It's always good to blow off a little steam every once in a while. Props to Kendall Harmon, dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist, for posting a quote from what some of his friends surely think of as The Dark Side, excerpted from a refreshing rant by liberal James Bradley. The comments at Kendall's blog TitusOneNine, by both trads and non-trads, are a great read, too.
Excerpt from Dr. Bradley's essay (emphasis added):
... And what struck me most profoundly about Anglicans was that we could fight like cats and dogs (or Sunni and Shiites, or Dempsey and Louis, or the Red Sox and Yankees—choose your metaphorical poison) about anything and when someone said, The Lord be with you”, all the conflict ended ....
And I think the time has come for people like me stop being polite and start claiming the banner of Anglicanism before people who aren’t Anglican at all drag it away into a new church I would not recognize as the one where I found and was found by God. ...
The European Provinces are so gun shy that no one wants to stand up to the bullies in Africa lest they be accused of “racism” or “colonialism”. Here’s what I think—the church in Africa is no more truly “Anglican” in terms of openness, acceptance, calmness, tolerance and true Christian charity than my friends up the road in the Assembly of God Church. Anglicanism is not a doctrine, creed or confession—it is a Book of Common Prayer and a remarkable dose of “common sense”. Several of the Primates from Africa and other parts of the third world refused to participate in a service of communion at one of their gatherings (imagine the secret hand shakes and code words and tree houses the Primates’ Boy’s Club could come up with!) because Frank Griswold was simply present. There is no way that having the Eucharist be “divisive” is part of the Anglican ethos!
I am sick and tired and beyond exhausted at bending over backwards to appease fundamentalists masquerading as Anglicans, whether in Africa or in the American Anglican Council. I’m ready to stand up straight and say, “Ok, you say you are Anglicans, let’s do this the way Anglicans always have. You have your opinion and I’ll have mine. It complicates both our lives but it is just the way it is. Now let’s break the bread and pass the wine because that is the only thing that defines us as a church and the only way we know who we are as a people of God. You turn from the table because someone is there who doesn’t agree with you…fine, you’ve made the choice to leave this fragile communion of Anglicans. God bless you. We’re here if you want to come back and join us and you will be welcomed back with joy and wonder like a lost sheep, a lost coin, a lost son/daughter. But don’t try to turn my church into a mini-Roman Catholic Church. That’s not who we are. That’s not who God is calling us to be.”
One of my favorite comments at T19 was from Robert:
More to the point, if all the little Episcopal Churches across the land become wee high church mirrors of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of Christ or the Missouri Synod, why even attend? The other guys do a much better job of being fundamentalists anyway.
What we have now is a union of old Episcopalian 1928 mossbacks as partners in crime with younger fogeys who made the wrong choice to become Episcopalians in the first place. The Midwest and the South are great breeding grounds for such chemistry. Where to turn? Why Bolivia, Uganda and Rwanda of course. Very appropriate places for supervision of American church life. Hah!