Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Litiginous Church: There Are No Rules in a Knife Fight

Over the decade since the election of Gene Robinson (the first openly gay, divorced father, non-celibate male bishop), the Episcopal church has become a feeding trough for attorneys as dissenting parishes and dioceses have left the church. Each successive legal decision leads to more appeals and new motions, all of which keep the cash register ringing. I defy anyone to create a better perpetual money making machine than our legal system. For example,  recently there came the "Decision in Quincy: ECUSA Has no Rule against Dioceses Withdrawing." Game over, TEc lost... right? Right?

You might think that the Episcopal church would have called it quits after that decision, but there are no rules in a knife fight, and TEc filed a new lawsuit (See the Curmudgeon's take) which to my eye looks rather lame and may just be an attempt to keep 815's lawyers employed and to outlast Quincy's lawyers financial resources.

If anyone doubts that the Episcopal church would be so dumb as to believe their attorneys when the attorneys recommend they keep throwing good money after bad, then I have a health care plan that I would like to sell you.  

At this point it is no longer about church properties. Judging from the decline in numbers over the years, it is clear that the Episcopal church can never fill those pews. The money gained by selling any vacant properties might help a failing denomination for a while, but any windfalls will surely be squandered by the church, perhaps in legal fees.

The real threat to a denomination in a death spiral is the loss of people, and that is why I say the fight is not about property.

It is an unspoken but painfully open secret that the Episcopal church's strategy is to fight in such a way that it will intimidate and discourage further dissent from its agenda by any individual, any priest, any vestry member, any bishop, and any standing committee. The whole idea is to make it clear that if dissenters wish to separate themselves from the Episcopal church's mad march down the wayward path, they must be prepared to face the prospect of giving their historic church homes to a church which eschews preaching and teaching the Gospel.
If it weren't for the fact that the Episcopal church is promoting a false gospel, it might not be all that bad an idea to walk away, for it is said to be,
"Better to dwell in the wilderness,Than with a contentious and angry woman." Proverbs 21:19
Things have been pretty ugly in this fight, and it is beyond the capability of peace loving pewsitters to imagine how far the Church is willing to go in its pursuit of property.

People are dragged into a horror show, and I can't help but be reminded of Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz in “Apocalypse Now” who explained how he got to where he was, an animal out to wage all out, cruel, and total war.
“It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror! Horror has a face, and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends.
The Episcopal church has made friends with horror. Like Colonel Kurtz, it has become an ugly, insane, and loathsome distortion of its earlier well intentioned self. The end (people) has come to justify the means (litigation) which will only lead to the ultimate demise of the organization as it did for the mad Colonel.

If only the church could see itself as it has become, but as one person described the theme of “Apocalypse Now”,
“Through the eyes of the insane, a sane man appears to be crazy."

Through the eyes of 815, those who disagree with them are the ones who must be crazy, especially if they think they are in anything other than a real knife fight.


  1. I say let them drain the funds. Realistically, the liberal mafia (known as DFMS) only has 20 years left, after that, it won't be sustainable (probably much sooner than that). Unfortunately, our brothers and sisters who have left are going to suffer from this.

    1. Hackney Hub,

      Of the various estimates I have seen, 20 years sounds about right. I think the liberal mafia will continue as a niche church for a while longer because I look around and see all kinds of niche churches out there. The smaller church will not need so many bishops, suffragans, Canon of This, That, and the Other Thing once its lampstand has been taken away (or in this case given away).

  2. Pewster,
    Boutique:a business that serves a sophisticated or specialized clientele. I think it will be called a "Boutique Church. A thought that occurred to me is that a church so proud of it's cerebral approach has become limbic.

    1. T.E.Boutique: the kind of place where one might find a whole lot of showy but useless stuff.
      Niche: a hollowed out empty cavity wherein someone might place the head of an idol or some dry bones .