Sunday, December 24, 2006

Find the Lady

That's the cry of the confidence trickster, luring the unwary mark into a game of Three-card Monte. It's also become the theme song of the Episcopal Church, luring the suckers (aka "orthodox") into hanging on for one more try, one more round, one more chance to win.

Everyone's seen the game, even if they haven't played it. The dealer has 3 face-down cards in front of him, and quickly moves them about to confuse the mark. One of the cards is a Queen, and the challenge is to pick her out of the bunch once the "shuffling" is done. Of course, you have to pay to play, so the mark keeps ponying up money in the certainty that he can eventually win such an easy game.

"Find the lady! Find the lady!" How many rounds of this con game have been played since the summer? I've lost count - big meeting in New York, then another one at Camp Allen, then a secret meeting with some GS bishops, then the votes in Virginia... And every time the orthodox were sure that THIS time they had her for sure, only to have to dig into their pockets for another dollar for just one more game.

The latest con artist is the Archbishop of Canterbury, telling the suckers that they'll find the lady in Tanzania in February, this time FER SURE. And sadly, there are all too many who will think the price of playing one more game a better deal than admitting that they've already foolishly sunk too many dollars into this rigged confidence trick, and will never be able to win it back. Because of course, if by some miracle they don't win the pot of gold in February, well, Lambeth is ONLY one year away, and what harm will it do to wait, since they've waited this long already?

It's a mystery to me why any conservative would lean on a bending reed like Rowan Williams for support. The great cry after the General Convention was "Clarity!" Then along comes this little whiskered gnome with his letters and it's back to tortured interpreting and teased meanings from obscure hieroglyphics. And after those unnerving moments of clarity, the orthodox seem all too eager to slide back into the traditional comforts of obfuscation. Meanwhile, as Chris Johnson has said, time is not on their side, and every month of waiting for the next short-lived attack of "clarity" results in the loss of a few thousand more like me, who decided to cut our losses and turn our backs on the game.


Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:54 pm  
Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

Well, this certainly is a depressing post, for those of us who are still trying to make a go of it. Perhaps because it cuts too close to the bone. When I first read it last night, my reaction was rather unfavorable. But of course, the truth does hurt. If you were wrong, it would be easier to ignore.

But I do want to point out that we are not resting our hopes on Rowan Williams. I don't think he's maning the wheel at this point--though I readily admit that we'd get where we need to be a lot faster if we had someone with a backbone as ABC. Frankly, we need a Margaret Thatcher type. Terse. Direct. No non-sense.

Obviously we do not have someone who is terse, direct, or no non-sense in Rowan Williams.

But the point is, we are not resting our hopes on him.

And as for Chris Johnson's comment about time not being on our side, that just makes me think of "time, like an ever-rolling stream," which me think of "Oh God our Help in Ages Past," and that just makes me want to lie back and think of England. But then THAT just makes me think of all the things we've had to do to accommodate the radical left's agenda.

An inch at a time, indeed.

12:19 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Well, I was a little grumpy when I wrote it, mostly because it seemed that no one else felt as negatively about this letter as I did. I was exasperated to see hopes being raised yet again that all these circles can SOMEHOW be squashed into a square, right after so much resolution last week when the Virginia parishes voted. To quote Margaret Thatcher, it felt like the orthodox were going wobbly, and it's just the wrong time of the year for rollercoaster rides. But at least when people decide to wait, it's now in terms of weeks, rather than years. Things just can't be stalled the way they used to be, over lifetimes. But I'd be willing to bet (and unlike my namesake, I'm NOT a gambler) that following the February meeting there will be calls to wait until Lambeth - it's practically a sure thing.

7:00 am  
Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

You're probably right, of course. Wait and see what happens at Lambeth. So one will tell us that.

And you're certainly right that these things can't take lifetimes, like they used to. Where are we supposed to get married, baptize our kids, and bury our dead in the meantime?

2:06 pm  
Blogger Craig Goodrich said...

Dr. M, I understand (and share) your frustration and cynicism about the AC's (and +++Cantuar's) glacial pace in dealing with ECUSA's apostasy.

But, but, but try to keep in mind that it's really an inevitable concomitant of Anglican ecclesiology. +++Rowan believes in the conciliar model of Anglican authority and would turn in his mitre (or shave his beard) before doing anything that even remotely smacked of Papal action. His excruciating care in enunciating the issues (rather like the Chairman of the Fed) is not really waffling (reread his "Reflection" on GC06) but rather an effort to avoid prejudging the issue -- which is unfortunately the very thing both sides in the ECUSA war want him to do.

Yes, indeed, we've been disappointed over and over -- the Primates in October 03, the Windsor Report, Dromantine, GC06, and so on -- but each of these events was, in retrospect, a step towards some final resolution. I expect the February Primates' Confab to be another (and probably more dramatic) step.

"The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine."

Stiff upper lip.

1:06 pm  

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