Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Review?

Perhaps I have taken it for granted that those who visit here are familiar with the background of the current "Anglican Wars." Do we need to review some of the basics?

For instance, is everyone aware of the difference between a "conservative" and an "extreme conservative"? If you are not, then, for a quick review, I recommend you read this post from back in 2006; Don't Call Them Conservatives.

My assertion is that those who claim to be Anglicans while they do everything they can to bury The Episcopal Church are an extension of the radical Religious Right. They are very dangerous people. I can once again connect the dots for you, if you would like.

Why might such a series be of value? Because I think I bring a rather unusual perspective to the matter. You see, besides being a former drug addict and car thief, once upon a time I was also an active member of the extreme religious right.

I must confess to the following:

1. When I returned to Christianity, it was of the Pentecostal variety. The supernatural manifestations trumped everything else. A literal reading of the bible came along with that.
2. As one example of this, I once burned a number of my books, because I consider them "occult," and so a danger to my family.
3. I picketed abortion clinics more than once.
4. I believed we were living in the end times. I kept a "survivial kit" ready in the basement, which including many firearms and ammunition.
5. I once voted for Ronald Reagan (believe it or not, that is the most difficult confession to make on this list!).

That gives you an idea of the strange world in which I returned to my faith. I had not moved far from those rather extreme positions by the time my Bishop sent me to Nashotah House. As a matter of fact, my first sermon after entering seminary at my home parish was a point by point refutation of some statement made by Bp. Spong. I even handed out brochures for Episcopalians United (an extremists group, rooted in John Howe's parish in Truro, VA) at the end of the service.

What made me question these extreme postions? Primarily two factors, revealed to me during my time at Nashotah House. I received an excellent theological education (thank you Jim Griffiss, Joe Hunt, David Ruppe and David Schlaeffer), and was able to witness first hand the unhealthy level of anger being manifested by the other extremists at the House.

That was just the beginning, of course. Over the last 25 years, I have continued to learn and to grow.

I am making this confession so that you will know the reason why I believe that I am somewhat uniquely qualified to connect the dots between these so-called Anglicans and the extreme religious right, who are currently shouting down women in wheelchairs at town hall meetings and ready to grant Sarah Palin sainthood. It is because I've been there. It takes one to know one, so to speak.

So, anyone interested in such a review?


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