Comments: more ECUSA stories

A word of warning about the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: it is owned by Richard Mellon Scaife, a wealthy reactionary ideologue who is one of the main financial backers of the so-called "renewal movement" in mainline churches in the U.S.

He also put up most of the money for the endless investigations into Clinton's personal life in the 90s. In fact, there's not a reactionary cause in the U.S. in these past thirty years that Scaife has not played sugardaddy for.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is Scaife's mouthpiece, not a legitimate newspaper. They print what he tells them to, which is usually whatever his political obsession of the moment is--back in the 90s the paper was full of ridiculous stories about Bill Clinton murdering people to keep the public from finding out about his drug dealing, for example. Now he has a bug up his butt about the liberal churches.

By all means read the article, if you like, but be aware of the agenda behind it.

Posted by New Here at Sunday, 23 July 2006 at 6:55pm BST

"The bishop’s encouragement of theological speculation on the distinction between a sacramental rite of blessing of same-sex unions and a pastoral provision for blessing same-sex unions is likely to draw the ire of the wider Anglican Communion.

For 2000 years, faithful Christians have engaged in "theological speculation" regarding Absolutely Everything!

If the above were true---no "theological speculation on the distinction between a sacramental rite of blessing of same-sex unions and a pastoral provision for blessing same-sex unions" (*)---it would only show how mentally (and morally) BANKRUPT the AC has become. >:-/

(*) Not that I personally see the need of the above speculation, specifically: a "sacramental rite of blessing of same-sex unions" (i.e. MARRIAGE) would be just fine, thank you! :-D

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Sunday, 23 July 2006 at 9:00pm BST

Nothing folks don't know already. The declining mainline churches, with ever lessening impact on the World, struggle valiantly to make themselves even more irrelevant and ignorable.

Posted by Steven at Sunday, 23 July 2006 at 11:57pm BST

I have no idea, from what Jack Icker imagines he needs protection.

Posted by y gath clytwaith at Monday, 24 July 2006 at 10:59am BST

First, an important correction. Scaife does not own the Post-Gazette, but the Tribune-Review. The reporter of the article in question, Steve Levin, covers The Episcopal Church. He does it well and fairly. Even the Tribune-Review has tried to be fair, at least in covering The Episcopal Church. It occasionally gets it wrong, but not for want of trying. I have often been quoted in the Trib and have never had a complaint about how my words were used.

I have a letter to the editor in today's Post-Gazette responding to Levin's article. (See .) In it, I point out the role of organizations such as the IRD on the mainline churches.

Posted by Lionel Deimel at Monday, 24 July 2006 at 2:50pm BST

"As Bishop of Fort Worth, I have long experienced an impaired relationship with the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church, unable to share fully in eucharistic fellowship with all its members."

This makes it sound like the HoB has shunned him; in fact, he has refused table fellowship. It is typical of many like him to proclaim their own victimhood when in fact they are the ones excluding themselves. Nor do they seem to recognize that their actions and proclamations effectivly exclude women and glbt people from the full life of the church.

I LOVE it when bullies act like victims. "Oh! She MADE me hit her!"

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Monday, 24 July 2006 at 6:02pm BST

Lionel, thank you for the correction.

If the Tribune-Review is now trying to be fair, that is something new and welcome. I vividly remember them giving a forum to crackpots like Christopher "Bill Clinton Murdered Vince Foster" Ruddy in the 90s. Even by the standards of the right wing press, they were out of line.

And thank you for pointing out the role of secular politics in all this controversy. It is amazing--and unfortunate--how few understand that.

Posted by New Here at Monday, 24 July 2006 at 6:33pm BST

Declining Mainline Churches .. ? There's an interesting article on Standfirminfaith regarding the overall loss in ASA of *liberal* ECUSA in the last 12 years - versus growth in ASA of the conservative dioceses:

Posted by Dave at Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 6:29am BST

For those who didn't follow the link on 'Declining mainstream churches' note that the compiler of the information is unhappy with the way it has been presented on the website in question: as she says....

"I fear the headline you’ve given it could be misleading, however.

I’d compiled and sent out the table since it shows an interesting pattern. I like looking at data and trying to spot “trends” (I do alot of it for my job.) But as I look at the data more closely in the light of day, the problem is, you cannot say each and every APO-requesting or Network diocese is growing faster than the other dioceses.

Statistically, what is REALLY happening above is that the data are being heavily skewed by South Carolina and Dallas which were the #1 and #2 fastest growing dioceses in terms of ASA within ECUSA for the 1992 - 2004 period. (snip)

Here are the top 10 dioceses in terms of ASA growth 1992-2004. Hard to find any clear theological / affiliational pattern in THESE data.

(large statistical snip)

Hope this is helpful and will prevent people from drawing hasty and incorrect conclusions."

Posted by David Rowett (= mynsterpreost) at Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 11:47am BST


Aaargh! I really wanted to look at those statistics. Are they posted elsewhere?


Posted by Steven at Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 8:34pm BST

They're actually on the original link under the feedback bit — As a non-statistician I couln't make head or tail of the significance or otherwise of the figures, but it was interesting that the compiler urged extreme caution in their interpretation.

Posted by David Rowett (= mynsterpreost) at Wednesday, 26 July 2006 at 9:01am BST

Whatever any group of particular stats mean, the difference in making inferences from them seems fairly clear, according to our polarized differences. If a liberal diocese/parish/associational group is statistically growing, well it just shows how quickly things are going to the dogs without clear, firm conservative or traditional or orthodox leadership and conformity. Too bad.

If, on the other hand, a conservative diocese/parish/associational group is statistically growing, then it shows that progressive views are faddish, superficial, and a dying trend that will soon fade into the sands of history as more and more people see the simple truth of that special orthodox preachment. Thank God.

Not for nothing has the wag exclaimed against, Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics. Extrapolating from statistical trends is famously iffy. That is why we have a best practices set of standards for fallible but better ways, compared to all the others.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 31 July 2006 at 2:09am BST
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