October 1, 2006

If wishes was horses...

There is an old saying, "If wishes was horses beggars would ride." I take it that needs no further elaboration.

Lately, however, I'm beginning to think more along lines of, "If wishes was Communion Anglicans would have one." I say this because I'm feeling a disengagement from reality taking hold on the whole discussion. I would dignify much of this imaginary chatter with the term "paper tiger" were it not for the fact that so much of it isn't even on paper these days, but circulating in the ether of the blogosphere. Speculation is rife, as the cliché so neatly puts it. Just establishing "facts on the ground" is difficult as rumors are reported by the "journalists" du jour. Canons are ignored while various folks attribute "authority" to the latest opinions of a majority at a non-legislative conference (that's Lambeth to those who don't get the allusion, or illusion). Judgments of heresy and apostasy are tossed about like confetti at a street festival, by people poorly equipped and clearly unqualified to make such judgments. A "Global South" conference convenes and issues a statement apparently approved by those attending, and then at least two of those attending say "No way." Then it becomes questionable as to who even attended, let alone assented, as charges go back and forth, and Southern Africa is given something to Chew on. And who from Jerusalem actually attended — as press accounts differ? What, after all, has Jerusalem to do with Kigali, let alone Athens?

The point is, friends, I begin to wonder what is real any more. We seem more and more to be making it up as we go along. I've said before that we already have a real Anglican Communion Covenant in the Constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council — but no one ever seems to acknowledge this even exists as a way forward out of our issues. Instead, fictive authorities are confected out of strong desires; various groups coalesce and then evaporate, leaving behind the vapor of speculation in the air while trumpeting big steps forward — as if wishing could make it so.

I am reminded of Monty Python's block of flats built by hypnosis: as long as all of the residents continue to believe in the existence of their building, it will stand; once they begin to doubt, down it comes. I would have thought the Anglican Communion, as affectionate and fellowshippy as it is, was still built of sterner stuff than sheer wishfulness. But certainly the "New Communion" promised by the Global South is as much a product of the hypnotic repetition of half-truths as any of the Big Lies with which the last century was marred.

&mdash Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


Fr Andrew Petiprin said...

Yes, or everyone thinks he or she is Baron Munchausen, who got to the moon (among other places) on imagination. Great thoughts here.

Anonymous said...

Once again, you are exactly on target!

I find that many these days are living in a fanciful world where they attend ?The Anglican Church,? which upholds ?the teachings of the Anglican Communion.? Of course, neither of these things exist. It?s all a dream.

Maybe our real differences are between those who live in reality and those who make up their own reality. I think psychiatrists have a name for that?

Thank you again for your thoughtful posts.

Linda McMillan
Austin, Texas

Göran Koch-Swahne said...