It is hard to keep political commentary out of some civil observances, even if one is a pastor to people from across a civil spectrum.
David Anderson, I am sure, knows this. As President and CEO of the American Anglican Council and bishop in the land of ACNA (The Anglican Church in North America), he claims to speak with a foot in two camps - the land of ACNA and the land of potential recruits for ACNA, namely The Episcopal Church. The AAC was in the past perhaps the front line for those in TEC who were staying, but just, in TEC in spite of objections to its actions. Now it is the rear guard, making sure that those in TEC who are disgruntled remain so.
The AAC is then mostly interested in conservative but not yet declared for ACNA Episcopalians. So it is no wonder that Anderson sometimes crosses the line from commentary about the awful Episcopal Church that is too progressive, radical, etc, to the awful administration and its "social agenda."
Here is what Anderson has to say about such matters on this Memorial Day weekend.
"This weekend is when the United States remembers all of those in the Armed Forces who have given their life for the cause of their country since our founding as a nation. In addition to giving thanks for the price paid by those who served - those killed, wounded, or safely returned - and how they have defended our freedom and liberty, let all Americans be vigilant so that this price was not paid in vain. Since we are in difficult times and the military leaders are being pushed to accept "progressive" social viewpoints, let us pray for our military leaders, that they truly will have the brass to stand up to the social agenda many politicians are pushing, and the pressures from a President whose stand is already clear."
"let us pray...that they truly will have the brass to stand up to the social agenda many politicians are pushing, and the pressures from a President whose stand is already clear."
So, I suppose Anderson's pastoral counsel is to pray something like,
"O Lord God of Hosts, give our military leaders the guts to stand up against the social agenda being pushed by misguided political leaders and in particular by the President of the United States of America. May they defend the traditional values of our great country even as they defend our land and people against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
Well that's what he is proposing in his little message: that the military leaders enter the struggle on determining the social agenda, pressing the President, etc. No matter that the President is the Commander in Chief, no matter that the "many politicians" dealing with this social agenda are in many cases a majority of the Congress, the body that grants commissions to the military leaders. No matter that in this country the military is a servant of the civil government. No... Anderson believes our military leaders need to "have the brass" to take them all on.
Well, he can do as he wills. I must say, however, if I made that prayer in the local parish this Memorial Day Sunday, I'd be looking for another altar and place of employment, and not because the parish agrees with the "social agenda" or the President, but because it conservatively believes that praying for our military (a good thing - we pray for many members of the Armed Forces every week) and praying for the end of all wars (also a good thing prayed for every week) is not an opportunity for political commentary.
So, on this Memorial Day weekend, let us pray for those in our Armed Forces, in thanksgiving for their service, remembering those who have died, and living in the hope that the Peace of the Lord will indeed be always with them and with us all.