Wednesday, 30 July 2008

... it's knowing they're foreign that makes them so mad

I was reminded of this line from the Flanders and Swann piece of gentle self-mockery, A Song of Patriotic Prejudice, when I discovered that in a cross post to my little article on Thirty-two years of women's ordination in the American context someone on the Stand Firm website had listed a whole string of similar words and actions which we in England might find bizarre, but which are quite common, it would seem in TEC.

The problem, as I observed there, is that the English tend to think of the Americans, and therefore The Episcopal Church in America, as being basically 'like us but with funny accents'. In fact, though, as a little thought might suggest, they are very much unlike us.

This means, however, that even ostensible supporters of Gene Robinson and co may have very little real idea of what they are inviting into their living-rooms. It is not just a supplement to home-grown Anglicanism, it is a whole different way of thinking.

Check out the list below, and remember, before Jack Spong there was Bishop James Pike.

John Richardson


Welcome to TEC, Ugley Vicar--
6/08 Episcopal Life letter to the editor by Rev. John Beverley Butcher, author of The Tao of Jesus, recommends omitting the Nicene Creed
6/08 “I urge you to encourage all couples, regardless of orientation, to follow the pattern of first being married in a secular service, and then being blessed in the Episcopal Church,” Bishop Marc Handley Andrus wrote his clergy June 9.
6/08 Find webpage of All Saints, Corpus Christi. The purpose statement is “Celebrating the Divine in prayer and action.” Core values include “We are committed to finding innovative ways of experiencing God’s presence in all Sacred Traditions.”
1/08 Hindu-Christian interfaith service
1/08 Buddhist mandala constructed at Philadelphia cathedral
1/08 Native American smudgers at bishop consecration
3/08 Rev Clayton Morris, liturgical officer for TEC explains the Eucharist
12/07 “Trans-Spirituality, Trans-Gender, Trans-Spirit, and Transforming” workshop offered by Oasis, Newark
12/07 Sacramento cathedral hosts Tibetan Buddhiststo construct mandala and hold Medicine Buddha Healing Ceremony
12/07 Seattle parish offers astrology workshop
10/07 Sufi dance taught in Seattle cathedral
9/07 >Navajo teachers and medicine men help with a Navajo blessing ceremony during consecration of bishop
6/07 Interfaith baptism in Newark (Muslim and Jewish prayers added to Christian liturgy)
6/07 Episcopal priest in Seattle announces she is a Muslim.
5/07 A liberal Episcopal layman/ordained Sufi leads Sufi healing circle meetings at St. Philip’s Cathedral, Atlanta, GA
4/07 A copyrighted Liturgy of Invitation was celebrated by the Episcopal Committee on Science, Techology, and Faith. Readings included antitheistic philosophy. (Not on SF.)
9/06 A Tibetan Buddhist lama leads a guided meditation for EDS seminarians & faculty.
5/06 Episcopal Bookstore offers pagan book Love Potions for sale online.
4/06 Wiccan priest/Episcopal layman surfaces, having had essays published on the Oasis blog and Father Jake’s blog and Louie Crew’s blog.
4/05 Two Druid/Episcopal priests exposed in Pennsylvania.
5/04 A transgender shaman/pagan priest and a witch are featured speakers at a conference partly sponsored by the Episcopal diocese of Michigan GLBT outreach group
1/95 Gaia mass in Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

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  1. John, it really is a case of two cultures separated by a common language.

  2. Vicar, please don't forget that it was Americans who created your list of atrocities above. There are a good number of us who see this folly for what it is. In truth the present degradation of TEC is merely one high profile, religious front in what are known in the US as "the Culture Wars", i.e., the battles between the values of the left-wing of the Democratic party/Ivy League professoriate/Hollywood/sexual libertarian axis against those of "traditional" Americans. In TEC these battles have resulted in what today are two entirely different religions with two diametrically opposed views of God, His revelation, and the saving work of Christ. That is why my diocese is heading for the door of TEC in three more months. We have nothing whatsoever left in common with the national leadership of TEC any longer. We simply do not practice the same faith at national TEC.

    But please don't think this can't happen in Britain. You may be only a few years behind us (indeed, the advances of women's ordination in the C of E lead me to believe it will very soon be upon you -- WO was the camel's nose under the tent in TEC in the 1970's). Once one accepts the idea that 1900 years of Scriptural interpretation and the Tradition of the Church can be subverted by modern sensibilities (as has happened with WO) the "new thing" that took over TEC is very difficult to hold back when one lives in a "diverse, pluralistic" society like the US--or present-day Britain.

    Rev. R.W. Foster
    St. Vincent's Cathedral
    Bedford,Texas USA
    Diocese of Fort Worth

  3. Vicar, Father Foster has stated the sad situation succinctly. It's sad to say but our leadership has morphed into Unitarians with a love for High Church trappings and bells&smells.


    A. Terry