This year there’s been a serious last minute dispute concerning the awarding of this prestigious title. As far as I’m concerned there was no contest: what better epitomizes Conservative Christian truthfulness better than little Don Armstrong’s claim that “ACNA was created at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury”?
Yet a number of other members of the selection panel (ok, let’s be honest – it was Consuella, but if I don’t listen to her every now and then she may demand we go and spend three weeks living with her relatives) felt this wasn’t significantly more dishonest than any of the stuff posted every day at Viagraville. From her perspective little Donny may be a grubby bullying fraud who squeezed his parish for money not rightfully his, but it takes more than just that for someone to stand apart from the crowd in Anglican Bible-believing circles. Besides, with a trip to the big house a strong possibility after his trial next month, she feels he’s more of a contender for the 2010 award. Especially given the justifiable expectation that he’s going to come up with some really spectacular buck-passing to avoid spending any time wearing orange overalls and dreaming he’s the next Chuck Colson.
Which opens the field up for outsiders. Should the Runner-Up be little Bobby Duncan? After all, it’s not every defrocked clergyman who goes on to start his own sect, let alone one which then claims to be a “Province-in-Waiting” of the Church from whom he split.
Or what about Nicky Gumbell, who having made squillions out of a program conceived and developed by his predecessor (and foolishly passed on to him free-of-charge), was able to keep a straight-face (no pun intended) while saying “I'm absolutely astonished that anyone would go to a church and not be welcomed because of their sexual orientation.” Is there a bigger fib-for-Jesus someone tell than to first claim they’ve “got lots of gay friends” and then say they’re “Astonished by any church running Alpha not welcoming people because of their sexual orientation.”? What exactly do you and those “friends” talk about, Nicky? How much they love Carrie Prejean?
Yet at the end of the day the award can only go to one person, and it’s my great pleasure to announce that person is none other than the former Bishop of Rochester, the little Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali. Partly that’s because having been the bridesmaid but not the bride for every other top job he’s ever run for – from ++Cantaur to Leader of the Global Schism – it also seems only appropriate to make him the Runner-Up here. However the crucial factor in the selection of Whizzer-Willy was his announcement that he intended to devote his retirement to “working with the persecuted church”.
Let’s face it, his previous efforts at building relationships with his local Muslim community resulted in him receiving death threats and being placed under police protection, which means we can safely look forward to witnessing wholesale slaughter once he starts helping Christians in less stable climates.
It’s like Boris Yeltsin announcing an intention to spend his retirement as an AA counselor, or George W. Bush as a foreign policy analyst. Or John McCain writing a book on selecting running mates. But if only Donny Armstrong had offered to testify as a character witness for Bernie Maddoff – he’d have been a shoo-in then…
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.