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Anglican Crisis News & Commentary
February 10, 2007, 2:56 am
Filed under: Anglican Crisis

Merrily Dancing Around the Void

CaNN Commentary

It may be one of the prophesied signs of the end, but your humble editor is pleased to whole-heartedly agree with the thrust of Giles Fraser’s recent article on rights (“This is what is wrong with rights”, Church Times: Issue 7509 – 9 February, 2007). No, this is not the sudden but inevitable betrayal by Binky of his ever-growing army of pre-dead minions.

Saith the Vicar of Chutney Putney: “Many people entertain the anxiety that rights are now being dished out like Smarties at the primary-school sports day”; and “I just can’t go along with the idea that rights language is the be-all and end-all of moral decision-making.” Remember: this is a hard lefty Anglican on most issues, including same-sex unions and rights.

Fraser observes correctly that the exaltation of individual or group-rights creates a ‘them what shout loudest gets all the goodies’ environment (“my rights v. your rights”); rights for some, not for most nor all; that human rights is an inadequate description of human relations, justice, moral deliberation, and the place of the individual within society. And it leads to a plague of lawyers.

Just Not Quite There

However– Giles still likes the “non-negotiable” claims of secular human rights-think; and in the end, he can’t articulate any possibilities other than “alternative forms of moral attention” arising somehow from “the moral potential of community.”

Interestingly, he doesn’t mention directly the immediate background his article includes the massive adoption-wars pitting same-sex activists and their governmental allies versus social conservatives and (particularly) the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.


As one blogger puts it,

In a famous remark that reflects one of the defining characteristics of modern conservatism, Eric Voegelin noted that the very basis of the leftist project is to “immanentize the eschaton,” which, in plain language, means to horizontalize the vertical. Just as the Roman Empire collapsed partly as a result of “horizontal barbarians,” the leftist represents a kind of bovine, ham-handed (as if cows could have hands) “vertical barbarian” for whom nothing transcending the immediate senses is ontologically real….”

In the two-dimensional universe of the secular left, power comes from the self-justifying claims of assertive individuals and groups. “Because I say so”, with a vague “because it’s fair” as a backup, and “the human rights tribunal/ government/ court/ synod/ convention” as the merciless hammer against the opposition. There is no third dimension; no transcendent source or cause of anything, let alone a universal truth or justice:

“Many on the left believe their agenda is driven by a piety that only they, in their heightened awareness, are capable of. Their motives are pure, they say. Disagree with them and you are evil. They are true believers, and as such, they are entitled to make decisions for others, on behalf of others and despite others. They love their fellow man, they say. They hate injustice, they say. They are true believers in the highest calling of mankind….”

As some of you have read, we’ve had a recent series of links “Where We Are”, “Where We’re Going”, “What It Means”. We’re trying to point out that the flatlander-cooties afflicting many Western institutions– incuding hard-lefty churches– are part of a big picture problem. We’re all cootified to some extent: it’s part of the inheritance of original sin, for we all walk in and contribute to the darkness in ourselves and the world.

Dreaming the MDGs of Shalomness

Thus, Mrs. Schori is a product of secularized church & seminary; horizontalized parish-life and church politics; and the disease of a compliant Christianity blessing Things As They Are is a temptation as old as the Church, though in the present forms is a hangover of the 19th and 20th centuries, with connections to the Reformation. After all, the dreamy liberals of the late 1800’s imagined the 20th would be “The Christian Century” (hence the name of the magazine)– though it was one of the darkest and most evil in known history.

Behold the blind tragedy of human good intentions, at five-times remove from the heavenly roots of ourselves, goodness and truth, lasting life, and justice. Flatlandism is spiritual death (and hence civilizational death):

“The horror of secular leftism is the horror of a race of inferior externalizing men engaged in the project of sealing the hole in creation and literally “reversing” the incarnation. In other words, they want to force all humans — interior and exterior man alike! — to live by the darkness of their absurd principles, which include the impossibility of any vertical inscape, any reconciliation of the celestial and earthly realms. This is to annihilate man as such, because it destroys the fulfillment of man at his inner reaches. It is nothing less than the institutionalization of forced celestial abortion so that no one may undergo the second birth….”

The problem with Schorianity is that it’s hopelessly naive flatlander bilgewater; it’s lame and it’s been tried; it’s spiritual death and snootiness and future ruination and disappointment in a pretty package; it’s a death-dose for the soul, for parishes, and for the once-mighty Western Anglican world. That many Western Anglican Christians along with the peoples the Lord called through our previous generations still believe a form of real religion and therefore offend our more enlightened sensibilities– well, they’re a sign of hope to our flattened souls and minds.

Amidst the ruins, let us look for unexpected hope, perhaps even unforseen mercies… and not only easy salvation or despair. The voice of the Lord will be heard.

The following is a prayer written by an unknown prisoner in Ravensbruck concentration camp and left by the body of a dead child.

O Lord, remember not only
the men and women of good will,
but also those of ill will.
But do not remember all the suffering
they have inflicted on us;
remember the fruits we have bought,
thanks to this suffering —
our comradeship, our loyalty,
our humility, our courage,
our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this,
and when they come to judgement
let all the fruits which we have borne
be their forgiveness. Amen.

Oxford Book of Prayer, Oxford University Press, 2002 p.112

CaNN News Editor

PRIMATES head into a storm in Dar es Salaam … (churchtimes)

ABP. GOMEZ on the Primates’ Meeting … (aacblog)

HOBD Listserv showing signs of snapping out of denial … (descant)

CHAPEL HILL – Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who faces the prospect of fracture between the liberal Episcopal Church USA and the more conservative Anglican Communion, spoke without apology Thursday about her convictions that gays and lesbians are entitled to full rights.. “Our labors in this church continue to sing of hope for the full flourishing of all God’s children, black, white, native, Asian, women, men, gay and straight,” Jefferts Schori said. “As long as any of us is restrained by custom, law, prejudice or bigotry, we all remain in chains.” … (

MAINSTREAM: “Purity is not homophobic” … (anglican-mainstream)

BOTH BARRELS— “Michael Scott-Joynt, the Anglican Bishop of Winchester, on next week’s Primates Meeting” … (

CHAD THOMPSON – Listen here to Chad’s testimony of God leading him into wholeness … (peter-ould)

MATT KENNEDY— The Case For Discipline Part 3: Rejecting the Call … (standfirminfaith)

FIRST THINGS MUST-READ — “This example from England shows that the debate over same-sex marriage affects much more than just who can get a marriage license. In a fascinating essay in the Weekly Standard, Maggie Gallagher warns of the coming political and legal train wreck. The stance that the government takes toward same-sex marriage will have implications not only for state marriage law but much else—including religious liberty. Legal moralists on the left won’t have it any other way” … (firstthings)

THINKLY ANGLICANS— primates meeting: yet another view; The Bishop of Winchester Michael Scott-Joynt has expressed his views in the Church of England Newspaper; Some Revisionist Reactions to +Wright and +Scott-Joynt … (thinkinganglicans, standfirminfaith)

MR. SCHORI’S False Gospel … (aacblog)

DON’T MISS the Minnesota Story– An Ominous Trend: SNAP and the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota (and the Canadian Church). Texas Episcopal Priest Charged With Child Molestation … (standfirminfaith, descant)

ALL2 COMMON Blogger: “Scenarios For The Anglican Communion” … (all2common)

NO FREE SPEECH for Conservative Christians? … (all2common)

ANGLICAN SPLIT goes far deeper than gay dispute; Dividing the Faithful(, ct)

PETER TOON— “The current Episcopal Church doctrine that the Church is the divine society we enter through Baptism and leave by burial/cremation logically and morally requires that the agenda of the Church be this-worldly, that is concerned with making this world a better place. And, as we have observed, the agenda of this Church is truly concerned with bringing the “kingdom of God” to earth and thereby greatly improving the lot of human beings, especially the poor, weak, sick, down-trodden, despised and neglected. In this system of thought, Jesus is the One who embraces the outcast and the needy as Savior”; “Katherine and the work of God in this cosmos” … (

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON— The Truth about Tolerance: How our therapeutic thinkers threaten Western values … (victorhanson)

CONFESSING READER on Lord Carey: “Fast footwork and close collaboration”; The Rt Revd Dr George Carey: “Anglican Communion: Past Blessings, Present Challenges and Future Hopes” … (

CARIOCA— They’re Getting It; Bad Moon Rising(

TIME MAG— Feb 8th Article on Archbishop Akinola and the Tanzanian Primates’ meeting … (

STAND FIRM ARE reports that the Anglican church in Nigeria have just had a brief synod where they issued a communique(whitehorseinn, babybluecafe)

FR. GEORGE KOCH & Church of the Resurrection In Chicago; Following The Bible … (descant)

ENS AD DEP’T— Tanzania’s Anglican Church to host Communion’s Primates near ‘Abode of Peace’ [ actually, “Dar al-Islam: An abode, country, territory, or land where Islamic sovereignty prevails”, ed. ] .. Nearly one third are new to meeting … (wfn)

DIVIDING the Faithful: Conservatives fleeing the Episcopal Church regroup–apart … (

CRUNCHY CON: “I just lurv these non-apology apologies put out by the trash-mouthed Christian haters running the Edwards blog operation; “This is how the left works: yell “bigotry” to silence critics who confront them with arguments they don’t wish to have”; and Chick Tracts for the Edwards Campaign Team! … (Various)

FUN WITH THE NCC: “Guess Who’s Supporting Jimmy Carter?” … (reformedpastor)

AND THEY’RE PULLING UP THE TRACKS— “Mainline Protestantism continues to shatter as David Fischler reports on the Presbyterian crack-up” … (

LUTHERAN Panel Votes to Expel Gay Minister … (transfigurations)

SAME-SEX ADOPTION: incoherent and irrational, says Jennifer Roback Morse; Scientific studies speak against same-sex parenting(mercatornet, magicstatistics)

TO CLEAVE or to cleave? the primates meeting in tanzania … (

OPEN MOUTH, Insert Crozier; Absolute Truth and Revelation(reformedpastor)

ANOTHER LOCAL Anglican Parish Separates from US Episcopal Church; PTC congregation secedes from Episcopal Church, intends to keep property … (christiantoday, thecitizen)

CLERGY & LAY LEADERS of The Anglican District of Virginia (CANA) meet together for council, worship, and fellowship … (

AFRICAN VIEWS on homosexuality: Letters to Church Times … (anglican-mainstream)

DIOGENES: “In terms of shifting cultural permissions, note that gays are now allowed to get away with using the phrase “punish the wicked” of their adversaries, with the understanding that well-conducted persons will smile at the hyperbole. If you think of the probable reaction had roles been reversed (and, say, Carroll used the expression of Gill), you’ll realize the permission is not symmetrical. Nor is the funding base” … (

REFORMED PASTOR: “I realized I was part of the realm of God and I was glad to be there – in a place where God’s creation of a new thing was being lived out” … (reformedpastor)

JUDGE MULLS suit over gay classroom talk … (

RATHER NOT BLOGGER: “Ms. Schori has given various interviews to different news organs. I am sure I have not read them all. I am also sure that she has been to some degree misrpresented in the news media, even friendly news media. That sort of thing is inevitable. In an era of sound bites and blogs, it is very easy to take statements out of context, as anyone knows who has read something about someone they know well, including themselves” … (rathernot)

MORE CLUELESS LEFTY CHRISTIANS: Middle East Disconnect– “I wouldn’t hold out too much hope that a leader among the oppressed minority of Christians in the Palestinian territories can successfully arbitrate between two violent Muslim factions. But I wish him well in his attempt” … (reformedpastor)

MORE PETER TOON: ONE, but what kind of ONE? … (standfirminfaith)

WHO GETS EPISCOPAL PROPERTY? “Episcopal church dispute heading to court as factions fight over property ownership” … (

COMMENTS ENSUE: “The Presiding Bishop Shares Some Thoughts” … (titusonenine)

MICHIGAN COURT: “Marriage Amendment” Upholds Traditional Marriage and Bars ‘Domestic Partnerships’ … (lifesite)

EPISCOPAL CHURCH split over noncelibate New Hampshire Leader ends services in Alabama; Low Attendance Causes Church of the Redeemer, Montgomery, to End Services … (titusonenine, aac)

ONE COSMOS: “In a famous remark that reflects one of the defining characteristics of modern conservatism, Eric Voegelin noted that the very basis of the leftist project is to “immanentize the eschaton,” which, in plain language, means to horizontalize the vertical. Just as the Roman Empire collapsed partly as a result of “horizontal barbarians,” the leftist represents a kind of bovine, ham-handed (as if cows could have hands) “vertical barbarian” for whom nothing transcending the immediate senses is ontologically real” … (

PONTIFICATOR: “Alexei Khomiakov on Anglicanism and Private Judgment” … (pontifications)


1 Comment so far
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Yo, Binks! Glad you’ve found my latest effort, The Reformed Pastor. You told me after I had to close down Ecumenical Insanity that I was needed on the front lines. Well, as a famous French-American once said, I’m reporting for duty! Rock on, elves!

Comment by David Fischler

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