David Anderson writes a weekly article for the American Anglican Council that is uniformly given to slamming everything Episcopal. Once an Episcopalian himself, he now belittles and berates his former faith community with great gusto. He is party hack for the new and supposedly improved Anglican presence in North America.
This week, claiming that his ruminations are more individual and personal than usual, Anderson takes on various matters concerning Christian and Muslim relations, faith, etc. Among the comments (some of which are fairly interesting) is this:
"Why is it that so many Muslims want to move to Europe or North America, but, once here, want to make it like back home with Sharia Law, suppression of women's freedom, and suppression of the free speech of others, and honor killing of any of their family members who somehow dishonor the family discipline or tradition? In a way, it reminds me of those who joined The Episcopal Church so they could change it into the liberal church it has become, and, in the process, make life untenable for those whose family had been Episcopalian for generations."
The comparison is a whack job of the first order. But Anderson can't suppress the desire somehow to show just how awful The Episcopal Church has become.
I don't know where he gets the statistics on the "so many Muslims" statement. However many there are, the ones who come wanting to impose Sharia Law on the whole society are very few. We would call them Muslim fundamentalists, I suppose, or more Muslim versions of the Christians who want to impose biblical law - Reconstructionists. So, there they are. Watch out for all of them. Fundamentalists are a scourge.
Whatever the truth to his claim that there are "so many" Muslims, the little observation is there. Now he turns to a comparison with The Episcopal Church.
It reminds him "of those who joined The Episcopal Church so that they could change it into the liberal church it has become." Does Anderson really suppose that people became Episcopalians precisely in order to take it over?
Then he proposes that these same nasty intruders (see, just like Muslims) "make life untenable for those whose family had been Episcopal for generations." Amazing. Odd grammar, but I get the point. Those awful liberals drove real Episcopalians (with Episcopalian genes) out.
I am an Episcopalian and an Anglican. My ancestors held the horses for Henry when he was out on the town. My ancestors came here as real CofE members, some on the lam, some to landed wealth. Some came in the 1600's some as late as 1903. But they came and constituted my family, real Episcopalians "for generations." The liberal turn in this church (which is by no means a settled issue) came every bit as much from church members who have been Episcopalian for generations as from new-be Episcopalians.
This little aside in Anderson's essay is there because Anderson is paid to dump on The Episcopal Church squeezing out every last dissatisfied Episcopalian for Anglican Church in North America gleaning. But this particular dump is just plain stupid. Not only is it a wacko comparison to a questionable statement about Muslims, it is in itself questionable.
Actually, as a paid up generationally solid Episcopalian, whose mother died glad to be part of the Episcopal Church that had made such changes, who was proud of her son for taking a small part in the liberalization of the life of The Episcopal Church, I resent Anderson's statement. I want credit for the liberalization of The Episcopal Church to go in part to life long, generationally grounded, Episcopalians, who saw the need for changes and responded from within The Episcopal Church to see them made.
Anderson gets it wrong. Many so called cradle Episcopalians have been glad to see the church move in a progressive way. Progressive Episcopalians have been around for a very long time. Back in the CofE, even back in the opening moments of its life as a community apart from the Roman Church, such progressives were there arguing for such notions as married clergy (bishops too, gasp!), liturgy revised, language understood, and separation of church law from civil law.
Sometimes I hate even having to mention the American Anglican Council, which is not a council of Anglicans at all but a council of angry former Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada members. The "A" is for "Angry" not American, except so far as sadly, some Americans believe that being angry is what politics (ecclesial or civil) is about.
But it is important from time to time to debunk this crowd, because the AAC exists to encourage people to leave The Episcopal Church, and often does so in snarly ways.
We need to watch, for they are indeed an adversary roaming about.