There is nothing quite so shamefully fascinating (and fascinatingly shameful) as watching how the left tries valiantly to spin bad news. The unemployment numbers have been understated now for a number of years, because they simply stop counting as "unemployed" those who have not managed to find a job for twelve months or more. So the official rate counts only those who have been unemployed for less than a year. And even then, the number has risen far beyond what the leftists told us would happen once they rushed through Congress the unread "stimulus bill" -- a pork-laden, crony-fattening, insider-larding blockbuster of a mortgage on our children and our children's children for which no politician in office today should dare admit they voted.
The dollar, meanwhile is losing its status as a reserve currency, because people in other countries have caught on to the fact that the current administration has no plans whatsoever to turn off the printing presses. But neither the Fed nor the administration admits this; the former goes on merrily creating "money" out of thin air with which to purchase the latter's equally worthless (since foreigners aren't buying them any more) bonds.
And in the Anglican Communion, it seems as though a thick, deep fog has descended over its nominal leaders. The Archbishop of Canterbury is valiantly looking anywhere but at the ongoing crackup of the Communion, as he gallivants around talking up the need to scale back population and economies in order to alleviate global warming. I have news for his Grace (since apparently no one else is telling him): Population is declining in Western, Christian countries -- no thanks, apparently to Christianity, which seems unable these days to offer the heathens anything worthwhile to convince them to marry and have children. And economies are scaling back, without any mandates from politicians; it happens to be a consequence of so many people being out of work. And global warming is scaling back (alleviating), too -- but not because of the diminished pace of the world's economies. No, the last eleven years have witnessed a cooling trend in direct proportion to the declining phase of the sunspot cycle -- a phenomenon that is wholly out of man's control.
In the marvel of bureaucracy that is ECUSA, we have the leadership scrambling to hide the only objective evidence of the utter failure of their scorched-earth, leave-no-prisoners litigation strategy: people are staying away from being associated with lawsuits, and with "gay rights" as a subject for religion and sermons. (I remind the readers of this blog, as I must from time to time, that there are no rights of any kind before God, because we are all sinners in His eyes.) To preach the Gospel of redemption while at the same time promoting something both the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer do not allow is simply too much hypocrisy for the ordinary person. The traditional people who used to fill the pews are reacting as any sensible person would, and are increasingly going elsewhere to hear a coherent message, and to support a cause that actually helps people, instead of beggaring them while making only lawyers rich.
This is not to say that one can not hear a good traditional Christian message in Episcopal Churches on Sunday -- there are still, fortunately, thousands of such churches scattered across the country. But even they are taking a hit because of the shenanigans at the national level. In my own small (and very orthodox) parish, the budget had to be cut mid-year by more than 12% to adjust to lost revenues and declining attendance.
There is, accordingly, no shortage of very bad news. But it is not the sort of bad news that you read about in the standard media. No, the media and those on the left who still read them are obsessed all of a sudden with the supposed "lack of civility" in civil discourse -- while they pile on Rush Limbaugh for saying things he never said. I am sorry, but after listening and reading for eight years about the "war criminal Bush", seeing plays, movies and articles written about his "assassination" and how to pull it off, and hearing how the left is still blaming him for the mess we are in (I remind the left that both the TARP and the stimulus bills were enacted by a Democrat-run Congress), such complaints have all the legitimacy of the President's last promise to cut the deficit.
I cannot put my finger on it exactly, but there is something very "Decline and Fall of Rome"-ish about the trend of current events. In Rome, too, as things began to go downhill from its days of heroism and glory, the lawsuits multiplied (with results just as random and unpredictable as they are today), the troops were brought home to be safe as the barbarians made things rough on the frontiers, productive businesses were taxed and taxed to pay for the emperors' extravagances until people were put out of work, farms went fallow and food had to be brought in increasingly from greater and greater distances, and the citizens of Rome partied on as though there were no tomorrow. No one at the top could bring themselves to describe the bad news as it was happening; instead, a few messengers who brought ill tidings were put to death. And so, guess what? Nobody brought any news to Rome about the barbarians advancing toward the gates, until it was too late.
There is one thing one can say about the current scene, in both the country and in the Anglican Communion, that is utterly and absolutely certain: things cannot continue as they are. There will be change -- and it probably will not be what you hoped for.