Friday, April 18, 2008

Tonight's Great Debate: Do the Letters Exist?

Now updated!

I'm George Stephanopoulos.

And I'm Charles Gibson and this is the Anglican Great Debate. Tonight's topic is "Do the Letters Exist?"

We'll ask the tough questions ...

And then get slimed in the press because we're so damn good at it.

Oh, that's Christopher Hitchens. He's just mad because the Pope got better press than he did during his latest book tour. Now I'm --

Bloody well, I am mad about it. They're all hypocrites! Hypocrites! The whole lot of them. And the red shoes, red shoes. Han Christian Anderson, give me a break. Where's my whiskey? Say, is that the Archbishop of Canterbury?

I'm George Stephanopoulos.

Yes, we know that all ready George. So, what is this about the Archbishop of Canterbury?

I'm here, Dr. Gibson.

I'm not a doctor, Your Grace.

Oh, I see. It happens.

I'm George Stephanopoulos.

Glad you could come, Your Grace. We're here to debate the existence of certain letters. Are you familiar with this debate? Tell me sir, do the letters exist?

Well, Prof. Gibson, questioning the existence of matter is an exisitential matter. How do we prove that anything exists or that matter is an illusion and what is spiritual is eternal? Then what defines existence but that which is spiritual and not temporal. It's all about the that. The question of existence ---

I'm not a professor. Your Grace, we are not here to discuss the merits of existence, but merely whether certain letters exist, have been penned by you, and are forthwith being sent and if they are being sent, by what method are you employing for their dispatch?

I am not sure I follow, Sir Charles.

I'm George Stephanopoulos.

I am not knighted. What I mean to put forward, Your Grace, is whether the correspondence promised by the Windsor Report and sent forthwith to each bishop in the Episcopal Church actually exists.

Pity. I mean about the loss of your knighthood.

Can we talk about the damn letters!

Hypocrites! They're all hypocrites!

Ah, the letters. What letters are those?

The letters banning certain bishops from attending your Lambeth Conference this summer - those letters.

Right, the letters. Well, you see, we sent out for pizza and the letters seemed to have gotten stuck to the inside of the pizza box. Not sure how they got in there. We're making inquiries. Since then, we've been busy pulling pepperoni and sausage off the letters to bishops, hosing them down, and then hanging them out to dry.


Holy Cow. You're hanging the bishops out to dry?

I would like to comment on that last remark.

We're not discussing you, Barry - well, not at the moment, anyway.

I am relieved to hear that. We cannot have that kind of negative self-talk, even if everyone here is bitter and clinging to religion and their guns.

I resemble that remark.

Otherwise, I'll have to sue.

Did somebody say sue?

On that note, we'll take a break and be back after a word from our sponsor.

And we are back with the Anglican Great Debate. Topic focus of tonight, "Do the --

Did somebody say sue?

Did somebody say sue?

Did somebody say sue?

Did somebody say sue?

Did somebody say sue?

Did somebody say sue?

Did somebody say sue?

Did somebody say sue?

Did somebody say sue?

Did somebody say sue?

Did somebody say sue?

It's getting awfully crowded in here.

I'm George Stephanopoulos.

Dr. Williams, are you still here? I can't see you.




He's over here, Charlie.

I was looking for a friend.

Right. Well, we're talking about letters, Your Grace. Do the letters exist?

Well ...

May I just interject here that there may be letters and they may yet exist but do not yet exist but in the fullness of time could exist - depending on when I get around to finishing the press release.

I see.

I'm lost.

You're not the only one.

I'm George Stephanopoulos.

So, I am clear on this, the letters will exist or may yet exist, but are not yet sent, do I have that correct --- Your Grace?

Well ...

Could we talk about the war in Iraq - or Sharia Law? I'm much better at that.

Oh, please don't.



You! This is all your fault.


You did that speech - you blew the lid off months, years of planning. How could you!


You admit it!

Of course I admit it, Rowan - you told me. Wait, I have to sign a book. Hold on ---




How come no one asks me to sign a book? I have a book out too.

That's nice.


Sorry about that - I'm in New York. The Americans just love me.

Can't say I know what that feels like.

You were saying?

Excuse me ---

You told the whole world I'm writing these letters, Tom, and now all hell has broken loose.

It has?

Don't you follow the internet?

No, I usually just wait for The Times to ring me up.

You spoiled everything! Everything!

Did someone call me?

Hold everything! This is my show.

Same thing happens to me.

I don't have a show anymore.

Now, we are trying to have a debate on the existence of letters puported to contain information that if disseminated could split the ---yes, Senator?

I would like to comment on that last remark.

Please, go ahead Senator.

As someone who has had recent entanglements with an unruly church and an inflammatory pastor who's remarks nearly sank my presidential asperations, I believe that I can speak to this issue and offer a solution.



Please, go ahead Senator.

Thank you. My bold and innovative solution that will bring the audacity of hope to America - I mean, the Anglican Communion is this.



Please, go ahead Senator.

Right. Just wanted to maximize the moment for the greatest affect.

Hurry up, for God's sake.

Yes. My bold initiative that is not only provocative but refreshing is that everyone, and I mean everyone, should retire.


R E T I R E .

I resemble that remark.

So, you are saying that the entire Anglican Communion - including the Episcopal Church - should retire?

That's right, Charlie.

All the archbishops, and the bishops and the clergy - they all should retire?

That's right, Charlie. Let's face it, the Episcopal Church has a billion dollars in their retirement accounts. I'm calling for the entire Communion to retire.

Hmm .... Would that include the Bishop of Rochester?

Yes, everyone.

Hmm ....

Now wait just a minute. That's our money - not yours.

I beg your pardon?

You heard me the first time, Gandalf. That's our money not yours.

Well, I seem to have a copy of the front page of your constitution where you mention that you belong to the Anglican Communion. I seem to recall a certain judge in Virginia mentioning the same thing.

Don't remind me.

No. We need that money for something else.

Uh oh.

Oh really?

Oh really?

Finally somebody that I know!

Well, it looks like time is running out.

Don't remind me.

We have had an excellent debate on this topic now gripping the Communion. Stay tuned for our next Great Anglican Debate when we cover the topic - what was it, George?

Women's ordination.

Ah, well, who thought that up?


Well, I'm Charles Gibson.

And I am still George Stephanopoulos.

Good night.


Anonymous said...

That was fun. Did you send royalties to Chris Johnson who sends royalties to wuzzadem? This could be the start of a wonderful pyramid scheme.

Anonymous said...


Rolin said...

I have met George S. He is (if that is possible) less than he appears.
Br_er Rabbit

Anonymous said...

So, BB, Do the infamous letters exist - OR - did the handlers of the ABC decide to roll left into Plan B: Verbal Announcements that only Windsor Bishops (TM) (only who knows what the sam hill a WB actuall is) should come to the tea party/retreat?

Connie said...

Watch out, CJ! BB is barking at your heels for funny blogging!

The only problem I had was lack of recognition of many of the photos posted (suing ECUSA bishops, I presume), so perhaps some ironic twists escaped me, but that was minor.

Well done, BB!!

Anonymous said...

WONDERFUL job, BB! As for Wuzzadem, John seems to have retired.

Deja Vu said...

Hi BabyBlue,

Very fun. I loved Barry's solution!

P.S. Are we supposed to recognize the guy that says (or is thinking) "I resemble that remark."? (He doesn't look bitter, just a little ... firm.)

Mike said...


And I'm still cleaning the Coke out of the sinuses.

Chris Hitchens: "Hurry up for God's sake!" Line of the year IMHO. That's where I seemed to lose control of both the Coke and basic respiratory function.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Reading this at 3 am, I realize that there are some benefits to insomnia. Loved it!

Anonymous said...


It's a sad day in TEC when the Katharine "Oven Mitt" Schori could benefit by taking vestment fashion lessons from Father Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I haven't had that much fun laughing in quite a while. Quite prescient... Thanks!

Allen Lewis said...

Fabulous, bb!

Unknown said...

Note on the myriad of bishops asking , "who wants to sue?" Just move your mouse over the picture (you don't need to click on it or anything) then look in your url window (usually at the bottom of your window) and you will see who they are. And yes, they all have at least one thing in common.

It seems to me that George Conger may have it right - that the letters will be sent to all who have been invited and then the bishops themselves have to swear off on it. If this is so, as we know in America it all depends on what the word "is" is. In this case, does "Windsor" mean the "Windsor Report" or something euphemistically called the "Windsor process." It will be interesting to see what Rowan Williams calls Windsor (and will it include the Primates definition since the Windsor Report was written expressively for them and they modified the report to its final form (see their communique). Otherwise, it will be a major diss of the the Primates (whom Rowan is at least publicly avoiding of late).

The other point will be the Covenant, which has not gone over well in America. Will it be the idea of some vague covenant that basically says "love means never having to say your sorry" or if it's actually the Draft that Drexel Gomez has been circulating from the Design Committee. How specific will Rowan be in these letters - will he be usefully vague or as clear at N.T. Wright thinks he will be?


Ann said...

LOL BB - good work - but I doubt there are letters and more than the US are having doubts about the Covenant.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh.

Wonder if the letters will go the way of all the other things which appear to have sunk without trace; CPP WCG to name but two.

Clever of you to find that Saint Nicholas picture - was it off the ABC's Youtube thingie I wonder.