic has seriously waned in the last years.

Peace,
Phil

Jim said...

Phil,

I do not know how much you advise your bishop but if you do it might be a good idea to take a long look. Were ACNA to sign onto the thing or more correctly given the current views of the ABC, were the African provinces he recognizes to do so, it could intrude rather sharply into the relationships between ACNA and much of Africa. it is not aimed only at us misbehaving progressives.

FWIW
jimB

Phil Snider said...

Not quite sure what you're driving at and no time to figure it out as report card season is upon me. Mind you, I'm not sure it bothers me if the Covenant should bite both 'misbehaving' progressives and misbehaving conservatives.It should.

Mind you, I don't really have the ear of the bishop....

Peace,
Phil

Jim said...

Happy grading!

I am not sure anyone deserves a bite. In fact, if I read anything into the idea of Anglican Comprehensiveness, no one should be harmed. And that is the problem. The Covenant would destroy the communion and create the church.

FWIW
jimB

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