December 04, 2005

Gratuitous Episcopal Fuming

This morning at church we were informed, among other things, that America's holding of prisoners at Gitmo is the same thing as the Roman Emperor Diocletian's rounding up and persecution of Christians back in St. Nicholas' time.

I'm about this close to just walking away.

Thought you'd like to know.

UPDATE: I was in a hurry earlier and only managed to get that one gripe out. Here were some other fun facts we learned:

-- That prostitution rings in Cambodia and the slave-trade in the Sudan are the direct result of American economic hegemony.

-- That George Bush, as the above parallel indicates, is engaged in building what he himself calls an "American Empire".

-- That 50% of all married women in this country are subject to some kind of spousal abuse. (I find this statistic preposterous unless "abuse" is defined so broadly as to include "occassionally getting snapped at".)

-- That the United States is in the grip of pandemic hyper-consumerism, which in turn is "inevitably linked" with unbridled militarism. (The rector didn't elaborate, but I gather he meant that we buy everybody's stuff and then we kill them.)

Even though our rector is a gen-u-ine Manhattan Lib, he's generally pretty good about keeping politics out of his sermons. But he sure let himself go this morning. This was followed by some aging hippy talking about the life and "meaning" of St. Nicholas during the adult forum afterwards.


Posted by Robert at December 4, 2005 11:40 AM | TrackBack

Having "The Sword of Constantine" and "The Red Tent: a Novel" extolled as essential to understanding the "real church" was enough for me. By contrast, we had a nifty sermon today about John the Baptizer's place in the nativity story. There are a few faithful ECUSA churchs out there, such as my current parish, and many faithful alternatives when it gets too much to stand.


Posted by: Susan York at December 4, 2005 12:50 PM

St. Dunstan's?

Posted by: pinky at December 4, 2005 05:18 PM

Oh my.

Posted by: GroovyVic at December 4, 2005 05:19 PM

No guaratees that you wouldn't hear that in a Catholic church; especially among the more liberal Dorothy Day Catholic Worker crowd -- you might hear a sermon like that in the Catholic academic community. I know I did in college.

But for the most part, Catholic parish priests aren't willing to go quite that far out on an ideological limb. Blue collar roots to the Catholic church in America; priests don't often get that theoretical, and objections to materialism are more likely to be phrased in terms of personal salvation than in terms of political action.

Posted by: The Colossus at December 4, 2005 06:32 PM

If the United States did not exist, it would be necessary for the world to invent us. Who else do they have to blame for all their problems?

Posted by: rbj at December 5, 2005 08:58 AM

Robbo, the RCC is always looking for new members. I am surprised you did not walk out and take half the congregation with you.

Posted by: LMC at December 5, 2005 09:39 AM

Episcopalian: A Methodist with money.

Posted by: mojo at December 5, 2005 12:24 PM

My, my. Someone's pushing for a pointy hat, no doubt. Doesn't your vestry have the ability to tell the guy he can keep his politics to himself?

Mojo, you left out "and a thing for lace doilies and walnut."

Posted by: tee bee at December 5, 2005 03:37 PM

Heck, I'm on the vestry.

As it happens, I did shoot off an email today repeating a number of complaints I got from parishioners. Doubt if it will do anything, though, and I'll just get tagged as a troublemaker.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at December 5, 2005 03:43 PM

If 50% of married women are subjected to spousal abuse, then 100% of married men (or men on their way to the gallos) are subjected to spousal abuse for about a week once a month.

Also the Episcopal Church history isnt so clean. Glass houses and stones an all...

Posted by: Big Mac w/ an Egg at December 5, 2005 05:35 PM

There are a number of conservative Episcopalians out here in th hinterlands who take offense to this type of diatribe. Some have chosen to leave, and others to push for creation of yet another splinter sect, but some have chosen to help get the church back on track --- i.e., the Anglican Institute folks. I hope they can pull it off.

Posted by: Aggravated DocSurg at December 5, 2005 09:10 PM

I'll just get tagged as a troublemaker.

I thought that's why they dragged you onto the vestry. They must have thought you were some other kind of troublemaker.

Posted by: tee bee at December 6, 2005 11:38 AM