Monday, July 9, 2012

Episcopal Church (USA) -- the Spoiled Child of the Anglican Communion -- Wants It All

The current General Convention at Indianapolis is fast becoming like Dennis the Menace at Christmas-time: "I want it all!"

Consider: on Sunday, July 8, when everyone else was at worship, the huge majority of Episcopal Bishops attending GC77 voted in favor of preventing their parishes from refusing to hire any cross-dressers, or even people who refuse to identify as either male or female (because they reject being forced to come down on one side or the other), as (a) their priests, (b) their deacons, (c) their Senior or Junior Wardens, (d) their Sunday School teachers, (e) their Youth Group leaders, or (f) any other positions -- voluntary or paid -- in their parish. You name it, and they have to be hired if there is no other reason to refuse them the position. (At least, that is what the Canons of General Convention will now say.)

Having passed the House of Bishops with an overwhelming majority, these soon-to-be canonical amendments are certain to pass the House of Deputies, with nary a whisper of objection. So thanks to the Bishops whom you elected to uphold "the faith of Christ crucified," and whom you paid to attend General Convention, the Episcopal Church (USA) will soon be a haven for sex perverts and psychological basket cases, among others, who cannot even decide whether God intended to make them in any model, and who absolutely refuse to accept society's labels describing them as, "male or female."

Such people are really in a dilemma, if one thinks about it. They say that they cannot let God dictate what they are, by the outward form in which He clothed them at birth; but they also contend that God ordained that they should have equal opportunities for employment throughout the Episcopal Church (USA). In other words: they get to choose (or reserve a decision on) how society must regard them, but all the rest of us cannot choose whether we want them to work for us. The "choice", in their view, runs only in their favor: heads they win, and tails the rest of us lose.

I realize that is strong language. But -- dammit! This occasion calls for the strongest kind of condemnation of those in authority whom we trusted to know better. I feel completely betrayed by my Bishop, and by the deputies from my diocese who will choose "to follow their own consciences" in this matter, rather than the will of the vast majority of pew sitters who elected them, and who will be stuck with the bills for their lark. In so acting on their own, those deputies repudiate the naïve expectation that they could be counted on to represent, at least on these matters of substance, the overwhelming consensus of the diocese that sent them off to Indianapolis.

The same must hold true of other dioceses, as well, or else I no longer know my Episcopal Church (USA).

To those Episcopleft sympathizers and enablers of these abominable resolutions, I ask: who appointed less than one-half of one percent of the population to dictate to local parishes what they can and cannot do, in hiring people to work with their souls and with their children?

Why would you ever support such a minuscule minority in dictating what the rest of us must do, under your increasingly irrelevant Canons? (I say that the Canons are "irrelevant," because you will not apply them as written to all Church offenders whom they were intended to place under your control.)

I remind such persons that the word "canon" comes from the Greek word meaning "measure", or "rule." Well, if you take less than one-half of one percent of the population and apply them as the "measure" or "rule" by which all others are to be weighed, haven't you just turned things on their head? Since when did such a "measure" for the many ever, in any society, become the norm?

Have you no clue whatsoever as to the impact this idiotic stand will cost you back home, when you have to face the ordinary pewsters who make up the majority of your contributors? How are you ever going to defend -- except perhaps in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Newark -- such an imposition upon your constituents' common sense? 

I am tempted, in my sheer curmudgeonly ire, to invoke the curses of Mark Twain upon you clueless Bishops. I paraphrase, but even in his original, Mark Twain had it right:
First God made imbeciles. That was for practice. Then He made Episcopal Bishops and deputies to General Convention.
What -- you still don't think I have made my case, and that I am simply indulging in curmudgeonly calumny and vituperation, for the sheer joy of it?  Think again. Consider:

--Today, at General Convention in Indianapolis, you deputies rejected signing on to the Anglican Covenant, as presented. In effect, you decided to sign on to the nice-sounding platitudes in Articles I-III, but said you wanted no part with the provisions that could have held you accountable to the rest of the Communion for your waywardness and pig-headed insistence on your own autonomy from the rest of the Communion. 
--And today, also, as just noted, your Bishops decided to surrender their local authority to the self-judgment  (nonexistent, of course, and that is precisely the joke) of individuals who cannot, and do not want to be told, to make up their minds.
--Finally, you expect the rest of us pew-sitters to go along with your idiotic resolutions, just because you supposedly speak for "the Episcopal Church in the United States of America." Well, you don't -- and now you are going to find that out

To sum up: On the one hand, you declared yourselves resolutely opposed to surrendering to the dictates of the majority of the Anglican Communion, should they decide that you were just wrong.

But on the other hand, you kowtow and make yourselves entirely subservient to the smallest minority of all those who claim membership in the Anglican Communion, regardless of whether that tiny minority is right or wrong about Holy Scripture.

The Protestant Episcopal Church, consisting of the people who pay for you to have your triennial fun and fantasies, hereby protests against you ignorant Bishops and deputies who voted to secure passage of such claptrap, with scarcely a peep of opposition.

A pox, we say, on both your benighted Houses.

P.S.: Think this curmudgeon has vented all his wrath? Wait until you read the forthcoming post about the whitewashing going on in the House of Bishops over the lawsuits against departed dioceses, in an attempt to make it seem as though All Is Well.™As Mark Twain says: "This was just for practice."


  1. The Left's complex and intellectual response to arguments like yours, Curmudgeon, tends to be: "Don't be a hater."

    Also, they throw in the odd claim of racism, sexism, heightism, fascism etc.

  2. Clearly, the language of "gender expression" is vague enough to allow all manner of deviations from God's commandments to be welcome behaviors in TEc. At least this opens up the other half of the closet as an option when picking out clothing for Sunday worship.

  3. Here is a good video where Jonah Goldberg talks about why it is hard to have a conversation with people who think like the TEC loonies. It is a totally self-serving tactic, and while Marx or Napoleon were aware of what they were doing, I doubt that most of these people who play this card are aware they are doing it...they just copied the tactic (perhaps unconsciously) from their leadership, and this is why they never progress in this long and ongoing conversation.

  4. You are a man of considerable talent and intellect. Surely there is a better object for your analysis than the dying paroxysms of TEC?

  5. Thank you, TRR, for pointing us to that talk by Jonah Goldberg. Here is the link in clickable form:

    Jonah Goldberg

  6. Austin, thank you - once General Convention disperses, I should be better -- at least, until the PB fires up her canonical bulldozer again.

    Still, for the nonce, let me call upon that greatest of Welsh poets:

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    The light of generations handed down to us is indeed dying, and one appropriate reaction as we head into the darkness, at least, is rage against those who would hasten its extinguishment.

  7. Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

    “Therefore come out from them
    and be separate,
    says the Lord.
    Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”
    “I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
    says the Lord Almighty.”

  8. I see that they 'passed' the same-sex trial blessing with 111 votes, which, if I read you correctly, is 39 votes shy of what the Episcopal Constitution allowed them to do. How are they trying to spin this? (Or are they even trying at this point?)

  9. If you need a laugh:

    TEC will look a lot more like this now, except less cute and the church won't be a tenth as full.

  10. I find myself wondering, sir, why so much fear amongst you and your followers? You are convinced you are clothed in Truth and Righteousness and believe you have God on your side and that you are fighting the demon spawn of hell....and yet for supposed followers of Christ Jesus you are singularly truculent, hyperbolic, and hysterical showing no signs of knowledge of Our Lord and sad.

  11. TRR, by changing the wording of the Resolution, and authorizing it only for those dioceses whose bishops expressly authorize it, they took it out from under the second paragraph of Article X, and pretended to pass it under the third paragraph, whose strictures I discussed in this post.

    It's all flimflam and falsehood, however. I will have more to say about what they tried(and failed) to do in another post, when I catch up with their madness.

    Meanwhile, thanks for keeping us chuckling.

  12. SFiTC

    (1). Your hubris is so evident and it offends me, but I'll respond.

    (2). I don't think any of us here are afraid of 3% of the population. To suggest so was rather stupid of you.

    Most of us are frustrated that the fools who are our church leaders are tearing apart the church we love and helped to build as well as violating the Holy Scriptures and encouraging others to embrace and die in sin...and for what? What is it all for?

    Homosexuals, God love them, are a small number of people: Now tell me, what percent of that 3% wants to be married?

    And of that ever-shrinking number, how many of them want a church wedding with a minister?

    The number is so small that it is practically zero...statistically.

    What is the urgency for all of this? Most of us, I think, want to know why we are tearing apart the church, chasing orthodox members away, using mission money to sue realigning churches...all for this tiny, nearly non-existent group?

    For me, this is less about homosexuals and more about the entrenched church leaders and their friends in the activist class who are wrecking what was once a good (though not perfect) church.

  13. "Singularly truculent, hyperbolic, and hysterical," SFitC? It seems to me you wield a fairly large and hyperbolic cudgel yourself.

    If you had been around this blog long enough, you would know that there is one thing that always and instantly provokes this curmudgeon's ire. It is when Episcopal bishops cannot follow their own Constitution and canons. At this General Convention, they have all but jettisoned them, and my cataloging of all their violations has quite a bit with which to catch up.

    And "knowledge of Our Lord and Savior," SFiTC? You mean, knowledge of how he reacted to the moneychangers defiling the Temple with their sins?

    We may worship different Saviors, I don't know. You will have to show yourself a bit more analytical before we can tell.

  14. SFiTC,

    Name calling will get you nowhere. I think the Curmudgeon is demonstrating righteous indignation over illegal and unrighteousness actions by leaders of the church. Since when is calling a false teaching false and a false teacher false "unchristian"?

  15. I thank the brethren for their responses. The Church has been riven with accusations of false teaching and teachers since its inception - I suppose its human nature to demonize one's opponents but I ask is that in fact the only way to address difference and new leadings? Based on the testimony of Conservative Friends I should say not.

    I respect AC's consistency in focusing his critique on the legitimacy of the use (or abuse) of TEC's Constitution and Canons. I am surprised that he did not have grudging admiration for the bishop's nimble sidesteps around "trial use" for a radical innovation - one which I personally support. We can, of course, disagree with respect for one another if we so choose.

    I am finding that the real fault line in Christianity these days seems to be along the issue of sin: for some the continuing emphasis on sin post-Resurrection and for others walking in Jesus' pre-Ressurection way, each to the best of their ability. They are not irreconcilable but they are different foci around which to build one's personal walk.

    As for our Reformed friend, I offer the thought that Our Master told the parable of the shepherd who left the 99 safe sheep to rescue and return one...given the increasing defection and alienation of previous Christians, perhaps giving all folk more reasons to join the Body is not a bad thing?

    Do we worship the same Triune God? Inasmuch as there is no other I believe we do; we simply understand Him and His call upon the Church differently. I respect and appreciate your critique and vision, and say with Augustine, in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, charity; and in all things, love.

    Pax et bonum

  16. Mr. Haley,

    The vote of the Bishops somehow reminds me of the expression "wolves in sheep's clothing." If this is enforced upon unwilling parishes, the end, at least of TEC, may well be within view.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  17. Great article - this blog is hereby linked to my own in my next blog update.

    There must surely be an element of generational character here. The Presiding Bishop is a baby boomer, as many of the bishops are too. And while many baby boomers are hard working, solid types, others are not.

    So much of the insanity at the upper echelons seems to reflect the heady college atmosphere of the sixties and seventies - the whole pipe dream mentality, "Oooh, wouldn't it be rad if Sunday school teachers were trans-gendered? Groovy. Let's do that one day."

    But when the Presiding Bishop seems to be more impressed by her scientific credentials, and explains the priority of the E.C (USA) is sustainability and having less children (I kid you not), then what can one expect?