Miss Manners for Episcopalians

Jeff Weiss, of The Dallas Morning News, one of the top religion reporters in the country, has some pereceptive things to say in his weekly newsletter about the episcopal election last week in the Diocese of California.

The diocese, as you probably know elected a HETEROSEXUAL MALE as its next bishop. Weiss focuses on the response of the American Anglican Council:

So the Californians overwhelmingly approve Rev. Mark Andrus. How did the conservative American Anglican Council respond? Would you guess that the group’s statement:

A) Graciously congratulated the Californians on a wise selection, suggesting it might indicate a way to bring the various factions together.

B) Gloated a bit about how the Californians took the conservatives’ advice and offered some additional pointed suggestions.

C) Condemned the Californians for not being conservative enough and hinted that this election could result in further splintering.

Exactly. Here are some key quotes:

“How will activists respond to the fact that a diocese which has for years been a bastion of amorphous Christianity and aggressive revisionism chose a white, heterosexual, Southern male as bishop? Did the diocese succumb to reported pressure from the national Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA), including Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, to avoid electing a partnered homosexual? Is such pressure in fact part of a coordinated strategy intended to mislead the Communion?

“…Moving slowly with caution is not stopping, and ECUSA is practicing a theology contrary to Scripture, Anglican doctrine, and 2,000 years of Christian teaching. The life and practice of ECUSA clearly illustrates its commitment to a new gospel despite claims and protestations to the contrary.”

Sez I: The only thing worse than a bad loser is a bad winner.

I’ll grant that the California election was hardly a slam-dunk for the conservatives. The Rev. Andrus agreed with the consecration of Bishop Robinson. But surely there was way for the AAC to find a hint of graciousness? Whether or not it’s good theology, it’s good manners .

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