06 September 2007

To the victor belong the spoils!

The news from Rwanda today got me to thinking. Just when I was worried there was a shortage of conservative bishops, Rwanda has promised three more -- so that perhaps half their House of Bishops will be Americans, serving in America.

I've been trying to understand all this. I've been trying to avoid the cynical conclusion that this is just a way for a bunch of Episcopal priests to become bishops. I've been assuming that most of the conservatives are acting in good faith. As the rhetoric and behavior ratchets up on the right, I'm beginning to grow cynical, to notice the ridiculous number of bishops, and to see signs of bad faith.

Now I realize I may have gotten it all wrong. I think a certain company from Greenwich, Connecticut has brainwashed certain Anglicans to espouse divisive ideas. The idea was that things would fall apart, and we'd need a whole new set of bishops. Heck, now we're getting set after set of bishops. Their nefarious plan has been wildly successful!

Yes, my friends, I believe it's all about the purple shirts. Is it the retailer? The fabric manufacturer? How deep does the plot go? If I can find an IRD-esque funder, I plan to continue this investigation. And, definitely, I'm going to buy a massive fake volcano.

As crazy as it sounds to imagine that an ecclesiastical haberdasher is behind all this, I just can't fathom a more rational explanation for why Rwanda needs to have half its House of Bishops operating in the US. I can't see why we need to have outposts from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Southern Cone, and who-knows-where-else?

Oh, and the following groups also all seem to have bishops these days: American Anglican Church, Anglican Catholic Church, Anglican Church in America, Anglican Church in the USA, Anglican Churches of America, Anglican Episcopal Church, Anglican Independent Communion Worldwide, Anglican Orthodox Church, Anglican Province of America, Anglican Province of Christ the King, Christian Episcopal Church, Diocese of the Holy Cross, Episcopal Missionary Church, Holy Catholic Church (Anglican Rite), Orthodox Anglican Church, Reformed Episcopal Church, Southern Episcopal Church, United Anglican Church, United Episcopal Church of North America. I am not making these groups up.

Do you doubt me now? I didn't think so. Find a company that makes purple fabric or that sews lappets. Then spread discontent. Start cashing the checks.

UPDATE: Clearly, Raspberry Rabbit has a better intelligence network than me. Another potential mastermind of the Anglican conflicts is revealed in this posting. If you want to fund my Anglican research, black ops, or liturgical junkets, please drop large piles of unmarked bills in my driveway. I don't like to be outdone by RR, and I think I might work toward Anglican reconciliation chatting it up with various and sundry primates in business class over the Atlantic.


Huw said...

There was a Southern Episcopal Church during what we down here refer to as "The War of Northern Aggression" or "The Recent Unpleasantness". It was, of course (as with other denominations) reunited at the conclusion of hostilities with its northern sibling.

I was amused to see the SEC listed in your listing however, so I did a google and found (via the Wiki!) that the SEC has "half-dozen parishes, with 28 clergy, 15 bishops "

Methinks that Yankee Company is making a killing off of the rebels.

Elizabeth Schmitz said...

From Schmitz Blitz: schmitzblitz.wordpress.com

“Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God’s purpose for man.”

That quotation comes from Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama, Anglican Bishop of Uyo, Nigeria in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

Sadly, in Nigeria, gays actually do face the death penalty.

It’s a shame that more and more American Episcopals prefer the hatred of the Anglican African Bishops as exemplified by Orama and Archbishop Akinola to accepting gay clergy in America.

Scott Gunn said...

Elizabeth, you must have found your way straight to this posting without passing through the main blog page. The previous posting on the InclusiveChurch blog is about this very quotation. Needless to say, I agree with you.

Huw, clearly there's another monetary opportunity awaiting. Imagine a seersucker suit with magenta stripes. The SEC would buy them up!


Grandmère Mimi said...

Excellent, Scott, excellent. Your sleuthing skills are amazing.

Speaking only for myself, I am in favor of ditching the purple shirts altogether. What is more ridiculous than a group of middle-aged to old men wearing purple shirts? What are they thinking?

I admire ABC Williams for sticking to his black shirt.

Salzburg said...

I always believe that the bonds of affection between constiuent memebers of the Anglican Communion
was found in the Whippel's catalogue....

Scott Gunn said...


First of all, sorry about leaving off the accent mark. My HTML entity table isn't handy, so you won't be looking so French today. Apologies.

I wonder -- seriously -- if bishops didn't "get" to wear purple, how many priests would seek election? I have to imagine that has something to do with it. My own bishop, +Geralyn Wolf, mostly wears black shirts around the office. And she's a she!

Salzburg, yes, ironic isn't it that a bunch of men wearing silk dresses are so angry about gays in the church? Hmmm...

Grandmère Mimi said...

What purpose does the purple shirt serve but to proclaim to the world, "I am a bishop"? They could hang a sign around their necks instead.

Scott Gunn said...


(Ongoing apologies for the plain-old "e" characters...)

Yes, that's right. I also think it reminds clergy of their status. I think some of my priest colleagues might own flannel clericals for sleeping. You know -- so when they get up to use the toilet overnight, and they glance in the mirror -- "hey, I'm a priest!" Maybe there's money to be made selling flannel mitres?