4/29/2006

$$$ FOLLOW THE MONEY $$$

This very important essay by Jim Naughton is published by The Washington Window, the newspaper of the Diocese of Washington. It is available HERE.

It is not necessary here to say more about this essay than is available on many blogs, in particular Father Jake Stops the World and An Inch at a Time. It is a vital summation of the work done in many places to show the sources of the major support of the American Anglican Council and other elements of the realignment effort. This essay provides a concise report of what I earlier called a coup d'eglese (following Stringfellow). But it is not simply a rehash of already known information. In its clarity it is also links the American Anglican Council, the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes (aka the Network), to the work of the Institute for Religion and Democracy (IRD) and the International Fellowship of Evangelical Mission Theologians, and from there to a wide variety of institutes and organizations both in the US and England. There is little doubt from all this that there is a highly organized effort that conducts guerilla warfare as well as the coordinated strategies of the AAC and the Network. It only remains for someone to show how their "guerilla warfare" has given rise to a wide variety of small efforts, each a diversion from the main.

Go immediately to the above site...which you can also click from here. Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest.

Thanks Jim.

4 comments:

  1. I think that "coup d’├ęglise" is a good term. However, what has interested me during the past year about the evidence that Naughton adduces is that it has been known for some time but seems to hit a kind of deaf wall whenever it is mentioned. It has been as if it were a non-event. However, it may be that people are starting to take notice. I see today that David Virtue’s web site devotes a lengthy refutation to the Naughton article, so clearly it has had some effect in realignment circles. But I cannot help reflecting that when there is a meeting of minds to reach out to the marginalised, the weak, and the disadvantaged it is called a liberal conspiracy, whereas when the wealthy, the powerful and the privileged pour money into the campaign for realignment it is called the defence of orthodoxy. (Some orthodoxy! Is the entire Gospel to be hijacked by the Book of Leviticus?)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Country parson makes a good point. In many ways realignment pines for a return to an idyll. What would this "past" look like now? It would be exclusionary.

    There are some diocese and provinces where despite diverse laity existing in large numbers, diocesan and even provincial leadership is down the line older, white and male. It goes without saying that among these there are no openly glb/t persons in positions of leadership.

    I don't think it any coincidence that this demographic also tends to be the case in realignment circles. Scratch the surface and what do you get? Talk about how for x number of years, the church has fallen into apostasy. What has the church been doing in that time? It has changed in many ways, it has become less of a white, upper class conservative Church and more of a colorwheel of people, views and socioeconomic areas.

    This is quite disturbing to some in certain areas of the country where such mixing is not welcome or liked and where the Gospel is often used to reinforce exclusion and enforce the country club notion of the church.

    It is probably equally disturbing to some of these that it is some of their very own, racially and economically, who have helped to lead the church to its particular witness. In this they see a betrayal.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm certain that the conservatives will give this article all the attention it deserves: none.

    Most of the article is a thinly-veiled use of the old ad hominem (circumstantial) kind of argument -- "instead of attacking an assertion the author points to the relationship between the person making the assertion and the person's circumstances." It is indeed very clever -- Rushdoony supported the idea of the execution of homosexuals and adulterers; Ahmanson at one time (though no longer) considered himself a follower of Rushdoony's teachings; Ahmanson contributes a lot of money to the American Anglican Council; therefore....

    It wouldn't take much honest research to discover how little influence Rushdoony's ideas have upon evangelical Anglicans, or evangelicals in general. But don't bother with that, of course; just "follow the money".

    We never thought that we owned the African Anglicans when they relied largely on ECUSA donations. Why do we consider the thought that conservative Anglicans own them now? Any reading of the actual interactions between African and American conservative Anglicans will show the falsehood of this. But don't do that, of course; just "follow the money."

    One might wish that American liberal Anglicans would show the kind of integrity that their British and Irish counterparts do. Quoting Robin Eames:

    "The current debate within the Anglican Communion is a theological debate and I find myself very disturbed by any speculation around the role that money may play in determining outcomes. Such speculation makes genuine communication difficult. I feel that when money or assistance is raised in any part of the Anglican Communion and offered for use where it may extend Christ's kingdom, it should be offered and accepted in those terms alone."

    And Mark, you need to make up your mind. Just last week, you said --

    "We progressives need to put the brakes on the discount of conservatives and people who want an exclusive claim on orthodoxy. We may by all means argue that they are wrong, misguided, don’t understand the theological issues, etc, but we must find a way to honor and love the persons who are, after all, our salvation from an easy ride."

    Now you endorse this huge discount of conservatives, etc.

    Either come out against ad hominem attacks, or give up the idea of honoring and loving the subject of these attacks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. RB says it's an ad hominem attack with vague links between theocrats and the AAC/IRD.

    But Ahmanson himself has gone on record on some of these issues. I found this part of Mr. Naughton's article stunning!

    Ahmanson ... and his wife cooperated with the Register on a five-part profile that appeared in August 2004. "I think what upsets people is that Rushdoony seemed to think--and I'm not sure about this--that a godly society would stone people for the same thing that people in ancient Israel were stoned," Ahmanson was quoted as saying. "I no longer consider that essential."

    All he can say is he's "not sure" a "godly society today would stone people for the same thing" as they did in OT times. And he "no longer" thinks stoning is "essential"??!! I am speechless.

    ReplyDelete

OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.