Wednesday, September 13, 2006

”Tolerance” and the New York Summit

It has come home to me lately just how intolerant those who most like to talk about “tolerance” can be. The reaction of the Episcopal Left to even the convening of the ongoing New York Summit is a case in point.

Now a reasonable, genuinely (or at least somewhat) tolerant liberal Episcopalian might think something like this: “I’m unhappy with the actions and attitudes of those traditionalists. But I respect their consciences. And I agree the divisions are so bad now that a settlement or separation is needed. I appreciate the Archbishop of Canterbury’s effort to facilitate a settlement that’s short of bloodshed. I think both sides have had enough of the fighting. And both sides would be better off focusing on their missions than fighting.”

And I imagine and certainly hope there are liberals, particularly in positions to make decisions, who feel that way. But all too often their attitudes are something like this:

The Episcopal Church should take a hard line against the insurgents not because they are “conservative,” “orthodox,” “Evangelical,” or whatever—not, in fact, because of their expressed theology at all. These bishops and all who follow them, particularly those in holy orders, must be treated harshly because of the way they behave—because they are willing to lie, cheat, and, ultimately, steal, to achieve their goal of an independent “pure” American church—a church whose assets will, largely, be furnished by “liberating” them from The Episcopal Church. This is appalling and unacceptable behavior. All who engage in it demonstrate that they are unfit for Christian ministry, and The Episcopal Church has every reason to purge itself of people who behave in such a manner before they do more damage to it.

As I’ve mentioned here before, at least some of the Episcopal Left isn’t happy with merely winning their effort to modernize the Episcopal Church. They now wish to crush the orthodox. And they deeply resent +++Rowan’s intervention to try to help bring about a settlement that’s at least somewhat more civil.

Such intolerance is sad, no matter where it comes from . . . and no matter if it dresses up as “Christian” or “tolerant”.

Hat tip to titusonenine where there’s more thoughts.

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