Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mamma AMiA!

Schisms are like eating potato chips: once the packet is open it’s impossible to have just one. No matter how great your resolve, your hand will have dived back for another wholesome handful before the first salty morsel has oozed its oily way to your artery walls. Next thing you’ve got yourself a beer (or, for those who studied at Nashotah House and really enjoy discussing vestments, something colorful in a glass with a parasol), and then before you know it your buddies from Focus on the Family have come by, someone’s slipped a porno in the DVD player, and you’ve sent your Curate down to the 7-11 for another six packs.

Which is why I had no problem believing George Conger when he went public with the news that little Chuck Murphy has been growing increasingly restless in his role as the Rwandan Archbishop’s North American houseboy – a.k.a. “a Missionary Bishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda and a bishop of, and chairman of, the Anglican Mission in the Americas” (never forget that when it comes to ecclesiastical titles pomposity is always inversely proportional to one’s true worth in the Kingdom of God). So restless, in fact, that George suggested Chucky’s talking about abandoning his faux-Rwandan status and taking the golden calf that is the AMiA to chew the cud in greener pastures.

Naturally rumors of disloyalty aren’t something Chucky wants flying around until the foundations of his new structure have well and truly set, so the serfs at Pawley’s Island were quickly ordered to issue a release describing George’s exposé as “false”, “erroneous”, and “irresponsible”. Which is more than a little harsh: I’ll admit that whenever I hear the expression “journalistic integrity” the three names that invariably spring to mind are George Conger, Tokyo Rose, and Axis Sally, but in my experience he never speaks disrespectfully of those with a penchant for ad-hoc ecclesiology. Even so, and just in case anyone still didn’t understand how folks are expected to think on the AMiA side of town, Chucky and his supposed Rwandan master followed this with a “nothing to see here – move along quickly” statement.

Which they clearly hoped would settle things, although it appears they forgot to tell this to someone called “Bishop” Terrell Glenn. (Is there anybody in the AMiA not claiming elevation to the Prelacy?) Who then, in the subtle manner delightfully endemic to my imitators, publically announced his resignation from Rwanda’s beacon of orthodox harmony, citing “personal issues” between Chucky and himself.

Not of course, that this would of itself have caused much of a problem – it’s not as if Chucky doesn’t have plenty of other “bishops” more than ready to take over whatever it was that Mr. Glenn was responsible for. Rather it would have been the cat let out of the bag in the ex-faux-Rwandan-prelate’s (phew! – although what’re the odds Mr. Glenn will continue using the title “Bishop”?) penultimate paragraph:
"First, please do not take our decision as an indication or recommendation from me as to what any of you should do in response to the proposed changes in the life of the Anglican Mission as it considers becoming a Missionary Society currently engaged concerning its future."
No wonder there were “personal issues”: judging from this the man didn’t even try believing Chucky’s insistence that “The work and the relationship between the AMiA and the Province of Rwanda remains solid and cherished”. When subordinates start speaking out like that it’s only a matter of time before they start refusing their morning glass of Kool-Aid – and then all the funny hats and preposterous titles in the world won’t keep them in line – will they Chuck? Or should that read "Will they ++Rwaje"?

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11:11 11/11/11 (This post goes to eleven.)

Some years ago, whilst temporarily suspended from Ministry as the result of a trivial misunderstanding concerning a few threatening letters and a home-made incendiary device (which despite allegations by the godless atheist forensic scientists investigating, was technically not thermonuclear in construction), I was forced to seek employment outside of my vocation.

Although not yet formally known as Global Anglicanism's Leading Doctrinal Warrior, I was nonetheless massively over-qualified for most advertised positions. Indeed: were it not for my brilliant ability to speak authoritatively about nothing for hours at a time (a skill finely-honed through years of Conservative exegetical preaching) maintaining the lifestyle to which I have been called might have proven impossible. As it was, however, I simply proclaimed myself as the world's finest Caucasian feng-shui master, and consultation fees began rolling in from wherever infomercial channels were foolish enough to let me advertise on credit.

Naturally this isn't something I generally make public: these days the big-money end of Evangelical giving prefers their heresies to be of a Donatist/Gnostic kind. Yet there's no denying the legacy of this profitably superstitious interlude on my journey to Orthodox Supremacy, and thus it is that I find myself unable to resist offering all My Beloved Sinners a Special Blessing to mark today's auspicious date. Besides, nobody has ever been able to give me one good reason as to why the Lectionary doesn't formally recognize the contribution made to Christianity by Spinal Tap.

Consequently I present this delightful image for you to all print, frame, and hang wherever it might inspire you daily contemplate the future of our Church. Sent to me directly from the Diocese of Mordor - a place so perverse that I have been told it is currently Spring, and not Fall as is the case in Christian nations - it features little Dobby Ould modelling his Lord Jensen's latest statement in Summer vestments. Surrounding the house-elf (who, incidentally, can't possibly be a racist on account of the fact that he's sired three offspring with an Asian woman - irrespective of the filth he shamelessly endorses) is a splendid collection of evango-fundie ministry tools.

Study it closely, My Beloved Sinners. For this is the future of the glorious Anglican schism.

I'm Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

If St Paul's day be fair and clear...

Despite being cursed with a hopelessly dated interior, I’ve always considered St. Paul’s Cathedral as having a great deal of potential. Granted, the dreadful pipe organ desperately needs replacing with a nice modern electronic unit: would you believe that during my last visit the tour guide actually admitted their monstrosity doesn’t even have a bossa nova button!!!! And how their webmaster can keep a straight face while claiming “Music is integral to the worshipping and educational life of the cathedral” when there’s no plinth upon which three young people and an overweight and highly suspect older one can lead the congregation by strumming on badly tuned guitars is utterly beyond me.

Even so, there’s absolutely nothing about St. Paul’s interior design which couldn’t be fixed with a little drywall from Home Depot. Rip out all the fussy woodwork and boring memorials, lift everyone’s mood with some cheery and colorful synthetic carpet, and before you can say “I know someone who’ll do the work cheap if we pay cash” the place would become a really practical ministry space in which Christians could quibble over the minutiae of Galatians or Colossians unhindered by pesky unbelievers foolishly seeking a sense of the numinous via Christopher Wren’s architecture.

Yet as those of you who sinfully use the internet for more than just studying my homilies and visiting my informative and entertaining advertisers are probably aware, St. Paul’s has recently been in the news for reasons entirely unconnected with the outmoded decor. Rather than a problem with undesirable furnishings, the Dean and his Clergy are facing something much more trivial: undesirable people. And do you know, My Beloved Sinners, the reason why these godless liberal apostates don’t know what to when confronted by an instance of people they don’t like daring to lower the tone of their precious Church property and surrounds? I’ll tell you: because they don’t know Scripture!!!!!!

Every Bible-believing Conservative knows that the Gospels aren’t exactly the most useful part of God's Word, but when it comes to dealing with people loitering around one’s Church, King James left us not just one, but four indisputable accounts of how Jesus handled things. My personal favorite is in John 2:13-16: here Jesus not only sent them packing without so much as a tract explaining that clinical depression is caused by sin, but He even made a whip and gave them a good thrashing on their way out. You can call me old-fashioned, but this worked back in Jesus’ time and, more importantly, works for me today – do you think any trick-or-treating kiddies so much as dared to ring the Rectory doorbell this week? (Although a group of local mothers concerned about Bishop Quinine taking turns to stand on the pavement outside and warn any unsuspecting little ones to keep away may also have played a small part).

Indeed: if the Prelates Knowles and Chartres knew the first thing about Biblical Ministry they’d be outside whipping their unwanted guests until the ingrates either fled in terror or repented of their incapacity to appreciate the importance of global merchant banking when it comes to proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven. After which their Graces would undoubtedly contact me for help contemporizing their tired old building – did I mention that I can get them a good price on some really lovely and only marginally toxic partitioning?

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.