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Monday, April 02, 2007

To the Victor Go the Spoils

Surveying the opinions of the revisionists recently, I noticed along with the usual ferocious broadsides issued against the evil, hate-filled orthodox for sowing discord and schism in "their" church, even more venomous words are directed at the primatial carpetbaggers hailing from those notorious imperialist powers, Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda.

It is to be expected: Nothing enrages well-off white liberals more than differently-hued inferiors refusing to toe the line, stepping off the lefty plantation. This is an old story and transcends the current unpleasantness in the Episcopal Church. You have to wonder though if the revisionists are living in an alternate universe with their gleeful approbation of the House of Bishops' recent rejection of the "Primatial Vicar and Council" plan proposed by +Cantuar and the Primates. The purpose of this plan was to give conservative Episcopalians, disaffected by the increasing lunacy and apostasy of their church's leadership, a pointy hat of their own with whom they could talk. "No effing way," said the HOB (here's a typical pastoral letter; read one, you've read them all, boilerplate written by a committee of lawyers). To a number, the bishops justifying the rejection of the plan cite Holy Polity, which apparently is the ultimate authority in ECUSA and is, conveniently, ever-malleable for the nixing of distasteful proposals.

The revisionist bloggers are euphoric about the rejection, congratulating the bishops for the brave stance they've taken, for "pushing back" and refusing to let those mean old Negroes in Africa tell them what to do. Those of us in the orthodox camp saw the ABC's and Primates' plan as one last chance for ECUSA to pull back from the abyss lest she fall into it. The revisionists saw it as a devious colonialist cabal to yank their enlightened church back to the dark ways of its past and saw the bishops' rejection of it as a brilliant triumph. No wonder they're thrilled and it pretty much marks the end of the war for them, all that's left being the mopping up. The last remaining and dwefful diffy part comes this fall when "Uncle Rowan,"as one important progressive blogger refers to him, lets the cat out of the cellophane bag and announces ECUSA has officially walked apart from the Anglican Communion. ECUSA, with a delightfully playful sense of the paradoxical and absurd, will deny it of course and continue to play church, trotting out ever more new and improved WorshipProduct™ before her dwindling members, hoping to stem their declining number.

But it's over. ECUSA belongs to the progressives now and the orthodox are jumping ship. They cannot be stopped and the progressives' loving contempt for them will soon vanish. They will try to take away their property but even if they get the keys, the orthodox will leave. They will drag their bishops, priests and vestrymen into court but even with convictions or judgments, the orthodox will leave. They will shower them with invective, abuse, threats and damnation but even so and especially, the orthodox will leave. There is nothing the progressives can do to stop orthodox flight and going with them will be the young, the money, the commitment and the enthusiasm. The only growing churches in ECUSA these days are those leaving or soon to be. The progressives may rail about opportunistic African primates but are quite aware those bishops have only gone to where they have been invited. Their rants will fall on deaf ears. To the victor go the spoils but with ECUSA the spoils are spoliated. When the progressives make that nasty discovery, in the absence of orthodox scapegoats, they will turn on each other instead with a fury not yet seen in this sorry, but soon to be ending, saga.

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