Thursday, August 07, 2008

Heading Home

I'm posting from Heathrow, waiting to board my flight back to Washington. Been thinking about the "news" that's truly been headline news last night and this morning about Rowan Williams and gay marriage. Why would those letters come up now - after eight years? Who gains from those letters being released? Does it not make it look as thought the Archbishop of Canterbury is two-faced? Who would gain from such a release, eight years later? Surely what he holds/held privately - and there's been very little dispute about it - has come in conflict with what he sees as best for the Anglican Communion. So - what is going on releasing these letters now?

As I said, if this was American politics, this would be seen as opposition research. It's designed to weaken the Archbishop and shame him - either for being two-faced or for betraying the cause.

Since we all know that Rowan has held these views in the past - and certainly he reiterated his own stance of "don't ask, don't tell" (whatever one does in the privacy of one's own clergy or bishop chambers blessing people is not the same as doing it publicly with invites and hymns and service leaflets and flowers) at the press conference at the close of the Lambeth Conference. But he also reiterated that he does not support what TEC has been doing - and by its silence in disciplining those who are doing it - promoting those practices to the detriment of the rest of the Communion. If there is anything we can be sure of, it is that Rowan Williams love the Church, perhaps more than his own convictions.

Is that leadership? Again, from an American standpoint, no. We look for leadership by those who hold a vision and a plan, not in an academic exercise of indaba. But it did form relationships, there's no doubt about that - for better or worse - and how those relationships are strengthened or weakened through "opposition research" moments such as this will tell us where the heart of the Anglican Communion remains, in a British colonial model of affection or in a realignment based on faith. Engaging in these kind of political tactics reveals that there are those who care more about their own agenda - what ever it may be - then what is morally right.

With that said, I'm off to board the plane. Again, thank you all for your support, your wonderful comments, your thoughts, ideas, and most of all for your prayers. May God bless you!

7 comments:

Kevin said...

So - what is going on releasing these letters now

Well, BB, everyone benefits except the ABC and the ACI!

Susan Russell & gang do because this clarifies "moratorium" as KJS did after Dar es Salaam, as a "pause" so that those 'fifty years behind the time have a chance to catch-up.' The statement about not being a 'human right' would be deeply offensive to them, but outrage would actually not be their best course so they'd have a motive to seed a story to keep their rank-n-file in line to work on the long term game.

The faithful orthodox also benefit. Many could be fooled by Lambeth and think it was a good thing and read words about moratorium or not being a rights issue and be deceived to think everything is going to be okay. There is plenty of motivation on this side to seed a story as well.

It's also possible that no one seed a story but their is a journalistic memory to recognize the two-faced implication. The press certainly benefits from the idea of the Archbishop of Canterbury is two-faced, it makes for good drama that sells papers.

In that sense we have a mystery much like Murder on the Orient Express, where it could be anyone or everyone.

The ones who we know ARE NOT involved is the ABC and anyone who want you to think Lambeth 2008 was a huge success [those still with one foot on a boat and another on a dock but claiming victory because they've not gotten wet yet].

Alice C. Linsley said...

There's nothing revelatory in Rowan's letters and nothing changes. Drawing attention to them now is childish (in the same vein as Schori standing but not applauding Rowan).

What strikes me is how deluded TEC's leadership is about how much world support they have for their gay cause. I'm reminded of CS Lewis description of hell in The Great Divorce. The people living there believe that they inhabit a huge universe, but from the edges of Heaven all of hell resides in a crack no bigger than a blade of grass.

Perpetua said...

Baby Blue,

This seems to be similar to the strategically timed release of the London gay wedding story. Both stories were damaging to ostensible allies of the LGBT movement. Yet,it seems to me that both may have been released by people in the LGBT movement.

T J McMahon has suggested Blackmail???
I guess that a blackmailer would need to follow through on the threat to release the letters if the threat failed to get the desired results. That way, the next person threatened will know the blackmailer is serious and will follow through.

TLF+ said...

The big rumor hear is that TEC is going to deal with financial problems by charging for "extras" (just like the airlines).

So, there is going to be an extra fee for Ubuntu at GenCon09. If you are going to Anaheim to cover that event you will need an Ubuntu budget.

Safe flight home!

Anonymous said...

The statement about not being a 'human right' would be deeply offensive to them

Which would be true - but the ABC has made no such statement. It's pretty clear that both the ABC and the CoE do believe this is a human right: and the ABC has been much more positive about this than about, say, abortion.

What the ABC actually said was that even though it is a human right -and all the primates said that any "discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was anathema" - that doesn't mean the church has to bless it.

That's a very different argument: Gagnon and GAFCON argue very strongly that it is not a human right!

Anonymous said...

The statement about not being a 'human right' would be deeply offensive to them

Which would be true - but the ABC has made no such statement. It's pretty clear that both the ABC and the CoE do believe this is a human right: and the ABC has been much more positive about this than about, say, abortion.

What the ABC actually said was that even though it is a human right -and all the primates said that any "discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was anathema" - that doesn't mean the church has to bless it.

That's a very different argument: Gagnon and GAFCON argue very strongly that it is not a human right!

BabyBlue said...

Anon, it sounds like you haven't had a chance yet to catch what Rowan Williams said about the human rights argument at his final press conference. You can see that section here: http://babybluecafe.blogspot.com/2008/08/rowan-williams-that-is-assumption-i.html

bb