Thursday, September 13, 2007

Neo-Conservative Spin Doctors

Thinking Anglicans points us to this article by Pat Ashworth:

...Brainwash us often enough with news that the Anglican Communion is on the brink of destruction, and we will all believe it: that is, until proof comes along that schism really is being orchestrated by a knot of people dedicated to keeping their supporters on message.

“Forced to choose”, “moment of decision”, “brink of destruction”, “the gravity of this moment” are phrases designed to turn a drama into a crisis, as US conservatives, with help from English friends, seek to sabotage next year’s Lambeth Conference...

...Lobbyists were no longer in the background but present in force at the Canal Court Hotel in Newry, in touch by mobile phone with Global South Primates inside the meeting, and discussing the business with them each evening. The meeting famously “leaked like a sieve”, and the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, identified the emergence of new language within Anglicanism — a “sub-text of hatred”.

Every Communion-related meeting since has been hyped to await a final letter or communiqué, and these have been increasingly orchestrated...

...The lobbyists behind all these developments have been visible at every significant Communion gathering over the past few years. They blatantly influenced the Primates in Dar es Salaam in February, and have now gone beyond that point to holding positions of power themselves, as newly created bishops.

THERE ARE, of course, lobbyists on the other side. Integrity has been active at various Anglican summits for years. The difference is that the liberals are not trying to unchurch anyone, though there are signs of attitudes hardening. But they are not the victims of the neo-conservative spin. These are the bulk of Anglicans worldwide who value the comprehensiveness of their branch of Christianity, who see the Communion as a place of debate, and who dread a Church of the Like-minded.

Those whose impulse is always to react rather than reflect are playing into the hands of the lobbyists we have been too preoccupied to notice: the secular commentators, who are happy to write off Christ’s Church as ill-informed, bad-tempered, and irrelevant. When even Christians are forced to agree with them, this is where the real damage starts...

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