November 3, 2010

Richard Hooker's Smiling

Today, the feast of Blessed Richard Hooker, architect and expositor of Anglican polity, marks the launch of a web-site for an internationally organized form of opposition to the proposed Anglican Covenant. I heartily support this effort as it will involve more engagement and discussion on the very problematical, deeply flawed, and potentially dangerous Anglican Covenant recently, now, or soon to be on the sundry tables of the various Provinces' legislative bodies. Some very helpful tools are provided at the site, including a list of resources.

I've said my share about the flaws and dangers of this document (click on "anglican covenant" in the topical tags list yonder to the right). My only qualms about the organization at this point lie in its name, "No Anglican Covenant," as I do not in fact oppose the very idea, and have in the past encouraged adoption of a unifying document based on mission. Sadly, the current document up for adoption is not based on mission, but institutional uniformity and pressure to conform to the Groupthink of a particular brand of Emerging Ecclesiopolitik (depending on who is in power) that is very far from our Anglican roots.

That being said, as far as the particular Anglican Covenant on offer goes, I see it, as I have said before, as not helpful in accomplishing much of a positive nature that could not be as well or better done without it, and as a potentially dangerous source of division, coercion, and ultimate collapse. As with the Tower of Babel, there are better ways to get to heaven, and this one will not only not gather us, but will scatter us. So I support the efforts of this new organization and wish it well in bringing some light to the darkness.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

10 comments:

Daniel Weir said...

Your mention of the Tower of Babel reminds me that the cover of Rabbi Sacks' "The Dignity of Difference" has a picture of the tower. The story in Genesis is, I think, about God's displeasure with totalitarian attempts at unity and about God's delighting in diversity.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Exactly, Daniel. And when a few generations earlier, when God set his Name in the sky as a Covenant, he chose the Rainbow!

Tim said...

I apologize at the first, dear Tobias. I DO understand the seriousness and possible implications of the Anglican Covenant on so many people and your points are well taken.

As I said, I apologize but all of this talk about 'The Covenant' reminds me of the video game series Halo, where the antagonists are a theocratic military alliance of aliens who are called 'The Covenant'.

So, I have this mental image of some 3m tall saurian beast wearing purple power armour and a mitre, wielding a plasma pistol in one hand and processional cross in the other while screeching something which translates to "Excuse me, but we'd much prefer it if you weren't gay where the children might see. Morals and all that, you know. Sorry to be such a bother, thanksomuch. Ta."

I guess that since I've been watching all of this durm and strang in so many faiths, there's a point where you just need to step back and find a bit of humour in things. As Dahl would say, "A little nonsense, now and then, is relished by the wisest men."

JCF said...

Well, as I see it, the Anglican Communion has had (for 100 years) a perfectly WONDERFUL covenant: the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral.

I oppose THIS proposed "Anglican Covenant", to SAVE THE QUAD!!!

Malcolm+ said...

Tim said:

-- So, I have this mental image of some 3m tall saurian beast wearing purple power armour and a mitre, wielding a plasma pistol in one hand and processional cross in the other while screeching something which translates to "Excuse me, but we'd much prefer it if you weren't gay where the children might see. Morals and all that, you know. Sorry to be such a bother, thanksomuch. Ta." --

Malcolm muses:

-- Sounds about right. --

Lionel Deimel said...

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition, despite its name, takes no position on a covenant in the abstract. Some members do oppose any covenant, but others do not. The name was much debated. Given the task at hand and a pre-existing logo, the chosen name seemed best.

David |Dah • veed| said...

Could one of you articulate coalition members respond to my conservative friend the Revd. Dr. Peter Carroll on his blog, Anglican Down Under.

Wrongly named international Anglican Coalition favours covenant
http://anglicandownunder.blogspot.com/2010/11/wrongly-named-international-anglican.html

Christopher said...

My thoughts on this.

http://contemplativevernacular.blogspot.com/2010/11/not-mere-subscription-but-wholly.html

The young fogey said...

You're right.

Anglicanism is not doctrine; it's simply those whose bishops are recognised by and normally invited to Lambeth.

Changing to a confessional/doctrinal standard is foreign to your tradition.

I defend all faiths' rights to govern themselves and to their property.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Tim, wonderful image. Or the Vorlons vs the Shadows? Order vs Chaos?

JCF, yes, us Huntingtonians would rather stick with the Quad.

Lionel, your point is well taken.

Dahveed, thanks for the link. You too Christopher.

YF I reject your claim that Anglicanism is not doctrinal. As Huntington said over a century ago "My whole effort in connection with the doctrinal legislation of the Episcopal Church has been to reduce the required dogma to a minimum, while yet insisting upon that minimum. What has ailed the Church, it seems to me, has been, not the principle of dogma, but the multiplication of dogmas." Doctrinal minimalism is not total chaos. I also think your linking Anglicanism to Lambeth is an ahistorical notion, as Anglicans were around long before any Lambeth Conference was called. The Lambeth plays a role in Anglicanism, but I would no more make it the defining point than a Roman Catholic would of the Curia. Both are organs of a larger entity.