Saturday, December 15, 2007

Take a Chill Pill, David

There's been quite a few responses to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Advent Letter. A good list of links is provided by The Lead. For those seeking a calmer, more upbeat take on it, read Bill Coates words over on The Episcopal Majority.

I want to highlight one rather strong response. It is by David Anderson, President of the American Anglican Council, an organization that functions as the Network's covert operatives, by David's own admission.

Before David "I like a good fight" Anderson jumped to Nigeria, he was the rector of St. James, Newport Beach, which is one of the parishes in the case currently before the California Supreme Court. He then launched the American Anglican Council, partially bankrolled by Howard Ahmanson, a former parishioner and previous disciple of the infamous Rushdoony. You may recall that Rushdoony was the grandfather of the Dominionists, who advocated for, among other things, capital punishment for all gays and lesbians. Anderson set himself up in the offices of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, where he continued to build his reputation as "that angry guy" among most Anglicans. He was recently rewarded for his lack of self control by being issued a mitre by Abp. Akinola of Nigeria. Birds of a feather...

It appears that a purple shirt has not caused David to tone down his rhetoric. Here's part of his recent response to Dr. Williams:

...In the Advent Letter there is no call for TEC to repent or even do better, but rather for all of us to accept that they are locked into their iniquity and we have to accept that as it is. They stay at the table, and the orthodox have the burden of trying to figure out how to live with them. Additionally, it is clear that the AMiA, CANA, Kenya and Uganda USA bishops are not only unwelcome or unworthy to sit with Dr. Williams, but he questions their LEGITIMACY. In one quote he says, “And while … I understand and respect the good faith of those who have felt called to provide additional episcopal oversight in the USA, there can be no doubt that these ordinations have not been encouraged or legitimized by the Communion overall.” It is finally not those few of us that he is really attacking, but our Primates: Akinola, Orombi, Nzimbi, and Kolini. The actions of Primate Venables really upset his sense of order as well, because now Canadian and American bishops and one entire diocese have changed provinces and moved to the Southern Cone.

Dr. Williams announces in his letter that he is seizing yet more power and initiative, principally to punish the orthodox, by several new actions. He is launching “professionally facilitated conversations” between TEC and those they are most in dispute with to see if there is any better level of mutual understanding. What part of the last ten years does he not understand? The TEC revisionists do understand us and fear us. That is why, like pharaoh, they are trying to prevent our multiplying. And we do understand the revisionists, and we are determined not to go to hell with them, no matter what the cost of our resistance. In launching this new action, he also announces that he knows who he will pick to do it. This is not collegial. This is power...
David, David, really need to get some help before you blow a gasket.

It is quite obvious what got him all worked up; it's that one word he put in all caps...LEGITIMACY...he is all bent out of shape because he understands Dr. Williams to be saying his consecration as a bishop in the Anglican Communion was ILLEGITIMATE. Which it was.

So, he takes a few shots at those with whom he disagrees. First of all, one must assume that "revisionist" is the term he is using to describe those he opposes. I'm sure he would have preferred a stronger term, but most likely his essay would not have seen the light of day if he would have said what he really thinks of us.

He imagines that we fear him and his group. Fear isn't the emotion that comes to my mind. Pity perhaps. Even disgust at times. But no, not fear. The last person that generated any fear from me was a large man who knocked me to the ground and stuck a pistol between my eyes. But an angry, illegitimate bishop who has spent most of the last decade trying to get those he doesn't like out of the church? Sorry David, but I'm just not feeling the fear.

And then there is that lovely sentiment regarding how he is "determined not to go to hell with them." So now that David is a bishop, he gets to decide who is condemned to eternal damnation and who is spared? I think somebody needs to explain to him that just because some of the Anglo-Catholics might bow when he passes by, nobody confuses him with God, even if he would prefer that they did.

Since David has chosen to leave the Episcopal Church, it is probably best if we just ignore his snarling and snapping. Don't let him get you down. Or, to phrase it in a more elegant way:

Nil Illigitimi Carborundum!

or, for the Barry Goldwater fans;

Illegitimi non carborundum!

or, for those who prefer at least a resemblance to actual Latin;

Noli nothis permittere te terere!


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