Sunday, 3 October 2010

Which planet are they on?

We all know the Anglican Communion is in a pretty dire state and that we are beset with divisions and conflicts (apparently over the issue of homosexuality, although some say this is just the presenting issue.) We have seen some monumentally unchristian behaviour, ranging from outright cruelty to cowardly hypocrisy. There has been a lot of petty and uncharitable behaviour, but David Anderson seems to have taken this to a new level. In his advice to those considering absenting themselves from the Primates meeting in Ireland he suggests that they do attend but that they vote Jefferts Schori off the island, or that they go into a room and stop her coming in! I have this bizarre image of a group of supposedly Christian divines leaning against a door. "You can't come in", they say, "we don't like you, so there."

I really have met four year olds who are capable of more grown up behaviour. I was torn between embarrassment and amusement when I read it. If, as is the case for me, you have great respect for many individuals within the church, but have almost entirely lost faith in the institution as a whole, it does have some comic potential.

One thing Anderson said did ring true. He wrote that Rowan Williams is not on the same page as he is. Well, that is for sure! The question is whether they even on the same planet! I would not like to be Rowan Williams at the Primates meeting in January. Unfortunately he has gone down the road of trying to appease those who are not amenable to reason, will only accept things on their own terms, and who will throw tantrums (quite literally) when others differ from them.

If you will appease the crazies, don't be surprised when you find that the lunatics are running the asylum.


  1. Brilliant. Don't mince your words Sue :) I agree entirely

  2. It is time that all Anglican parishes copied Mr Anderson's form of Christian welcome. By employing "bouncers" on the door, all undesirables could be kept outside, reserving our Church for nice straight men only.

  3. Tantrums don't just get results in the Christian sphere. When the Greeks went on their murderous tantrums recently, they got more help than Ireland, who have been much more adult in trying to mitigate their problems. So let's throw Bishop Jefferts out of the EU and firebomb...well, anybody really...

  4. Oh dear, was I am bit too outspoken...again..
    Seriously, I went for a long walk with Bessie today and felt much better.

    Fr. Hugh Jass - that's a novel idea.

    Ed, welcome. You are our first gargoyle on the blog (we are inclusive here and gargoyles are welcome:)

  5. I think it is part of our collective self-delusion that we like to think we are somehow more sophisticated than we really are. A quick glance through history will tell you that such behaviour as noted above is commonplace, even among ‘the saints’. Over the past year I have spent a good deal of time at the British Library researching attitudes to one of the Christian organisations I am researching at present. A great deal of effort, in the 19th century, was put into bashing the organisation. The greatest accusation being that it was not really Christian.

    Well, this is an old chestnut. I am for Paul... I am for Appolos... This faction and that faction, each believing it is the ‘true Christianity’. The fact that Christianity is not like its founder... the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, suggests just how much it is influenced, indeed owes how it is experienced ontologically, to the culture of which it is a part rather than eternal truths.

    The matter, at the heart of such sorry situations as noted above, is that of power and how it is articulated. What little nobody gives a f*** about God when he (and it mainly is a man thing) can rise out of mediocrity and have some species of authority just because he knows what the Bible really says and others are foolish enough to listen to him? The fact ‘what the Bible really says...’ has an uncanny resemblance to age old prejudices and easy syllogisms to explain the problems of the world, is, I am sure, just an unfortunate coincidence. Isn’t it?



  6. I included this in my Sunday/Monday blogs round-up - 03 October 2010, more or less in answer to Damian Thompson's blog posts on the subject. Cheers.

  7. Thank you, Gudur. Much appreciated.