Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Fundies and Bullies

Here we go again, with another rant against those "fundamentalist" African "bullies", this time from The Rev. Dr. James Bradley, Rector of St. John’s, Waterbury, CT. For example:
Now the Fundamentalists of the third world who call themselves “Anglican” want to destroy the ethos and genius of Anglicanism by making us a church based on doctrine and hierarchy rather than worship and equality.

The whole posture of this is so very much bull hockey. Let's get back to reality for a minute:

First, the self-image of the liberal vanguard as anti-establishment crusaders is an utter fraud. In ECUSA, these people are the Establishment. Literally.

Second, all Akinola and his fellow Africans can do is talk. He cannot deprive American priests and laity of their positions and parishes, as American bishops have been doing with regularity. (Special attention should be directed to the acts of Dr. Bradley's own bishop.) He cannot change the canons of churches and dioceses.

Third, the essential argument is whether the Anglican "big tent" is so unlimited as to encompass essentially any difference. When it comes down to it, this degree of latitudinarism fails. Bradley plainly wants the Africans out of the tent, after all.

Fourth, the snobbery is obvious. Dr. Bradley all but says that Anglicanism belongs to an Anglo-American elite: the right-thinking establishment of the American church and their allies.

Dr. Bradley says:
Anglicanism is not a doctrine, creed or confession—it is a Book of Common Prayer and a remarkable dose of “common sense”.

The question, apparently, is not whether Anglicans are defined by doctrines, creeds, or confessions. Actually, I take that back; that very Book of Common Prayer has us all standing up every Sunday to profess the ancient Creed, so I will say that Yes, we are all bound by that. But in any case, the real issue is not binding to some theology. It is that Bradley and his partners in crime abuse the freedom they claim to find in Anglicanism to bind us to their doctrines of sexuality. Surely the time will come, if nothing were to intervene, when the establishment which Dr. Bradley represents will in fact move on to keep dissenters on this issue from ordination, and then will turn to rewriting the BCP to have it express their doctrines.

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