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Review of WHY BUSH MUST GO by Rt. Rev Bennett J. Sims (review solicted by then not published by The Living Church)
Why Bush Must Go: A Bishop's Faith-Based Challenge. Bennett J. Sims.
Continuum Books, 2004. 144pp. ISBN 0-8264-1637-3.
Bush must go, argues the retired Bishop of Atlanta, because Bush leads by
military might, bravado, and "patriotic religiosity." By contrast,
Jesus brings as his sword: "a moral weapon against the very values of
exclusivity and injustice that brutalized the poor and fused an unholy
alliance of ritual religion and Roman Imperialism." Bush is beholden to
the Religious Right and its apocalyptic vision that endorses violence and
conquest, not cooperation. Nuclear power and environmental arrogance
endanger the planet, yet, Sims insists, "the massive hinge of history is
slowly swinging" -- toward mature nonviolence and cooperation. While
the government is waging war, people the world over must wage peace. Sims
points to how the Episcopal Church has "used its primordial power in
Christ to be more and more inclusive. Servanthood, not dominance, has
been [its] developing posture."
I agree with Desmond Tutu: "Read it!"
--Reviewed by Louie Crew
Reviewed at the request of the Living Church but TLC published another's
A footnote on my experience as a writer submitting
materials over 3 decades to The Living Church
No one has a 'right to publication.' Any editor is completely within her
or his rights to reject any manuscript. "Freedom of speech" does not
guarantee "freedom to be published" Those with the most freedom to
publish are those who own the presses.
The Living Church published me quite early in my writing life, with two
items, when Dr. Carroll Simcox was the editor:
"Dr. Martin Luther King: A White Southerner's Perspective." Living Church
168.1 (1974): 9 http://www-rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/pubd/mlking.html
"Homosexuality: An Integrity Leader's View." Living Church 173.5 (1976):
8, 11-12 http://www-rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/pubd/jointhei.html
Dr. Simcox tried to get me to drop a negative reference to the White
Citizens Council in the ML King article, but did not make removal a
condition of publication, and I insisted that it remain.
When Dr. Simcox, theologically a staunch conservative , reported the
first convention of Integrity (in Chicago at St. James Cathedral, 1975),
he gave it the headline: "WE WELCOME A COMING OUT." Shortly thereafter
he invited theologian Robert Cooper (then at Nashotah House) and me to
write opposing points of view, i.e., the second of my items above. Dr.
Cooper and I later became friends and his views on the subject have much
moderated in the decades since. Later Dr. Simcox left the Episcopal
Church because he disagreed with our ordination of women.
Since Dr. Simcox's 1977 resignation as editor, I have always expected The
Living Church to reject me. So that the editor cannot say that he has
never received material from the likes of me, I have nonetheless sent
manuscripts for the inevitable rejection, knowing full well that the
material would be published by someone else, as have all materials which
I have ever sent them:
The date TLC rejected, followed by details of publication elsewhere:
1978 The Importance of Risk: Profile of Brian Moore. Sound the Call
2.1 (1979): 3
1982 Pagan's Metaphor. Silver Wings [Australia] 3.1 (1985): 16
1982 God's Flesh and Blood. Studio [Australia] 28 (1987): 6.
1988 "Terminal." Amelia Seventeen 6.2 (1990). First Place Winner in
the Eugene Smith Sonnet Awards ($140).
1988 Would You Let Your Daughter....? Patriarchal Conundrums
Revisited. The Epistle November 1994: 3-5.
1988 Pabulum Is Pabulum Is Pabulum. Christianity & Crisis 48.4 (1988):
1991 Dr. Martin Luther King. Living Church [under his predecessor]
168.1 (1974). These others reprinted it: Jubilate Deo [Diocese of SC]
99.1 (January 1992): 2. Phoenix [Diocese of Arizona] January 1991: 1.
Voice of Integrity 1.1 (Spring 1991): 10. South Dakota Episcopal Church
News 73.4 (April 1991): 4.
1992 For a Bowl of Episcopal Unity. Outlook (October 1992): 7-8
1993 Amazing Still. Anglican Pages~ from April 14, 2004 at
1994 Cracks in the Wall of Episcopal Opposition to Lesbians & Gays The
Witness, 77.11 (November 1994)
1994 Faith: Whose Gift Is it? Marginal Notes. Fall-Winter, 1995. 1-2.
1998 To Canterbury. Christian Century 89.1 (1972): 353.
2004 Why Bush Must Go. A Review. Published above.