Introduction

‘I die in the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith, professed by the whole Church, before the disunion of East and West.’ Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells and Non-Juror (1637-1711)

The good people of CaNN having asked me to create this blog, I thought it best, in this first posting, to cover some background, including who I am and what this particular blog is all about.

First, who am I? I prefer to remain anonymous, but I hasten to add that this is entirely for personal reasons (which I have no intention of revealing). I am, in any case, non-famous. No one has ever heard of me (well, maybe a few), so discovering who I am would not lead to any cries of ‘Aha!’

The reason I chose the sobriquet ‘I’d rather not say’ (and hence the name of this blog) is simple. When I first began checking out the various blog offerings on the internet, I discovered that, if I wanted to make a comment, I was expected to put in a name. I simply thought to myself, ‘I’d rather not say,’ and . . . well, I’d like to say something like, and a legend was born!, but that would be going a bit far. Nevertheless, the name stuck, and I soon began to get e-mails addressed to “IRNS.” Some of my comments were pleasing unto CaNN, and I was asked to create a blog.

Anyway, the only details of my personal life I care to reveal (at least for now) are that I am not clergy, and that I live (and move, and have my being) in US academia. I will say something about my politics below, for reasons I hope to make clear.

Second, what is this particular blog about? Well, it will not be a news blog. Those who want to find out what is happening in Plano or 815 or Kampala, orwhat was said at this conference or that meeting, should check out such excellent blogs as Kendall Harmon’s titusonenine, now also hosted by the webelves at CaNN, or Virtuosity, or the various news boards put on the web by CaNN. (You will notice that I do not include Anglicans Online, having found them sufficiently irritating that I have given up checking them out.)

Nor will this blog be a daily, or even close to a daily, offering of whatever is on my mind. There is plenty of that sort of thing out there already.

Instead, this will be (at least to start) a more-or-less weekly personal take on events in the Anglican Communion, or on postings in which I take a particular interest. I may also share discoveries, in books or on the internet. I will start by recycling some comments I have made earlier elsewhere, then move on to fresh insights in a week or so. There will be the usual space for people to make comments; however, I have absolutely no intention of responding to them publicly on this blog. Just doing this blog takes up enough time. So if people post comments you find particularly maddening, don’t wait for me to respond or put them in their place. That’s your job.

I hasten to say that the opinions expressed in this blog will be entirely my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the webelves at CaNN. For example, I am, and have always been, an opponent of the so-called “ordination” of women to the presbyterate and the episcopate. I have no idea what the view is at CaNN, and in fact I’m not even sure to what sort of churchmanship, if any, they adhere. As for my own churchmanship (if that’s still a useful, or even acceptable, term)—high, low, broad, charismatic, whatever—well, if Anglicans are defined by their theological heroes, then mine include Lancelot Andrewes, John Keble and Arthur Michael Ramsey, with perhaps a dash of Terry Fullam. If Anglicans are defined by that uniquely Anglican parlour game question, “If you were not an Anglican, to what church would you belong?”, then I would say, Eastern Orthodoxy.

St Augustine once said that he wrote to learn and learned by writing. This is an excellent motto—that is, I fully expect to learn at least as much, if not more, than anyone who reads this blog from doing the work necessary to write it. Please feel free both to comment and to send me an e-mail now and then. I promise to read them, though not necessarily to respond.

***************

A few years ago, an exasperated British Tory MP declared that the bishops of the C of E should “give up politics for Lent.”

Whether or not that would be a good thing, I intend to give up politics for this blog. I want to say something about my politics just this once, however, in order to make a point.

I am a Democrat, big ‘D.’ I have been ever since I first registered to vote all those long years ago. My first great political enthusiasm was George McGovern (and, given who his opponent was in 1972, I see no reason to repent). I detest Fox “News.”

I say this not because I want to scare away any Republicans from reading this blog, but because there is a myth abroad in the land, an ecclesiastical urban legend, that the opponents of the consecration of Gene Robinson are all part of some right-wing conspiracy, sent forward into battle by Richard Mellon Scaife et al. Somehow this is all tied up with George Bush, Tom Delay and the Republican party

For the record, I believe that the consecration of Gene Robinson was not only wrong, but a disaster in every sense, and I suspect that there are out there a fair number of other folks who also think so and who also, like me, believe that the goods and services of this world are not always equitably distributed by the invisible hand. And I don’t get a dime from any conservative millionaire or right-wing foundation.

So the next time someone says to you, “Don’t you know who is funding the Institute for Religion and Democracy?”, just point them here and tell them to shut up.

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There are two websites with which readers of this blog should get acquainted and from which I believe they would benefit.

One is the CaNN Forums site (http://forums.anglican.tk/). This is a discussion forum for all things Anglican and a good place to both get and share information as well as discuss what’s happening after the comments you posted on some blog such as this have been pushed into the archives. You need to sign up, but it’s worth it. Things have been a bit slow over there lately, but some fresh recruits should liven it up, so check it out.

The other is Project Canterbury (http://justus.anglican.org/resources/pc/index.html). This is a site that is slowly but surely putting on line a vast amount of Anglican literature, mainly but not uniquely from a catholic perspective. Just reading the list of individuals whose works have been posted in whole or in part is an education in Anglican history in itself. You can sign up for updates on what has been added to the site.

*********************

I am intrigued by the choice of the term Via Media as a name for groups who support the consecration of Gene Robinson and who oppose the AAC and the new Network.

“Via media” used to be the term used to describe the position of Anglicanism as somehow a “middle way” between Catholicism and Protestantism, between Catholic and Reformed.

So the idea was, “We’re Catholic . . . but not too Catholic!” Or for some, “We’re Reformed . . . but not too Reformed!” Or, as it eventually developed, “We embrace the best of both Catholic and Reformed!”

So of what do the current adherents of a self-described “via media” believe they are in the middle? Through what Scylla and Charybdis do they steer?

Could it be . . . hmmm . . . good and evil?

Would that mean that their cry now is, “We’re good . . . but not too good!”?

Or is it, “We’re evil . . . but not too evil!”?

Or how about, “We embrace the best of both Good and Evil!”?

Just wondering . . .

More soon . . .

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