8/08/2009

Bp. Anderson paranoia a copy-cat caper.

Bishop David Anderson let loose with a dozy of a conspiracy theory last week. I reported on it HERE. It turns out the theory was lifted from a though piece by The Rev'd Geoffrey M. St.J. Hoare, the rector of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia. That essay was picked up by Jonathan Wynne-Jones in an article titled, "Americans planning to start a civil war in the Church of England." The thread was in turn picked up by Episcopal Cafe in "One plus one equals six hundred sixty six". It would appear that at some point along the line Bishop Anderson picked up on Fr. Hoare's post, or on Wynne-Jones' article, and lept with joy to see such nasty doings by those awful Episcopalians, and it just all got out of hand.

Andrew Gerns of Episcopal Cafe noted,

" What Wynne-Jones doesn't say is that at the end of the blog, Fr. Hoare says that, based on responses he has seen to his own thinking-out-loud, there is no energy for such a strategy.

Wynne-Jones' column appears to say that Americans are willing to stir up "civil war" in the Church of England. This creates a conspiracy where none exists. And to say so is unhelpful to say the least."

Religious Intelligence found it all too enticing: They put out a poll to test the pulse of their readership. They ask, "Should TEC set up in the UK? An outpost of the Episcopal Church in the UK has been suggested for the benefit of overseas TEC members and as a hub for liberal members of the Church of England. But would this aid the cohesion of the Anglican Communion?" You get to answer "yes" or "no" using spiffy icons. Unfortunately we don't get to answer, "bug off." RI's work, as often is the case, simply reinforces the rumor and conspiracy without having to say who suggested the thing in the first place. All of which adds fire to the conspiracy theory. RI ought to know better.

Wynne-Jones did not go nearly far enough, of course. Bishop Anderson took the whole thing to mean that the awful leadership of 815 was making a power grab. Mr. Wynn-Jones has his editor to contend with. Religious Intelligence needed to still its soul. To whom is Bishop Anderson accountable? Apparently no one, except God.

I have no idea if God cares about Anderson's conspiracy rant but trust that God, who loves us all, will lovingly tell Bishop Anderson that all will be well, and even better if the bishop keeps a lid on it.


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