Monday, October 25, 2004

The Cassandra Prophecy Award Goes To

David Virtue, in his opening comments for the week following Gene Robinson's consecration:

"The Archbishop is hoping that a commission on homosexuality, Eames II, will resolve the problem. It won't. Eames II like Eames I on Women's Ordination proved singularly elusive. It is loaded with liberals and will satisfy no one except Western Liberal bishops and their acolytes. Those of us who know Archbishop Eames, know only too well the outcome of these commissions before they even meet. It will be Anglican fudge from first to last."

Virtuosity is one of the standard spots for reportage and linkage in Anglican-Land. Like many web types, however, David Virtue's analysis is heavily spun by his own perspective, which is radically conservative and more than a bit confrontational. The report is thoroughly Anglican, to be sure-- and Virtue ought to sit back a second and consider how much his preconceived distaste for the report derives from his personal deviance from the Anglican character. I also think that Virtue underestimates the subtlety of Rowan Williams' actions. What has become important about the report isn't anyone's opinion of it, but that fact that the radical liberals are refusing to do more than pay lip service to it-- and moreover, lip service which is quite transparently a rejection of the report.

Internet discussion of the report follows much the same pattern. A lot of conservatives are unhappy that the report didn't recommend a summary execution for Robinson and exile for the bishops who consecrated him. From outside the communion, I see additional commentary proclaiming the report as the deathknell of Anglicanism. Nothing could be further from the truth. One week later, it's becoming clear that the report has in fact laid out the battlefield so that the conservatives have been given a great victory. The radical liberals have put themselves outside the limits of the communion in their responses to the report, and question now before the communion is how much of the rest of ECUSA and the other questionable jurisdictions we stay with the vast conservative majority.

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