28 August 2010

Plate tectonics of the communion. Thoughts on another blogger's post

Over on Preludium Fr. Harris wrote using seismic images "fault lines" and "fracture points" as approaches to understanding the ongoing mess that is the Anglican Communion and especially notes the West bashing conference now meeting in Uganda.

He notes that:
A first fracture point was the emergence of a radically conservative movement in The Episcopal Church willing to play hard ball politics in order to "win" The Episcopal Church for the conservative evangelical agenda or to see TEC fail completely as a church. That movement believed (believes) that The Episcopal Church is a progressive adversary and danger to the movement to make the United States of America a "christian" nation worthy of the end times. The various groups that fund, support and manage that attack on The Episcopal Church have collectively championed alliances with others in the Communion to marginalize The Episcopal Church in the Communion.

I think this misses one major major set of players: the "IRD" and others who really have little or no interest in the faith correct or not, expressed by TEC or any other part of the Anglican communion. In fact, the IRD has "desks" assigned to similar campaigns of disruption and diversion attacking other communities. The one thing the targets have in common is a commitment to progressive social policies. If your faith community was there when Dr. King spoke, IRD inter alia are after you.

When the institutional life of a church or synagogue is disrupted, its ability to speak from its spiritual base to the society, to cry "Justice" is disrupted too. And without that voice, spiritual communities die.

IRD and its fellow conspirators understand this formula. They are all about electing neo-cons - people who understand that the rich should be kept in their places by keeping to poor in theirs. Oh they dress it up. One even sees the occasional theologian floating around their staff and board. If I recall those folks were once called "tokens." But the mission is not religious, it is not moral; rather it is purely political

Which is why I think in delving into the plate tectonics of the schism now afflicting the Anglican Community, Fr. Mark has missed a level. Yes, the archbishop of Canterbury is a deeply flawed leader driven by a need for deference he might call 'moral authority;' yes the African bishops react to the West with anger and pain that we helped form; yes the radical evangelicals in TEC are using the sexuality of various ordinands as excuses. All true, but all I think second layer.

None of that would matter much without money, lots of it. None of it would matter if it were not for an over-arching drive for civil power that does not care about the damage it does. Africans with real grievances against the colonial past are not helped when they walk away from honest efforts to make things better -- but it suits IRD to have that happen. Anger is the weapon of the political radical and they use it well. Congregations divided between families is not the stuff of Christian love but it suits those who do not care about the ones they derisively call "pew lumps" in their drive for power.

At the end of the day I think Fr. Mark had the wrong song. It should be, "Only a pawn in their game."

This time, the tragedy is that many of the pawns are the very victims of the racism and elitism so common among the neo-cons and others IRD wants in power.



Point of Order said...

Jim, I think you can close the money loop with the money from the "withdrawing" parishes and dioceses.

Perhaps our brothers in Africa don't expect the TEC source to be completly cut off.

JimB said...

I think they have figured out that the cash won't flow all that well. ABp Akinola was pretty specific about his unhappy experience in that regard.

I think it clear that the IRD sort do not care even a little bit about central African Christians. They are simply a handy tool in their effort to dismantle TEC and thereby advance their local secular agenda.


JCF said...

Very thought provoking, Jim (and another great 60s song!)

Someone on MSNBC today (Chris Matthews, I think) made the point that Beck really seems close to calling for a "religious test" for the Presidency. Ala, "if you don't believe in 'individual salvation' [and I don't---that's not what Jesus came to bring!], then fuhgeddabout it!"

To paraphrase Bob D again: the times, they are a-gettin' crazy...

Christal said...

Great song selection! They just don't make music like this anymore!

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Anonymous said...

Your church is already failing. You've lost a fourth of your membership and your median age is nearly 58 (and rising). Only about 4% of those between 18-30 belong to ANY mainline Protestant church in the USA.
Somebody should ask Beck if he plans to "hie to Kolob/in the twinkling of an eye."

JimB said...


Yup it is so much nonsense and we do not matter. That is why the neo-conservatives spend so much money on IRD, the Chapman strategy and other efforts to undercut us. If we do not matter, why do they bother?

Sorry, but the simple fact is you are wrong.


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