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Re: [HoB/D] Submissions to the Lambeth Commission
- Subject: Re: [HoB/D] Submissions to the Lambeth Commission
- From: Louie Crew <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 10:14:44 -0400 (EDT)
> I detect in the statements of ++ Williams and Eames a wish to offer as much
> cover as possible to the Primates, but no inclination at all to tamper with
> the legal status, property or structure of the national churches.
> IOW, we're going to continue to see reams (and megabytes) of hateful letters
> "broken communions" and "proclamations" but little else.
> This train, IMNSHO, has left the station, and we in the US and Canada (and
> England, Scotland and Wales) are not going back to misogyny, prejudice, and
> invidious discrimination.
You're right about our not going back. I think TEC will be patient,
but to a limit yet to be determined. If the mud-slingers don't slack
off in time, I cannot imagine TEC remaining a willing target of abuse
indefinitely. We are funding right at 30% of the bureaucracy to
manage the bilge, and we could spend that money much better in meeting
the material needs of people whose bishops are neglecting them by
spending time and money attacking us.
I don't expect TEC ever to leave the Communion on our own initiative
unless the terms of remaining become intolerable, such as yielding any
part of our jurisdiction. On the other hand, we will probably
participate less and less in the forums where abuse occurs, and
collaborate where we are welcome.
Anglicans outside TEC who are not saying anything one way or the other
right now have a stake if TEC is booted out or even more badly
bruised, but they seem not to have awakened to that. Some of their
disengagement undoubtedly stems from an over-identification of TEC
with the US Government and more specifically with the American Empire,
whom the world rightly resents. It's easy to get into an
'anti-American' mindset, especially when TEC, like the USA, comes
across as some sort of "Super Power" or "Super Church."
But as I noted earlier, in this particular instance TEC is investing
its considerable resources in sharing the stigma of a despised and
rejected minority. That is not new in Christianity: Jesus
experienced his own first successful missions with outcasts in
Samaria. Anglicans and other Christians in China started schools that
no respectable Chinese would attend, because they would not be able to
pass the Civil Service exams; girls had to unbind their feet to
attend. Within one generation graduates of these schools, including
Sun Yat-Sen, ended feudalism and introduced the new China. All five
of the leading families in Hong Kong today are descendants of the
low-class children who attended the missionary school in Hong Kong in
the 1850s. Similarly, the strong Church of South India is primarily
the church of the 'untouchables,' the Dalits.
Many of us sometimes let off steam to a lowly clerk whose employer has
set policies quite unfair to us. We are not fair when we do so. We
are sometimes not even rational, but it makes us feel good
temporarily, and after all, we don't have easy access to the policy
makers in that establishment. Even more likely are we to enjoy it
when someone else louder and more excitedly makes the complaint for
us, so that we don't have to take responsibility for it.
Enter selected primates.
Anglicans watching on the sidelines may or may not have strong
judgments about homosexuality, but those judgments are not what is
driving the furor and the spectator sport it has become for many.
The primatial road rage is for many a vicarious way of getting back at
the ugly Americans.
That is irrational behavior, but that rarely stops folks. Only love
can do that. And it seems that few in the Communion have thought to
love The Episcopal Church. The test of love is always the same, and
always tough: do we love only when people please us or agree with us?
If Anglicans elsewhere cannot manifest empathy for TEC, they may find
that others won't be around to manifest empathy for them when the
neo-Puritans come knocking at their doors.