Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why Don't We Let Bloggers Run The Communion Since They Know Best?

Thinking Anglicans carries links and citations from some bloggers critical of ++Rowan's support for the Covenant in his Advent letter.

But here is the thing. ++Rowan is supporting a Covenant which has been proposed, drafted, redrafted, developed, and spread around the Communion according to a Communion process, all stemming originally from the Windsor Commission. I am supporting ++Rowan as he support a Covenant which has been proposed ... according to a Communion process.

People are well entitled to criticise the Covenant (they have done, they do, and they will do). According to the process quite a lot of criticism adjusted drafts along the way. But the process cannot go on for ever. A decision about a final draft had to be made for traction on a Covenanted Communion to begin (should every member church vote for it). That final draft is circulating, being considered, and voted upon. By all means criticise the Covenant within one's own member church in order to influence the vote within that church.

To an extent these bloggers are doing that. But I think they are going further, straying into 'I know better than the Communion' territory. (By implication also 'I know better than the ABC' territory but I guess he will retire one day so a blogger might get a shot at the Top Job!)

There is also an element of 'Endless Talking' is better than 'Making a Decision' in these ideas. But perhaps I am misreading them. Just as I have misread the Covenant all along :)

39 comments:

Father Ron Smith said...

Fortunately for us, Peter, the ABC takes very little notice of our blogs. However, like you on your blog (and I on mine) the process of blogging helps us to get things off our chest - and perhaps does little else - except to attract the Trolls who habitually seek to interfere with rational argumentation.

Blogs may also help us to publicly articulate our concerns - as we view them - to a wider public, but I doubt they change many minds. The antis are still anti, and the pros still pros. But at least the subject we embrace get a wider public than our own prejudices.

FYO, I am very pro ABP. Rowan and his catholic spirituality, his concern for justice, and his love for Christ in the Eucharist. I do not embrace his enthusiasm for the Covenant - simply because I think it may engender even further injustice within the Communion.

The Province of Canterbury, UK, is my baptismal foundational Home; and I am concerned that it leads the Anglican Communion into Peace and justice, not misogyny & homophobia.

Advent blessings!

Shawn said...

I always found the blog name "Thinking Anglicans" offensive, but very typical of a certain liberal mindset in the Church that believes that only liberals really think. The rest of us are just ignorant, uninformed "fundamentalists".

It is this self-righteous attitude that makes the liberal claim to be "tolerant", "inclusive" and "non-judgemental" so obviously hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

Shawn - didn't you know Thinking Anglicans have a lithp?

Martin

Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,
I am certainly in agreement with you about your desire for reaching a decision rather than endless "listening processes" and "sharing our perspectives". The Jerusalem Council got everybody around the table, considered the Biblical evidence, and reached a conclusion that held the line on Biblical truth but was compassionate in its implementation. If only we could have more of that model in the Communion!
However, the issue that some of us have with the ABC is that he obstructed some of these Communion processes to bring about the outcome he wanted. The most obvious are:
- ignoring the Primates' Meeting resolutions and then neutering it as an Instrument.
- inviting Bishops to Lambeth who were in clear breach of the Windsor Report moratoria, and neutering the Lambeth Conference's ability to speak its opinion with clarity.
- intervening personally in the ACC meeting to water down section 4 in a way that confused some delegates as to what they were doing.
The Covenant has to be seen as part of a greater whole, not the sum total of the Communion itself. When other parts of that Communion are silenced or marginalised, it doesn't build trust that the Covenant will help us to resolve our differences and strengthen our unity.

Father Ron Smith said...

Anonymous Martin runs 'Tours around the blogosphere'. Light entertainment anyone?

Anonymous said...

"The Jerusalem Council got everybody around the table, considered the Biblical evidence, and reached a conclusion that held the line on Biblical truth (sic.) but was compassionate in its implementation"

ROTFWL

Alison

Mark Baddeley said...

Adding to Andrew Reid's comment, in looking at the "Communion process" you have to look at the whole picture of what's going on in the communion institutions.

I think it is significant that Dr Mouneer Anis resigned from the very body that is going to be tasked with exercising this representative and accountable non-coercive function with the covenant because:

"I have come to realize that my presence in the current [Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion] has no value whatsoever and my voice is like a useless cry in the wilderness."

And +Mouneer is no GAFCON radical.

You also have to take into account that one of the chief architects of the covenant, Ahb John Chew, also not a GAFCON guy, absented himself from the recent Primates meeting, along with about 1/3 of the Communion's primates. And the reason for it, in part, is the way in which the Primates meetings are being run in a way that doesn't reflect the will of the majority of the Primates - something that has only gotten worse under ++Williams' presidency of them.

If that's occurring with existing instruments, especially one in which ++Williams is merely first among peers, I'm not sure it encourages confidence of the outcomes for a new, untested, structure.

I think there are some grounds for concern about how that Communion process happened, and what is being offered as a result.

Peter Carrell said...

All is not well in the Communion and I accept that ++RW has made his own contribution to that.

For me there are two questions:

(1) Is all lost (i.e. the Covenantal route is a dead duck; no other route is being offered which is better than that dead duck)?

(2) If all is not lost, will we make the best of a bad situation?

Father Ron Smith said...

I think, Peter, that by the time the ACC meets in Aotearoa/New Zealand next year, things might be a lot clearer in the Communion. Already, the Church of England itself has four dioceses voting against the Covenant.

It could well be that everything will be 'business as usual' but only for those who really want to live with the Canterbury Connection - I think that will be most of the Provinces - except GAFCON, which seems opposed to any links with us Sinners. Jesu Marcy, Mary Pray.

Shawn said...

The fundamental problem, not just in the Anglican Communion, but in most mainline Protestant denominations, is that we are dealing with a clash of radically different religions. It is not a case of merely differing interpretations, but of truly different creeds. You only have to read a copy of the Methodist newspaper 'Touchstone' to see what I mean. If it renamed itself 'New Age Monthly' I don't think anyone would notice.

In the past, most disagreements and conflicts in the Church were genuine differences of understanding the same basic orthodoxy. But over the last hundred years or so that has changed. A false gospel has infiltrated the mainline denominations. It is a gospel that views all religions as valid pathways to God, seeks to destroy the orthodox foundations of the Church because they are exclusive and devisive, promotes a false psuedo-morality that accepts homosexuality, engages in pagan earth worship in the name of environmentalism, and champions an unBiblical "social justice" that is really cultural and political Marxism.

One of the truly great Prophets of our time, the late Francis Schaeffer, saw the truth of this and tried to warn Christians of this dangerous and seductive ideology.

Is there hope for the Communion? Perhaps. But the real question now is what are faithful Anglicans to do when their leadership is apostate?

The question they should be asking is, whom do we serve? Christ, or the spirit of this world?

Mark Baddeley said...

Hi Peter,

The problem with the your two alternatives, is that they drive us to the Yes Minister conundrum:

A: We must do something!
B: This is something.
A: Then we must do that!

Just because the covenant is something, doesn't mean that it is what we should do. It could actually make things worse.

Those rejecting the covenant aren't necessarily opting for your option 1), but are claiming that there are better options available (forget 'better' even, just ones that won't make the problem/s even worse). It is true that centrists don't like those differing solutions around, and want the covenant, or something like it. But there are real alternatives to the covenant available.

Kurt said...

Thanks, Shawn. And some folks Down Under wonder why so many Occupy Wall Street partisans view conservative Evangelicalism as “the 1% at prayer” and think that con evos are “part of the problem”?

The Calvinist-fundamentalist Schaeffer was the inspiration for much of the self-styled “Christian Right” that, beginning in the 1970s, used the “issues” of feminism, gay rights, theological liberalism, peace activism etc., as bogymen to promote their extremist agenda. Over the next 30 years these people were instrumental in duping many conservative Evangelicals into helping the 1% accomplish their takeover of the Republican Party (and domination of much of Congress).

Schaeffer’s espousal of right-wing Calvinism led to his becoming a disciple (albeit a critical one) of the theo-fascist Rousas John Rushdooney, founder of “Dominionism,” which calls for the murder of gays, lefties, etc. a la Uganda’s “Anti-Homosexuality Bill.” (Schaeffer’s son, Franky, wrote a tell-all book detailing the fundamentalist wackiness going on in “Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.”

Please heed my advice, Peter, and stay away from these far-right extremists.
Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

I am sorry Mark but you would need to tell me what the better options are which are being claimed because a 'better option' would need to be one which reaches out to and theoretically could be plausibly engaged with by all the Communion.

I am aware of bloggers making claims, of the Jerusalem/GAFCON route, etc but none of those reaches out to and could be plausibly engaged with by all the Communion.

So, please tell me about what I am missing!

Mark Baddeley said...

Peter,

While they haven't offered it formally as a way forward, I think the Global South Encounter meetings are about the healthiest and most productive communion-building events we have (ever) seen. I think we could do a lot worse than go to the Global South Primates (a bigger group than GAFCON) and bishops and ask them to construct a way forward modeled on their encounter meetings. I like that approach as I think the way forward is to work with the guys who are demonstrating that they can do what we say we want.

I also think that following through on resolutions of the Primate's meetings would have brought us to a much better place - we probably would have lost TEC, but I think the trust and confidence of the rest of the communion would be intact.

And then moving on to this...

Thanks Kurt. And some Beltway folks wonder why so many Down Under hicks view socially progressive liberalism as “the liberal wing of the Democrat party at prayer” and think that liberals are “part of the problem”?

You actually think that Franky Schaeffer is a reliable source of information? Talk about someone who has made a career out of metaphorically killing their dad. Is he capable of writing anything that isn't justifying his turning on his parents?

Please heed my advice, Peter, and stay away from these far-left extremists.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Mark
I think Global South is offering a way forward, but the key step is not yet taken of Global South being Global South +North (+East+West) ... so, as far as I can see, the Covenant still is the main proposal for a renewed Communion being considered by all member churches of the Communion ...

I try to stay away from all extremists!

Shawn said...

Kurt,

I personally reject the notion the right is the party of the 1%. The first problem is, which right are we talking about? The right, like the left, is a divided house. But even if we take the mainstream right, I don't think the accusation is accurate.

Much, not all, but much of the Right is supported by far more than just the 1% of the top rich. If that were not the case the right would not have been as succesful as it has over the last thirty years in the Anglosphere.

The Right represents a diversity of views, from libertarians to conservatives and many others. Many of the Right's concerns are increasingly those of the middle class and even the working class.

National would not have won the level of support it did at the last election if it only represented 1% of the nation.

Francis Schaeffer never supported nor advocated Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism, and it is thin at best to claim his views inevatibly lead there.

I have read 'A Christian Manifesto' many times, and it reads more libertarian than Dominionist to me.

Many. including Schaefer's son, who seems to be working out in public his own psycholigical issues, have mis-represented Schaeffer and often mis-quoted him. I particularly find this with Franky, who often mis-quotes 'A Christian Manifesto' in order to support his unfair accusations.

Rather than avoid each other, I would much rather talk and debate.

My first question would be, given what to me is the far left control of ACANZ'z social justice wing why one extreme is better than another?

Far Right is a subjective label, as are, to be fair, the labels I use to define those I disagree with.

Being a Libertarian I would be considered far right on economic issues, but genuinely liberal, in the original sense of the word, on social issues. While I maintain that the Church should hold the line on what I believe to be the the God-given Biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality, as far as civil society goes I completey support the right of homosexuals top live their lives as they see fit, including legal marriage and adoption rights, without interference from the state or me, or anyone else.

Does that make me far right or far left?

Mark Baddeley said...

Hi Peter,

Yes, I agree that the Covenant is the only option on the table; the only thing being offered by Lambeth.

But that doesn't mean it is the only serious option available. I'm saying that the Global South encounter meetings arguably provide a better model of the way forward for the Communion, and that group could be asked to come up with something that they think would do the job that needs to be done.

I think that group has already shown that it can create something that genuinely works, and doesn't simply concentrate power into another (un)accountable and (un)representative group. I think such a solution would be strongly resisted by Lambeth, as I am now of the view that Lambeth is acting with an eye to enhancing its control of formal structures of the communion. Nonetheless, when the covenant fails to get sufficient support (which looks pretty much a cert - England will have to decide whether they want a drastically reduced communion or abandon the covenant as a solution) then I think those who aren't committed to that kind of centralized power solution should push for the Global South group to take to the lead.

Obviously those really committed to revising a Christian understanding of sex, and especially same gender sex, won't want that, as the Global South, as a whole, wants a path that will address that issue decisively. But that's the point at which the communion is going to have to make a choice. If the only real options that are given is either both positions on same gender sex are accepted in the communion or a semi-permanent moratorium on some practices associated with revising that consensus, while continuing to teach contrary to it, I think we'll just see an ongoing bleed from the communion as province after province drops out, leaving only those provinces who have made peace with liberalism within the communion.

Eventually we'd lose most of the Global South, I think, if all that is offered is a way for everyone to stay together despite differences. I don't think that will be acceptable to the Global South as a whole in the long term. But I think they are capable of creating something that could graciously and non-coercively pull together the majority of the communion that is basically orthodox - reasserters of all stripes and conservative revisionists. The alternative will be a communion that has revisionists of all stripes plus some liberal and centrist reasserters. I doubt we can do better than one of those two alternatives.

Kurt said...

You’re quite welcome, Mark! By the way, I’m a nominal member of the Green Party (to the delight of my Republican acquaintances as well as to the consternation of my friends in “the Democrat party.”)

I must admit that I am somewhat impressed by your psychoanalyzation of Franky Schaeffer. If I might point out a possible Freudian slip of your own? You write: “Talk about someone who has made a career out of metaphorically killing their dad.” Are you implying that Franky was the spokesman for Priscilla, Susan and Deborah as well? That they may have collaborated on “his” book? Interesting.

Is Franky Schaeffer capable of writing anything that isn't justifying his turning on his parents? Why don’t folks Down Under decide for themselves, rather than take the word of a…fundamentalist? Check him out: http://www.frankschaeffer.com/

Well Shawn, we apparently have points of agreement, as well as major areas of disagreement.

On the one hand you write: “Francis Schaeffer never supported nor advocated Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism, and it is thin at best to claim his views inevatibly lead there.”

Well, that’s the right-wing “party line” of course. For many people, however, it’s like arguing that Mussolini was a less rigorous fascist than Hitler. (Or, if you prefer, it’s like arguing that Lenin was a less rigorous communist than Stalin.) To the victims in America and elsewhereit matters little, even if the intensity of the “True Believer” varies from country to country, society to society.

On the other hand you also write: “Being a Libertarian I would be considered far right on economic issues, but genuinely liberal, in the original sense of the word, on social issues.”

Sounds Libertarian to me. (I have on occasion voted for Libertarian Party candidates here—when the proper leftie candidates for such offices are absent from the ballot).

I would say, however, that the “Libertarian right” in this country has almost as little influence as the “libertarian Left” does. What Ike Eisenhower called “the military industrial complex” and Wall Street’s finance, insurance and real estate tycoons are far, far more important players on the board. Sure, the Libertarian right has Ron Paul; and the democratic left has Bernie Sanders. Big deal.


Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Father Ron Smith said...

While the Global South cooperative continues to insist on the radical exclusion of LGBT people from any Communion it is willing to be part of, I suggest that it remains as culpable as GAFCON in wanting a puritanical, sola-scriptura Church.

To go along with the status quo would send us back to square one in the debate. I would certainly consider that a retrograde step.

Only an openly Inclusive Church would be able to perpetuate the reformed and catholic 'semper reformanda' ethos that I believe to be the historical genius of Anglicanism. Also, it equates with the freedom of Christ in the Gospel.

It should be noted that even the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Archbishop Nichols, at a recent meeting of his Bishops in England, commended the human rights claims of Same-Sex couples, as therefore having a legitimate right 'to be'.

The Church is not a mausoleum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.

Shawn said...

Kurt,

It is not simply the party line, it is the truth. Francis Schaeffer did not advocate Dominionism in any shape or form. To claim that its like saying that that Mussolini was a less rigorous fascist than Hitler is wrong because they were in fact both fascists. Scaheffer was not a Dominionsist, as anyone familiar with his writings can testify. According to your argument then anyone on the Right is a fascist, merely for the fact of being on the Right. Thats like me saying that the Green party are fascists because Hitler was a vegetarian. Its a silly comparison, as is yours, and adds nothing of substance to the debate.

Question. Have you actually read Schaeffer?

Libertarianism is more than just the LP. There are libertarians in the Republican camp as well, and I'm inclined to vote tactically. Aspects of liberatrianism can be advanced by voting for the mainstream Right.

In New Zealand I voted for National, our mainstream centre-right party, on the basis that they are at least going to hold the line on government spending, partially sell some assets, and other policies that in part advance the libertarian cause.

I disagree with your pessimism about who controls the world, or the USA. Thats just a standard left wing excuse to explain away why the Left has largely lost the votes of heartland Americans.

My own libertarianism os of the "Paleo" variety, less LP and more Murray Rothbard and the Mises institute. Paleolibertarians are cultural conservatives.

Ron,

"Only an openly Inclusive Church would be able to perpetuate the reformed and catholic 'semper reformanda' ethos that I believe to be the historical genius of Anglicanism."

Semper Reformanda means to bring the Church back to the authority of the Bible. Your liberal version of "inclusivism" would do the opposite.

"The Church is not a mausoleum for saints, but a hospital for sinners."

I agree, but your claiming homosexuality is not a sin in the first place, which contradicts your point. Let me put it another way. The Church is a hospital for the sin-sick, homosexuals included, not a political club for white, middle class liberals.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, I’m a nominal member of the Green Party"

"Nominal" - pshaw! typical Episcopalian ("nominal membership 1.95 m, ASA 700k, 4/10 on the Commandments). Does "nominal green" mean you feel twinges of eco-guilt when you jet over redn-, er, flyover country? :)

Martin

Kurt said...

“Flyover country,” Martin? I never fly to a destination if I can take the train! It’s so much more fun that way! (And, of course, more eco-responsible, too!)

Not simply the “party line” but “the truth”? Of course it is, Shawn. Don’t you know that ALL party lines are The Truth? (Just ask any New Zealand Trot). But you are correct, I’ve not read Schaeffer’s work (that I can recall); I have relied on people who have read and studied Schaeffer to make a judgment call. That call is: Francis Schaeffer is a fundamentalist extremist. (Perhaps some spring you’ll consider attending the annual Left Forum a/k/a Socialist Scholars Conference here in NYC. There are always hundreds of stimulating talks and panels on many subjects—which, over the years, have included Schaeffer’s contribution to the so-called Christian Right. I’m sure you would enjoy sparring with some leftie Harvard prof during the Q & A, yes? I know I do!)

A “standard left-wing excuse”? Oh, please Shawn! You really should read some American history. “The left” in America hasn’t been able to truly and fairly contest for “the votes of heartland Americans” since the 1930s. The Red Scare, McCarthyism, the purge of the unions and professions in the 1940s, the Hollywood blacklist, the deportation or imprisonment of members of the American Communist Party (and other leftists, too) along with the CP’s virtual illegalization in the 1950s, the execution of the Rosenbergs, the police repression of the Black Panthers, the murders of anti-war protesters at Kent State and Jackson, the smashing of PATCO etc., etc. have all helped to render the American left isolated and ineffectual (at least until recently).

Repression works (in the short run, anyway) and the repression of the American left ushered in the hegemony of our present Demopublican/Republicratic regime; it paved the way for thirty years of unchallenged corporate domination. And don’t forget the capitalist bootlicks in the “mainstream news media” here (comprised of financially over-compensated milquetoast liberals and right-wing bigots). Confront some of the most unreasonable and undemocratic election laws on the planet. Perhaps then you will begin to understand the difficulties that what’s left of the left operates under in America. Of course, no socio-political hegemony lasts forever; and the beginning of the end may be nearer than many think. (I hope!)

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Tis a miracle, Kurt, that notwithstanding the general tendency in what you say to be historically thus and so, nevertheless America managed in 2008 to elect to the presidency an exponent of class warfare, a proponent of distribution of income from the rich to the poor, and an implementer of the socialization of the means of production, especially if talking cars or health!

True, this "socialist" president has some curious friends (Wall St bankers), and his plans may not succeed in becoming permanent in the social, economic and political landscape ... but I suggest history will look back on Obama's presidency as a period when the vision of the future for America was as strongly socialist as it ever was in the past (Roosevelt?).

Father Ron Smith said...

I'm glad I'm ignorant of American politics. I do so admire those Kiwis who can legitimately profess even an academic interest in other countries' domestic affairs. Seems like we have enough politics in NZ for me to bother with other people's politics.
I have enough trying to keep up with Church politics.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
I do profess an interest in politics: Kiwi, US and British.

I am also interested in sport, especially rugby and cricket.

Currently I do not have time to blog on those interests but you may have observed that occasionally they intrude into ADU!

Anonymous said...

Communism has certainly been the greatest scourge on humanity in history, just to judge by the 100 million deaths it caused in the 20th century, to say nothing of the immiseration of millions and countlerss other forms of suffering and oppression. Christians have been among its primary victims.
The Rosenbergs got what they deserved. So did Alger Hiss. They perpetuated the oppression of millions.
That anyone should speak up for them after this dismal experience shows the triumph of dope over experience.
Or maybe it's their partial success in whitewashing the past. I know a teacher who dsplays a picture of history's greatest mass murderer Joseph Stalin in his classroom. He gets no 'kickback' because none of his ignorant studnets knows who Stalin was. He wouldn't try the same trick with a picture of Hitler.
Martin

Janice said...

Kurt,

I'm interested to know how you define "fundamentalist extremist".

I ask because I read a couple of Francis Schaeffer's books many years ago and don't recall anything about them that struck me as particularly fundy or extremist.

Father Ron Smith said...

Shawn, I promised myself recently that I was not going to respond to any of your goads on this web-site, but I can hardly avoid your mistaken assertion that 'semper reformanda' excludes a right and proper revision of traditional understanding of what the bible might be saying to today's Christians - especially on the subject of gender and sexuality.

A little judicious 'reading around' might help you to better understand the reality of the diversity of human sexual response - and the concomitant influence of chromo-somatic biological make-up of human beings - not to mention the natural animal world.

Your 'loud shouting' on the web fails to convince me of your superior knowledge of human sexuality as an expression of God's infinitely diverse creation.

Shawn said...

Ron,

"Shawn, I promised myself recently that I was not going to respond to any of your goads on this web-site"

I have not been goading, I have been debating.

"but I can hardly avoid your mistaken assertion that 'semper reformanda' excludes a right and proper revision of traditional understanding of what the bible might be saying to today's Christians - especially on the subject of gender and sexuality"

How is it mistaken? Give me a theological argument. I know what the Reformers meant by Semper Reformanda, and it bears no resemblence to your position, as far as I can tell.

If you can privide me with a credible theological argument I will give it a fair hearing. But so far all I have seen from you are lies about conservatives and superficial justifications for the inclusive position.

"A little judicious 'reading around' might help you to better understand the reality of the diversity of human sexual response"

I have done a fair amount of reading on this issue. Have you?

Human beings are fallen. So the "diversity" you speak of is a result of that fallenness.

There are hundreds of psycho-sexual complusions that humans can be victims of. Do you accept all of them? Pedophilia? Necrophilia? Beastiality?

Your mistake is in assuming that if it appears in nature it must be good.

That is a deeply un-Biblical and irrational assumption. Many things appear in nature, such as cancer. This does not automatically make them blessed by God.

"Your 'loud shouting' on the web"

You cannot shout on a web page. I merely like to debate, robustly yes, but debate, not shout.

Shawn said...

Kurt,

"You really should read some American history."

I have read a great deal of American history. I was born there for a start, and remain a U.S citizen.

"“The left” in America hasn’t been able to truly and fairly contest for “the votes of heartland Americans” since the 1930s."

Yep, thats called an excuse.

The Left in New Zealand does the same thing when they lose. Theu say things like: "Its not our fault, the media was against us...the evil corporations were against us...we were oppressed...the people are stupid rednecks who do not know what is good for them...blah, blah blah."

The truth, especially in the U.S., is that vast numbers of heartland Americans simply reject your message. They do not want socialism, secularism and liberalism being forced upon them by west-east coast elites who despise traditional values and hold heartland Americans in contempt.

"But you are correct, I’ve not read Schaeffer’s work"

Then you need to actually read Schaeffer. If all you have done is rely on liberal-left hysteria-mongers then you cannot say anything of valid substance concerning Schaeffer.

If your interested in green issues you might try 'Polution and the Death of Man' for a start.

Here is a quote from it.

"...the hippies of the 1960s did understand something. They were right in fighting the plastic culture, and the church should have been fighting it too... More than this, they were right in the fact that the plastic culture - modern man, the mechanistic worldview in university textbooks and in practice, the total threat of the machine, the establishment technology, the bourgeois upper middle class - is poor in its sensitivity to nature... As a utopian group, the counterculture understands something very real, both as to the culture as a culture, but also as to the poverty of modern man's concept of nature and the way the machine is eating up nature on every side." -Chapter 2

Now does that sound like your "fundamentalist extremist" bogeyman?

Yes Schaeffer was an inspiration to many on the Christian Right, myself included. That does not make him evil and beyond the pale. And you really do need to read him, give him a fair hearing, before dismissing him on the basis of the kind of selective crap that his critics are fond of. You might find, as in the quote above, that he was a much more politically rounded and genuinely insightful writer than his critics give him credit for.

Kurt said...

Oh, please Peter, you can’t truly believe such nonsense, can you!? Obama has betrayed just about every campaign promise he made when he ran for office three years ago! He’s in the pocket of the big banks and corporations. Look at what he does, not what he says; the empty campaign rhetoric is just for suckers! “Exponent of class warfare”!? What a joke! If it were only true!!

It’s been a number of years since I attended that lecture/panel, Janice. I’ll see if I still have my notes from that conference.

Well, Shawn, if you have read a great deal of American history, perhaps your right-wing fundamentalism keeps getting in the way of your understanding of what you have read. I’ve seen it happen here many times on the left with political sectarians—particularly with the Trots. It’s a bi-product of True Believer Syndrome

“Yep, thats called an excuse.”

No, my friend, in the case of the Rosenbergs, it’s called judicial murder. There’s growing evidence from old intercepts, etc. that Julius was a minor Soviet agent. Ethel was not. Neither of the Rosenbergs was guilty of the specific crimes with which they were charged. Even today, with what we know about Julius’ Soviet activities, it’s clear that Ethel was innocent of any capital offense. She was held as a hostage to put pressure on Julius. (We also now know that even J. Edgar Hoover opposed her execution, Martin.)

How many communists were executed in New Zealand during the Cold War, Shawn? How many were rounded up, deported and imprisoned? How many Maori civil rights activists did New Zealand police murder in their beds in 1968-69? Can you give me the names of unarmed New Zealand anti-war protesters shot down in cold blood by their own military? Has the political purging and busting of trade unions been a priority of governments in New Zealand during the past 30 years, Shawn? Do you think that events like the above tend to encourage political activity or discourage it?

And you call yourself “Libertarian”!?

“Now does that sound like your "fundamentalist extremist" bogeyman?”

You are correct, Shawn. That choice excerpt sounds to me like the type of pop political and social “analysis” that was commonly found in the pages of “Look” or “Life” magazine circa 1968. A Marcuse or McLuhan he’s obviously not. No wonder the man’s writings are so little known outside of right-wing, con evo circles.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

"How many communists were executed in New Zealand during the Cold War, Shawn? How many were rounded up, deported and imprisoned?"

NZ's only Communist of note was an old China hand from Canterbury called Rewi Alley who was a shill for Mao and was bigged up by the reds - as well as in NZ - for his propaganda on behalf of the Great Helsman-Murderer, although they were unhappy about his love for Chinese boys.

Martin

Janice said...

It’s been a number of years since I attended that lecture/panel, Janice. I’ll see if I still have my notes from that conference.

There's no need for sarcasm, Kurt. It was an honest question.

Shawn said...

Kurt,

None of what you have said about the war against Communism proves your point. It would not have made a bit of difference if Communists (many of whom were actively working for the Soviet Union) had been left alone. It would have made no difference because the Lefts message would STILL have been rejected. Heartland Americans are Jacksonians (read Walter Russell Mead). They are fierce individualists, believe in Faith, Folk and Family, in hard work and self reliance, and are deeply opposed to and suspicious of any kind of Nanny Statism, let alone Socialism.

So, yes it is an excuse. The Left would never have made any inroads into heartland America even IF they had been left alone. Face it, the vast majority of Americans are not and are never going to be socialists.

Perhaps your East Coast Left-Liberal fundamentalism gets in the way of seeing the truth.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment, Shawn, about 'Heartland Jacksonians'. Reminds me of soemthing I heard in a lecture by Donald Kagan of Yale, that just as folk left crowded ancient Greek cities to found colonies around the Med, Kansas was America's colony for people who lacked opportunity or land in the East. Crowded cities do produce political extremists, as well as social snobs like Kurt.
Martin

Father Ron Smith said...

In answer to your question in the title of this thread, Peter:

Seeing the quality of the last few comments, this is perhaps the best reason why we don't let bloggers run the Anglican Communion

Kurt said...

“There's no need for sarcasm, Kurt. It was an honest question.”

I’m sorry you feel that way, Janice. It was meant to be an honest answer, not sarcasm.

“The Left would never have made any inroads into heartland America even IF they had been left alone. Face it, the vast majority of Americans are not and are never going to be socialists.”

Ah, the True Believer not only can acceptably interpret the past, s/he is an infallible prophet of the future because s/he bases politics on The Correct Party Line! (Read Isaac Deutscher’s “Trotsky Trilogy,” Shawn.)

I wouldn’t bet the farm on those “Heartland Jacksonians,” Martin. Given the fact that I have Cherokee ancestry, I find it difficult to turn my back on them! (Be careful; they could be just as deceitful with you.)

“Seeing the quality of the last few comments, this is perhaps the best reason why we don't let bloggers run the Anglican Communion.”

Right on, Father Ron!

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

"I wouldn’t bet the farm on those “Heartland Jacksonians,” Martin. Given the fact that I have Cherokee ancestry, I find it difficult to turn my back on them! (Be careful; they could be just as deceitful with you.)"

That figures. I had a strong suspicion you were related to Oral Roberts.

Merry Christmas, you old hippy trot!

Martin

Kurt said...

Oral Roberts? He must be from a different Cherokee band entirely.

And a Merry Christmas to you, too, Martin!

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY