Saturday, March 19, 2016


Finally, there is something from the independent Diocese of South Carolina with which I wholeheartedly agree. In its summary of the recent convention, DSC gave a quote from the Rev. Shay Gaillard, "'I thought the convention was fantastic.'" Amen. Now, to be fair, I assume he meant fantastic in the sense of wonderful, marvelous, etc., as I am sure it was to him. However, "fantastic" also means: absurd, farfetched, nonsensical, incredible, unbelievable, unthinkable, unreal. This "fantastic" can be applied in large measure not just to the recent convention but to the last decade of DSC. The leaders have created a fantasy land for their followers in order to get them to follow their lead out of their ancestral Church, and now, to keep them out.

In my post of Mar. 15, "DSC Caught in its Own Web of Deceit," I showed how DSC has gone to great and, in my opinion, unethical lengths to make its faithful followers believe they are in the Anglican Communion when they are not, have not been since the schism of 2012, and will not be. The Anglican Church of North America is not a "province" of anything. Joining ACNA will not make DSC part of the Anglican Communion, or anything else except ACNA which is in fact a separate Christian denomination apart from the AC. This is just the latest magical fantasy promoted by the fantastic wizards of Coming Street.

Going down the whole list of individual fantasies would take a book--literally. And, I have written one, or nearly so. I am almost through with a manuscript of a scholarly history of the schism up to the start of the litigation in 2013. In my effort to be as complete as possible, I have compiled a detailed narrative already equal to a 600 page book with 1,878 footnotes. The chapter on the litigation will be probably another 100 pages. So this is going to be either a Gone-With-The-Wind length book, or pared down, or two volumes, or maybe a big e-book. Who knows? As Scarlett would say, I'll worry about that tomorrow.

Gaillard's remark started me to thinking again about my favorite fantasies coming out of the DSC camp. I am sure we all have our favorites. I guess my all time best because of its unintentional hilarity was the testimony DSC witnesses gave in the circuit trial in 2014 that the members of the Episcopal churches in South Carolina before the schism did not know they were in the Episcopal Church. I am still laughing at the absurdity.

So, I have jotted down my other favorite DSC fantasies, none as funny as the first. In fact, most are downright sad:

---The schism had nothing to do with homosexuality. (Gross disregard of a mountain of evidence.)

---The Diocese of South Carolina "disassociated" from the Episcopal Church but is still the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina and the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. (Oxymoron)

---Mark Lawrence abandoned the Episcopal Church but took with him the authority of bishop that the Episcopal Church gave him. (ditto)

---The "orthodox" (fundamentalists) are the only true Anglicans. ( The actual orthodoxy of Anglicanism is that it is a broad and tolerant collection of different views; no one is true while the others are false.)

---The Episcopal Church, and Katharine Jefferts Schori in particular, were out to "get" Mark Lawrence. (Wait for the book.)

---The Episcopal Church became heretical because it discarded the belief in the uniqueness of Christ and in the Trinity. (Absolutely and outrageously false.)

---The Episcopal Church forced the "orthodox" conservatives to leave the Church. (Most of them are in fact still in the Episcopal Church.)

---The Episcopal Church deliberately rewrote Title IV of the Canons in order to "get" Mark Lawrence. (No connection to reality.)

---The Episcopal Church made an unprovoked, Pearl Harbor style, "attack" or "assault" on the innocent Diocese of South Carolina in 2012. (The other way around. See the book.)

---Mark Lawrence was in the process of negotiating a peace settlement with the Episcopal Church when he was hit by a surprise attack in October of 2012. (ML had already secretly advised the Standing Committee they could "disassociate" the diocese from TEC; Standing Committee had already secretly drawn up a plan of separation. The schism was a premeditated plan by the DSC leadership.)

---The Episcopal Church never settles outside of court. (Last June the Episcopal Church offered an out-of-court settlement in South Carolina giving all the local properties to the parishes. DSC rejected it on the spot.)

There are too many DSC fantasies to list here completely. Unfortunately, the DSC has a well-established record of untruths, half-truths, and misinterpretations misleading its communicants. Thus, its outrageous insistence they are "in" the Anglican Communion is only another example in a long trail. Judging from the falling membership of the DSC, perhaps more and more people are seeing the truth. DSC lost a quarter of its membership in the two years after the schism (2013, 2014)(see Mar. 11, "The Decline of the DSC...). The figures speak for themselves. They cannot be made into a fantasy.

Fantasies have a way of running their courses. In time, truth emerges and exposes the fantasies to be just that. Sometimes the fantasies are harmless, but sometimes they can turn out to be catastrophic. For instance, the U.S. government justified attacking Iraq in the Iraq War because of a charge of weapons of mass destruction. This was a fantasy (even Donald Trump has said so). We now know the truth. There were no weapons of mass destruction. The fantasy was promoted by the neo-cons as an excuse for war. An enormous amount of death, destruction, waste of treasure, and creation of fanatical terrorists is the price we paid for believing this fantasy.

What is your favorite fantastic notion promoted by DSC? e-mail me.