Lately I’ve been having that dream again – the one in which Ruth Gledhill is walking towards me, sensuously licking her lips and saying “Indaba”.
I don’t know why that should be so, although there might be some connection to her latest article. Titled “Money, Sex and the Anglican Communion”, my blood quite naturally started racing from the moment I saw the headline: few nouns entwine as seductively as these.
Yet further reading spoiled the beautiful moment – all our cheeky little Tinkerbell of the Times had done was uncritically cut & paste the latest pen-squeezing from Ralinda B. Gregor and her bosses, the wild and crazy guys at the American Anglican Council. Even the frisson inducing headline wasn’t Ruth’s! And let’s face it, nothing coming from the mouth (or anywhere else) of Messrs. Anderson, Beckwith or that lovely little layman Philip Ashey, who really does look like more than a few fellows I’ve known on the fringes of the bear scene - although he might just be trying to look like Kenny Rogers.
Now I can’t deny I’ve a lot of time for some of these fellows at the AAC. Certainly, a few are hotheads, but others like +Beckwith have admirably embraced my policy of having a foot in both camps with delightful enthusiasm. Rather than leave the Church, or shooting off their own feet like little Matt Kennedy, they’ve been happy to sit tight and see which way the wind ends up blowing. But still - Money, Sex and the Anglican Communion?
For goodness sake: their side of the argument hasn’t had any serious money since little Peter Jensen lost a squillion pretending to be the smartest guy in the room, you’ve only got to take one look at them to see sex doesn’t rate too highly on their list of preferred leisure activities (except Ashey, of course, but perhaps he’d rather I didn’t go there), and as for the Anglican Communion… having spent the better part of three years working to tear Anglicanism in two it’s a bit rich for them to now speak of the “Communion” as if it’s something they place any value upon. So given this admirably over-publicized rant came from people without much obvious experience in any of the matters discussed (and again want to stress I’m making an exception of “Fuzzychops”), it’s hard to see why it rated a whole post in The Times when releases like the one I sent, announcing the imminent launch of my major new humanitarian charity - Leaf-Blowers for Africa - are ignored.
And that’s without even beginning to address the content of release; the gist of which seems to be that a wicked apostate Episcopalian woman chose to give a large amount of her own money for the purpose of facilitating discussion on a subject of interest to her. What’s more the powers that be have had the temerity to ask someone not famous for their rabid homophobia to oversee a committee examining the issue of homosexuality. Which is, of course, outrageous, but is it really that big a story? After all, I engaged a person familiar with washing to machines to fix ours last week, and tomorrow the parish office microwave will be repaired by a man who not has not only studied electronics, but whom actually likes electrical gadgetry.
I realise it’s terrible that people with that sort of money sitting are around are free to donate it to whomever they wish, whereas in a truly Christian society it would be forcibly taken from them and given to Bible-believers like myself, but what can you expect in a world that didn’t have the sense to appoint George W. Bush as Supreme Ruler for Life? That the discussion process will also be open to those who’ve studied historical attitudes to sexuality and concluded that people living two thousand years ago sometimes saw things differently to ourselves is just a small part of this much bigger problem. Which is not to say that these “experts” and their findings aren’t ridiculous: everyone knows that Christians in the first century near-east thought exactly like middle-class white Americans. How could it be otherwise? After all, homosexuality was only invented by twentieth-century liberals.
Still, there is one valid point being made in all this: who knows how the fact that this money has been thrown Canterbury's way will influence the outcome. Just look how the money little Peter Jensen thew around Britain in the good old days influenced the Church of England, where Chasubles are now banned, the Sacraments can only be administered by laymen, and Walsingham now reduced to the site of an annual conference on Ephesians...
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.