Comments: Saturday morning opinions

My only caution to Linzey is be aware that cronyism is not resolved by democracy. There are dioceses where the bishops are ruthless at destroying parishes and/or ministers or lay leaders that will not vote the "right" way.

They are also usually very good at ensuring they don't leave an audit trail so that they can dismiss claims as proof of others delusional insanity.

God knows the truth of such souls and their conduct, the cries of their victims are heard, even when their flesh is buried in a field. Cain could not hide his sin and neither can cruel bishops nor their sycophants.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 7:09pm GMT

I read Giles Fraser as far as this comment "All Saints’, Pasadena, is Anglicanism on steroids: more than 2000 people in church on Sundays"

and I thought that is a fact I can check, so went to the Episcopal Church website and pulled up:

It is a real pity that so many of the "more than 2000" were missing on every Sunday in every year from 1996 to 2006. The congregation could be described as "more than 1000" or if you wanted to stretch the truth "almost 1500" but there is no way it could be described as "more than 2000".

Since Mr Fraser is unable to check even his most basic "facts" I won't bother taking any notice of the rest of his article. It will tell us of what he wanted to find at this church -- but not what is the Truth.

Posted by Margaret at Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 9:04pm GMT

And we certainly believe y o u, Margaret.

Numbers games...

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 9:24pm GMT

Oh for pity's sake, Margaret! What Giles wrote was an example of the rhetorical device sometimes called 'hyperbole,' hence the 'on steroids' comment.

Hay! I guess if you gave blood tests to all those in attendance on Sunday you'd not actually find steroids ala Barry Bonds. Would you scream that the rest of the article was a pack of lies?

This is the grown-up equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and going 'la-la-la-la' to drown out somebody else.

Cleoptra wasn't the only Queen of De Nile...

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 9:34pm GMT

"Since Mr Fraser is unable to check even his most basic "facts" I won't bother taking any notice of the rest of his article. It will tell us of what he wanted to find at this church -- but not what is the Truth."

Presumably, this is an opinion, not a fact. Seeing you didn't even finish reading the article....

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 9:45pm GMT

Sorry Margaret. I was there for two weeks running and its true. Last week, two morning services near capacity (capacity 1000) and another three hundred or so at evensong. I didn't go to the afternoon Spanish service, but that has to be added too. Apart from this one, I preached at them all. Perhaps some holy souls came twice, but that's the only explanation I can think of if my maths is wrong. Why are you so keen to disbelieve me? Is your deeply uncharitable hermeneutic at work whenever you read something? I write to say a church is doing great work, preaching the gospel, feeding the poor, standing together with the oppressed - and you just want to decry that. What a sad carry on.

Posted by Giles Fraser at Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 10:09pm GMT

So ... Margaret ... sorry ... hard to resist this ... quoting Bacon [Sir F., not Ed] ...

"What is truth? said Pilate, and would not stay for an answer."

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Sunday, 18 November 2007 at 12:54am GMT

All Saints is a wonderful place--where I would go if I lived near my parents in Pasadena. Their day-care center really helped my sister out when she had to work and needed a good, safe place for her daughter a number of years ago.

I remember one Sunday when I was visiting being flabbergasted that despite all the people there, I was recognized as a visitor and warmly invited to share in the coffee hour on the lawn. That's hospitality!

Posted by --sheila-- at Sunday, 18 November 2007 at 1:23am GMT

I'll stick my neck out and say that Andrew Linzey would be (and should be) a bishop in the Church of England himself, but as co-editor of that book, and the official paranoia in government about animal rights as it pushes a singular science agenda against even ethical argument, means that the byways and alleyways of producing bishops would mean that such as he is bypassed.

Posted by Pluralist at Sunday, 18 November 2007 at 2:09am GMT

Margaret's tactics are typical of what goes on at the pseudo-orthodox blogs. If a liberal congregation is increasing in size, then statistics are trotted out to show that the state population is increasing faster. If a liberal congregation is going down, well, the cause is obviously its incorrect doctrines. But if a right-wing congregation is decreasing in size (which some are, despite the rhetoric), then it's due to the faithlessness of the national church. And so on and on and on.

Posted by Doug at Sunday, 18 November 2007 at 3:09am GMT

Thank you for all the kind comments.

For those who think I made up the numbers, they came from the Episcopal Church official website. Perhaps you other commentators believe that they have some ulterior motive for falsifying them, but I would prefer to assume that they told the truth. I would point out to Mr Fraser that he didn't state that "they were Anglicans on steroids for the two Sundays I was present with attendances of 2000" but rather that this was the normal number present. It demonstratively wasn't.

I had always assumed that those who wrote for the newspaper prided themselves on having their facts right -- and that Christians liked their yes to be yes and their no to be no.

Posted by Margaret at Sunday, 18 November 2007 at 3:38am GMT


The problem with people who want "yes to be yes" and "no to be no" that there are questions to which the only correct answers are "maybe", "perhaps" and "sometimes".

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Sunday, 18 November 2007 at 12:20pm GMT

Pat -- and so how do you interpret Jesus' comment?

Posted by Margaret at Monday, 19 November 2007 at 2:48am GMT

Honesty, good faith, good will...

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 19 November 2007 at 9:21am GMT


Which comment by Jesus are you referring to?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Monday, 19 November 2007 at 11:47am GMT

"Christians liked their yes to be yes and their no to be no. "

A) I really don't think that congregational numbers can be equated with the "Truth sent from above" Margaret, which is what I infer from your capitalizing of the word.

B) Yes seems to be yes only sometimes for some on the Right as well. "Yes, we will abide by Lambeth, except for the bits that prevent us from making some attention seeking grandstanding run across diocesan borders.

C) Frasser says over 2000, you accept 'over 1000". I really can't understand the degree of anger you display over this small act of hyperbole. The fact is that they are a healthy parish. I suspect your reaction comes from the fear engendered in the followers of the Right: The evil Hell bound Liberals are out to destroy the Church, their traps are everywhere, circle the wagons, God's truth is in danger of being subverted, be cunning as serpents! This assumption of the dishonesty of those you disagree with is as bad as my innate mistrust of anything an Evangelical does as being, of necessity, an underhanded trick to get bums in pews by any means necessary. It is unChristian on both our parts, and, in so far as it makes either of us believe the Gospel is in danger, it leads us to sin, since how can the Gospel be in any danger? It is given to us by God, do you actually think He will let the message of His profligate, wasteful love for us be lost to a bunch of faithless Liberals? Chill, my sister, be still and know that He is God!

Posted by Forx Elms at Monday, 19 November 2007 at 2:06pm GMT

Hmmm. A lot of comments about numbers here, but none about the numbers that were actually the primary subject of the article--i.e., numbers of $$ given. Also, nothing on the rather open admiration expressed for American giving habits/traits and religious dynamism. Also nothing on the fairly sharp criticism of Brit stinginess, etc.

As a conservative I'm not bothered by large liberal churches, I've attended some myself. Their existence does not make me rethink any of my conclusions about the overall deathmarch of theological liberalism, but I think a debate on this issue misses the primary points of the article.

Frankly, I'm just happy (as an American) to get feedback recognizing some positive character traits that Euros tend to ignore or denounce in their fairly constant denigration of bad ol' crude, cultureless and imperialistic America. So, thank you Giles.


Posted by Steven at Monday, 19 November 2007 at 2:40pm GMT


Read this:

and this:

And the comments!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Tuesday, 20 November 2007 at 6:14am GMT
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