Picket Akinola Sunday, Sept. 23, outside Chicago « Akinola, Repudiate Anti-Gay Violence

Picket Akinola Sunday, Sept. 23, outside Chicago « Akinola, Repudiate Anti-Gay Violence

Akinola seeks to split the worldwide Anglican Communion, the world’s second-largest Christian church with 70 million members, replacing the historic leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury with himself as head of a new “Global South Communion.”Akinola will appear at the chapel of fundamentalist Wheaton College at 10:30 a.m. The chapel is located at the corner of Washington and Franklin Streets in Wheaton, Illinois, about 30 miles west of downtown Chicago.

The demonstration will be peaceful and will not disrupt the church service. It is aimed not only at the archbishop but at his American enablers, former Episcopalians with a particular antipathy for Gay people who are splitting the Church to keep Gay people out.

Gay and Straight Episcopalians will gather at 8 a.m. for Mass at St. James’s Cathedral, 65 E. Huron St., Chicago, then drive to Wheaton for the demonstration, which will last one hour, from 10-11 a.m. Protesters will march in procession on the sidewalk opposite the Wheaton College Chapel and will not interfere with those attending the church service.

The demonstration is co-sponsored by dailyoffice.org, a prayer website serving the Episcopal Church, and the Gay Liberation Network of Chicago.

I won’t be able to be there, but will be sending good thoughts and prayers that way. It’s really annoying, though, that in order to get the word out about the protest, it’s necessary to give Archibishop Akinola free publicity for his appearance. I’m sure that the local news will be there in force, although it would be worth a chuckle if they were not. That’s the whole point of this exercise – to raise the visibility of the “dissident” or “separatist” or “reasserting” or “conservative” wing of the Episcopal Church. Or in this case, to highlight the fact that some people have left and formed congregations allied with other Anglican churches in various African countries.

None of the descriptives for the people who are unhappy with the way things are going in the Episcopal Church are very satisfactory, actually. They don’t necessarily all get along, either – some groups don’t accept the ordination of women, while others do, up to a point. The one thing that unites them is a negative world view: they don’t like gays, they don’t like change, they don’t like women assuming roles traditionally played by men, they don’t like being marginalized by the more numerous moderate and liberal factions, they don’t like the idea of a compassionate and forgiving God. They don’t like being out of control. They don’t like “alternative” views or interpretations of concepts they consider immutable and holy.

However, they also don’t like being reminded that they break some Biblical injunctions against divorce and adultery more frequently than their more liberal brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s an interesting quandary.

They like rules, just their own rules and nobody else’s, and everyone toeing their line. It’s their way or the highway, and they’ll take it if nobody else will.

I suppose the most neutral tag I could apply to the people who want to split the Episcopal Church, in as many pieces as it takes to suit their narrow and sometimes mutually exclusive views, is “Fundamentalist Fragmentarians.”  They’ll ally with anyone that shares their views and helps them get the attention of the word press… for now. But any future disagreement will result in another fragment going off and doing harm on its way. Kind of like spiritual shrapnel.

[tags]Anglican, Akinola, gay clergy, protest, Chicago, marriage, divorce[/tags]

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