Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Repent! Or we’ll shoot ourselves in the foot

This Magazine Staff

No disrespect to the man who holds my ticket out of the second circle of hell, but I am beginning to question the public relations savvy of Dr. Rowan Williams, aka The Archbishop of Canterbury.

At a time when all flavours of Christianity around the world are dealing with various internal intolerances, abuses and squabbles over what, exactly, Jesus would think about this or that sexual practice, the worldwide Anglican Church had a golden opportunity to exhibit their, well, worldliness and find a tolerant inclusive solution to the divisive issue of homosexual clergy and gay marriage. Instead, it would appear, The Archbishop is playing a simple numbers game and caving in to the ‘traditionalists’ within his communion. The US and Canadian wings of the church have been asked to excuse themselves from a key decision making council in the church until at least 2008. This time out is punishment for North American Anglicans’ tolerance for both gay marriage and gay clergy.

North America contains fewer Anglicans than one may find in, say, Nigeria alone (one of the centres of anti-homosexual Anglican sentiment), and represents a relatively puny 4-5% of the total worldwide Anglican population, so it’s not as though their free-loving ways are going to erode the core church values—yet, under pressure, Dr. Williams has agreed to stick the US and Canada in the corner until they, as he said on the BBC, repent.

Repent? What’s next, some smiting? Hello Archbishop, it’s the 21st century calling.

Interestingly enough, English Anglicans have also shown a general tolerance for gay clergy. Put them in the same corner and suddenly the heretics climb to close to 40% of the total Anglican population. Oh, the politics of eternal salvation.

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