Nowhere to go but up
But it's easier to write satire than to comment on "real life" as it is lived in The Enchanted Realm of Mrs. Schori. Part of my problem is that I'm starting to lose any sense of a side to root for. It's easy to be against the execrable Schori, Beers, Bruno, Robinson, and all their vestured footmen. But where I used to sympathize with the conservatives still remaining in TEC, now I'm starting to feel, at best, exasperation, and at worst - well, I don't even like to say it...scorn. As Chris Johnson has said (and this is only the most recent such statement) "It can't do a Christian any good at all to remain connected, even theoretically, with such unbelievably base and unprincipled people."
No, it can't. And yet the idea of doing good to a Christian is fading away before a determination to prove one's hardiness by staying planted on the ship until the waters close over one's head. I'm referring, of course, to the ACI response to the debacle in New Orleans, but that's only the latest entry in the ever more baroque structure of justification for staying in TEC. This has now reached almost hysterical heights, as this essay has inspired Establishment conservatives to envision a career of glorious immolation on the altar of Unity and Witness.
I'm sorry, but I've gone as far as I can go in sympathy; conservatives who are staying now are staying in a fantasy church of their own imagination. This thread from StandFirm is a perfect illustration of how these people will muddle along forever. They collect "hopeful signs" and "steps in the right direction" the way I collect aluminum percolators. When I hear this, I immediately think of those documentaries about the destruction of Pompeii. Remember how the inhabitants were encased in the ash from Vesuvius, so that 1,800 years later, archaeologists were able to uncover them and see a sculpture of what it looked like when the city was destroyed? I think of those people fleeing for their lives when the hot ash caught them, and I think "Well, it was a step in the right direction."
I haven't got any real opinion on the Common Cause thing starting up in Pittsburgh. As a Roman Catholic, my gut feeling is that it's only a temporary respite, but I have no crystal ball. This may work, I don't know. The women's ordination faultline is being built into the foundations, so I suspect the whole thing will crack sooner or later (probably sooner). But people who go that route are at least getting out of TEC, and there's no hope until that happens. It's like leaving an abusive spouse for a battered women's shelter; even if you never go anywhere else, it's better than where you were, and the chances are that it may be the stepping stone to a really good life elsewhere.