A Blueprint for the Network: Less Spin, More Torture
For those of you who were born yesterday or have been at sea for 521 years, Torquemada ran a tight ship, a quality which if we excise his other shortcomings (torture, murder, branding and the like) would locate him as an endearing figure in naval villainy. He would be right at home on The Bounty, The Caine, or The Pequod:
1420-98, Spanish churchman and inquisitor. A Dominican, he became confessor to Ferdinand II and Isabella I and in 1483 was appointed inquisitor general of Castile and Aragón, charged with the centralization of the Spanish Inquisition. He was largely instrumental in bringing about the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. His great authority was contested by colleagues and was diminished in some measure by the pope, but he remained preeminent until his death. Torquemada owes his reputation for cruelty to the harsh rules of procedure that he devised for the Inquisition and to the rigor with which he had them enforced. (TCE, 6th)
As they move from spinning, propaganda, insults and emotional infantilism into the heavy lifting of rooting out heresy and all love-related paganisms from our beloved Church and Communion , the leadership of the AAC and ACN are advised to look to Torquemada for inspiration.
They may all be bloodbrothers.
For years, these Episcopalians who define themselves primarily by being anti-Episcopalian, have been doing really little of positive significance.
Their fundamentalist and reactionary funds have been spent on trying to destabilize their own church. Too many of their clergy leaders-all of them sworn to uphold and protect the Episcopal Church, and being paid by it-have spent I calculate: 75.7 percent of their energies yelling at priests, laymen, bishops, deacons and anyone else they don't like or have a grudge against; 10% of their energies on picking out the color of Martyn Minns's shorts and arguing over which "Windsor Diocese" gets to wash them; 10% figuring out ways to destabilize General Convention and get a pension at the same time; 5% entering the words of Rowan Williams into a Cray supercomputer so that plain English may be outputted; and the remaining 10% of their lives, mooing over Bob Duncan. (All told this equals 110.7 percent but in Christ all things are possible.)
It is time for the leadership of this spidery Network to stop spinning and get real work. To this end I hereby offer a blueprint for what they deep in their hearts, wish to do anyway: Reinstate the Inquisition across the entire Communion to ferret out heresy and weak doctrine, and return us all to the glorious days of an Inquisition dedicated to ferreting out heresy and weak doctrine.
We all know where they would begin.
With the gays and the lesbians who have been with us in our pews, altars, berths, and wardrooms since we have been gathering together in these places, but who in the name of Christ because life in Him is is truth, wish to end the lies they may have assumed and live as God created them. Aye, as he meant them to be, full members, fully alive, of the Body of Christ.
We know the general thrust of the Inquisitors' pokers because they have been brandishing them for years on the Internet, at conventions, in secret meetings and memos, in requests for DEPO and ALPO and purity, and wherever good Christians have gathered to proclaim the Gospel of Christ:
TorquemadaOnenine.com: Have you now or at any time harbored or otherwise felt, love for another of your own sex, my brother? (T19 crosses himself.) Confess it, that your soul may be saved.
Father Johns, of late rector at a parish not at all preaching the Network screed but preaching instead the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ: I have loved. I confess it.
TorquemadaOnenine.com: I fear that this love will cost you your soul and that of others in your pew, especially that nice young couple with 6 children who give $50 every week. Repent.
Father Johns: I will not. By what authority do you question me?
TorquemadaOnenine.com: By the authority of this red hot poker.
The Inquisitors would begin with our gay/lesbian brothers and sisters but would not end there. After this first group, they would then pursue those who see in the virtues of love between two people, the work of Christ, because these people have "facilitated and allowed this slippery slope of apostasy for going on 30 years now."
And after them, who?
Perhaps all those who are divorced, especially if they are divorced and remarried; or if they are divorced and remarried and happy, and clergy.
And then, those who fail to meet their criteria for this or that "essential doctrine" of faith as promulgated and enforced by them. Or those who fail or refuse to sign their names to a confessional screed developed by them.
Then, perhaps those who were not born Episcopalian but who are anyway welcome in our churches; or who came late to the Episcopal Church, for example because they were not baptized until they were 2 years old.
The point is not so much where it would go, but that their race for purity would not end, once begun. Why would it?
The Inquisitors are already working hard to ferret out heresy and wrong doctrine in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by working mightily to wound His body in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
Once the gates of Torquemada were opened, nothing would get in their way, much less the protestations of their own Christian brothers and sisters, who in the name of love and in grace, have loved. Since they see in such, nothing human, but in fact, the work of evil and apostasy, why don't they simply get down to work? What better way to confront evil, then at the end of a red hot poker?
It often appears as if it is a dark time in the life of our Church. But that is mere appearance. The reality is that the light is always dawning because the Light has already won, and He won it before any of us reading these words was ever born. And this victory came not by our doing and not by our own wills; but by the Grace and Love of God the Father and of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Quo vadis? This is an easy question to answer in His glare. I go with those chained against the wall, choking on the Garrotte, and roasting alive, in the name of love, mercy and truth. Because it is there that I find Christ on the Cross.