The Mickey Mouse Statement

The Mickey Mouse Statement

Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 19:41:24 EST
From: DAlexBeck@AOL.COM
It should come as no surprise that conservative bishops would choose Orlando as the place to announce that the Episcopal Church is a 'franchise' of the Anglican Communion. Orlando is not simply a place to bask in the winter sun; it's the place to bask in the glory of a corporation which has so aggressively marketed itself that Simba the Lion King has more image recognition among the children of the world than Moses or Jesus or Mohammed. Moreover, consider their other conferences: all were held in the shadow of massive corporate power. Kuala Lumpur was -- at that time before the bubble burst -- the gleaming capital of an Asian Tiger economy: a vain, boastful market beacon to the Third World. Dallas was -- and still is -- a place so preoccupied with wealth and its trappings that one is hard pressed to find a hundred souls that have not bent the knee to the great god Marketplace and his avatars Dow Jones and Nasdaq. The envy of corporate power and privilege has gnawed at these bishops until they spend their days scheming how to restructure the Body of Christ so that it functions more like KFC. In the end, therefore, their choice of the word 'franchise' is very apt. They envision a church where the bishops at corporate headquarters set the menu of orthodoxy, and where the laity's job is to hustle the fries.

Do not be deceived. This conservative movement is not about rescuing orthodoxy from 'Episcopaganism'; it is about gaining market share in religion. It is about the frustration of bishops not having mega-churches to call their own. It is about measuring evangelism, not as seed scattered on the earth, but as stategies of church growth. It is about erasing the pericope about wide and narrow gates from the lectionary. In short, it is about traveling the world over to find proselytes and then rendering them worse off than ever.

If they succeed, be prepared for one prayer-book revision. It will be novel, but familiar. As you stand before the priest to receive the Eucharist, you will be asked: "Do you want to Super-Size it?"

Dan Beck
Dallas TX


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