Saturday, April 05, 2014

It’s entirely possible that I badly underestimated What’s-His-Face.  Because, mirabile dictu, my gracious lord of Canterbury just did something that his broccoli-shaped predecessor regularly and strenuously went out of his way to avoid doing.  Justin Welby pissed off the Anglican left in a major way:

The Archbishop of Canterbury revealed today that Christians in parts of Africa face abuse, violence and even death because of decisions on sexual equality made by Anglican Churches in the West.

Justin Welby, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, made the comments in an hour-long phone-in programme on LBC radio today.

In particular he was was responding to a question from Kes, a Church of England priest who had called in to ask why English clergy were not allowed to decide for themselves whether to marry gay couples.

“Why we can’t do it now is because the impact of that on Christians in countries far from here like South Sudan, like Pakistan, like Nigeria, would be absolutely catastrophic and we have to love them as much as the people who are here,” he said. 

“At the same time we have to listen incredibly carefully to the LGBT communities here and listen to what they’re saying and we have to look at the tradition of the Church, the teaching of the Church, and of Scripture which is definitive in the end, before we come to a conclusion [on the issue of same sex marriage].”

When challenged by the LBC presenter James O’Brien about the Church of England’s decision not to perform same sex weddings, Archbishop Welby stressed that it had nothing to do with avoiding upset to African Anglicans. Rather it was about not putting them in danger.

“It [the issue of same sex marriage] is something I wrestle with every day, and often in the middle of the night. I’m incredibly conscious of the position of gay people in this country, how badly they’ve been treated over the years, how badly the church has behaved. And, at the same time I’m incredibly conscious of what I saw in January in  South Sudan, in the DRC, and other places. You know, it’s not a simple issue,” he continued.

The Guardian picked it up so expect this story to have a long shelf life.  Needless to say, Jim Naughton’shabitués are OUTRAGED over Welby’s remarks (some of those folks are in full Resolution B033, Braxton’s Lear, bat crap mode and there’s an expected, brain-dead and historically-idiotic invocation of Martin Luther King or two) while Andrew Brown should have a genteel, overly-long and repetitive sneer up any day now.

There is nothing particularly controversial in Welby’s remarks.  You’re a gay person, it’s a Sunday morning and a friend or a relation is driving you home from an extended and painful hospitalization caused by at least seven or eight people (there might have been more but you’re not sure) who loudly chanted the F-word with every punch each one landed on various parts of your body.

Your friend or relation turns on to your street and passes some Christian church or other.  Whereupon you notice several of the people who put you in the hospital, dressed in their Sunday best, walking in to worship God.  So if an acquaintance of yours invites you to his or her church the following Sunday, what’s your response likely to be?

Damn right it is.

But, as Welby correctly points out, there are two dynamics in play here and you can see the other one working if you read the comments at Naughton’s.  The actions of the western Anglican church caused non-European people to be murdered?  How dare you even imply such a thing, Your Grace?  HOW DARE YOU, SIR?!!

It must be nice for Welby to have people like Naughton’s commenters basically prove His Grace’s other point for him.  When the western Anglican left wants something, it will get it and it will not even pretend to give a crap how that affects anybody else in the Anglican world, people with whom it claims to be in “communion.”

Really sorry to hear about your family being murdered but if we want to ordain homosexuals or let them “marry” in our “churches,” we’re going to since it’s obviously an issue of “justice so you’re just going to have to accept the fact that it’s going to suck to be you for a while.  But hey, if you want to make a Western leftist, pseudo-Christian omelette, you have to be willing to break a few non-Western, Christian eggs.

Many of us have known this for a long time.  In October, 2003, the rest of the Anglican primates told Frank Griswold exactly what would happen if Gene Robinson got a pointy hat and a hooked stick.  Frank signed his name to that document, flew home, completely ignored it and then pretended to act surprised when some of the primates got angry at Frank’s duplicity and decided to take that document seriously.
If you wanted to, I guess you can trace this mindset back to the early 1970′s and the Episcopal Organiztion’s decision to officially allow women’s ordination.  Never mind the position into which this will put the rest of the Anglican world.  And especially never mind that our decision will effectively kill any conceivable 
rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church.  We want to ordain women and we want to do it right now.  So we’re going to ordain women RIGHT NOW and we can’t even pretend that we care how our decision might affect you.

What with you being wrong and stuff.  Deal with it.

I like to think that if I had to vote for a policy that might cost innocent lives, I would back off regardless of how right I thought the policy was.  One  would  think that if Gene Robinson had had a microgram of humility in him, he would have taken one look at the firestorm his election caused in the Anglican world and said something along  the lines of, “God only knows how much I appreciate this honor.  And I do not currently believe that there is any theological impediment against consecrating a gay bishop.

“Nevertheless, it is clear that the Anglican Communion is not ready for this step so I wish my name to be removed from consideration as Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire.  And if I should be selected anyway, I will not accept the position.  I value the Anglican tradition and the Anglican witness far too highly to subject it to violent disruption.

“At some time in the future, the Anglican Communion will be ready for an openly-gay bishop.  But that time is not now and that openly-gay bishop does not need to be me.”

But Robbie and his supporters never said anything like that or even contemplated the idea.  Because God’s Congress the Episcopal Organization amended the Bible and any God’s Congress Episcopal Organization Biblical amendments are exactly like the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be altered.

Regardless of how many Africans die.

No comments: