Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Love cannot drown truth

One of the reasons cited for the exodus from England to the colonies was religious freedom. The Church of England was such that there was little tolerance for divergent views.

Subsequent happenings led to the independence of the United States and the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Well, what a difference a few centuries makes. Now the Church of England is perhaps one of the most tolerant out there.

So tolerant in fact that the sovereign of England is seen by the heir aparrent as no longer the Fidei defensor, "Defender of the Faith," but rather defender of "faith", in other words faith of all kinds or defender of faiths plural. Should he become king of England, Prince Charles would not see himself as defender of the Christian faith, but rather faiths of all kinds. In other words, though a Christian nation in the official sense, the future monarch does not see Christianity as distinct but as part of a "multi-faith mish-mash" as is feared it England might become.

Instead, it appears that the Anglican church is having to be defended by those outside of its geographical borders. Many Anglicans have been angered over the direction the church has been going for years and the recent consecration of openly gay priest Gene Robinson by the US branch. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, would like to preserve unity, including the US branch. But some wonder the basis for unity and legitimate compromise for unity.

For example, Williams made a proposal that would distinguish two categories of the Anglican Communion, to give the Episcopal Church a lesser role. The Nigerian bishops saw such as revealing the heartbeat of a "a leader who wants to preserve the unity of the Church by accommodating every shred of opinion no matter how unbiblical." The more conservative African contingent sees the US church as a "cancer" that needs to be excised for the health of the patient.

It's interesting that the American church is the segment that is not seeking independence, but religious tolerance in such a way that the Anglican church compromises its beliefs and practices to accomodate.

The values of the US branch are fueled, we are told, by love, but love cannot drown truth.


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