Wow. I went back into the archives, and stumbled upon this rant from February 2004. I was right (sigh) about pretty much everything that would unfold, except maybe the ABC's good sense. Well, maybe he will redeem himself.
This was when I'd just left my old AAC aka Network parish:
Lying liberal liar with my load of liberal lies
Now that I've calmed down, I can write the posting with this title that I started to write right away, but without writing it in the anger that I had at the time of the fight between Father Dearest and me.
To those who are curious about the article that precipitated the fight, it's called "Contending with Anglican Realignment" by the Rev. Canon Mark Harris in The Witness Magazine.
You should be able to find the article at:
or just go to "thewitness.org" and look for the article.
It's written by a theologian in the Episcopal Church. Harris expressed a lot of thoughts I've had about the AAC, but with a better background in theology and philosophy on which to draw than I have at the moment. Agreement with him is evidence that I have moved from a rather conservative to a more liberal position. I guess that makes me a lying liberal liar, to paraphrase Al Franken.
I wrote this in an e-mail to a friend today, trying to explain my antipathy toward the AAC, which I can view only as repressive and tending towards fascism:
"The Gene Robinson issue is only a small part of
the picture, as far as I'm concerned. I don't want to
be taken or dragged out of the Episcopal Church into
some other "province," or to have authority over it
given to foreign primates who have a lot of cultural
differences [including polygamy, slavery, child labor
exploitation and stoning]. I don't think the AAC bishops
involved in this realize how dangerous giving away
this power is. They think they'll really be controlling
things behind the scenes and have the mantle handed
to them after they've purged and purified the church.
Nor do I want to go to some Calvinistic, repressive
church where you can have only one interpretation
of scripture (theirs, fundamentalist) or you're not a
Christian. I don't want to have to sign an AAC
loyalty oath*[I see this coming. The requirements for
attending the AAC convention and the Chapman
memo and other documents clearly set the tone for this.
It won't be the first time in the history of the church
that something like this has happened.]
to be allowed to participate in the church --
that to me is blasphemy. My loyalty is to God and
I'm happy to say the Nicene or Apostle's creed, but
not sign an AAC oath. This kind of stuff is what I see
coming in the diocese if the tide is not turned.
Everyone who went to the AAC meetings/conventions
had to sign on and affirm their stance.
That's my diatribe for the day! Sorry to get on a
soap box, but I think this is a dangerous situation and
the AAC doesn't want us to even know what's going on."
Some of the AAC bishops, including the one in this diocese,
have been engaged in talks with these foreign, ultraconservative
bishops: July 15, 2003, Bishop Howe, among other AAC
affiliated bishops, signed a letter to "Concerned Primates"
to "address the crisis of Faith and Order
that is increasingly unfolding among us... In the face of these
looming departures from evangelical truth and catholic order,
and in line with our commitment to oppose all such
innovations in every Godly way, we do hereby affirm the
moral and spiritual authority of you, the 'Concerned Primates'
of the Anglican Communion, and do join in commitment with
you to address the situation under your leadership.
We desire to act in concert with you, and are ready to
take counsel from you. We pledge solidarity with you in
sharing common faith and practice within an Anglicanism
that is submitted to her sovereign Lord, true to his holy
Word, and at one with the catholic Church. We stand ready,
in concert with you, to commit to common responses to the
deteriorating situation within the Episcopal Church and
I don't respect bishops who are so willing to hand their flocks over to others. I don't want to be subjected to these primates' "moral and spiritual authority," thank you very much. They need to work on setting their own houses in order.
I feel sure the Archbishop of Canterbury wouldn't go along with such a plan. It would be lighting the fuse to a powder keg. But pushing the agenda serves to polarize, divide and cause hostilities.
The AAC is even willing to have the Archbishop become the pope of the Anglican Communion, or at least over the Episcopal Church part of the communion, with absolute authority. They think it will be to their advantage. I don't think it would; the ABC is nowhere as conservative as they want to force him to be and again, I think he has better sense than to go along with such an attempt.
It seems to me that the AAC is looking for any means possible to break the back of the Episcopal Church, then move in for the kill. These men seem to have a brew of fundamentalist theology, anger and suspicion toward anything different -- like ordained women or Gene Robinson -- lust for power and contempt for their flocks, from whom they want to conceal so many of their actions, with closed, secret meetings, secret memos and stealthy plans.
Father Dearest accused me of trying to "discredit" the Network. I don't think I have
to; they do it themselves as soon as the light is shined on their activities.
UPDATE 6/22/07 - I'm much more familiar with Mark Harris of Preludium fame now! (grin) Archbishop Peter Akinola is, of course, much better known to readers now. When I posted this, many in the Voices group weren't familiar with him. Bishop Howe seems to have pulled back from his stance, but the diocesan board and standing committee members still want to do in TEC and join CANA or AMiA, not necessarily in that order.