Friday, May 16, 2008

Progressive Anglican Myths and Legends

It occurs to me that the Progressive Anglicans deride Holy Scripture with the words myths and legends. They can't imagine that information could come down intact for so many generations. This may be another of their positions reasoned from their own experiences. The Progressives know how quick they are to embrace myths and legends that further their own agendas, so they naturally impute this to others.

Today I am thinking about one of these favorites of the Progressive Anglicans -- the legend that some African Anglican bishops brought multiple wives to a previous Lambeth conference. Progressives have no evidence for this belief, but cling to it because this belief further their agenda. So, of course, they imagine religion from their own experience and are sure that others behave like they do and selectively manufacture a desired narrative.

Over at Stand Firm, comments by Bob G+ first asserted that the multiple wives at Lambeth had occurred:
I think about the last Lambeth when some of the bishops showed up with their WIVES.
Then when he was challenged to produce evidence, he provided a more involved version of the legend:
From what I’ve read about the planning of the last Lambeth, this was a big issue when planning for the activities for the wives of the bishops, generally. It was decided, from my understanding, that if a bishop did bring multiple wives that they would all be welcome and treated the same. While I don’t remember the reference, I remember reading that a couple bishops in fact did bring their wives.
When he was challenged to provide evidence again, he concluded with this:
Concerning provision made for bishops who at conversion had multiple wives at past Lambeth conferences, it isn’t a smear, nor do I intend it to be. As I said, I don’t remember where I read the information but it was within documents describing the processes of preparing for Lambeth, not blogs or heresy.

What I see in these repetitions of the legend is that the claim to have evidence that that bishops brought their wives to Lambeth was switched for a claim that someone had speculated that some bishops might bring multiple wives to Lambeth, and if this occurred what should be done. Clearly a speculation in a planning document only reflects the mind of the one making the speculations. But this does not seem to occur to Bob G+. In his mind, planning documents that discussed what to do if a bishop brought multiple wives to Lambeth, became proof that bishops did have multiple wives and became a memory that bishops had actually brought multiple wives to Lambeth.


The Underground Pewster said...

The legend continues, from the mouth of the PB in her Seattle Times interview of 04/12/08,

"Q: Some people find it hypocritical that church members in some parts of the world who are so outspoken against ordaining gays are allowed to have multiple wives. Are they allowed to, and if so, what are your thoughts on that?

PB: The (1988) Lambeth Convention (the once-a-decade gathering of the world's bishops) made pastoral provisions for polygamists to be received into the church. ... It seems to me that the church throughout history has made different provisions in different provinces for circumstances that aren't universal."

Perpetua said...

underground pewster,
Interesting catch!
The PB didn't clarify that no one is allowed to take on an additional wife after they have converted, thus allowing the impression that multiple wives are allowed.
In fact, in some African Provinces, polygamists may be received into the Anglican church with their wives, but cannot take on additional wives and cannot become priests.
But is it possible that the 1988 Lambeth Conference did discuss and vote on this? I don't know.