Friday, April 04, 2008
So, here's my question
I write this from the gathering of Claiming the Blessing, an organizing coalition of justice organizations in the Episcopal church. We have been intensely busy, making our final plans as we head toward Lambeth.
We've had the opportunity to spend some time with Our Gene, the bishop of New Hampshire. As I have delighted, once again, in his wonderful sense of humor, his deep spirituality, and his profound sense of call to this impossible vocation as the first to be able to be openly honest and transparent about the fullness of his humanity, I've found myself wondering about why the Archbishop of Canterbury has chosen not to invite him to Lambeth.
As I've asked around to folks who are far more knowledgeable than I, I've heard two theories. The first is that the British love a good insult. Indeed, they love it so much that they don't mind receiving in equal measure as they give. They clearly have insulted Gene, but they have also insulted the spirit of Anglican comprehensiveness and tolerance.
The second is like unto it: The British love to create martyrs. Witness: The Reformation. You know. The first ones. Ridley. Tyndale. Latimer. Add, now, add Gene Robinson.
What the poor blokes haven't learned is that martyrs have much more power than popular saints. Martyrdom is stronger than even heroism, martyrs having died for the cause.
In his refusal to invite a duly elected bishop to Lambeth, the Archbishop of Canterbury has created an insult as well as a martyr to the cause, thus giving away TONS of power to the insulted, martyred bishop of New Hampshire.
I have no doubt, BTW, that the so-called orthodox, being devoid of any sense of creativity but having a good sense of history, will trot out Schofield and Cox, as well as Duncan and Iker, as martyrs to their cause on the international stage at Lambeth.
Alas, poor affluent Caucasian, heterosexual, well educated men that they are! Devoid of any imagination, they are left to the dubious distinction of flattery by imitation.
So, here's my question: Who is advising this poor bloke, the Archbishop of Canterbury?
Surely, no one with any sense of Reformation history.
It simply boggles the mind.