Them’s Fightin’ Words

Thinking Anglicans has put up a statement by the InclusiveChurch. Apparently the famed Anglican reserve has been put on a shelf because they come out swinging:


1.0 Conservative Evangelicals are clearly trying to create a defining moment for the Anglican Communion. The declaration by the Anglican Church of Tanzania separating itself from all who ordain, who are, or who support homosexual people, together with Reform’s “Covenant” are the next stages in the rolling out of a strategy which will, if allowed to proceed destroy the Anglican Communion.

2.0 We are seeing the development of a long term plan developed by various people on various continents which is intended to bring the Anglican Communion out of its historically generous and open position, into a narrowly defined, confessional group of churches rooted in the religious right of the United States and extending from there across the world.

2.1 We understand that the Tanzania declaration was produced at the behest of others with the specific aims of undermining the Presiding Bishop of the United States, challenging the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and derailing the moves towards an inclusive Covenant which the Communion is beginning to make. It is a deliberately incendiary move. The intention is to pre-empt any decisions the Primates’ Meeting in February might make so that elements from the Global South and disaffected elements of the Episcopal Church rebels can proceed with their plan to set up an alternative Communion.

3.0 Reform’s “Covenant” brings this strategy into England. [continues from here… Read the rest if the link worked…]

These are some very serious allegations, especially what’s written in 2.1. These things should not be said without supporting documentation—where is it? If it exists then it’s time for the fat lady to start singing; if not, then this means the left is raising their own schism-producing efforts to new levels.



Either way, I don’t like it. “It” being the plans-within-plans, the gossip-mongering, the he-said-she-said, the let’s-you-and-him-fight, etc. ad nauseum. I’m so at “nauseum.” In short, I’m really tired of the political motivated power struggles over resources and money. It’s expensive—because it costs us our Gospel. On both sides.  This is no way for a church to behave.


Now I completely realize that I’m not at stake in this fight either. I’m not gay and no one’s trying to either push me out of the priesthood or out of the church all together. I’m also not likely to be shut out of a discernment process for being too conservative. I do believe that female clergy is a big piece of this realignment puzzle and I am fully invested in that one… All this is to say, to the degree that I represent the not-at-stake Anglican, both extremes are becoming truly irritating; something’s got to give and soon.

8 thoughts on “Them’s Fightin’ Words

  1. Gracious Light

    I like you, a member of the guilty, straight white guy club.

    I remember something that a UM bishop said about becoming racially integrating church. In having an exclusive church, we were not only hurting black people, we were also hurting white people because we were depriving them of the black church experience.

    In my book, its the same way with both women and homosexuals. While whether or not the Anglican Communion comes to a new homeostasis that does not include either group does not directly effect me (doesn’t prevent me from going through discernment, either), their absence will greatly diminish my experience of the fullness of the Body of Christ in the life of the clergy.

  2. Anastasia

    it’s probably not worth pointing this out, but women are not being excluded in the same sense that black and white used to be segregated from one another.

  3. Gracious Light

    True. Women are not being beaten and lynched for trying to celebrate but people are using Scripture as a foundation for women not being priest. And that reading is the same fine-tooth comb reading that permitted segregation and slavery. And don’t get me started on how traditional female gender roles in western society can be analogous with slavery.

  4. David B.

    2.0 …into a narrowly defined, confessional group of churches rooted in the religious right of the United States and extending from there across the world.

    Is this pandering to anti-Americanism by associating what these evangelicals are doing with the American religious right, and therefore Bush? Is this even accurate? Aren’t we dealing with Africans and British folks here? African and British evangelicals might be surprised to know their beliefs and expectations are rooted in the American religious right.

  5. The Anglican Scotist

    Umm, anastasia, how much hinges on your use of the present tense tacitly indexed to speaker’s location in “women are not being excluded in the same sense that black and white used to be segregated from one another”–you are not serious, right? How much do you really want to know about the consensus medieval understanding of women, or witch-trials, or wife-burning, or–to get current and African–infibulation?

    True, univocity may give, but univocity is hard to come by anywhere in live use; there is at least very close analogy, and that suffices.

    As for the comparison with slavery, the comparison gl draws is spot on; how much Southern Agrarian, Confederate or, say, Christian Identity Movement exegesis are you really familiar with?

  6. Anastasia

    I’m not going to argue church history with you. It isn’t worth it. but I will say I don’t think it’s appropriate or helpful to elide injustices. Segregation and slavery in the United States were horrific and unjust AND historically and culturally particular. There’s no value, as I see it, in equating them with gender inequality, especially as imagined in the present.

    by the same token, I object to terms like “the american holocaust” for american slavery. It isn’t the holocaust. That happened in another time and another place.

    I say this s both because I want to uphold the profundity of these injustices–and I frankly don’t think being denied ordination compares–and because I’m a historian.

    Moreover, if we’re talking about the united states–and we seem to be b/c we’re talking slavery and the confederacy etc etc–again, being denied ordination does not anywhere near touch the horror slavery, especially as it was practiced in t his country.

    You can have your musings on the horrors of the middle ages.

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