Well Bishop Quinine and I are back home in Ichabod Springs, having returned from Bobby Duncan’s big show,and to be perfectly honest things here are exactly the same as they’ve always been. Nothing’s changed, the sky hasn’t fallen in, the Episcopal Church is exactly the same as it was a week ago, and when asked the average person on the street still doesn’t say that the reason they didn’t go church last Sunday is because some wicked apostate liberals want to stop persecuting men and women who’d just like to be as God made them.
You see despite all the fuss this has generated in Anglican circles, the reality is that aside from a few charming rent boys and girls who’ve made small fortunes for themselves over this past week (even though conservatives are notoriously stingy when it comes to tipping), most folks living in Bedford thought we were all just a gathering of sartorially challenged Shriners. As the their City web site shows, Free Dumping Saturdays and the Sidewalk Project on Savannah Way are what people really care about: pseudo-bishops are ten a penny these days, but you try finding somewhere to leave your old washing machine on the weekend that doesn’t involve a midnight trip to the rear lane behind the local Presbyterian manse. And besides, the new fence the forsaken Calvinists built after my last visit means it’ll take at least four of us to heave anything over into their yard, proving the citizens of Bedford - like most people uninterested in this fuss - do indeed have their priorities right.
Which, when you think about it, is a reminder to us all. Just because there’s a new sect – and everyone knows how much America is crying out for another new sect – doesn’t mean the world has become the slightest bit different to what it was when little Bobby didn’t have a snowflake’s chance in hell of becoming a primate of anything. Sure, he can claim his motley band comprise province #39, just as he can also claim he’ll be establishing 1000 new churches in the next five years (What do you mean that’s “outlandish”? It’s only between 3 and 4 a week. Every single week.), but the reality is most people not in the clutches of a few histrionic clergy couldn’t care less. L. Ron Hubbard said he heard tomatoes recount past lives and Scientology’s numbers are also falling. People don’t care what anyone says: they want to see what you do.
So far we’ve heard more talk than an Amway meeting, but all that’s happened is a larger version of every other Anglican beak-away has occurred. Time has shown how successfully these reached the great unwashed: I’m still waiting for someone to show why this will be any different. Still, who knows? Maybe the Cardinal Newman/Rick Warren synthesis really will catch on. If people believed L. Ron could talk to tomatoes…
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.