Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Archcultist Duncan and Honesty.

Little Bobby Duncan has written an open letter to the Anglican Communion, and if it doesn't make one feel proud to be a Gafconeer nothing will.

It’s a marvelous piece, filled with the kind of self-serving brew of whining and passive-aggression that every less significant Reasserter aspires to achieve. It even manages to imply that not only St. Augustine, but also Charles Dickens (whose personal appreciation of family values are probably better not discussed, and even Robert Frost would have supported little Bobby’s new sect. Take this extract from Archcultist Duncan’s penultimate paragraph:
The North American poet, Robert Frost, once wrote: ‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the road less traveled by. That has made all the difference.’ For Anglican Christians, for the Instruments of Unity (Communion), for interdependent Provinces, for ordinary believers, there is a choice to be made. The choice is between two religions, two roads, two cities, two sets of conflicting values and behaviors…
Now attempting to steal church property is one thing, but appropriating the United States’ greatest poet in support of one’s cult takes Orthodox dishonesty to a whole new level, and I for one have got to bow my head in professional respect. While Frost did eventually leave the Swedenbourgian church into which he was baptized and married (The Robert Frost Encyclopedia; Tuten and Zubizarreta, Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 2001, p.302), suggesting the poet who defined religion as “a straining of the spirit forward to a wisdom beyond wisdom” (ibid, p.302) would have been happy to see his work used in support of exclusionist fundamentalism is drawing a bow long enough to have made William Tell quit and give up his son to Gessler.

Credit also should go to little Bobby for managing to disregard the poem’s inherent irony. Frost wasn’t writing about choosing to embrace an ancient tradition of bigotry in the face of the Gospels, compassion, and reason: he was addressing the all-too-human inclination to create our own mythologies of triumphant decision-making and regret. Three times the piece stresses both roads are inherently the same: in the second line he expresses sorrow at not being able to take both – the complete opposite of little Bobby’s delightfully pharisaic hypothesis!

When quoting famous historical figures in such a way as to make it look like they supported one’s cult it’s important to pick identities that make you look learned and respectable. Claiming someone who life’s work epitomized American academic liberalism would have approved of the kind of dishonesty that calls an undemocratic sect “a province” of the Communion takes the kind of arrogance that every GAFCON leader admires. Although it probably would have been a good idea for little Bobby to have read The Road Not Taken before citing it.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.


Rick+ said...

Dear Father Christian,

Thank you so much for your erudite comments on the Frostian aspects of ±Bobby's letter. I wondered, however, if you could enlighten us about his comments in the same letter comparing the Episcopal Church to, I believe it was, the Whore of Babylon?


A Curious Sinner

Lapinbizarre said...

Thanks for your fine dissection of the letter. Not bright of Duncan to advertise his turgid, third-rate mind.

Anonymous said...

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations certainly got a workout!