I’ve been around clergy enough to cut them some slack and maybe some grace. If they avoid preaching heresy in most sermons, obey most of the Ten Commandments on good days, and rarely repay evil for good, then I’m good . . . as long as they don’t butcher the liturgy, of course.
Hey, I’m Anglican.
But even a tolerant reasonable Anglican gentleman as myself has his limits. Take a certain op-ed from one Tish Harrison Warren, a priest in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, writer-in-residence at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and monthly columnist with Christianity Today already – please.
Her column is interesting in that she seems to acknowledge in a backwards way that President Trump might actually have a better record on religious freedom than Democrats. But Orange Man Bad so “Don’t Vote Trump For Religious Liberty.” To be fair, she is far from alone in that.
2020: The year religious liberty is more threatened by the results of an election than any other year.
Also the year evangelical elites decided to bend over backwards to justify (implicitly or explicitly) someone’s decision to vote for the party threatening religious liberty.— Jon Harris (@worldviewconvos) November 1, 2020
Yep. Nonetheless her column is reminiscent of her absurd response to Trump becoming the first President ever to speak in person to the March for Life. She called it a “set-back” for the pro-life cause.
So Trump defends religious freedom and the right-to-life, and even makes history in so doing, and she attacks him for it . . . while saying she is oh-so concerned about religious freedom and the right-to-life, of course. Thus she repays evil for good. In Warren’s World, Orange Man is so Bad, he merits such treatment even when he does good.
Did someone make Orange Man Bad the Summary of the Law while I was not paying attention during Holy Communion? Apparently, the doctrine of Orange Man Bad trumps (no pun intended) even the Ninth Commandment:
If shoring up religious freedom requires us to champion someone whose administration is responsible for making more than 545 children orphans, someone who in Sen. Ben Sasse’s words “flirts with White supremacy”,… then we cannot preserve religious liberty while remaining faithful to the ethical call of Jesus.
One can certainly disagree on complicated issues of borders, immigration, and asylum. (As a whole, I think Trump’s actions in these areas have been wise and needed.) But Warren blissfully ignores the complications of parents bringing, often smuggling, their children across the border and of rampant human trafficking at the border, which includes the smuggling of children by those posing as parents. I do not know the complications involved in those 545 cases, and neither does Warren. But the only ones orphaning the children of illegals are criminals including gangs of illegals such as MS-13. Trump is not orphaning children at the border and only a liar or someone delusional would write such a thing.
No, I am not going to tolerate that in clergy. I do have some standards.
As for the White Supremacy smear, Trump has denounced White Supremacists over and over again for years. Again, one can oppose Trump’s policies – even though they have increased opportunities for people of color – without lying and slandering him.
Not quite as important as not paying evil for good and not tearing up the Ninth Commandment, but still of import to ACNA clergy, are recent instructions from the Archbishop of ACNA, Foley Beach:
3. Speciﬁcally, regarding racial issues, we now have a Provincial Working Group on Race, Racism, and Racial Reconciliation which has begun meeting and who will present their results to the bishops in several months. Until then, it is time to listen and not to pontiﬁcate our speciﬁc political positions. Let us love our neighbors as ourselves.
4. Speciﬁcally, regarding the upcoming election in the United States, clergy should attempt to minister to both the democrats and the republicans in their congregations and to not take public stands for one candidate or another. God is more concerned about our love and servant spirit than He is for us preaching that He has taken sides. Sadly, every issue is now politicized and the “cancel culture” attitude of writing off those who don’t agree 100% with one’s point of view is pervasive. Let us do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
It is fair to say Warren’s op-ed right before the election urging “Don’t Vote Trump For Religious Liberty,” complete with thinly veiled attacks on Christians who do vote Trump, violates at least the spirit of this request.
All together Tish Harrison Warren’s op-ed calls out for appropriate rebuke, if not discipline….
Oh, that’s right. We are talking about the Diocese of Pittsburgh – that diocese – the C4SO of the East.