a Swiftian catena
The General Convention should have listened to the clear directions of the Primates and repented and repudiated all that had been done to offend.
The Episcopal Church should have ignored the tradition of national church polity and remained as a missionary arm of the Church of England even after the Revolution.
The Church of England should have listened to the pope and never separated from Rome.
The Eastern Orthodox should have done the same and submitted to Rome so as not to sever communion.
The martyrs should have followed Saint Paul’s advice to obey those in civil authority.
Saint Paul, in the interest of not tearing the fabric of the early church, should have acceded to the circumcision party instead of trusting to his own private interpretation of Scripture.
The Jerusalem Council should have ignored the anecdotal evidence of Paul and Barnabas — which could only serve to make Law-abiding Jewish converts uneasy.
Saul should have ignored his personal “experience” on the road to Damascus and followed his orders from the Sanhedrin.
The other apostles should have ignored Peter’s “dream” and stuck to the letter of the Law.
Jesus should have heeded Peter’s advice and turned back from Jerusalem.
He might also have considered more seriously the various options presented to him in the Wilderness Report.
Joseph should have ignored the “personal revelation” he received — again in a dream, no less — and acted in accordance with the Law, and when he found Mary to be with child by someone other than himself, had her stoned to death, and her unborn child with her.
Then we wouldn’t be having all these problems with the Anglican Communion.
—Tobias S Haller BSG